Now why do I feel so confident nowadays? I've been pondering this. I've decided that it's two things.
First, it's the certainty of knowing where I am on the gender spectrum. I'm definitely in my comfort zone. I haven't had to wrestle with myself to get here. It just feels right and proper. It always did, as soon as I realised what I was. It all fell into place. I'm female, and everything flows from that.
Second, it's that name change. I knew it was significant. It marked the final end of the old life. It was decisive. It made it impossible to hide - you can't when the only name you can give, without committing fraud, is 'Miss Lucy Melford'. No ambiguity there at all. That's a woman's name. I'm Lucy Melford. I like my name. I'm proud of it.
And I'm confident.