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An Incredible Transition
January 15, 2013 7:05 AM   Subscribe

While going through Facial Feminization Surgery, youtube user iigethii documented the process by taking roughly 1000 pictures over the duration of the three year procedure which she then turned into an amazing video. [stills available at the via]
posted by quin (92 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite

 
Jeez, and all we did when my partner transitioned was record his voice dropping.
posted by not that girl at 7:07 AM on January 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


The thing that makes that video so much more interesting is the ever brighter smile that appears through it. I wonder if it was intended or just happiness that got more and more obvious as time went on.
posted by NiteMayr at 7:12 AM on January 15, 2013 [42 favorites]


Whoa, pukey vertigo attack. Is there any way to watch a YT video at half speed?
posted by elizardbits at 7:12 AM on January 15, 2013


I keep trying to read that black T-shirt with green letters. Anyway, wow! The changes are subtle but cumulative.
posted by Mister_A at 7:12 AM on January 15, 2013


I thought her neck got longer too, so I went back. Actually, it's posture. Possibly due to a camera upgrade (i.e. not leaning into a laptop anymore).
posted by DU at 7:13 AM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


That really is a remarkable change. I didn't expect the difference between the beginning and the end to be so drastic. That must have been a tough process to go through.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:17 AM on January 15, 2013


Whoa, pukey vertigo attack.

Yeah, this was a fantastic video and good for iigethii (I noticed the smiles, too), but I had to stop it and scroll around for fear of triggering a seizure.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:20 AM on January 15, 2013


It's pretty amazing that you can watch somebody turn into the person they wanted to be in two minutes on YouTube.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:25 AM on January 15, 2013 [31 favorites]


Trust me, NiteMayr, the slow growth of a smile was not a deliberate thing. Old photos of me are of a mopey guy, newer ones are of a happy lady.

Though I do keep on contemplating FFS now and then.
posted by egypturnash at 7:26 AM on January 15, 2013 [36 favorites]


I'm impressed how pleasantly attractive she looks, compared to the usual nightmares I associate with plastic surgery. Kudos, doc.
posted by fungible at 7:30 AM on January 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


The fact that so many young people are using social media and things like YouTube to express their true selves to the world is something that fills my heart with hope. When I was her age, I couldn't imagine a world where folks on anything other than the most heteronormative end of the spectrum would be celebrated (as opposed to grudgingly tolerated, at best).

We're not where we need to be, but we're a hell of a lot further along than I could have expected, and I'm not even really that old.
posted by xingcat at 7:32 AM on January 15, 2013 [12 favorites]


I almost didn't watch because from the FPP I expected the video to have pictures of the actual surgery, which would squick me out in a major way. Nope. No surgery pictures, just beautiful results. So delightful!
posted by Cookiebastard at 7:33 AM on January 15, 2013


Yeah, I'm confused as to how she had such extensive cosmetic procedures and came out looking genuinely attractive, when so many women have relatively minor procedures and come out looking like freaks.
posted by HotToddy at 7:39 AM on January 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


I hate knowing. My only transgender friend (we were in a band together for a minute, but we don't keep in touch), there was like a magical hour or so where no one told me and I didn't know. I think after that you kind of think, "is that person doing something mannish?" Which to be totally honest, they are every now and then. Someone else told me, and she was open about it, but I kind of wish it had never come up.

I have a feeling I've met other transgender people and having never known (or at least never being *sure*) I never had those thoughts crossing my mind. Those thoughts aren't negative, but they are extraneous to normal human interaction.
posted by nutate at 7:39 AM on January 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I'm confused as to how she had such extensive cosmetic procedures and came out looking genuinely attractive, when so many women have relatively minor procedures and come out looking like freaks.

I'm really sincerely hoping this is sarcasm, or some other misguided attempt at a joke. Please explain?
posted by fight or flight at 7:47 AM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]



Yeah, I'm confused as to how she had such extensive cosmetic procedures and came out looking genuinely attractive, when so many women have relatively minor procedures and come out looking like freaks.


Oh hey I can kind of answer this.

Ahem, most people get terrible plastic surgery. They cut corners, they go to bad/exploitative doctors, they it all done *now* etc. Good plastic surgery, that is unobtrusive, natural, and with minimal to no scaring? That is very very expensive and consists of lots and lots (and lots!) of minor operations over the course of months..years even! People who get frankly awful surgery tend to want it all done at once which is so, so not advisable. There's a huge gulf of difference between say, some subtle jawline work to make a chin appear slightly more squared off and prominent and a chin implant that looks like someone stuck a dinner roll under their chin. Good plastic surgery is invisible.

Also the science in facial surgery has radically improved in the last decade and change as has almost anything having to do with limbs and reconstruction.
posted by The Whelk at 7:47 AM on January 15, 2013 [24 favorites]


I noticed the increasing incidence of smiles as her transition progressed. Here's to continuing happiness.
posted by arcticseal at 7:48 AM on January 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


The only reason I want to know someone's preferred gender category is so I can know whether to say he or she, which to my mind indicates a defect in the language. If the language had a broadly accepted, non-clumsy, non-gendered way of referring to individuals in the third person I would be able to banish that last vestige of worry about what is in someone's pants before I talk or think about them. (No, I just can't say "they", it's a freaking plural.)

I loved seeing the smile come out, and then the almost scary thought of "wow, I'm pretty!" in the video. Very touching.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:48 AM on January 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I'm confused as to how she had such extensive cosmetic procedures and came out looking genuinely attractive, when so many women have relatively minor procedures and come out looking like freaks.


Those are the ones you notice. Good plastic surgery, you don't spot it at all. You've probably seen hundreds of people who've had good surgery that you just couldn't pick.
posted by Jilder at 7:52 AM on January 15, 2013 [7 favorites]


What I hear, anyway, is that it's best to do all this stuff while you're young (but have finished growing) - you're more resilient and heal better.

I know everyone means to be complimentary to this girl, but I wish the conversation didn't keep reverting to "these other women [implicitly old and vain] who have plastic surgery and do it wrong and look like total freaks". I think we're all a lot better off if we train ourselves not to evaluate women in that way - particularly because our ideas about "attractive" appearance and "good" plastic surgery are themselves already dependent on a bunch of fucked up and unrealistic beauty beliefs.

