Trigger Warning: Scars
This is to present my chest and what my idea of a Neutrois chest is. It’s also meant to show that when I talk about me being trans, I mean trans*, when I talk about me being queer, I mean genderqueer, when I talk about being neutral, I mean gender-neutral.
The body is a surface on which we project our emotions and ideas. People get tattoos and piercings ( I myself am a fan of tattoos, not so much piercings), and with the addition of clothing, we are able to communicate and protect our bodies from the weather and ‘immodesty’.
Our bodies are honest, in that they portray our phusical structure. Sometimes we can determine through the way the body lools or moves that a person is ill or has an injury. We can determine, through facial queues, if a person is happy or sad.
But we cannot always know what a person is like, inside of this vessel, without getting to know them firts. It takes time and energy to do so, and often we do not have either or have preceonceived ideas about the person which prevent us from going near them in the first place.
I am trying to make my body more honest by changing it to make it represent more fully and inclusively my ideals and how I picture myself. I have used the power of plastic surgery to modify and edit structures on my body that were giving me unease and failed to represent me and my ideals.
This ‘new’ body feels more natural, eventhough I haven’t had it long, it feels safer, eventhough people might look at me in a more negative light because of it. It feels like it belongs to me more now than it ever did.
Some say if the body is a vessel, and the person really shines through through the soul, therefore one does not need to focus so much on it. But my soul cann’t come through in a body I detest. When I had/have dysphoria I get really depressed and have strong anxiety attacks and even think about death and dying. Surgery has made my life better. I’m not saying it’s the only answer to one’s problems, but it’s not morally wrong and shouldn’t be ignored as an option.
This is my personal surgery result. I am curious to know how others would react if they saw my chest like this. I am happy with it, because it feels good and it simplifies my life (eg. not having to wear disgusting female underwear bra stuff, walking around shirtless [at least in my own four walls], and feeling lighter and healthier)….dysphoria of the chest (my previous chest structure) was making me ill, because I felt sick with it, I felt diseased and wrong, as if a foreign and malign object was put there to torment me. My chest felt like ‘a cancerous being’, so I had to remove it (everything).
To me, someone WITH a chest is incomplete….
The following Images: 1. My Lovely Chest TM, 2. Dominic: un point,
God, Nature, the-not-me: 0 points, 3. Neutrois kitsch: My Lovely Chest Smiley
Today I had some maintenance done: the Depo injection.
I really did not feel like going to the dr’s today, but felt I had to, and I wouldn’t probably feel any better about later on, so I went.
The minute I saw the head nurse I wished I hadn’t gone; she had those piercing, intrusive sort of eyes that just manage to just look through you and reduce you to a pile of mumbling and fumbling.
I was so nervous, as if I had a job interview or was questioned at court.
I just wanted to get the injection quickly and then get out. I’m desperate for the Depo, because it deletes my period. In fact, I haven’t had one for at least 2 years and I just love the feeling of not having those menstrual feelings.
But then the nurses talked about tests and started to disturb me with their moral feelings. They actually wanted to me to get my body tests (like normal women) and wanted me to see the doctor (which I had never seen before, though I am a patient there). I already thought about just running out of the room, and started to devise a plan to never get asked to surrender my body to medical scrutiny again. After all, it’s not necessary to have one’s genitals poked and prodded if one is convinced one has none.
So we struck a bargain. The nurse asked Sir dr. if I could get the injection (just because) and I had to admit there was soemthing wrong with me and I needed help and a talk with him, who would be able to point me in the right direction. The nurse apparently felt my pain of being transgender, but still thought I needed to transition into one or the other gender. I determined in the waiting room, waiting like a convicted felon on death row, that I would attempt one last rebellion in front of this representative of the medical community: I would deny being ill or wrong in any way, and I would refuse straight out to transition to a gender known to man.
For, how does one transition to a gender that does not even exist? HOw does one transition to not having a gender?
I explained this to him, after a long and embarassing silence. I really did not feel like talking, because I thought it would be the same old Spiel. I had already encountered numerous dr’s before, and they were all of them unwilling to understand or to even hear me out when I talked about MY gender.
But to my surprise, when I said I knew how damned my lot in life was, because I knew of the impossibility of transitioning to neutral, it was him, not me, who protested. He wasn’t my enemy, after all, this little, common-looking man who wore glasses and complained about the renovation that was going on in the building. He looked so stern at first, so uninviting, so plain.
He told me that I might have a chance to keep on transitioning, to not stop here, but follow the process as far as it could possibly go. He even mentioned more surgery, but without hormones (exactly what i had been thinking of). Then he kindly directed me to a clinic that usually dealt with people such as me, perhaps extreme cases of GID or just extreme gender non-conformists. I haven’t heard of anyone actually doing what I plan on doing, though. I haven’t heard of another Neutral person who has transitiones to their preferred gender. Has anyone else?
So, today I called the clinic, and of course, I couldn’t get a hold of the person I had to contact…The revolution got stalled right then and there, and I suspect that there will be a lot more beaurocracy to go through before I can achieve my goals. And a lot more thought, and a lot more courage and confidence.
