Today marks the 1st anniversary of my vagina.
You read that right. Exactly one year ago today (at around 3 pm), I was lying in a hospital bed in Bangkok, counting backwards from 10 as a nurse sedated me til I passed out. Six hours later, waking up groggy and heavily medicated, it’s done. My sexual reassignment surgery (SRS) was done. I haven’t even thought much about it these past few days til I just remembered it out of nowhere when I woke up earlier. One year. One very fun, interesting, and challenging year.
One year of having to adjust to that new “part” down there
One year of dilating (or not :p)
One year of pads and pantyliners
One year of people asking if they can see it (SERIOUSLY)
It was my first time traveling out of the country and with not much preparation at that. I only got my passport within a week before we had to leave, I was late in submitting my necessary documents and most of all, it was only a day before I had to leave that I told my mom of my real reason of going to Bangkok. I was sure she had her suspicions, and it was funny. I never confirmed nor denied it, partly because I was afraid of what she had to say about it; how she might react. The moment I did tell her though, suitcases already in tow, all she had to say was for me to take care; to make sure I call if anything ever happens. And with that “blessing” from my mom, I got ready to leave for Bangkok more confident than ever.
We landed on Bangkok at May 29, 2012. Of course it wouldn’t be til a few days before I was gonna have my surgery; I still had a few more tests to do, questions to be asked and answers that I needed to know, and the dreadful liquid diet which I had to endure for almost a week (People might jokingly tell me I’m anorexic but I never subjected myself to any extreme diets).
To anyone who might be reading this, it might be odd to see that not once have I mentioned that I was excited, nervous, or feeling anything in particular regarding my surgery. Not once during the days leading to it, the minutes leading to it, even shortly after the procedure. I was even worried that I’m not feeling any excitement, fear, or any emotion regarding it at all. It took quite a while before it eventually all sunk in that “Hey, you have a vagina now!” Heck, I’m not even sure if it has sunk in til now but at least I didn’t end up crazy or anything, right?
One year has passed and though I don’t really see SRS as that big of a deal (to which people think isn’t the supposed-to-be normal reaction), I’m very glad and grateful to the people who made it happen for me. I was such a slob, even in getting all the things I needed to make it happen and for that, I’m grateful to my ex; who made sure that I did what tests needed to be done and process all documents that needed to be processed. I’m grateful to my mom, who despite her occasional misgivings, remained supportive of my transition and even if she didn’t make it easy all the time, that doesn’t mean she made it difficult. To my friends and the countless people who gave me advice, support, and simple inspirational messages, both virtually and in person, I’m grateful to have such great people in my life. And of course to Gabbie! The person who I really owe my SRS to. Without her, all of this wouldn’t have happened and I’m grateful for the trust and opportunity she has given me. You will forever be a big part of my life even if we haven’t even met yet, though I’m hoping that could change soon.
It has been one year and now, I’m better, more at peace with myself, and one step closer to feeling complete. Transition isn’t just a journey with SRS as the destination; it’s a lifelong struggle/challenge/road trip/high, whichever you make it to be. You’ll be successful or fail, fall in love or fall out of it, be better or worse. The beauty with transition though is things are never permanent, that’s why it’s a transition. No matter how good or how bad the current situation is, we are always reminded that all things shall pass. So carpe diem you beautiful people. You never know when it might be your last.
PS: If anyone was expecting to get details of my surgery from this post, I apologize because it wasn’t intended to be an SRS guide. Feel free to get in touch with me though should you be interested to know of the nitty gritty of my experience 😉