Saturday, October 3, 2015

Happy Anniversary, Michelle

It has been so long I don’t remember what it was like when I was a man. Ten years ago. I remember it like yesterday, but everything that came before is all a foggy dream. Ten years ago today I made my last of two trips to Neenah.

Theda Clark Hospital is one of the best in the world when it comes to gender reassignment surgery. Doctor Schrang always had time to discuss my concerns. I’ll admit, I was scared. The second trip removed any manhood I had left; there was no going back. My original fear evaporated quickly. I was making the right choice, the choice I should have made years ago.

Wisconsin is a cold place and it was cold that early October day. A few flurries mixed with the colorful leaves blowing in the wind. The wind chewed into my cheeks as I walked from the hotel to the hospital. No matter what my body said I was already a woman, a beautiful woman.

The waiting is the hardest part and there isn’t much to do while waiting in Neenah, Wisconsin. So I drank beer in the hotel bar. A wonderful young woman, the bartender, talked the hours away with me. She liked the name I picked: Michelle. A pretty name, she said, for a pretty girl. She is still a Facebook friend.

The ten year anniversary has me thinking as does a TG captioning blogger from northern Wisconsin. She does not know it, but I know the general area where she lives. She gave hints without knowing it. I’m such a stalker. I don’t have the money to go visit her, but I know she lives straight north of Neenah in a backwoods area around the small town of Lena. Her name is Alice. She is as kind and thoughtful as the bartender.

Tonight I pour myself a beer in celebration of my personal victory. Alone in my living room I lift my glass and say, “To you Alice, wherever you live in that frosty wonderland.” A tear comes to my eye. I have a friend out there. Her and her husband and daughters and five cats live a quiet backwoods life and could care less about my gender. They see me as a good person, no more. I lift my glass again. “To you, Alice.”

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