Financing Insurance Workplace Legal issues Name choice Name change Driver’s license Birth certificate Passport Marriage Will Other documents
Hair removal Voice Facial feminization Hair loss Reproduction Hormones Orchiectomy Vaginoplasty Breast implants Injected silicone Breast forms Movement Tall clothing Skin care Makeup Handwriting
Some opinions on facial surgery
Like many issues in transition, especially those involving being accepted as female, opinions tend to be very strong.
I was astonished when I started getting angry letters from people for stating that your physical appearance will improve the quality of your life. While I agree we should live in a world where people could express themselves as they wish, we don't live in that world. There are a lot of hard words to hear in transition. Some of these people would rather kill the messenger than listen to the message.
I get a lot of letters from people who disagree with my emphasis on facial surgery and being accepted as female in general. Common responses:
You are trying to pretend you are a non-TS woman.
I am out at work and out to my friends. I am happy to discuss my TS stuff with people when it comes up, but I also know that the only reason I did not have a career setback and am often able to experience life as a female is because I am accepted without question or suspicion in almost every case. If I had not undergone facial work, my experiences as a woman would be very different. They certainly were before I had surgery.
Here's a reality check on how most of America views TSs. I worked at a major newspaper prior to my own transition. We had a security guard who was transitioning, and the unguarded comments made by others about this woman to me when I was living as a male were very eye-opening. I look back at that time as one of the greatest lessons I learned in transition. You can make people refrain from saying what they really think about visibly gender variant TSs, but that won't stop them from thinking it.
K___ writes of her experiences in a similar work situation:
You can choose to fight bigotry and discrimination as a visibly gender variant TS, but for many people your message will not carry as much weight. I feel the message has to come from a messenger with whom people can relate and feel comfortable.
For more on this, read Arianne's excellent comments on my self-acceptance page
You make it seem visibly gender variant TSs are inferior.
I am not better, just luckier in many ways. I do not think that they are inferior, but I do think they generally face greater discrimination, harassment, and danger.
I don't think I am accepted as female all the time, and I don't think I ever will. However, I am accepted as female on the street, in day-to-day situations, and even in most social settings. For me, that's all I could ask for. I'm OK with being out right now, but it's nice to know that if I really wanted, I could probably move and get a job without anyone knowing. I'm not sure I'd like living with the fears that accompany being stealth, but the option is nice!
Arianne van der Ven writes:
You advocate expensive surgery that most cannot afford.
This surgery is expensive, but I went to one of the best. Similar surgeries are available from other doctors, but I felt this was a more important investment than even SRS. What I advocate is for people to think about what is really important for them in transition. If being accepted as female is your primary goal, facial surgery might be more important than SRS, certainly on a day-to-day basis in non-intimate situations. It might be better to spend your money on face work and deal with SRS later.
You make it sound as if it will answer all of a TS's problems
Actually, I take great pains to say that facial work and even transition itself will not solve your problems. See my page on self-acceptance for more.