I got my second letter today. I only had to meet with the other therapist twice. She had a draft ready before our second meeting, which we used to clear up a few details and answer some follow-up questions from the first session. She didn't seem to have any reservations, and told me she thought I was very passable and that I seem to have a healthy attitude and approach to my transition. So the paperwork's out of the way, with just over a month to my surgery date.
I'm happy to have that done. If she hadn't agreed to writing the letter within a month, I'd have had to go to another therapist. But I also didn't want to go into our first meeting demanding that she work according to my schedule, which was to get that letter by mid-February. Going into therapy with an ultimatum would have been a good way to make her not want to help me. So I didn't even bring it up, and instead I let her tell me how many sessions we needed after getting to know me a bit. By the end of the first session, she was confident we'd need only one more, which was great with me. One less thing to worry about. This was just another piece of paper I needed to prove what I already knew, that I am ready.
Alison was happy for me when I got my first letter, but thought it was kind of stupid that I had to get another letter at all to back up the first therapist's conclusion. After thinking about it a bit, I kind of agree. Sure, it's a major decision and it's irreversible, but I'm an adult and I can make my own choices about my body. People who choose to have a baby aren't necessarily ready or qualified to raise a child, and that's a permanent change in their lives, too. Of course, you don't usually need a doctor's help to conceive, but if you did, do you think anyone would make you go see a councellor to make sure you're having a baby for the right reasons?
I think it comes down to this: what I'm about to do seems crazy to a lot of people. It must seem like I could just be confused. Why would a man want to get rid of his penis? Penises are how society defines a man, and maleness is considered a virtue. So getting rid of one must mean there's something wrong with you in the head. It's a downgrade. Men think their penises make them superior to non-penis-havers. They really do. Even though it plays a relatively minor role in a man's day-to-day life, many like to think it's the most important thing about them, and a symbol of their awesome manly power and invulnerability and entitlement to take charge. If you've got a big penis, you're a god among men (who are, in turn, men among women, putting you two tiers above women). Everyone should tremble in fear of their own inadequacy compared to you. Why would you give that up? You'd have to be nuts, right?
I'll be completely honest. I don't even hate my penis. I never have. The only reason it feels like it doesn't belong anymore is that I've realized that I am female, and society (except for a certain minor segment I don't have much interest in) doesn't care for women with penises. It gets in the way now, both literally and figuratively. It doesn't make me feel like any less of a woman having it there, but it does hurt my ability to live as who I am. And I don't feel any real attachment to it; I just don't particularly hate that it's there. I don't think I'll miss it, either, though. I expect that sex will be better without it. Right now, it feels like it's in the way, and it does sometimes embarrass me somewhat that it's there. I don't hate it, but I don't want it, either. And I don't have any real reservations about getting rid of it. Tucking is a real inconvenience; I sure won't miss that.
Anyway, I'm not crazy. I'm also not expecting my surgery in March will dramatically change me. I'll be the same person I was before. It'll feel closer to normal, I guess, which will probably be nice. It'll open up some new sex options, while closing others that don't feel right anymore, anyway. That's pretty much what I told the second therapist. Good enough for a stamp of approval on another form.
3 weeks ago