Andrew Guy

We speak to our NSW #YourChair winner Andrew Guy about his journey as a trans person #TheProjectTV

Posted by The Project on Monday, September 7, 2015

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Men and Women are from Planet Earth

Men have testosterone running through their system, and women have oestrogen running through theirs (mainly - even though its greyscale). The body lives on planet Earth. I have a feeling it’s as simple as that without us really having to venture up to Venus or Mars to explain things, unless you have the desire to live on another planet ...  could be fun for day or so... but remember to come back to earth ok?! I’ll miss you too much otherwise!
Ok so what I am getting at? For those of you who caught that deemed ‘controversial’ 2DayFM Kyle & Jackio interview last year and were able to listen past the ‘vagina comment’ without changing the station, you may recall me saying how we all live in our own world. I still get perplexed daily with how we actually carry on each day harmoniously without killing each other more so than we do!
Here is what I mean; I feel pretty confident to say now I can experientially articulate the differences between the two hormonal systems running the planet, and if I had the chance to sit down with GOD for a day, this truly would be my first question ...
sooo GOD buddy, pal, thanks for the gift of life and all that, but come on, really! What is the dealio here with this part of the gender design, it’s a little flawed and a tad f*cked up, don’t you think? I mean seriously, women for at least one to five days a month for no particular reason (even though they try find one) feel crazy, hopeless, flat, lethargic, teary, angry and then flip the coin; for a few other days per month they just want to jump a guy beyond all rational rhyme or reason ... and THEN you go and throw in MEN to the mix who have a natural instinct to kill and are just frickin angry, horny and hungry all the time?! Don’t even get me started with adding in the whole menopause thing or ‘grumpy old man’ syndrome. Is this truly divine design? I mean cave man days sure, but is it actually necessary in this day in age or is it purely to provide you with comic relief up there...just tell me, I can totally handle the truth?”
Clearly I’m speaking of hormones, which for me, have a LOAD to answer for in relation to world wars and everything else going on today that we’re trying to ‘fix’ externally...hmmm!
Reason this is forefront for me this week; I had my three monthly testosterone injection yesterday. I chose to have it a couple of weeks early, this is safe based on the research I’ve done, and truthfully it’s because I’ve been feeling a little less than stable this past week and a half which can be an indicator of low levels ... just in terms of focus, awareness, anxiety, and questioning purpose.
I totted off and purchased my reduced from $159 to $35.95 testosterone now that the Government health care system deems me male; lovely nurse, helpful pharmacist etc BUT swear to God, within an hour and a half, I was so royally pissed off and angry and frustrated about everything. Those little things that had been niggling me went from “Yeh that’s cool, things will sort themselves out TO oh now I’m just totally pissed about it all, EVEN THE GOOD THINGS, I am just so angry that I now have to go off to a vocal lesson which I enjoy with a really ‘hot older woman’ teacher, grr! ... Frickin red lights, SHUT UP lawn mower man, it’s too hot ...f$ck! ” (and it continued – but happy to report after a gym session and a nap I am feeling a lot better today!)
I feel quite lucky to have the awareness greater than this, to hold myself in it, rather than going and punching someone that’s annoying me or in my space at the time, BUT I can certainly see how this happens beyond reason in the world.  It truly does amaze me how we get existence working harmoniously the way we do with ‘all of this’ running the show in people a lot of the time ...
“I guess you’ve got it worked out GOD even if I don’t always understand it”

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Online Forums

This post is really for those interested in knowing a bit more about the "daily life" activities of a person mid transition. For whatever reason I was reading an email this morning and the truthful absurdity of it and what I'm actually doing at this point in time, just made me laugh. 

Since commencing the medical transition component of this process, I've come across some really great closed online forums to discuss and put out ANY question one may not know yet, to others further along their process. I get daily email digests of all the communications back and forth to read about. It includes other people's successes, challenges, worries, struggles - just the truth of it really! I sometimes wish that other groups I am a part of would do more of this as well, talking about whatever is happening in life, may even help with the suicide rate in this country today (check out page 52 of the March madison magazine).

I do laugh these days when I hear others criticise their offspring or partners for being 'so disconnected and anti-social' because they always have their head in their computer, IPhone, or whatever other gadget is their connection into the world wide web. Trust me, truthful connection is occurring!! Or on a more personal note, I guess I feel I'm always criticised for having my head in my phone all the time. I've only ever missed my train stop once ... or was it twice? The bus stop was definitely only once!

Anyway digressing! Back to my point, this was the email that came through today discussing the preparation recommended when approaching a phalloplasty (penis) surgeon. Something I envisage will be happening for me early next year, not in Australia, as it's not really offered here; 

I would suggest making a list of your WANTS, NEEDS, DON'T WANTS and what is NEGOTIABLE and posting it to the group, then guys can give you feedback based on that but simply saying that you want to be able to orgasm isn't specific information at all and 99% of the surgeons can give you that. Do you want urethral lengthening? Do you care about the Donor site? What country are you in and how far are you willing to travel? Do you just want the ability to orgasm or specific types of sensation? Do you want sensation through the entire penis or are just parts of the penis possible? Do you care about the number of stages?

