“I often tell Leila that she should get a psychology degree so she can charge double the amount and call herself a psycho-dermatologist. She has had many transexual patients over the years, and we talk! What Leila doesn’t know about transsexualism is not worth knowing.”
Clary 48 is a transsexual woman, read her story here
Gender change, from male to female is a four year long process including psychological evaluations and tests, taking hormones, hair removal treatment, and surgery. The incomparable and lengthiest of them all is the permanent hair removal treatment. While taking hormones and surgically augmenting breasts and correcting genitalia are very invasive procedures, I wonder if the biggest change of them all isn’t getting rid of male facial hair. Prior to diathermy treatment, it did not matter how well i shaved or how much time I spent shaving my face, there would still be a trace of stubble remaining. To cover my stubble I would put layers and layers of foundation and powder on my face which would sometimes give me the adverse effect of maybe attracting even more attention than if I had worn less make up with a little bit of stubble showing. But I don’t really know if thats the case -having to choose between extreme makeup or stubble are both awful choices.
You feel like a woman on the inside and want to be perceived as a woman by the public, but the only alternatives for many transsexual women is to either be sissies or drag queens. No offence to them, but its just not me. I am visible now too, but thats is because I am so damn gorgeous!
So how does it feel to remove unwanted hair with diathermy? It hurts, but it also depends on your pain threshold. If you’re like and faint from needles and vaccinations, then it is painful… very painful.
When I go to Leila’s for my treatment I arrive at the clinic with pain killers in my system and “Emla numbing cream” in my face covered by cling film to keep it in place. It’s a guaranteed hit amongst children and alcoholics in the underground on the way there!
During the treatment a thin needle is inserted into the hair follicle and alternating current is released to burn the follicle. The hair is then removed with a tweezer. That’s one hair, now there are only fiftyeleven thousand left to go! Each hair follicle requires several treatments before it is permanently gone. But, it works. When the hair follicle is gone, it’s really gone, as opposed to with laser treatment where there is a risk that the hair keeps growing back. I did some laser treatment to speed up the process. That way I eliminated my dark, thick hairs and the blonde thinner ones were left for diathermy treatment.
It is a painful and time-consuming process. If you are going to spend several hours a week with the same person, who’s job is to torture you, then you better get along well with that person! I began my treatment with a dermatologist who had zero sympathy for my screaming and cycling legs in the air from the pain, and my need for short breaks where i would circulate the room cursing and crying until I was ready again. I switched dermatologist and Leila has an angel’s patience. She can work while I’m speaking and endures my indie-rock CD’s. She also works quickly and gently so it hurts less when she treats me than other dermatologists. I have acted as a guinea-pig when other experienced dermatologists have renewed their certificates, and there is a great difference between them. So if you’re doctor who is writing you a referral says otherwise, don’t believe them. I often tell Leila that she should get a psychology degree so she can charge double the amount and call herself a psycho-dermatologist. She has had many transexual patients over the years, and we ramble on to take our minds off the pain. What Leila doesn’t know about transsexualism is not worth knowing. In addition to this, Leila has a beautiful waiting room with great coffee (Nespresso) where I have gotten to know other TS-women who have become my friends. However, I must admit that if her salon were to catch fire I am not sure who I would save first, -her or her little chihuahua Axel. Apart from being much lighter in weight, he is also the sweetest dog in the world who makes the park unsafe during our walks.