A transgender woman who underwent a vaginoplasty to have her penis turned into a vagina has described in graphic detail what the process was really like.
Jessica, who identifies as a queer woman, had already started hormone replacement therapy and gone all the way to South Korea to have vocal chord surgery to transform her baritone voice when she decided to have a breast augmentation surgery and a vaginoplasty in one operation.
After her vaginoplasty, which she had near her home in East Bay Area, California, she warned 'there are going to be parts of you that are going to melt off' in an interview with Truth Speak Project.
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Melting: A transgender woman has described what it is like to undergo gender reassignment surgery; a video reenactment by the European Association of Urology shows what genitals might look like after the procedure
Jessica, whose partner was also born male and had already had the surgery, said there were elements of her recovery that she was not warned about by doctors, adding that it was 'really scary'.
She said: 'There are going to be parts of you that are going to melt off...It is really scary. But it’s also perfectly normal and most people recover from that completely as if nothing has happened.
'Basically the furniture down there gets rearranged during the surgery. One of the many things I learned along this journey is that male genitalia and female genitalia aren’t that different. They’re arranged differently, but the individual parts are really similar.
'So vaginoplasty consists of a re-positioning and folding of all these tissues using the existing tissues.
'When that’s done, some of the tissues might not get as much blood flow as they did before, so they get starved of nutrients and oxygen.
'That’s when the surface tissue tends to die off — which is as gross as it sounds. It is really really awful.'
Warning: Jessica, who was born male, said: 'There are going to be parts of you that melt off' after surgery (medical diagram shown)
Although Jessica said she was expecting her vagina to 'look like Frankenp***y' after surgery, it was much worse that she could have imagined.
At one point she claims she thought she was 'dying'.
'It’s red, there’s stitches and it’s swollen, you can see the stitch lines. You expect that,' she said.
'What you don’t expect is this yellow-y, clumpy, almost mucus-y, looks-like-someone-sneezed-on-your-p***y kind of residue.
'So you might have a chunk of your inner labia just die off, just fall off, and it’ll just grow right back. It’s hard to believe because when you lose a limb or a toe it doesn’t grow back. But it turns out that your p***y does. It’s strange.
'And it’s gross and it’s funky and it’s awful and you think, "Oh my god, What is happening? My p***y is melting. I’m dying." But it turns out that it is perfectly normal.'
She said doctors should better prepare patients for what will happen following the surgery.
'It’s something doctors should tell patients beforehand. Because you’re already dealing with so many changes, working with so many geographic changes on your body.
Healing: She said she had anticipated her vagina looking 'like Frankenp***y' after surgery, pictured in diagram, but said it was much worse than she expected (medical diagram shown)
'Your clitoris, which used to be the head of your penis, is positioned in a completely different way,' she said.
In the early days after the operation, Jessica said there were occasions when she thought she still had male genitalia.
She said: 'There were times early on when I felt like I could feel my penis. I figured out what was going on though.
'Basically, my clit was telling me that it was still the head of my penis, that the most sensitive part of it was still there. It took a lot of adjusting and it was pretty weird at first.'
She said she has shown her new sexual organs to cisgender females who have told her the surgeon 'did a great job'.
Jessica said she has a G-spot and that she has had orgasms - but they are 'very different' to what she experienced before surgery.
She said: 'I do have a G-spot. In fact, I still have a prostate, even though it’s much smaller than it was because of hormone replacement therapy. But it’s still there and it can still be stimulated. It’s still very enjoyable...
'Orgasms are very different. Oh my goodness. They were different even before my surgery after I started hormone replacement therapy. That’s when I started having more full-body orgasms.
Icon: Transgender actress Laverne Cox, 31, left, has previously said she was pleased she could undergo gender reassignment in private; transgender model Andreja Pejic, right, also underwent the procedure in 2014
'The sensation wasn’t just concentrated immediately around my genitals anymore. It was more like waves of pleasure throughout my body.
'So that started happening with just hormones. But then, of course, the surgery changes everything.'
She added: 'I didn’t think that I would get such good results from my surgery but there they are.
'I definitely experience internal stimulation orgasms and they are different from the orgasms I get from clitoral stimulation.
'They’re deeper and they’re more intense — always gush from internal orgasms.'
She said the development of surgery has made experiences for people undergoing the procedure 'a lot better' in the last decade.
She added: 'Some things are different for trans feminine people who had their surgery ten years ago.
'Doctors have gotten to a point now where they can make a vagina that allows you to come and really gush from internal vaginal stimulation just like a cis-gendered woman does, if that’s something that you’re capable of doing.'
Jessica paid for her breast augmentation herself but the vaginoplasty was covered by her insurance as required by California law after a doctor said it was medically needed.