I am also sometimes troubled about this narrative that cis folks have around transitioning - it's meant to be a really positive narrative - an "oh you look so beautiful/sexy/feminine" narrative - but it bugs me in some way I can't quite put my finger on - maybe because it puts so much emphasis on "my evaluation of your transition is based on my telling you that you look look pretty now", which somehow seems to equate people thinking that you're pretty with being female - when this is not actually how many cis or trans women experience the world.
posted by Frowner at 7:52 AM on January 15, 2013 [30 favorites]


I have found that when I see what can be done via surgical and hormonal intervention to help people transition often just causes me to be consumed with jealousy that cosmetic interventions for non reassignment purposes is still sort of a conflicted zone in the liberal/progressive social sphere. The amount of pressure on women (/humans) to align with beauty standards is so intense - buying surgery to conform is fucking tempting. I haven't quite squared what it means to me that I'm totally comfortable being supportive of one use but less so the other.

I am glad she looks happy.
posted by skrozidile at 7:54 AM on January 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Frowner, I think it's relevant that female beauty is defined in large part as being that which is not masculine. In other words, the more feminine a woman is, the more pretty we say she is. If she has long long lashes, that's pretty, but we don't want long lashes on a man - that's feminine. Same with very full pink lips, or a strong jaw - handsome on a man is ugly on a woman. I'm not saying it's 100%, but that tendency is very strong. So when a person transitions from male to female, the success of the transition gets mixed up with how pretty they look - because female ugliness is a masculine appearance, which would mean a less successful transition. So "she's pretty" roughly corresponds to "she no longer looks like a man."

And yes, it sucks to be a woman with masculine features because of this cultural situation.
posted by prefpara at 7:56 AM on January 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


The via link in the FPP has all the still photos separated out. MUCH less frenetic than the video. I love comparing the photos -- one can really see all the subtle changes! (& she looks more feminine at 10mos than I, a genetic female, do....)

Even more than the end result, it's a gorgeous process -- it's awe-inspiring to see someone become what they want to be, whatever that is. Her smile is amazing...
posted by Westringia F. at 7:59 AM on January 15, 2013


FYI - The Whelk has had a lot of work done - he's 74, folks!
posted by Mister_A at 8:04 AM on January 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


What I hear, anyway, is that it's best to do all this stuff while you're young (but have finished growing) - you're more resilient and heal better.

Yes.

But also: the masculinizing effects of testosterone and the feminizing effects of estrogen are cumulative over a person's lifetime. Younger people, relatively soon after puberty, are still pretty close to being a "blank slate" in terms of physical gender cues. On people who transition later, and whose bodies have been marinating in one set of hormones for a long time, there's a really strong built-up set of physical gender cues — and that often makes transition harder.

It's interesting too just how many physical cues there are. It's not just "tits/no-tits" or "beard/no-beard." It's really subtle stuff like the distribution of fat on a person's face and neck, or the structure of their jaw and cheekbones, a lot of which we're not even consciously aware of most of the time. All that stuff — even the bone structure stuff — changes in response to hormones over the whole course of a person's life, but the more changes have built up, the harder it is for a new set of hormones to "wind back the clock."

I know everyone means to be complimentary to this girl, but I wish the conversation didn't keep reverting to "these other women [implicitly old and vain] who have plastic surgery and do it wrong and look like total freaks". I think we're all a lot better off if we train ourselves not to evaluate women in that way - particularly because our ideas about "attractive" appearance and "good" plastic surgery are themselves already dependent on a bunch of fucked up and unrealistic beauty beliefs.

FUCK YES. THIS.
posted by and so but then, we at 8:05 AM on January 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


Up until about 17 months she looks like a dude dressing as a girl, after which she become a girl who sometimes looks kind of dudely from a certain angle. It's about the eye brows.
posted by Damienmce at 8:10 AM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Can we point out how many men have had bad plastic surgery? I mean, Garry Shandling...
posted by Peevish at 8:18 AM on January 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


Sorry that I didn't put that more tactfully. What I meant is that it appears to me that she has had really extensive work done and it looks natural, whereas in my real life I know any number of people who have had less extensive procedures that are painfully obvious and unnatural looking. Perhaps it's just that there are lots of people who've had good results and I don't know they've had anything done, but it does seem like it's a rarity, and it's surprising to me that you can have such a truly drastic change and have it look incredibly natural.
posted by HotToddy at 8:18 AM on January 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


How did she have a surgery which lasted three years? I don't get it.
posted by Jehan at 8:19 AM on January 15, 2013


How did she have a surgery which lasted three years? I don't get it.

Sounds like FFS is an ongoing process of minor surgeries.
posted by Peevish at 8:21 AM on January 15, 2013


Way more attractive than me in any gender! Seriously, good for her. Though I imagine it must be terribly expensive.
posted by Glinn at 8:24 AM on January 15, 2013


Would help to do an anchored gif of these, stabilize the motion. I love the progressive smile, but it's also amazing what grooming will do; those brows!
posted by Iteki at 8:24 AM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wish this post had included more than a youtube video. The subject seems very interesting and I gather there is probably a lot of information out there about facial feminization surgery as well as other therapeutic aids for transitioning individuals. Anyone in the thread have such resources readily available?
posted by jph at 8:24 AM on January 15, 2013


Jilder: "Yeah, I'm confused as to how she had such extensive cosmetic procedures and came out looking genuinely attractive, when so many women have relatively minor procedures and come out looking like freaks.


Those are the ones you notice. Good plastic surgery, you don't spot it at all. You've probably seen hundreds of people who've had good surgery that you just couldn't pick.
"

Unlike, say, Mickey Rourke?

And good on her on being lucky enough to find the resources to make her who she wants to be.
posted by Samizdata at 8:27 AM on January 15, 2013


Eh. I've had good cosmetic surgeries which were nothing to which you could immediately point and good cosmetic surgeries which were WOW WHAT DID YOU HAVE DONE. If you're fixing something that is Obviously Bad, it's kinda obvious when it goes away.
posted by adipocere at 8:32 AM on January 15, 2013


It's interesting too just how many physical cues there are. It's not just "tits/no-tits" or "beard/no-beard." It's really subtle stuff like the distribution of fat on a person's face and neck, or the structure of their jaw and cheekbones, a lot of which we're not even consciously aware of most of the time. All that stuff — even the bone structure stuff — changes in response to hormones over the whole course of a person's life, but the more changes have built up, the harder it is for a new set of hormones to "wind back the clock."

