LANNIE!

Table of Contents

Introduction 8

Sex Reassignment Surgery 12

Sugar and Spice 17

A Bad Thing 30

Not Gay 38

Transsexual Panic Attack 42

What Is a Woman? 51

Transition 62

Lannie Gets Her Ears Pierced 66

Wavy Gravy, Transsexual Role Model 71

Last Hurrah 75

Chanel 81

Full Time 90

Telling the Family 97

A Rose by Any Other Name 110

Two-Hundred-Dollar Jeans 117

Spring Cleaning 127

My Spiritual Journey 134

Pride 142

Pollyanna 154

"You'll Never Be a Real Woman" 158

E-mail 162

Saying "Yes!" 172

Advantages of Transitioning Later in Life 178

Prevalence of Transsexuality 181

Why I Had Sex Reassignment Surgery 187

Trannie Lib, One Comedian at a Time 199

How I Changed My Body 203

Thoughts on the Eve of Sex Reassignment Surgery 218

Sex Reassignment Surgery Hurts! 221

The Scariest Thing I Have Ever Done 233

Clean Underwear 243

My Transsexual Lifestyle 248

Stanford Bachelors Club 250

Monkey Brains 262

Inside the Women's Locker Room 269

Online Dating 274

Cranberry Juice 287

The Post-Op I Never Wanted to Be 291

DOMA, FMA, the Olympics, and Me 297

Do-Overs 301

Reunion 309

Dancing Queen 314

About the Author 323

Please enjoy this preview of the first four chapters of LANNIE! My Journey from Man to Woman.

Chapter 1: Sex Reassignment Surgery

A handful of skilled surgeons around the world know vaginas so well that, godlike, they can create them. They can make a new vagina, a neovagina, where none exists—namely, in a male body. These women and men are so skilled, even gynecologists may not notice that some vaginas are the work of, not God, but man.

I paid fifteen thousand dollars to one of these surgeons. In return, she created a vagina in me, of me, a vagina that became part of me. A new me. A neo-me.

An anesthesiologist stuck a needle in my arm and asked me to count backwards from one hundred. I said one last quick goodbye to my little lifelong friend, my penis, and start counting. 100, 99, 98 I did not reach 90. My part of the procedure was done. I slept through the next seven hours of surgery.

The surgeon removed my scrotal sac and testicles. My testes were sent to a lab to be checked for abnormalities and then discarded. My scrotal skin was carefully preserved to be used later to construct my labia.

The surgeon peeled my penis like a banana. She carefully cut away every last bit of erectile tissue, and discarded it. During the dissection, the surgeon preserved the urethra tube, the blood vessels, and the nerve bundle going to the tip or glans of my penis, as well as most of the glans itself.

The surgeon created a hole in my perineum, the area between the base of my penis and my anus. The hole went clean through my puboccocceygeus (PC) muscle, the muscle I would later flex for my Kegel exercises. This hole became the entrance to my new vagina.

My penile skin was sewn back together into a tube, and its length was extended using skin grafted from my left thigh. The purpose of the skin graft was to increase my neovagina's depth, because next, the tube of skin was turned inside out and pushed through the hole in my perineum to create my vaginal canal. Thus my penis was inverted, as we sometimes speak of it. What used to be the outside surface of my penis became the inside walls of my vagina, and what used to be the inside of my penis was now on the other side of my vaginal canal, the side where the rest of my guts were.

Next, the surgeon whittled down my glans penis with its blood vessels and nerves, and repositioned it in another small hole near the top of my new vulva, creating a functional and visually pleasing clitoris. My urethra tube was rerouted and positioned below my clitoris and above my vaginal entrance to support normal urinary functions. An unneeded three or four inches of excess urethra were cut off and discarded.

Finally, the surgeon fashioned my scrotal skin into labia majora and labia minora—the lips of my vagina—giving my vulva a complete and pleasing appearance. (Some surgeons prefer to form the labia in a second operation some months later. Mine was a "one-step" procedure, where everything was done at the same time.)

An inflatable plastic stent was pushed into my neovagina to preserve its shape, and everything was sewn up and held in place with stitching, packing, and tape. Silicone tubes emerging from the surgery site enabled blood and fluid to drain for a few days after surgery.

At that point, I had a vagina and, thankfully, was rid of my penis and testicles. However, I wasn't done with the creation of my new vagina yet. My body did not understand it had a vagina. It thought it had a wound, and began trying to heal it. For six months I had to instruct my body about its new organ. I did this by inserting into my vagina dilators—dildos, if you would—white acrylic rods, eight inches long, of progressively wider diameters. The largest dilator I used was one and a half inches in diameter. I inserted dilators into my vagina five times a day, keeping them in place for half an hour at a time. My body gradually learned to accept its newest addition and I was able to reduce my dilating time; however, I was told to keep dilating about once a week for the rest of my life, lest my vagina shrink.

My neovagina was a real vagina. It was functional and sensate for sexual and urinary activities. I was susceptible to yeast infections, and I got one two months after my surgery. It was persistent, and took six weeks and two courses of Diflucan antifungal tablets (a prescription drug) to get rid of it. I was also susceptible to sexually transmitted diseases, but I always practiced safe sex and managed to avoid them.

Of course, I could not ever become pregnant. But that shortcoming was not my vagina's fault. It was due to the fact that I lacked a uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, and a cervix. In this regard, I was in the same condition as cisgender women (women who were not transgender) who also lacked those parts, either through hysterectomy or a rare birth defect. Missing that vital equipment, none of us would experience the joy and pain of having a baby pass through our vaginal canals.

Through the process of gender transition and sex reassignment surgery, I learned more about vaginas than I ever wanted to know. I learned more about vaginas than most women who were born with them ever know. More, probably, than any man will ever know—except, perhaps, for those few men who, godlike, create vaginas where none exist.

Chapter 2: Sugar and Spice