• What this site is about

    This site is about a female to male transsexual

    * I have made this site to be used for educational and support purposes.

    Contained in this site is text describing my experience, before and after photos of my surgeries, videos with audio (click on above picture for 'Transgender Basics' video), links, and terminology with definitions.

    Latest Events

    March 2014

    Model for Photo Project by Jean-François Bouchard

    Transpose aims to persuade us to see past immediate stereotypes and prejudices. At first glance, the subjects in the photographs look like men, but the deeper reality tells a different, more complex story. A story of humans who have transitioned from female to male (FTM) to become the persons they feel they truly are. Jean-François Bouchard is the president of Sid Lee, a thriving global creative company with offices in New York City, Paris, Amsterdam, Toronto, and Montreal. Transpose is at Arsenal in Montreal (March 20th to May 10th 2014) and will travel to Toronto in May 2015.



    October 2012

    Book Launch

    One of a kind Colouring Book : 1 Surprise Box proposes a series of drawings that go against gender stereotypes. From the male ballet dancer to the female skateboard pro, from the gamer girl to the knitting boy, and exploring French Canadian historical figures and legends, the first volume of One of a Kind Colouring Book is a big party where not only did we invite everyone, but everyone is celebrated.



    October 2012

    Doctor Appointment

    I met with Dr. Brassard to disscuss the problems I have with my penile implant. Another surgery will be done in January 2013 to try and correct the problem.



    August 2012

    Montreal Pride Parade

    Joined ATQ (L’aide aux transsexuel(le)s du Québec ) in the pride walk.



    August 2012

    ASTTeQ Fundraiser and Guide Launch Party

    This event was a fundraiser for ASTTeQ’s new anti-violence campaign. ASTTeQ launched its new guidebook for trans people, Self-Referred: A Quebec Trans Health Survival Tool. This guide aims to centralize some of this community knowledge and equip you with the information and resources to stand up for yourself.



    July 2012

    Web site redesigned

    Feeling it was time for a different kind of transition, I have relaunched my site with a new name (Transman, formerly known as Transboy), a new look and it can now be easily found at transman.ca.

    My site is also now available in French! Translation services provided by Daniel Sole.



    June 2012

    Model for an art project

    The basis of the photo series is to empower a sense of community between a set of individuals (transgender people) going through similar stages in life. The project was shot on a white background, with black and white film using a large format film camera.

  • My Story

    TRANSMAN Chapter 1

    It was around the time when I was five years old that I realized I was supposed to be a boy. I was standing inside a small metal shed with one of the neighbouring boys around my age. We were showing each other our 'private parts' and when I saw his penis, that's when I knew. The first thing that came to mind was, Where's mine?

    read more


    TRANSMAN Chapter 2

    I was 20 years when I had my first consultation with Dr. Gary Sanders. During our first session he asked me all sorts of questions just to get a general idea of me and than he really targeted in on my reason for being there. I must have been sending out some very strong body language signals because at one point he said to me, "You know it's ok to cry if you feel you want or need to. It takes a strong man to show his feelings." At that moment everything came out and I did cry and for a very long time.

    read more


    TRANSMAN Chapter 3

    My first surgery was a double mastectomy (because I had bind my breast for 6 years the skin had been stretched so much that I needed to have several surgeries to make it look decent. In total I've had four surgeries.

    read more


    TRANSMAN Chapter 4

    I vaguely remember my first day with my penis. I was so drugged up that I really just slept. The second day was a little better. I did sleep most of the time but I was now aware when people were around me. The nurses were coming in and performing an ultrasound on my penis to check on the blood flow.

    read more


    TRANSMAN Chapter 5

    Since 2009, the government of Québec has been funding Sex Reassignment Surgeries, which are handled by the Centre métropolitain de chirurgie plastique, here in Montreal where I had my phalloplasty surgery performed. I had not been aware of this change until 2010 and when I did find out I called the office immediately and made a requested to have a penile implant.

    read more


  • Terminology and Links

    Transgenderism

    FTM (female to male) are people who were born female but see themselves as partly to fully masculine. MTF (male to female) are people who were born male but see themselves as partly to fully feminine. Intersexed are those born with some combination of male and female physiology [similar to hermaphrodite], who may accept as natural their mixed gender.

    DEFINITIONS/TERMS

    People tend to categorize themselves. This identification can be helpful in finding like-minded others with whom to make friends, but it can be hurtful if imposed on an individual by others, well-intentioned or not. In relating to transgender folk, it is best to avoid pushing an individual to choose a category for themselves (tell you what they are). Some folks prefer to explore the fringes of category, and such push for identification work against personal exploration and fulfillment. Transgender folk have self-identified as:

    Drag Queen

    Female-emulating male, usually campy, often (not always) gay.

    Butch

    Masculine-appearing person.

    Femme

    Feminine-appearing person.

    Drag King

    Male-emulating woman.

    Intersex

    Person born with mixed sexual physiology. Often [surgically re-]'assigned' at birth, such practice is coming under well-founded attack as a hurtful violation of a person's well-being.

    Transvestite

    Person who enjoys wearing clothes identified with the opposite gender, often but not always straight.

    Crossdresser

    Polite term for transvestite.

    Transgenderist

    Person who lives as gender opposite to anatomical sex, i.e. man living as woman but retaining penis (& sexual functioning). Sexual orientation varies.

    Androgyne

    Person appearing and identifying as neither man nor woman, presenting a gender either mixed or neutral.

    Transsexual

    Person whose sexual identity is opposite to their assignment at birth. Not all TS folk undergo 'sex reassignment surgery' (SRS), for various reasons, including personal preference. Sexual orientation varies.

    Links

    Selecting a link will open a new window.

    Human Rights Issues

    ATQ

    GRS-Gender Reassignment Surgery

    Hudson's FTM Resource Guide

    FTM International

    Videos

    Video of me, before hormone replacement therapy.

    This is a video of me now.
  • Photos

    Before Double Mastectomy

    Result of binding my breasts.

    After First Surgery

    My stretched skin made the surgery difficult.

    Final Results

    This is how my chest currently looks.

    Before Phalloplasty Surgery

    Laser hair removal was performed on my left forearm.

    Pattern On Arm

    This was drawn on my arm by the doctor just before surgery.

    Just After Surgery

    The start of a long and hard healing process.

    Seeing My Arm For The First Time

    The only pain I had was from the skin graft area.

    After My Frist Bath

    The bruising was the result from walking around too much.

    After My Second Bath

    Having the gauze on my leg was so painful, I removed it all the second day instead of gradually peeling it away as it loosened itself over time.

