Update: April 13th, 2009
Today is the tenth anniversary of my orchiectomy procedure in Dr. Spector’s office. Ten years ago I took the first of many steps in my long journey to becoming my real self. At the time I felt immense relief for having testosterone removed forever.
Today I feel a different type of relief. My tenth anniversary of my orchiectomy is also the starting date for my new job. After being laid off last July, I did complete my associate’s degree in computer science. While I attended school, the national and global economies took a dramatic turn for the worse, and by the time I started looking for work in December, unemployment was rising rapidly. I consider myself very fortunate to have found employment, even if it does pay less than what I used to make in my previous employment. Considering that my employment starting date fell on the tenth anniversary of my orchiectomy, I feel that I was meant to have this job.
I have one piece of sad news to report. A number of people have sent E-mails informing me that Dr. Kimmel has retired. While transitioning transsexuals will continue to have a number of other resources for orchiectomy, Dr. Kimmel’s retirement leaves non-transgendered men seeking orchiectomy without a surgeon to go to. I do hope that someone will start performing orchiectomies in Dr. Kimmel’s place soon so that non-transgendered men will have a safe means of obtaining orchiectomy.
Update: October 3rd, 2008
Today is my third anniversary of my SRS in Bangkok, Thailand. Three years after completing my transition, I find myself on a new journey in life.
I have become a statistic of the recession of 2008. On July 2nd, high management of my workplace announced their plans to idle the plant where I have worked for the past five years. Some employees remained a little longer, but I was among those laid off that day.
I can look back and say it was nice while it lasted. First, that job enabled me to save the funds for SRS. After completing my physical transition, the workplace continued to provide my funds so that I could take classes at my local community college, and taking several long pleasure trips, including the Colorado Rockies, Black Hills, a caravan tour of Waterton/Glacier/Banff/Jasper parks in Alberta, and more recently, the mammoth caves in Kentucky. Finally, at the time of my layoff, I had nearly the same amount of money saved as I did just before my SRS.
So I believed that I knew what I needed to do. After conferring with a professor, I determined that I needed only five more classes (total of 17 credit hours) to finish my associate’s degree. Additionally, I had already attained a highly esteemed CCNA certification last summer. So instead of immediately seeking new employment, I decided to attend school full time this fall and take all five of those classes.
I feel that I am making another type of transition, this time an economical transition. This economic transition began when I started taking classes part time two years ago, and started down the CCNA path in early 2007. I am not sure what I will encounter at the end of this little journey. First, I will be attempting to enter the IT workforce without prior IT workplace experience. Second, the economy continues to deteriorate. But I can look forward to the idea of looking for work in early 2009 with two advantages that I didn’t have before: a CCNA certificate and an associate’s degree.
Life has not been easy for me in 2008, but I continue to reap the great benefit of my great transition years ago: Whatever happens to me in life, I get to face it as the real me, a woman.
And very soon, hopefully, a career woman too.
Update: September 3rd, 2006
Eleven full months have now passed since my SRS surgery in Thailand. As I continue to gradually and carefully taper my dilation schedule, I am moving on with my life.
During my transition I had forsaken most of my yearly vacations to help me save funds for SRS and to finish my transition. I partially made up for this in 2006 by taking two vacations this summer. First, I visited the Colorado Rockies and the Black Hills of South Dakota. Then I took a second vacation in New England. I moved to a slightly better apartment in my area.
Now that my transition is finished, I have started working toward my next goal in life. On August 21st I began taking classes at a local community college. I won’t go to school full time because I do need to work full time, so progress will seem slow while I take six credit hours per semester (and three more in the summer). I was able to transfer some credits from a college I had attended in another community college 20 years ago, and this will help me toward my goal of getting my Associate’s degree. I think I will seek my Associate’s degree in computer engineering technology, most likely in networking rather than programming classes, because many programming jobs have been outsourced to India recently. My target date for obtaining my Associate’s degree is May 2010.
I hope to accomplish two things from resuming my education. First, I do hope to eventually have a real career. Second, obtaining any Associate’s degree would provide me a degree in my real legal name that I could present to any employer. Because I graduated from a parochial (Catholic) high school, getting my name changed on my high school diploma is hopeless especially while Benedict XVI is pope. If any employer now asked me to show a high school diploma, I would either have to decline the job or else out myself by referring to my diploma still in my male name. An Associate’s degree in my name of Sherry from a two-year college would give me something even better to present.
I will understandably be very busy during the next several years, especially when school is in session. So I will not be able to answer all of my E-mail, while responses to E-mails I do answer could be delayed for days or weeks. Please read my contact page for more information.
Update: April 29th, 2006
It has been almost seven months since my SRS. My surgery has been a complete success, my recovery has also been complete, and my life is much more comfortable.
I finally corrected my birth certificate. I also went to my local Social Security Administration office and presented my surgery letters and my corrected birth certificate. Now my SSA record finally lists me female. Having my SSA record corrected has been a huge relief for me.
I’ve added two more pages to my website.
Part V: SRS In Retrospect Describes my improved life since my SRS
Orchiectomy OK Before SRS? Although I needed a skin graft to ensure adequate SRS results following some tissue shrinkage from my orchiectomy, my choice to have orchiectomy six years before SRS still had many benefits, and I am still happy that I had my orchiectomy before I began my transition.
