Hello. My name is Lois I am an alberta first nation's person of treaty 6. Also, I am a post op transsexual woman of 13 years.
In 2009 I was rushed into having SRS before I was ready.
Resulting in immediate regret and sterilization.
I had started my transition in the fall of 2007 with testosterone blockers- diagnosed with GID.
In feb-march 2008 I was sent to a endocrinologist and put on estrogen.
Every 4-6 months I was to see the psychiatrist Dr. Warneke (late) out of the Grey Nun's Hospital
Inpatient psychiatrist unit in Edmonton Alberta.
That is a few hours drive my reservation.
The appointments lasted 30mins-1hr.
Not once did we talk about my native heritage and the cultural impact transition would have.
In the early spring of 2009 during one of my appointments the Dr informed me that funding was going to be cut to the program that paid for SRS. And he was going to push me through as a candidate for funding.
April 2009- I was denied funding due to not meeting the criteria.
I was crushed but also relieved at the same time.
I was going at a "lois" pace and that SOMEDAY I would get the surgery.
The rush was due to funding cuts and I was not eligible due to the fact that I wasn't at the 2 year mark.
The Dr said he would advocate of my behalf to recieve the surgery- I thought the surgery would still be 2-4yrs away as initially said at the beginning of my transition.
Then June 2009 came along. I got the letter saying I was approved for funding for SRS in Montreal.
The surgery was scheduled for Sept 2009.
Because of the funding cuts and the direction of the Dr, it was now or never.
I did feel extremely pressured to undergo the SRS.
How was I supposed to afford SRS someday?
I wish I stayed in the "someday" mindset.
Then September 2009 came.
I was having extreme anxiety and I did tell the Dr his response was that it was normal.
I knew deep down I didn't want IT.
Even the day I was being held in a headlock to recieve the epidural at the private clinic.
I remember waking up the next day in a panic "what have I done!"
I wanted out of montreal I wanted my parts back.
I knew, I knew I was ready but I did it.
How do I explain that regret?
Even to this day i can't, even with the coping mechanisms I have learned, I still can't.
I had told my then partner that I made a mistake. I didn't do it for me!
I remember getting up to walk in the clinic and pacing around the nurses station.
What have I done? I didn't do it for me! I was constantly saying to myself over and over again.
The mistake was a daily reminder when I had to dilate.
I became so withdrawn at this time and it wasn't until December 2009 when I told somebody other than my partner that I regretted my surgery.
I couldn't hold it in anymore and I needed somebody else to hear it.
I told my then mother-in-law.
The weight of this regret couldn't be held no longer.
I felt disgusted with myself but it was worse than the original regret- I can't have my own biological child!
As if it were ever a option. But my biological reality was gone.
After few months recouping in Nova Scotia I went back to alberta to meet with the Dr as a followup as per required.
I instantly told him everything and more.
He didn't know how to recieve the panicked regret I was giving.
In all of his years of treating people with GID he never once encountered someone who regretted transitioning fully.
He seen individuals from Alberta, Saskatchewan, BC, Yukon, NWT.
I even expressed a possible detransition. He was no help nor did I want to be a case study
I was told to give it time that after I'm fully healed I would be in a better place mentally.
One year, two years, three years, four years, then five years came and went.
I requested a followup with him again, nothing changed. He suggested I distract myself and so I did.
I became an advocate for transgender healthcare in Alberta (different story for another time).
Even with these distraction from self I felt this sadness.
Then I found spirituality within my culture. Being first nations I grew up learning from my kokum and mosum
I remember the peace it brought from picking sweat grass to cleaning deer.
I could channel this sadness, despair, regret, and give it back to the creator. Oh how I prayed for forgiveness.
The more I did cultural stuff the more I realized- I am the last of me.
Sure I have nieces and nephews but at times they don't wish to learn those things.
But I was missing, a version of me was missing.
I tried so hard to keep this darkness at bay but I felt like I did something culturally wrong. That I added to a genocide.
I reflect back on those visits with the doctor and not once did he ask me about my culture or what it was like living on a reserve. The cultural significance of being first nations in Canada!
I became a statistic of systemic ignorance.
It took me almost a decade to find peace
I learned to acknowledge that regret.
I still mourn parts of me the futures never thought of.
If I were to have waited, gone at my pace, gotten the surgery after 25 I would have been in a better place.
But I'm here now with a voice.
The trans rights activists, it's allies, nurses, doctors need to take into consideration the longterm consequences of the cultural genocide of indigenous people and its many faces including transition.
That statement alone should frighten the most woke.
Sorry for ranting.
Thank you all for reading my thread.