I did not sleep well the night before. Thoughts of missing my alarm plague me the night before an important but extremely early event. Most of the time I have to be moving for a flight, but this day I needed to be at the surgical center at 5am.
Daria had it under control. Zie woke me at 4. We were out the door at 4:30, and we arrived at the surgical center at 4:50. After that, I put my fate into everyone else’s hands as they guided me into the building and prepared my IV. Two different doctors, first my surgeon then the anesthesiologist. Strangely, the anesthesiologist did not know about spironolactone and left with the words “I have some research to do.” A few minutes later, the nurse took me to the operating room, helped me get positioned on the table, said she would go find another electric blanket for me, and then I woke up in my bed at home.
I think no experience will ever match that for strangeness. I have seen pictures of “waking up”, and of getting myself into my car, but I remember absolutely nothing else.
I saw myself in the mirror some hours later. As soon as I felt up for doing so, I undressed to look in the mirror, and I nearly started crying. I felt relief beyond what I imagined, with the feeling that my body, finally, was my own.
I cannot remember a time that I did not want breasts. Through all of medical transition, though, I have had to constantly ask myself whether I am an androgyne or a trans woman. Everything about my transition looks like what a trans woman would do, except that I did it slowly, and in a different order. At it’s core, how much can I alter my body before I cross into being a woman?
When Washburn passed a few weeks ago, I understood in my grief that the term “mother” applies to me. “Mother” is a job. Not a gender. And it has nothing to do with biology. Even I find myself harboring ideas of biological essentialism, and even I must take time to expunge those ideas.
My transition has always been about giving myself the body I want, the one I can feel comfortable in. The things I have done to my body do not change my gender, but they have made me much more comfortable in my body.
I still do not have a gender. I am an androgyne, and I am proud of that.