Short Note From Scott Newgent Our TReVoices Founder
Being a fully transition transman running TReVoices, a trans organization, it never ceases to amaze me that medically transitioning children is seen as love. I guess I can't judge, right? Not long ago, at 42, the medical industry said I was born in the wrong body, and I believed them. I think of those first two years of medical transition; I was like so many of these kids, gitty with the idea that at the end of the process? I was going to fit something that all human beings desire. Does everyone believe they don't fit in some way? Sure, but being one that did not fit anywhere, throw in child abuse, homosexuality, childhood abandonment, and what they say now as "Gifted" mentally, I honestly never fit anywhere and had no one as a child to teach me how to do so. My chances were NONE!
Watching my children grow into adolescence has shown me that I didn't have a chance to fit in. Every day my kids come to me with what seems to them significant catastrophes, and it always breaks down into "how do I handle this situation, this feeling", and what do I do with all of it. For some reason, I am razor-sharp with my kids; in business where I learned, I do not know, but for me? Reactions are processed without the knowledge of how to be. To take it to the positive side, it has made me a badass activist because someone doesn't like me or thinks I'm weird,
"Join the club, asshole," and I move on. My absolute best friend in the world and the other parent of my children said something to me the other day when I told her that I don't play well with the other trans activist because of the transition of children? It's a serious thing, and hearing, "I don't have the bandwidth," infuriates me....Then I say something like,
"Well, get the fuck out of activism if the only thing you want to do is things that will benefit you. Currently, children are being butchered, and bandwidth is all I hear." Needless to say, I can't hide my emotions well when it comes to SCREAMING to stop this insanity. A couple of days ago I was expressing to Melissa, and she said,
"Scott, you don't need anyone that's your superpower,"
She's right. But when a trans is willing to put it down on paper, the actuality of medical transition over a 35 period of time means something yall. This is hard to do.
Get ready, parents! Time to see your children's life in 35 years after medical transition.
Let me introduce you to Harley a 64 year old transgender man. Harley is focused on clean living and health because of this it creates a picture of the reality that is coming for these kids.
In 1986 I lived as a butch lesbian who loved driving trucks and motorcycles. At work, I met transwomen, who suggested I do sex reassignment surgery, but I didn't know where to start. Ten years before, my transwomen co-worker had answered an ad in the paper to volunteer at Stanford University Medical Center for sex reassignment surgery. There she met a transman who also answered the ad, and together they underwent experimental sex-reassignment surgery. However, the transman endured many complications from phalloplasty surgery and stayed in the hospital for months with infections and surgeries.
In 1987, I attended a gay women's A.A. speakers meeting where I listened to another transman tell his story. He had decided to go off testosterone after a couple of years because his eleven-year-old son had an illness, and he felt his son needed a mother. I was seven years clean and sober but feeling at a dead end in life, so I decided medical transition was my answer. I couldn't see myself living as a lesbian anymore.
Back in the 1980s, everything was by word of mouth, so I found a connection to the path of medical transition. I contacted a local psychiatrist for $150 a visit. He wrote a letter for me to start hormones and surgery on just my second visit. I started medically transitioning on January 26, 1988, injecting testosterone at 32. In April 1988, I had a double mastectomy and was relieved they were gone! But I never went back to the psychiatrist.
Insurance didn't pay for hormones or surgeries at that time in history, and I was expected to pay cash upfront. I worked long hours to pay for hormones, hospital stays, surgeons, and anesthesiologists.
The surgeon in my area only did metoidioplasty and agreed to that medical procedure. There was no internet, google, or cell phones back then to access information, and information was limited. The institution where the procedure was done had a history of doing "sex-reassignment" surgeries. There, I was able to meet a transman who had undergone sex-reassignment surgery. He wasn't completely happy with the result and had insisted on revisions. Still unsatisfied, he finally learned to live with it. I didn't believe that could happen to me though. With their knowledge and expertise, I trusted that the surgeons would do it right for me. But I was naive to think my operation would come out better.
I thus began metoidioplasty surgery in 1990 and completed it by 1991. At the end, there were complications, and I needed further treatment. The doctor put out his hand and said, "Where's the money?" But I had run out of money and was exhausted from work and surgery. I was burned out and only wanted to get on with my life! So I chose to suffer from the complications and move on, working as a long-haul truck driver more interested in turning miles on the road.
Finally, nine years later, in 2001, I was able to get medical treatment for a fistula and complications from scar tissue. Scar tissue can cause many problems, build up slowly over time for many years, and come back again and again to haunt you.
Over the next decade, urination became a problem, and other systems started to back up on me. Panic attacks and high blood pressure increased with no control as to when and where they occurred. After going to many doctors who ran tests and prescribed medications to no avail, I finally revealed in 2012 that I had strictures in my urethra. After having surgery to deal with five strictures and possible bladder damage, I was told the surgeons back in 1990 had used the wrong material when making the new urethra pathway and hairs were growing in it. The surgeon said, "Sorry, it's not going to work." The hairs, the wrong material, and the way it was constructed would only cause more problems down the road. But by 2014, the pain was too much, and I found acceptance to go in and have the surgeons locate and open up the original urethra to pee without pain.
My problems didn't stop at correcting my plumbing. I continued experiencing episodes of anxiety, heart rate irregularities, palpitations, urgent and frequent urination, hot flashes, night sweats, etc. Again, I tried an array of doctors and medications. After trying everything in his toolbox, one health practitioner finally said, "Your problem is 'synthetic testosterone.'" But again, I had run out of money and couldn't afford to continue seeing the doctor.
I thus decided to stop testosterone on my own. Still, I soon began to feel miserable: bone and muscle tenderness, stiffness and aches, swelling in my joints, digestive issues, irritability, fatigue, palpitations, memory and concentration problems, and much more. Finally, I broke down and went to the doctor. I had a blood test that came back with near-zero hormone levels. The doctor said I couldn't live this way and suggested bio-human identical hormones (pellets). Desperate, I tried three applications of the surgical-implanted pellets. It was not a smooth ride, full of ups and downs because the pellets are timed-released.
With the final application of pellets surgically implanted in my butt, the doctor calculated wrong and put in too many pellets. I ended up with 1500+ testosterone levels floating through my system, and all she recommended was to "drink plenty of water and rest." But that was not enough because the pellets are time-released. During the night, when the endocrine system is very active, my blood pressure would shoot up to super dangerous levels, and I also experienced tachycardia (a heart rate more than 100 times a minute). I was taken to the hospital by ambulance just about every night for two weeks. I feared that one of these episodes would overwhelm my cardio system, and I might die!
Everything is experimental with hormones and surgeries to masculinize a female body. It's taken a lot of confrontations with health practitioners for me to admit the reality of medical transition. Hormones and scar tissue are my problems today and will be for the rest of my life.
I was told back in 1987 that the journey I would be on would magnify everything in my life by ten times, good and bad. And at first, life was great, new, and exciting. I gained the freedom of expressing myself and to become all that I wished to be. However, bottom surgery changed everything, and my life became filled with medical hardship and unknowns.
I believe there are other ways to deal with gender dysphoria without cutting the body or putting a massive amount of male hormones into your system. During childhood, I experienced sexual trauma, eating disorders, and drug abuse issues. Looking back, transition forced me to confront those past experiences and deal with them. Occasionally I ponder and ask myself: has it been worth it? I don't know how to answer that.
Luckily, today there is more information and knowledge around gender dysphoria than when I transitioned. My advice? Please take advantage of it.
by, Harley Stofiel
TReVoices.org - A Trans Activist Making Waves With Reason An Logic.