My first trans meeting. Finally starting transition!
My trip to Uppsala to meet with the experts on transsexuals. Finally starting transition. The interview. Lots of trans questions and thoughts. The old city and the complex of a hospital. Pictures inside. This is the big post, everyone!
I spent the whole day yesterday traveling to and from Uppsala, which is where the experts on transsexuals are. And needless to say, it was a fantastic day. Not only did the meeting go well, but i got to see a little of another town for once. I don’t get to do that very often, so that was a nice bonus. But let’s start from the beginning! I won’t spare any details!!
Pre train trip and fate of my bike?
I woke up at around 7am, to get ready for the train that left at 8:18am. Nothing eventful that morning. Just very nervous. And about 10 minutes before the train would come, and i was about to lock my bike, the lock broke. So i figured. I could either skip this trip just because my bike won’t be safe, and buy a new lock instead, or(!) i could just kinda ish make it seem like my bike was locked and hope that no one touches it before i get home again. Obviously, the first option wasn’t even a consideration! But it was fun kind of thinking if i did that. I would be disappointed in myself if i did.. But hey! More on the fate of my bike later in this post!
So i did the former, and pseudo locked my bike, and jumped on the train! Now, just to give some context. Last fall, i tried to do (If that is how you say it) college. A college that was about two hours away by buss/train (You had to switch mid way), and back then, when i attempted that, i was under a lot of stress. I’d like to think its contributed from an age long since past, when one bad thing happened after another, and i decided to go closeted instead of being open with myself.. But i digress.
Anxiety story and the happy trip to Uppsala
I was under a lot of stress. I had, and still has to a certain extent, anxiety disorder. Something i wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. But back then, i wasn’t able to take the train without flat out bursting out in tears. It was so bad that, at around the end when i had to decide to stop doing college (Which was a little more than a month in), i would sooner walk 1/4th of the way instead of taking the bus. Something that took well over 4 hours to do.
But anyhow. That’s the context. Now, i could actually spend the about two hours on the train, without ever feeling horrible. So that was a huge step for me. I had kind of been a little worried that i might have to suffer through the anxiety of travel with this trip, but luckily, i didn’t. So instead, i got to listen to some podcast and read some news. A really nice trip to Uppsala.
Arrival and complex of a hospital
Then i got there, and just to give you an idea, it is very much spring here in Bollnäs right now, but down in Uppsala (I know.. Weird thing to say. Down in Up-sala, to translate), it was summer. No cool or fresh winds there. Flat out summer. Not that i minded it too much. I was way too excited to care. I didn’t even take off my sweater until much later, that’s how excited i was. Didn’t even care about the heat!
So i walked from the station to the Academic hospital (Which is what it’s called). Didn’t even take 30 minutes until i saw it. This huge complex of a hospital. I only have a few pics of the exterior of the particular hospital building that i was supposed to go to; i’ll remember to take more pics next time i go.
So at the hospital, i decided i would find the main entrance Something that took about ten minutes to find. Ten minutes of getting lost in a maze of corridors. But i eventually found it, at the very end of where i started (So i apparently, i started at the end, and had to work my way down to the beginning). Let’s just say that they had numbered everything from 10 to 70. Maybe that will give you a small idea of how big it was. It was probably more than 70 too.
So yes, i went to the reception at the main entrance where i was directed to the correct building (Which was the first building i saw).
Strangely, but perhaps not unexpectedly it was the most futuristic looking of the buildings in the hospital complex. Imagine mirrors edge, only even more minimalist. I mean, in the foyae, they had a huge branch-less and leaf-less tree-like pole, in the middle of a 6cm (Give or take) rectangular pool.. I don’t know, it was really cool and very well designed. It tickled my fancy.
But to make 15 minutes short, i tried different receptions in that building, and about four (Not counting the one i went to at the main entrance of the complex) or so re-directions later, i was eventually directed to the right place. And as a note, i would like to say that i did get a paper from them, telling me exactly where i should go.. Unfortunately, i didn’t bring it with me. Could have saved me a lot of time and hassle, but oh well. I was too excited to care!
The trans interview!
So at this point, i’m waiting for a doctor to come and get me, at the waiting room of this subsection of this building of this complex. Unless it wasn’t clear enough, this is a fucking huge hospital.
Very excited, i waited. Not listening to anything, not doing anything. Just looking around a little. And then the doctor came to get me, led me to a room in this sub…. Ok, i’ll stop!
So he begins talking with me. Now, there were a lot of questions, and i don’t remember all of them, but i’ll try to tell the good bits and what i can remember. So first, the plan! Both at the beginning and the end of the meeting, he (My doctor’s a trans man) tells me about the plan we have. So first, there’s the initial interview to get a crass idea of where i stand and how i feel about myself, and then there’s the meetings with a few other experts that are gonna get involved (Endo doctor, plastic surgery doctors, other experts in the field, etc). He told me that the way they usually do it is to have a full year of “Making sure”. A process i’m ok with. It sucks i have to, but i understand that we have to. I mean, it is a big thing after all, no matter how sure you are. And besides, it’s almost 100% payed for by the tax payers in Sweden.. Soo…. You know.
