Since I was 16 and have first heard of the word “transsexual”, I perhaps thought for over a decade that I may have been one—before that, I knew I longed to be a boy or man, but didn’t realize there were others just like me. As hard as I tried to live with the label “butch” or “lesbian”, I felt uncomfortable in women-only spaces. When people addressed me as a man, I felt some kind of gender “euphoria”, til someone “corrected” them and pointed out I was born female.

Twelve years ago today, I went through an event that had people, both inlaws and people who I thought were good friends, humiliated me for my body. I gave birth in a hospital using painkillers, and couldn’t nurse. I was mocked for not giving birth at home, for not forgoing painkillers, for using a male gynecologist instead of one of my female midwife “friends”. When I chose formula because I wasn’t nursing right away, that was mocked! I’ve never felt so ashamed about my body or my life, and thank God haven’t since then. (Bad enough they were putting me through a double dose of conversion therapy, they had to put me through this, too?!)

The only image I could find with me wearing binders, which I wore for about four months before my top surgery in 2016. I luckily knew enough about male physique that I bought a size larger than what the guide on GC2B recommended, allowing for my breasts to look like masculine pecs. This allowed me to breathe easily, maneuver without hindrance, and wear them all day without back or shoulder issues.

Eight years later, or four years ago today, I had top (chest) surgery, to begin healing and reclaiming my body. Yes, I was sore and swollen, and I had everything bandaged. Luckily, I didn’t have drains, which would have caused the major episode of depression I was still enduring at the time to worsen—it was bad enough I wasn’t allowed to shower for two weeks!

Since then I’ve had a botched hysterectomy to count as my bottom surgery; I was lucky to have it in March 2017, about 9 months later. Within 18 months of starting testosterone therapy, my sex change was complete. The relief of being free from my reproductive organs, even though complications from it ended my chances of getting metoidioplasty, was still nowhere near that as being free of the chest tissue that triggered such depressing dysphoria.

Undergoing a sex change is liberating. Even if I did not identify as a man, I’d still get my chest reduced and reproductive organs removed to help better identify with my body.

Since then, I’ve been free, though I still go to my gynecologist every couple of years to make sure my vaginal health is optimal. More bottom surgery is not an option for me, because for me the complications and risks of phalloplasty far outweigh any benefit I could get with a neo-penis. I have felt complete and happy, and found the necessary therapy to live with my vagina.

Sex change surgery is a lifesaver for transsexuals; it should not be denied to us—it’s been the best thing I’ve ever undergone.

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