I am a Woman

My very first rose.It seems to be a rite-of-passage, a coming-of-age, for a woman to have her first mammogram, and so it was for me.

I am a woman.

It was no ordinary exam, for I am no ordinary woman – the experience was pregnant with expectation, with anticipation, with joy, and with the potential of disappointment. For I am a transgender woman, relatively new to the relaxing freedom to simply be who I truly am. My medical records say that I am male, but my heart and life testify to my true identity: I am no man.

I am a woman.

It blesses me to say that the experience was even more validating than I had hoped. After preparatory chats with authorities at the imaging center, with gentle and complete openness about my unusual circumstances, I was treated perfectly and in all ways like every other woman, by staff and fellow patients alike.

I am a woman.

It was among the other women, that I was considered ordinary, very few knowing that I understand the intricacies and poignancy of gender in a way most never will. Then, as we departed, we each received a rose – my very first rose.

I am a woman.


My first mammogram, in October of 2012, transpired when I was still legally Brett, still legally male.

Update: today I went back to the imaging center to update my name and gender. I met with the same delightful woman I had before, and sharing my joy, she looked-up my records and we both saw them already changed to my new name and gender. She noted that when the question came up with me last fall, her supervisor said that the organization would regard people by the name and gender they held themselves to be: simple and generous. Thank you!

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One thought on “I am a Woman

  1. Pingback: First Person: The first mammogram | LGBT PERSPECTIVES Magazine

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