Friday, 26 December 2014

Genital dysphoria

Please Note: This writing is an honest discussion about how I feel with regards my genitalia. It will probably not be in line with some peoples opinions. It may be triggering for those currently waiting for GRS or unable to have it. It also contains talk of a sexual nature. You read this at your own risk and take it for what it is, my thoughts and feelings and not your own. They are for you to express in your own way in your own place.

It is exactly 18 days to my surgery but of course who's counting? Recently I have stumbled across some other people writing about their surgical journey and it has led me to think a little deeper about my upcoming surgery and what it will mean for me. By listening to what they have said, it has led me to speak out prior to my surgery about how I feel.

Within the transgender community, there seems to be a strange dismissal of GRS. This is hard to explain but I frequently come across phrases like, "if you can avoid surgery, do so at all costs" and "it's not that important, it's just the icing on the cake". This is but a scratching on the surface, and I have heard many more similar sayings. There is a general attitude that you should be seen to be treating GRS as a final part of the puzzle and it's not that important if you don't get it.

For me this is a complete load of crap and I will state now that I am desperate for my GRS. So desperate that whilst waiting for a date for it and being told there was no money to fund it led me to a long period of depression. It means far more to me than just a little bit of "icing". Whilst GRS does not make you the woman, it does fix a very important issue that is invisible to anyone but myself and my partner Mandy.

It is becoming apparent to me that I have genital dysphoria in a quite severe form. This is a phrase that I have only heard talked about recently and is a more appropriate phrase than the incorrect body dysmorphic disorder phrase that is sometimes attached to gender dysphoria. In simple terms it means an unhappiness with my genitals in the same way as I was unhappy with my assigned gender.

Some, usually cisgender people, seem to regard this dysphoria as unimportant, because no one can see my genitals and this does not affect my day to day life as a woman. This is absurd and I can assure you that what is between my legs is on my mind a great deal of the time. It is a constant reminder that I am not quite who I am; that I am different in some way. It is also a potential source of testosterone, something I am painfully aware of now that I have stopped hormones in preparation for my surgery.

So I have a penis and two testicles. It is painful to even admit that, but it is the horrible truth. I have heard many pre-op people talk about their genitals, and they often express an indifference to them. Myself, I hate them, they disgust me and I want them gone. Even 18 days seems agonisingly far away, that's how much I have come to loathe these objects between my legs. Ironically, some of what is there is harvested for my vagina, but I can live with that because that is what is needed to construct it.

There is also the question of my sexual needs and at the moment, I do not feel comfortable exploring myself in this regard with what I have. This is something I mentioned in the last post concerning sex drive. I expected that with the testosterone surge, I would suddenly have a strong desire in the sex department. I could not have been any more wrong. When I was comfortable with my hormones, a low testosterone and a stable oestrogen, I was finding that I could explore my sexual urges. Even with the "wrong" parts, I found I could enjoy myself and achieved orgasm several times. In fact these orgasms, although achieved through male genitalia, were phenomenally powerful and nothing like before I was taking hormones. If I could compare, my previous orgasms were on the 1-2 mark on a scale of 1-10. Afterwards, they were 9-10 and mind blowing. In fact my first one, 9 months after starting oestrogen, was so intense, I could do nothing for at least 5 minutes after. This leads me to wonder just what it is going to be like further down the line when I am healed and able to be active again. However, now with a penis and testosterone, I can't even think of using it in this regard. It's just a tube to pee out of.

The thought of getting a vagina is so immensely powerful, it brings me to tears writing this. I have wanted one since a very early age, possible as early as 3 or 4. It is something I have thought about all my life and it has more meaning to me than anything else I have taken physically from my transitioning. It has been great to grow my small breasts, have my hips change and my facial contours soften but getting that vagina, that will be more than a little bit of "icing". I would happily have none of the rest if that is what it would take to get this.

It now appears I am not alone in these thoughts, but it seems people are reluctant to express this until after the surgery itself. I know there is a fear that clamouring for surgery at an early stage will slow the process. Those that know better than us who have to live with dysphoria (gender and genital), want us to realise that surgery is not the be all and end all. I agree fully that you do need to go out and live as a woman and experience everything attached to the real life experience RLE. However, some of us do attach as much importance to the surgery as they do the RLE but I was always too scared to admit this at my gender clinic for fear of being held back. 

I always kept the idea of surgery in the back of my mind to protect myself. Whilst I wasn't moving towards it, I was safe. I got my head down and did my time and waited patiently. When I was then told on February 5th this year that I could start the process, suddenly it all changed. I let those thoughts out of their box and started looking forward to something I needed desperately. 11 days later the bastards slammed the door in my face by saying I had not fulfilled one of the criteria, 12 months on HRT which incidentally was their fault. I was told to wait another 3 months and they would then start the process. I duly did this and then they did not write the letters as promised. Worse a pen pusher decided to lie to me and say they had been written. It got ugly and I pushed back very hard and actually got somewhere. Because they had fucked up, they pushed things through quickly and suddenly I had a date to see the surgeon. Of course we then had the funding crisis and the door was slammed in my face again. No one should have to go through this but it seems this is a very common experience.

There is talk these days that we will move to a genderless society at some stage and GRS will no longer be needed. As I said before, what a load of crap. How would a genderless society make me feel better about my genitals? They would still be wrong for me and I would still need them changed to make me more comfortable. Who comes up with this crap anyway? Clearly people who have not experience gender or genital dysphoria.

The surgery itself and aftermath itself is very trivial to me. What will happen will happen and I am not worried about that side of things. There are the risks, complications as well as all the after-care, infections and dilation. Never mind the fragility I will experience and having to be mindful of myself for a large amount of time. At the end I will have a vagina and that is now so important to me. However, if it all goes wrong and I lose it, I will at least no longer have a penis and two testicles and that is just as important.

The scars run very deep and this contributes greatly to my anxiety, something I had never had until I entered my gender clinic. So it will be a very nervy 18 days to come and I will only truly be at peace with my body when I wake up and am told it is done. I don't see this as any kind of rebirth as some do, but it will mean an end to both of the dysphoria's that I have and life will be much more comfortable then it is now.

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