When you tell people you’re transgender, the very first thought that pops into their head without fail is whether or not you’ve had SRS (Sexual Reassignment Surgery) yet. I use the term SRS because sex is about genitals and gender is about the brain. We transition gender and modify our sex to match our gender, but I know everyone has their preferential term.
So, what is so entrancing and defining about SRS that makes it the de facto question on most Cis people’s tongues when they learn about your gender variance?
Well first, let’s just get it in writing. SRS is NOT necessary to be a happy, healthy trans woman or man. There are loads of non-operative women and even more non-op men out there. Surgery is expensive and not without potential complications. In America, most people do not have coverage for the surgery in their insurance plans. I actually do, but I’ll get to that later.
So why is it that after 60 years of transgender visibility in America and the Western world, do we as a country and civilization have such a fixation on surgery. Well, part of it is the fact that 99% of biological men have penises and 99% of genetic women have vaginas. There are exceptions from the intersex and chromosomally aberrant communities, but these are only acknowledged by us more aware people in the various variant communities. So it’s easy to equate SRS with transition, I suppose.
But I think it’s also dangerous for the young trans people among us to focus on surgery as the point of transition from gender to gender. I’ve seen it on Reddit posts, where people think they “might not be trans” because they don’t want surgery. We need to dispel this post haste.
I call this The Pinocchio Surgery, because Pinocchio wasn’t a “real boy” until the fairy came and granted his wish to be a real boy with the stroke of her magic wand. This seems to be the average person’s conception of transition from male to female or vice versa. I was talking to a trans female friend of mine about this, and I said “I wish there was a magic wand that could finish the transition in a moment! Sign me up!”
So, I have coverage for SRS or GRS or whatever you want to call it from my work’s insurance. My employer is very progressive and have taken the brain dead obvious choice of covering surgery and hormones for trans employees. I just can’t understand why this is not more widespread. I work for a company of thousands, and there have been about 6 of us that have transitioned on the job. I think I was 4th lol.
Let’s change the narrative here folks. Surgery is an afterthought for the majority of trans people. It is medically necessary for those who deeply detest their equipment and need the surgery to feel whole, but this is not all of us. We need a more inclusive and tolerant understanding of trans issues in this country.