I think about this a lot. I'm pretty darn butch and almost all my chosen gender cues are either androgynous or masculine, plus for someone assigned female at birth I have unusually wide shoulders, large hands and feet, flat hips, pronounced features - but I'm very, very rarely read as a man. In fact, it happens less now than it did in my early twenties, when I assume that I was sometimes mistaken for a really young guy.


Frowner, I think it's relevant that female beauty is defined in large part as being that which is not masculine.

And I think this is so screwed up, so misogynist, that people who are as culturally sensitive as mefites often are owe it to themselves to reset their beauty cues. (Which can be done - I've done it myself both positively (lots of POC, queer and fat-positive tumblrs have totally changed what I think is attractive) and negatively (spent time in a fandom that valued really normative masculinity, started finding normatively masculine men attractive for the first time in my entire life.) I have been astonished to see how plastic my sense of "beauty" is - and while it might be nice to assume that I am a special-wecial snowflake, I tend to assume instead that beauty is social and that most of us not only see primarily mainstream/generic images of beauty in ads and television but that most of us don't have a regular source of, say, radical queer POC glamour shots to counterbalance.

I mean, what does the "femininity is proof that you're not masculine" say? That femininity as a concept is a parasite on masculinity - whatever masculinity decides to be, femininity must eschew, femininity has no content of its own, all the content is with masculinity. And things coded as "feminine" have no intrinsic worth - they're not attractive except by the fact that they scream "not male not male"!!!
posted by Frowner at 8:33 AM on January 15, 2013 [9 favorites]


> in my real life I know any number of people who have had less extensive procedures that are painfully obvious and unnatural looking

But that's part of it, too -- the people you know in real life are people whose appearance you've grown accustomed to looking a certain way, and changes (especially rapid ones) from that always look a little "off." With people you don't know, there's nothing for your pattern-matching to be thrown by.
posted by Westringia F. at 8:42 AM on January 15, 2013


(Same goes for celebrities whose "before" faces one sees a lot.)
posted by Westringia F. at 8:44 AM on January 15, 2013


Frowner, I could not agree with you more, though I take a somewhat different approach to it. I try, when I remember to (to be real), not to redefine what I find beautiful but rather to focus away from appraising attractiveness or beauty altogether. The better I know someone, the easier it is, but I have come up with tricks that work on strangers, like in your typical subway car it's hard not to quickly take in the people around you, and if I catch myself judging someone, I tell myself they just donated a kidney. Then I typically notice that they have nice eyes or a great complexion or something. It's a work in progress.
posted by prefpara at 8:49 AM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I mean, what does the "femininity is proof that you're not masculine" say? That femininity as a concept is a parasite on masculinity - whatever masculinity decides to be, femininity must eschew, femininity has no content of its own, all the content is with masculinity.

Well, sure: but then this sentence is exactly as true if you reverse "femininity" and "masculinity" in it. "Masculinity is proof that you're not feminine: whatever femininity decides to be, masculinity must eschew." These kinds of binaries are, by definition, mutually defining.

I remember reading a fascinating history of children's playground games over the course of the C20th. It turns out that most of the games regarded as "girls games" by the late C20th started out as boy's games (hopscotch, jump rope etc.). There's a brief period where they become gender neutral, and then as soon as the boys start thinking of them as something that "girls do" they begin to eschew them as "girly." One might see something similar over a longer time scale in Western clothing practices. We've been going through a long (two centuries now) period in which "wearing brightly colored clothes and showing any interest in flamboyant costumes" is coded as "feminine" and is consequently eschewed by almost all males--but we have centuries of prior practice in which men (at least, men of a certain class) happily adorned themselves in the most vibrantly colored and patterned clothes and saw nothing remotely "unmasculine" in the practice.
posted by yoink at 9:05 AM on January 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


This person would never be featured on a fat-positive tumblr, and I would argue wants to be perceived by others as beautiful and not ugly and believes there is a difference between the two.
posted by michaelh at 9:05 AM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Started out as an attractive guy, ended as an attractive woman. I can't help wondering (seriously) how much one has to do with the other.
posted by gottabefunky at 9:11 AM on January 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


This is one of those videos that could have been 100x better with a little technical stabilization help.
posted by unixrat at 9:13 AM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


But that's part of it, too -- the people you know in real life are people whose appearance you've grown accustomed to looking a certain way, and changes (especially rapid ones) from that always look a little "off." With people you don't know, there's nothing for your pattern-matching to be thrown by.

Yeah, I thought of that--even with celebrities, I'm way more familiar with their faces than I am with this person's.

Started out as an attractive guy, ended as an attractive woman.

Right, on the very first frame I thought "Wow, he's already beautiful."
posted by HotToddy at 9:15 AM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


How did she have a surgery which lasted three years? I don't get it.

It's not a surgery that lasted three years. It's three years of taking estrogen and doing hair removal and getting the hang of makeup and so on, plus a few surgeries (or maybe even just one?) somewhere in there.

You'll see a lot of trans folks online posting "N months on $HORMONE!" pictures/videos, and people who are just starting their transition will look at those to get some sense of what they should expect. So when she mentions FFS it's partly as a disclaimer: "Look, this wasn't just estrogen, keep that in mind."
posted by and so but then, we at 9:16 AM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


So when a person transitions from male to female, the success of the transition gets mixed up with how pretty they look - because female ugliness is a masculine appearance, which would mean a less successful transition. So "she's pretty" roughly corresponds to "she no longer looks like a man."

But passing (which is a problematic term, but I don't know of a succinct alternative) is not the marker of a 'successful' transition. For some people it's a marker and it probably is the marker for some, but for others it's not really on the list.
posted by hoyland at 9:17 AM on January 15, 2013


And I think this is so screwed up, so misogynist, that people who are as culturally sensitive as mefites often are owe it to themselves to reset their beauty cues.

