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The GenderGP Podcast
Holly Lorka is an ICU nurse specialising in the post operative care of transgender patients following gender confirmation surgery. She is also a writer, storyteller and standup comedian. In this episode she talks to Dr Helen and Marianne about her work in Austin, Texas and how she still can’t quite believe how everything has come together, despite all of the challenges she faced growing up gender queer.
Huffington Post: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/icu-nurse-gender-confirmation-surgery_n_5f33cae2c5b6960c066ecc88
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The GenderGP Podcast
Why I love being a Nurse to gender surgery patients - Holly Lorka
Hello, this is Dr Helen Webberley. Welcome to our GenderGP Podcast, where we will be discussing some of the issues affecting the trans and non-binary community in the world today, together with my co-host Marianne Oakes, a trans woman herself, and our head of therapy.
Dr Helen Webberley:
Okay, welcome everybody to another edition of our podcast. I am Dr Helen Webberley here with Marianne Oakes. And another really, really, really, really, really exciting guest with us today. This guest caught our eye back in August 2020, when she wrote a lovely account of her work as a nurse in her hospital. And I'm not gonna say anything more about it because I reckon she's going to tell us a load more and it's going to be really exciting. So really, really, really lovely to have you, Holly, Holly Lorka. I'm going to hand it over to you now just for you to say hello and who you are and what you do and fill us with lots of lovely stories.
So, hi, I'm Holly Lorka. I live in Austin, Texas, in the US. I am a nurse in a very small hospital here in Austin, and I work in the ICU to help recover patients after their bottom surgery. The final surgery in their gender transitions, gender confirmation surgeries. So my specialty is phalloplasty, which is a bottom surgery for females to males, where we make a phallus, using either part of the arm, or part of the leg, sometimes part of the lat muscle here. So I work with them in the ICU, and they're here in the hospital for five or six days before they go home and get to get on with the rest of their lives. I fell into this. I was an open heart nurse. I worked recovering patients after open-heart surgery for 20-something years. And four years ago, this program came to my hospital. And so I was lucky enough to just be here. And I like to say it fell in my lap, as these things do. I don't know, but I've gotten to know the team really well. They're just a great group of folks who just want to help trans people to feel whole and be able to live their lives as the people that they really are. It's a gift. I feel like I fell into this. I myself am genderqueer. I don't like to label myself as non-binary, or I'd like to think hybrid is a good label for me. I probably, if this surgery was available 20 years ago, I would probably have it, but I know too much about the surgery. And I also know too much about myself. Not like I like who I am now, I've, I've grown into it. And so I had top surgery about two years ago was the best thing I ever did. I dabbled in hormones. I tried T for just a little bit, but I didn't like how it made me feel. So I'm settling here kind of in the middle, but what a gift to be able to work with these folks after me, myself, going through this and feeling alone for most of my life to get, to meet this huge population of folks with whom I have so much in common. And to get to kind of laugh and cry and tell stories while I help them recover from bottom surgery, which is difficult. It's a really difficult surgery. It's very painful.