Johns Hopkins University ceased performing gender reassignment operations in the 1970s. Steve, or Stevo, has been clicking links on the Internet, never an easy way of achieving understanding, and felt the need to tell me this. He read an article, I think he said by a surgeon, which argued against the operation, claiming it did no good.
I felt such anger, and expressed it pungently. The reason surgery does not always do us much good is that we are so damaged before we get it. I went on to Sam Hashimi, who transitioned to Samantha Kane and wrote or had ghosted a book about how she had been Liberated to be her True Self, then reverted to Charles Kane and started making complaints about her psychiatrists. As if there was a discrete group of people who are “Transsexual”, whom psychiatrists can recognise, and who on reassignment will live Happily Ever After; and another group of people, always wrong about their desires, whom a psychiatrist should recognise as Not Transsexual and discourage from transition. Kane now has this hydraulic thingy which in some ways resembles a penis. (As opposed to the organ which some trans men acquire, which is one.)
I am not attached to the identity “woman”. If you want to call me a man, go ahead- though you will have to stretch your definition of the word to include me, with my desires, feelings, actions and way of being; and indeed stretch your ideal, for I am in no way an “inferior man”.
Transition is difficult. Living authentically as who I am is difficult. It does not mean that I am wrong to try, because living in denial of my feminine self is impossible.
What may I do with the anger? I went back to the Circle after this conversation- I have been on retreat with HAI- still feeling my anger. I felt the need to share. The only identity I am attached to is “Abigail”. This is so difficult, with various groups saying that I should not transition for various reasons, often linked to the fact that I do not have a uterus. This is who I am. My anger has been a burden, as I have been frightened of it, and frightened of showing it.
It can be my power source. My anger is energy, which I can waste energy on suppressing or holding back, or use to live life more fully. I get up, and prowl around the circle, looking people in the eye. Hello. I am Abigail. Hello.
In the closing circle, the instruction was say a few words. I said, “Gift. Gratitude. Love. Respect.” Then I laughed. After, someone said they wished some of my laughter could be not ironic. Some of my laughter- more and more of it- is joyous.