Before I write about my thoughts on whether or not I want top surgery, I should go over what it is. Top surgery is a medical procedure that gives the appearance of a flat chest – trans men and nonbinary people may have top surgery in order to elevate their chest dysphoria – more frequent surgeries include bilateral mastectomy (basically this means that they remove the breast) and chest contouring (this basically means that they shape the remainder of the chest to make it appear more masculine). But the thing is – I’m not 100% sure if I want top surgery or not. Sure I’m not particularly fond of my chest, but I’m not sure if I want it removed. This isn’t helped by the fact that I’m not sure when my first ever binder will arrive, and I think that this will help me decide if top surgery is for me.
The biggest thing I’m nervous about is the result – let’s just say I decide to get top surgery, so the biggest thing I’m nervous about is the result. I’m nervous about this because it could go horribly wrong, and that my chest won’t look ‘masculine’ or flat enough and I will need to go in for a chest revision. This makes me nervous because I want my chest to be as ‘perfect’ and flat as I can, and something going wrong could compromise that.
I guess I’m just a bit nervous/scared about top surgery – nervous because I don’t know the feeling of a flat chest, so I don’t know if I’ll like it or not, and scared because top surgery is a permanent thing – so I will have to be completely and utterly sure that I want it. However, binding will hopefully help me decide if this surgery will be right for me or not because while binders are expensive, I don’t have to wear them all the time (heck, I’m even nervous about binding).
I also think that I have some internalized transphobia to unpack – I feel as though I won’t be ‘trans enough’ if I decide that top surgery isn’t for me, and by not getting top surgery, I am somehow faking being nonbinary and transmasculine (which I know isn’t true, but its still there). I also feel as though I’m just copying every other trans and nonbinary person – simply put, I feel as though I would be capitalizing on this image that the mainstream media likes to use, and I feel as though I would just be another stereotype of what a trans person should look like (again, I know there’s no wrong way to look trans, but the thought is still there due to the fact that I’ve only been identifying as nonbinary since I was 18 and transmasculine since I was 19).
But overall, I’m glad I’m staring gender expression right in the face – I know I’m valid as a nonbinary person and that my gender expression doesn’t determine my gender identity, so I know that I could, theoretically, go my entire life without top surgery, and I could change my mind about binding my chest, and still identify as transmasculine nonbinary (heck, I could even change how I label my gender identity).