Trans*date: 2014.07.13 … About Boobs

I’ve been searching for a while for a way to describe how I feel about my breasts.  For a while now, I’ve felt somewhat apologetic about my lack of hatred for them.  I’ve never hated them in the way that so many other trans men – or even butches – do.  No, I don’t hate them, I have received great pleasure through them.  They provided sustenance for my newborn daughter.  Though it’s true that when they appeared during adolescence, it felt as though everything was turning against me, as an adult, I came to a place of peace with them.  I even liked having them for a while, as obvious signs of my butch and female identity.

Until that wasn’t my identity any longer.

So what do I feel now?

I don’t like how they look.  No, I hate how they look under my clothes.  I don’t mind them bared, but I don’t walk around bare breasted that often, sadly.  In my day to day life, under t-shirts and polos, button downs and tank tops, they aren’t working for me any more.  I wince at their reflection in the mirror and I’ve deletes selfies that seemed to emphasize them too much.

So what has changed? Is this true dysphoria or am I adopting this sense of rejection from the outside.  Am I pushing them a way because of my transition, because I feel I’m expected to?

I still don’t hate them, I don’t loathe my body as it is or has been but i feel like it doesn’t fit me as well as it could.  sometimes when we feel that way, we go on diets, or work out more or go in for cosmetic surgery.  Is it just vanity to want these ever-more-sagging blobs of fat removed?  Maybe it is, but more and more I feel that my path forward leads through top surgery.

And still, I feel a bit guilty about that.  It seems that I should be more emotionally damaged about my female chest, that the existence of my breasts should be driving me harder.  I don’t bind because it’s too inconvenient and uncomfortable.  I’d love to have them be less prominent and more controlled but I haven’t wanted it enough to bind, so why does surgery look like such an appealing prospect?  I feel guilty that I am not suffering the kind of pain that others do, the pain that leads them to bind and damage their bodies in the pursuit of the physical profile they need to feel whole.

But really the overriding feeling I have about my breasts is indifference.  Maybe I’m distancing myself from them because I’ve already made the decision somewhere in my mind, to have them removed.

Maybe its just that they’ve done their jobs and it’s time to retire them.  I’m feeling so dispassionate about them that it’s a bit concerning.  Shouldn’t I be feeling more about this?

I think about two of my closest friends and how strongly they feel about top surgery.  These are people who identify as genderqueer and they are as unhappy with their chests as any trans men I’ve heard from.  And the stories I’ve read about trans men and the torment they suffered because their breasts and the huge sense of relief they felt once they’d gotten through top surgery.

Will I feel that?  Will I have a sense of relief, of homecoming into the body I intentionally construct from the one I was born into?  Can one feel great relief from indifference?  I’m not there yet, perhaps I’ll feel something more by the time I get there.

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One Response to Trans*date: 2014.07.13 … About Boobs

  1. Jamie Ray says:

    It makes perfect sense that you don’t want to see them – when you look in the mirror you want to see a guy reflected back. For a long time I managed to ignore mine (I only looked at myself in the mirror from the shoulders up) and then I found compression sports bras, and then I found decent binders (I am most happy with the Air Max Velcro binder bought from Les Love Boat – I’m a 38C in a regular bra and it is as comfortable as a sports bra). I like how I look with a flat chest. I really want top surgery.

    Everyone’s trans-ness is different, and how they want to deal with it is intensely personal. Sometimes people look at me sideways when I say I want top surgery but I don’t want to take hormones (or at least not a regular dose, or at least not now). It is your body and your right to transition however feels best to you at your own pace for your own reasons. Dysphoria does not have to be body part specific, I usually experience it as “I am not a girl” or “I want to be a guy” rather that about my chest.

    There is nothing wrong with having top surgery “just” to align your body with your gender, even if you don’t experience chest dysphoria. People who take T don’t experience shoulder dysphoria or bicep dysphoria – but they like the muscle mass changes that go along with it. Maybe you won’t feel a life changing sense of relief, but you’ll look handsome and streamlined.

    You may want to search out a surgeon who keeps the nipples attached (keeps sensation) rather than does nipple grafts. Then you could have the best of both worlds.

    Thank you, Jamie 🙂

    One of the limitations to keeping nipples attached is that you have to keep the nerve bundles intact and that rules out a complete transition from breasts to male looking chest – at least that’s what I’ve learned from other people and my own research. I have yet to consult with the top surgeon I’m going to go with, but I believe that will be the issue. Keeping sensation means keeping more breast tissue than I would want. I don’t want small breasts, I want a chest.

    You’re right that we all go into this differently, different things are priorities for each of us. And yes, it is dysphoria, even if it doesn’t look like the next guys. I’m intrigued by the binder you found. We’re the same size chest, I wonder if it’d work for me. It would be nice to find a solution that allowed me slim down until I have surgery… I’m gonna look that one up. A friend also mentioned having one that buckled and I see there are ones that zip as well. The pull over type are really hard to deal with. Thanks for the empathy and encouragement, Jamie. Take care – K

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