Don't let your schooling interfere with your education.
~ Pete Seeger

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A Tranny’s First Mammogram

Last time I saw my doctor, she said my breast was a bit lumpy and I should get a mammogram to check it out. Following up, yesterday found me at urgent care getting my breasts squashed. After all, though it's true my breasts are babies, I'm running from 50 and it looks like it's still going to catch me in a couple of years. I'm not really the adolescent my hormones say I am.

The mammogram itself was easy. Follow directions; strip down to my waist, snuggle up to the x-ray machine, move the way the technician told me, hold breath.

Deciphering my feelings about it were – are – not.

It's the first time I've made myself so vulnerable in front of a total stranger who didn't know anything about my background, and that alone felt scary. The technician was cool and professional, though, and if she clocked me, she didn't indicate it. Nevertheless, it was a huge relief to be done and to cover up.

I also felt grateful that I could be in that position, as uncomfortable as it was.

Most of all, there is something very personal about breasts, and having a stranger handle them felt extremely vulnerable. Part of it was the impersonality of the touch on so intimate a part of me. I shut down somewhat, yet by the time it was over, I was almost shaking. It took a brief walk around the block to regain my equilibrium.

I'd like to get to the bottom of that reaction, but perhaps it doesn't matter. I did it, it's over, and so I've joined in a common experience, and it has become a part of me, just as I have become a part of something bigger, too.

That is enough.


Ms. Moon said...

I would say that having a mammogram makes you a real woman in ways that no other experience can quite compete with. (Tongue firmly in cheek- being a woman is wonderful but there are many indignities associated with the joy.)

Terri said...

There's nothing quite like that fresh squeezed feeling is there? I do hope the test was clear. Thanks for sharing such a tender moment. I remember my first mammogram and the fear associated from losing two aunts to breast cancer. It's not fun, but the girls are worth it : )

Seda said...

It was clear. Thanks, all!

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.
~Helen Keller

Reading List for Information about Transpeople

  • Becoming a Visible Man, by Jamison Green
  • Conundrum, by Jan Morris
  • Gender Outlaw, by Kate Bornstein
  • My Husband Betty, by Helen Boyd
  • Right Side Out, by Annah Moore
  • She's Not There, by Jennifer Boylan
  • The Riddle of Gender, by Deborah Rudacille
  • Trans Liberation, by Leslie Feinberg
  • Transgender Emergence, by Arlene Istar Lev
  • Transgender Warriors, by Leslie Feinberg
  • Transition and Beyond, by Reid Vanderburgh
  • True Selves, by Mildred Brown
  • What Becomes You, by Aaron Link Raz and Hilda Raz
  • Whipping Girl, by Julia Serano
I have come into this world to see this:
the sword drop from men's hands even at the height
of their arc of anger
because we have finally realized there is just one flesh to wound
and it is His - the Christ's, our