I never would have thought that, out of the blue, without looking for it, I would have come closer than I ever have before to my goals re: gender transitioning. I only had top surgery two weeks ago and now I am catapulted into the world of psychological specialists, medical professionals, and it’s getting more serious.
I just hope this wasn’t some sort of trick or ruse on his part to get me to communicate and to see someone who could then transform me into something more pleasant, like a man (a man with no human breast, and weird stuff downstairs, perhaps). I hope they don’t try to dope me with hormones and start telling me who I am.
I am not fully convinced yet that I have cracked the jackpot, but my hope for a better future in the world of gender (a better feeling, and less body dysphoria) has risen again. I so hope this isn’t just another fraud!! Wish me luck!
How can I say this and simultaneously convey my feelings of utter joy and gratefulness: I finally had surgery last week!!
I got rid of those horrid pesky things that grew on me like a cancer and have been there for years without me being able to do anything about it. They have been a great curse my whole life and not a day went by for the last couple of years that I didn’t wish them to be gone with ardent fervour. Being me was not possible with lumps on my chest that screamed out ‘girl’ and other, more filthy words.
THEY NEVER BELONGED TO ME!!
That is why I can justify that I have had surgery; surgery that every other Trans person is entitled to. I’ve gotton much closer to me in only a week. I have heightened my feelings of worth and happiness and confidence in a week. What it took was not a lot, compared to what it would take to have kept on living the lie of having been born ‘female’.
Surgery took place on Wed. 6th of June 2012 at the McLean Clinic (for more info go to http://www.mcleanclinic.com). I had been so nervous during the previous weeks and now I was finally there, I arrived at my destination. I couldn’t f… believe it at first, it was all so wonderful. People were respectful of me, they treated me with kindness. Of course they were earning lots of money through me, but still, it all felt very genuine.
I never in my life thought that one day I would have plastic surgery and basically go it alone. I travelled there on my own and went through the whole process alone, but with the knowledge that I am not the only one who decides to have surgery and actually goes through with it, and with the knowledge that my mother was supportive of my decision.
I met with the surgeon and staff on the day before surgery and time just went by so quickly from there. Before I knew it I found myself getting prepped for the big event, for surgery itself. I got talked through every step of the way and never once did I feel obliged to keep going. This only made me more determined to go ahead and also to try my best not to act too foolish after surgery due to the drugs I would be given. I was determined to do all I could to make the surgery and recovery afterwards a success.
While I am writing this I am still a bit dizzy. I am not taking medication anymore, since I have been taking meds continuously for the past week (almost). Surgery did not take long and the dr. was happy with the results. I did not even feel so bad afterwards, no nausea, just general tiredness and exhileration. I slept a lot and watched crappy Canadian TV a lot (yes crappy, because I only have four channels at home, and you Canadians have a lot more, and still there’s not much worth watching)….I didn’t have much energy for anything, especially during the first day of recovery. A nurse had to stay with me for the first 24 hours. A big Thank you goes out to her because she made the time go by so fast and engaged me in interesting conversation and also managed to make me laugh. So Thank you to Theora (‘Missy’). The clinic where I had the operation got me into contact with Theora and she, in turn, made sure I took medication (properly) and didn’t do anything stupid, which she did really well, which helped to make this a good experience.
The next day I could already go walking about and go to the mall (luckily it was really close-by). It was fun walking around in a completely unfamiliar place, knowing that one knows noone at all in this place and just had surgery and still being a bit weird due to the medication and the tiredness. It made the shopping experience so much more interesting.
Now I’m sitting at home and much of the excitement has gone and is now being replaced by slight nausea and general discomfort in the operated-on area. I actually feel weirder now than I did in the hotel directly after surgery, probably because my life is boring again, and I’m in recovery mode. I have large scars acrosse my chest area that are still taped up. The skin is a bit bruised in places, but nothing major. My left side feels almost normal, while on my right side I occasionally feel sharp stings and pain is stronger there. I also have to wear a compression binder for at least 2 weeks post-op, which is actually comfortable, considering that my chest feels like it is being stretched apart when I take the binder off for longer periods of time.
One has to be really careful not to do too much at once, because it’s easy to forget how vulnerable one still is after having had surgery. First one feels fine but when one moves too abruptly or doesn’t remind oneself that one is still ‘sick’, it’s not a good experience. After a whole week of not being able to go to the toilet properly my bowels are finally waking up and my system is trying to get back to normal. I guess after having to take pain tablets for this long, I am still getting this stuff out of my system. I’m going to try to not exert myself anymore and not go walking around in the heat and humidity too much, because it really has affected me today.
Surgery was easy in the sense that I didn’t have to do much. Recovery and living in this ‘new’ body are more difficult, because these take energy and determination. In fact, my surgery was easier than usual, because I decided early NOT to have nipple grafts and the complex chest reconstruction process. I had a full mastectomy without reconstruction. To anyone to whom this is not yet clear (enough): I have no chest anymore, I have no nipples.
