The flesh shield, the breast plate, the heart. Re-birthday #topsurgery

And… No more sleeps. Feeling unreal… After 30 years, now just 5 hours away. How is that possibly contained by one emotion? The overflowing emotions are stuck somewhere behind the flesh shield over my heart that’s there for the next 5 hours.

The shield will go, the emotions will come. Unprotected, but open. Vulnerable, but solid. Because as protective as that flesh shield was, there’s a stronger breast plate behind which is a stronger heart. So for now, calm is good.

Today is the day of my re-birthday, complete with re-birth marks. Hello World, meet Germaine Sanjaya Gabriel de Larch; warrior.

“… throw roses into the abyss and say: ‘here is my thanks to the monster who didn’t succeed in swallowing me alive.'” – Nietzsche. Self portrait, 13 March 2017, Home before admission

Self portraits; 14 March 2017, Helen Joseph Hospital, Auckland Park, Johannesburg. Image 1 and 3, day of surgery

Thankfully I have trans siblings who have the words:

  • “I know for a while you struggled to believe this day would ever come. Especially after the ringer the hospital bureaucracy put you through. But guess what- YOU FUCKING MADE IT. Today is the day that will begin the rest of your life. To say I’m happy and proud of you is such an understatement. I simply do not have words. I will keep you in my thoughts all night/tomorrow (today for you) time difference is wonky ๐Ÿ˜œ. I’m smiling and also have tears rolling down my face knowing you’ll be experiencing freedom in a few short hours โคโคโคโค” – America
  • “Just in case you don’t have signal or Internet or something in the hospital: soooooo much love and luck. I’ll be thinking of you. Can’t wait for you to join me in this lighter space. ๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’š(Also, if fears are appearing, I need you to know that it’s completely normal and okay. We get so much ‘this is what you want! It’s great!’ stuff, and it’s TRUE, but it can also be hard and scary, they aren’t mutually exclusive.) (And I’m here if you need to offload any of that.)ย I didn’t believe it either, not even on a cerebral level.ย It’s like…I dunno, it almost matters more the closer you get, right? And at the same time seems less possible both because you’ve had to fight so hard to get here and because how could this be the end of (this part of) the fight?” – UK
  • “So on the eve of your life changing event tomorrow… here it is. A few words from me. I probably won’t be able to express myself as well as say, you. One of the most intriguing, interesting, intelligent and beautiful people I’ve ever come across. I keep coming back to your journey because we share such a similar background. Born in ’77 South Africa. We were pretty much fucking doomed. Fast forward and here you are. Doing something so brave and incredible to make your life as peaceful as possible. I’ll be there with you. Huge hug. You know what I mean. You’re such a crazy beautiful energy. Go and get this fucking surgery.” – New Zealand
  • “I hope you are being treated well at the hospital and that your stay will be a good memory! I’ve been so happy, impressed and inspired to see your self care in only communicating as you need to do for your health pre op and I hope you manage to keep up the good work and take good care of yourself! I’m glad to see all the support you have aswell! Now keep on taking care and focusing on healing. I’m here when you are ready to chat again, and you know how to find me if you need additional support! Big hugs and love! โค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธ” – Sweden
  • “Hello my dear friend! I am so happy for you and they your surgery is finally happening. It’s going to go fantastic and your going to heal great. I can’t wait for you to experience this freedom because you deserve this so much! You are such a kind soul and it shows through in all you say. Sending you so much love and support and healing and positive vibes and everything else I can send to you. I will be waiting for your updates after surgery on the 14th. Love you, sib ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿฆ‹” – Canada
  • “You can see the true happiness of the pending future of your authentic self. You got this so hard!!!” – Washington
  • “So excited for you G! Keep your head up and remember to enjoy the ride too, not just the destination ๐Ÿ‘Š Consider how far we’ve come!!” – Seattle
  • “Wishing u the great life ahead of u my brother filled wif chest pics & grand life after Surgery. You deserve the best in your life as u are a good man a good human & u are inspiring & u have a heart that is big like your muscles. Big & strong is my brother who will have this magical life ahead now that the load has been lifted off your shoulders finally “free” at peace shall be ur mind body soul spirit. Can’t wait for us to dance the happy dance together one day. Wake up Smiling to your new life!” – New Zealand
  • “Hi! I just want to send you a message of support and solidarity. s! I just had my surgery last Thursday so I am sitting in my bandages sending good wishes your way.” – Scandinavia
  • “Hello broster! Just a quick pop in to say good luck for tomorrow and the day after with your surgery. Hope all goes smooth and well. I love you and know you will do great with the healing part. You are such an inspiration! All the hugs and much love” – South Africa
  • “You have a way with words that I really admire. I also admire that you understand the unexpectedly strong bond that our community forms amongst each other along our individual, yet oh so similar, journeys. It is truly heart warming to know that our “chosen family” is here for us to show us love and support when we need it most.ย Life wouldn’t be as enjoyable without bonds like this in it. I cannot express how luck I feel to have a recovery buddy to talk with about the joys/pains/fears/hopes about this unchartered territory.” – America somewhere
  • “I just want to say thank you FOR you. Well to you too, but FOR you. Thank you for your amazing writing talent that describes your feelings in words as if they were mine. Your courage and strength is absolutely contagious. You are a real inspiration. I know I’m not the only one that feels this way but if it was just for me, thank you for putting yourself out there. I really appreciate. I hope that your recover is speedy and exciting! Thinking of you.” – South Africa
  • And MANY others that I can’t share because of Instagram’s no copy and paste function…

And the incredible support of cis friends and social media acquaintances alike:

  • “Following everything. Sharing in your journey. Which I might add is a huge privilege, so I want to thank you for allowing us in and for sharing it with us so openly. You are a hero. And you rock. Take care. ๐Ÿ’–” – South Africa
  • “Thinking of you, Germaine. And of how much that fierce gentleness of yours reminds me of my [sister]. Paths that she hadn’t the courage or the support to embark upon. Onward and forward, with so many people’s dreams trailing in your wake.” – South Africa
  • “With you in spirit all the way from California! I am so happy for you – this has been a long journey!”
  • “You haven’t got a clue who I am, but I see your posts through a mutual friend on FB. I just want to wish you well with your upcoming surgery. You are amazing!”
  • “I’ve been thinking about you heaps recently, will be sending strength and love for your surgery and recovery. Please let me know if you need any assistance, your journey is real and important.” – New Mexico

Thank you, ALL! And again, to those who donated to make this surgery possible, and to those who have been a constant support ๐ŸŒผ๐Ÿฆ„๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ•‰

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