Tuesday, August 28, 2018

My Recent Surgery

Me, a few days after surgery

What Happened?
I am in recovery from a medically necessary set of surgical procedures intended to allow me to move onto the next chapter of my life, improve my safety, and make accepting me easier for others.

This does not come from a place of influence or vanity, but is to allow me to push into the next chapter of my life.

What Was Done?
I have undergone a series of medically necessary surgical procedures intended to remove inconsistencies between my gender and my facial appearance.  A series of surgeries were done to alter the appearance of my brow, eyes, nose, mouth, and jawline. 

There are differences in the shape of the skull between men and women.  Our brains contain a network that tries to guess the gender of persons we see from facial appearance as well as other cues.  In my case the facial appearance has been adjusted to read as my female gender.

How long will recovery be?
I should be back at full strength within a few months.  The facial swelling should largely subside by the end of the year, and all the tissues should have their final appearance in about a year.

Does it hurt?
Yes.  There’s a lot of tenderness, bruising, and swelling in the soft tissue of the face.

You didn’t have to…”
Please, do not speak to me from your position of privilege about what I should or should not have done, or what I need to do in the future.  My experience of the world and what I have to do for my safety and survival is very different from yours.

I do not expect you to understand, only accept.

Before and one month after comparison 

The official punch list of surgeries to be performed on me doesn’t really match what was being done, so I’ll translate a bit.

Brow reduction and eye socket:
This was the Osterhout Type 3 forehead procedure, more or less.  An incision above my hairline and extending  to just above and behind the ears was made.  The forehead is drawn down, and the bone over the frontal sinus, or brow ridge, was removed and reshaped.  Additional bone on the orbit of eyes was removed.  When the forehead was reattached the eyebrow position was raised upward slightly, particularly on the right side to correct a droop.  

There are fine incisions on the eyelids used to raise the eyelid, producing a more open appearance, and to correct that droop on the right side.

A septorhinoplasty was performed to improve the appearance of the nose as well as my breathing.  The nose appears to have a nice slope with a well-formed tip, or ‘break’, and is slightly upturned.

Lip Lift:
This looks like the traditional subnasal upper lift lip, placed with the rhinoplasty to produce a shorter upper lip, additional ‘plumping’, and a slight upturn to the tip of the nose.

Mandibular reduction:

A set of incisions are placed inside the mouth, on the gums, from which the surgeon is able to reduce the angle of the mandible, rounding the rear of the jawline, as well as reshape the ‘mental’ region forming the bone under my chin.

Thursday, August 16, 2018


On Wednesday, gay conservative journalist Chadwick Moore criticized the historic primary win of Vermont gubernatorial candidate Christine Hallquist — who became the first transgender major party nominee for governor of a U.S. state Tuesday.

Moore said, essentially, that Hallquist won because she has “transgender privilege.”

“She can get away with many, many things simply by being transgender,” Moore told Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Wednesday night. “I mean, who knows if that's even how she won this primary.”

Since then, there have been a number of Twitter messages (tweets) to clarity just what @transgenderprivilege is like for many of us.  I’ve selected a few that reflect personal experience of myself and my friends.

#transgenderprivilege is being told by cisgender people that they hate the "sound" of the word cisgender and that it shouldn't be applied to them (when they really hate the idea that they can be "marked" or labeled as something other than "normal").

#transgenderprivilege is stepping out in front of a moving semi truck on a lonely Ohio highway because it seems the only way to escape the emotional pain and conversion therapy forced on you by "loving" parents.

#transgenderprivilege is finding creative ways to cover your necessary medical expenses because cisgender people think they are unnecessary, cosmetic, or harmful.

#transgenderprivilege is losing friends who have been a part of your life for decades, because you come out as transgender and you are now no longer acceptable to be their friend.

#transgenderprivilege is being told you're just doing this to have sex with men, or that you're just doing this to rape lesbian women, or that you're just doing this to get into the restroom with somebody's wife or daughter.

#TransgenderPrivilege is being treated like a woman until you try to talk about your oppression and suddenly you pass as a man and all your problems are gone

#transgenderprivilege is hearing the stories of unsuccessful suicide attempt from friends because of their suffering while trying to act in the roles society forced on them and their fear of what would happen if they came out, but being happy they survived to tell their story.

#TransgenderPrivilege is wondering if this will be the last time you leave the house alive. 

#TransgenderPrivilege is being told you're confused, and do not deserve to breathe. 

#TransgenderPrivilege is having your will written at 27 because the world hates you.

#transgenderprivilege is dressing down, taking off your makeup, and nail color, so when you enter a gas station on your road trip you won’t be murdered.

#transgenderprivilege is having to go through agonizing, expensive surgery to feel comfortable in your body and then having to hear everyone call you a “fake” woman because of it.

#TransgenderPrivilege is people suddenly starting to use the wrong pronouns for you as soon as they learn you're trans, even though they never had a problem gendering you correctly before.

#Transgenderprivilege is walking across the street and hoping that MAGA hat wearing person in the F250 doesn't decide to run you down.

#TransgenderPrivilege is having respiratory issues for the rest of your life and a higher chance to develop pneumonia because you could not stand your chest and used a binder.

#TransgenderPrivilege is being twelve years old and a local man openly discusses with friends killing you and field dressing you.

#TransgenderPrivilege Is having people make interminable speeches about what good allies they are, when all you really want is for them to ask how you are, or just say, "You look happy."

#transgenderprivilege is going to a funeral only to see her deadnamed, misgendered and made up to look like a man in the casket.

#TransgenderPrivilege is being terrified to use either bathroom. Worrying that this time is the time you get clocked. Being stuck in a busy bathroom because you're waiting for the room to empty to leave safely.

#transgenderprivilege is having the only "holiday" for trans people to be about how many of us got killed last year.