In 2010, I was pregnant with my second child. I was out of my mind with dysphoria, but information was much harder to find. I talked with my conservative Catholic husband about starting T. Well, that went nowhere. I had that second child, and my midwife recommended I get a Mirena IUD. I disobeyed my priest and did anyway, so I would not become pregnant or bleed anymore. It worked.
I cut my hair. I did not ask my husband. He hated it. His heart left me then, I think, when I cut my hair.
2012, I discovered queer community. I found a homemade binder in the trash backstage after a drag king show. I took it with me.
2013, my husband was leaving me. I entered therapy for a testosterone letter, finally free. I had community who used my name now.
2014, I remarried a queerlesque star. I started testosterone on the anniversary of their vaginoplasty.
I transitioned in the workplace.
Later that year I had top surgery.
2016, one of my dearest friends had phalloplasty. He shared his outcome with me. I would never be able to shake the image of how beautiful and sexy his body was. Phalloplasty seemed real after this.
2017, I applied for more college. By late summer, I learned the student insurance would be trans inclusive. It covered bottom surgery. I couldn’t believe it.
In August, I made my first calls. I was so frustrated at how little information I could get. I thought about Maud Belanger, Curtis Crane, and Rachael Bluebond-Langer. Their waiting lists were years long. I was discouraged.
I looked into the new program at Johns Hopkins. I would be their second patient. I was hopeful, and I scheduled an intake. I flew in for consult in October. It went so well I cancelled all other consults.
I started to develop serious depression and anxiety around dysphoria. I got a cancer of the cervix diagnosis. I don’t talk much about that, but it got very involved and challenging.
November I got a call asking if I could move up my date to December. I said yes. That month I had a top surgery revision to take out the dog ears.
I had Stage 1, and I had to stay in Baltimore for 5.5 weeks. Phallus creation, nerve hookup, Integra.
2018, Day 21 I had surgery stage 1.5, the placement of the wound vacuum and the split thickness graft. I missed my family terribly. I had fat necrosis at the tip, which took a long time to resolve. Eventually, it did.
I spent quiet time in initial voice therapy and lots and lots of occupational therapy for my arm and hand.
At three months postop in March, I came back for 2.5 weeks for scrotoplasty and hysto, Stage 2. They no longer do hysto at 3 months out. I had neuropathy, which took a month to resolve. I could not stand without a lot of pain in my foot. My scrotoplasty developed a bad infection and had to have surgery in office. My scars were developing serious hypertrophy. It all sounds hard, and it was, but it was still all worth it. They did my glansplasty.
I spent the summer in voice therapy and micropigmentation tattoo. I became cancer free.
In August they tried to do revisions on my scars, fat grafting, and a small change to my scrotoplasty. They moved fat from my hips to my arm.
In December they implanted the saline implant and erectile pump inside me. It took about three weeks to feel myself. I had to spend a week away from family.
2019, Feb, I was allowed to use the Erectile implant inside me to get hard and have sex.
I do not know if life is really back to normal yet. I started having sex again in earnest, after a year of so many disruptions. I had to give up focus on everything but my health and healing for a year. Later this year I plan to have voice surgery.
It was all worth it. Every penny owed, every bit of pain, every loss. There will be loss. You cannot devote your energy to this so much, so completely, and lose nothing.
But– It saved my life.