Khate Lessard was the very first trans candidate to be featured on the popular reality show Occupation Double. She agreed to grant us an exclusive interview for the TransAvenue blog.
In the recent weeks, not a day (or almost) has ended without someone talking to her about her gender affirmation surgery performed at the Centre Métropolitain de Chirurgie (GrS Montreal). Khate, who now resides in Laval, was indeed operated on for a vaginoplasty.
“When I started to think about the operation and felt ready to start the process, I had to begin by creating my file. I don’t know how it goes in Montreal, but in my region, in Abitibi, it took months. I had to meet with several specialists and each of them had to write a letter of recommendation,” she explains.
Then, at the end of many private meetings with a sex therapist, a psycho-educator, her family doctor, a psychologist, and other healthcare professionals and specialists, Khate had what was needed to take the next step. No less than a year and a half has passed between the start of the process and the “D” day.
“Once there, I was surprised to see how beautiful the clinic is and how caring the whole team is! Let’s say it was a good thing for me because I get anxious very easily. Whether we like it or not, even if we inquire about the subject first, we still are afraid to enter, as if it were a dark room, when arriving at the hospital … but everyone was so nice! The employees came to introduce themselves one by one. It felt like a family atmosphere. Everyone is calm and very attentive, at all times. In short, you quickly feel like you are part of a big house!” explains the former OD candidate.
The Human Experience
“During my entire stay at GrS Montréal, I really felt the human touch. I expected it to be like in a hospital where the employees are always on the run because there is a lot to do, but it was not. During the first days, I was not without pain, but I received all the attention I needed,” she assures.
As one can imagine, when a celebrity is operated on for gender affirmation surgery and then this news is publicized, there are reactions. Without trying to promote herself, Khate Lessard is happy to provoke reactions and debate around this theme.
“I didn’t do this for fun or to get attention. You can’t do this to get attention. I really want to focus it on the informative side. We need to talk about sexual diversity and be able to see what revolves around it, like, among other things, a vaginoplasty. I want to help demystify all of this. I want to do good things and take good action. If it can help people who will have to live through it, so much the better!” she believes.
The Asclépiade, a place to remember
“I spent about seven days at the Asclépiade. The food there is really excellent! For real, it’s a buffet at every meal. It’s not cheap food. I remember eating excellent Greek-style chicken breasts with cheese … you can feel that the chef is having fun making his menus,” assures the one who has produced several web capsules. “In fact, I took the time to speak with him. He said to me that after an operation like the one we undergo, either a vaginoplasty or a phalloplasty, it is important to eat protein foods.”
And it’s not only the food that is well-suited to the needs of users: everything is planned to provide comfort and peace of mind for the occupants of the Asclépiade.
“There is a large fridge filled with cranberry juice, which is very good for the bladder, and cushions that allow us to sit comfortably and painlessly on the chairs. It’s fun because everyone there goes through the same thing and we all eat around the same table. We can talk and some people have been there longer than others. Sometimes they give advice to others about the days ahead and what to do next. We feel listened to and followed in all the steps and throughout the whole process,” concludes the former communications student.
“I am back at home, but every week, the people from GrS Montreal follow up. We talk on the phone and through email, and I also need to send photos to make sure everything is fine. I find it very reassuring. For example, if bleeding occurs, I only have to take a picture and send it to quickly receive an answer,” said the young woman.
What about the future?
A good communicator, Khate Lessard became close friend with Julie Snyder. Also, in the near future, she plans to show her true colors on the small screen.
“I have always loved doing all kinds of things in life. For now, I am anchored in this wave because I am recognized for this. I will always campaign for this cause, but I will also do something else!”, promises the refreshing Laval girl.
Those who follow her have adopted her and it’s a safe bet that her career is just beginning. A new career, but, above all, a new life…