Finding My Way

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.

Two photos side by side. One of a young woman smiling with curly brown hair. The other is that photo through the face app to look like a man.

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.

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