It's been a little while since I've done one of these.
How have you been? I hope you have been keeping well during this pandemic.
I've been okay. I'm coming out of the pandemic with some very exciting new changes. A new job, a new flat, and I've finally discovered my gender.
That's correct. I am a woman. My name is Maisie now.
It might come as a surprise! And I can appreciate that. It's big news, and to be honest it's also taken me a very long time to come to terms with it. What I ask of you is to call me Maisie from now on, and to use she/her pronouns when referring to me. I'd also ask that you don't ask me questions about my body, or make attack helicopter jokes, or anything like that. I'm being serious and candid about this. Thank you in advance.
You might be wondering, "why are you doing this (transitioning)?". And to be honest I don't think I can choose not to. It just feels right, and it's very hard to explain. What I can tell you though, is the huge amount of joy being able to live and present as me has been. I can't tell you enough about how happy and present I feel in life compared to my old self. It feels so wonderful. And it feels so painful and sad to hide myself from the world. It's exhausting. It got to a point where I decided, "you know what, I know what I want and how I want to live, so I shall just simply do it". And so here I am.
Again, I know it's going to take some time for you to get used to my new name. It might be a shock to see me talk, look, and be different from what you're used to. You might slip up and not always call me the right name all the time, that's fine too. It takes time to get used to. But try not to think of it as the "loss" of Matt, think of it as a celebration, that I'm finally able to bring the real me out into the world and live my life fully. There's absolutely so many things in the future that are scary and give me anxiety, especially given the state of trans healthcare in the United Kingdom and the general, er, *hand waves at the media and the hate groups*. But it's also a time of great excitement for myself.
I'd like to thank so many wonderful people who have supported me in the critical first stages of my transition. My partner, Izzy, has been so supportive for me on my good and bad days, helping me learn new things and finding my visual identity. She was there for me as the first person I came out to and continues to be there for me now. I can't thank her or love her enough. My close family supported and accepted me from the outset, which I really appreciate. My closest huddle of friends were the same, they were there for me. Some I consider almost brothers to me. And other folks, at work, or even random strangers on the internet, who were so critically important in helping me understand myself and work out who I am. Thank you everyone.
To the future,
Frequently Asked Questions
Does this mean anything for your relationship?
Nope! Me and Izzy are still together and she is being incredibly supportive 😊
What does it mean that you're transgender? Does it mean that you just like wearing dresses?
It's a lot more than what you can see at face value. I, like other trans people, suffer from symptoms collectively known as gender dysphoria. Dysphoria presents differently in different people, and no two trans peoples' experiences are alike. I highly recommend that you read this website which explains in detail how gender and dysphoria works, and also features links to further reading. It might help address any thoughts, concerns, questions you may have already had.
Why did you pick Maisie as your name?
I wanted something reasonably common that felt "right" to me, and as a bonus it also means that I don't have to change my online handles or domain name.
Interesting timing. Did the pandemic make you trans?
Ofc not. But what it did do was finally afford me the chance to frankly explore and interrogate my own sense of self and identity, where I hadn't before. Would I have started questioning and coming out if there wasn't a pandemic? Eventually yes. This is something that has always been there but I just didn't see the signs.
Are you 100% sure on the name?
Are you 100% sure on yours? I think picking a name for yourself is quite a tricky task since most people tend to have it chosen for them. I was very unsure at first but enjoy the name more, the more I use it.
Any preferred nicknames or shortenings?
Man... I don't think I'm allowed to choose my own nickname, I don't think that's how it works! Common ones I've heard already have been "May", "Maise" (pronounced like "maize") and, er, "Mazza". No preferred nicknames from my part. Maisie is good. 😊
What pronouns are you using?
She/her pronouns right now, they seem the most comfortable to me.
Are you getting The Surgery?
Kindly read the first couple of paragraphs of this article again.