My Completely Quotidian Top Surgery Experience
Part 1: Why it took me so damn long to just let myself live. Plus: why are plastic surgeons better at gender affirming care than queer clinics?
Hello! By the time this piece drops on the afternoon of June 1st, I will have already undergone bilateral, double-incision top surgery in the early morning hours and will hopefully be recovering comfortably at home. While I’m away from my keyboard, let me tell you a little bit about what into this decision, and what my process in navigating it has been like so far.
If you’ll forgive the stereotypical trans narrative, I’ve never been comfortable with the idea of having boobs. I dreaded puberty like the plague as a young teen, and honestly believed that traditional “female” development was so ill-suited to the person that I was that it couldn’t even conceivably happen to me.
I had my first period later than many of my peers, and didn’t begin to develop body hair or breasts until late in eighth grade, and for a while I privately hoped that I had some intersex condition that would prevent me from ever having to deal with bleeding, possible pregnancy, or growing a convex chest.
What I now understand is that intersex people are actually the most violently subjected to coercive gender assignment of any group of people, and so fantasizing about having been intersex as an escape from an unwanted puberty is absolute nonsense. If you aren’t well versed in the subject, you can read more about the surgeries still frequently forced upon intersex kids and adults here.
After puberty finally began for me, I developed an eating disorder in hopes of preventing the further growth of my hips and chest. But I always knew I was fated to develop big boobs, because my mother had them, and soon I was weighed down with D-cups that drew attention — and my shoulders forward to the floor.
It was unusual, having a body I so viscerally hated but which everybody else told me that they liked. Girls and women commented that I was an ‘hourglass’ and that I was ‘perfect.’ Boys called me fertile and asked me about whether I wanted to have kids, even when I was so young the question seemed absurd. I recognized my chest was…