    Healing Well

    It took a little longer for the incision to heal in my inner thigh.

    Arm Skin Graft With Staples

    This was not painful. My arm was numb and it was very difficult to move my hand.

    How My Arm Looks Now

    I did not wear a pressure sleeve to reduce the scarring.

    How My Arm Looks Now #2

    I am often told by medical professionals that my scarring is nice.

    Injection

    I give myself 1cc of testosterone every two weeks intramuscular.

    How My Leg Looks Now

    Even though I removed all the gauze during my second bath, I have almost no scar.

    Before Testicular Implants

    Two years and four months after getting my penis, I had the implants put in.

    Being prepped for surgery

    Securing my penis with tape so it doesn't get in the way.

    Solution for preparation of the skin prior to surgery.

    Surgery was performed under local anaesthetic.

    The Implants

    The packaging of these are sort of like contact lens.

    Testicular Implants

    Insertion of implants.

    Testicular Implants

    Insertion of implants. #2

    Follow up after surgery

    I did not have any complications.

    Final Results

    The implants are fused into the scar tissue.

    Penile Implant

    This is the implant I use to have."Titan" Inflatable Penile Implant - Prosthesis manufactured by Coloplast, cylinders inflated.

    Penile Implant 2

    This is the implant I now have. AMS Ambicor® 2-Piece Inflatable Penile Implant

    Before Hormones

    After Hormones

    Phalloplasty

    X-mas 2012

  • My Location

    Transman

    Montreal,Quebec,Canada
    E-mail :info@transman.ca

    Contact

    Thank you for viewing my site.

    If you would like to send me a message or ask me a question you can do so by emailing me at info@transman.ca

  • Privacy Policy

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  • Transman

    Chapter 1

    It was around the time when I was five years old that I realized I was supposed to be a boy.

    I was standing inside a small metal shed with one of the neighbouring boys around my age. We were showing each other our 'private parts' and when I saw his penis, that's when I knew. The first thing that came to mind was, Where's mine?

    After our 'I'll show you mine if you show me yours' episode, I can't recall giving the matter much thought or consciously acting or doing things to make myself look more like a boy. I had never really worn dresses, skirts or other girls' clothes other than underwear so I didn't have the problem with feeling uncomfortable in my clothing.

    When I was at the age of 12, that's when the problems really began. I was in grade 7 and that was the time when I and fellow classmates were introduced to sex education. Sitting in class listening to the teacher, telling us how our bodies were going to begin developing was horrifying. I was shown pictures of the developed female body which I was to become and knew that wasn't how I was meant to be.

    At this time, I didn't really speak out about the gender that I identified with because I was sure I wasn't going to develop as a female. However, I had mentioned to one of my sisters that I wanted to be a boy and she had said she'd pay for the surgery if she had the money. (I don't remember how the topic had come up but we both remember talking about it and I didn't take to heart the comment about surgery because I was so sure I was going to develop the way I felt I should and besides, at 12 I had no clue that my condition could be corrected with hormones and surgery.)

    Things really took a turn for the worst two months after my 14th birthday. I began to menstruate. I remember this day very well. I was at my brothers' house babysitting my nephew. After wiping myself from going to the washroom I noticed the blood. I was so upset, that I started crying. After some time I stopped crying, put some toilet paper in my underwear to collect the blood and waited until my brother got home so I could leave, all the while thinking to myself 'why is this happening to me'. After my brother arrived I went to the apartment upstairs where my mother was living, (at age 5 my parents divorced and for the most part I lived with my father) and told her I had gotten my period. We both cried, only the emotions behind the reason for doing so were completely different. My mother took me to the store to buy some pads then dropped me off at home where I went straight to my room and stayed in bed until the next day. It didn't take long for the rest of the family to know what had happened, because mom was so proud that her baby was finally becoming a young lady now, she had to tell someone. My sister Lynn was the first to come up to me. She began to laugh and told me she had gotten her period also two months after her 14th birthday. I remember being so pissed off that she had not warned me.

    Now that womanhood was upon me, I was really confused. Here I was feeling like I was supposed to be a boy but my body was definitely not developing into one.

    My behaviour had changed dramatically (compared to the rest of my brothers and sisters when they went through puberty). I had gone from a happy-go lucky kid, always playing around with friends and family members to being very reclusive towards most people and hostile towards them if I was forced to be with them (to say the least, I was well known at school but didn't have many friends). I began to dress in all black, and was always late for everything. Leaving the comforts of my bedroom was almost unbearable. I hardly ate with my family anymore, which had prompted father into asking me if I was anorexics. I believe I yelled at him that I wasn't and then stammered off to my room and slammed the door.

    This kind of behaviour carried on until I was sixteen. At which time I had taken just about all I could handle of myself. I was so drained because of my emotions. I think the reason I had put up with it for so long was because I hadn't been getting my period on a regular basis. I would usually get it every two or three months for four or five days. These days I usually stayed at home and in bed until it stopped.

    When finally there was no sign of hope that I was going to one day wake up as a boy, (no matter how many countless hours I had spent crying and wishing to become one) I tried to be the girl that a was uncontrollably becoming. I tried to wear make-up, styled my hair, started taking birth control to regulate my period and even begged my father to buy me a daughters' pride ring. The only thing that lasted was the ring, which my sister Lynn still has.

    During mid-summer of 1991 is when I finally did something about the way I was feeling. I made a doctors' appointment with my family doctor and told him how I was feeling. By his facial expression, I'd say he was quite shocked. He really didn't have much to say, only that I needed to see a doctor who specializes in transgendered issues. Then it was my turn to be shocked. I could hardly believe that I could finally become a boy (As soon as I found out that there was a process of correcting my gender, I never gave it a second thought.).

    My doctor sent a referral letter to the 'Clarke Institute' located in Toronto Ontario and a couple weeks later I received a parcel containing a questionnaire and information about transsexuals.

    I quickly gathered together all the information that was requested, and answered all the questions as thoroughly as I could (I think I did a better job on that questionnaire than I ever did on any test in school). After sending the information back to the Clarke Institute, I received a letter with a date(s) for an appointment(s) for the follow month. I was so ecstatic! (Shortly afterwards, my father and I were in the car together and I told him that I wanted to get a sex change. He had said he wouldn't love me anymore if I did. I never mentioned the topic again until years later.)