Wouldn't the logical conclusion of this attitude be that no transgender person ought, in fact, to seek to transition? They should simply redefine their notion of "beautiful woman" or "beautiful man" to be however it is that they happen to look. I don't ask this question as a "gotcha" conundrum, by the way, but in all seriousness.

When I read the FPP and watched the video, I was thinking of the discussion that would ensue here if it were simply a video of a stereotypically "mannish" woman who had gone through almost exactly the same series of surgical procedures. One can be reasonably sure that the response would not have been anything like as positive--no doubt there'd be a great deal of hand-wringing about Western beauty norms and a general air of disapproval that this person had succumbed to the crushing pressures of these arbitrary social constructs. We would also have a general chorus of claims that she was "beautiful" just the way she was and that it's a great shame that she's now just another boringly stereotypical "feminine" presence. And yet, if we do all feel that it makes sense that someone can say "I was born in the wrong body" because the body they have does not match their sense of gender-identity, why would we not also accept that someone could say "I was born in the wrong body" because the body they have--although it does happen to be coded in the 'right' gender--doesn't conform to their idea of what a body of that gender "should" be? This seems to me a tricky question that points to some unresolved contradictions in the ways we tend to think about these issues.
posted by yoink at 9:18 AM on January 15, 2013 [14 favorites]


I spent most that video whispering "don't wear the teenage boy t-shirt with the green writing again" and I think my advice worked.
posted by MuffinMan at 9:20 AM on January 15, 2013


yoink: Gender identity and one's resulting personal body image seem to have nontrivial biological and early developmental components, while 21st century western standards of beauty are largely cultural. There's something to be said for the distinction.
posted by Corinth at 9:25 AM on January 15, 2013


yoink — I think it is possible to "have it both ways" by distinguishing individual decisions from cultural issues.

AS A CULTURE, it would be better if we stopped policing gender and body appearance in a way that causes distress and dysphoria for so many people.

But AS INDIVIDUALS living in an intensely gender- and body-policing culture, we're all justified in doing whatever we need to do in order to cope with that, up to and including surgery. (And yes, that implies that cis women or men should feel free to have plastic surgery too, for whatever reason they want, and I'm okay with that consequence.)
posted by and so but then, we at 9:29 AM on January 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Wouldn't the logical conclusion of this attitude be that no transgender person ought, in fact, to seek to transition?

No, because transition is not about becoming beautiful; it's about becoming who you are in your own mind.
posted by MartinWisse at 9:33 AM on January 15, 2013 [10 favorites]


I was thinking of the discussion that would ensue here if it were simply a video of a stereotypically "mannish" woman who had gone through almost exactly the same series of surgical procedures. One can be reasonably sure that the response would not have been anything like as positive--no doubt there'd be a great deal of hand-wringing about Western beauty norms and a general air of disapproval that this person had succumbed to the crushing pressures of these arbitrary social constructs. We would also have a general chorus of claims that she was "beautiful" just the way she was and that it's a great shame that she's now just another boringly stereotypical "feminine" presence.

I don't know, it's harder than you'd think to anticipate how a thread's going to go. I mean, yeah, there'll always be fights about circumcision/Palestine/etc, and yeah, every thread about body positivity will have someone helpfully pointing out that they believe being fat is bad, and so on, and so forth. Other topics, it's hard to say. This is a pretty specific imagining of how a hypothetical thread would go, which makes it a step removed from useful - and it's also not an analogous situation, so that's two steps.

It's also worth mentioning that this isn't a discussion I can see going unopposed; if we suppose that some folks would make the points you bring up above, it seems a safe bet that others would disagree - I don't think there's really an across-the-board sentiment on the subject.

And yet, if we do all feel that it makes sense that someone can say "I was born in the wrong body" because the body they have does not match their sense of gender-identity, why would we not also accept that someone could say "I was born in the wrong body" because the body they have--although it does happen to be coded in the 'right' gender--doesn't conform to their idea of what a body of that gender "should" be?

Who's we?

I personally don't think it's any of my business what anyone does with their body. I think it's a little sad, the degree to which society ties a woman's sexual desirability to whether or not she should be paid attention to, but if a woman wants to work within that system, it's not my place to say, or even think, that she should or shouldn't.

Moreover, it's worth mentioning that there's a difference here. A cis woman's failure to conform to societal expectations brings with it its own set of complications and difficulties, but a trans woman's failure to blend in carries with it the risk (for example) of being assaulted (and beaten to death) just for existing, or being unable to use the bathroom without worrying about someone calling the cops on you and insist you're a pedophile. Either motivation is equally valid, but they're not the same, and to act as though they're identical is, again, not useful.

This seems to me a tricky question that points to some unresolved contradictions in the ways we tend to think about these issues.

See above. This is a conclusion based on how you imagine a thread would go; it's kind a "speaking truth to straw" scenario.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 9:47 AM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wouldn't the logical conclusion of this attitude be that no transgender person ought, in fact, to seek to transition?

The stabilizing effect testosterone has had on my mood, in addition to the cessation of my menses, are two extremely positive effects FTM transition has had on me that have absolutely nothing to do with Western ideals of beauty.
posted by Wossname at 9:49 AM on January 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


I wish the conversation didn't keep reverting to "these other women [implicitly old and vain] who have plastic surgery and do it wrong and look like total freaks". I think we're all a lot better off if we train ourselves not to evaluate women in that way - particularly because our ideas about "attractive" appearance and "good" plastic surgery are themselves already dependent on a bunch of fucked up and unrealistic beauty beliefs.


While I like the sentiment, this is something that butts up against reality. Lots of women (and men) who do get the whole rework done really do look freakish as a result. And all too often, quite identifiable.

I don't know how one truly keeps oneself from not letting such body modification affect how one evaluates an individual. For better or worse, affecting how others evaluate oneself is often the intended effect of such procedures.

I think it's relevant that female beauty is defined in large part as being that which is not masculine. In other words, the more feminine a woman is, the more pretty we say she is. If she has long long lashes, that's pretty, but we don't want long lashes on a man - that's feminine. Same with very full pink lips, or a strong jaw - handsome on a man is ugly on a woman. I'm not saying it's 100%, but that tendency is very strong. So when a person transitions from male to female, the success of the transition gets mixed up with how pretty they look - because female ugliness is a masculine appearance, which would mean a less successful transition. So "she's pretty" roughly corresponds to "she no longer looks like a man."

