Life Stories “Holden”
“I started my transition in 2011. Before then I tried leading the life of a female, kids, husband, girl clothes, etc. My depression just continued to escalate. I had contemplated suicide at least 20 times since the age of 16. I never felt I was the person I was supposed to be. I was a high honors student, worked in high level executive job, had a wonderful family, but never felt fulfilled. I admired the looks of a well built man, not because I wanted the man, but I wanted to look like that man. My hobbies were all masculine in nature, mechanics, woodworking, martial arts, hanging with my redneck male friends, motorcycle riding, muscle building, etc. I never understood woman’s emotions or reactions. I was always the head of the household, always wanted to wear men’s clothing, have facial hair and do things guys do. In 2007 I divorced and began a long term relationship with a woman. I was for lack of a better term, a butch lesbian.
I still didn’t feel complete, I needed more. Once again contemplating suicide. In 2008 I started researching transgender, or identity disorder. In 2009 I realized I was not a woman. I was born in a woman’s body, but I was a man. I found a psychiatrist who did an extensive psychiatric evaluation and determined I was text book transgender. It was then I started my transition, while continuing counseling. My body became more masculine, but still I felt incomplete. In March of 2010 I decided it was time to consider top surgery. I did extensive research on the subject and then started researching surgeons.
I found a surgery named Charles Garramone in Ft. Lauderdale Florida. Looking at his Web site I browsed his credentials, pictures of his amazing work, and pricing (which was very reasonable). I contacted Dr. Garramone and set up a phone consultation. Following that call it went through all of my pre-op testing, obtained a letter from my doctor and psychologist. My surgery appointment was set, my paper work was ready and it was time to go to Florida to take the next step in my transition. Dr. Garramone was thorough in explaining all of the details of the surgery and the after care, his staff was extremely friendly and cooperative. Dr. Garramone performed the surgery as if he was working on a piece of art. I had no complications, minimal healing time and I was extremely pleased with the service and the surgery. I began to feel like the man that I was.
In December of 2010 my birth certificate was changed to state I was indeed male. In January 2011 my driver’s license was changed stating I was male. It is now 2016 and I am a physically obvious male. My mental status has improved. I love the body is have and my physical appearance. I owe Dr. Garramone a great percentage of making me feel good about myself. I am married to my wife Elesha, who has been my best friend since 8th grade, my kids accept me as the man that I am and call me their dad, my parents have adjusted for the most part, life is good. No more suicidal thoughts, I am finally who I was born to be. Bottom surgery is not an option at this time, maybe in the future if they have some major improvements and success. I do not identify as an ftm, I identify as a male.
Thank you Dr. Garramone and staff.”