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Once my doctor got used to the idea I was referred to the Gender Identity Clinic at Charing Cross hospital in Hammersmith, London, where I became a patient of Dr Russell Reid.

You've probably read some of the press coverage about Russell in the years since, as he wasn't exactly someone who did things 'by the book', but I found him mostly helpful though doubting of me sometimes too. I didn't "play the game" as he wanted it played. I've heard it said many times since that there are set phrases and mannerisms which if you said them to him in the 'correct' way he would sign you off very fast and almost rush you through 'the system'.

I wasn't like that.

I acknowledged my basic bisexual'ness with a strong bias towards being a lesbian; interested in other women and not in a 'straight' way. He didn't like that much.

I would even - shock horror - wear jeans to the clinic sometimes, much to his expectation that MTF must *always* wear a skirt or dress it they were 'really' TS.

The funniest event though was when I went to one of my quarterly clinic appointments with my then girlfriend. Now she was quite butch; jeans, white t-shirt, leather jacket, short-but-not-boyish haircut.

The clinic assistant came out to the waiting area to call me in. She looked around first and spotted the person she thought was the likely mtf candidate - and picked on my girlfriend.

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a_girl_like_me

September 2010

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