21 October 2010

A piece of writing from Sarah

Right now I'm writing another Sarah-Kirsten joint interview, but as I do so, I want to post an exercise I had written for a class two years ago.  This was done for a class on writing for social change, done online with my longtime mentor Gayle Brandeis.  In this exercise, I imagined pre-operative Sarah, in an all-woman retreat, sitting naked and talking about her body image as a transwoman. If it were me in a similar situation, my response would be pretty similar. I don't expect this to ever be done in the presence of men, however - I don't need to stoke anyone's shemale porn fantasies.

Here I am – my body in all its glory.

Notice the cacophony of my male bits against the otherwise feminine silhouette of my body.  Yes, I am a transwoman.  Yes, I am pre-operative.  But no, I refuse to be ashamed of myself for having the so-called wrong genitals.

What others call a penis, I call it my “big clit.”  After all, it does everything that a clitoris ought to do – namely, feel sexual arousal and get erect.  It came from the very tissues that would have become a clitoris, had I followed typical female development.  It does bother me when my big clit bulges under my skinny jeans or tights, but it’s still a part of me.  I don’t understand why men make such a big deal out of their penises, when really, all they have is just the larger version of what women also have.

When the time comes for me to go under the knife, I will thank my big clit one more time.  My soon-to-be-opened vagina will be formed using that very clit.  They call it “penile inversion vaginoplasty” for a reason.  Like what it says, most of my big clit will be inverted to form the inside of my vagina.  The rest of it will become my new, smaller, but much more sensitive clitoris.  And ironically, the bigger my clit is, the easier it is to make the vagina.  I’m actually glad that my clit is really big.

And the sac below, you will call it the scrotum.  I call it my future labia.  It will indeed become my lips, when that vagina opens up.  Too bad, the balls in them will have to go.  They were once ovarian tissue and should have become ovaries, but a cruel trick of biochemistry turned them into testicles that have done me no good, except to hurt badly on occasion and to give me several years of unwanted boyhood.

But even those testicles are a part of me.  I know that I will never be able to give birth, even when the vagina opens up.  I want a kid, but the cruel trick of biochemistry says I can only have one as its father.  Tomorrow, I will put these testicles to good use at the sperm bank, so that my wife Kirsten will one day have a beautiful child for me.

Again, you may see a penis and two testicles between my legs.  But as far as I am concerned, I see the beginnings of full womanhood, even in those most masculine of my body parts.  And just as my male bits will help make up my future life as a complete woman, I will continue to carry on the best qualities of my past male life, and be proud of them, even as I carry on into a fulfilling life of a woman.

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