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The decision of top surgery

February 5, 2011

…isn’t as straightforward –in my case– as it might seem. I did loathe getting breasts and, before that, I felt nauseated from the moment I realized it would happen. They were one of the main reasons –along with my overall curvy shape– I detached myself from my body at puberty.

But when I started seeing myself as trans, I became aware of the reasons for my bodily dissociation, and therefore could begin the process of reconciliation. I saw countless images of people with male, boy or genderqueer identities who not only looked like me, but were comfortable with their embodiment. I realized that my body, in fact, did not negate my identity, and that the right clothes could make me look the way I imagined myself. I found that even though my breasts –according to my mental self-image– weren’t supposed to be there, I could still live with them. At least temporarily.

But I know that I don’t want them there. And I think my body deserves to be joyfully embraced instead of merely tolerated. Don’t get me wrong: I truthfully love my breasts, but in the manner of that genderfork quote: “I don’t hate my body, it’s just not my thing. It’s like that dress you see in the window that’s gorgeous, but not your color.” I wish they could somehow exist separately from my body, or that I could retain the option to put them back on occasionally (I know I wouldn’t do it often, but having the choice makes all the difference. I’m prone to nostalgia!).

There are times when I feel rather affectionate towards my boobs. They’re okay when I’m alone –even if I’m naked– and when I see them in the mirror, I wonder if I’ll miss them. They feel nice to the touch, especially in winter when they’re like warm squeeze-balls. At these moments I wonder if I really need to take them off. But when I get dressed, if I don’t bind, they look so out of place on my body, and make me feel so uncomfortable amongst people (even if no one notices them), that I remember why I’m planning for surgery. Even when binding I feel nervous that someone will try to touch my chest; and binding has gotten so painful for me that I rarely do it anymore, even though I end up much more hostile towards everyone.

Would I mind my breasts if I lived on a desert island? No, not really. But I’m human, a social creature (though introverted and not-too-sociable), and my boobs have become an obstacle between myself and others. It’s time to let them go.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Toby permalink
    February 5, 2011 11:25 pm

    Yeah, I can relate to this. I may be a bit more dysphoric about my chest than you when I’m alone, it depends on my mood. Sometimes I don’t mind them and sometimes I can’t stand being naked. I’m never sure if I’d mind my breasts as much on a desert island or not, cos it’s so hard for me to imagine that theoretical situtaion… but I do think my dysphoria about them is far worse from a social perspective, even if does exist when I’m by myself too. It’s nice to see someone with similar feelings.

    But I know what you mean about liking them, objectively. I think they look really good, but it’s just because I love breasts :D And even though I’m not sure if I’d ever put them back on if they were detachable, I wish I could have that option too, just in case, you know? I hate the idea of making irreversible decisions. Even if I’d probably take them off and never look back (just like I’ve felt with relatively minor decisions like using male pronouns).

    Thanks for reminding me of that genderfork quote too, it sums my feelings up nicely. Not sure if I was reading genderfork back then or not, but it’s great to see it again regardless.

  2. February 6, 2011 5:31 am

    many of my feelings exactly. … :)

  3. Meike permalink
    February 6, 2011 7:20 am

    I can definitely relate to this. I feel almost the exact same, I think. Thanks for posting this–it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who feels that way about my chest.

  4. herby permalink
    February 6, 2011 7:50 am

    Thank you for sharing your feelings and experiences. It’s interesting because I’ve written about chest surgery today too. Mind you, I had my surgery in 1999 …

    I’ve only recently found your blog and I love it. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

  5. February 6, 2011 9:58 pm

    I feel almost the same way in general, but not right now. Lately I’ve been feeling really dysphoric, specially about my chest. Right now, I can’t stand the think about it. I just want them to go away forever.

  6. February 10, 2011 12:15 am

    I can relate to this as well, although on the spectrum I’d say I’m leaning more on the “keeping them” side of things. As with yours, they look and feel out of place when I’m dressed and binding is a pain (in more ways than one.) But they are a very important part of my sexuality, and my sexuality is a very important part of my life so…without that option to put them back on AND feel them…I don’t know. But best of luck in your process : )

  7. William permalink
    February 12, 2011 8:09 pm

    I can understand the ambivalence you have, but it’s good that you are sure about the way forward. Good luck with the surgery.

  8. February 19, 2011 7:09 am

    Wow, I feel exactly the opposite. In a deserted island I would still want a flat chest. I’m getting surgery for myself and only for me – I don’t even plan on identifying as male yet. However, I do see your point, as I struggle to suppress the potential regret I could experience in the future. (Except that for me, I don’t see regret as a real possibility, more like fear of change and letting go.)

    Being asexual is probably a deciding factor, as I don’t see any part of my body (or anyone else’s) as sexualized.

  9. February 19, 2011 10:04 am

    I appreciate your honesty about ambivalence toward your chest. I felt all sorts of changing affections and discomforts with my own chest and I think it’s important for us to talk about the physical aspects of our bodies–like the softness, the nice shape–and the more socially-determined aspects–like being legible as your gender, being touched. Sometimes it just isn’t as simple as “I hate my boobs” or “I like my boobs.”

  10. Dibbs permalink
    February 28, 2011 8:47 am

    “I wish they could somehow exist separately from my body, or that I could retain the option to put them back on occasionally”

    Boy do I hear you on that front. If I could just take them off when I wanted, and then wear them on occasions when I feel like it, damn that’d be nice.

    Best of luck to you with your surgery. :)

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