Seeking Freedom - Top Surgery

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A couple of days ago, I laid out this card and crystal grid to set my intentions for the coming months. I am preparing to spend the summer working towards a goal that I did not know I could even have so soon in my life: top surgery.

Top surgery is a term used to describe double mastectomy surgery performed on a trans person, usually on a trans man or someone transitioning to appear more masculine. Top surgery removes breast tissue, and leaves the person with a flatter chest. It can be a liberating experience, and even a life saving one for those who struggle every day with gender dysphoria. Gender affirming surgeries like this are very important, and don't only hold cosmetic value. They directly correlate to better mental health, and certainly in the case of top surgery, freedom of movement and expression.

For many transgender people like myself, top surgery is the end goal, while binding is a temporary solution. Binding, is the process of compressing one's breasts so they appear more flat chested. Transgender people who bind usually do because of dysphoria or discomfort with their chest, and to move through the world without being misgendered or harassed. Binding is, as one might imagine, not comfortable at all. It is restrictive and makes you susceptible to health issues if done unsafely (binding with materials that are not made for binding like ace bandages and duct tape), or worn for more than 8 hours at a time. For most trans people, myself included, the 8 hour rule is one that is constantly broken, due to the reality of wanting or having to bind whenever one is in public.

For the past three years I have been binding nearly every day. It has greatly restricted me, from my self expression to my ability to perform well in school and at work. But the entire time I have been binding, I have had hope for the day when I would no longer have to bind. Top surgery has been something I have wanted from the moment I knew it was an option, and I have been holding out for the day when the planets aligned, and it would be possible.

Unfortunately, like many gender confirming surgeries, top surgery is not covered by most insurances. There isn't an abundance of surgeons experienced in these types of surgeries, and those who are can choose to charge much more than a cisgender woman's mastectomy. It can be thousands of dollars, and wait lists can be incredibly long. And of course, to save this money, many trans people have to work while binding, further increasing the risk of binding related health problems.

All of this considered, I have been extremely lucky. I have not been waiting 10+ years for surgery and my day job isn't as physically demanding as it could be, but I have been waiting for top surgery for a long time with no idea when or how I would get it. 

Recently, by stroke of luck or divine intervention, I found a job to help save money, and a surgeon close by charged a reasonable amount and has consistently great results. For the past three months I have been saving everything I could from my job while also finishing up my school semester. Now that I am out for the summer, I have increased my hours in a mad dash for the money I need for surgery. If I do not earn enough, It will have to be postponed beyond the fall school semester, and into the winter. 

This experience has put me in a very strange place of both excitement and anxiety. I am so thrilled to have a finite date to look to for relief, but that date also represents a deadline by which I have to save money. I have spent hours calculating and organizing data, and it is within reason that I can save enough, but it is a close margin. If I don't get enough hours or have emergency expenses I could be short.

I hesitate to ask for help or donation, because I know a lot of people will not understand that this is not really a cosmetic surgery. The impact this will have on my life will be profound. I will have so much more freedom in my movement, my self expression, the amount of time I can be out of the house, how long and in what ways I can exercise and work, etc. This surgery is my freedom.

This is meant to be mostly educational, explaining what many trans people and I are going through, and why it is so important to understand. But it is also my effort to be honest, and ask for help. 

If you cannot get a reading, or are not interested, please be on the look out for my giveaway post! I am hosting a giveaway of a tarot deck, crystals, and some other goodies and it is coming very soon. By tagging others in the giveaway post to enter, you get a chance to win, and I get more visibility! I will be making a blog post about the giveaway when it begins, as well as posting on Instagram which is where the giveaway will take place.

If you have considered getting a reading in the past, please consider getting one now. All the money that I earn from any readings is going directly to helping my save for surgery, and I am very grateful to those who have already helped me in this way. 

Lastly, I want to say thank you for even reading this in the first place. To all those who have read my posts, interacted with my content, liked my photos, etc. You are all helping me more than you know, and I am so grateful. I am sending you my blessings and very best wishes!