Funny how three years later, I still think about GCS (gender confirmation surgery). There’s this doctor in New York City, Dr. Jess Ting, who creates girls’ vaginas using pieces of the inner lining of their stomach so they can experience lubrication during arousal. This surgery wasn’t available four years ago when I lived in New York City. It wasn’t available to me. I gave up chasing my dream of GCS in Thailand and chose to go to grad school to study therapy. Then I left grad school to pursue my art. Now two years later, what do I have to show for it? A great deal I suppose. I’ve started a record label, music collective, and event series. I’ve honed my skills as a sound engineer (and continue to). I’ve played a number of live shows and continue to receive bookings. I feel things are moving in the right direction. But a familiar void has resurfaced in me all these years later–a yearning for a deeper physical experience of my womanhood, a closer proximity to the physical form I see in my mind’s eye.
I remember when I left New York I said I wouldn’t return unless I had a thriving creative career. Now it seems it’s headed in that direction. UN/TUCK is bound to take off. I’m quite sure. And when it does, I’m going to leave Kansas City. And begin my life once more in a place where I can seek trans inclusionary healthcare–where I do not have to spend tens of thousands of dollars on surgeries–where the very notion of calling trans related surgeries ‘cosmetic’ is seen as violent and oppressive–where the final alleviation of my dysphoria is not seen as a burden.
I am ready for whatever changes come. And for the ones I intentionally seek out. I am ready for the true flowering of my life, the true birth, to commence.
I can’t help but think of her when I braid my hair. And the day she taught me. Or the day she read me an angry poem about how I was stealing her identity. Funny how the interweaving of hair strands could arouse in her a fear of enmeshment. Meanwhile I was desperate to braid my hair every day. To give to myself what she could not: togetherness.
In the glow of my tiny square Brooklyn bedroom, atop my golden brown sheets with its pink polka dotted comforter, I feel the crawl of ancient endorphins up my spine. To sit with this pain—to see her lying asleep in the blue moonlight, her brunette tresses scattered like sunrays across the pillow—is an odd sensation, which in the scheme of things serves only my art. And as quickly as it appears, the vision dissolves. The reverie fades, and I am again present with myself.
Our stories weigh the longer we have carried them. In the throes of it, or even those moments of latent sadness, it seems so real, and so inert. A stone within us. There was a time when we ached to remember who we were, on the other side of our wounds. But the scars never fade. They instead become stories. Tales of times far gone. And we hold them to our breast like our mothers did with us.
Eventually, however, we wish only to close the door on those memories—to leave them where they lie—and, if we so desire, have a laugh at the absurdity of it.
Whatever could be said
Of the two of them
Would not include
The true essence
Of their bond,
Nor what tore them apart.
The only way to look back
Was with fondness,
And a profound, incomprehensible yearning
That swept through them
When the full moon shivered
And the clouds formed tear drops
In the autumn sky.
All they could do was weep,
Or harden their hearts,
Whatever got them through
The dirty muck
Now is the autumn of my discontent
My being I
I being this ailing world
And within it
A speck called me.
Browned in vein.
To the tired earth.
This blog has once more become a private sanctuary. I’m glad for it. Exposure is lovely. Solitude is better. Even still I worry for my privacy. For my ability to speak without consequence. Hence the physical journal that no one sees. The one in which I haven’t written a heartfelt thing in months. I have shied from it. I’m tired. Wishing I could sleep. Wishing that artistry wasn’t such a struggle. Wishing this world supported my craft on a socioeconomic level. Wishing what I did for money didn’t secretly ruin my sense of self while seeming to empower it. I live in a catch 22. Paradox is my middle name. Sadness haunts me when I cannot hear it. Body image issues hang like shadows over my being. A yearning to be what I can never be. A yearning to turn the clock back to a time before high school. Somewhere amidst the blossoming of my true self. To a time when I could have changed my fate. But what I am. The life I lead. Appear to me fated. Inevitable. Unchangeable. Fixed. Static. So again acceptance forces its way into my mouth. Forces its way into the meat of me. The core that demands peace. That is made of it. That is shrouded in illusory tapestries of misplaced suffering. So here I am. Alive. And that must be good enough. That must be sufficient. For I’ve no other option but death. And death is no option at all. Because it will come of its own accord at some point. There is no rush and there is no uncertainty about it. Only the necessity to live well and rightly and bear whatever the universe has seen fit to lay upon my plate.
The grey sky looks blue when you’re yellow.
I hope the rain cradles you
And makes you new.