40 days. There are 40 days until I have top surgery. I think it’s finally starting to hit me? Don’t get me wrong, I am incredibly excited and have been since we scheduled it in August 2016. But there’s a lot of complex feelings around it. These include my questions, fears, and hopes. I’m going to share some of them, so if another trans person feels a similar way, they won’t feel alone.
- Fear: What if I regret it?
- Hope: I won’t be misgendered again due to having to wear a sports bra because I want to breathe that day.
- Hope: I’m getting top surgery soon enough that my ribs won’t have suffered permanent damage from binding, which is a valid fear because for the first 6+ months I bound with the incorrect sized binder.
- Question: How long will it take before I can look in the mirror and accept my new chest as fact, not just a desperation-induced dream? Immediately? Months?
- Hope: I will get to swim at the beach without feeling ashamed/embarrassed of my chest or afraid that I will be misgendered.
- Fear: I can’t reverse a surgical removal of my breasts, at least not easily. What if this a big mistake? What if my gender identity changes again and I wish I had breasts again?
These are thoughts that have been taking over my brain lately, and it’s exhausting trying to reassure myself that I can do it, should do it, and am going to do it. So, to the 90% of people who know I’m having top surgery who have asked me if I have doubts and if it’s really what I want: yes, I have doubts. I have doubts every goddamn day. And I’ve never been surer of a decision in my entire life. Top surgery is something I need with my entire being. It’s something my mind needs to feel at one with my body in a way I haven’t since pre-puberty. I need it so fucking bad. Doubts are natural, but as Gwendolyn Fairfax in the Importance of Being Earnest put it, the idea of me not having top surgery is “clearly a metaphysical speculation, and like most metaphysical speculations, has very little reference at all to the actual facts of real life.”