Tag Archives: chest reconstruction revision

We Are More Than Our Chests

Lifeguards, Australia, 1971

Lifeguards, Australia, 1971

I love my chest, but I don’t want to be defined by it or judged for it. For years, in-between puberty and top surgery, I hated my breasts (and my hips).  I didn’t know the word for dysphoria but I experienced it. I had a lot of body shame. Now, when I take my morning shower and get dressed, I give thanks for my top surgery. But my chest is not what defines me as trans.

I am tired of seeing articles (popping up in my Facebook feed) that feature some variation of hot young trans guys without their shirts on. I’m put off by the media obsession with trans men who have chests as sexy as sexy cisgender men’s chests. I’m put off by the search for the perfect trans chest. For trans torsos with a narrow V shape. For trans chests with no visible surgical scars or dog ears. For trans models with small nipples and chiseled abs. For guys who are young, ripped, and (usually) white.

Articles about trans men that show them going shirtless (or in boxer shorts injecting testosterone) are as obnoxious as articles about trans women that show them putting on their make-up. We are more than our surgeries. We are more than our make up. We need to see the widest range of trans possibilities, not just the ones that reinforce the stereotypes. Continue reading

My Top Surgery Revision

top-surgery-revision

Operation!

At 9 AM I hopped into a taxi with my friend Tracey, and we zig zagged through midtown traffic to Dr. Weiss’ office. He and I talked about the pucker in the front of my chest and the size of my nipples. I apologized for being a fussbudget. He reassured me. Lots of people want their nipples redone.

I stayed vaguely awake during surgery. I kept my eyes closed, but I could feel where he was working. Whenever I winced he gave me another shot of local anesthesia. It was over in less that an hour. He dressed my wounds with three 3×3 inch gauze pads and some tape. He told me to refrain from showering for 24 hours, to change the dressing daily, and to take it easy for a couple of days. Come back in two weeks; call if there is any discharge or anything unusual. I had a little trouble buttoning my shirt and tying my sneakers. Although I am a veteran of several surgeries, I forgot to wear slip-ons. I also left the after care instructions in his office.

I was home by noon. The pain meds wore off at 4 PM. I took a Tramadol that was left over from my last surgery, then a few hours later I took another. Continue reading