Ask Gabriel: Coming Out and Surgery

Hi Gabriel,

Where did you get your top surgery done? – Anonymous

Dr. Daniel Medalie from Ohio! I had to travel out of state.

Hi Gabriel,

Soo I’ve been out as transgender (ftm) for almost a year now but only a few of my friends and boyfriend know and I’ve been wanting to tell my mom but I don’t know how to tell her….any advice? – Anonymous

Well, there’s multiple ways of coming out to anyone; it all dependson your comfort with the subject and how close you are with your mother. You could tell them in a private conversation, send an e-mail or write them a letter and leave it on their nightstand.

You could simply go up, ask your mother to talk in private and then tell her straight out: “Hey mom, I’ve been meaning to tell you for a while but I’ve been scared to. But I’m ready to tell you – I’m transgender.” And let the conversation go from there, telling her how you’ve been feeling this way for some time, you’ve been going as your preferred name with your friends and boyfriend and that you’re looking to take the next steps in your transition (whatever they may be) and things along that line. This is great if you’re comfortable with confrontation and the possible repercussions that may follow.

If not, no worries – you can shoot her an-email or make a letter! What you would include in it is entirely up to you but here’s a quick example of what I would write:

Hey mom,

     I’ve been meaning to tell you for a while and I think I’m ready to say it now – I am transgender. This means that there will be drastic changes going on in my life and want you to be aware of it. Along with the changes, I also go by <insert name> and want to be addressed by <he/him / she/her / they/ them> pronouns.

  This isn’t something that I woke up one day and decided to be; it’s what I’ve always been but I lacked the vocabulary to express that. This may be a lot for you to take in, especially since you’ve always known me as your <son/daughter/child> but if you have any questions about it, please let me know and I’ll try to answer them. While discovering myself is an amazing feeling, I need all the support I can get. In short, I need to know that you’ll love me no matter what. Transition is a scary prospect and I can’t do this alone and I’m hoping you’ll be supportive in my journey to my authentic self. It would really mean so much to me and I hope you will be able to regard me as your son.

While things may go well for you, there’s also the chance that the situation could go south. I would suggest you prepare for the WORST case scenario – get your stuff packed, arrange with friends to crash at their place, etc. before even attempting to come out. Your safety is important!

Wishing you all the best, I hope coming out goes well. 😀

Hi Gabriel,

What was the first step to getting top surgery? Did you have your primary doctor referral you or did you contact the surgeon yourself first? – Sean

I contacted the surgeons that I was interested in directly with their info listed on their website. You could have a doctor send a referral if they can – my clinic did offer that option. I usually send the an e-mail to the surgeon’s office asking about top surgery and then send any paperwork (intake forms, chest photos, consultation fee, etc.) they want me to send before we can schedule a time for a consultation.

Transbucket is a good place to start if you want to see results by surgeon.

Hi Gabriel,

I was born a female, and recently I’ve been trying to come to terms with possibly being a trans male. There have been many times when “female” doesn’t fit me, and when I see myself in the future, I imagine myself as a man. There are days when I feel down, shameful, as if I’m just making this up for attention, and I’m hesitant because I’ve recently come to terms with being a lesbian. Have you ever felt that in the beginning? That feeling of doubt as if you’re making it all up? I’ve always been a lot more masculine, and I’ve dreamed of having prominent facial hair, a deeper voice, and, most recently, a flat chest. I’ve even tried to exclusively buy men’s clothes because I’m a lot more comfortable in them. Hell, as a kid I wished I was a boy so girls would have crushes on me. I’m not trying to make light of trans issues, I’m genuinely trying to figure this out. I appreciate any advice you deem fit to give and that you’ve created this platform to help people. I hope you’ve had a good day!

That “I wished I was a boy so girls would have crushes on me” bit got me right in my feels because I felt the same way as a kid. There were times, even when I was days away from getting my first shot of testosterone in my leg, where I have asked myself: What if I’m making a big mistake? What if just dressing up in boy clothes and cutting my hair would’ve been enough? But when I started to imagine different scenarios of me as a woman, I couldn’t imagine myself past the here and now.

In other words, I saw no future. There was no getting around it – something had to change.  I took the risk, started testosterone and a whole new world opened up for me. A world that slowly progressed from trying to be as masculine as possible to removing gender entirely. While I still visually look like a man to society, I am happier with being seen as a man than a woman even though I am actually neither.

My point being – there’s no rush in trying to label yourself. Your identity is as fluid or as rigid as you want it to be. There are NOT only two genders so don’t feel like you have to limit yourself to just the gender binary – your journey is unique. That being said, I would recommend you seek out a therapist (preferably one who had experience in gender issues) to help you sort out your feelings and get you on the right track – maybe even join a Facebook group for transmasculine folks so that you may get some more insight. Good luck!

Got a question for Gabriel? Submit them here and they will be answered in a future post!

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