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i’m getting gender affirmation surgery, that’s pretty cool, right? Right‽

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The weirdest sensation of my (adult) life.

Content note: hey transfemmes, I talk about what it’s like to take out the vaginal packing in this post—for some, not knowing the trick helps the experience go more smoothly. I did not know going in, though I’m not sure if that made it better or worse. If you’d like to read the rest of the piece, I’ll let you know it’s coming up and break it into its own section with clear lines breaking up the section (like the one between this note and the beginning of the actual post) so you can stop reading or jump over. You know your own mind, trust it.


I was reflecting on the last three months as I woke up this morning and remembered what may be the weirdest sensation I will ever experience.

A week and a half after surgery, I went in to the surgeon’s office for my first post-op appointment. I stratospheric with all the pain meds I was on, the cab ride from Brooklyn to the clinic in Midtown felt...

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At least someone is still keeping COVID protocols.

(Note: Signal chats as well as weekly virtual brunch/dinner and visits are underway! And Minecraft will probably start soon! Fill out this form of you’d like to drop by and say hi where you’ll get to hear stories about dilation, how my left leg feels funny, and the Rancho Gordo Bean Club.)

I’ll eventually put together something about the household COVID protocols because they changed a bit from what I planned two months ago. And eventually, I’ll write about my first few days at the hospital. Or maybe I’ll write about that now, for now this is just a quick update since a few folks were curious about what the hospital’s COVID protocols were.

We got to the hospital at 5:40 in the morning. Bitsy drove me to one of Mount Sinai’s surgery centers in midtown, Sydette met us there—she would be nearby all day in case anything was needed.

The hospital required everyone to mask, they also wanted...

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The hard part was always pussying up

(Content note: this talks about genitalia, surgery, pain, dilation, and depression.)

Dilation is the pits.

That’s kinda a good thing because just a couple weeks ago, it was much worse. And that’s because surgery was never going to be the hard part of getting surgery. Dilation was always going to be the hard part.

It was the thing I dreaded the most.

It happens three times a day, you slather a hard, long, unforgiving, dildo with goop and then shove it as far up a fresh pussy—newly formed from skin and other tissue from the penis, scrotum, and other bits—as you can, and let it sit there for 20 minutes. Then you take a slightly bigger one and see if you can shove that one up there just as far for another 10 minutes.

It’s one of the most painful things I have done.

And I have to do it three times a day.

To myself.

For a year.

And pretty regularly for the rest of my life.

To psych...

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Gassy.

Like every other post-surgery story, tracking pee, gas, and poop have become the metrics of the first week out. The last few days kept getting less good until yesterday which was particularly bad for a few hours. It’s not great when your catheter gets blocked and you can’t pee.

I’d have to double check with Bitsy for how long it really was, but I was in an hours-long pain-med-supported meditative trance to deal with the pain.

Today is much better so far.

I am so glad Bitsy was there to meditate with me and be the rational person worried about the last time I peed while I was lost somewhere in my head.


I’m still trying to understand what sensations are coming from where. With the nerve pain, the extremely tight surgical tape holding everything in, and all my bits being majorly readjusted, I don’t know what all the weird firing signals mean or where they’re even coming from—I think I...

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Update from Bitsy

Hello all! Bitsy here.

Cordy is resting at the hospital. Surgery went really well, and she’s in good spirits. Sleep has been elusive for the last week or so, and I’m thrilled to report that she’s been resting well in recovery (with some gentle encouragement from her support squad).

Today her partner Alisha brought her some delicious fish congee courtesy of Tina and Yang, and a pair of prism glasses so she can comfortably read and use her phone. Many thanks to Gail King for the pre-surgery PT! The little bit of practice we had before the procedure seems to be helping immensely.

I am slowly making a dent in the fridge to make room for the meals that will be delivered from Chen Mommy starting Friday. Our girl likes to cook when she’s stressed! I hope to get better at peeling tea eggs. I’m excited to bring her home on Thursday afternoon. If you signed up for support squad activities...

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Left out some nuts for the pussy fairy

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Two nuts exactly. Tomorrow morning is surgery time.

Anxiety at an all time high.

It’s gonna be okay.

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Support team assemble‽

(call to action: if you’d like to check in with me, you can sign up for visits or calendar invites to virtual brunches/in-person visits.)

I HAVE A SURGERY TIME. IT IS EARLY MONDAY MORNING.

LIKE REALLY EARLY.

AND I’M NOT ALLOWED TO HAVE ANY TEA OR OTHER SOURCE OF CAFFEINE BECAUSE I HAVE TO START FASTING ON SUNDAY.

(Not that i’m sleeping that much anyway.)

I’ll be at the hospital until Thursday (Sept 1). Starting on Saturday, September 10, we’re going to do visits (masked, N95s provided, please test before coming) as well as virtual brunch and dinners over Zoom/Google Meet throughout week, and hopefully Minecraft on Thursday nights (I haven’t played before, come be bad at games with me!).

The best way to stay up to date is following this blog. Bitsy is collecting info to send calendar invites and set up Signal groups (opsec, yo) for texting/call support, caregiving backups, and...

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What if?

Less than a week to go.

I am excited.

I am also overwhelmed.

Not with surgery, but by work. For various reasons that were out of my control, I have to wrap several really large projects this week and other than taking a few hours here and there to run to the hospital to do pre-surgery labs, I am not taking time off before surgery to prepare.

Which is exceptionally suboptimal.

The nice thing is that it means that I am too busy to go into anxiety spirals while sitting alone at home. The theme of this whole blog has been about planning and there’s good reason for that: I plan because that is how I deal with anxiety. And in my waking moments, I am happy, I am excited. But as my therapist noted—I plan in my dreams and I plan because it soothes me.


The thing is that I’m not really anxious about surgery or whether I’m making the right decision—not anymore. I’m anxious about who I...

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Focus.

I am realizing that part of my anxiety is that I’ve barely had a chance to think about what happens after recovery. In my fundraising post (which went $1,804 past the goal!), I noted that there was a price to having surgery at the end of August, part of that cost is that the last few months of the fiscal year (fun fact: the fiscal year for the federal government goes from October 1 to September 30) are often the busiest times. And so even as I’ve been reorganizing my home, budgeting and organizing recovery care, and living under a pandemic, I’ve also been working double time trying to make sure I hit some pretty big deadlines before wrapping up next week.

And that means that I’ve barely thought about what happens after I ditch this penis for a vulva and vagina. I’ve been so focused on trying to make sure I have my basic needs—food, medical support, shelter, covered for the three months...

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[Interlude] My brain is preparing for surgery is like it’s a term paper

I rarely pulled all nighters in college. I’d stay up late the night before a paper was due and get up early to polish and finish, but I’d usually let myself sleep for a few hours. I’d do that because I’d often dream about the paper and wake up with it fully formed in my head, then sit down at the computer and finish writing it all out.

Now my brain has been doing that with surgery for the last two weeks. Every night I’d dream about another aspect of surgery prep, each night getting a little bit closer to the operating room.

A few nights ago I dreamed about figuring out who would visit me at the hospital. Last night, I dreamed about how how my girlfriend would take me to the hospital and how another friend would wait with me. I dreamed about whether I should pack some congee to eat after I wake from surgery (thank for that idea, Tina) and the logistics of keeping it insulated and warm...

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