    It was around this time when I started to bind my breasts. I had walked into the local pharmacy one day and saw in the joint support section, a rib support for men. I couldn't see the chest of the man on the box, so I figured it would hide mine. I bought it right away and went home to put it on, it worked liked a charm. I also secured it with a tensor band. The best way I think I can describe the comforting feeling I got when I wore it is, like holding warm clothes against you once you've just taken them out of the dryer. I wore this for 6 years. (This was very hard on me breathing wise, and it also caused problems when the time came for surgery.)

    When the time came for my appointment, I told my father that I was going to sleep over at a friend's house that day ( I had arranged for my friend to say I was busy had my father called looking for me). I went about my regular routine of getting on the school bus but instead of going into the school, I walked to Via Rail and bought a train ticket for Toronto and was on my way. I had never been to Toronto or even on a train for that matter, so I didn't really have much of a clue of what I was doing, only that I had an appointment, an address and that there was no way I was going to miss it!

    When I arrived in Toronto and pulled out my map and began to walk to the Clarke Institute. Having grown up in a small 'one horse town' (without the horse) I was amazed at everything I saw in Toronto, it was so big and busy. It took me quite longer to get to my destination than I thought it would but I was so excited to be there that the hours it took didn't really matter. I checked in for my appointment and then inquired about accommodations. I was to meet with three doctors over a period of two days and was told that the office could supply a list of hotels and bed and breakfasts'. I was referred to and called a bed and breakfast not too far away from the office. The lady in charge of the place was not too keen on giving a room to a kid so the receptionist at the office explained to her that I was in town for several appointments and then everything was arranged. (All I had with me in Toronto was a change of clothes and $100 for food and accommodations and my return train ticket.) The room cost me $60.

    Finally, it was time for my first appointment. I was to meet with a therapist. We talked pretty much about my answers to the questionnaire I had been sent previously. The appointment lasted an hour and then I was to go to a different office for my next appointment. I had to meet with an urologist for an ultrasound. After that appointment I checked into the bed and breakfast and waited for my next appointment. The following day I met with another therapist and it was just like the day before. Afterwards I went back to the train station for my return trip back. I went to school and caught the bus home and never told my family about what I had done. (There were no questions about me missing a day of classes because the schooling staff were already use to me not being there for several days.)

    Upon leaving the doctors' office, I was told that there would be a meeting held to discuss my case to determine what the next step was. I had the option of attending the discussion but I did not. I decided to have them send me the results of their decision. A couple of weeks later I received a letter stating that it was the doctors decision that proceeding with hormones and surgery was not recommended at this time. I could hardly believe my eyes when I read the letter! I was beside myself as to how something so right and obvious could be denied. In the letter it was not mentioned as to why I should not proceed with treatment and I never contacted the office again. I was so angry that I ripped up the letter and never attempted to deal with the Clarke Institute ever again.

    To say the least, I was very depressed and discouraged about the outcome but I continued to bind my breasts and started to wear clothing that really made me look like a boy and even had my hair cut short. I was really beginning to become comfortable with myself by doing so, and my life felt easier to live. However, I felt that no one could relate to me or help me so I became very lonely and sad. I did my best to survive until I graduated from high school and at the end of June in 1994 I packed up my stuff and moved out to Calgary, Alberta. (The reason I moved there was because a sister of mine was living there and so I had a place where I could go. It turned out to be a great thing by doing so.)

    Within a week of arriving in Calgary a found a job working at a gas station not too far from home. After some time working there the manager and I became good friends and she had said to me that when she hired me, she couldn't tell if I was a boy or a girl by looking at me. I think I told her how I felt at that time and she was very accepting and very interested in it. Word got round to the other staff members and they seemed to handle it well. I don't recall ever having a problem with the issue. I was even allowed to change the name Cindy on my name tag to Jamie.

    Life seemed to be getting better at this point, I was feeling really good about myself and I was making all kinds of new friends and meeting people who were accepting and interested in me and my situation but I wasn't happy enough just talking about it. Something had to be done. I once again made a doctors' appointment with my family doctor, explained to her how I was feeling and I was referred to a therapist who specialized in transgender people and transsexuals. Once again I was surprised that there was someone who did this (I didn't realize that there were so many of us, and in the beginning you really do think you're the only one.)

  • Transman

    Chapter 2

    I was 20 years when I had my first consultation with Dr. Gary Sanders. During our first session he asked me all sorts of questions just to get a general idea of me and then he really targeted in on my reason for being there. I must have been sending out some very strong body language signals because at one point he said to me, "You know it's ok to cry if you feel you want or need to. It takes a strong man to show his feelings." At that moment everything came out and I did cry and for a very long time. When I finally collected myself together I filled out the forms need to obtain my medical records from the Clarke Institute and I was to wait to hear from his office for my next appointment. I believe it was a month later the next time I saw him. He had received and gone through my medical records and asked me why I thought they refused me. I said I didn't know. He said "I don't know why either maybe it was because you were only sixteen and they're not comfortable with putting kids on hormones at an age when their bodies are still developing, but you're not sixteen anymore so I don't see the point of prolonging this anymore". So that's when the process of going from Cindy to James physically began.

    Before I was to start on hormones I needed to legally change my name. The name I had chosen for myself was Jamie but Dr. Sanders said it was too androgynous so we chose James.

    I contacted the Alberta registries and requested the forms needed to change my name. The same day I received them, I filled out the forms and within the same week I had it notarized by a Commissioner for Oaths at a local registry office. The lady at the office had asked why I was changing my name so I told her why and she smiled and told me to wait while she brought the forms to the person to sign them. A moment later she handed me the forms back and said with great sincerity "Good luck with the surgeries." I mailed out the forms and shortly before my 21st birthday, I was standing holding my certificate of my change of name. I went down to the registry office to have a new learners' permit made with my new name and low and behold the same lady was working that day. Not only did she change my name but she changed the gender as well. (In the provinces of Canada the laws are different as to when you can have your name and gender changed on your legal identification. In Alberta, you can request a new medical card with a change of gender once you have provided documentation of your change of name. Sometimes they request a note from the therapist but for me that was not the case. By my 21st birthday I had all my identification changed over except the gender on my birth certificate. Now came the time to tell the family!

    I was no longer living with my sister in Calgary. I was living in shared accommodations and so we didn't really see each other very often. One day I was having lunch with her and I told her everything that I had done and was about to be going through. The first thing she said was "You've pissed me off". We were pretty quiet for quite a while but eventually she said to me that she loved me and that I was family and that she would always love me. It was a little awkward at first for her to get use to the name change as it does for everyone but she took it all in stride.

