That picture has nothing to do with this story. It's just something I passed when walking to my mental health assessment today. It's part of the view from New Bridge Street in Newcastle as it crosses the Ouseburn. There's another part of the view at the end of the post.
I confused the consultant psychiatrist today.
She asked whether our child is my biological child or B's biological child.
I said yes.
After further questioning I said that our child is my biological child AND B's biological child.
She was ever so confused and I don't think she worked it out.
She thought she understood. She said she did.
But her confusion only increased when the answer to "Did you use some kind of surrogate?" turned out to be no.
I like it when things like that happen. When people do not have a clue. I like it when people meet me as Clare, only know me as Clare, and don’t spot that I might not once have been called Clare unless I tell them. I like it. I don’t try to pass but it does make it easier when I do because then I am treated completely as me. And that is a very nice situation to find myself in.
It does surprise me though that gender didn't come up when consultant and nurse were discussing me for half an hour before consultant came in. Maybe the nurse who assessed me decided that autism and anxiety were the only relevant issues. If so, well done nurse for that decision.
My favourite confusion was from a woman at a church I visited who struggled and struggled with K being the child of both myself and B. And finally I could see the light dawn in her eyes. She had worked it out. She thought. And she said, "Ohhhhh, so you mean your wife used to be a man!"
I confused someone I met at the Cathedral once by saying that I had once wanted to become a Roman Catholic priest but for an important reason they wouldn’t have let me. I meant that I was a bit too married for the job (unless I became an Anglican priest first like a Catholic nun advised me to do).
She responded, “Well, there are a couple of important things that you’re lacking.” She was confused as to why that wouldn’t be a problem in my case and, bless her, was quite embarrassed to learn that I didn’t lack them at all and quite apologetic in case I felt insulted.
I felt really pleased - it was one of the first times I became aware that there were strangers I could talk to some of whom wouldn’t notice that I am transgender.
On the other hand, I get stared at ALL the time. I heard someone who passed me a couple of days ago say to his friend, “Is that a man in drag?” A friend said, “Of course you get stared at, you’re a woman.” There’s some truth in that of course - women do get stared at much more than men - but I know it’s not the whole truth. My stare ratio is much higher than that for most women.
A laughs about it when people stop dead in their tracks open mouthed with amazement or when they pass me and then stop and turn round to have a good look. She gets started at too, more than most people do. So when we’re out toghet we have a game. We have a points system in our competition of “Who Gets Stared at the Most?”
I win. Easily. Yay!?