A Transsexual In Paradise

Another doctor refused my offer of literature, saying he didn’t need it because, “I don’t believe God makes mistakes.” “Neither do I,” I replied. He smiled and said, “Good,” as he walked off, but I don’t think he knew to whom he was talking.

— Jamison Green, Becoming A Visible Man

Do transsexuals exist in heaven? Are we unhappy accidents, fractured pieces of a broken world? Are we crooked, unbalanced, subpar? Were we born with the wrong hearts, the wrong bodies? Did my soul take a wrong turn on its way to the world? Am I a mistake?

I don’t think so. I refuse to believe there is anything wrong with me. Maybe there is something very right about me, something incredibly sane. Unhappy accident? Try unhappy culture.

I am a mystery, a paradox. I am a testament. I am a manifestation of consciousness, absolute proof of the reality of subjective experience, my essence persisting through guises of form. I am opposites; I am one. Like the full bloom of a very rare flower, incalculably valuable in a domain beyond all rational sense. I exist.

I don’t believe God makes mistakes. We are far too curious to be meaningless. We mean something about the interdependence of male and female. We mean something about the human heart.

Nothing can extinguish us. We are born over and over. We are born in the right body every time.

You will find me in paradise. I will be as I am. Same soul, same body. We will both have new eyes.

There will be transsexuals after the revolution.



  1. Jamie Ray

    Transsexual is a very recent language construct, but people living in their authentic gender is not (hard to wrap the right words around this – can’t say women living as men, can’t say passing women, can’t say people who changed gender).

    There have been people trying to live in their true gender forever; it is just recently ( 1920’s) that surgery and hormones started to be available.

    We’ve been part of every revolution and always will be.

    • rimonim

      Absolutely! One thing I like about the word transsexual is that it’s so loaded. I feel like it tends to trigger people’s most messed up ideas about gender nonconformity.

      Regarding medical treatments–very true. I see it as just like any other circumstance where medical advances help people live longer, healthier, and more fulfilling lives. IMO, the medical aspect doesn’t have much to do with a person’s essential self, except insofar as it is improves quality of life. If I had been born a long time ago, I wouldn’t have had access to hormones or chest surgery… Or eye glasses, antibiotics, dental care, etc. Other people have their lives vastly improved by wheelchairs, insulin injections, and so on.

      • Jamie Ray

        If we had been born same time, different circumstances -without access to healthcare, hormones, surgery, internet, libraries, and community….life would be very different. The high cost of medical transition puts it out of a lot of peoples reach.
        One of the things I see that I like is people trying to wrestle their transition into their control and away from the the medical/psychiatric establishment. The informed consent model is much better than following a pre-set narrative (although it works for some).

    • rimonim

      Re: Same time, different circumstances. You are so right–that was a major class privilege oversight on my part. Thanks for pointing that out.

      Completely agree on informed consent vs. gatekeeper models of transition. Every person has a different journey, so enforcing one path makes no sense, to say nothing of the horrible sexism/heterosexism/cissexism issues with the gatekeeper model.

      I’m glad to see how far we’ve moved toward informed consent in many US cities (my only area of experience). I live in a city in the Southwest with no gender clinics, informed consent or gatekeeper. I’m pretty sure there isn’t one in my whole state, ha. But I was still able to get individualized, nonjudgmental care. I had to get a letter for surgery, which pissed me off at the time, but in retrospect it was a good thing I was in counseling, haha.

      Do I remember right that you’re considering top surgery at the moment? How has your experience been so far in terms of access?

      • Jamie Ray

        I’m considering it (on and off for three years but push is coming to shove). I have an appointment in a couple of weeks with a NYC surgeon to spec it out; he operates on people who are not on T and is fairly openminded or profit oriented. I’d rather get it done here so I can recuperate at home and not have to board my dog (I have my priorities straight). Not sure about the letter but my therapist is willing to write me one.
        Insurance is dubious and complicated and probably not worth trying. The cost will be ridiculously hight without it, but I am fortunate that I can afford it. The phone call I made to the insurance company was the most awkward conversation I have ever had with anyone about being trans or any other topic. Essentially they do it on a case-by-case basis so they can say no without giving a good reason.

      • rimonim

        Yeah, seems like very few people are able to get anything covered by insurance. Sorry it was so awkward though! When I called my insurance co. to tell them about my name change, the woman who answered said very happily, “Oh, did you get married?” Uh…. no.

        At least they called me Mr. in the letter that said they wouldn’t pay a dime for my surgery, haha.

        I’m glad to hear that you’ll be able to afford it in any case, and that the surgeon and your therapist are both on board. Getting it done where you live is definitely awesome–I’m sure your dog will appreciate it!

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