Christine D. Beatty: Awakening

As Glamazon wound down, and Rynata and I planned to separate, I had more time to write and to discover the internet. I was amazed by all the transsexual support groups existed and the wealth of information. Much had changed since my transition stalled ten years earlier. Then I found an article about an A-List surgeon performed Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS) if the patient was otherwise healthy.

After I stopped crying, I called his office for details. As long as my primary doctor okayed me for surgery, I was a candidate. I'd saved up the money, so all I needed was a surgery date. On Halloween of 2002, I rolled into a surgical suite and woke up with a vagina. My mother had flown in to support me, and welcomed me as her new daughter.

Five months later, I underwent laser resurfacing to heal the ancient thermolysis damage on my face. The recovery was uncomfortable, but the results took a decade off my forty-five-year-old face. In 2004 I was in the cast of an all-transgender production of the Vagina Monologues, with Jane Fonda and Eve Ensler in the front row. I'd recently completed my first novel and mentioned it to Ms. Fonda backstage. She was quite gracious about what must have sounded like a movie pitch.

I had written articles for periodicals and several books, had done many public readings, but I knew nothing about screenwriting. I enrolled in the feature film screenwriting program at UCLA, and completed it in a year. I also missed the BDSM community, so reconnected with that family in Los Angeles. I also got back into activism after ten years of being away. Most of all I wanted to finish the final step of transition.

The surgeon who performed my SRS also did Facial Feminization Surgery (FFS), sculpting facial bones to more typically feminine contours. For me the surgeon shaved down my brow ridge, reduced the squareness of my jaw and smoothed the bridge of my nose. My face looked hideous for days afterward, but my own brother didn't recognize me a year later (2006). [The Transitions link has details and photos of SRS, FFS and more.]

The screenplays I'd developed since UCLA hadn't sold, so I returned to book writing. As the 2000s ended I was nearly 14 years sober, I had 8 years off of nicotine, and I'd survived hepatitis-C chemo. My memoir was finally ready to market, and I'd obtained a literary manager. At fifty-years-old I was fully at peace and felt like I was ready for a new chapter in my life, whatever it may be.


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� Christine D.Beatty
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