Story Time with Sarah Gee
I am a transmasculine, queer, womxn living in and working in San Francisco Bay Area, specifically Oakland, Ca.
Raised in South San Jose in the 90’s my childhood was spent outside amongst the trees, mud and animals with my older siblings. I started to be aware of my inclination towards people that identified as girls at a young age, and because of homophobia and the heteronormativity that was/is rampant in the world, I didn’t come out as gay until after high school.
That felt good, until it wasn’t enough. I found myself a therapist around mid 2018, and that has been a favorite decision of mine. During our sessions I discovered that I was uncomfortable with my large chest for a variety of reasons, including mental and physical discomfort. So I decided to try chest binding, and that was so helpful. Until it wasn’t anymore. I lasted a year and half chest binding with mixed feelings around it, until I finally made the moves to have top surgery. Weird how the universe works sometimes, because around the same time I made the decision to look into the process for surgery, my mom told me to go get checked for the BRCA2 (breast cancer) gene that is in her bloodline and had tested as a carrier for. Low and behold I had a very high( eighty-five percent) chance of getting breast cancer in my lifetime. I wasn’t scared, but rather excited that now my choice for surgery was supported by a health factor. Now it would be a double mastectomy/top/affirming surgery. I was scared for my first major surgery but equally excited for the after part.
I remember talking with the surgeon during an examination where I met her and she got a feel for what I wanted done with my chest as far as reconstruction. I told her I didn’t want implants, but rather to have pecs. She asked “ oh so you want a male presenting chest.” I repeated, “I want pecs, please.” I didn’t want to be a “man” and I wasn’t having top surgery in the traditional way of further transitioning and going on Testosterone hormones and identifying as a Trans-man; at least at the time that’s not how I felt , and I still don’t however, I know it could change. I just always saw myself with some pecs. I eventually said yes to her question because it felt more simple than trying to take the time and explain what took almost a year in therapy to work out. Finally, on August 6,2020 I had the surgery and emerged a more complete me. I had to let go of parts of an old version of me to feel more complete and authentic than ever before, and it’s a beautiful thing.
Only recently, around 2019/2020, did I find the term transmasculine woman/womxn to be an accurate descriptor/label for myself. Gender identity is like the edges of outer space; always expanding, with seemingly no end in site. The vastness is bewildering, and astounding, even to someone smack in the middle of it. Through hours and hours of talking and dream interpretation, breaking down my innermost thoughts and experiences and every other facet of therapy, I have only begun to get a grasp on the balancing of life. There is no easy way to get through it, and I’m learning that when my therapist says “you did good work today” those sessions are the most emotionally charged and hard. Those moments have me feeling more grounded as an individual, and bring the most growth. So, after all of that I don’t want to take any easy way through. I want to continue to grow, and learn, and make art about the struggles and beauty I encounter, process the conundrums of my existence, and connect with people that want those things too.
My love for the natural world, personal growth and therapy inspires my projects, through inquiry and investigation. Appreciative of a “going with the flow” attitude, I exercise an exploratory approach to much of my practice, surveying many media to best suit each project/idea. Currently to express myself, I am exploring painting and poetry as primary outlets. I hope my art encourages connection, creativity, emotion, and introspection.