"The unexamined life is not worth living" Socrates

- - scatterings of ideas sent to my younger self, a sensitive girl who was fooled into believing she was a boy because of anatomy - -

Sunday 1 October 2017

It Just Is ...

In the first year of this blog (2010! ... that long ago?) a woman who had transitioned a very long time before wrote in a comment: "I gotta tell you, being a woman ain't that special. It just is ..." At the time, I wasn't impressed by this comment, but having crossed over into womanhood myself (in fact the terms transexual and transwoman really do not apply at this point) I have some thoughts on what is special. 

First of all, some thoughts on rebirth. Readers of Cassidy's beautiful blog will already be aware that Cass and I both had the same surgeon two weeks apart: Dr. Brassard in Montréal. I think Cassidy will agree that everything about this operation (pardon the pun) is top notch. In my case, ten of us had GRS over a two-day period (including two transmen, by the way) and we had a chance to get to know one another as we took our first steps after surgery and then, step-by-step were brought to the point where it was safe to send us away from the cocoon. Those baby steps were taken at L'Asclépiade, just steps from the surgical building. Some do walk there on the second day after surgery. 

Asclépiade (or asclepias) is the milkweed plant, which nourishes the monarch butterfly. It is actually the only plant the monarch will lay eggs on. 

Having successfully passed through our pupation stage in Dr. Brassard's care, L'Asclépiade was exactly where we needed to be while testing our wings for the first time. Everyone who works there is ideally placed to support and encourage, whether they be nurses, cleaning staff or admin. A special mention to the kitchen staff, who prepared meals that tempted the most delicate palate. Love you all! 

So, here I am three weeks later, feeling about as womanly as I can possibly be (where in my purse did I put those extra pads?), and asking myself "what is so special about being a woman?" And the answer is nothing and everything

When one has spent a lifetime struggling to exist in a body (and the stereotypes that go with it) that run counter to every instinct you have, it is a very big deal to be done with it. I will repeat here, by the way, that nothing said here is meant to deny the wonderful things that I managed to accomplish, or the family I was part of while trying to seem male; I did everything possible to make that work for as long as I could. 

So being a woman is a very big deal because the struggle to seem to be what I wasn't is over. As healing progresses, it is increasingly clear that I can now simply get on with being

When it is time to get on with one's life, there is nothing special about being a woman. The label "female" will not define me now any more than "male" did. 

I have been given the gift of time to live my life in the best way possible ... one day at a time. 


  1. So l'asclepiade is where the lowly worms turn into butterflies? It sounds like a miracle Halle. It may be an ordinary thing in the life to a butterfly, but it is still no less splendid and special to watch it unfold its wings and fly.

    1. So very well put January. Yes, a miracle is what it has been.

  2. Being a woman really is just a fact of life, just like it is for billions of other women. What makes life special is what you do with it, the people who are part of it and the experiences you gain each and every day.

    A belated congratulations on your surgery.

    1. Thanks Jenna! Yes, and I am blessed to have some very special people too.

  3. Lovely post, Halle. And thank you for the shout-out. :c)


    1. Hugs back Miss C! You are very welcome. :-D

  4. Being without the constant nagging dysphoria must be wonderful. You are experiencing what other people who don't question their gender feel and that must be very liberating.

  5. A good friend of mine Caroline, posted just the other day and said on that topic:

    "After a lifetime of “not being” and the constant sense of tension and disquiet that instills it is strange to think that it is possible to wake and just “be” and get on with life as though that had always been the case. I have always found it difficult to explain the feeling of “not being” to those who have lived without our point of reference, it is an alien concept to them to have ever questioned their roles in the world."

    I am appreciating this to the full already.

  6. Great post, I love the comment "nothing and everything" :)

    Hope the healing is still going well, and remember to wait for a while before attempting a marathon :)