Most people when they look in the mirror talk about losing some weight; they have too much body hair, things that you can change. You go to the gym, you change your diet, maybe you shave or wax, possibly even just laser it all off.
Cisgendered men if you ask them the simple question. Do you like your penis? They will say yes, even when they wish inside their own brain they may wish it was bigger or thicker, they may even wish that their mothers had no circumcised them as babies but they are happy having a penis. This is true among most cisgendered men whether gay, bisexual or straight.
Cisgendered women if you ask them a question such as. Do you like your breasts the way they are will say yes, some may say they wish they had more or less but overall are happy to have at least breasts of some size and shape. That goes with out saying for women who are lesbian, bisexual or straight as well.
These things are what society has made people think about when they thing of the binary gender[iv] socialization system. Which means when people are transitioning from their birth gender to the gender they choice to identify and expression, which at least for me is the gender I believe I was supposed to be.
I have always seen myself as a very masculine person, that’s just me. Some FTM’s aren’t and that’s okay. I found this great diagram called the Genderbread Person too show the variations in gender identity, gender expression, biological gender and sexual attraction.
When I look in the mirror in the morning all I want to do is make my breasts disappear. I want them gone from my body, they aren’t supposed to be there and I don’t want them. I have been diagnosed with GID for almost 2 years now, and I have been on HRT[v] for the past 19 months. All the changes I have wanted from the injections have taken place and I love all of it.
The hardest part is however getting the procedure to have top surgery[vi]. Top surgery is not covered because insurance companies consider any type of SRS[vii] as sophisticated plastic surgery. Top surgery is not at all cosmetics it is needed for many reasons both socially and medically. Please watch this video on the dangers of chest binding
I have been binding for the past two years, and I am already feeling the damage that I am doing too myself. Lots of people who I have known since my transition started try all the time to get me to just “take it off for a little, it’s just us. It may be just them and I know they would never say or do anything to make me feel unsafe or any less of a guy to them. It’s me…I like feeling like they aren’t there and not reminded that they are. During this years Democratic Primary in New York City, this wasn’t just a primary this was personal. My best friend, my mentor and my person was running for City Council. He was the one who believed in all the things I’ve done when I wanted to throw in the towel and give up.
The decision to spend 48 hours in my binder was my own, but I can’t hide from the world while I do this. No one learns that way; this isn’t something that should go on without the world learning about it.
GID is just as harmful as many other diseases and disorders, and if you aren’t strong enough or have the right support to do this. It may kill you, because you need to be able to look at yourself when other people don’t.
Summer is the worst part of it for me, so I look forward to fall and winter. However next week I am holding a Personal Fundraiser for Top Surgery for myself. The goal is also to bring awareness to the need for insurance companies to realize how important SRS is too the Trans* who want it.
Please join me if you are in New York City at the Historic Stonewall Inn next Monday September 23 from 6-8pm. It is also Bisexual Visibility Day and since I do personally identify as Transgender and Bisexual we are celebrating that as well. Please come out and support my mission toward top surgery, while at the same time making plans to help others in the future.
[i] A conflict between a person’s gender assigned at birth and the gender they choice to identify and express toward themselves and others around them. The individual is with the aspects of their body of their birth gender.
[ii] This term has many definitions. It is frequently used as an umbrella term to refer to all people who deviate from their assigned gender at birth or the binary gender system. This includes transsexuals, cross-dressers, genderqueers, drag kings, drag queens, two-spirit people, and others. Some transgender people feel they exist not within one of the two standard gender categories, but rather somewhere between, beyond or outside of those two genders.
[iii] A person whose gender identity and expression matches the gender typically associated with their biological sex. For example: a female who identifies as a woman.
[iv] A culturally/socially defined code of acceptable behaviors, which teach that there are men and women, who are masculine and feminine, and that there is nothing outside of this system. Most popular discussion on gender assumes a binary gender system. Discussion of trans issues and identities, however, challenges a binary gender system and forces us to think of gender within a multi-gender system
[vii] Sexual Reassignment Surgery