From my previous blog entries you may recall that I am seeking to engage a counselor to help me through my journey along the path to living my life as the person I want to be and feel that I am, however far that journey may take me towards MTF transition.
While working a marketing event at Bumrungrad International Hospital on Saturday I was lucky enough to run in to a friend I have not caught up with in years other than the occasional facebook Like, and learned that he is now a Psychotherapist at the New Counseling Service in Bangkok. He was able to introduce me to one of his colleagues skilled in counseling gender issues so I nipped over to their Booth for a little one-to-one intro chat with Anette.
We talked for around half an hour, about many aspects of my identity, hopes, expectations and fears. One thing she asked me which I didn’t have an answer to was, “What is a woman to you?”. I’m not sure if I found this so difficult to answer because I was uncertain what she meant by the question. A woman is to me what a woman is to everyone, and being genetically male, no matter how far my journey towards or through transition goes, I can never actually become one. So if I take the question literally, I’d read the dictionary definition to her, but I don’t think that was the point. I didn’t / couldn’t answer the question then and there but after pondering on it since, I interpret it to mean, “what would make you feel the most like a woman?”
In considering this, it’s easy to get confused with fantasy and an unrealistic expectation of what can be achieved. I have to remember that I am essentially living in a broad, 6’2” masculine body and any amount of surgery or hormones won’t shrink me. It’s as much how I want to be perceived as how I want to feel. It would make me feel like a woman to be regarded as one and treated like one, but I must accept that it will not be easy to become passable given my raw material. Years of hormones can redistribute fat to the feminine areas as well as reduce muscle mass in the shoulders and other areas. Skin becomes softer, male balding pattern stops and in some cases reverts. So it might be possible to pass as an extremely tall women over time, but by no means is it a guarantee.
With hormones I can have breasts. Given the age I am, starting hormones now might not give me very pronounced breasts, in which case I might consider augmentation. Would having a vagina make me feel more of a woman? This is something which could only be approximated through surgery. It wouldn’t actually be a vagina, and rather than any kind of augmentation, would involve a mutilation of what I currently have in place.
I’m sexually attracted to men, so in my relationships there’s a possibility that having a well-crafted vagina could make me feel more feminine by facilitating a more conventional style of man/woman love making. I really enjoy anal penetration though, as well as the wonderful sensations of having a functioning penis capable of achieving climax.
So again the question, “what is a woman to me?” or, “what would make me feel the most like a woman?”. My answer is to maximize my feminine characteristics whilst minimizing my masculine ones, and live as a woman in all aspects of my life, both professional and personal. Of course this affects every aspect of my life, my work, my friends and my family.
I think…..think I’m ready to start on hormones now and I’m excited and scared to do so. Another thing that Anette reminded me of is that this, like any other major decision in life of which I’ve made many in recent years, is not a 100% / 0% decision. Big choices are decided weighing the pros and cons together with what I believe will make me happy. Whether it’s 80/20 in favor or 60/40, that ratio will likely fluctuate constantly but refusing to make any decision will just paralyze me. I think I’ve made it, and I’m very glad to have guidance with Anette at NCS as I take the plunge. I’m meeting with her later this week for the first of our 90-minute sessions. At 3,000 Baht per session I hope to meet with her every other week.