    The rest of the family was next. I decided to tell my sister Lynn and let her tell the rest of the family. She was the only one I spoke to really so the idea of me telling my other siblings didn't really feel that important to me. Most of my family members as luck would have it are pretty open minded and didn't really give the matter much thought. It was just, ok, so Cindy is becoming James. What's the big deal? (I think it was a lot easier to accept as well because of the fact that I was not living there anymore. I've found many people have more problems with family members who can watch the physical changes happening. It does make sense, out of sight, out of mind. For others, there were some problems. My father and one of my brothers (who use to be the youngest boy) didn't take it quite so well. My brother Russel, whom I had never gotten along with, would not accept it. He said "it's Cindy or it nothing!" (I was happy with being nothing to him. In time he did come to accept it. My father, well, he really couldn't understand it. I think for the most part his true feelings were hidden from me. My sister said he wasn't talking to her about it. She tried to educate him about it but to no avail. Over the months he finally put forth the effort to understand what it was I was going through. He went as far as signing out any books he could find in the library dealing with the topic. After all, it was his choice to try and understand and accept it or not to. I wasn't asking him if I could go through it, I was telling him I was! My father did express his hurt to me about changing my last name as well. It just felt right doing so, it's who I feel I am.

    Two months after my 21st birthday I started on hormones. Dr. Sanders had arranged an appointment for me with a doctor by the name of Dr. Cornblume. He prescribed for me testosterone injections of 1cc to be taken every two weeks intramuscular which were administrated by a nurse in his office. (My dosages have remained the same since I started taking them and I now give myself my own injections.) The first change to occur was the stopping of my menstruation. After only two months of the injections I was no longer having it. Several months into the treatment, I soon began to notice the pours on my face were getting larger, my skin was getting thicker (Dr. Cornblume said that the skin thickness for a woman is 2mm and for a man it's 3mm.) and I was losing fat in the areas usually stored by females.(Such as the face, thighs and hips.) My voice began to change as well. I was totally going through the changes of puberty that guys go through finally (except the wet dreams part which I don't really mind having missed). My friends were having a lot of fun with me when my voice started to crack I didn't mind though. At 21 years old I was finally having the hormonal changes I should have been having when I was 14. (I recommend getting injections as opposed to taking pills. First of all they are cheaper! They are more convenient and work better. I've managed to have all the guys I know change over. With pills you can retain a lot of water and you have to take several of them a day, every day at the same time and with food and the changes are not very noticeable. A friend had been taking pills for almost a year and didn't have very good results but after a couple of months on injections things are great now.)

    Soon after, I began to grow chest and facial hair (and eventually came the hair on my butt and back, which I give credit to my father for). My hairline began to take on the male pattern as well and on top of all that, my clitoris began to enlarge. (When the time came for my penis surgery, my clitoris was about half the length and about the same width of my baby finger. (Sorry no pictures.) Some other side effects to the testosterone were an increase in my libido, I had a bad outbreak of acne on my back, chest and face (which did go away when the hormones levelled off) and I became aggressive (it was more hyper than aggressive). I didn't get any taller unfortunately. Five-six isn't too bad but, I am the shortest in my family. If I miss taking a dosage for a few days I get really moody and I get hot flashes, like women do.

  • Transman

    Chapter 3

    My first surgery was a double mastectomy (because I had bind my breast for 6 years the skin had been stretched so much that I needed to have several surgeries to make it look decent. In total I've had four surgeries.

    My first surgery took place 6 months after I started hormones. The first two procedures were the same. Incisions were made starting about two inches out from my nipple to the nipple and all around it. The glands were taken out (during the first procedure) along with some fat tissue and the loose skin was cut away. Some of the tissue from my nipples was also trimmed away to make them smaller. Then it was stitched all back together. Due to the swelling during the first procedure, the doctor had to do it again to get rid of more loose skin. After the first surgery, a drain was put in on each side of my chest. I had to empty the drains and record the amount of blood that had collected every two to three hours for the first couple of days just to make sure everything was ok. I also had a type of surgical tape over my chest to cover the stitches which came off after a week. (Dr. Sanders had made a joke saying "It's a good thing they put the tape across your chest otherwise a nipple might fall off in the shower and go down the drain. Then they'd have to use one of your toes." He was a funny guy.) The drains were removed at this time also. The stitches dissolved on their own and the only pain I felt was as if I had just finished doing a major workout. (I didn't have the drains the second time.) The other two surgeries were just touch ups to move around some fat tissue and take away a little more loose skin to make it look better. The last two surgeries were done under local anaesthetic. The doctor was a little taken back when I watched him do this and made some comments about it.

    In between the chest touch ups, I had my hysterectomy. The only problem I had there was, where to have it done. My original surgery was to have been taken place at the Women's Grace Hospital, but two days before the surgery I received a call from my therapist saying that the surgery could not be performed there due to the religious beliefs of the hospital. The doctor who performed my surgery also worked out of another hospital (which was across the street) so arrangements were made to have it there for the same day. Everything went very well. I went in on a Friday and went home on Sunday. (I had asked to go home Saturday but they said they never release someone that early.) The healing process went very well also. Because I hadn't had sexual intercourse the doctor performed the surgery abdominally (he said it would hurt more doing it vaginally in this case). I had 12 staples in for a week and a half and was told not to lift anything during this time. Sometimes I had a lot of swelling due to standing up for a long period of time (I knew I was overdoing it) but for the rest of the time I had no problems. Sometime later (as anyone who has had a hysterectomy can tell you, in which I was told by), you experience a dropping feeling. It doesn't hurt it's just a weird feeling. I believe it's due to organs fitting into the empty place. I know it's hard to understand but just trust me, if you ever have one you'll know what I'm talking about. (It's not uncommon to have a catheter in after the surgery. I didn't have one though.)

    Now that those surgeries were finished, it was time for my penis.

    Dr. Sanders made an appointment with a doctor by the name of Dr. DeHass. He is/was the only doctor willing (and probably able) to perform the plastic surgery part of the procedure in Calgary. When I met with him he explained everything about the surgery, the healing process and what I could expect to feel and do with it afterwards.( I don't really care for all the medical terms and everything that goes along with it. All I cared about is, if you can do it, then do it.) I told him to make a date and I'd be there. He had to make arrangements with the urologist he worked with during these surgeries and I ended up having an appointment for 6 months later.

    Things were going so well for me. Dr. Sanders said he hadn't known anyone to have gone through it all so quickly. I was 23 years old at this time.

