This is a difficult (very personal and scary) thing for me to share. I have seen and read many other accounts of people who have transitioned – those have helped me immensely. But we are all unique, and my journey does not seem to fit others. So, in hopes of helping others as well as documenting my journey – I’ve created this blog.
It has taken a long time – a life time – to get here, to a place where I understand who I am and now to be and live as myself. It’s the end of a quest and the start of a journey.
I am a transsexual woman; my gender is female and my birth sex is male (this is the official medical definition and its in my medical record).
This is not a choice, nor is it a lifestyle or even a preference. It took many years, with professional help, to find who I am and to finally merge all of my life’s descriptiveness, talents, sensitivities and general outlook on life into a deep understanding of self. As that phase progressed, it was my maleness that started to fall away, like layers of an onion. Rather than becoming a woman, I realized I am a woman.
As Sifan in a virtual online world (an avatar), I was able to see and experience who I am. Virtual worlds allowed me to be immersed, just like a paraplegic is able to dance, surf, climb and enjoy a life they could only imagine. My body does not allow me to express myself, to emote, to show my body language or to feel the way I ‘should’. An over used metaphor is to imagine that you wake up tomorrow morning with the opposite body sex than you are now – however, ‘you’ (your being) remains the same. ‘You’ have to put on an act all your life to be able to fit into society and its expectations. I know what I am and I want that to come through.
Medical science now recognizes transgender/transsexualism as a pre-natal condition – occurring around the sixth week in-utero. In other words this is one of many expressions of being human – has been forever. In ancient societies transgender/transsexuals were the shamans and priestess: we were seen as being able to understand and bridge genders and society – magic and power. The 2012 DSM (medical standards) removed ‘disorder’ from transgender/transsexualism. The problem is not who we are but instead it has to do with how we handle and respond to society (and critically, how society responds to us) when visually we are a particular sex but internally we are the opposite gender.
Transition is a slow process. Getting to this point in my life was even slower. It’s a one way street. It’s very serious, its critical, painful and part of the journey is not pretty. I have done a lot of research, talked to doctors, psychologists and professionals plus other transsexuals that are both pre-op and post-op. I now have a realistic visualization of myself post transition. I also realistically visualize each step and maneuver along the way – some are definitely not pretty. “I” do not change – what changes is my body, my effectiveness in communicating and expressing myself and my comfort (comfort is a difficult word here – it is so much more) in being the real me. This will bring me congruence and consistency: embodiment. If you have had the experience of interacting with me as Sifan (virtual or real world) – then you already know what this difference is.
With kindness and Aloha,