A couple of months ago I was fortunate to be able to see a local production of ‘The Vagina Monologues’ here on Maui. I was invited to come along with six other woman. It was a quit the experience. A lot of bonding, a lot of laughing, some crying. but everyone came away with a deeper sense of what it means to be a woman and a sense of ‘owning’ this important part of ourselves.
For me it was an initiation of sorts. It allowed me to be proud of who and what I am. It got me in touch with myself – much deeper appreciation of a vital part of myself that was missing for the majority of my life.
One of the monologues had to do with a transsexual woman’s experience. It was read by a good friend of mine who is a trans-woman like me. At one point she declared: “I payed for my Vagina!” Well, all the way home that night, my mind came up with verse after verse of a monologue that I would have given. I decided I should put the virtual ink to virtual paper and post this.
I had to pay for my Vagina
(The Voice of a Transsexual Vagina)
I was born a woman without a vagina. I have had to deal with the confusion, societies stereotypes and misunderstandings for most of my life – like more than 60 years.
From the very start, my first memories are of knowing that I was supposed to be ‘smooth’ down there. I didn’t know what smooth was supposed to look like until many years later when my baby sister was born.
Early trauma involving my mother and then school had triggered my subconscious into protection mode. It felt the misunderstandings, the stereotypes and the hatred that society had towards me so it convinced my conscious mind that I wasn’t a woman.
Me convincing me by achieving ‘manly’ goals to prove it: technical mountain climbing, small plane pilot, long mountain treks, marriage, children and grandchildren, even starting a high risk business.
Who and what am I? How could I be a woman without a Vagina? Where is my authentic self and what is it?
But my body knew even if my head did not. Waking up after surgery, at the birth of my Vagina – I had a visceral feeling that I was now back to how I ‘used to be’. After surgery, somehow these sensations were ‘known’ and ‘normal’ to my body and I was at peace. Before, it was a constant irritation and cause of deep dysphoria.
There are many costs that had to be paid:
My Vagina cost me over $20,000 and a trip to the other side of the world.
It is going to cost me almost as much and two years for electrolysis and other procedures to correct what testosterone and puberty has done to my body. Some of those things can not be changed.
It cost me a month of pain: 5 hours of surgery, 7 days in a hospital and 23 days in a hotel next to the clinic to give birth to my Vagina Some of this was the most severe pain of my life.
Four months of blood and fluid loss, of intense contractions as my Vagina healed.
A loss of everything I had before: some friends, part of my family, a great job and a dream house on one of the 10,000 Minnesota lakes.
Other transsexuals have lost their lives to suicide or have been murdered because some people cannot deal with our authenticity, our truth.
My trans*Sisters – OUR sisters – live with this reality daily.
Our Vagina is an integral part of my ‘our bodies. It is vitally important to be in connection with and ‘own’ our Vaginas.
All my life, my body knew this even though my head did not. I paid for my Vagina with gender dysphoria.
Puberty robbed my body of many essential feminine traits.
I am still ‘paying’ for my Vagina ….