This is definitely some kind of record. My brain is very full right now and I need to declutter it, so here we go.
I did go to karate last night. In the opening minutes, Sensei K struggled with pronouns. “And then you hit his thigh – her thigh – they thigh – their thigh!”
“You got it!” I said, laughing.
And then he did something he’s never done before. As he struggles to find the right word, he walks over to me with a big grin on his face and slaps me on the abs, saying “I’ll get there!” It was an affectionate gesture, in the same way he might have clapped someone on the back fondly, and I really enjoyed it for some reason. (omg I just realised it felt like love, and my Daddy issues are coming in strong.)
And you know? It was kind of thrilling to hear she/her pronouns coming out of his mouth. Maybe the red nail polish or the impression of my sports bra tipped him into seeing me as female.
And a few minutes later, Sensei D cycled through the same three pronouns, and I thought it might be nice for Sensei K to know he’s not alone.
I think the ratio of correct:incorrect pronouns in class last night was about 80:20, which was so nice! And it was great to talk about it openly in front of the class without it being some secret, hidden shame.
I got a text today from my gym, saying that there was a special promo: pay for a membership and get 4 weeks free, plus no joining/admin fee (saving ~$60 and $150 respectively). It was a limited time offer expiring tomorrow, and I texted back and forth for a bit and got the impression it probably wouldn’t repeat for many months. I carefully weighed the joy I’ve gotten from going lately against the cost of ~$15/week, and I ultimately decided that even if this is a honeymoon period, having a place that I can go that’s actually makes exercise seem fun is worth the price. And the remaining 11 days of my free 21-day pass are being added to the free period of my membership, except now I don’t have to come during staffed hours, and I can join in any of the group classes. (I probably won’t attend any, but it’s nice to know I have the option.) The staff member who signed me up was the same one that said they didn’t have any policies on transgender people, but they did sign me up as female without me needing to mention it which I appreciated (even if I think I heard them using he/him pronouns for me…). They were one of those “I motivate people to exercise through shame and self-loathing” types who had been around for 16 years and is probably a respected leader amongst the staff, so I wasn’t feeling great about that, but we probably won’t interract much. Plus they took my safety seriously, showing me lots of ways I could call security and lock myself in a safe room if I felt endangered after hours.
So that’s it! I guess I’m a gym person now. I’m quite terrified of the committment, and the $250 cancellation fee if I don’t want to keep paying for my membership throughout the next 18 months.
Also, I have an accountant I think? My tax this year is all kinds of weird, because I think I was a subcontractor to one practice, I think I ran my own business for a bit there, and now apparently I’m a customer of my current practice who gets a fee for every client I see? It’s super weird, and the thought of trying to figure out my tax stuff is what got me spiralling into distress in the first place. So I’m paying someone to do it for me, and hopefully once I make sense of that I’ll be able to do it myself again in the years to come (especially if I stay with the one practice, and maybe pick up salaried employment. Ho boy that’s another kettle of fish. Stressed fish. Way too stressed to touch now fish.).
House has been auctioned, and from the number of people that turned up, I think it’s safe to assume it was sold. Hopefully this means no more home opens. Our poor cat had the distressing experience of pooping in her crate while we were sitting in the car at a local park, waiting for the home open to finish. She seemed fine afterwards, but I’m not keen to lock her there again any time soon.
I called Medicare and Centrelink today to follow up on changing my gender marker last week.
I was on hold for most of the 40 minutes of my call to Medicare while the staff person consulted a colleague and looked for the letter that had supposedly been uploaded to my file. They found it in the end, but it had been saved to the wrong section so it would have been assessed by the wrong team. If I hadn’t called to check, it would have been redirected to the correct team eventually, but I expedited the process. They were… vaguely apologetic about it, I think. I asked if I’d be notified when it was completed, and they informed me that I would not – it wasn’t one of those important issues like a name change that affects payments, but I could call back every week if I wanted to check.
Not important? Fuck you buddy. I’ll call you next week.
