Friday, 1 December 2017

What's in a Name?

Many years ago, while the internet was still in its infancy, I started looking to find out information from other transgender individuals. At that time bulletin boards were all the rage - many people used the Blue Wave offline reader to read messages left on bulletin board systems such as G-mail (the "G" standing for gender - this was pre-Google!).

Everyone needed a name to use it, including me. Still being so far in the closet that I could peek at Narnia, I decided to use a pseudonym. Desirous of keeping my initials I came up with Selina Morse (the surname in honour of my favourite detective, the forename being simply because I liked it and having nothing to do with popular broadcaster of the day, Selina Scott).

And that's how it stayed for nigh well on 25 years.

A few days ago I was in a conversation with a number of TG friends regarding how we chose our names. I told them the same tale that you, gentle reader, have just had related. And as I was explaining it to them I had an epiphany. That was the moment when I realised that it was time to reclaim my real surname of which I am fiercely proud. Morse has served me well but McMahon is truer to my Irish roots.

My name is Selina McMahon of the clan McMahon....

Thursday, 31 August 2017


So the culmination of the medical visits was today. After the disaster (from my perspective) of an interview with the psychiatrist (who bore a striking resemblance to the infamous Dr. Harold Shipman) I wasn't expecting a good outcome.

So we talked about the experience. 

I was told that he'd written "pessimistic" report on me.


The Good Doctor is an advocate of informed consent. Because the psychiatrist had found no issues mentally, and because my blood doesn't have any major problems with it (it's the right colour and flavour at least), he would support and prescribe if I wanted hormones.

So tomorrow is HRT day. Wish me luck....

Sunday, 20 August 2017

"You're just going to have to live with it."

I'd visited the Stonewall clinic and been given a referral to see a psychiatrist. The Stonewall visit had gone well (as far as I know). We'd discussed relationships, family, work, hormones, surgery (or not) and informed consent. As far as I could tell all was fine.

And right now.....

The psychiatrist's visit started well enough. The usual background story etc. All was fine until the summing up.

Apparently I have "latent gender dysphoria". Yessss....nothing surprising there, surely? After all, latent just means hidden and, as far as most people are concerned, I am just a man.

"You don't want hormones" - excuse me? When did they even get a mention in this visit? However, he continued, "your work and family situations mean that it would be too hard for you to transition. You're not depressed. You're just going to have to live with it."

That's the diagnosis from the psychiatrist. Because I'm in the "it'll be too hard for you" group then that's it. Go away and don't come back unless circumstances change.

If I wasn't depressed before, I am now.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

That escalated rapidly!

The original name for "Simply Selina" was to be "Selina's Transition" (indeed, the web address uses this in it's URL gobbledigook) but, just prior to going live, I decided that it was A Bad Title™ because it presupposed that I would, at some stage, transition, which was never a certainty. Family acceptance along with work were always a big issue.

Life's like a bottle of lemonade. When it gets shaken up the pressure builds. True, you can twist the cap to let some of the pressure out, but you know it's going to build up again until it finally bursts. A couple of weeks ago I had a chat with Senior Management (my wife) and explained that Selina isn't going away. She nodded, smiled and said, "Yes, I know that". I then told her I was going to have to see my GP and see what happens when I tell him. 

Amazingly, this was met with an accepting smile and, "Yes, Ok." 

There are some moments in life which are defining ones and this was one. It was

a)  the first time I'd actually had the courage to even think about the possibility of really  transitioning (it always seemed like a dream just out of grasp)
b) the first time my wife had really accepted who and what I am.

Over the next few days I quizzed her about her understanding and she was remarkably matter-of-fact about it. She just wanted reassuring that I wouldn't suddenly start fancying men (which was never an option from my perspective anyway).

So, a doctors appointment was duly booked.

The appointment itself took place just a few days later. He was, quite naturally, a tad surprised but was really supportive. Wrote a reference for the Stonewall clinic in Brisbane then and there. When I rang the clinic they, fortunately, had a slot available the following day, and so, I was dutifully booked in for that. Things sometimes move quickly.

(To be continued)

Friday, 28 October 2016

Unexpected Fame

In distant times past, there was another blog. It was primarily one of my musings, ramblings and rants and ran for about 3 years. It was also a place that I published a number of my photos which you, gentle reader, have been spared until now.

The blog doesn't exist any more - I removed it a while back (yes, I know you can still access it through the Wayback Machine but that's not important).

In 2010 a three-volume collection of scholarly essays was published. Entitled "Queers in Popular American Culture" it is still available to purchase from Amazon and other booksellers

Imagine my surprise to find the following on page 53 of volume 2:

"The visual rhetoric of Selina Morse's blog is also transcultural [...] because she adopts the props and scenery of upper middle-class, domestic, "normal"heterosexual romance, placing herself in the midst of these symbols and, in so doing, calling into question their seeming naturalness and unquestionable coherence. Her blog contains, for instance, images that represent her outdoors, dressed in an evening gown of black satin and silver crepe, gazing over her shoulders as she stands between two ornamental urns, dressed in a costume ball mermaid suit, wearing a purple wig, and gazing out over a fairly extensive lawn"

I just thought we were taking pretty pictures.

And I'm not American either.

Monday, 4 July 2016

Knock knock

Hands up all those who remember Bob Monkhouse.

(Pause while those under thirty open up a google search. Found him? Good: then I'll continue.)

Bob was, presenter, for many years, of a programme called "Opportunity Knocks" - think "Britain's got Talent" without Ant'n'Dec and you get the picture. At the end of the show each week he would sign off with "If opportunity comes your way; don't knock it.

I mention this for two reasons. Firstly, that Bob was actually a distant cousin of mine on my mother's side (true). And secondly, because I have recently been given an opportunity. But it means leaving my beloved north-east. 

So, sad to say, I'll be making a mess of the migration statistics in a few months time, as I'm moving to Brisbane, Queensland. I'll be coming to grips with a whole new culture (for example, they don't have WD40 over there but a similar product named "Start ya bastard") along with finding out support groups etc. over there (or is it, under there?). 

I'll still keep my links with the north though - after all, "One day I shall come back. Yes, I shall come back. Until then, there must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties. Just go forward in all your beliefs and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine."

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Exercise is a four letter word.

There are some out there who can eat and eat and never put an ounce of surplus flesh on. We tend to call them youngsters. However, as the years progress your metabolism slows to an imperceptible pace until you get to the stage where you only have to look at a chip to put a pound (453 grammes for the aforementioned youngsters) on.

Now there was a time when I would exercise for fun. Four times I ran the Great North Run in the 1980s - my best time being 1hr 20 mins. In those days I was so skinny I had to run around in the shower in order to get wet. However, those days are long gone.

Over the years the weight has slowly increased. There have been monentary "blips" (in both directions) when I have either lost half a stone in a few weeks or alternatively put the same amount on, but the flab has stayed relatively consistent. Even time spent on the treadmill has done little to slow the inexorable decline.

However, only a few weeks ago, the 13 stone (82 kg) barrier was breached. Time for serious dietin' (no "g").

But diet can only do so much so I decided to couple it with some exercises. Found a nice little online workout from America called "Metabolic Aftershock". Yes, it's full of Americanisms ("Great job everyone!") and it's also "bloody knackering" (that's a technical term). However, the proof of the pudding....

Ok, I haven't lost a huge amount of weight - just a pound or two - but in the two weeks that I've been doing it I've lost 4 inches (10 cm) off the waistline which is A Good Thing. So much so that I was able to slip into a lovely purple formal dress that I'd been given which I'd never managed to wear before.

Now all I need is a special occasion on which to wear it.