So it's been three weeks since my surgery. Dr. Brassard and his staff were wonderful. Absolutely the right choice for me. Made quite a few new friends, friends whom (who? whom? I never know for sure) I hope to keep. I'm not inclined to go into the details of my time there or my recovery... it is all private and precious. Let it suffice to say that my recovery is where it's supposed to be at this point. I have friends who have taken care of me since I've been home and continue to. I'm up and moving around, taking walks, doing well. Things are good.

I took a quick look on T-Central the other day and realized that I am just not into this anymore. I'm neither into the transition stories nor the constant din of the TS vs. TG arguments. Doesn't hold any interest for me. Writing about the remainder of my transition, what little there is left of it, doesn't either. I'm sure I will find ways to help those who are where I once was, but for now I am going to focus on me and my recovery. Time to get back to real life.

So, this is the post that I've wanted to write since that first day that I realized that I was a woman. The last post. What have I learned?

As we transition, we read about techniques for "developing our femininity," about developing a sense of style, about walking with our hips at a specific angle or stepping with a certain frequency, about how a woman does this and how she does that, about how women respond to this and how they respond to that, how they develop friendships, about learning how to be a woman. This could leave us with an inaccurate impression, an impression that "being a woman" is about something specific. I've been guilty of contributing to this myself, as I asserted in an earlier blog entry that no woman would give up her children without a fight. That is false. There are not many, but they exist. Which, I suppose, is my point.

Do you want to know the secret of being a woman? Do you want to know what you need to do to be accepted as a woman in real life, from someone who has accomplished that very thing? Lean close. I will whisper it in your ear. Here is what being a woman is all about:


Nothing. It's about nothing. There exists no quality or trait that is universal to and exclusive of women. There is no behavior, learned or otherwise, which if missing from a person, marks that person as unmistakably male or unmistakably female. There exists neither a book you can read nor a video you can watch which will teach you how to be a woman. So stop trying so hard. Sorry to disappoint you, but there's nothing specific to which I can point. We don't have as much in common as you've been led to believe.

Well, there might be one commonality. I suppose we're all just striving to be ourselves. Perhaps that is one unifying characteristic of all women. For any given woman, being herself might mean falling in line with society's expectations; to regress to the mean. For another, it might mean flouting them for the sake of flouting them. Of course, the 3.5 billion males in the world also share this trait, this sense of self. So, if one is a woman, "being a woman" is about nothing more than being herself. As is "being a man."

We are unified by our uniqueness. Whatever acronym one chooses or does not choose to "identify with."

So, after blog entries spanning three calendar years, transition, and successfully living my life as myself, that is my sole piece of wisdom.

Ultimately, we are all striving to be ourselves.  Whether that self is a fully-assimilated woman, a fully-assimilated man, a woman who is "out" about her background, a man who likes to express another side of himself from time to time, or something else altogether. In terms of transition and gender, whatever degree of change one undergoes, even if she goes "all the way" as I have, is not to emerge from the change as a woman or a man. We do this for one reason and one reason only: to be ourselves.

So, to be you, be you. Stay true to yourself. It's not any more complicated than that. Neither I nor anyone else can offer you any advice on that. *You* are the only one who knows. Don't do anything because someone says you should or avoid doing something else because someone says that you shouldn't. I promise you that if you remain true to yourself, at some point, someone will appreciate you for that which you are... a woman, a man, or something in between. It might take years. You may incur tremendous losses. But you can get there. Your reward for this? Nothing more than being yourself. Being yourself is the only way to have a fighting chance at being free. It's working well for me so far.

We are different. There are going to be arguments and dissent. Trans people, and people in general, all might not want to get along, and that's just reality. Even if it might be better for all of us if we did. I might not agree with your self-concept, and you might vehemently disagree with mine. At the very least, perhaps we can acknowledge the fact that the essence of what I'm doing is the same as yours... trying to be myself, whoever she is. And whoever you are.

All the best to you as you seek her or him.

With that, I'll leave you with one of the greatest songs ever written.

~~ The end. ~~


Thanks, dear! It feels right being told this that you have written here. :)

That was awesome.

Wow. Sitting at my computer on my last day of work with tears in my eyes. You are incredible...powerful...and so very, very real. I should have predicted that life would get so wild in Aaron and my last weeks that we wouldn't get out to see you...but...we will be back and we will visit and you've always got a place with us in Mpls. Aaron will be in DC for a couple months after I leave and I will be back to see him and the grand-baby. Hopefully we can see you too. Take care fabulous Faline. XO, Lisa B.

Faline, I've just discovered your blog. And what a way to discover it!

Ah grasshopper, you have snatched the pebble from the master's hand, now you are ready to click the heels of your ruby slippers. *BIG grin* Seriously, I am very happy for you and proud to know you and count you as a close friend.

I have never read your blog before Faline but I liked, enjoyed and agreed with everything that you have written here. There isn't anything special about being a woman or a man. What is important is being able to be oneself. It is something I realised many years ago. After nine years being post-op myself I know that life just goes on the same as before whether I am a woman or not. I think you were right not to disclose the details of your own operation and recovery (which you are still doing). It is a personal thing. It is a shame that you are deciding to stop blogging though because you don't have to write about gender issues, there being much more in life to write about (it's what I do on my blogs) and I'm sure you would have a wide audience having read how many people hold you in esteem. Perhaps you might return in the future who knows? Anyhow it was lovely to read your post and I thank you.

Shirley Anne xxx

Good luck, Faline. :)

Thank you Faline for sharing this part of your journey with us. I know your words have always inspired me. And I agree.....Be true to yourself and be who you's really as simple as that. Hard at times, but simple! Best of luck to you!

Thanks for sharing this Faline, that is all so true, if you aren't sufficient in yourself as a person then there is nothing including surgery that can make you anything else. It was heartening to hear someone saying all this. One thing that being a woman has taught me is that we dwell too much on spotting differences and fail to see what we all have in common. Most of that has very little to do with gender. Thanks honey for a wonderful post & for all you've said over the years :)

Bravo! That is all, just bravo =)

When it comes down to it, the recipe for being a woman is not a recipe to be handed down at all. It is what is inside you... it IS you. Best wishes as you move forward with your life as the person you have known you always are!

I have been praying for you and your surgery for a long time now. I am so happy that you are doing well. I for one will miss your posting here, because I have learned so much from you.

I will continue to pray for a speedy recovery and also for the situation with your custody battle.

This posting is absolutely perfect. Like Debra said...BRAVO!!!


Congratulations and I wish you all the best. I am so happy you have made your dreams come true.

Dear Faline:

what a wonderful post and even more wonderful to close your blogging history here with this. One day this "myself" would like to meet your "self somewhere, somehow.

My very best wishes for you


Well Spoaken..

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