Opening Doors to the Future
Undergoing gender confirmation surgery was literally a life saving event for Danica Rain. The 42 year-old Canadian woman made several attempts at suicide because she felt she was caged in the wrong body. Her attempts to adapt to the expectations required of a young man only drove her to deeper and deeper depression. A career as a fireman and a paramedic fed into those expectations. Danica even married a woman and started a family. Yet it all seemed wrong. It was wrong. Danica knew that behind it all, she was a woman. At age 39, she traveled to Thailand to have gender confirmation surgery.
At the time, Danica was also making history. She was the first participant in an Ontario Canada government initiative to pay for gender confirmation surgery in Thailand. Since that time, many others have followed in Danica's footsteps, with almost all of them selecting Kamol Hospital as the place for their procedure.
Yet getting to Thailand and Kamol was not easy for Danica, not even after she had decided to transition and began hormone therapy in 2010. Then, by a chance encounter, she met a man who ultimately became her partner in life. Although she had first met him without telling him she was a transgender woman, once he found out, he was entirely accepting and supportive. Soon, Danica ditched the cocaine habit that had worked its way into her life and pushed back the lingering thoughts of suicide.
Still, Danica wanted more. She not only felt unfulfilled, she actually felt burdened. Being born as a male, as she explains it, was almost like “being born with a birth defect.” Following the surgery, Danica's outlook, her attitude towards life and other people, and her own inner sense of worth, all changed dramatically for the better. And, today, she wants to bring those improved feelings to other transgender people. She has not only become an advocate for transgender rights, she has involved herself in helping others undergo the same surgical procedures she did—but without the fear and loneliness she once experienced. In fact, she travels back and forth to Kamol Hospital with other Canadian transgenders who are having the procedure. Foremost in her philosophy is the notion that transgenders “just want to live our lives like everyone else. We’re not here to hurt anyone, to change anyone’s opinion. We just want to have lives like everyone else.”