Thanks to you all, on June 17th I received a bilateral mastectomy with Raleigh, NC surgeon Dr. Keelee MacPhee. I like to think of this new torso as a Community Chest! Friends told me what I might expect, both physically and emotionally, during all phases of this procedure, while reminding me to have and savor my own experience. This was good advice. The staff at Rex Outpatient Surgery has climbed glorious Mount Transgender before – without sherpas I might add – and were present and kind and even hilariously willing to sign on to my nerve-fueled teasing. Dr. MacPhee has done a terrific advocacy job with them. When I came out of anesthesia and saw the dressings on my chest an unanticipated frisson of joy passed through me, a tremor through my body that spread a grin wide open on my face. Frankly, I had not expected to come out of surgery so happy, but damn what a gift! I can’t even begin to articulate the sense of expansion and freedom I felt immediately.
My healing has been fueled by a whole lot of food and videos and books brought by my wonderful work fambly at the ArtsCenter and my community(s) at large. What an incredible bounty. I’m still stunned by the outpouring of nourishments of all varieties, from all corners! This gives me some very important information:
a. There are a lot of kind folks out there who love me.
b. I’m the luckiest guy in the world and I love them all back.
c. People WANT TO HELP.
d. And I bet not just me!
I am ever more convinced that my community (and by community I mean everyone – we have allies everywhere – straight, church, hair stylist, you name it) believes in and supports the health and wellbeing of every person in it.
My fantasy is that I win the lottery, and establish a trust for the health care and wellbeing of our Triangle/NC trans population, including therapy, identification and document change, access to housing and employment, hormones, and of course, surgeries. In my dream we also have a lobbying arm, dedicated to educating our legislators and changing laws so they protect and serve everyone. The fantasy includes a field coordinator to do outreach, in public schools, for media, at churches and for corporations willing to be inclusive and treat everyone with dignity and equality. For today I will settle for fundraising for the next person, same place, same time, in 2011. What this area wants it will tell us, and I have no doubt we will make it happen.
Again, thank you so much. We did it! I look forward to moving more openly, more safely, and with greater freedom and ease of mind in this world. And you thought I just couldn’t get any better. I know you can’t.
With great love and gratitude,