Everything is a process…
Being transsexual is a process in many ways. It takes a while to accept who you are, it takes a while to get into the medical system and it takes a while to complete the transisition. Here I will try to explain the different steps I went through:
A lot of thoughts but I had no name on my feelings.
Between 15 and 18 years old I attended what we call “gymnaisum” in Sweden which is something between high school and the university. These years I were in denial and tried to do every thing to become a man – but it did not really work that good.
I started my conscript year and during that year the thoughts and feelings came back. During my time at the officer´s acedemy I spent a lot of time thinking about it but I was not brave enough to tell anyone. On December 20, 1996 I spent my first day as a girl and loved every minute of it. I was happy for at least a week afterwords.
This was a rather difficult period. I finally got the gots to tell some people about my feelings but in one case it really didn´t go well at all. It was a then female friend of mine who first reacted very positive but then more or less “took it back” and I felt so disappointed or even betrayed. There were many nights of crying but I also had some great support of some other friends during that time. I think neither me nor the people around me were really ready to grasp what was going on then.
It my homepage up and I got in contact with a lot of new people this time and began my life as a transgender activists. I was invited to be one of the hosts of a transgender tent at Stockholm Pride 1999 and that was a keystone event for me in many ways. I met really nice people there who would become really important in my life. However, the word started going at work and it was about time to tell my workmates about my feelings of becoming a woman. I think I have never been so nervous in my life but one day I did it and held a PowerPoint-briefing at work, the same way I had done many briefings before but now with a new subject.
I started a new job this year and started off by doing a similar briefing there as well and that was really nice to be “open” from the beginning about what was going on in my life. I also joined the RFSL board this year and started to become really involved in politics.
I worked really hard for the RFSL this year and I guess being in a pure LGBT environment was good for me. It is sometime so nice to be able to just be yourself and part of the majority instead of the other way around. This year it was also time to start my captains´course and that was also an important time for me. Early on I got the time to explain to a smaller group of my fellow students about me being transsexual. Doing that in front of people that I did not know was new for me and of course a but scary as well. However, I was amazed of the support I got from them. They even asked me right away if they should use “Alexandra” as my name instead of my old name. That gesture meant a lot for me.
I had been one of eight people who formed a LGBT-network in the Armed Forces and on the official lobby events we had with the Secretary of Defense I decided to wear a womans uniform for the first time. That was another big event for me and made me even more able to think of myself as staying in the Armed Forces as a woman. It also felt great to feel the growing number of official statements in favour of my and other LGBT-peoples rights and actions towards discrimination. This year I also called the hospital for the first time to get in contact with a transition team for transsexuals.
Since I hade moved to Stockholm this year I was also transferred in the medical system and that meant that my place in the line for meeting the psychiatrist at the transition team was lost and I had to get a new referral to a hospital in Stockholm. After a few months of waiting I was finally on my way!
My transition was well underway this year with more regular meetings with diffferent specialists like the psychologist that made a psychologicall profile on me. Finallly, after a year, I was diagnosed as being transsexuall and my treatment could begin. This year was also an exciting one for me work-wise since I got involved in a very intresting international project with many trips to Germany and the US. However, the international climate is a bit different from Sweden and I really did not really find a way to start telling people about my situation. I wanted to, but I guess I was a little bit unsure about how and to whom. Changed my legal name and started living full-time (which in reality just meant at work as well) this year.
Did my first assignments abroad this year which went surprisingly good. My transition process was officially declared finished and I got my legal status changed to a woman. Felt wonderful!
Had the major Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS) in March. Spent two weeks in hospital and three months to heal. Had the second smaller surgery in August. Took until November before I felt completely healed again. Started taking another medicine in my Hormone Replacement Therapy on Christmas Eve.
Decided I wanted to get breast augmentation surgery and got approval for that during the annual check-up meeting with my surgeon. Got an initial date in June but was more or less forced to say no because something I really wanted to do at work. Had the surgery in late August. Had the surgery on Friday morning and was back home on Saturday with not much pain at all. Stayed home from work around 2 weeks with almost no real pain but felt rather limited in moving around anyway. Took around 2 months before I was completely ok and another month before I bought new cute underwear.