In Response

I am writing this in response to the comment by Cara on my last previous post.

Cara,

First let me say it was not your comment per se which upset me, it was much more the point it showed me how careless and thoughtless I was being. Far too often I get so caught up in my own little pity party I forget all the noise might upset the neighbors. For this I am sorry, I need to be aware how words, my words may be taken by someone who is not a mind reader. As a writer it is my responsibility to choose my words in a way to avoid such misunderstanding. Clearly I have a long way to go in that department.

Second, I want to thank you for asking the questions you did, as you noted being forced to think about these things so as to give a proper response has forced me to think deeper and search for a more articulate way to express what my thoughts are. I hope this will make thing clearer, both for those reading and for myself.

~Kira~

 

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For your first question: 

It has been an issue with not having a body which corresponds to how I understand who I am. More than once I have seen the mantra “Some women have a penis, some men have a vagina” and this is something I have difficulty wrapping my mind around. For me, not having had any surgeries or medical interventions has left me feeling like I am an other. A Neither/Nor. If I try to be seen as male, as I did for decades, it’s a farce at best. As I mentioned before, I could wear the trappings but it never felt comfortable or real. It was nothing more than a poorly made costume which did little to convince anyone. Here’s a little story to make the point; When I was in the NAVY I went with some guys from my department to a local Go-Go club for good, old fashioned male bonding. At one point during the night a petty officer turned to me and said, “I guess the rumor isn’t true.” and I asked what rumor? He responded “That your gay.” I was stunned. I never would have guessed people thought that about me. Looking back I suppose I had convinced myself I was acting my part properly and everyone thought I was just one of the guys… Clearly I was mistaken. I wasn’t as good of an actor as I thought I was. As a side note, one thing which changed his mind was the fact I knew all of the girls who danced in that club. I had worked the door there for awhile and I came in almost every day to have dinner… the owner made one of the best tuna sandwiches I had the honor of tasting and the price was right. I made quite a few friends there and the girls all felt safe with me. I didn’t bother to explain this to him, though. I just hoped he would speed the word so the rumor would be put to rest.

Now I should have been in the perfect spot to pass for a straight male, after all, I had all the right things in the right places, the right name, the right birth certificate, the right gender markers and I still failed.

To say this shakes a persons confidence, which was pretty low to begin with, is an understatement and now here I am trying to convince people, even though I have none of those things, I still want them to accept me. Is it any wonder I’m not very confident?

Speaking of the “right things”… well I don’t have them do I? Without surgery I cannot afford, or hormones I never will.

Next is medical transition. I absolutely feel these things would go a long way toward seeing and feeling myself to be who and what I say I am. Is it a perfect solution? Of course not, but it’s a damn sight better than where I am now. With the correct appearance it wouldn’t feel like a costume or as a part I’m trying to play. Having my mind and body more closely aligned would free me to simply be without constantly second guessing myself.

As for how I think things would work out in the long run? Well I’m already older than I like and I know I am never going to be on the cover of a magazine and honestly I never wanted to be. I simply wish to look presentable and I want to be comfortable in both my clothes and my skin. Being able to look in the mirror without cringing would be a plus!

Now, for a last bit of information. For awhile now I have been gendered as both male and female when I am out and doing nothing to be seen as female. I have been told by more than one person I’m more androgynous than I realize yet I continue to beat myself up over it because deep down I don’t believe it. I simply cannot understand how people could see me as anything other than male.

I hope this helps in some small way.

~Kira~

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6 thoughts on “In Response

  1. I’ve noticed two broad groups of trans women. One group suffers from gender dysphoria but is fine with their bodies, especially their genitals as-is. I was not in that group. I even came close to mutilating myself as a child on more than one occasion.

    The other group are trans women who suffer from gender dysphoria but also suffer from body dysphoria. I was in that second group. It sounds like you are in that second group as well.

    I can definitely say that the day I went in for surgery with Dr. Chettawut in Bangkok, I was ready and had been ready for that. As they prepped me, I thought to myself that if I had any doubts, I should say something now. And a voice inside me said, “Hell no! Let’s do this!”

    When I first woke up, Dr. Chettawut had me on a spinal block. Most GCS surgeons don’t do that and so you suffer through the first few days with painkillers or a morphine drip. I took a few pain pills, as prescribed but generally I felt nothing really terrible because of that block. My GCS was on Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015. On Friday, I came off the block, and was dismissed to my cottage.

    I slept a lot that weekend, and did take pain pills as prescribed, but apparently I was past the very worst of it. And by Monday, when I began to try to establish a more normal routine rather than sleep so much, I had this stunning realization – it had been just five days since surgery, and I could not recall the details of what male genitalia felt like at all.

    A month later, once I was back in the states, my therapist told me that was very common for trans women who suffered from strong body dysphoria, that we block out all memories of what we wanted to be rid of.

    Kira, all that I can tell you is that where there is a will, there is a way. You seem hesitant to even begin hormones though, let alone go further. Why is that? What holds you back? Do you want more children first? If not, then the sterility side effect from estrogen shouldn’t worry you. Also, I can state that getting my malfunctioning brain onto the correct hormones had striking changes for me even before I had subsequent surgery.

    Just giving my brain the correct “fuel” to run on alleviated a great deal of focus issues, and in the first two years after I started hormones I had the best years of my career professionally. For years, I’d experienced a “buzzing” background noise in my head. I assumed that was normal. It stopped once I was on estrogen and testosterone production had fallen into female normal ranges.

    Additionally, before I started hormones, I probably thought about suicide once or twice a week at least, since I’d been a teen. Within weeks of beginning HRT, that stopped except very rarely. And since my gender surgery, it’s not happened at all.

    I wish you luck in whatever path you choose, but gender dysphoria (and body dysphoria) are treatable, and the treatment has helped me immensely.

    1. The only issue with hormones is cost or rather the cost of the lab work more than the estrogen. I haven’t had my testosterone levels checked for a while but I was already at the low end of male normal and I have since been on 100mg of spiro daily.

  2. Kira- don’t take this the wrong way, but if you feel good about yourself you project that beauty to your body and that’s what everyone will see. I’m not the perfect one either but hugs to you.

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