Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Operation

A few days ago, I went out for lunch with Christine, who's the male to female transgender lesbian that I used to work with. As I walk to the restaurant, I start wondering whether I'll recognise her, because the last time I met her was in the late 1990's when she was a man. But more than that, there's another question on my mind. Has she actually had The Operation and had her bits removed? I'd love to know the answer to that, the only problem is that it feels like quite a rude question to ask!

"Hi, I've got a reservation, the name's GB," I say to the restaurant staff on arrival.

"That's fine," replies the polite maître d', "your guest has already arrived :-)."

As I walk with him to the table, I struggle to see if I can spot Christine before she sees me. But all the tables seem to have two or more people at them, or people who couldn't possibly be her. Suddenly though, we walk around one of the restaurant's large flower arrangements and there she is, and just about recognisable after all.

"Hi," I say to her as I sit down at the table, "it's good to see you again :-). But, um, this does seem a bit strange ..."

"That's OK," she replies in quite a soft voice, "I'm sure you'll get used to it :-)."

Overall, I'm impressed with the transformation. Although on close inspection it is possible to tell that she used to be a man, her face does look feminine. She has quite straight and long hair with a light golden colour, but given her age, I can't help thinking that it must have been dyed that colour.

We start chatting, and gradually, she tells me her story. She'd known since she was a young boy that she should have been a woman. In her early 20's, she said that she almost jumped off a cliff in despair, when she thought that it would never be possible for her to live as a woman. For her banking career and marriage to her wife, she'd managed to put all her gender issues aside, and for a while she thought that she wouldn't have to worry about those issues any more. But eventually, partly as a result of marital problems with her wife, she realised that she'd have to confront and solve the problem.

"Well you do look good," I tell her, "just about recognisable, but much much more feminine!"

"Thank you :-)," she replies, still speaking softly, "You probably don't know the details about how men have a different bone structure to women. For example, I had to have surgery to make my jaw less square."

"Wow, sounds very painful."

"Yes, it was! But thank goodness that everything is over with now :-)."

"So you really have had ALL the surgery then?" I ask, seizing the opportunity. I glance down from her face to her plate in front of her on the table and back to her face again, just to make sure she knows what question I'm trying to ask.

"Oh yes, I had the lower surgery too," she says, with a big smile on her face.

"Wow, how was that?"

"I wasn't prepared for the result," she replies, obviously quite happy to discuss the subject, "It was amazing, because I felt completely re-born. I was crying for two weeks afterwards, tears of joy! I didn't expect to feel that way."

I also didn't expect to hear that answer. I definitely enjoy that part of my anatomy, so hearing how wonderful it was for someone to have it all cut off is difficult to understand.

"The only problem now," she continues, "is my teenage children. I feel like a teenager again which is wonderful for me, but I think my children are finding it hard to accept the changes."

"I can understand some of that," I say, "because I also felt like a teenager again when I came out as gay during my 20's."

Finding out how Chris turned into Christine was absolutely fascinating. However, the one subject that I didn't manage to broach was the fact that she put in one of her emails to me that she now regards herself as a gay woman. Maybe we'll get around to discussing that the next time we meet :-).


Was Once said...

Having a friend who changed sex ...and is living as a woman now there is one thing that always bothered me... being a woman is still a concept acted out...not born within. In other words, she has masculine attitudes and actions you would never see in a woman. For me it seems like acting, even now 30 years later.

Leo said...

At the end of the day some people are just born into the wrong bodies. That's what any transgendered person will tell you.
But, our ideas of what is 'feminine' behaviour or 'masculine' behaviour are very influenced by society.
So anyone changing gender later in life will of course adopt or 'act out' these characteristics to help with their transformation.

Latelygay said...

I did a photoshoot this weekend with a young asia tv and it was all very intriguing. 'She' was as a slim, feminine girl and that was how she regarded herself.

Most my photography is with guys and I took on the job out of curiosity and, if I'm honest with you, though gay, I do find myself intrigued and quite attracted to the whole ladyboy thing.

My subject was plausible but I did find the process requiring a certain suspension of disbelief.

Anonymous said...

All anyone meeting a trans gender person should think about and share is the joy that person must now feel to be living in the body that finally represents who they really are. I have know seveal trans gender folks who have devasting stories of being told at a tender age by parents that the child was not the boy or girl they knew they were. The future suddenly becomes bleak and almost unbearable.

WOI SF said...

I'm happy for your acquaintance. I have several tranny friends, of whom two are also attracted to people of their gender (i.e. the M-to-F one likes women - or at least one particular woman she is in a LTR with - and the F-to-M one is into guys). After all, gender is a social construct that has little to do with sexuality.

Hedgie said...

I don't think it's very unusual for a male-to-female transexual to be oriented towards other women - my sister is, and she met her partner after her op.

And my sister has only had "the lower surgery" done - otherwise (apart from her hair) she looks and dresses exactly as she did before!

burning faggot said...

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Dragonzlad said...

Interesting post GB!