Despite having done so herself, Jessica warned against having both surgeries in one operation.
'I woke up in the recovery room in a world of pain, unable to move,' she said. 'I really underestimated how much the recovery from breast augmentation takes out of you.'
She said she opted for a full vaginal canal because she wanted to experience penetrative sex and to 'relate to cis-gendered women'.
Content: Jessica said she is pleased with the surgery, pictured above, and said since then she has found she has a G-spot and has had orgasms
Progress: Jessica said vaginoplasty surgery, pictured in diagram, has developed considerably over last decade
She added: 'I had to wear a pad every day and I get it. The struggle is real...I have this newfound respect and empathy for my fellow sisters. I get it now...
'I just had my first p-in-v sex as a vagina-haver and it was different from what I expected. It was more intense than I expected.
'I had gotten used to the process of dilating my vagina, which I do with a medical phallus one to two times a day, to keep the new vagina from closing up.
'I’ve been doing that for 9.5 months since my surgery. So having something in my vagina is a normal sensation for me because I experience it every day.
'There are going to be parts of you that are going to melt off... It is really scary. But it’s also perfectly normal
Jessica, transgender woman
'But having a person inside my vagina was a relatively new experience for me. I’ve had fingers but I’ve never had a penis.
'It was a little overwhelming, but it was pleasant and fun and I would totally do it again. The person I had sex with was a preoperative trans woman.'
Transgender model Andreja Pejic underwent gender-reassignment surgery, also known as gender-reconfirmation surgery, in 2014.
Talking about the decision last year the Bosnian model told Vogue: 'Society doesn't tell you that you can be trans. I thought about being gay, but it didn't fit…
'I thought, well, maybe this is just something you like to imagine sometimes'.
Orange Is The New Black star Laverne Cox said she does not like the focus on gender reassignment surgery - saying she is 'grateful' she could have gender reassignment surgery in 'private' unlike Caitlyn Jenner.
The transgender actress told Entertainment Weekly last year: 'I’m so grateful that I had the luxury of transitioning in private because when you transition in the public eye, the transition becomes the story.
'I’m always disturbed when I see conversations about trans people that focus on surgery. But I believe Caitlyn will transcend this moment.'
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Hi everyone! In this video I will be discussing my transition from male to female. There will be pictures during this video, though not many since I avoided the camera at all cost pre-transition. So, I mainly only have school photos.
So, I am a transgender / transsexual person, meaning I was born in the wrong body, it is not a mental illness like some people may think. In my case, I was born a male, lived the first 22 years of my life as one, but then made the transition to become who I really was, a female. I came out and started seeing a therapist in late 2010, been on hormones since late 2011, lived full-time since 2012, and had sex reassignment surgery in early 2013. So, it took about a year and a half from hormones to SRS.
I wouldn’t say that I am completely female though. I call myself a hybrid. I’d say 60% female and 40% male. So, I’m quite androgynous. Not with my appearance, but with some of my personality. While I identify with both male and female genders, there are times I identify with neither. Feeling neither male or female. I don’t know what I am a lot of times.
So, as early as I remember, I always wanted to be a girl. I recall when I was under 10 years old, my mother was watching this movie on cross-dressing men, and I happened to see part of it and realized that’s what I wanted to do. When I became a teenager and started to go through puberty, it was an absolutely awful experience. My body was changing in a way I didn’t want it to, and I was terrified and hated myself.
I remember seeing a documentary on TV about an older male to female that was about to undergo surgery and I was so fascinated by this and amazed that it was possible to change your sex organs. I kept saying to myself, this will be me when I get older. And, sure enough, 10 years later, her I am.
I knew then what I was, and what I needed to do to be happy, but couldn’t tell anyone. I was so reserved that not even my family really knew who I was. This is the moment that I’ve heard a lot of people think they’re gay or lesbian. And, when they come out and live that way, life may be a little better, but still isn’t right. That is when they realize that it’s something a lot more. For me, I never went through a period that I thought I was gay. I was attracted to females, and still am, so I’m a lesbian.
I hated myself so much, whenever I would look in the mirror I would see an ugly disgusting slob. People would say I was a handsome young man, but I hated when they said that because, I was not a man, and I didn’t see myself as handsome. Whenever I would take a photo of myself or look in the mirror, I would become so depressed and cry. I just didn’t want to live because there was no life worth living if I couldn’t love myself. I would hope and wish each day that I could wake up in the morning as a female, with the right body. I hated how I looked, my body, and of course the male parts I had. I just wanted to get rid of it.
When I turned 18, the feeling of wanting to be a female seemed to almost diminish. I think this was due to the fact that I was focusing on other matters that were extremely important to me. The thought of it was no longer something I wanted to do. I still wasn’t confident in myself, hated who I was, but was somewhat ok with being a male.
