So I’ve started interviewing surgeons to do breast augmentation. It’s honestly the part of my body I feel most dysphoric about, more than my face was, more than my nether regions.*
Not having them** bothers more than I’d even realized. One of the surgeons had an opening in late December, and I wanted sign up for it right then and there. Hell, I was ready to go under the knife the following day.*** Aching was the best way to described.
I realize there’s other women who are unhappy with their breasts, but in my case Teh Tranz adds an extra level of discomfort.
As Sam Dylan Finch said in his excellent essay, “I’m Transgender and I Need Body Positivity Too,” it’s not that I hate my body, rather:
“It’s about how invisible my body makes me feel — the way it tricks others into seeing me as something that I’m not.
And no amount of self-love and validation can change the fact that, when I step out into the world, my body precedes me and erases a very important aspect of my identity.”
This is where the language of body positivity — e.g. “you’re perfect just the way you are,” “you should ignore society’s messages,” etc. — falls flat with me, and with other trans people.
Because, as Finch says, sometimes modifying our bodies can be our greatest act of self-love.
I’m not looking forward to the next two rounds of surgery in the coming year — nor the months of after-care after the second one — but I am looking forward to the changes they’ll bring, to them helping what’s on the outside feel congruent with what’s on the inside.
There are prices to be paid physically, emotionally, and especially financially — since probably none of the renovations will be covered by insurance. But peace of mind is priceless.****
*Standard caveat about how if you’ve met once trans person… you’ve met one trans person, and every trans person feels differently about their body
**Thanks to hormones, I’ve actually developed what’s probably are probably A+/B- sized breasts. But given my frame, they look tiny by comparison.
***I didn’t, much as I wanted to, because he’s a celebrity surgeon and his price was far steeper than I’d expected.
****I’m fully aware that I’ll still probably face the same sort of body image issues that most women in our society face — in fact I’m already dealing with them. But it won’t be with the extra dose of gender dysphoria.