Today August 2nd marks 6 months since the date the amazing Dr. Chettawut gave his wonderful gift of GCS – gender confirmation surgery*. Not a gift as in free, but as in the next very important step to progress of feeling comfortable in my gender.
GCS is important to my happiness and is not a confirmation for others that my transness is real.
When I came back to work at the end of Feb, I had some interesting reactions from colleagues. I told a few people in confidence, but before I left, there was an argument about my medical leave, so I think the word got out much easier about why I was gone for a month. I had no overtly negative reactions from colleagues. In fact, one colleague who used to continually asked me about my genitals, now has left me alone. Another colleague said, “you are now completely a woman!” While it would be easy to thank her and move on, I took this moment to advocate for others who have not had or do not want medical treatment.
You shouldn’t put medical limits on someone’s identity.
There are people who have too thin of blood and cannot have any surgery because their blood will not clot. There are people with too thick of blood, which means their risk of thrombosis is high and if not corrected cannot have estrogen. I usually try to explain the blood issues to cis people to illustrate that drugs and procedures should not gatekeep anyone’s identity. This would be like saying to a trans person, “You have you suffered because of your body and that same body won’t allow you to get closer to your identity.”
I believe that people are born trans.
The term intersex has been used primarily for visually ambiguous genitalia and was often until recently “corrected” at birth. If you are against female circumcision (which you should be), you should be against altering a baby who could not possibly give you consent or communicate their identity. Chromosome abnormalities are also considered to be under the intersex umbrella. I believe that once we have more conclusive tests for trans people, we will be able to medically test for possible transness. While this won’t help every trans person, I personally know a few people that could’ve saved years of heartache had they known from a child they were XXY. Actually, if their parents had known that there was even a slight chance they could’ve been trans, maybe the response would have been kinder than to “MAN UP!”
I didn’t write this until recently because of the sensitive nature.
When I first came out there was all sorts of speculation about how coming out would affect my career. There was surely also some after my FFS – Facial Feminization Surgery. The nice thing about GCS is that no one had to know. My FFS and my coming out was very visible and there was nothing I could do about that. My recent GCS is literally not visible while I am clothed. I wanted to make sure that there was no effect on my singing, but luckily, I have had no issues (so far *knocks wood*). I was singing in my hotel room before I ever left Thailand. This was good because I hate taking time off and never called in sick in my 5 years at Karlsruhe. This was despite having 2 major operations under general anesthetic and a huge adjustment in my hormones.
I walked into the operating room and out and there was no change in my daily life.
I had prepared myself with a mantra that nothing would change after this in my daily life. I really could not afford to have post surgery depression if everything wasn’t magical rainbows following the procedure. With FFS, it was magic and everything was instantly better. I never had any depression after because it was so drastically life changing. Without building up expectations for GCS, the benefits were slowly realized and everything else was just an extra bonus.
How my life is different:
I have to change often in a space usually with 1-3 other girls for my work and this is much better now. I am now very much at ease in changing spaces and recently showered at the gym for the first time. Germany is more open with bodies, but in the US, you can often go through most of your life without having to show your bits to anyone. Recently I had a naked photoshoot. It probably will not be used for artistic reasons, but it was freeing to put my naked self out there and have no body shame. This is new for me. I also just got back from a high fashion shoot (I will announce when it launches) in London where I was in various stages of undress. Although I would like to lose a little more weight and my body isn’t completely done reacting from the hormones, I am finally at peace with my body.
There are lots of interesting things to talk about surrounding this surgery, but for now this is a good place to start. I may or may not write a follow up. I also may or may not write a piece on surgical tourism. If any of these interest you feel free to send me an email. I will also reply if you want to use a throwaway account.
All you need to know is that I am very happy and am moving on to the next chapter of my life. The last year has been a whirlwind and I will probably write a piece soon detailing what’s next.
Always feel free to contact me.