On my mobile phone there is a picture of me. One of very few showing me presenting as female. I'm not one for posting pictures of myself online so I won't be sharing it with you, but it's a picture of me taken on our return from Saturday evening's support group meeting just before I disappeared upstairs to revert to scruffy bloke mode.
I'm standing in the sitting room of an ordinary British house, my wife is sitting in an armchair on the other side of the room taking the photograph. I'm wearing a tan pencil skirt and a colourful Desigual top, I feel great and looking at the photo I surprise myself by how good I look. Sure I'm no oil painting, but for once I see myself and don't see the bloke straight away. A bit of a shock really.
So the picture shows a woman standing in a room. But there's something wrong. She's wandered into the abode of a hobbit. The doorway and fireplace, the sofa, even the picture on the wall are out of scale, it's like seeing a doll's house with a Barbie that's a tiny bit too big for it.
For the first time I am seeing myself in girl mode as others see me. I'm used to tall women, I come from a family of them, but not even in my cousin who's only a couple of inches shorter than me have I seen this look of being out of scale to the surroundings. I always knew that for me there could be no stealth, but I'm now really beginning to appreciate what that would look like.
It's not really put me off, but it's a slightly bitter-sweet moment. To look so relatively good in a picture and to simultaneously look slightly wrong. Still, I should take heart. Only a year ago I never thought I could ever look as I do in this picture, I've come a long way since then. And if I walk amongst hobbits there's something else to be happy about. They have hairy feet, and I don't!