Yes. This is something that really bugs me.
posted by 2N2222 at 9:57 AM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I kept reading "FFS" as "for fuck's sake", and enjoyed the mental image of someone getting so fed up that she feminized her face through sheer force of exasperation.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 10:03 AM on January 15, 2013 [18 favorites]


The Whelk:
Yeah, I'm confused as to how she had such extensive cosmetic procedures and came out looking genuinely attractive, when so many women have relatively minor procedures and come out looking like freaks.
IMO: this lady got plastic surgery to make her what she already was in her head, and reached it. Those who get plastic surgery to change what they are to something else that they wish they could be... often fail at that vague, ever-receding goal.
prefpara: If she has long long lashes, that's pretty, but we don't want long lashes on a man - that's feminine.
I agree, yet: male human lashes are longer on average than female lashes.
posted by IAmBroom at 10:10 AM on January 15, 2013


IAmBroom, you've wrongly attributed that quote to The Whelk.
posted by gilrain at 10:17 AM on January 15, 2013


FYI - The Whelk has had a lot of work done - he's 74, folks!

And used to be a whelk.
posted by sebastienbailard at 10:24 AM on January 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


First off: I'm really happy for this person, yay for them! Smiling!

But second: It's an unpopular position, but I dislike these kinds of inspiring videos. Happiness! All for what, $50k and massive potential side effects?
Many people now look to this kind of surgery as essential.

It's disheartening and complex. Feelings.
posted by Theta States at 10:24 AM on January 15, 2013


Right, on the very first frame I thought "Wow, he's already beautiful."

Yes, but in later frames, she's smiling.
posted by sebastienbailard at 10:26 AM on January 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Theta States, done right, there aren't really any "massive potential side effects" for hormone therapy. Even done wrong, the risks (on the female end of the spectrum, DVTs, hyperkalemia, sometimes osteoporosis and liver problems but those are easily avoidable) are usually exaggerated. That's not to minimize them--they exist--but there's not really any reason to fear HRT more than any other medical intervention.

The cost of gender transition is worth examining, though. It's expensive, not everyone can afford everything, and outside the UK you're on your own and fighting a nonstop uphill battle and I feel like that gets swept under the rug to some degree. It is worth pointing out that most trans women get FFS after several years of being on hormones; it's something people do when they've done everything else and still aren't happy with their appearance or the way others perceive them. It's by no means something all trans women do or feel the need to do; probably most never have it.
posted by byanyothername at 10:37 AM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Theta States, done right, there aren't really any "massive potential side effects" for hormone therapy

I was referring exclusively to facial reconstruction surgery, sorry for not being specific.



It is worth pointing out that most trans women get FFS after several years of being on hormones

Or maybe that should say... "Most trans women that get FFS do so after sevel years..."
posted by Theta States at 10:42 AM on January 15, 2013


This thread caused me to do some googling and some reevaluation of preconceived notions about aesthetics and gender reassignment. Notions you would think someone who's spent most of his adult life in Amsterdam and New York City wouldn't have.

Turns out, I have been wrong about a great number of things.
posted by digitalprimate at 11:02 AM on January 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


I was referring exclusively to facial reconstruction surgery, sorry for not being specific.

I know that "reconstruction" isn't exactly the right word, but Facial Feminization Surgery seems almost euphemistic when you consider the extent of what often happens.
From pictures/reports I've seen online, it can often include drastic reworking of the jaw, nose, brow, cheekbones and hairline. All at once. Typically leaving the face a bloody mess for the 3 months of healing. And the reports of long-term problems, and other complications, certainly aren't rare, even with the best surgeons.
So there are societal aesthetic issues, extreme class issues, physical risk issues....
posted by Theta States at 11:06 AM on January 15, 2013


gilrain: IAmBroom, you've wrongly attributed that quote to The Whelk.
My apologies, Whelk.
posted by IAmBroom at 11:10 AM on January 15, 2013


As a trans man married to a trans woman, the great deal of attention paid to videos like this one make me very uncomfortable, because I feel that this fascination is harmful to trans women I love. While I'm happy that this YouTube user has been able to access such high quality plastic surgical care, and that it has made her a visibly happier person, it depresses me that this is our vision of "successful transition": a trans woman's body being physically altered to conform to our culture's ideals of femininity, so that she "passes" as a lovely cis woman. There are two main reasons this saddens me: (1) it puts the focus for trans woman on appearances over all else, and (2) the vast majority of trans women can never reach this ideal of trans invisibility, which requires both an unusual body to start with, and then access to a lot of expensive medical interventions.

It's a sad fact, quite clear to me in my own family's experience, that while gender transitioning is never easy, it's much harder to transition from M to F than from F to M. Trans women are caught in a series of double binds related to our society's insistence upon evaluating their "success" through the lens of normative feminine beauty. Cis gender women are certainly familiar with the pressure placed on women to conform to beauty norms, leading the average woman to feel dissatisfied with her body and putting her at risk for eating disorders and the like. Now imagine living with a much higher level of scrutiny of one's body, combined with a much lesser likelihood of meeting beauty ideals. Facing this, trans women are under a huge amount of pressure to access all sorts of bodily interventions: laser hair removal and electrolysis, facial feminizing surgery, breast implants, tracheal shaves, liposuction, etc. etc. But even if someone does manage to have the funds to access unlimited medical interventions, there are no procedures that can make hands and feet smaller, reduce height, or make narrow broad shoulders. So all this pursuit of medical beauty enhancement can never reach the (problematic) promised end of ensuring the invisibility of one's trans status.

Meanwhile, trans women pursuing normative feminine beauty standards as they are urged to do are attacked for this very approach. They are called shallow; they are accused of believing that womanhood is defined by beauty in a way that cis woman supposedly do not; they are told they are artificial products of surgery rather than 'real women.' Yet when trans women actually do reject this plastic surgical standard of beauty and are disinterested in hyperfeminine dress, they suffer the indignities of being treated as "men posing as women" because their bodies do not appear normatively feminine to others.

