My name is Serena and I'm a 21-year-old, New York City transplant who just graduated from NYU, and I'm currently working at Cambio! At first glance, it would appear that I live a completely ordinary life, but the reality is that I am a transgender woman - meaning that I was born biologically male. And after years of feeling disconnected from my own body, I am finally having two, MAJOR gender-confirming surgeries which I am certain will save my life. Even though this type of surgery can be scary and perceived as taboo, I think it's important for me to document my story here on Cambio so that people outside of the transgender community can begin to learn about our experiences. So be sure to keep up with my posts if you want to follow me along this very exciting journey!
When I recently found out that these surgeries were an actual possibility, I was thrilled! It felt unreal, like I finally had something to look forward to. To give you all the deets, I will be undergoing Facial Feminization Surgery (which includes a Hairline Advancement, Forehead Reconstruction, Eyebrow Lift, Chin Reduction, and Jaw Reduction) and a Breast Augmentation at the same time. I know...ouch. But I think the fact that I am willing to endure so much pain should attest to how important this actually is for my quality of life. It's not cosmetic, it's medically necessary (as I noted above, I'm certain it will save my life). My doctor has told me that my current priority is to focus on mentally and physically preparing myself for the invasive procedures. He has also warned me that my recovery process will be brutal, but that the surgeries will ultimately allow me to more easily integrate into society as who I am: a woman.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves! In order for you to understand why these surgeries mean so much to me, I think it's important that I explain how it all started. Come back later this week for my second entry.