”All trans people get surgery”

I see this floating around a lot and it’s an assumption that a lot of people make, but I think that most people fail to consider all of the reasons that trans people who have had are having surgery feel that they want to do that.

Everyone’s experiences and transitions are different. A big reason that trans people have surgery is to alleviate dysphoria that they experience as a result of certain bodily characteristics and it’s important to understand that all trans people are individual and therefore have different levels and severity of dysphoria. For some people, it’s crippling and it’s there everyday, it’s a constant negative thought that goes through their head and affects their everyday life. For others, it’s more of an inconvenience that comes and goes pretty quickly and can cope with it a lot better. Some people don’t even experience dysphoria as a result of their body, just towards their gender. Gender dysphoria is a sort of constant feeling of the gender you were assigned at birth not being right and not fitting you, this is what sort of makes someone trans. Whereas body dysphoria is something that, yes a lot of trans people experience, but not all.

There’s also the issue of the financial side of transitioning, I’m in the UK so, luckily, we have the NHS (National Health Service) which provides free health care, meaning that anyone can access treatment (this also often means a lot longer waiting time). However, in many other countries there isn’t free healthcare and in most cases this leaves trans people having to save up thousands to pay for the surgeries they want / need. Meaning that it can extremely difficult and take a long time for someone who doesn’t make a lot of money to get the money to be able to do this.

Also, as with any kind of surgery, there are risks involved and not everyone is willing to take these risks and experience possible complications. This often means weighing up the pros and cons of surgery, for example:
It could cost £10,000 for top surgery. The possible complications can be anything from blood clots and loss of their nipples to (in rare occasions) death. But if they got it, it would greatly improve their quality of life, their opportunities to do things and overall eliminate their chest dysphoria. Some people who may have less severe dysphoria may decide that the huge cost and potential risk involved with surgery isn’t worth the more positive outcomes.

There are also many people who decide on pursuing ‘natural transition’, which normally means changing your appearance without any sort of medication and/or surgeries.

Surgery is something that should never be taken lightly, and it’s important to know of and understand all of the information about what will and could happen before, during and after. So if you’re trans and considering but unsure about getting any kind of surgery, make sure it’s what’s best for you and what you want. Never feel like if you don’t get surgery you’re not ‘trans enough’ or ‘not really trans’, because you know yourself and you know you’re trans, no-one can tell you otherwise.

You are valid, no matter what your body does or doesn’t look like.

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