I’m transgender.

Well, that’s the big news. I am Daphne Preston-Kendal, transgender woman.

In July 2013, I first realized I was not happy with my gender; five years of umming, ahhing, denial, and suppression later, in 2018, I finally realized I had to do something about it, and started living more-or-less full time as a woman in October that year.

How my transition is going

It’s getting better all the time. Here’s a recent selfie I’m quite proud of:

Me on the bus, April 2019

As you can see, there’s still work to do, but I think most people who pass me on the street (at least when I put as much effort in as I did on the day I took that photo, which I don’t on most weekdays) wouldn’t notice anything at first, except perhaps my chest (not shown).

Apropos of which, as of writing, I’ve yet to start hormone replacement therapy, but I’ve had my first appointment and am just waiting to get everything checked and a prescription signed off. The legal aspects of transition are also still something of a mess: legally I still have my old name and gender status, and it seems it will take something like a bureaucratic miracle to get the change straightened out in both the UK (where I was born and hold citizenship) and Germany (where I live and study).

How to refer to me

‘Daphne’ is fine; pronouns ‘she’ and ‘her’. I don’t mind people getting it wrong — everyone does from time to time — as long as they’re making an effort (and yes, it is obvious when you’re not). I’m significantly more relaxed about abbreviations of this name than I was about my old one. (‘Daph’ is quite nice.)

Unusually I’ve changed both my surname and my first name as part of my transition (although in a way that actually strengthens, rather than cutting off, a family connection, since ‘Preston’ was my mother’s maiden name). I did this to maintain the same initials, which I’ve been using online since around 2003, and to keep the connection to my maternal family within my name. My name is not ‘Daphne Kendal’ or ‘Daphne P. Kendal’.

About my family, friends, etc.

They’re handling it just fine, thanks.