A Journal Entry

I remember thinking, back when my voice was changing, “you are going to have to have a lot of surgeries if you want to fix all the stuff that’s about to go wrong with you.” I remember feeling my skull/jaw/back of my head as they changed shape throughout puberty and into college, feeling increasingly sad as I could feel the bumps and change in size of various protuberances.

And, sure enough, yes, I have had to (and will continue to have to, for a while) have a lot of surgeries. I never imagined that I could actually do what I’ve done. I thought it would be impossible. It turns out that it was “only” very, very, very hard.

On top of everything else, yesterday, I was coming back from a post-op at Denver Health for my revision bottom surgery, and someone pulled out in front of me in traffic and I slammed into the side of their truck. I had the right of way.

My brand new (a month old, exactly) bright red, beautiful, 2023 Toyota Crown Platinum Hybrid Max turned its dashboard red and told me it was emergency braking before I even knew what was happening. Klaxons started to sound in the car. I hit the brake but discovered it was already at the bottom of its travel, ABS pulsing furiously. I remember seeing the side of the black truck approaching fast. I was going maybe 30 or 35 MPH. The pyrotechnic hood ejectors on the hinges fired and the hood rocketed itself into a position so that it could cushion the potential impact of a pedestrian, the seatbelt pretensioned itself and as I heard the crunch-thud of the impact, it started to ease out the tension as the airbags (steering wheel and knee) fired. I was dazed. The car filled with gunpowder smell from the airbag deployment. I remember blinking, seeing bright white midday light filtering through millions of little particles of rocket propellant and fiberglass in the air (fabric shreds from the airbag) seeing the asian characters printed in diffuse, hardly readable, red, stamped on the white fabric of the airbag, slightly dingy from soot. Feeling remarkably uninjured, surprisingly uninjured, and then looking down at my wrists and seeing bright red welts raising. Thinking, “huh, I wonder what caused that? Oh, right, the airbag. I hope my boobs are ok” Immediately worried about my breast implants. The car klaxoning warnings very loudly both inside and outside the vehicle. Toyota telematics emergency person on the line. My watch dinging from Megan and Jill responding almost immediately to emergency alerts generated by the impact detectors in my Apple Watch. Me telling the telematics person my name. Them misgendering me repeatedly. In my dazed state, saying, “I’m not a sir, I’m a m’aam!” Getting misgendered again, even after telling the person that my name is Nicole Roy. Telling them, “please, my name is Nicole and I’m a transgender woman, PLEASE call me ‘ma’am’!” And the person apologizing, and then continuing to misgender me because of my voice.

It is amazing, the sci-fi, artificial intelligence, miracles of safety in modern cars. I wish I had not had to find out how amazing they are, first-hand, but I’m grateful for them.

The Denver Police Department 911 dispatcher, and all of the fire/EMT/police on the scene *all* immediately and without asking or prompting, correctly gendered me the *entire time*. Thank you, city and county of Denver.