feature image photo by Johner Images via Getty Images
I’m a few days out from Top Surgery after four years of waiting, five dead-end consultations, one AWOL surgeon, and one almost-breast reduction. It’s been a ride, and it’s still hard for me to accept this is happening for me. I have grown so accustomed to disappointment during this process that every time I get a call from an unknown number, I assume it’s someone telling me that my surgeon has left the practice or that my date has been moved or that my insurance has not approved me for the procedure.
The last phone call I received was a first, though, which was to schedule my pre-op appointment. That’s the furthest I’ve gotten in this process, and that milestone is doing a lot of work to keep me optimistic in the days leading up to my surgery date. I’m so eager to have all my ducks in a row that I keep calling my surgeon to ask, “Can I pay you now?” as if folks don’t have their surgeries canceled and lose their deposits all of the time. I’d pay double if it meant this one sticks.
Assuming all goes well in these next two weeks and my surgeon doesn’t go on a spontaneous vacation, I don’t lose my job and therefore my health insurance, I don’t catch COVID during the second highest surge in the pandemic, and another world disaster doesn’t happen…I’m getting Top Surgery.
There’s a lot that I’m looking forward to, but there are 10 things that I really think will be the tits post-op.
1. Going for a run
I grew up an athlete and thoroughly enjoy being active. But ever since I’ve presented masc, I can’t bring myself to work out much. This is especially true for running, which you’re not supposed to do in a binder. Any time I go for a run in a sports bra, I run the risk of giving myself a black eye — not to mention the pain of slamming breast tissue even in the highest impact bra money can buy.
2. Wearing dress shirts without having to adjust my binder every 20 minutes
I love dressing up. It’s one of my favorite things about being transmasc. I love wearing suits and tuxedos, even when the occasion doesn’t call for it. The tricky thing about that is once those bad boys are on, they’re not very easy to mess with. Any time I need to adjust my tissue in my binder, which is roughly every twenty minutes, I have to unbutton three to four buttons on my dress shirt and try to adjust myself without wrinkling or drawing attention to myself.
3. Wrapping a towel around my waist after a shower
OK, this one is mostly to just feel cool and hot. It’s objectively cool that dudes can just throw a towel around their waist, yeah?
4. Waking up in the morning and putting on a t-shirt (and that’s it)
For four years, I have woken up each morning and strapped my chest down in a binder. I’ve carefully picked out shirts that don’t show the shoulder straps or the racer back. I’ve bought tank tops a size too small to keep everything flat and tight underneath. I’ve bought shirts that are too big for me in an attempt to, but barely ever successfully, hide my chest. The thing I can’t wait for the most is just being able to throw on a t-shirt in the morning and carry on about my day.
5. Feeling good in every outfit
As a pre-op trans guy, there are about three to five outfits I feel like a rockstar in. All of the rest make me feel like some kind of cartoon character, some of which are not even human! I know I won’t wake up from surgery and magically have good fashion sense, but I’ll at least be one step closer to figuring it out.
6. Reduced back pain
When I was in the early stages of pursuing Top Surgery, I had a consultation for a breast reduction which required chiropractic scans. In those scans, you can see where my spine starts to curve and it is precisely where my knockers are. It’s not all their fault, I do have scoliosis, but it is a medical fact that the size of my chest is fucking up my back.
7. Improved posture
This is a piggyback from #6, but I imagine with the absence of a few pounds on my chest, I’ll have an easier time working on my posture. Do you remember when, a few years ago, on TikTok, men were holding their partners’ pregnant bellies from behind, giving the pregnant one immediate relief? I had my partner do that with my boobs, and I felt like I was in an entirely new body.
8. Being slutty in tank tops and vests
Oh, the sweet envy I get from seeing my transmasc friends in homemade tank tops, crop tops, vests with arm holes far too big, and wife pleasers. Sure, I will have to work on my arm definition but that’s work I’m willing to put in for the ultimate payoff. Could I look like Jacob Elordi? Fuck no. But I could get close to Barry Keoghan.
9. Chest tattoos
This one isn’t a definite move, but it is an exciting possibility. A chest tattoo could be really fun…I’m thinking maybe a clock surrounded by roses?
10. Sex without boobs
Let me clarify…I would love for boobs to be present, just not my own. It’s something I’m kind of just meh about right now — I don’t feel the need to bind or conceal during sex, but if I catch a glimpse of them at the wrong time I start to go to The Weird Gender Place. I might miss nipple sensation for a bit, but boy would it be dope to not have the biggest rack in the bedroom anymore.