Update: November 8th, 2005
I have made it through my surgery OK. My only complications were the need to have a skin graft taken from my tummy (and a horizontal scar line there) for adequate depth and function of my new genitals, and more swelling than usual. Otherwise, I am healing well and expect to return to work in only a few more days.
To describe the experience of my SRS, and provide information for those considering Dr. Kamol or any other SRS surgeon in Thailand, I have expanded my SRS section and added half a dozen new pages:
Update: September 26th, 2005
My SRS date is only seven days away! I am feeling excited despite having to discontinue my HRT three weeks ago, and the resulting hot flashes and sometimes feeling cranky at work.
I will be away from home for weeks, and have very limited time for months. I have written a little page to advise readers of my limited ability to respond to E-Mails in the coming months as dilations, increasing work hours, my surgery, and my recovery will consume much of my time.
I plan to update my website again in early November to let you know that I made it through the SRS procedure OK and assure you of my recovery. I also hope to add new information about SRS to help you through the process of surgery and recovery.
Two of my pages, ‘Castration Effects’, and ‘Orchiectomy for Transsexuals’, have been translated into the Spanish language. The Spanish translation of these pages now available here.
Ahora dos de mi paginas, ‘Castration Effects’, y ‘Orchiectomy for Transsexuals’, estan disponible en Espańol.
Update: July 2nd, 2005
I have added a new page about how to obtain temporary Passports for Transsexuals Traveling to Thailand for SRS with the sex listed female. These temporary passports are valid for 12 months, and once you return from your SRS they can easily be extended to ten year permanent passports.
I am now only 93 days away from my SRS date. I have obtained my SOC therapist letter, my passport, and my plane tickets.
Update: May 4th, 2005
Today is the first anniversary of the unfortunate day when the Social Security Administration outed me to my employer. Now one year later, I am happy to report that the knowledge of my transition history is still contained in the HR department, and I remain stealth at work and my everyday life. I continue to work and save additional funds before my upcoming SRS date.
One year after this most unfortunate event since my transition, I have added an essay about changing the sex/gender markers on legal documents after orchiectomy. Unfortunately, there is little we can do about this, yet there is much to this issue for me to write about.
I have also added to the Orchiectomy For Transsexuals essay, where I address the question of whether orchiectomy or any genital surgery will affect orgasms and sexual function after the surgery.
Update: February 24th, 2005
I have chosen my SRS surgeon and set a date!
You may read more about my choice on my SRS Page. I have added some SRS related links on the bottom of that page.
Update: December 30th, 2004
Today is the second anniversary of the day I began my RLE. I have written some thoughts and reflections about my RLE.
I am happy to report a new resource for transsexual orchiectomy. Andrea James writes about this on her TS-Roadmap site here.
My brother has reached out to me and accepted my transition. He is the first person in my family to call me Sherry and recognize my transition. Not only has my brother found me, but in a way I have also found my brother! I visited him this evening and saw him for the first time since I transitioned two years ago.
I also visited some of my old friends in Arkansas and Tulsa after Christmas. My brother and my friends have given me a Merry Christmas this year.
I wish you a happy New Year, and hope you reach your goals in 2005.
Update: August 16th, 2004
I have started a new SRS web page.
Update: May 28th, 2004
During the month of May 2004, my quiet and peaceful life has been disturbed by the Social Security Administration insisting that the gender marker on my files at work matches the SSA record. I have written about this at:
Update: January 22nd, 2004
I’ve added another page to my orchiectomy section pertaining to castration safety, which explains the dangers of obtaining orchiectomy by a non-professional or by trying to do it to yourself.
Update: January 3rd, 2004
I made a few additions and minor corrections on my links page.
Four days ago I marked my first anniversary of going full time. My process has required some effort on my part and a little help from some friends, but the improvement in the quality of my life has been well worth it. My life is not perfect, but it is a lot more comfortable than it used to be.
Several of you have replied to my update of last October, assuring me that you understood my need to remove some of the pages from this site. I do appreciate your understanding.
I wish everyone a happy 2004.
Update: October 4th, 2003
Now that I am living a more or less stealth, I have had to seriously think about issues that could potentially reveal my past and jeopardize the life I have made so much effort to attain. One of those issues has been this website. To maintain any sort of transition website is to risk having a coworker or neighbor stumble onto this site and recognize my picture or other information I have written. Here is an example of what could potentially happen if I leave too much information about myself on the web, and while I don’t know the outcome of that particular instance, it was probably a lot better than what could happen, especially considering some of the vindictive people out there.
At the same time, many people have written me to express how my website has helped them. My pages about orchiectomy and hair replacement have been especially valuable to many transitioners, and I would really hate to deprive my transitioning friends of this information. I find myself faced with the difficult choice of either risking the unpleasant consequences of being outed, or depriving thousands of other transitioners of the valuable information I have provided on my site.
As with many other difficult choices, I am choosing a middle ground. To secure the status of my present life and how I am perceived by neighbors and coworkers, I have removed my photos and much of the personal information by which a reader too close to home might recognize me by. But I will seek to maintain the informative aspects of my site. All of the orchiectomy pages as well as my hair replacement page and the links page will remain on the web for all those who will transition after me. You can still send me E-Mail to my Hotmail account at MysterySJC@Hotmail.com and ask any questions that I didn’t cover on my site.
I want you to know that I regret having to remove my Bio and journals, as some readers have told me that this had been helpful and inspiring to them, and I have removed those things solely for the protection of my privacy.
To contact me by E-Mail, please go to Sherry's Contact Page
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