Due to a lack of education on gender dysphoria and gender affirmation, the transgender community is one of the most marginalized and misunderstood groups- specifically young and trans people of color. To combat this issue, here is a brief educational guide to help you, or a loved one, navigate gender dysphoria, gender transitions and gender affirmation surgery.
Gender Transitions Occur at Many Levels
The word 'transition' can be any change an individual makes to feel more like who they truly are. Some individuals choose to change their names while others change the way they dress or the pronoun they use for self-identification (he, she, they, etc). Some opt for gender affirming hormone therapy to change the level of estrogen or testosterone in their bodies. There is a growing group of individuals who elect to undergo gender affirmation surgery, such as FTM or MTF top or bottom surgery, to change one or multiple aspects of their body in an effort to harmonize their physical self with their true self.
Choosing Gender Affirming Surgery
More and more individuals are choosing to undergo surgical gender transformations to finally feel like their true physical form and self. Especially in the case of teens and young adults, gender dysphoria and gender affirming surgery is best addressed with the help of a supportive environment that extends from family and friends to the entire surrounding community. Even for adults seeking gender affirmation surgery, a careful evaluation of their emotional and psychological state is carried out before performing a life-changing procedure.
Is Gender Affirming Surgery Necessary?
This is a question that ultimately needs to be answered at the individual level. Some individuals are comfortable with living in their born body and simply knowing who they are while others want to receive surgery and treatments. However, if this is a procedure you are looking to invest in, there are a few requirements you must meet, such as having a letter from your psychiatrist or therapist stating that you are of sound mind to make this decision.
Gender Affirmation Resources
There are many gender affirmation resources available to support you and help you better understand gender dysphoria, gender identity, the transition process, and the complexities of what you or your loved one is going through. If you are a parent, here is additional information to help support you through your transgender teen's journey.
At the Advanced Center for Plastic Surgery, we care about the physical and emotional needs of all of our patients and we understand that it takes time to explore these life-changing decisions. We are here to help. Contact us today at 410.308.4700 to schedule a consultation or simply ask for more information.