Centrelink took just as long, but was a little more pleasant. I could at least see on their website that my title was “Mr” and my sex was registered as “Male”, so I knew it hadn’t been updated yet.
But when I tried to edit my details, it came up with “Female” for sex, so that was interesting. Again, I spent most of the 40 minutes on hold, getting progressively hangrier as I was occasionally asked for more details. I had to explain that drivers licences in Western Australia don’t show gender markers, and that I didn’t need to get a new birth certificate before they could update my stuff. The staff member I spoke to wasn’t malicious, they were just ignorant, and they were working hard with their colleagues to figure this stuff out. By the end of the call, they apologised profusely and promised me that it was done (though it might take a while for the website to update), and as long as I’m with Centrelink they will know me as Mrs and Female. And they said it with such enthusiasm that I knew they were on my side, and it was so profoundly validating compared to my last experience.
It got me thinking that maybe I do want to get a new birth certificate. And I certainly want to update my licence, because I hate that it has a photo of me in boy-mode. I just… I cringe at the thought of showing it to anyone. But if I update my birth certificate, or my licence, maybe I’ll change my name at the same time so that I don’t have to pay for it twice?
And that was a super stressful thought. I haven’t even fully decided on my name, though I’m almost there. Do I want to change it legally in the next few weeks and then publically declare it and insist everyone switches to it? And if so, it’s so obviously feminine that I’ll almost certainly change to she/her pronouns too. Oof, that’s a step up from requesting they/them, which is hard enough for most people. I don’t know, more thoughts need to be thunk here.
I’ve also been thinking about piercing my ears. I’ve wanted to my whole life, and I realised recently that there’s nothing stopping me and I can just hecking do it. So maybe I will? But when? The recovery time is 4-8 weeks. Maybe I’ll get it done and over with sooner rather than later, so even though they’ll be the starter earrings, at least they’ll be done for my birthday next month??
But what about karate? I’d definitely take the first week off, maybe the following weeks too because the risk of bumping them or getting someone else’s bacteria in them is pretty high (gross), and I’m pretty precious about fresh stab wounds.
And then there’s the issue of my nails. Sensei J observed that I scratched him last night as I was doing a deflection, and I didn’t even notice because there’s no time for that when someone’s trying to punch me in the face: I just move and try and counter, and if I live to fight another day that’s good enough. For instance we were doing sweeps (ouchi-gari), and I hurt my back pretty badly trying to throw people who were double my weight, but there was no time to stretch because as soon as I’d thrown one person someone else was lunging at me. (My back was fine after a few minutes thank goodness, but that kind of pressure makes me take shortcuts with my technique because I’m just trying to survive.)
But anyway, my nails have now reached the point where they’re obtrusive to others. So I messaged Sensei K and asked for his thoughts, tentatively saying “So… do you think I should quit, or..?”
He came up with a solution that hadn’t crossed my mind: to use paper medical tape on my nails, and maybe my earrings too if needed. When I told Wren this brilliant idea, they were completely unphased, having seen it before in their wildly competitive high school netball career. I’m totally open to it, I just hope it doesn’t affect my nail polish.
My new phone case arrived today, and I finally got off my butt to give away my old one to a stranger on the internet who needed it. That’s not important in the grand scheme of my journey, but it sure is nice knowing that I’ll slow down the scratching and chipping will inevitably come from my phone flinging itself (and occasionally being flung) across the room.
Oh and I got 8 hours of sleep last night! And 45 minutes more after I tried dozing off again, with maybe no nightmares all night? And just before my doctor’s appointment too, that’s kind of annoying. But who knows, maybe I’ll get lucky and spend the whole night tonight too scared to sleep. Fingers crossed.
(That’s a joke by the way. Whatever the reasons, I’m glad to be sleeping more. It’s SO NICE.)
Okay. Brain emptier now. Getting pretty hangry, will probably eat an entire bag of chips while making dinner and then not eat anything at all except dessert. A classic tale.