no honor among thieves

I sit in my room.  It’s a nice room but a bit dusty, and I’m allergic to dust.  So I’ve been struggling to breathe since I moved here.


My trans friend sleeps across the room, on the small mattress we found on the street.  She’s been transitioning for 10 years, though she’s much younger than I am.  She used to update her video blog.  She’s always telling me to get some real problems.  Every day we wake up head-to-toe in that tiny bed.  Would we have it any other way?


She insists she isn’t my girlfriend.  She doesn’t like to be touched.  I remember what that was like.

We share food, share our lives.  Thick as thieves, I wear the ring her boyfriend gave her.


And something interesting has happened.  She walked the path I started upon, took it to the extreme.  Gave herself nothing and no one to lose, but it ends nowhere.  So I found something to care about.  It’s obvious.  It’s inevitable.  As sure as I would die without her, I need to complete my science work.  It’s not a question of discrimination or profit, I need to be what I’ve become.



I woke up with the lights on, from a dreamless sleep.

I made a point of reading one of these SRS papers every night.  You kind of get used to it.  You get used to the pictures and the complications and the descriptions of dealing with complications.  You get used to the complication rate – always a solid 14 to 17 percent.  Why is it so steady?  Across surgeons?  Across groups?

Would it matter if there were no risk of complications?  Would it matter to my decision to pursue surgery?  The results are underwhelming, acceptable.  The post-op transgedered women, they are satisfied with their decision.

If I woke up with an honest-to-God vagina, I wouldn’t be satisfied.  I would be elated.  I would be many things.  And I probably wouldn’t be quiet about it.  The post-op transgedered women, they are very quiet, most of them.  Maybe it’s out of necessity.  I hope it’s out of necessity.


I’ve never not been able to decide something, but I can’t decide this.

I decide not to pursue surgery, but that’s unacceptable.  I decide to pursue surgery, but that’s too crazy.

This isn’t like the decision to transition, I can’t see an overwhelmingly positive outcome from either course of action.  And I can’t decide.


At first it was tearing me apart.  Now it’s just another thing that is out of my control, like the weather.  Something will happen eventually.


So I adhere to a fairly straightforward course of appointments and requirements, pulling up medical records, sending inquiries out into the medical community – assuring against all hell that sex reassignment surgery is an option that is available to me.

Because I know I’ve sacrificed to preserve this option; it’s just not something that people understand.  I don’t understand it either.


I find myself in the mindset of someone purchasing fire extinguishers or extra car insurance.

I might need this


losing track

There’s all of the stuff I’ve read about – I tear up when I miss the bus now.

‘Stop doing that.’

But something is very different about me.  It’s as if a glacier in my mind has finally found its resting place.  Things that would upset me, and seriously dog me for years – stupid stuff – I don’t really think about anymore.  And I’m not sure what I should be doing with my time.


I have a routine; work 45 hours a week, consume 2300 calories a day, sleep 9 hours a night.  Repeat.  It keeps everything moving, the result of obsessive worrying and planning, trial and error.  I kind of go along with it, but I’ve lost track of everything else.  I don’t know what’s changing and how or when anymore.  It’s a lot, and I care.  But I don’t really know.

I think it’s out of my hands now.