In my ideal world, all that would be necessary to gender transition would be a declaration to others of one's identified gender. "Hello, supervisor. I know you have known me as Kayla, but I identify as a man, and I ask that you now call me Kyle," or "Hello, old friend--just writing to let you know I'm a woman." The others would acknowledge the change with the same nonchalance they accept that a person has changed names after marriage, and call one "he" or "she" or "ze" as instructed. Any body modifications--hormonal, genital, or aesthetic--would be really and truly optional and personal, as they would be irrelevant to how one was treated socially.

Perhaps that world is far off, but I do very much hope we move toward it, and away from a cultural insistence that trans people, most especially trans women, are only accorded respect if they can get their bodies altered to conform to physical ideals shaped around cis bodies.
posted by DrMew at 12:12 PM on January 15, 2013 [30 favorites]


I don't know. The problem with your ideal world is that sooner or later you have to move out from the small circle of people you can "easily" tell about your transition and into the wider world where, even if we assume everybody is of good will and not transphobic, you're going to run into problems with people's incorrect assumptions about your gender. You cannot tell the whole world you've transitioned.

Also, while you're certainly right the whole transitioning process is bound up with all sorts of cultural bagage and assumptions about what men and women look like and that there's always the danger/temptation to go to the extreme end of the gender spectrum when transitioning (being extra girly-girly if trying to present as female etc), I think that for many, maybe most people, both cis and trans, there is some sort of innate gender presentation that is somewhat independent of cultural norms about both gender and beauty.

I think that for many trans people, there is value into becoming true to their gender, and we should be wary about criticising anybody for how they achieve this. I don't really believe in that your ideal world is all that ideal, to be honest, let alone close to reality for most people; I think you underestimate how much some trans people need to change for themselves, rather than just to blend in their environment.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:54 PM on January 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


IAmBroom: "I agree, yet: male human lashes are longer on average than female lashes."

And, ahem, one of my features most complemented by women. Well that and my thick, wavy thatch of hair.
posted by Samizdata at 1:45 PM on January 15, 2013


You cannot tell the whole world you've transitioned.

You can't, but if you have good friends, they will inform the waitress that the table is not full of all ladies, there is a gentleman present. And your friends and family will use your preferred gender pronoun. And you will have to come out over and over again and it will be painful and annoying, but you will do it.

(A friend of mine is in this in-between state at the moment.)
posted by valeries at 2:04 PM on January 15, 2013


This is going to sound horrible; but there is a lady who works in a place I go to REALLY often who is trying really hard to be herself; but for god's sake she should go for FFS.

I struggle every time we interact to not say "dude" or "bro" or "fella" when we are speaking and it's super uncomfortable for me and I assume her when the male version talk comes out. We're forced to interact, so there is no way to avoid it and I TRY SO VERY HARD to not make it a thing; but she's just a frumpy dude in a dress, going through hormone therapy and growing breasts but making no other (if you will forgive me) movements towards the feminine.

I know this is more about me than her; but if one is trying to be a lady (she is, goes by a lady name and is called she and her and girl and etc by those around her) one might put forth a less "dude-ly" vibe.

I got it off my chest. Maybe next time I'll be better at dealing.

Otherwise she can rock on; she's a great clerk and has been nothing but a superstar; but she's gotta "fem" it up more or something; I dunno I guess I shouldn't even impose this on her.
posted by NiteMayr at 2:06 PM on January 15, 2013


but she's gotta "fem" it up more or something

WTF!? this is pretty freaking appalling, especially following DrMew's comment. please read it.
posted by changeling at 2:27 PM on January 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


This is going to sound horrible

Well, you were right there, but that was the last sensible and well-considered statement in your comment.

Please don't hold this woman responsible for your own failure to deal with her gender presentation. She isn't a 'dude in a dress'. Plenty of women, trans or not, aren't completely feminine, and that shouldn't be a problem for you because someone's gender choices are not public property.

How would you like it if I said you should get surgery because I don't like your face?
posted by Acheman at 2:35 PM on January 15, 2013 [10 favorites]


Yet when trans women actually do reject this plastic surgical standard of beauty and are disinterested in hyperfeminine dress, they suffer the indignities of being treated as "men posing as women" because their bodies do not appear normatively feminine to others.

DrMew, not only are you named DrMew, which is awesome, but that was a really great comment.

I know this is more about me than her; but if one is trying to be a lady (she is, goes by a lady name and is called she and her and girl and etc by those around her) one might put forth a less "dude-ly" vibe.

Yes, this is about you, you're absolutely right. I expect that people are going to just pile on to this comment - I'm tempted to myself - but the way you write makes it sound like you want to be kind and decent and your own socialization is wrong-footing you.

First off, a practical piece of advice: if you are really struggling "every time" you talk to her, I would suggest two things: read some blogs and tumblrs by queer and trans people (I cannot overemphasize how this will help reset your expectations about gender and appearance) and take some time one day to really sit with the idea that this girl is female, really think it through and work to release any resentments and discomforts you may be feeling. I say this because the only times I've known people to persistently, persistently misgender people have been when there has been some unconscious discomfort or resentment in play. If you're at all like me, you'll occasionally misgender someone totally at random anyway and you just need to apologize and move on.

Second, really, please work to interrogate what you mean by "being a lady". Bear in mind that if you'd met me when I was in my twenties and identified as a cis woman, I would not have made the cut as a "lady" either, what with the mohawk and the hairy legs and the wide shoulders and the butch clothes, and I was assigned female at birth - but I would not have had to face any shit about it because I was not a trans woman. (Or rather, I did face some shit about it, but not that kind or that bad, and I had at least some choice in the matter - I later went through a couple of years of "all vintage dresses and heels all the time", and no one questioned my gender.)

Third, look, as has been pointed out upthread, FFS is expensive - your coworker the clerk may very well not be able to afford it even if she wants it, especially what with the hormones and other additional expenses. And it requires that you want to have surgery, and surgery isn't exactly a risk-free fun-fest. And it requires that you have access to a good surgeon. And it requires that you really want to be facially feminized. Maybe she likes her face the way it is! Maybe she feels like she looks as feminine as she wants to look! I mean, as I say above, I was assigned female at birth and my face is not particularly feminine - big nose, forehead both high and wide, strong jaw, just a big ol' ginormous hat-buster of a skull in general.

