Transgender Life

I don’t want this site to be solely about being transgender. From my experiences so far, it’s not even something I could write about every week – being in the closet is far more intense and frustrating and writeable. However, there are moments when things happen, unique to trans people. I’d like to share those moments with you, and let you into the mystery.

It's Grey Outside And My Face Isn't Hurting

Grey-skies

It's Grey Outside And My Face Isn't Hurting 29.05.17

It's grey outside, in the same way that last Thursday and Friday were golden. I walked past Edinburgh's Meadows park back then, watching what looked like a peace festival but was actually just the whole world relaxing, with friends and barbecues and pets and different ball games. It was wonderful to see. I couldn't join in.

It was over thirty degrees, and I was in black, and also a wig. Also, I've started laser surgery again, for facial hair removal, so have to avoid exposure to the sun.

C'est la vie; I had surgery yesterday and my face doesn't look nearly as swollen as on the previous occasion six weeks ago. Admittedly, my face even this time looked cratered and swollen after the surgery as I weaved my way home, choosing back streets to avoid the throbbing, touristic mass on the high street from seeing my throbbing, over-made-up face. It's always funny to see how bad my face is after surgery, when I enter the clinic's bathroom and lock the door, wondering how much foundation I'll need to apply. I did look bad in that mirror, especially the upper lip, all red and swollen and gelled, looking shiny, and for some reason the lasering also affects the bags under your eyes, makes them conspicuous, makes you look forty years older. You wonder how the clinician – who is very nice, by the way – keeps smiling like you're fine, while she's rubbing Aloe Vera gel on your face to bring down the swelling. 'It went quickly,' I told her with relief when the lasering was over, not yet aware of how bad I looked. Sometimes the lasering feels like hours, though it's only ever ten minutes, roughly speaking. The clinician replied that with me it took less time than with other customers because I didn't move much. 'Because of the pain? They move because of the pain?' I asked her. 'Yes,' she replied. With their 40% weekend discount, lots of people were there having laser hair-removal, as many men as women.

I don't know why a man who isn't trans or into crossdressing would want to have his facial hair removed by laser, especially as it takes a year of treatment for full effect, and the treatment never stops being excruciating.

The best thing about laser surgery is that you look so bad afterwards that you have to go home and hide in the cool shadows of your apartment. As a result, I vacuumed my apartment and I seldom do that. I don't like being in my apartment but when your face is swollen and rash-covered, there's little else to do but housework. And now my face isn't swollen, and my apartment is nice when you enter.
In London at an LGBT conference
20.05.17 On the release of Chelsea Manning
 

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