It’s been a few months since I’ve gone back to work after my surgery. Recovery is still ongoing, but I’ve learned the value of self-care. I had a couple of health scares my first couple of weeks back from medical leave. One sent me to the hospital from work in an ambulance. I felt nauseous and weak and had passed out while typing away at my desk. The cause is still unexplained, but I imagine my body was just trying to sort itself out. Also since surgery, I’ve had numbness in my lower abdomen. I’m told that’s normal as my nerves re-grow and learn their new place. I’m happy to report that’s just about gone now, and I can truly feel my whole surgery area.
Now that I’m getting back into my normal routine post surgery, I keep having this lingering question in the back of my mind; am I still considered transgender? I’ve spent so much of my journey trying to pass as a woman. I want nothing more than to be accepted for who I am on the inside. Now that my body on the outside matches my gender identity, it’s important to me to not forget where I came from.
I still find myself continuing to come out to others. I’ve met a lot of new people recently who may not know my past. I’m now more comfortable to share with them that I’m transgender. It’s who I am. I’m proud of who I am and the process I’ve been through.
I’ve had some subtle opportunities to drop hints about my past to some of my new co-workers. Like many people, I got sucked into the Face App fun and turned myself into an old woman. The app also includes the ability to swap genders. I was amazed when I tested that feature, the photo looked nothing like my old self. As we talked at work about how we’d report on the app, I told my co-workers what had happened to me. It made me feel so at ease being able to freely share that glimpse of my past. For an unrelated story, I shared with others of my background as an Eagle Scout. Girls weren’t allowed into the Boy Scouts in the U.S. back then. I’m so grateful my co-workers still thought it was an incredible achievement and never thought weirdly about it. It really helped me feel confident about myself. I found sharing little details about myself has invited others to feel more comfortable around me.
It seems I’ll never stop being transgender. Many government forms ask for my old name. My name change went through the court system and that’s public record. I’ve gotten a slew of pre-approved credit card offers under my dead name recently. I also continue to have bouts of dysphoria. Beneath all of my new feminine parts and curves, I can still see lingering remnants of my biologically-male body. I remind myself that it’s okay to be different. So what if I have big hands and big feet?
People have asked, “will there ever be a time that my transition will be complete?” I don’t think that will ever come. There are more surgeries to consider; breast augmentation, tracheal shave, nose jobs, vocal cord procedures, etc. Aside from physical appearances, I think all of us humans are ever evolving as we go through life. I just happen to be on the journey of a transgender woman.