It was when I turned 20 that the feelings started to return, even stronger than before. And, I knew then I had to do something.
I started doing plenty of research, watching tons of other people on YouTube that were also male to female that we already living full-time. I remember just how much I wanted to be full-time as well, but I couldn’t express my feelings, since I didn’t know how. I was scared about how people would react when they knew. And thought I would be an ugly female that couldn’t pass. I was terrified that people would look at me weird and see me as a guy dressing as a woman. I had facial hair that was very dark and visible, even after I shaved. I was concerned about my masculine voice, facial features, as well as the Adam’s apple. I just didn’t see how I could see myself as a female.
I couldn’t take it anymore and had to tell my grandmother. It was on August 1st, 2010 that she found out. However, my method of telling her was having her guess. She knew something was up by how I was acting the past few days, so we started to have a conversation and the first thing she, and everyone who later found out, thought was I was gay. I said, “No, it’s a lot more complex than that.” Then she guessed transgender. Luckily for me, everyone has been very supportive and accepting of me. This is not always the case for transgender people. It’s a very sad thing when not even your own family can accept you. There is no excuse for that.
So anyway, my grandmother was already familiar with transgender from watching television shows. But, the one thing she said back then was, “I think you should have sex with a girl first and then make that decision.” And, that was just because she didn’t know at the time that it has nothing to do with sexual orientation. A lot of people can be confused by this saying things like, “If you’re still attracted to women, why not just stay a man?” Which is ridiculous since it has nothing to do with sexual orientation. The ‘T’ in ‘LGBT’ doesn’t really belong since the others are sexual orientations, and transgender is not.
Anyway, I started seeing a gender therapist shortly thereafter. I remember saying that I didn’t want to take hormones until after surgery since I didn’t want to be on medication. Plus, there are always dangers with taking testosterone blockers and estrogen. But, sometime later I decided that I wasn’t happy living as a male anymore and want to start living full-time but wanted to be on hormones first. So, in May 2011, I started taking testosterone blockers, and in September 2011 started taking estradiol. I’ll have a video dedicated to hormones since there is a lot to talk about. [Hormones]
In December 2011, I started looking for clothing. It was very difficult at first since I felt as though it was awkward for people to see a male looking for female clothing and I was terrified and embarrassed. But, during that time, I looked androgynous, people couldn’t tell if I was male or female. All I wore as a guy was the same clothes over and over again. I only had like three different outfits. All grey, all blue, and all black. That’s all I wore. I mean, now I wear all black, but that’s different.
I began to dress and when January 2012 came around, I was living full-time. My first day out in female clothing and makeup was terrifying. I didn’t think I could pass, but I did, and so much has changed since then.
I created a brand new identity for myself, changing my first, middle, and last name, so I could leave that old identity behind. My family was upset I was changing my last name and my new first name was nothing like my male name. I legally changed it in April 2012, and later the sex on my license, health insurance, those sorts of things. It was funny, before I changed the health insurance, I went to my doctor and the woman that schedules the future appointments looked at the paper that said ‘M’ for the gender on it and asked, “Is this right?” I just laughed and was like, [nod]. Because at the time I still was legally a male, so it had to stay. It was embarrassing too, but I changed it to female so I don’t have to worry about that anymore.
It was so exciting for me to finally start living the life I was always meant to have. But, something was still not right. I felt like I needed to look perfect so no one would know I was born a male. I was trying to impress people with my femininity. Some of that was due to the fact that I was still trying to figure things out and find my style. And, this took about six months, and then I found what works for me and makes me feel beautiful, which just so happens to be this alternative/Goth look, and it finally felt right. Though, this look probably isn’t the best for me due to the fact that it draws a lot of attention, and I don’t like that since it really messes with my anxiety. But, I do have the attitude that I didn’t care what people think anymore about me. I can go out without any makeup or feminine attire and not really care. And, I seem to completely pass too so that is a great thing.
Lastly, in March 2013, I had SRS (sex reassignment surgery) and removing the Adam’s apple. So, I don’t have to deal with either one of those things anymore. I will discuss the surgery in much greater detail in a different video. [SRS]
I don’t think anyone would really recognize me now after how much I have changed. If anyone did know me from back then, please get in contact with me. That would be very interesting. But, looking back at older photos really upsets me. You can the see the emotional struggle I had with myself, and others I just look so mentally disturbed due to my other issues. If it wasn’t for making this transition, I would’ve never been able to love myself and I don’t know where I would be. Because, now I do love myself more and can express myself easier than I was able to before. I cannot imagine life now as a male. I can’t even remember it really because it was so difficult to function.
So, that sums up my transition from male to female. I hope this video was informative and helpful. Thanks for watching!