It’s a really good time right now, full of potential and future possibilities! I’m feeling excited every day with thoughts of what could be and the ways in which I can actualize my female self. I’m impatient to see physical changes and a little disappointed that nothing very noticeable has happened yet, but every day I’m feeling elated by the changes that are happening in my life at almost every level. I find myself smiling at random times in the day, and giggling to myself when I’m driving. If I didn’t know better I’d say I’m love. Maybe I am….in love with the freedom to be me!
I look back at how scared I was to do anything about my gender identity, and the incredible fear of telling everyone about it, and I’m overwhelmed with relief that I took action and that those difficult key moments have passed. I can remember that tremendous fear and the inner debate with my only regret being that I didn’t take action years earlier.
My parents, whose opinions I care about more than anyone’s, are doing better and better with the adjustment. My guilt has gone with our return to normal interaction, and each little reminder of my transition is making me glow. When I’m signing documents I have to give pause to think if I’m signing as Ashley (which is now in common use by everyone) or in my legally recognized name and when it’s as Ashley I feel proud. The official changes I need to make are in process and I’m eager to get the enrolled Deed Poll Certificates back from the UK so that I can process my passport change in time for my visit to the UK this summer. The thought of opening it to see my feminine photograph with the name Ms. Ashley Johnson is quite thrilling.
Physical changes may not have kicked in yet, but I’m celebrating that I’m finally me for all the world to see. Right now seems to be a honeymoon period with the new me. A time when I can explore my femininity openly. It’s another formative period of my life where I can evolve my femininity however I want to. I didn’t grow up learning all this stuff as genetic girls often do. Yes I’ve been playing at it for years, but I’ve not defined or refined my day to day look, as I’ve never previously lived it day to day. Now I’ve stepped out of the shadows I need to learn what suits me, what’s age appropriate and possibly what makes people stare less! Haha
I’m even polishing up my CV under the Name: Ms. Ashley Johnson, Sex: Male to Female Transgender Woman, with intention to send it to a number of potential employers here in Bangkok and perhaps globally. I’m not seriously considering changing jobs right now, certainly not internationally, and I’ve just signed a new employment contract until January 2018, but I’m very interested to see what response, if any, I will get.
I’m also very interested to see what response I get back in the UK if I manage to visit this summer. While I was often times publicly female when I lived there in 2013 and 2014 I think I only went out the once during the day en femme, to Brighton’s Trans Pride. To step out in the UK as a full time transgendered woman scares me a little but I think of it as a right of passage. I just hope there will be noticeable physical changes by July. I feel so different from the person I was when I was last in the UK, last around my friends and family that live there, that I want that to be manifested in my appearance too for when they next meet me.
Work wise I’m continuing to inject subtle femininity in my daily appearance and have recently tested ground with more feminine styling, turning up in a blouse and boots one Saturday a couple of weeks back, (see main picture) and sporting some glossy nude nail varnish at my last big meeting with the bosses, without any comment or reaction. Softly softly, slowly but surely and I think I’ll be presenting entirely female at work before the year is out.
All in all it’s such a busy and exciting time for me now. In the words of the legendary Nina Simone, “freedom is mine, and I know how I feel. It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me, and I’m feelin’ good”.