I think about this a lot in my own situation - like, to what extent do I want to look deeply, deeply different than I do now? What if I just want to look like kind of an effeminate androgynous masculine-ish person rather than take testosterone and grow a beard, have my skin coarsen, have my voice change, probably have my hairline recede? (I mean, I know some really cute trans guys - this is not an aesthetic critique by any means.) What is so bad about saying "hey, can we loosen up the boundaries around "how you look when you're a dude" a little bit?

I've also thought a little bit about the whole "should you always have to ask what gender someone is" business - like what if you just can't assume that the person in the dress is a girl but you have to ask instead, isn't that a lot of work? And I was reminded of all the things I routinely ask about people and then remember about them other than gender - like, I don't feel that I should be able to refer to all my POC friends as "Latin@" because it's just too much trouble to find out who is black, who is asian, who is native, etc etc; I don't feel like I should be able to refer to all my friends as Gentiles because it's too difficult to figure out who is Jewish, who is Muslim, who pagan, who atheist, etc.

It is actually much easier not to assume gender than you would think. In fact, I've gotten so much into the "I don't know what gender that person is because I have not asked" headspace that sometimes I have a little bit of a mental hitch before saying something like "Your baby Sara is so cute when she...." because my brain is all but Sara hasn't told me her gender.

Gender is a big deal - in terms of assigning social status, doling out privileges and duties, how we speak to people, etc - because we make it a big deal. The more we down-step all the "girls can wear sparkly nailpolish but must not have chin hair; girls do the emotional work in the relationship and make the coffee in the breakroom and get doors held for them and worry about 'bulking up' too much when they work out; girls are the ones where if a lot of girls join a profession that profession loses status; girls get free drinks and worry a lot about wrinkling"...the more we down-step all that stuff, the more space we create in the culture for a broad range of gender expressions, from the classically girly to the very non-girly*, because gender will not be one of the social proxies for "who gets respect" "who is a member of the sex class" "who becomes the trailing spouse", etc.

(I also want to add based on recent reading that this whole "there are Men and there are Women and you should easily be able to tell the difference and that's the gender story" business is very much an artifact of Western modernity and colonialism. No, it's true! Many, many non-Western and indigenous societies have or have had other genders (bakla, Two Spirit, many others) - some of whom have been treated really well, some not, but the point is that those were just normal ways of being. You didn't have to argue "but no, I really do feel like I am bakla, it's not just a phase or because you bought me a doll when I was two". Also, when I have read about these genders, people talk about how they are not lived the same as western and white experiences of transness and gender binaries. (Colonizing white people did their best to make many of these gender expressions illegal and in fact a lot of the discrimination against gender-non-conforming people in some postcolonial societies dates to colonial laws and religious practices.) My point is that the world is simply crammed with different gender expressions, and isn't that great? It's terrific that instead of having to smush everyone into two gender boxes, we have all this space and all these concepts by which people can describe their experiences.)
posted by Frowner at 2:47 PM on January 15, 2013 [15 favorites]


I know this is more about me than her; but if one is trying to be a lady (she is, goes by a lady name and is called she and her and girl and etc by those around her) one might put forth a less "dude-ly" vibe.

Yeah, it says a lot more about you. I'm a cis woman who's pretty butch and is often seen and spoken to as if I were a dude. Should I fem it up for your comfort? Why?
posted by rtha at 3:56 PM on January 15, 2013


Frowner, being a devils advocate here but you're assuming the person described is trans and not a male cross-dresser.

We have developed complex social cues and norms as a massive short-cutting process that allows us to interact with strangers with minimal friction and effort. You can't disapprove away the ones you don't like [/ 6' tall woman]
posted by fshgrl at 4:01 PM on January 15, 2013


Frowner, being a devils advocate here but you're assuming the person described is trans and not a male cross-dresser.

It sounds very much like this woman identifies as, well, a woman, though. NiteMayr only sees her presenting as a woman, being called 'she' and 'Lucy', etc. It's totally possible Lucy doesn't identify as a woman, but if that's the case, it sounds very much like she'd like people she doesn't know well to use 'woman' to approximate her gender while she's at work.
posted by hoyland at 4:49 PM on January 15, 2013


The only reason I want to know someone's preferred gender category is so I can know whether to say he or she, which to my mind indicates a defect in the language. If the language had a broadly accepted, non-clumsy, non-gendered way of referring to individuals in the third person I would be able to banish that last vestige of worry about what is in someone's pants before I talk or think about them. (No, I just can't say "they", it's a freaking plural.)

Since one of my friends started using Spivak pronouns on irc exclusively, even when further gender information would clarify eir meaning, I have come to view them as a reasonably good solution to the problem. They are phonetically similar to what most people already mumble verbally off the cuff anyway. They are non-gendered and only a little clumsy. Making them broadly accepted involves using them and advocating them.
posted by dcrewi at 5:33 PM on January 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Throughout the whole thing, the mouth remains the same.
posted by anothermug at 5:37 PM on January 15, 2013


I struggle every time we interact to not say "dude" or "bro" or "fella" when we are speaking

Huh, I talk to men every day and manage not to call them any of those things quite easily.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:44 PM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Spivak pronouns:

e laughs / I hugged em / eir heart warmed / that is eirs / e loves emself


Spivak pronouns eh?

I formally endorse this as part of a broader personal decision to always talk and write like I'm two days into a week-long bender that happens to take place in North-eastern England.

Or Andy Capp. Whichever.
posted by hobo gitano de queretaro at 5:58 PM on January 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


I find it endlessly frustrating that Spivak pronouns are low down the popularity list of gender neutral pronouns. I suppose that's because they're slightly later than the others and most of the people thinking about gender neutral pronouns probably weren't reading The Joy of TeX, double entendre title or not. (I think they gained what traction they got through MUDs.) But Spivak's argument at the start of the book--that they scan well--is right. (The Joy of TeX uses E, Em, Eir (always capitalised, I think), which is harder to parse than ey, em, eir.)

Granted, my only real issue with sie/hir/hirs is that I have interference from German. That's where the zie and ze sets came from, I think, but it doesn't really fix the problem.
posted by hoyland at 6:02 PM on January 15, 2013


(Wait, I always thought sie was pronounced [si] and not [zi]. Did I get that backwards?)
posted by and so but then, we at 8:21 PM on January 15, 2013


(I mean sie as an English neutral pronoun, not as a German word....)
posted by and so but then, we at 8:22 PM on January 15, 2013


Many people now look to this kind of surgery as essential.

