Hello people. At this stage not only do I not care if anyone reads this but would actually prefer some people not to. This is basically now an intermittent diary which includes only the bits I don't mind if people read or not, but it's here and here are some thoughts.
One: This is not a panacea. Of course it isn't. I am in a sense running into the fire. The other day a friend said to me that she didn't know why on Earth anyone could possibly want to be a woman although she was 100% supportive of what I'm doing, and I do trust her on that. In my case of course, I am inserting myself into a group which is considerably more at risk of prejudice - and let's be frank, we're talking violence, murder, unemployment, medical prejudice and rad fem, well let's just say, discrimination - than women are anyway. However, leaving that to one side, it's also no panacea in that it's not going to address all my general life problems in one go, or even at all. I will still be in the outer darkness, economically, still be at the mercy of institutions whose interests are incompatible with human well-being and so forth. All that will still be in place and still be a problem. I am not waving a magic wand here.
Two: One possible answer to the difficulties I have persuading everyone to come with me on this is to take the initiative and try to build up momentum. To this end, I have done various things, one of which is to be rather more assertive about asking people to call me Mandy (or Amanda). This has led to a new experience not directly related to gender, which also leads me to wonder what others I will encounter: my birth name is Mark and can't be shortened, unlike such other male names as Andrew, Daniel or Philip. I don't have those two or more registers in my life, or I didn't. I am now aware that English does in fact have something a little like the tu-vous distinction, in that people may choose to use a formal or informal version of my name, each of which carry various connotations - politeness versus familiarity but also disapproval and distancing versus comfort. I was of course aware of this before, but never experienced it as applied to me. The approach I'm taking now I refer to, perhaps inaccurately, as "radiance": I am the one who shines, others reflect, but not in an arrogant way so much as giving others the opportunity to shine as paid lip service to in the now defunct "wiki" to which few others contributed.
This brings me to my third point. As mentioned above, this is not a panacea. However, in my eagerness not to see it as such, I don't want to swing too far over to the simplistic, monochrome notion that it would solve nothing. In fact it very probably would at least address some issues. I recognise the insanity element here and observe it with unpanicked cool detachment - today I am aware that I have mental health issues as much as I was aware yesterday that I wasn't alone in that. The experience I seem to be having is that the more I pursue this, the closer I get to success, feeling comfortable in my skin, happiness, assertiveness and achievement, in spite of the fact that we do live in a patriarchal society and that I am the object of ridicule and hatred, and am exacerbating this by pushing further down the line. This leads me to a repugnant conclusion, although that repugnancy is not mine - others will feel it's a big mistake or perhaps the murder of everything they love about me, and whatever else it is, it's a one-way road - there's no going back if it turns out to be a mirage. However, my conclusion, my current grand narrative if you will, regarding my life, is this: My problem is that I am the wrong gender. That's why I'm not more successful, and in fact why we're not more successful, and the answer is to address that to the maximum possible extent, and yes, it's hard to escape the idea, at least, that that means surgery in the end.
Having said that, there is one teensy escape route for the people who find this idea abhorrent: simply because the journey I'm on usually ends there doesn't mean it has to end there for me. That last bit could, just could, have been bolted on in an attempt to medicalise the situation. I prefer to see this as some kind of quest of spiritual and personal development with an unknown destination. I know what I really want though, deep down, and there's a risk of leakage if I don't pursue it which will cause more damage than actually, well, let's caricature the situation seeing as that's what I seem to be doing with the female gender, having my naughties snipped off (yes, I know that's not what they do). It may not come to that. In fact, it almost certainly won't, although the reasons for that are my unassertiveness and fear of losing Sarada, not my distrust of medicalisation, although that is in there somewhere.
So basically, let's be uncomplicated and frank: I now think that most of my problems would be solved by changing gender, and that's what I want to do.
That concludes the textual portion of this blog, but there are also two photos. There would've been some light music here too but the video's not currently public and it isn't mine. I recited a poem on it. So, anyway, first the chemical photo. This is actually an analogue film camera photo: