A Question for You…
Allison Washington
510

(Though it runs far beyond the scope of the above question, I am reproducing the following conversation in full (with permission), as I think it involves issues of import to trans people and may be informative for others.)

S [an anonymous trans woman]: I’m stealth so I won’t respond publicly…

In [redacted] days I go on a plane to get SRS [reassignment surgery]. The last 3 weeks I’ve been going through a wash of different emotions… in most respects I’m so ready for this but also … my dreams are crazy, my gender and sexuality is all over the place in my dreams.

Some days my dysphoria is gone, especially genital dysphoria…other days I feel male and wonder what the hell I’m doing. It’s also the thing that’s caused most of my suppressed memories to start coming back.

On an intellectual level I know SRS is the right decision. On an emotional level I’m all over the place.

I’ve connected with 4 other girls who are seeing Dr [redacted, for SRS] … we’re all going through similar things.

I’d love to hear what you went through….

Allison Washington:

(This is brilliant, S. Perfect — exactly what I’m looking for, as it’s something that hadn’t occurred to me, and something that would make a great story.)

I experienced every single thing you describe. I never wavered in my decision (though I know others do), but I was terrified in the days before surgery. I had those dreams and those waking questions and, for the first time in transition, that feeling of possibly-male-after-all.

Furthermore, those dreams and feelings continued during the months following surgery, then faded over time.

By 6 months or a year (can’t really recall) they were gone and I never looked back — they never returned — I had absolutely made the right choice.

S:

Well, that’s relieving to hear. I know there are others going through it with me, but it’s relieving to hear from someone who has actually had SRS!

I do know I’m right… I’m just having to constantly triangulate my decision…. by reminding myself that I used to wish I was a girl… of the uncontrollable urges to cross dress… of how happy I’ve been as me. I think the worst and hardest thing has been … just how adept I became at being male.

Allison:

I think that’s part of it. Also, I think it shows a healthy respect for the enormity and irreversibility of what’s about to happen. It’s reasonable to check and recheck such a decision. And unsurprising that one might retrace the entire course of one’s process in getting here.

S:

Yes, I think it’s healthy too. I have a psych eval before surgery once I’m in [location redacted]… I’m a little worried what the psychiatrist might think of what’s been going through my head! …. although I’d be a lot more worried about me if I wasn’t constantly checking and rechecking!

Allison:

I agree. And there is nothing wrong with being selective in what one discloses to a gatekeeper.

S:

Yes. It kind of sucks though if one has to … it’s so hard to tell what a gatekeeper is looking for … that you’re completely resolved? or that you’re questioning?

Allison:

Resolved and certain. Sorry, but there is still a lot of paternal gatekeeping out there. Why would they insist on yet another psych eval if the purpose weren’t to ‘weed out’ ‘poor candidates’? Possible Answer: They want to help you move smoothly through surgery. Probable Answer: Prevent ‘poor candidates’ from proceeding. Or maybe I’m just cynical.

S:

‘Poor’, as in…?

Allison:

…as in ‘unsuitable’ — risk of regret / detransition — despite the data showing that that just about never happens.

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