I'm writing from bed in the Aikchol hospital in Chonburi, just down the road from the Suporn Clinic. It's 6:15am here, and in 2 hours I'll be downstairs having the surgery you helped make happen.
These last two weeks have been incredible, and I couldn't feel more prepared or supported for what's to come. Thank you again for blessing me with the opportunity to be reborn, and to do it in such a special way.
My time with the Elephants was remarkable. The days were long and the work was hard, but I loved every second of it. It felt so good to be so deeply of service to these giant, lovely animals. Thai elephants used for tourism or labor go through a process called Phajaan, or "crushing of the spirit." They are taken from their mothers at young age, placed in a pen too small for them, bound at the feet, starved and prodded for 2 weeks. When they finally cry out it means their spirit has been broken, and they can be sold for training.
I know what it means to have your spirit crushed, I have lived that trauma over and over in my early life, and thankfully through mentors and friends and lovers and family I learned how to heal and reawaken to my true nature. So to be here, offering my energy to these massive, glorious, innocent creatures felt like the greatest gift. We all deserve to have our spirits restored, every being on this planet. And to see a 72 year old elephant who spent years hauling logs by the bundle and later carrying tourists 6 at a time on her back beam like a puppy when she saunters into her favorite shady grove of trees on her afternoon walk, well, it just makes you feel so much love.
Most of you on this email list know me pretty well, and so you know I don't draw too heavy a distinction between the sacred and the profane. My life is about passion in all it's forms, and I embrace the human capacity to express and experience it whenever possible.
So Bangkok was a total trip.
Lady boys and drag queens and strippers and prostitutes and temples and monks and boxing and surfing and massages and food food food! I saw as much as I could my few days in the city, but my favorite time was spent hanging out with the ping pong girls from Magic Pussy and the muscle boys from the Tawan bar. Hearing about their lives, their children, their clients, and laughing with them about the things i'll (hopefully) be able to pull off with my new Vagina!
Because of my academic background I have a pretty ethnographic point of view when travelling. Most of you don't know this, but my doctoral research was largely about tourism as a pilgrimage, and the ways seduction, service, and transformation can uplift or exploit the people being toured, and the tourists themselves. There was a methodology I outlined in my book called "Ecstasy and Suspicion", which basically asks "how can you enjoy an experience for what it's set up to be, give yourself up to it fully, but also be critical of the structures thatvestsblsih or maintain patterns of inequality.
In the words of Dorian Corey from Paris is Burning, "you don't have to bend the whole world." Sometimes just choosing to engage differently can have a radical effect on someone you never knew you could touch or be touched by in a deep way.
Well this trip has had service and seduction in spades, and now I'm on to the final chapter, Transformation. The post-op Supornista ladies here at the clinic are wonderful, and how this place hasn't become a realty show is beyond me! There's Toni who is here from Australia with her wife and their two kids, DiDi from Holland with her wife of 35 years, whose kids can't wrap their heads around it, but whose grandkids are hip to the whole thing. Jenny the dominatrix from down under, Deanne the former speedway racer from London, and that's just who I met on my first night. All of them giving me pointers and pep talks and making dilation jokes over dinner.
The word on the street is it aint gonna be easy, these next few weeks, but it's well gonna be worth it.
My surgery is at 8:15am here, so 9:15 tonight for all you east coasters, and 6:15 for my peeps in Cali. The procedure is 5-6 hours, and afterwords I'll be be resting heavily medicated back in my room. I'm on total bed rest for 5 days, so feel free to give a shout out over phone or text. Provided I'm cogent, I'll answer it!
The real adventure is only just begginomg, and it starts with pain and immobility, but like the elephants and the prostitues, we find a way to persevere and enjoy the gifts god has given us.
Much love to you friends, Thank You for making this happen!