I woke up screaming after my gender surgery. My body was aware of the tragedy and harm that had occurred—it was too bad that my mind did not comprehend the reality. That was in 2005. I had just completed a 15-month period of gender transition at age 45. I thought I was on my way to fulfilling my dreams and destiny of becoming a woman. The truth my body knew was that I was forever horribly maimed, and despite what my deluded mind thought, I was still a man.
How naïve and stupid was I despite being a well-trained physician with nearly two million in the bank. My gender story was the same as most. I felt trapped in the wrong body and thought of little else since age seven. I wanted to be a girl. Girls were so pretty, and so desired and pampered, and I was just a plain vanilla boy who looked and acted ordinary. No one ever made over me—I was just expected to a boy. I became deeply closeted at age nine, and secretly dressed and dreamed of being a girl, but I felt alone, isolated and even crazy.
This was the 1960s and early 1970s; there was no internet or support group; I had not even heard of the terms gay or lesbian, let alone, transgender. It was not until the mid 1970s when I came across an article in Time magazine about a tennis player who changed sex. That was all it took, and I was off to the races with a mission to become a woman.
If I could only go back to the day before my surgery in March of 2005 -- I would run from that surgeon’s knife. I have lived and worked as a surgically altered man trying to play the part of a woman for six years. I spared no expense at trying to make it work. In fact, I spent an estimated $250,000 dollars on various surgeries, and probably at least that amount in clothing and accessories. I took estrogen in every conceivable form. In return, I lost my lucrative job, my family, my social standing, and vital body parts. All for the sake of being true to myself—how tragically laughable.
I had to re-train as a physician and I went from making a half million to 40 thousand dollars a year, despite working 80 hours a week. I went from the ease of being a man, to the hardships of a marginalized person living on the fringes. I had few friends, but I was generally tolerated and people were for the most part polite and accepting to my face. In truth, I was alone and isolated. I was the talk of the town, the butt of jokes, and most everyone could tell that there was something askew about that “woman”. I was six feet two, 145 pounds and had a lilted baritone voice. My attempt at being a member of the softer gender was not working, and I had become no more than a caricature and source of amusement for others. Now I was trapped—I was truly a person in the wrong body.
I am now trying to correct this wrong, and for the first time I have the love and support of a wonderful loving human being. She has done much to educate me about women and who and what they truly are. Chromosomes do matter, and undeniable birth gender should not be altered. As I look around today at men and women who are aging like everyone does, I often wonder about the fantasy of my early thought processes. Did I think I was going to be a beautiful princess living out a fairy tale life forever?
I no longer have to prune and preen in front of a mirror, or wonder about the length of a skirt, or if my make-up looks OK, or if my voice is at the right pitch, and I don’t have to worry about teenagers looking at me and laughing. I am a guy, and I have always been a guy—for this I am thankful.
Received July, 2011