    Time was closing in on the surgery date and I had made all the arrangements with work to take the time off when only two weeks before the day, the surgery was cancelled. The urologist decided that there was better opportunity for him and his career if he went to work in the United States. He wouldn't be leaving until after my surgery date but because he could not commit to staying in Calgary for the 6 months required for follow up, it was off. Both Dr. Sanders and Dr. DeHass tried to find another urologist to do the job but there was no-one willing to do it in all of Alberta. It wasn't until 2 years later and in Montreal, that I had my surgery.

    Dr. Sanders had sent to Alberta Health, a letter stating that the operation was no longer being performed in the province of Alberta and so I needed to be sent elsewhere for it. In the province of Alberta, the surgeries are covered through the health system (this is no longer the case) and Dr. Sanders saw no reason as to why my surgery should not be paid for as well as other surgeries where the patent needs to have it performed out of province as well. A short time later, he received a letter of confirmation for the financial coverage of all the remaining surgeries I needed. So all we had to do was find the doctors. He had known of some doctors in Montreal so he sent a referral letter to them and shortly after, I had an appointment for a consultation. Alberta Health paid for my flight and before long I found myself sitting in front of a man by the name of Dr. Brassard. My appointment lasted about fifteen minutes (because I was already well informed about the surgery) and after checking out some of the sites, I was on my way back home.

    I received a phone call from his office with-in two weeks for an appointment. I can't remember the date now because a few months later they called back and said they had a cancellation and wanted to know if I wanted to move up the date. My new date was for April 23rd, 2001.

    Before my surgery there were some things that I needed to have done. I had to have several x-rays done, I needed to give blood for myself (which I was denied because of my lifestyle) for the two blood transfusions that were needed and I had to have electrolysis done on my forearm (the skin used for my penis was taken from there). During this time I also worked out at the gym so I was in the best shape I could be in to help with my healing. (A friend of mine who has also gone through the process was told to stop smoking a few months before surgery because it could cause problems.)

    When the time came for my surgery, Alberta Health made the arrangements for my flight and I was off. I could have been picked up at the airport and driven straight to the residence that I would be staying at but I had made plans to visit with a friend for a couple of days first. I checked in at the residence on Saturday and stayed there one night before going to the hospital Sunday night. Before leaving the residence I had to give myself an enema and another one once I got to the hospital. (That was a really weird feeling. I could feel a very cool liquid filling up inside me. I had to hold it in for as long as I could than well, it just comes back out by itself.)

    When I got to the hospital, I was put into a private room for the duration of my stay. On the night before my surgery, the nurse made sure that I had shaved all the hair I needed to for the surgery. I was required to shave all the hair from my bellybutton to the top of my knees. I was offered a sleeping pill but refused then changed my mind when I knew there was no way I was going to dose off on my own. (For my pervious surgeries I didn't have any problems sleeping the night before but this time I was so excited, it had been a long two years of waiting. I was never scared of having the surgeries either. I'm a pretty positive person.)

    The day of the surgery, the nurse came in and woke me up so that I could take a shower before seeing the doctor. After my shower, Dr. Brassard came in to see me and he drew on my arm the pattern he needed. (The least dominate arm is used for the surgery so quite often the left arm is used. I am left handed for writing and eating but my right arm is more dominating so my left was used as well.)

    The hospital is a private hospital so it's not very big. I accompanied the nurse to the elevator and we went up 1 maybe 2 floors to the operating room. I was put on the table right way, answered the few questions the anaesthesiology asked me and without any notice, I was off to sleep.

  • Transman

    Chapter 4

    I vaguely remember my first day with my penis. I was so drugged up that I really just slept. The second day was a little better. I did sleep most of the time but I was now aware when people were around me. The nurses were coming in and performing an ultrasound on my penis to check on the blood flow. (This happened every hour for the first two days then it gradually decreased when there were no signs of problems.) I could also feel pain at this time and what caused me pain was my leg. After the skin on the forearm was removed, a skin graft was needed to replace it and so skin from my left thigh was used. It was very raw, because several layers of skin were needed for this. (It was like falling down and scraping your knee only to a much bigger degree.) The gauze that was placed on my leg to collect the blood was drying fast and was very itchy. I was also sweating in the bed in the beginning so that wasn't helping. (The only thing I was allowed to eat at this time was ice chips just in case there was a problem and I needed to go into surgery again.) I had only been given one blood transfusion at this time and according to the nurses was looking really good that they thought it wasn't necessary to give me the second one but did so just because they had it.

    This was when I saw my penis for the first time. After my dressings were changed, I was able to move into a better sitting position. It was weird to see myself with a penis finally because I couldn't feel anything there but I knew that would only be temporary. (It was the same for my chest and my hysterectomy.)

    Day three, I was allowed to eat food, was given a sponge bath and even walked a little. (It was only from one side of the bed to the other but it sure was hard.) I was healing very well and the doctor even asked me if I had been working out because I was doing so well. Of course I had been, so he wasn't so surprised. Everything was going great.

    Day four was an even better day. I was walking around a lot, and I was eating all the food I could and was given another sponge bath. (The guy who was in a week before me didn't get any because he was really rude to the ladies.) I also saw my arm for the first time on this day. Aside from twiddling my fingers, it was totally immobile. I didn't feel any pain on my arm, it was my leg that still hurt.

    On day five the girls and I were being brought back to the residence. A slight problem occurred which was totally my fault. I had woken up early and was thirsty so I drank some water that was on my table. For some reason I get really nauseated when I drink water just after waking up. The nurse came in and saw that I was getting pale so I told her what I had done. She gave me some medication to help, which made me fall asleep. When it was time to leave I was fighting with the drug to stay awake and to dress myself. I was like a baby falling asleep while eating. I thought it was kind of funny and so did the nurse. By the time we got to the residence the drug had worn off and I was feeling great. I was shown to my room and just relaxed for the rest of the day. I wasn't allowed to bathe until Sunday and it was only Friday. My medications were locked away by the nurse and given only when I was supposed to have them as was the case for the rest of the patients. (There were problems with people giving other people their medication so that is why this was done.) I was taught how to change the dressings around my penis and this took a lot of time in the beginning because my arm wasn't moving very well, even eating was difficult because I'm left handed. I was also getting use to standing up to go pee. The first time I was so tired just standing there but I got over that quickly. (I still had a catheter in but it was no longer draining into a bag.) The first time I had a bowel movement I was so afraid I was going to crap on my scrotum. I had no idea what to expect. It was still really swollen. (It's ok to laugh, the girls at the residence did when I asked them and said "it's big but not that big." They were helpful to me by telling me what to expect.)

