Hey everyone! Today marks the 1-year anniversary of my gender confirmation surgery. It’s a little crazy for me to think all of that was one year ago. I am so grateful for all the love and support that got me to that moment last Oct. 1st.
Thanks again to my wonderful Mom, Barbara and wife, Maria for sharing in that time with me. I will never forget it or be able to thank you guys for the amazing job you did taking care of me.
In the past year I’ve become well acquainted with my new lady bits. Dr. McGinn’s rigid dilation schedule has been followed mostly to the letter, and I’m happy to say that I am on the final schedule that I will have to follow for the rest of my life. Before my gender confirmation surgery a lot of people (friends, family, therapists, employers, etc) asked me if I was sure that I wanted the surgery. I thought I would take this time to answer some of those questions now from the position of hindsight.
Was I sure I wanted it? Yeah, I was sure. I was so sure that I was willing to undergo an expensive and a very involved/possibly life-threatening surgical procedure to make my body feel correct to me. When I was wheeled off to surgery and it was the final “now or never” moment, I was scared but I was certain this was something I absolutely had to do.
Did I need it to be happy? Yes. I was happy for the most part prior to surgery. I was living as the person I was mean to, but there was always troublesome visage of my male genitalia to remind me that I wasn’t quite like the other girls.
Could I have lived without getting it? Maybe, but is living half a life worth it? Plus the journey to get my surgery was a big part of my life. All the fundraisers, all the planning and research were a huge part of my thoughts and worries, and daily existence. Now I get to enjoy myself a little more. I don’t have to stress about whether or not I will have the parts that I want.
Did I think it would change things/my life? No. I didn’t really expect to change that much of my life. I thought it would make me happier and it has. I am thrilled with my vagina. It is sometimes a pain in the butt (sometimes literally), but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It has changed how I feel about myself, and my body for the better. I feel more comfortable as a female now. I’m also comforted by the fact that I can be legally recognized as female now. I don’t have to worry about people questioning my gender quite so much (though that fear is still there and valid).
This past summer my wife and I went to San Diego. It was our first vacation for just the two of us in a long time. One day we went to the beach. The waves of the Pacific rolled in and out and there was warm breeze. I was laying out & relaxing in a swimming suit, something I never really felt comfortable doing with male genitals. At some point I trudge across the hot beach sand to the women’s restroom and got in line behind the other women. No one looked at me funny. No one stared. No one saw me as transgender or anything other than a somewhat sunburned woman waiting to use the bathroom, and I smiled to myself.
This was what the surgery was for. This is what it has given me, the peace to be seen by others (for the most part) how I see myself. To not have to worry when I go swimming or making sure I’m “tucked” before an interview for a job. To not have to take as much medication to keep my hormones in check. To enjoy my body, as I’ve always meant to enjoy it!
Also check out Maria’s new blog “The Wave Upon the Sand”. She’s writing a series of blog posts this week about our surgery experience.