Archive for December, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Posted: December 25, 2015 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

Tis the season and all that.

Now for once, trans issues and gay issues can come very close to being the same at Christmas. Those of us lucky enough to have supportive families can have the same Christmas as our straight and cis counterparts, though often Nan’s dementia can make things a bit funnier if we have a sense of humour about ourselves.

But many trans people aren’t that lucky.

Like gay people, closeted trans people at Christmas may have to silently seethe while various family friends and relatives make completely wrong assumptions about them, offer advice to get their life going in the ‘right’ direction, and make bigoted remarks about other gay or trans people.

Some trans people, after coming out, have lost their families, or things have become so awkward that going to see them and sitting silently seething is actually about the only option.

But for most of us?

Yeah, it can be upsetting to go and not have a lovely time with your family. But for most of us, the most awful things about Christmas are still the same as frustrations experienced by straight and cis people.

Take my Christmas: everyone is studiously ignoring my transition. My dad has mentioned me changing my name a couple of times, and we did have a brief chat about how my aunt took it (not well) and then we moved on. My older brother, on the other hand, has very firmly ignored the lot. He didn’t so much as say ‘alright, [nickname]’ when I went to collect him in the car. And he has done that ever since I came out — he never even acknowledged my telling him.

But the bit that’s really pissing me off? The bit where he sat for an hour lecturing us about how ‘Paris is what happens when you let foreigners into your country.’ And he obviously knows this to be 100% true because he works in the defence industry.

Yeah, I’m sure, fuckwit.

So I’m not really going to enjoy Christmas. But it’s less because I’m trans, and more because my brother is a racist douchecanoe.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

It’s four weeks today since I had my top surgery.

I meant to post more, but I moved house and lost internet in those four weeks, so now I’m back! And four weeks to the day seems a pretty good place to give an update.

So: the surgeon removed 1.5kg of breast tissue. Pick up that in sugar bags next time you’re in the supermarket and imagine how much my poor skin was holding together. I wore a compression binder for a week, which canes on the ribs. It’s seriously quite painful because it’s 24/7. But there was no pain on the surgery site — just my poor shoulders and ribs, unable to move and being squished. The idea is to basically get the nipples to ‘stick’ back on, and it worked beautifully. One of my nipples has lost its scab now so it looks like it will for the rest of my life, more or less, and the otherone is nearly finished.

I have complete mobility again after four weeks: I can hold things above my head, I can drive, I can run for a bus, I can cook and liIMG_2804ft boxes and all that nice stuff. I had pretty heavy bruises on the left (I’m left-handed, so likely caused by needing to use that arm more than the other one) and being driven home was not fun at all. However, they discharged me with paracetamol for mild pain and codeine for heavy pain, and in the following week I only took the codeine once, on the second night. After that, it was all uphill.

I’m still a fortnight away from being allowed to soak in the bath, swim or sunbathe, but it’s the middle of winter, so I’m not bothered. Putting heavy jackets on is still a bit sore. Sensation-wise, I have a tingling sometimes around the nipple areas, and the skin under each arm is totally and completely numb. I nearly fainted when the surgeon took the staples out, it felt so weird. Didn’t hurt at all, but my brain had no clue why the hell my muscles and ribs could feel pressure but my skin couldn’t, and my brain always wigs out a bit when things like that happen. My skin on my upper chest also has the oddest feeling like it’s been burned a while ago when I’m wearing cotton work shirts — for those of you who’ve had tattoos, it’s almost¬†exactly¬†that same burning feeling left behind when you’ve had some intense colouring or shading done on a small patch of skin. There’s a couple of pinches in the stitching under my right arm that may need tidying up in a few months, but I’m waiting to see what more healing, hormones and weightlifting do. It may sort it out, it may not. I’m rubbing bio-oil into the scarring twice a day to help it heal nicely and without leaving a big mess, and it seems to be working fine so far.

Most importantly: I am fucking flat. I am totally flat. I put a t-shirt on and I look like a guy. I’m wearing a man’s shirt at work, and I look the part. I don’t feel horrible buttoning it up. I was lying in bed with the laptop on my stomach the other day, looking down my chest towards it, and the contours of it even now — when four weeks of inactivity have taken their toll on my muscles, and the scars are still raised and red — I feel amazing. It’s going to be a while before I can get back to weightlifting and working out again, and when I do, I’m going to feel even better…but right now is pretty fucking awesome as is.

More updates will come as time passes. If I don’t get back to y’all beforehand — Merry Christmas!

Matt x