    When Sunday finally came I was made to wait until the doctor showed up. He looked at my dressings and then he removed a drain from the underside of my scrotum. I didn't know what it was at the time but I had seen it in the mirror when I changed my dressings. Afterwards I was allowed to take a 20 minute bath and I had to soak my arm so that the gauze would fall off. When my bath was finished, the nurses showed me how to care for my arm. It was my job to do it after every bath/ shower until it was healed. It took about a month to heal completely. During the bath I was to peel whatever gauze I could from my leg without forcing it off. It bothered me so much I took it all off during my second bath. (I still have a little difference in colour of skin on my leg but my leg hair covers it up. The doctor said to avoid getting the area tanned for at least the first six months otherwise it could get very dark and stay that way.)

    Everything was going great, I was eating like a horse and walking around all the time. (Sometimes without enough clothing on so I was told to put more clothes on by the owner of the residence. The girls didn't mind, they all wanted to see my penis, and so I showed them.) The residence was on an island so I spent a lot of time just sitting out in the sun looking out at the water it was great! I'd get called in to eat then go back outside again. The hardest thing I had to deal with was meeting all the people and having to watch them leave. The guys stay at the residence for three weeks but the girls leave after a week. At one time there were 23 people at the residence. While at the residence the doctor gives all the patients who have had gender reassignment surgery an affidavit to legally change the gender on their birth certificate.

    It was about two days before I was to leave the residence when problems started to occur. I was starting to feel a lot of pain in my scrotum, and I was getting tired a lot and was sweating when I walked. The stitches on the underside of my penis were also starting to pull apart (I was told that this could happen, I was getting a fistula.) The day I was to leave, the nurse inspected my penis and said the doctor would be in to see me but he never did show up. Transportation was arranged for me to leave. (I had decided before leaving Calgary for my surgery that I was going to stay in Montreal so I had friends I was going to be staying with.) When I got to my friend’s house, I called the doctor’s office but I couldn't get a hold of them. My friends had to go about their day so after a few hours I decided to take a shower because I had been sweating so much. Before getting into the shower I went to the washroom. When I was finished, I was in so much pain that I started to shake uncontrollably and cry. I couldn't move from where I was standing. Then all of a sudden, blood starting coming out of the underside of my scrotum. It wasn't a very excessive amount but a noticeable one. I forced myself to my bed and laid gauze padding under me to catch the dripping blood. I needed to rest a moment to collect myself then I tried to get in contact with the doctors again with no luck. I just laid there for about 15 minutes while the pain slowly subsided. I called one of my friends at school and she came home right away to help me. By the time she had gotten home, the blood had pretty much stopped but I was still really freaked out. She helped me take a shower and by this time my other friend was home so he dried me off and helped me back into bed. The doctor called me finally and after I told him what happened, he said "it was just a build-up of dead blood and it had to be released so that's just what happened." I was never told that this might happen. (My scrotum healed by itself.) I still had the catheter in but I was really beginning to see it through the shaft of my penis on the underside. I told the doctor and I had an appointment with him a few days later.

    At my appointment he sewed up the holes. During this time I was in contact with my father and he was so worried about me that the same day all this happened; he drove to Montreal from Niagara Falls to get me so I could stay with him and he could take care of me. When we got back to his place, everything was ok for a few days then the stitches started to open up again. I had another appointment with the doctor to sew them up again but by the time the day came the skin around the holes had begun to heal and hardened up so it was pointless to try it again at this time. The catheter was taken out. (I had it in for a total of 5 weeks. When he took the catheter out, I felt something like a paper cut but didn't really know what I was supposed to have felt because I had never had one in before.) I'd have to wait a couple of weeks before the holes could be sewed up, meanwhile when I peed; urine would not only come out of the head of my penis but out of the holes underneath as well.

    Now I was beginning to have another problem. It became very hard to urinate and it burned when I did. I had spoken to a few people about this and they thought I had a bladder infection due to the catheter being in so long so I began to drink a lot of cranberry juice to get rid of it but it wasn't a bladder infection. (I could feel that there was something blocking my urine. When I tried going to the washroom, I could feel something moving when I pushed really hard, which I didn't have much of a choice doing. I think at that time it was the most pain I have ever felt. I needed to go to pee and I couldn't and if anything did come out it was burning. To spend an hour in the washroom for only a few drops of urine was not unusual and all the while I was crying, biting down on a towel and holding onto the towel holder.) I had spoken to the doctor and he thought I was getting a stricture so he sent me a balloon catheter which I was to self-administer every several hours. Things got so bad that my father took me to the local hospital but I didn't receive much help if any at all. No one had ever had a transsexual patient before and they weren't willing to attempt to go looking around to see what the problem was. This happened on several occasions. One doctor even told me there was nothing he could do to help and walked out of the room very abruptly as soon as I told him I was a transsexual. I had waited about 30 minutes for a 5 minute appointment. I was able to finally find an urologist who was willing to put a scope down my penis but it wouldn't go down because there was something in the way. I was given a medication to take which would numb my urethra so I wouldn't be in pain when I urinated. It worked great! (I was moving back to Montreal within two weeks so that is why I didn't make the trip back to see the doctor.)

    When I finally made it back to Montreal, my prescription had run out and the pain was back. It felt worse than ever now. I honesty was regretting I had ever had the surgery and was wishing for death because I was in so much pain. I had a meeting with the doctor at the hospital (in between his surgeries) to find out what the problem was. He put an instrument into my penis to try and push open my urethra but I told him I could still feel the blockage. He said “any farther than where the instrument is I did not operate on”. Well, then I told him about what I felt when he took the catheter out. He thought it was unlikely that it would have cut me but we decide to have surgery done to find the problem. (Before I decided to move to Montreal, I checked to see if the surgeries were covered by the health care system. I was told that they were so that is what helped me decide to move. Now that I was a resident of Quebec, I was told that the surgeries were covered if they were done in a local hospital. There were no doctors performing these surgeries in a local hospital so I had to pay a little more than $1000 for the surgery to be done.)

    The surgery was supposed to be an hour long and then I was to be released but it took three hours and I had to stay in the hospital overnight. The doctor said he had trouble finding my urethra (surgery was done through my scrotum) and in order to do so, he had to push on my bladder. When he did this, a ball of scar tissue came out and he also saw that I had an open wound inside which was causing the burning feeling when I urinated. To fix the problem, skin tissue from the inside of my cheek was used to cover it up. (The holes were finally closed at this time.) After I had woken up from this surgery, I had a catheter in again and my mouth felt like someone had just punched me. I was just happy to be able to pee pain free!