Anyhow! As for the questions! I made a Q&A with Jocelyn quite a long time ago, and it kind of reminded me of the questions i asked there. So if you would, please check that one out. Because it reminded me of a big chunk of those questions. But i’ve delayed enough: He asked me things like how often i like to dress up, how i feel when i do it, when i don’t do it; how i feel about my body, if i can look at it; he asked me if i had considered if i was just a crossdresser, androgynous gender queer, gender fluid, etc. And i have to say, for an initial interview, it was quite extensive. I didn’t even get to everything i wanted to say. I remember saying that i follow other transsexuals on the internet, and how i even read a comic with that central theme. And some other less impactful (for me at least) and non-relevant questions was like, if English was my native language or not. Cause a lot of the time, when i speak, i struggle to find the proper Swedish words for things, because i don’t know that many, apparently And he also asked about my sexuality, if i was bi, homo, hetro, or something like that. So it was a fairly relaxed and a pretty extensive interview.
Personally, i wouldn’t read too much into it, because every transsexual i know of has said that it’s different for everyone. We’re all different in how we feel and how our process will be towards SRS, transition and all that. And i hope, and very much think that the doctors knows that. You know.. For instance, you can’t very well expect someone to absolutely have to be 100% girly (And vise versa for trans men) in order to qualify as a transsexual. That would be pretty sexist to be honest, male or female. But i don’t expect the worst of the doctors, nor am i very involved at the moment. We’ll have to see what they have to say, and what they can discern.
At the end of the interview, i told him that i’m 99.99% sure of myself, and how my not being 100% is just because i don’t think you can know something for a 100% fact. And that i was really happy to finally start my transition. I’ve noticed my stress getting less and less pronounced as the days go by, and at the moment, i feel really good. Better than i have in a very very very long time. Very long time!
There you have it. The interview. The juicy bits. They told me that i would get a letter for the next appointment in a month or two (They didn’t say that specifically, but they said that summer is coming, and with it, vacations . And, it takes time to talk things through with doctors).
And before i change subject to the rest of the trip, i would just like to say that i didn’t get to say everything i wanted to say. Like my blog. I didn’t think to bring it up in this first interview. Nor did i get to tell more about a certain moment in my life that i’ve been wanting to make a video of for a long time. And i hope my fears for surgery (Because i have a fear of that in general) didn’t make it seem like something else. But other than that, i think i handled it very well.
A long way home! A long wait.. (Picture album)
Now i’m going out of the modern looking building, and with that starts the 4 hour long wait until the train home arrives.. So naturally, i decided to do some sight seeing. I have some pictures and a short video of it, so i’ll let those do most of the talking.
The building of the complex that i went to
I really loved the forest path they had there, that lead up to the castle (16th-century castle), and the sight from there was pretty great too. Then i went through the streets of the ancient city that used to be there. There was a cathedral and a bunch of really old (But slightly refurnished looking buildings, and just enjoyed the wonderful weather. At this point, i’m well into chatting with Jocelyn too. I had to tell her that everything went well, and how great everything was. Shared the moment with her, so to speak. We also got a little serious (As we tend to do) with transsexuals and bragging too. How progress pics are so often misconstrued as bragging by a lot of transsexuals. And how their envy shouldn’t be considered. Because like she said, she posts the progress pics to be an inspiration. Which is how we both view it.
But yea.. One burger king visit and a bunch of fumbling around in the city later, i finally sit down at the train station, just to listen to a podcast and rest out for a bit. Because at this point, i’ve been active since around 7am to that point. And with no nervousness and a place in the shade to sit, i could finally breathe out, and relax.
Trip home and wrapping up. Some words of advice and comfort!
The trip home was uneventful, just how i wanted it. Had to make a switch half way, and the trains i took were a little slower. So the trip home took longer than two hours. At around 7pm, i finally get home though. Do you remember what i said earlier in this post? About my bike? Well, it was still there!! Lucky for me, no one had touched it. Unlucky though, i had to go to a store about 20 minutes from the train station, to get a new lock for my bike. So i got there and got a new lock, and then went home. Which was about another 20 minutes or so. At around 8pm, i was sitting at home, and that is where our journey ends.
I’m hoping for an answer as soon as possible. But no matter what, i think i’m stuck in a year long waiting time to start the transition proper (They said hormones would be the first step. And i agree). It’s great having some trans news for once, and wow was it an update indeed. I hope some people found this useful. Even if you just read the interview part of it. As long as you can get something from this, i’m glad! Maybe it’ll give you a good idea of what to expect or how it must feel for people like me.