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My next gender-affirming surgery will be...

life Mar 04, 2024
I'm having another gender-affirming surgery!!

Hello, lovelies! It's Renée here, diving deep into a topic that's as personal as it gets—my ongoing journey through gender-affirming surgeries. You've followed me through the highs and lows, the voice cracks and triumphs, and now, we're gearing up for round two: The Hysterectomy Chronicles, or as I like to call it, Gender-Affirming Surgery Part 2: Electric Boogaloo.

The Journey to My Second Gender-Affirming Surgery

Reflecting on Top Surgery

Cast your minds back to April 2023, when I embarked on my top surgery adventure. Ah, the memories! The anticipation, the nerves, and the overwhelming joy of seeing my body reflect my true self for the first time. It was like meeting me all over again. And let me tell you, it was love at first sight. This experience was a game-changer, propelling me with certainty toward my next step.

Decision for a Second Surgery

The moment I realized I wanted another surgery wasn't dramatic—no lightning strike or choir of angels—just a quiet knowing that this journey wasn't over. My heart whispered, "Let's keep going," and who am I to argue with my heart?

Understanding Hysterectomy as Gender-Affirming

What the Surgery Entails

Now, for the nitty-gritty. I'm planning a hysterectomy that involves bidding farewell to my uterus, cervix, and fallopian tubes. But, plot twist, I'm keeping my ovaries. Why? Because if I keep my ovaries, they will continue to produce hormones, and I won't start menopause early. I'll still have regular, estrogen-driven hormone cycles, just no more periods. Hooray!

Medical vs. Gender-Affirming Rationale

Technically, this isn't labelled a "gender-affirming" hysterectomy by the powers that be. My periods have been throwing temper tantrums for years, so medically, it's a go. But in my heart? It's as gender-affirming as it gets. I've never seen myself as a birthing person and the reminder every month that I have the capacity to carry a child really makes me feel dysphoric.

Navigating Healthcare and Approval

Challenges in Approval

Oh, the hoops we jump through! Because of my history of pathologically bad periods, and my age (36!), I had no problem getting a gynaecologist to put me on the list for a hysterectomy. However, she informed me that if I wanted to have it be seen as "gender-affirming" instead of "medically necessary" in the eyes of our provincial healthcare plan, I would have been required to get a new letter from a  psychologist stating that I am nonbinary, even though I've literally already had a gender-affirming surgery! So, they see my surgery as a standard procedure, which is both a blessing and a frustration. It's a reminder of the gap between medical bureaucracy and lived experience.

Family Planning and Future Considerations

Redefining Family

"Will you regret not having children?" Ah, the million-dollar question. Here's the thing: I'm open to the myriad ways families can form. Be it through partners, chosen family, or the classic 'it takes a village' scenario. My decision not to carry children doesn't close the door on family; it simply opens new windows.

The Waiting Game

Surgical Waiting Lists

Waiting for surgery is like being in limbo, but without the cool dance moves. I'm on the list, eyes glued to my phone, waiting for that call. It's a test of patience, a lesson in letting go, and a daily exercise in optimism.

Deprioritization of Gynecological Surgeries

The waiting is made all the more challenging by the deprioritization of gynaecological surgeries. It's a stark reminder of the work still needed to recognize and prioritize the healthcare needs of all bodies, especially those of us with uteruses!

Conclusion: A Call for Empathy and Understanding

The Importance of Support

Through this journey, the power of support cannot be overstated. The love, understanding, and encouragement from my community have been my rock. And to those of you reading, questioning, or embarking on your own journeys, know this: You're not alone. We're in this together, navigating these waters one wave at a time.

Encouraging Questions and Dialogue

I invite you, yes you, to dive into the comments on Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube. Share your thoughts, your fears, your jokes (I'm always here for a good laugh), or your own stories. Let's make these spaces a haven for dialogue, support, and maybe a meme or two (because why not?).

So there you have it, folks. My heart on my sleeve, my plans in the open, and my phone on loud, waiting for that call. In the meantime, let's keep the conversation going, the support flowing, and the humour growing. After all, laughter might just be the best medicine we've got—well, that and a good surgeon.

Until next time, keep shining bright, you beautiful diamonds. 💎

Hi, I'm Renée! (they/them)

I'm a queer, nonbinary, and disabled singer, songwriter and gender-affirming voice teacher. 

I've been a voice teacher for over twelve years, I have four full-length albums out, and I have degrees in physics, jazz, and songwriting.

I love creating, I love figuring things out, but most of all, I love helping people.

Learn more about me

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