Pretty amazing I think, that this is the level of detail and opportunity that is available out there today. That stressed out four year old in me feels a lot better about things ... ‘Dear Santa’...

Saturday, February 4, 2012

One of the reasons I always chose to fly Qantas

Over the past year I've connected with quite a few trangenderers ;-). A personal discovery has been that even though there is a commonality with people who transform in this way, it is clear to me each individual is going through a very unique and personal process that can never be grouped together as the same thing. It is a right of passage with huge choice variation in what happens to the body/mind/soul. I asked a friend of mine if she'd be willing to share her story for my blog. With huge openness and courage to share a pre-transition photo as well as a current one, and with Qantas' approval, I'm delighted to share the following with you, I hope you enjoy the read!

I'm sitting in a hotel room in Bangkok with my mother 10 days after my sexual reassignment, breast augmentation, and follow-up rhinoplasty surgery. A surgery which lasted 11 hours, which takes my total surgery in the past 18 months to 34 hours. 11 hour hair transplant in August 2010, 12 hour female feminization surgery in December 2010, which included brow bone grind, forehead reduction, brow lift, upper and lower eyelid lift, reduction rhinoplasty, upper lip lift, chin bone and jaw bone reductions, and trachea shave.
I first knew something was wrong about me when I was 4 years old and since then i have felt total detachment from my body. I was born with a female brain and a male body, known as being transgendered. Over the years I learned (which most transgenders do) to fit into society and play the role of their physical body. I played representative rugby, drank more than any of my mates, I got married and had two beautiful kids. Generally I did all the things society expected of me as a male. All of this, no doubt, was a subliminal reaction to the fact that I didn't want anyone to know that I had to dress in females clothes to feel some sort of normality. From the age of around 7 until I began transition at 36 I needed to dress up as a female to make my brain feel comfortable with my body. You see, for me dressing male was cross dressing and being male was as far away from being the real me as could be possible. 

May 2009 I was sitting on the couch at home and I contemplated suicide. I didn't want anyone to know my secret and I couldn't live with the pain and internal anguish any longer. It had simply become too much. I figured that if I killed myself people would just remember me for the man I was and I wouldn't have to deal with making a fool of myself if I transitioned to female. I then thought about my kids and how they would be without a parent. The selfishness of suicide became obvious and I decided to become female instead as I wanted to be around for my kids. I resigned myself to the fact that I would loose all my family, my friends, and possibly my job, but that was ok. I would still be here for my kids and that was all that mattered. I asked my wife if she thought I was transgendered to which she replied probably and to see the doctor.

This started the ball rolling into anti-depressants, hormones, psychologist, psychiatrists, endocrinologists and all sorts of poking and prodding. Telling my family was very difficult but after initial shock, they all accepted that this is something that I had to do. Once people know you were contemplating suicide, they begin to understand how significant an issue it has become. I knew informing my friends was going to be difficult as they were the ones that thought I was a blokey bloke. They all said they would support me through this ordeal, but as time wore on they found the concept too hard to deal with and they systematically dropped off and I found myself with very little to no support.
Being a pilot in Qantas for 10 years and in one of the most male dominated jobs you can find, I was very stressed about how to let work know. Initial contact was to my Base Captain (who had been wonderful throughout) and then the informing of the rest of flight operations management. To my surprise everyone was most supportive and were just amazed at my courage that they didn't really care about exactly what I had intended to do. That was, to become the first and only transgendered pilot in Qantas' 90 year history. There have been other transgenders in other departments in Qantas but never in flight crew. The flight operations management decide to use this to their advantage and gain information from these departments about what worked, and what didn't, to best implement me back into my role as a First Officer. Management informed my work colleagues of my impending transition via memo, which was well received, and they also researched about transgenderism and spoke to various specialists. Quite unbelievable that a company would go to such lengths to keep a transgendered individual employed within their ranks. I really believe that Qantas has set the bench mark when implementing trans people back into the workforce and I'm saddened that most other trans people don't receive the same respect that I received from my employer.

I returned to work after my facial surgery and was well accepted. After initial shock at how good I looked, it was business as usual. The facial surgery was really quite dramatic and gave me a younger female look, and along with loosing 20 kgs and and hormone therapy , it made me look a genetic female. This made my transition easier as instead of being 'the' transgendered pilot I just became one of Qantas' female pilots. This allowed me to slip into my new life as a woman quiet easily. 

So after a year of transition which consisted of a month in hospital with severe depression, hours of painful and expensive electrolysis and laser hair removal, losing a lot of old friends, gaining some fantastic new friends, losing an identity and trying to find a new one, hours of psychiatric evaluation, and more tears I care to remember - I find myself in this hotel room, a post-operative transgender female with my whole new life ahead of me. 

Life truly is great. xx

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