Life after being born again

Life after being born again

Life after being born again
April 26
20:13 2017

She walks past the shadows of old trees and freshly cut grass. Her girlfriend hugs her hips as she walks her great dane.

At this dog park in Fort Worth, she feels comfortable. The dogs are all good and nobody stares.

It’s a normal Saturday for Texas Women’s University graduate student Gen Mayet.

It’s been months since Mayet flew 9,000 miles to Bangkok, Thailand to undergo sex reassignment surgery. To her, the surgery was a lifesaver.

“It was like having a rotten tooth that needed to get pulled — it was just always hurting and hurting and now, after having it gone, it’s a relief,” she said. “I had all the pressure of feeling not like myself, and trying to ‘pass’ as being a female. Now, I’m me.”

She finds her sense of normality now that she’s back home.

A new home

The good days outnumber the bad, but she has encountered complications.

After months of smooth sailing, she had a “serious” complication with the operation. She struggled to find medical help in the U.S.

“I felt mistreated by the American health care system,” she said. “My doctors in Thailand were great, but here is where I found problems.”

Mayet visited four separate doctors before finding someone who agreed to treat her. She had doctors refuse to examine her, and those who did listen ended up writing her a prescription that ultimately didn’t help.

Though she characterized the complications from the surgery as “serious,” she said her treatment in Thailand was top-notch.

She said most of the gynecologists and plastic surgeons she visited berated her about traveling to Thailand. Mayet was shamed for not undergoing surgery with them.

Dr. Alan Dulin of the American Institute for Plastic Surgery was the worst encounter.

“For the entire 10 minutes of examination, he was very forceful, unfriendly and condescending,” Mayet said.

Dr. Dulin was more concerned about the price she paid in Thailand and why she chose surgery there over AIPS, as opposed to providing what Mayet called “quality care.”

After 16 hours of wasted time and sitting in doctor offices only to be turned away, shamed or ignored, she finally found a surgeon who would help rectify the situation.

Mayet doesn’t know exactly how her treatment was poor, but she said suspects a few reasons. She figured there was a lack of confidence in the procedure, there were biases against the trans community and there was a fear of getting involved in surgery that was performed overseas.

Her surgery aligned her mind and body, but in her time back home she said she’s found a country misaligned with her.

Work in progress

She was minding her own business on the elliptical machine at 24-hour Fitness one day when a man approached her and told her she wasn’t welcome.

She’s since switched gyms, but from showering in the locker rooms to working out, it’s hard for her to feel safe.

Mayet has spent years and thousands of dollars realizing herself. She has the birth certificate, the anatomy and use the women’s bathroom.

In some ways, the world around her her hasn’t caught up, which has led to further complications.

She watches videos on how to train her voice to sound more feminine. She wears hats to hide the thinning hair on her scalp and undergoes electrolysis to permanently remove her facial hair.

Being called “sir” constantly slights her identity. She doesn’t hesitate to correct them.

“It hurts every time,” she said.

She hasn’t gone on this journey of self-discovery alone. Her girlfriend, Kate Ford, has been with her from Bangkok and has followed her every step of the way.

“None of this would have been possible without Kate,” she said. “She’s been everything to me over these past few months.”

But Mayer will begin to follow Ford to the waiting rooms and her doctors appointments in the months to come.

Mayet cryogenically froze a sample of her semen before undergoing surgery in Bangkok. And after burning through several credit cards and generous donations from friends and family, Ford is now 12 weeks pregnant.

It wasn’t cheap, but Ford and Mayet are ready to start a family together. She says their children will choose how to identify themselves.

Their baby represents a second chance, a new life and an opportunity to correct the mistakes their parents made.

“It’s a boy until we’re informed otherwise,” Mayet said.

Featured Image: Gen Mayet, 40, underwent sex reassignment surgery in Bangkok. Now back home, she’s encountered complications. Austin Jackson

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Austin Jackson

Austin Jackson

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