I don’t think I will ever regret the decision to have surgery, not even this kind of extreme surgery (‘amputation’). I have seen my body like the way it is now for a long time. I could use my imagination to conjure up what I wanted my body to look like, after that, it was just a matter of finding a competent and willing surgeon to perform the necessary task of remodelling it (and finding the money to get this done, as well).
I am really scared of needles and I can’t stand doctor’s offices/clinics, but this felt right from beginning to end. The staff were really welcoming and helpful and the place itself was not really like a clinic at all, but felt much more comfortable than that. Nobody has seen or commented on my new chest and it still feels sore and numb at the same time. I have to sleep on my back for a while, which is a bit of a burden, but all this will soon disappear and I will feel increasingly more comfortable in my body, much more comfortable than before, that’s for sure!!
I can’t thank people enough that have supported me in those numerous ways that they have (either deliberately or not). My new chest might be weird to some people, but it’s no weirder than other things. People do things for all sorts of different reasons, and in the end, most of the time, they do it to feel good/better about themselves.
I am hoping other people will have the confidence and resources to also have surgery if they so wish, because IT’S SO WORTH IT.
(Edited because of spellling mistakes).
I’ve been thinking a lot lately and reading a lot of blogs ranging from Trans to Radfem (radical feminism) to Travel. I read a quote on one of the blogs about pain and release and it occured to me, that I have been trying to gain release for a long time (a vey long time). I think unconsciously I was driven to this point in my life; all the confusion and hatred I had built up brought me to a point where I could finally realease some tension and redefine myself.
I have complained a lot about how I feel in recent times, both to family and friends, and some people in LGBTQ groups (actually just 1 group, I haven’t yet found another where I now live). The responses of these people were mostly filled with concern, and I got some good advice about general techniques on how to relax, mostly to do with taking deep breaths and relaxing the musles (massage, sauna, etc.). Some encouraged me to just not think about things too much, some told me to keep busy and ignore my thoughts. I actually think all of these things can be very useful when presented with a stressful situation, if one has the time and resources to do them.
But I have also realised that I cannot really ignore the way I feel anymore, and I really think my body/mind (they are, in fact, a bit split) is telling me something and I really want to listen.I have been dreaming a lot more about a new chest, and I’ve seen myself with bandages and it felt alright (partly due to the fact that in the dream I felt no pain or naesea). Then I recently had a dream (a bit disgusting) about not being able to breath, my nose and throat were blocked and I thought I would choke. I had to cough a lot until finally a big green ball of slimy stuff came out and I could breathe again. I think all these dreams I had were positive signs, were signs of release.
I am extremely sensitive and absolutely detest any physical contact with another living thing, especially when it’s unannounced and ‘aggressive’. I don’t diffrerenciate between men and women, animals or plants in this regard. I don’t want or need physical closeness. I don’t feel happy in my body, so everytime someone touches it, I get angry, because I can feel my body much more intensely, and I don’t like the way it feels at all. When someone touches me, I feel validated (in the wrong body), so, in other words, I feel validated as WRONG. My favourite state of being is a form of dissociation, where I cannot feel any body part (like when one is asleep). It takes a lot of energy and concentration to do that, and of course I get pissed off when someone comes along and destroys all my hard work in an instant without even knowing what they just did.
I don’t need a hug. Dysphoria does not go away just because someone rubs their body parts on mine. There was a queer person (in many ways) I met at a LGBTQ gathering and she/he/it (honestly, I didn’t even talk long enough with them to know) was trying to give me support. I had talked about surgery and this person made comments along the lines of it’s not gonna happen, noone would allow me to have surgery, and the breasts would grow back anyway. Then this person proceeded to show support by hugging me. I thought this was a bit weird…first it tried to destroy my hopes and then it gave me a hug. ..What on earth did it attempt to achieve with this behaviour?
Hugs, like burying the dead, are done to gratify the party who is giving the hug, and not necessarily the receiver. I never ever in my life asked to be hugged, yet I constantly come across people who love this intimacy, touching another’s body, feeling their breasts on their chest (and I’m not only talking about paedophiles and other sick people, here). When my chest is the most abominal thing I can think of right now, when I thought about ending it all just to get rid of this dysphoria and feeling of loathing.
The only good thing that came out of all this physical shit is that I got even more determined to change what I initialy thought I could never change about my body because everyone said it was natural and a part of me and I should embrace that. I want to embrace other parts of me, thanks very much, that aren’t the casue of me wanting to puke whenever I change my clothes or shower or get looked at by yet another (sick) stranger.
I don’t want your hugs or any other body-part-embracing. I want your support, your words of encouragement, your understanding, a smile of recognition and just the knowledge that I can live in this body on my own terms and conditions.
P.S.: not all Neutrois are like that, and I want to add that I am not only Neutrois, I am also many other things. Neutrois isn’t the only thing that defines me. I strongly identify with this term because I have body dysphoria and gender dysphoria and want to change my body so the dysphoria lessens or even goes away. I am antisocial AND Neutrois, and not Neutrois because I’m antisocial. If you understand this difference, then you are smarter than most people 😉