You are currently browsing all posts tagged with 'GCS'.
Displaying 1 - 2 of 2 entries.


  • Posted on June 29, 2014 at 2:40 pm

The trouble with being a writer is that sometimes you just have to write. When I began this blog I wrote twice a week, and as the weeks close on my gender dysphoria, my mind is filling again.

‘Uncoupling’ has featured in three key ways over these past years. Firstly, it was uncoupling from an accustomed life, presumed male, involving work, family, relationships, activism, social activities and so on. Secondly, there was uncoupling from all the love in my life, as my family and marriage disintegrated and I was no longer wanted. This was accompanied by having to leave behind everything I had accrued, socially and materially and emotionally.

This time, the uncoupling is from the gender dysphoria itself, and this is no small thing. I wrote recently of it as emerging from a long tunnel into daylight, realising nothing was following or chasing, and nothing threatening ahead, just open air.

This weekend has been once more profound. Starting (again) in my dance group, I felt such welcome, acceptance, and dare I say it, love, that I left in a mist of sheer gratitude. I had asked the whole group, that if any felt so minded, I would welcome anyone to track me down and call by during my coming absence from the dance. I do believe they would even stretcher me there simply to lie in the midst of the dance if necessary! But I shall be very sensible … And I know some will call round, and it will be lovely.

Some understand why I shall be away, and I do mean understand: that this is a fundamental and life-affirming thing for me, and that it will finally change important parts of my psyche. Some, not knowing the reason, have been afraid that perhaps I am fighting cancer, and I can only reassure this is not life-threatening, but something I have waited a long time for.

So as I face this uncoupling from my gender dysphoria, I have a small dilemma: to tell one who does not know, why I shall be away, places me in the category of transsexual (‘used to be a man’), where I do not want to be. Even this blog blows my cover, if that is what I aspire to. Uncoupling is not denial, though. It is just that this step is a very final and transforming one. It was my decision to ask for it and to go through with it, and is solely my responsibility.

Why this matters

I had imagined that everything would be smooth and gradual, a daily ‘getting there’. Then last week, I told of realising my body had changed more than I’d noticed. The summer clothes from last year and before just don’t fit as well. Red is a colour I can wear with confidence. I checked my bra size today. You know, I last did this properly when I didn’t have boobs, and had to buy some! I got the smallest cup size bra I could, and silicone fillers to fit that. When I didn’t need them any more, I simply went for the smallest cup size I could find online (40A isn’t in the shops much!) and it was OK. But today I am 38B, and that just feels more normal. And I tucked a favourite skirt waistband in a bit too.

It does just feel like getting more normal again. I don’t mean to say that being transsexual is not normal (other than in the statistical sense of average), but that I am a woman in a very normal way.

Last night I was chatting to a number of women musicians from Australia about bands, and countries, and travel and all the things we have in common. A year ago I would have been wary about being noticeably ‘different’, but nowadays it is only in reflection that being anything other than normal enters my mind. Being trans is a state of being I am leaving behind, and others are forgetting it too. This is good.

After the coming-to-terms and acknowledging the fear of surgery itself, a few weeks ago, things have changed. There is so much to prepare for, so that my return home is as straightforward as possible. Some will go against the grain out of sheer practicality, including ready-meals and a microwave oven, but only for a while. Right now, under the duress of zero hormones, I could be feeling down. My body and facial hair are unrestrained by oestrogen, and it annoys me! My moods may yet change and I may become irritable. I do know already that I shall be glad to be back on the pills.

Instead, I feel excited. I really, really want this, and I am almost there. I feel full of energy, and above all, incredibly empowered. That’s right, I, a transsexual woman who has come through serial psychiatric assessment and intervention, to live in a world where both women and transsexual people can be disadvantaged, having lost everything that meant most to me, without lasting financial security, and with no loving relationship, feel empowered. Remind me, as I struggle through the first month of recovery: I am strong.

And so I am expecting further change in the next six months, as I grasp this final uncoupling, this last big thing that has been holding me back.

