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I don’t have gender dysphoria

  • Posted on July 23, 2014 at 8:10 pm

I have told friends before and written it here somewhere. Years before I came to really understand the way I was, I would slip out from my office, cross the narrow street and spend a lunchtime in the Brighton (Triratna) Buddhist Centre. No religion, no doctrines, no god, just a chance to experience guided meditation and a break from a busy day.

There I would step out of my shoes, leave my role behind, grab cushions and fold my stockinged feet (no, not socks) into meditative balance. I felt the ‘wrong’ appearances may be at least understood a little. And these little hints were certainly beginning to slip out. Nobody minded, if they noticed at all.

And there I sat, deeply mindful, cultivating loving kindness, or just sitting. And in just sitting, my inner perception of my body was serenely different. I could no longer feel the presence of my bits, crammed into the ‘wrong’ underwear (since my teens – no, not ideal) but I was aware of an inner anatomy not my own, and of ‘my’ breasts. Quietly and calmly, I was not a man at all. It wasn’t distracting, or exciting. It simply was. Equally, it was unshakeable. Was it somehow ‘real’? Or was it a developing delusion to get me out of the impossible situation I was heading towards?

Somewhere in intervening years, I learned what a female orgasm was. Too much info.? Come on, these are likeable things we all do. The important thing for me was the discovery that a completely different kind of stimulus, in different and imagined (inaccessible) places could have a completely different outcome, even when my body was as it was. I ‘knew’ the parts of me that weren’t there, and I knew exactly where they were! OK, I admit that the tuition of 30 years marriage meant few secrets, and I’m a highly intuitive person … But then there was today.

Uncomfortable about genitals? Look away now. Come back next week. But I have always maintained the principle of real observation in this blog, and I feel this is important.

Today was the grand unveiling. This morning all surgical dressings were removed and for the first time I had to open (dilate) my vagina. Shiny perspex ‘stents’ are used, in various sizes, in order to stretch and maintain the channel created by surgery. It isn’t painful (or pleasurable yet). During the reconstructive surgery your own tissue is rearranged, including nerve endings. Isn’t this going to feel like a muddle? What is this opening that has never existed before? What direction? How deep? Of course you don’t know until you’ve been shown, and try it.

I saw exactly what I’d expected. You really do need to work through the surgical outcomes pictures before this moment. My outcomes included minimal or no bruising, textbook normal. Next, the first insertion. In it went, all the way and I held it there, relaxing for the required time. Weird? No. The only impression I had was of normality, as if I’d done this lots of times before. In my mind I had; and in my mind, as in the meditation, I’d somehow got it right.

This reminds me of my dance that came from nowhere. Both will continue to improve, both are intuitive. And both are, for me, a profound affirmation of what and who I am.

I used to have gender dysphoria. Now I don’t.

No, I still can’t explain it, or rationalise it. I do know for certain I wouldn’t be here now if it was a matter of preference or choice, and that this has been the only practical resolution. If you feel it is a choice, don’t do it. But if it is the only way out, I can reassure that it is not an escape but a very positive authentic act. It may also be that you too can never find sufficient explanation for those bemused friends or family who simply cannot imagine why anyone could want this. That is not our concern. I have received a gift here for which I shall be eternally grateful, but only because it was more important than anything else in being true to myself.

Good luck in your journey, or being alongside another’s.