Society’s Assumptions about Trans people and Surgery

I was on the bus today and these two guys were talking about their personal lives.. I usually get irritated when people begin talking about relationships and stuff on the bus when I’m tired and on my way home from work.

But when they started talking about other guys and how to spot a gay guy in the classroom, I began to get kind of curious. I found their conversation to be amusing and was just thinking that this was a rare thing to witness on a bus full of people… I didn’t have an issue with it until it got to that one bit about the “guy” who now has BOOBS.

The moment they said that I knew they were talking about a trans person, who was likely going through a medical transition (a transwoman or nonbinary person). I suddenly felt dread that this conversation was going to take an ugly turn… the guys weren’t horrible about it. They were just really ignorant.

The whole time they were talking about the person they kept calling them a “he” and I kept thinking that no one who is truly a guy on the inside would willingly go get boobs. I should know because I had the opposite procedure done (FTM).

        The most unbearable part of this conversation to me, personally, was how one guy just casually says “If I ever did something like that, I’d go all the way. The first thing I’d do is cut off my….”


There’s so much there in that one moment and about people’s attitudes towards transgender transition in general that it can’t possibly be covered in one post. So I’m not going to try. I just want to speak for myself.

For those who don’t understand why many trans people don’t go “all the way” with their surgeries or hormones, the answer is that there are many answers… it depends on who you ask. But if you want to learn something, genuinely want to have a sample answer to that question, I’ll give my perspective. I can only speak for myself:

       Medical transition is risky. I have had one surgery. It took years to make up my mind to do it and I only did it because it was extremely low-risk and predictable. The risk is the main reason why I would likely not “go all the way”. Believe me, if there were such a thing as magic, the first thing, the FIRST thing I’d do is get a sex change. Other people can have their cars and money and houses. I will go get the sex change I wanted since I was six.


My answer to this unbelievably annoying (but legitimate) question is simply that

surgery is not magic

and in a world where people still don’t get the essence of what it means for someone to be trans, it only makes taking the risk that much less appealing to me.

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