    I was to keep the catheter in for two weeks while everything healed but I took it out after a week and a half. I had just started a new job and the catheter was getting really irritated when I walked and I was bleeding with it in, so one day before I started my shift I just cut the tube that releases the water and pulled it out. I did use the balloon catheter a few times afterwards just to make sure everything was ok. I haven't had any problems since!

    My arm has total movement back (most of it was back about 2 months after the surgery) however, my hand swells up on occasion when I do a lot of work with my hands. The doctor said this is because of the tightness of the scar tissue. The blood flows to my hand fine but slower going out. I also sometimes feel a sharp pain in my arm when I'm lifting weights because I'm stretching the skin. I don't have much feeling on the scar itself, I can feel pressure on it but I usually can't tell where. If I cut myself I usually feel intense heat or I don't notice at all until I see some blood and if I feel itchy I have to rub the scar along my elbow and it sends a feeling to my forearm. People have asked me if the healing of the scar could have been better and it could have if I had worn a pressure sleeve (the same worn by burn victims). The idea of wearing this for a year was not appealing to me at all. With comparison with other transmen, my scaring is actually very nice.

    In August of 2003, two years and four months after getting my penis, I had testicular implants put in.(A patient can get the implants six months after the surgery if everything has healed well.) I had to pay $2400 to have the surgery (the cost has gone up since) and it was done under local anaesthetic at the doctors' office. The whole procedure took about 45 minutes. Incisions were made on my scrotum under the base of my penis and the implants were put in. There were no complications but my scrotum swelled up enormously. It felt like I was walking around with a grapefruit in between my legs. The swelling went down after a week and although there were no complications, the implants are not how they should be. They are fused into the scar tissue. One testicular implant is stuck to the underside of the base of my penis and the other one is attached to the first one. I could have another surgery to separate them but I don’t want to have more surgeries if I don’t have to. My other option is to massage the scar tissue and try pulling the implants apart, so that’s what I’ve been trying to do.

  • Transman

    Chapter 5

    Since 2009, the government of Québec has been funding Sex Reassignment Surgeries, which are handled by the Centre métropolitain de chirurgie plastique, here in Montreal where I had my phalloplasty surgery performed. I had not been aware of this change until 2010 and when I did find out I called the office immediately and made a requested to have a penile implant.

    There are several steps that need to be taken in order to be accepted for surgery but I was able to proceed straightaway because the office already had the information they required from my previous medical records and arrangements to have the penile implant surgery were prepared through the receptionist. My surgery date was for October 14, 2010, however, on September 21, 2010 I had a consultation appointment with Dr. Brassard to discuss the surgery and any concerns I had had. I didn’t have any so it was a short visit and I walked out not long after arriving with a letter for my employer for the leave of absence I would need. I would be off work for three weeks. In the letter it was not written what procedure I was going to have but I was asked by my employer and I just told him it was personal.

    The days leading up to the surgery date where very exciting because I was feeling I was finally putting an end to such a long ordeal. Most often patients will stay at the residence before their surgery (which is now next to the clinic) but because I live in Montreal, I was told to check in at the clinic (the Centre métropolitain de chirurgie plastique is a private clinic) at 6am and that my surgery should be around 7am.

    Where I worked, I worked rotating shifts and on the night before the surgery, I was working the night shift 11pm to 7am. I had brought a back pack with me of what I was going to need during my stay at the residence and at 5am I punched out of worked, called a taxi and was on my way to the clinic. I arrived just before 6am and shortly after, the nurse called me into a little room to fill out some forms. When the paper work was all filled out I went back to the waiting area and was told it shouldn’t be long for a room to be ready for me. Well, 6hrs later I was still sitting in the waiting area. Finally I was shown to a room but was told I had to leave for surgery right away. I was extremely tried haven stayed awake all night and also very hungry because I hadn’t eaten anything in the past 13 hours. After explaining to the nurse that I had come straight from work and hadn’t had a chance to shower, she agreed that I should take one but I had to be quick.

    I spent one night in the clinic and the following day the doctor came to visit me to check that everything was ok. As he examined me, I was watching his face. He didn’t verbally tell me things were not as they should be, his facial expression did. He told me everything was fine but I had my doubts. Then again everything was very swollen so maybe it was difficult to accurately assess the results at that time. Later that day I was moved to the residence where I stayed for 4 nights. I didn’t experience any unusual pain associated with the surgery but I was having problems with my digestive system and needed to take Imodium along with the several medications that were prescribed for me. While I was in the residence, the doctor came to check up on the patients. When he came into my room, he asked me how I was feeling and when I asked him if everything was ok he said yes but there was still a lot of swelling. The day before leaving, the on duty nurse examined me and mentioned that the cylinders did not feel to be in the right place and a note was made in my file. On the day of my departure I was supposed to have been seen by the doctor but was told that he wasn’t available. I left without seeing him but did have a follow up appointment.

    The days leading up to my follow up appointment, it became very clear that the procedure did not work. I still had some swelling put I could tell that both cylinders were out of place. Both cylinders had shrunk down from the tip of my penis and both anchoring tips had risen up and were settled in my pubic bone area. Both cylinders had buckled in on themselves. When the doctor examined me he said that he didn’t know what the problem was but that something like this only happens 1 out of 100 times. When I left the office I had another appointment to have the surgery done again in December to correct the problem.

    Fortunately, my surgery took place after my Christmas holidays at work had already begun so I didn’t have to book time off again. The clinic was slowing down on surgeries in preparation for their own holiday vacation so I didn’t have to wait long to have a room this time. The day of the surgery went accordingly and when I awoke afterwards I asked a nurse how everything had gone. She said she wasn’t sure because she couldn’t read what the doctor had written so she went and asked her colleague. When she returned, she informed me that the implant was removed. Apparently I had had an infection and that is why the cylinders had curled up. I wasn’t expecting that. I wasn’t in any pain leading up to the surgery and I didn’t have hardness which is associated with infections. Anyway, to say the least, Christmas of 2010 was not a joyous one for me.

    July of 2011 I was back at the Centre métropolitain de chirurgie plastique to have the procedure again. It was two days before the summer holidays at work were to begin and I was working the night shift once more. At 5am, the same time as before, I punched out of work and called a taxi to bring me to the clinic. Shortly after I arrived, another ‘transguy’ whom I had met several years ago walked into the clinic and we spoke for a couple of minutes. He too was there to have the same surgery, also for the third time. Just before he was shown to his room he ‘hi-fived’ me in congratulations on our third time surgery. I wasn’t feeling very happy about it though. We should have been congratulating each other for finally coming to the end of such a long and difficult journey.

