Imagine running a race where the finish line is constantly moving. This is the best way I can explain the transition to women.
I was born in Tuskegee, Alabama. I started the medical transition at the age of 29. During that time, I underwent a number of gender-verifying surgeries, including rhinoplasty, shaving of the jaw, jaw, and eyebrows, and multiple breast implants.
Soon, I started taking hormones that were illegally shipped from Mexico to London, where I lived at the time. I did that because of the difficulty in accessing trans health care. I used internet chat rooms, blogs, and old websites to guide me. No one was checking my blood levels to make sure I was safe.
At the age of 33, he suffered from memory loss after an abusive experience. I was prescribed a very powerful psychiatric drug. After taking the drug and the hormones for years without supervision, I got very sick.
I started suffering from migraines, excessive night sweats, a flash of heat, blurred vision, and renal failure. The doctor gave me an ultimatum, given that my health was deteriorating. To restore health, I was able to continue the transition or stop everything altogether.
Everything I worked hard to achieve to confirm my gender identity was collapsing. All the pain, time and money I have endured have been completely lost. I had already begun the medical transition at such a late age and could not imagine stopping without a real promise to resume. How can I give up what I struggled to achieve?
Still, after weeks of pondering, I decided to lift the transition. I told myself: Imma, do you want to live beyond this transition? Are you going to commit suicide trying to achieve this? I decided I had to save my life. But it was still one of the most difficult decisions I had to make so far.
At that time, I moved from New York City to my hometown of Georgia. This was a big change. I haven’t communicated with my mother or family at all for almost 12 years. There is more than one phone, text, or email. Then suddenly I came back to her house.
Up to that point, my family had a lot of resistance to pronouns, gender, and expression. Most people who grew up in Montgomery, Alabama, don’t openly talk about homosexuality or gender queenness. They prefer a “don’t ask, don’t say” approach.
Still, here I went home – and experienced a major physical change. I stopped taking hormones. Then, to improve my health, I started going to the gym 5 days a week, 2-3 hours a day. I was developing my muscles again. The hair on my face started to grow with the patch. I was still undergoing breast augmentation surgery, so I started wearing a body compressor to flatten my breasts. Looking in the mirror, I saw the wreckage of a person who I thought was left behind in years of surgery.
To be honest, life seems to have been easier to present as a man. I was able to go home by public transport at night and didn’t feel anxious. I even began to believe that undoing was the right choice for me. Presentation as a man turned out to be easier than life as a transgender woman. Everyone was very happy with me, and I just thought it might be best to continue. It was too difficult and painful to keep the breast implants under my clothes, and I lost hope of being able to move again, so I had the breast implants removed.
But even after removing the breast implants that spring, I wasn’t completely convinced of living as a man, despite the benefits I experienced. I was still hiding my makeup and wig in the box under my bed. And I was planning every excuse to wear them. I was secretly putting on makeup in my mom’s room. At the age of 33, I was hiding in my mother’s room and rethinking myself like a child. I continued to get these glimpses of my old self. woman. But I’ve always been shocked by these nasty realities that remind me that I’m living a human life again.
Here, my story turns in a strange direction. One day towards the end of summer I checked in to a doctor and they told me news I didn’t expect to hear. They said my blood test was back and I was very healthy. They said I could start the transition again under strict supervision if I wanted to. I received the news and ran. I didn’t look back or rethink.
I stopped exercising together and started taking hormones again. My natural breast tissue began to grow again and my mother began to notice the change. There were many guilty feelings, quiet crying, and questions about why. A few weeks of microaggression. She couldn’t understand why I wanted to come back after I was just finished. She saw her son in me again and found joy in the permanence of her return.
After a few weeks of passive aggression, we made a nasty exchange to put everything on the table. Finally, she realized that I wouldn’t change my mind, she said: it’s your body, your life. You know what you need to do. Over time, I became myself again and she saw that comfort and the joy it brought to me, regardless of disability. She eventually stopped asking.
My mother’s view changed a lot from seeing my journey unfold under her own roof. She saw my life and everything I was doing with it. Until then, she was afraid that I would not be accepted by the world. She didn’t want me to be hated or banished.
When I think of the strange journey I took, I know that there was a purpose behind it. I think there is a reason why God took me on this journey. Under her microscope, it was important for me to untransition and re-transition with a relentless gaze. If I hadn’t done that, she wouldn’t have understood the seriousness of my decision. If not, she might have thought it was just a drug or phase. Only I made the reckless decision to wear women’s clothes. But she saw me giving hormone injections every other week. blocker. She saw everything I had to endure. She saw my patience and pain, but with joy, she also saw my truth.
By migrating, you can see your own fulfillment and your wholeness. That is, I don’t want anyone to deny access to any part of me, or my migration. How can I do that? To do that, we would reject the blueprint on how to be our full version through the challenges I faced along the way.
As most people believe, transitions are not always linear. And even if I say “non-transition”, I would deny the fact that I was still a trans before hormones. There was no way I couldn’t be transgender. The transition feels like a two-part process. It begins as an emotional trigger that encourages you to investigate. So, once you decide who you are and medicalize it by physically migrating through hormones and surgical procedures, you will be able to physically adjust yourself until you are able to adjust yourself. Play around with the subconscious thoughts about what you should look like. What I say “untransitioned” eliminates the spiritual aspect that I believe is the most essential element. I have always been transgender. Surgery and medications helped me in the process to alleviate much of the discomfort I felt.
I sincerely believe that some of my hiccups, trials and hardships have lessons for others. Someone may see and understand my story and do something similar. So I’m very open about my story. I know there are others who may be involved, but may never live to say it.
Recently, I thank God every day for being allowed to continue to serve my purpose. Every day you are given the opportunity to try again. Clarify my cause and live in my truth. To be honest, my biggest fear is that someone sees them and robs me of my life.
People do not understand the rigors of this choice to live outwardly and positively as a transgender woman. So I pray for another day every day. I simply say, Lord, don’t end me. Don’t take my life from me. Let the world see what I have to offer. Let the world see my beauty and truth. Show me my lady
Transition to my woman?It was a long and winding journey | Ima Usher
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