Returning with another installment in the life of the American soldier and trans man, Aamir Ali. Scroll all the way to the bottom to catch up on his poetic series about becoming someone he loves. This particular story is about the days surrounding an important event for him – Chest surgery.

My Surgeon was Dr. Logan, an Air Force officer.

All I remember was meeting her.

She explained the procedure to me —

And then blackness.

I woke up in a recovery room.

The biggest detail I recall is my nurse had light up sneakers that made me smile.

I was sooo high.

The pain killers were coursing through my veins.

She says, “well look who’s awake,” while emptying my drains.

And the other nurses are changing my bandages to put me in a compression vest.

I looked down as much as I could.

And I was free.

Free from such a huge physical burden that kept me from being me.

The medical staff checked on me often, making me get out of bed to walk and go to the bathroom.

I didn’t want to do shit!

But, they were persuasive and I was just lazy.

I remember being in pain, but when it got to an unbearable point, the nurses were right on it, keeping me high as a kite and laughing often.

November 8th was discharge day.

My escort was a sergeant I worked with.

He helped me carry stuff because I couldn’t do a damn thing, I could barely walk sometimes.

I remained largely independent when it came to the care of my body.

Although I experienced a bit of depression, it’s not for the reason many may think.

I was upset I could not sit up long enough to play X-box with my boys.

Sounds silly I know but it meant something to me.

The first time I legit saw my chest was when I had to change my bandages.

It was absolutely amazing.

November 14, 2018 — The doctor removed my drains and the stitches over my nipples were taken out.

The pain relief was almost instantaneous, I swear I laughed.

A couple days later we returned to Germany.

This was a huge milestone in my transition but challenges remained ahead.

Around December 18th both of my nipple graphs failed within a week of each other.

I was sad, but it wasn’t something that put me down.

My boys felt all the sadness for me —

They were like, “damn you ain got no nipples fam like, what you gonna do?”

They gave me suggestions like tattooing and fake ones they promised to buy me.

We laughed so much that day.

We decided that we would have a funeral for them, full service and everything.

Those dudes were my light and my life line.

December 23, 2018 I posted my first shirtless picture.

I debated posting it because I did not know if I was ready, but I was.

6 weeks post op and the confidence and joy I felt was unreal.

I could finally accept the image in the mirror.

And, I could spread the wings that had been chained down for so long.

I felt them breaking as I felt a warmth in my soul.

Finally, I saw the man that I always knew coming to the surface to breathe, and so did everyone else.

The only thing left to do was get out of the way —

And welcome Aamir Ali.

Living life as my true self is different, yet the same. It is still life.

And I am just thankful that Allah allows me to live it.
Until next time. Inshallah.

#LetsGrow #LoveAlways

curated by w.d. herstun

Credits & Wildenotes

Written By Aamir Ali. Edited By Herstun.

So excited to have a heartwarming story to bring #MCM back to the Herstun FM Readio. Aamir has had quite the journey to get to where he is now. But having known him before, I can promise that there is a light that shines that I never knew existed in him.
A certain purpose and pleasure blend into confidence as this man tackles life’s challenges renewed to the spirit. Some of our stories are just tougher than others. I think another takeaway from Aamir’s story is the importance of his boys. Connection is an invaluable part of the human experience. We all seek to be accepted enough to develop significant connections with people that share our values.
I am glad that Aamir has his boys and they may have saved his life without any of us being aware. Sometimes, being there to tease someone is exactly what that person needs.
I reiterate that I never brought Aamir to Herstun for you to agree with him or like him. Only for you to know that he is human. A human that is also a trans man and a Muslim. An American soldier. He is an important part of the tapestry of this country and I am proud that I served a nation that allows people like Aamir to thrive.
I hope that you see the humanity here too.
Congratulations on going shirtless, Aamir. I still don’t have the confidence to wear a bikini. Lmao. Let’s grow y’all. Love always.

Catch up with Aamir’s story below!

PRE-VERSE — IN THE BEGINNING, I WAS A GIRL 

VERSE 1 — IN THE BEGINNING, I DID NOT KNOW FEAT. JULIA S. POWELL ART

VERSE 2 — IN THE BEGINNING, I DID NOT KNOW FEAT. MURJONI

VERSE 3 — CULTURE SHOCK

VERSE 4 — FINDING MY PEACE

Verse 5 — Surgery — Currently Reading

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