Well, if you know in your gut that you're a woman and your body is that of a man's, it IS essential surgery.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:24 PM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Countries that are strict about homosexuality can be simultaneously very tolerant of gender reassignment, and those countries - Iran, Thailand, South Korea - have some of the best and most practiced plastic surgeons in the world. Seriously, the surgeries that are available now are amazing. More demand lowers prices and increases availability, though that can come with its own pitfalls, like "compulsory" plastic surgery for everyone seeking a certain level of social recognition, for instance.
posted by subdee at 8:56 PM on January 15, 2013


Not saying transgenderism is at all related to sexual orientation, by the way. I think it's probably more related to the existence of very strict gender roles that leave relatively more people feeling like they don't fit their birth gender. But anyway, she looks amazing. I especially like the later-on shots with short hair, because of course transgender girls should be free to be whatever kind of girls they want to be, including tomboy girls or punk girls.
posted by subdee at 9:02 PM on January 15, 2013


(Wait, I always thought sie was pronounced [si] and not [zi]. Did I get that backwards?)
(I mean sie as an English neutral pronoun, not as a German word....)


That's the problem! (You do have it the right way round.) With sie you have a reading collision and with zie you have a listening collision.

I would have difficulty reading a sentence with 'sie' (the gender neutral pronoun) out lout and not saying 'sie' (the German pronoun)--it's really hard for me to say 'spiel' in English, for example. I don't know how problematic single word listening collisions would be. I know that if someone switches non-English languages on me between sentences, I don't always notice.* I'll notice a switch from English to something else (or vice versa) and my listening switches smoothly, though my speaking doesn't (at all). I don't hear anyone say 'sie' or 'zie' very often ('they' is actually the most common gender neutral pronoun I encounter**), so I don't really know if my brain hears it (zie) as feminine or not.

That said, if it took off as a pronoun, I'd get over myself pretty quick. But if I were dictator of the universe (or just the English language) and got to pick on gender neutral pronoun to rule them all...

*There's a scene in Joyeux Noël where the German officer starts speaking French. He says something about his wife and my brain went, "'Femme'? What? That's French. Oh wait... this entire scene has been in French." I somehow defaulted to the assumption the German guy had carried on speaking German and the French guy had carried on speaking French while they were talking to each other.
**Which makes sense, since it's the option kicking around in the language already--however many centuries of prescriptivism hasn't killed it.


Well, if you know in your gut that you're a woman and your body is that of a man's, it IS essential surgery.

I think it's important to note that it's essential for some people. (I suspect problems accessing medical care mean it's a hard thing to collect data on.) If someone tells you surgery is important to them, they're not randomly lying to you. If they tell you they don't, you should believe them, too.
posted by hoyland at 9:36 PM on January 15, 2013


Er... and since I somehow left it out of that comment: reading 'sie' registers as feminine for me.
posted by hoyland at 9:47 PM on January 15, 2013


If someone tells you surgery is important to them, they're not randomly lying to you. If they tell you they don't, you should believe them, too.

Hear, hear.

the more we down-step all that stuff, the more space we create in the culture for a broad range of gender expressions

This of course is a good thing in itself for all of us, not just something that would make life easier for trans folk, as long as we do accept that for at least some trans people, being the correct gender does mean surgery and cosmetics and all that other stuff and accept that without judgement.

(In general amongst lefty/feminist/queer people there is this reflexive assumption that not caring about looks and clothes and makeup etc is inherently better/more progressive which in its own way can be just as uncomfortable and unwelcoming as the more mainstream obsession with these things is. And, as DrMew already pointed out, trans folk do get judged on that as well.)
posted by MartinWisse at 12:28 AM on January 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think it's important to note that it's essential for some people. (I suspect problems accessing medical care mean it's a hard thing to collect data on.) If someone tells you surgery is important to them, they're not randomly lying to you. If they tell you they don't, you should believe them, too.

I know, I was responding to Theta States being conflicted about ANYONE seeing it as essential. I took that as an opinion that Theta States believed people SHOULDN'T think it was essential, and I was explaining that "well, sometimes it is." The fact that people shouldn't feel they need to get it if they don't want to is a given.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:59 AM on January 16, 2013


Er... and since I somehow left it out of that comment: reading 'sie' registers as feminine for me.

Oh! I don't actually speak or read German, so I was familiar with 'sie' as some sorta second-person pronoun — you know, 'sprechen sie deutsch' and all that — but I didn't realize it had other uses.

But so yeah, 'sie' being a feminine third-person pronoun is something I could definitely see tripping on if I were a German-speaker.

I don't hear anyone say 'sie' or 'zie' very often ('they' is actually the most common gender neutral pronoun I encounter), so I don't really know if my brain hears it (zie) as feminine or not.

Yeah, this pretty much matches my experience. I know a few people whose preferred pronoun is "they" — as in "Well, Rowan said they would bring their car," where "they" is coreferent with "Rowan" — so that might skew the numbers too in my case. I don't know anyone in person whose preferred pronoun is "sie" or "ey" or any of the other options that you'll see floating around online, so I basically never hear those spoken.
posted by and so but then, we at 7:08 AM on January 16, 2013


Countries that are strict about homosexuality can be simultaneously very tolerant of gender reassignment, and those countries - Iran, Thailand, South Korea

You do say tolerant of gender reassignment, so that's technically true, but...

I can't speak for Thailand or South Korea, but I don't think Iran really belongs in that list. Their stance on trans people is debatable--not as horrible as some places, but not at all the Western idea of what being trans means. The focus there seems to be primarily on sexual reassignment surgeries, which aren't necessarily a big part of being trans in the US outside mainstream consciousness. There's pressure on GLB folks to undergo surgeries to...not be considered GLB. My understanding is that this stuff is still very taboo, as well.

Iran might carry out the most SRS operations in the world, but that's...not necessarily a symptom of a progressive, tolerant attitude toward trans people. It seems a lot more complicated than that.
posted by byanyothername at 7:32 AM on January 16, 2013


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