Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Pre-op procedures and palm trees

We flew out to Marbella on Sunday lunchtime with Easy jet, it was an uneventful flight and Angela and I barely spoke, we were reading, Angela was immersed in A life in two genders by Jenny Boylan and I in a memoir of Catholic misery called The God Squad by Paddy Doyle... ironically both books concern remarkable journeys made by brave individuals who have been marginalised by society and through no fault of their own..... Paddy and Jenny both speak out in order to help others who are affected by "issues of otherness". Angela and I are going ahead with this difficult chapter of her life as she cannot live as The Outsider - feeling different is not a cause for celebration in the aisles of ASDA or in a swimming pool when Joe Normal is scrutinising you.

We have both been quiet, and Angela, has been teary and fearful, I imagine it is the tension, a fear of an unsatisfactory outcome, a dread of pain...we are going through the same process as any normal couple would follow for a romantic sunshine and sangria type holiday, double checking passports, caryying round vats of sun block... except that is not the purpose of the trip; our aim is to get Angela's face feminised. (please see previous blogs for details of the surgery)

On Sunday night, we walked along the seafront, with all the Spanish holiday makers, it was a text book seaside idyll, the Mediterranean smells of lemon, garlicky seafood and olive oil. the sound of the sea, rolling like the chants of time, surging over and over. The breeze warm and balmy. Sitting at a low key sea front cafe, later in the evening, amidst dowdy, stern faced Spanish Matriarchs and young Spanish well mannered families on the beach. We were drinking San Miguel and eating paella, several times as we walked through the langerous and laid back crowds we overheard people whisper "Hombre", we felt like any two women alone, but this type of snipe and the the occasional quizzical glances belied the fact we were not like any other couple.

We talked late into the evening about what would happen if she died, where I would go and whether I would cope. We talked of our lives so far and what we hoped for. We seem to be so overshadowed by this Spectre of transgenderism, it consumes and pre occupies us, never one thing or another. It has created a kind of life dysphoria, which we have to negotiate and engage with. If you placed The angel of The North on our patio it would command less of a presence than the chimera of transgenderism.

Monday was taken up with x-rays (revealing a previously undiagnosed clear scoliosis of the spine), bloodtests, CTI scans and assessments with firstly the anesthetist and then two of the three surgeons who would undertake the surgery. Dr Daniel and Dr Kai. Angela has such a beautiful face, with hight cheek bones, and large mossy green eyes, a very dignified nose and full soft lips, her hair is naturally long and dark blond, with the odd strand of silver grey, like shafts of light. It seem strange for the surgeons, to analyse her face and talk about certain deformities, a slight lean of her nose, her widows peaks, the thickness of her noses bridge. I sat in silence, knowing I could never say, "what the hell are you talking about, I love that fucking face".... i would keep her forever as she is, and not change one thing, but that I know would be selfish of me, and if she was happy with her male features then she would not be mine.

We made love in the hotel room, yesterday, and i draped soft silk sleeping gowns over her body and kissed her face knowing it would be the last time, and from hence forth, she would be the same person I loved but yet again transformed. She hopes I will love her just the same, and I hope that my feelings remain the same despite her anatomy.

oops battery running low, to be continued and corrected later.

Love to all


  1. Hang in there...SO lucky to be there together...huge hugs! xx
    Oh, and the Jenny Boyle book? A bit american romanticised & smug IMHO...Angela needs something cheerful! :-)

  2. Thank you, the messages of support and encouragement mean a lot to us. The worse part of this will be the rhinoplasty....

    Ah yes Ms Boylan! regarding the book, I really liked her lucid and easy to read prose, I think any women would envy her privileged life but many of us would not envy what she had to go through. I think that "private hell" she described is very common for many transwomen pre-transition. We found that the experience of Jenny does not really match Angela's experience, as she does not feel completely transexual... more a transgendered person who is changing. Although the dial always tips over to the female point. I felt, that Jenny was very priviledged and for obvious reasons, was more interested in the effect on her wife and how Grace coped.

  3. PS, we did bring other books, including Space Odyssey 2010, a biog of a guy who escaped a Russian Siberian Gulag by walking 3,000 miles to Persia, called As Far a Feet will carry me, and The Iron Rooster by Paul Theroux.

    Journeys eh! Who'd take them!