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.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Under the surface.

I attend a regular meeting of like-minded people. Called Be it is a support group which has regular meetings to help advise, socialise and generally find out more about the issues surrounding the trans community - whatever colour of the trans spectrum you are. Ten minutes before the end of these meetings I turn back into a pumpkin. Off comes the hair and makeup. A change of shoes etc. and the male is back: Sel. has been relegated to a rucsac once more.

So why do I do this? My usual excuse is that my children would not really cope with seeing dad return home in a dress. Whilst this may be partly true it isn't the whole reason (they are usually fast asleep in bed when I get in, anyway).

The real reason is that I'm bloody terrified to go outside "en femme".

It all goes back to an incident which took place twenty years ago. In those days I used to occasionally frequent a dressing service in Lancashire. There'd be a host of outfits, wigs etc. to try on, complete with photographs to remember the day. I went on a few occasions and have very happy memories of my time there.

One occasion coincided with the bi-weekly meeting of Renaissance - another transgender support group based in Blackpool. So, wearing a somewhat short red dress, we headed off to the group meeting.

Now, I had always been a little nervous about being out in public as Selina, but was determined to go out with a few of my friends after meeting up at Renaissance first. I was chatting with a group of them and overheard one person say "Well, we can see what Selina wants tonight." I don't think it was meant in a catty way, but I suddenly realised how "available" I looked, and instantly had a massive panic attack. I couldn't breathe properly, almost passed out and was driven home.

It almost killed Sel. The thought of stepping across the threshold of a doorway as Selina made me panic. After a few more months I stopped dressing altogether. Didn't let her live again for over 5 years.

Even now, I've still to go out in anything less than androgynous.

I simply got older.

And I'm still bloody terrified.