After more years in counselling than I care to count my wonderful psychiatrist prescribed testosterone blockers for me. "A first step", I thought. "I am finally on my way!" After many, many soul searching sessions she had become convinced that I was, indeed, a woman.
Yes! A first step.
At the same time she arranged an appointment with a local gynecologist who specialized in, amongst other things, transgender people. It was he who I needed to see in order to be prescribed the hormones necessary for my physical transition from a male body to the one I really wanted—no, needed.
Appointment arranged, I sat in his waiting room, along with two other women. My appointment was scheduled for one o'clock, and I had arrived a good fifteen minutes early. I was so nervous. Helping myself to one of the many women's magazines spread on the reception room table, I did my best to appear quite at home in the eyes of the others, who were also reading the usual stuff.
And so I waited. And I waited.
It's amazing how slowly move the hands of the clock when one can't take one's eyeballs off it.
Ten to one.
Five to one.
In walked another woman, but instead of taking a seat with the three of us she continued on to the inner sanctum, emerging a minute later sporting a white lab coat. Picking up what looked like a string of labels from the receptionist who, I guess, doubled as the office clerk, she again disappeared into the netherworld of gynecology.
Ms. White Labcoat appeared again, surveyed the three of us, and again disappeared.
Boy! Was I getting nervous! The waiting was killing me! Resisting the urge to run, I picked up another magazine and pretended to be interested in the printed word. I was hoping that my constantly twitching feet didnít give me away as I stared with unfocused eyes at the meaningless characters on the page.
Puleeeeze! Somebody DO something.
A quarter after…
White Lab Coat appeared again! This time with the string of labels in her hand. Glancing at the three of us, in a very puzzled voice, she asked, "Is Samantha Perrin here?"
Self-consciously I raised my hand. Not too high. Just enough to let her know that it was ME.
With a surprised look, (I think I detected a slight double-take), she said, "Follow me please."
Carefully setting down the magazine and picking up my purse I followed.
Her office was small, her desk totally overshadowed by medical files, the desktop almost completely hidden by paper. And as she closed the door behind me, in a voice loud enough to waken the dead, she exclaimed, "My god, do you ever pass!" I was so startled that I swear I almost jumped out of my skin.
All this time she had been waiting for me to arrive, assuming I would be easily recognizable as a trans person!
Validation? Yes! I can tell you, it was a moment I'll never forget.
Medical history recorded, blood pressure taken and pulse read I soon found myself sitting in the doctor's office. He wasn't a tall man, but in his white lab coat he looked impressive, he on one side of the huge oak desk, me on the other. He was a kind and gentle man, and he spoke in a quiet voice. We had quite a chat, after which he walked me through the maze of estrogen application. Eventually it was decided that pills would be the way to go.
With a gentle hand on my shoulder, he escorted me back to reception where a next appointment was arranged, and armed with a prescription form, and a lab sheet outlining blood tests to be done, I floated out the door.
On my way to the pharmacy… But thatís another story for another time.