Who is Tschan? I am a 24-year-old transgender woman of colour, a black woman. Although my journey began at birth, it has now been several years since I began my transition. I am a former model, now activist, living in a more conscious world. Growing up transgender was difficult, I was emotionally verbally and physically abused by those who were meant to love and support me. I remember wearing my mother’s oversized jumper and pretending it was a dress, using a towel or any cloth I could find to adorn myself and pretend it was my hair. I remember saying aloud to my mother, her mother, uncle aunt, anyone who would listen that I was a girl and that I wanted all the things that pertained to a young girl. At the time, I had a crush on the only gay character in the British tv show East Enders. I remember he was my only form of selfidentification at the time, and I could point and say he is sort of like me, even though he was actually very very different. The repeated and extensive abuse I suffered for trying to grow, and be myself caused me to disassociate and deny who I was as a coping mechanism. I would try to forget the very person and essence of who I am and was born to be. When I hit puberty and everyone was changing, I didn’t change, I grew taller but that was my only development. My voice didn’t begin to break or crack until I was around 17, I had no sexual desire whatsoever, my body didn’t even attempt to grow bone or muscle density, and I grew enlarge areoles/ small fluctuating cup sizes at the age of 14. I was internalizing extreme stress and my body was reacting in a very painful way. I finally went to the doctor’s because my areoles were hurting me constantly, and I thought the enlarged lumps might be cancer. I was told it was just a reaction, not hormonal. At the age of 18, I finally sort refuge and escape from my family and was placed in supported lodgings. It was then that I met my two gay foster father’s, who I’m grateful for to this day. They were the greatest gifts I could have been given and allowed me to be me, a freedom I had never before experienced. When I told them how I felt about my gender identity, they directed me to the routes that allowed me to be who I am today. Getting diagnosed with gender identity disorder was like having a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders. For the first time, I knew exactly who I was and had finally been given a language to understand it. Up until then, I thought my identity wasn’t real, made up or something that just existed in my head. I had never had the time to try and explore myself because it was too dangerous and was finally given something real and quantifiable that I could manifest. During my time talking to my psychologist and explaining my journey he brought up multiple files you see growing up with a psychologically abusive and disassociate mother. My mother took me to a few psychologists to try and have me diagnosed and put on medications I never even required. She would rather me be anything other than what she feared the most… transgender. My psychologist ultimately found a letter in my files about my mother which expressly said: “ The issue doesn’t lay with Tschan it is based on the mother and her refusal to acknowledge Tschan’s gender”. After so many years of abuse, hearing this was hugely affirming, and finally made me understand that I didn’t and I quote “deserve” the abuse I was receiving. In early 2017, I was diagnosed with partial androgen insensitivity by my doctor who ran a lot of tests examinations and blood work as I was getting corrective top surgery. While I’ve come far on my journey, I still suffer greatly from gender dysphoria. Dysphoria is a profound state of unease or dissatisfaction. In a psychiatric context, dysphoria may accompany depression, anxiety, or agitation. For years I’ve struggled with it, and never feel comfortable in my own skin. Dysphoria begins in childhood, and becomes progressively worst as a teen due to no early intervention and will never go away if not corrected. The only way for me to stop feeling this intense psychological and physical stress is through corrective surgery. Right now I need to change certain characteristics about my face, and my private areas. I HATE IT and it's controlling how I perceive and want myself to be perceived in a fundamental way. The surgeries of which I require are SRS (Sexual reassignment surgery) and very minor Facial Feminization Surgery (FFS). These surgeries will not only reduce and remove the male physical characteristics but also drastically improve my quality of life. I could finally get a job anywhere I please without being afraid employers would use my gender identity against me. Many trans women turn to survival sex work because of discrimination. Selling my body is a narrative I personally chose to not part take in, with the utmost respect to the girls who do but that but I simply do not have the mental facility to do so especially after being sexually assaulted, there has to be another way. With surgery, I would no longer suffer from the lifelong prison that is dysphoria. I would never have to disclose information or explain myself unless I chose to. Although I am not ashamed of my past and know I’ll always be the prettiest bitch in the room (side eye), I want to be able to navigate this un-inclusive world safely and have the luxury of not being in fear. This is my final gender confirmation surgery and I just hope to end this chapter and actually move on with my life. I want to catch up on all the development years I've missed out on simply due to being consumed by my journey, and being a victim of circumstance (e.g.; abandonment and rejection, an abusive family, kicked out of education, homelessness, unemployment due to discrimination, being drugged and raped for 15 hours then being diagnosed with HIV because of that rape, harassment from the police and them sabotaging key DNA evidence with refusal to acknowledge a hate crime, the police dropping my case and my rapist continuing stalking me forcing me to move countries due to safety…) on a continuum being a transgender woman of colour. I want to go back to school, I want to work, I want to travel, I want to fall in love. I want to learn how to drive, I just want to be happy secure and most importantly just comfortable within my own body and I don't want my physical attributes nor my medical history to deter from that. Further details about my surgery: The surgeon I have chosen: Dr. Harrison Lee And Dr Prechure in Thailand for my SRS. Sex reassignment surgery or SRS (also known as gender reassignment surgery, gender confirmation surgery, genital reconstruction surgery, gender-affirming surgery, or sex realignment surgery) is the surgical procedure (or procedures) by which a transgender person's physical appearance and function of their existing sexual characteristics are altered to resemble that socially associated with their identified gender. It is part of a treatment for gender dysphoria in transgender people. FFS encompasses; Feminizing rhinoplasty: Feminizing rhinoplasty surgery creates dramatic improvements towards a feminized appearance. This procedure alone can transform a person’s face into a more feminine one. Thyroid Cartilage Reduction: Adam’s Apple Reduction: A trachea shave (thyroid cartilage reduction) is one of the most common surgical procedures performed on transsexuals. Reducing the cartilage in the throat to make the shape more feminine. Faces contain secondary sex characteristics that make male and female faces readily distinguishable, including the shape of the forehead, nose, lips, cheeks, chin, and jawline; the features in the upper third of the face seem to be the most important, but subtle changes in the lips can have a strong effect and make it easier for trans women to move through the world.
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