Via @queerappalachia “I am scheduled to have both of my breasts removed on Monday (today) I wish someone had told me about the grief that comes along with correcting gender dysphoria. How it is possible to simultaneously experience the sadness of loss of self & the reaching truer self through that loss. I have lived in this body for 29 years & while I am so uncomfortable with the way it conveys my gender, I am also mourning what I am losing by changing my body permanently through surgery.
Sadness is okay & sadness doesn’t indicate it’s a wrong choice. It’s hard to parse out what elements of the grief are saying goodbye to a physical & emotional part of myself. Something that has been literally attached to me for all this time. Something my body made from itself. Something that has represented so much struggle for so long. A decision that means saying goodbye to my previous genders. & what part of the grief is fear of voluntarily ridding myself of something that is objectively valued as a sign of beauty & replacing it with visible scars of my decision. My internalized transphobia speaks loudly as I fear that I am substituting a standard of beauty for a standard of stigma. I know I will be loved well by those people that don’t care about some fatty tissue & possibly inspire some people to love people who look like me -- but I have to convince my emotional self of that as well. It’s pretty ironic that altering my body to facilitate self-confidence in myself creates a new realm of self-consciousness. I feel grateful I have the ability & safety to do this, but I feel angry that I have to. That I have to get surgery to be able to simply wear a t-shirt into the world without upset. That I have to prove to the government that I am “trans enough” or in enough emotional pain to qualify for surgery. That I have to fear for my safety & my future healthcare because of this. That the president of the US has banned the word “transgender” from use by the CDC. I don’t feel angry at anyone in particular except that I have to make this painful and scary choice. I want people to know that it’s okay to feel angry, scared & sad about saying goodbye to some part of yourself.”