    This time the surgery went well. Everything appeared to be in place and I passed the evening without experiencing any pain. When I was moved to the residence everything was still looking well and I was feeling really optimistic that it would all work out. I was told not to move about very much, so I spent most of my time sitting on the couch watching TV. I mainly moved about when it was time to eat. The day I left the residence I thought I would see the doctor but again he was not available so I was released once again with only a follow up appointment.

    After a couple of days of recuperation at home I noticed that the right side cylinder was starting to move. Not only had the anchor tip twist out of place but the cylinder tip started to fall down again. I had continued to remain motionless as much as possible after my leave from the residence so these problems where very upsetting to me. I knew I would have to have surgery again to correct the cylinder.

    Four weeks after surgery, patients are allowed to inflate the cylinders and after six weeks we can begin to have intercourse with it. When my fourth week waiting period was up I was very hesitant about trying to pump up the cylinders, so I never did. I was afraid that doing so would cause me pain because the right side had fallen down and was bunched up a little. I was worried the cylinder would balloon up in that area and to add to my concern, the release valve had moved as well. In my case the (*) pump and valve are not in my scrotum but rest on top of my muscles just above my pubic bone and near my right inner thigh. The valve is supposed to rest flat so that I can pinch the two buttons but it twisted to the right embedding one button into my muscle and the other pointing directly out. I tried very hard to turn it over but I couldn’t get a proper grip on it. If I had inflated the pump, I would not have been able to release it. I had to wait several more weeks before the clinic re-opened from their summer vacation to see the doctor. During this time, I went to the emergency area at my local hospital at 3am once. Shortly after getting home from work one night, I noticed the right side of my incision had, what looked like, a blister/infection so when I tried to drain it, the liquid came out but left an open hole. I was worried that it would really become infected if I didn’t get it stitched up so I had a doctor look at it. The doctor didn’t feel it was necessary for actual stitches but he did insert some surgical glue.

    (* At this time, I had the ‘Coloplast Titan Pump Penile Implant’. This is no longer the case.)

    When the clinic finally re-opened and I was able to meet with the doctor, he agreed that the right cylinder and release valve needed to be fixed. He had tried for “perfection” but now we had to settle for comfort, which seemed to not be able to come soon enough. I was in a lot of discomfort and with the advice of two people in the medical profession, began taking anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxers on a regular basis. When the over the counter medications weren’t lasting long enough and became too expensive, I finally went to see my family doctor about pain management and he prescribed the necessary medication. My surgery was to take place (on November 15, 2011) in 6 weeks but because I was not allowed to have certain medications in my system 2 weeks before the surgery I was only given a prescription for a month. The last two weeks before my surgery were very difficult, to say the least, due to my physically demanding job. The morning of the surgery I arrived at 6 am as usual and after the admission process was complete was placed in a room right away. The day was a Tuesday and I was told that it is rare that ‘transguys’ have surgery on this day. For some reason the doctor prefers to reserve this day for the girls.

    Just before entering the operating room, I met with the doctor to review the plan for surgery. He was going to pull the right cylinder back up and turn the release valve back over into the right position. If he felt that the surgery would not be a success, I told him to remove everything and I would just have to live without one. I was having so many problems with it and had so much discomfort that I didn’t feel it was worth it. Unlike some people who must live with chronic pain, this was a choice for me and I decided I would live without it.

    After the surgery I learned that the doctor had secured both the cylinder and valve with stitches in their right place but also changed the left cylinder. The left cylinder was too long and was very close to the tip of my penis, threatening to pierce through the skin so that is why he decided to change it with a smaller one. I stayed in the hospital overnight and another two days at the residence. Again I did not see the doctor before leaving, as I should have/was told I would but wasn’t surprised by this because it was the same situation with the previous surgeries.

    The healing process seemed to be right on track and as planned, I went back to work just before the Christmas shut down to work for a few days of light labour. After the holidays, my healing was well underway but I had a problem. The left cylinder that was replaced was moving. The tip went back into the same spot as the previous cylinder and because this one was shorter, the anchor point dislodged itself from the underside of my scrotum and flipped up onto my pubic bone area (same place as the initial surgery in 2010). I just couldn’t get a break it seemed. I met with the doctor for a follow-up appointment and requested that he fix the cylinder but he suggested that I live with it the way it was. I knew I wouldn’t be happy with it but due to the multiple surgeries over such a short period of time and all the pain I endured in-between, I was so drained that I really didn’t think I could handle having another surgery. I needed to rejuvenate and although the cylinder wasn’t in the right position, I wasn’t in constant pain. I would experience discomfort and pinching sometimes when I bent down or sat down but it was manageable. The doctor and I decided to discuss my options again after a year when my body had time to heal itself.

    On January 24, 2013 I had a fifth attempt of the penile implant. At the time of my consultation, the doctor did not want to replace the cylinder so the plan had been to correct the placement of the left cylinder by making an incision in my inner thigh and pulling the cylinder down and replacing the anchor tip back into place. Before entering the operating room, the doctor informed me that he would be completely replacing the implant. Due to the continuous problems with the ‘Coloplast Titan Pump Penile Implant’, he now uses the ‘AMS Ambicor® 2-Piece Inflatable Penile Implant’.

    After the mandatory overnight stay at the hospital, I returned to my home to heal instead of staying at the residence. My recovery was much more painful than I expected because of the removal of the old implant. It had fused itself really well and the doctor had to work hard to get it out. The release valve is now located near the base of my penis, on the right hand side.

    It’s been two and a half months since I have had my surgery and I have no complications. I am still healing and getting use to the new implant but I feel confident that success is finally mine. From my first consultation at the Clarke Institute at age sixteen to present day, it’s been a very long and at times, excruciating, twenty one years. I have had a combined total of 15 surgeries/ ‘touch-ups’ that have left scars on me, inside and out. I was once asked if I would do it again knowing everything I had to go through.

    If I ended up in the same place I am today, YES! I hit a lot of walls becoming who I am meant to be but I also broke through those walls and I REALLY like who I am! It’s surreal that my transitioning is complete. For the first time I feel there isn’t anything holding me back and that I simply have to choose what it is that I want to have or want to do and I can achieve it!

    To all my friends and family, thank you for all of your love and support.

    In memory of

    Dr. Gary Sanders, BSc, MD, FRCP (C)

    Dr. Sanders past away in late 2002 after a 3 year battle with cancer.