I have met with my former wife a couple of times recently, so uncoupling still has a ring there too. I know I feel no differently about her than I ever did. I also know that there is no echo. This has all been too strange, and it is not something she ever has to come to terms with. I am still here, all of me, though released. It is unexpected; I look different, I ask directions, I call the waitress over; I am a woman. But not loved. Uncoupled.

Inside out

  • Posted on May 3, 2014 at 8:19 am

I am reminded that for some people, genital surgery is unimaginable, or should not, could not, be imagined. Scary isn’t it, that something so intimate and personal might undergo intervention with a knife.

Look away now, read some other post on here instead, because this is one of probably several to explain, without the gory detail, what I am looking forward to in another 11 weeks.

The first thing I want to say is that what lies ahead for me is not the allure of something horrible being removed (I am not that kind of dysphoric), but of something being given. I have not at present got the parts that I feel in my deepest place of self-awareness, belong to me. Yes, having a vagina means everything, after which I can die in peace (not for a while yet though!). It is not unusual for people like me to feel that our minds, brains, inner awareness and attachments have made it all the way there some time before we give our bodies up to the experts.

I do remember my ex saying one night that she couldn’t imagine having the dangly bits, and I do remember saying that I could easily imagine having her bits. I have thought that for a very long time. It came through in meditation quite strongly, long before I transitioned, even before I really appreciated that gender dysphoria was a diagnosis for my turmoil. Nowadays, it comes through very deeply in dance, where body-awareness is part of the approach.

Ah! No gory detail yet, then! You’re still reading, with one foot over the brake.

You see, if you are just naturally heterosexual, and strongly binary, your sexual partner’s bits are the attractive complement to your own. You can’t imagine actually being like that, you like them because they fit yours, and partly because they are so different. I mean, if this is your way of being, why would you want to touch someone else’s bits if they looked like yours? Yuk! (That’s how it is, isn’t it?)

Similarly, if you were born with the same bits as me, and are hetero-binary, then your crown jewels, your orbs and sceptre, are incredibly precious. They give you the power to be sexual, don’t they?

So I do understand how what I am facing seems very odd, even objectionable to you. Are you a partner of a trans person, hoping to god that they don’t want to actually do this? Let’s try to understand each other. A bit, anyway.

For starters, you can probably see that for someone like me to fervently seek this surgery, it has to be both serious and very different from your own experience. Using your male bits, and enjoying the experience, is no indication that the feeling of missing something else is present. It isn’t a double-think, and it isn’t any kind of denial, and I understand that taking something away can seem a very hurtful, bizarre thing to ask for. It is, therefore, something that cannot easily be spoken about with non-transsexual people.

For those of you who want to continue reading …

There are three parts to my surgery, and all of it is simply a process of recycling. Not much is wasted, though some of course is not needed any more. The first is vaginoplasty, which involves turning you inside out, or rather outside in. We share a lot of very similar tissue, it has simply developed and grown in different directions, after all of us having had a proto-uterus in early embryonic weeks. So don’t be surprised. The second is clitoroplasty (why waste a good sensation?), which recycles the bit that feels nicest. This is perhaps the element most likely to fail to ‘perform’, so I’m crossing my fingers. The third is labioplasty, which gives you the outer shape. OK? Not too squeamish still? Don’t think about the knife, just understand that the result is an amazing reconstruction of what my head believes is the real form I should take anyway. Maybe like you. You like how you are? It feels natural? Of course. Same for me, when it’s all done.

What I am trying to express, knowing that the concept is very alien to hetero-non-trans people, is that we share a lot of the same raw material down there, but in our head or hearts or wherever ‘self’ is, we have a fairly clear idea of our own body, mapped into our minds. Mine is as real as yours, and I accept that it is different.

This is why I say that the procedure for me is all about what I gain, not what is taken away. It is a big putting right, a correction. So don’t ball-up in squeamish imagination of anything being ‘cut off’, relax, and think that something instead is being restored.