Patients' Voices

To my Transitional Beings — Isla’s Story

I’ve been transitioning for two years now, and for me, it has felt like the most intense part of my young life. There is nothing quite like the act of transitioning, with the strength that it requires to move through all the shame, the body discomfort, the instability. It begins with a question, one that leads to secret internet searches and a childlike yearning for something completely new. Something that feels so good but is only in my dreams. Something that feels so wrong, wrong as in bad bad slap on the hand how dare you wrong.

Childhood Memories and the Transitioning Process

Coming from the deep memories, crafted and shaped at a time when I should’ve just been able to wear my mum’s scarves and not run and hide when they would pull up in the driveway. How did I already know that it wasn’t allowed? The energy it took to move that safe escape of fantasy into a physical process is something I could not have predicted. I sometimes wish that someone would’ve listened to the little girl I so clearly was when I was two years old. But what use is it in disqualifying all of my childhood to better understand what I know I need to do and who I want to become?

I am a trans woman and I carry with me the intuition of a queer person. I never really was a boy, and I know that for sure. I’m learning that it’s okay at one point I was a boy – to the world and even, confusingly, to myself. I don’t want to put that person in a box to affirm my womanhood. The woman I am is unwavering. It is blossomed. It is a dream that fled into my blood stream and softened my skin.

The Power of Facial Feminization Surgery and Hope

FFS has given me so much. I’m in a pretty good place, one where I can look at that person with compassion and love for continually listening to my intuition and trusting it regardless of all the possible consequences I so feared. It seems that us trans people are masters of intuition. If we didn’t have that, we wouldn’t have hope. And hope is the only belief system that can withstand the difficulties that come with early transition.

I’m a professional contemporary dancer and as you can imagine, navigating a transitioning body whilst analyzing it creatively as an instrument is a great task. But in the meantime, I’ve been lucky to inspire some other trans people to pursue their dance in a space that has never invited us in the first place. Trans people have an unwritten depth that is visible to anyone if they open their hearts to it and what better way to witness it than from the stage.

Honouring the Trans Community and Looking to the Future

I don’t have much of an ancestral connection, however, when I think of all of the trans people that came before me, it’s when I feel the most connected. FFS has made me feel incredibly more comfortable in sharing my body and my story. In a world where our identity is still up for debate, the least we could do is present a body in its fullness and in its glory.

Maybe this is just a letter to myself, a creed I wish to live by. Or maybe it’s a love letter to all of the transitional beings, traversing the in-between and using our hearts as our compass. Over there! Over there! I take your hand and you feel my fear. You feel my pain. But most importantly you feel that I’m looking at you with every part of my eyes.

Hope is our belief system. Fantasy is our beginning. Intuition is our navigator. When there isn’t enough hope, it’s okay. We will do this together. I love you.