It’s the first in a series of essays by National Geographic photographer and documentary filmmaker Kathryn Goldwell that explores the stories of people who identify as women or as trans.
The first installment, “I Am A Woman,” is a celebration of the trans experience and a tribute to trans women who have made it through the world’s toughest obstacles.
It was published online on Jan. 28.
In this excerpt, Goldwell recounts how she became a woman.
The piece, which chronicles her transition from a male to female, is a follow-up to the first “I AM A WOMAN,” which covered Goldwell’s journey as a female-to-female transgender person.
“I am a woman,” she said in the first piece, “because of the work of so many women, especially women of color, who have given me courage, strength, and love.”
“Women are not just beautiful or powerful, they are not merely sexy or beautiful, they can be anything they want to be.”
In her essay, Goldwehl recounts how in 2014, she met a man in the medical community, Dr. David Tompkins.
Tompkin was a surgeon in Boston and an authority on transgender people.
“He was a very talented surgeon,” she writes.
“He told me he had no idea how to treat trans people and that he didn’t even know what sex they were.
He didn’t understand me and he wasn’t a doctor, so I decided to see him.”
Tompkins had the answer.
He was Dr. James G. Anderson, the first transgender man to perform a gender-confirming operation on a patient.
Anderson was a medical director for Johns Hopkins University Medical Center and was a pioneer in transgender surgery.
Goldwell had been told by colleagues that she would never be able to do surgery on herself, but Anderson told her he would.
Goldwell says she remembers her first surgery:A doctor’s assistant came to the operating room and told her to sit down.
Goldwehls arms were folded across her chest.
“What do you want me to do?” she said.
“I have a uterus.
I don’t want to have sex with myself.””
This is how you get into a transgender experience,” Anderson said.
He said he would have her insert a catheter into her vagina and then insert the catheter back into her uterus.
“The catheter goes in through my vagina, and it will then go into my uterus,” she remembers.
“The catheters are really powerful because they can really, really slow down the process of what happens to the body after surgery.
I think they’re really important for people who have surgery, because they are very powerful tools.””
There’s a lot of history behind this surgery,” Goldwell says.
“It was done by Dr. Anderson in Boston, who is a very respected surgeon.”
“And the surgery was done in a very specific way, in a specific way that is very different from most of the other surgeries.”
Anderson was working on his own research at the time, so the surgeon did not want to go through the arduous surgery that other surgeons might go through.
“But I said, ‘I’ll do it if you don’t think it’s right,'” Anderson says.
“You have to really make it comfortable,” Goldwell says.
He asked her to put her hand in his mouth and hold it there for a few seconds.
Then he would put his hand on her chest, then put his other hand on hers and start moving his hands up and down her body.
“And I said to him, ‘Are you sure?
Are you sure that you want to do this?'”
“And he said, yes.
And then he put his arm around me, and I said something like, ‘It feels so good.'””
I was very nervous, but I felt very comfortable.””
I just wanted to be safe,” Goldwood says.
She had no surgery to perform on her, but she had some tests done.
“These were very important tests, and they showed that the hormones had been functioning well for a long time.”
She was given an operation in January of 2015, to make sure that her uterus could withstand her transition.
“But I was worried about the surgery, I was very worried that I’d never be the same person again,” Goldwines mother, Mary Jane, told CNN.
“So I had to have this operation in the very first month.
I had no pain.
I felt so good.
I was ready to go.”
Goldwell, now 50, underwent the surgery.
The operation took about four hours, and Goldwell said she felt as if her body had undergone a “perfect” transformation.
The second piece, titled “I Have A Heart,” focuses on the struggles that trans women face daily, in public and in the private sphere.
“Transgender people face a variety of challenges every day,” the piece