Who am I? – Identity development in gender transition

As both a student psychologist and a man with a trans history, the topic of identity and how it develops over time fascinates me.  I have found that my identity never properly developed a stable base, in hindsight I expect this is why I was diagnosed with a personality disorder and I now believe it was down to the fact that I was never female and this caused the personality, identity and mental health issues I faced.

In transition I have experienced a loss and a grieving for my old identity, not because it was one I like but because it was all that I knew and without it I was in limbo whilst I waited for my new identity as a man to form and become stable.

During transition we are in a constant state of flux, as hormones and surgery change the body we have to get used to our new embodied selves and as our gender roles and societal expectations change we have to get used to the new way we interact with others. This constant flux means that the stable identity base is hard to build.

Now, nearing the end of my surgical journey and hormones having done their most significant work, I find I am at last able to put down stable roots to my identity, allowing me more security and stability from which to explore other aspects of myself.

In this vlog I discuss this process and the ways in which I am continuing to actively discover and develop my new identity.

 

What can I do to “pass” as male?

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I am often asked by Trans guys new on the journey, for tips on how to “pass”. I find this a difficult subject. I don’t like to be seen to tell people what to do, I think finding your own identity is very personal and there can be a lot of unfair pressure to be and act a certain way. However, in saying that I do understand how desperate we are in the beginning to be seen as the men we truly are so here are my thoughts on the subject.

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My response to Channel 4’s “Girls to Men” Documentary

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Whenever there is a Documentary about Transgender people on TV I find myself torn between excitement and dread. We desperately need more visibility, more understanding, more acceptance and the media is a powerful tool in assisting to either make that happen, or, by portraying us in sensationalised ways with incorrect terminology, do so much damage.

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Our Story In Take A Break Magazine

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We kept this article a bit quiet after the last article in the Mirror caused some divide of opinion. We did this at the same time as we did the Mirror article earlier in the year but for some reason the article was delayed so it has only just come out. Last time I was quick to proudly share it, this time I was hesitant, but then a friend of mine shared it and it made me realise that there is no need to be ashamed.

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Reactions To Having Our Story Published

I think some people think that Drew and I are quite mad to have agreed to have our story published in The Sunday Mirror. To leave ourselves open to the negative comments that unfortunately and predictably accompany an LGBT story in the press, seems like utter foolishness on our part.  I wanted to write something, to clarify our reasons and intentions for agreeing to let them publish our story.

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Publishing Our Story

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I am not the biggest fan of the tabloids, so to agree to have a story printed took a lot of deliberation and discussion between Drew and I, as to who and what purpose it would serve.

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Happy Finniversary To Me

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It is incredible that today marks three years since my legal name change to Mr Finlay Games. This time 3 years ago, I’d been out living publically as a transgender male for just over a month and I was both elated and petrified all at the same time. The new realisation that I was transgender answered questions I had been asking for a lifetime. However, as amazing as it was to finally be able to make sense of the years of confusion, I wanted and wished desperately, that I could just shut the lid on the proverbial ‘Pandora’s box, I had just opened.

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