My Life Without Tits

So why have top surgery? I have been happy enough with breasts.  That is, I have been happy enough to ignore them.  And why should I settle for “happy enough?” I don’t think about them too much during my day. That is, I don’t ever think about them during my day unless they are in pain or I catch a glimpse of my reflection.  And then they bother me a great deal.  They don’t depress me. But I have always had them: maybe they do depress me.

Maybe living a life without them would be a life with less anxiety. How would I know what it feels like to not have tits? And they do make me anxious–they talk to the world without my permission. They speak clearly and before me.  They say things about me to everyone I come in contact with: my breasts tell the world I want to be called “miss,” they tell the world I am feminine.  This is a problem because the feminine as subject, namely me, is discomforting and strange.  The feminine as object, namely her, is intriguing and exciting.  When someone refers to me with a female pronoun, I feel like an imposter; when they use a male pronoun, I feel like an impostor.  I am Huck Finn in drag catching a hank of yarn and Huck Finn in drag binding my chest.

But the masculine doesn’t feel like an act the way the feminine does.  The masculine feels natural.  Of course I know it’s all an act: a game set up before I was born, these gender roles.  We get two choices and anything outside of that will get you ostracized,  thrown in jail, or worse.  The problem isn’t me: I am happy to remove my breasts, look forward to it and feel it the natural progression of my identity.  This world I live in, however, will find it strange. Some will find it disgusting.

And so the decision to remove my breasts feels the worst when I consider other people’s reactions: the crinkled up foreheads of my friends, the raised eyebrows of my co-workers.  But honestly, these are just imagined reactions: this is my own transphobia at work. Yes, some people will be confused by my decision, but as a good friend of mine once told me, I should “never let other people define who [I am].” I want to remove my breasts to make my physical appearance reflect how I feel about myself. I want to mold my body in my own image. I want to be brave in a very public way. Owning breasts is not a necessary component of my character, but it is a defining characteristic of my insecurities: my breasts make tangible the emotional stress an anotomically fully female body causes someone not psychologically fully female.

It feels scary to have major surgery.  I am most concerned about the aftercare, not the outcome.  I am not afraid of public reaction, but I am aware of it.  I read the blogs of others who have gone before me, and they seem so damn sure.  So sure, in fact, it makes me question the validity of my decision.  But then I realize I only question my decision in the light of their decision.  I am not seeing the turmoil leading up to the decision, only the outcome.  Essentially, I am only questioning my decision to remove my tits when I see I am not walking the same road others before me did. But of course I’m not! When I think about not having the surgery I feel defeated and sad. When I think about doing it I feel scared and excited. I’m tired of being afraid of who I am. I’m through with being disappointed in myself for not having the courage to be myself.

This blog will be about the messy business of discovery: of the self, of gender, of culture and finding one’s place in all those things. This is only an introduction–I will revisit the ideas broached here in subsequent posts, or I will abandon them in favor of other topics that blossom out of them. This is a long beginning for me, a beginning because I only recently have been willing to address the transgender nature of my identity, but it is a long one because I have always known, at a core and instinctual level, that this body was, in some fundamental ways, not right for me.

Be nice to yourselves,
Your Pal Eli

12 thoughts on “My Life Without Tits

  1. I ran across your blog at random via queerrocklove.com, and I’m really glad I did! I’m in very much the same place, other than pronoun preference (I actually like being called she/her most of the time, especially when it clashes deliciously with my gender presentation).

    This especially resonated with me: “When I think about not having the surgery I feel defeated and sad. When I think about doing it I feel scared and excited. I’m tired of being afraid of who I am. I’m through with being disappointed in myself for not having the courage to be myself.” There are times when my chest doesn’t freak me out, and those times scare me to death because they mean I’ll never be able to justify having surgery… There’s something very backwards about it all.

  2. Levi!

    Welcome friend. You are the first visitor to my blog I have had no previous contact with; so this is very exciting for me, indeed. 😉

    Yes, I hear you for sure: sometimes I think I don’t deserve the surgery because I am not disgusted by my chest. But I do deserve it: I am an adult, and mature enough to know I will not regret this decision. It is what is best for me, it brings me closer to my true self, and as I have said, allows me to reflect on the outside how I feel on the inside, and that is a deeply moving thing to accomplish. Of course that true self will evolve over the years, as it always has. But I have little doubt one day my true self will suddenly love having breasts.

    You only have to justify your surgery to yourself: you are the one who has to live with it. Be thoughtful, and honest, and never look away from the sometimes scary truth inside you and you will surely make the right decision.

    And know now you have a friend in me.
    Best,
    -1T

  3. Did you just copy/paste me? Because this sounds exactly what I was thinking in the weeks leading up to my surgery. 😛

    Even a year after, it is such a RELIEF to see someone else echoing my thoughts and emotions. Thank you for writing this, and letting others see through the grey. I’m never sure, for sure.

  4. Maddox,

    Well, I’m glad to be of support to someone. And appreciate your reassurance also. I probably sound like some pathetic life coach, “you’re good enough, you’re smart enough, blah, blah, blah” but I just wanted to establish my blog as a safe space, you know, before I started to rear some personality. 😉

  5. Pingback: Two Weeks Before Surgery Update « My Life with Tits

  6. Thank you so much for posting this. My feelings are an echo of Levi’s. I definitely prefer “she” but I’ve never felt my body fit me and my breasts have been a large part of the problem. But I feel really scared of getting the surgery. Not because I think it is the wrong idea, but because I realize that I understand what people mean when they compliment my breasts. I am scared of losing those compliments but I am also scared of disappointing them and myself. Although I don’t think they fit my self image, I recognize that they look good. My life has been full of self-esteem issues so the thought of changing my body when I finally see some aesthetic worth in it freaks me out.

  7. Hi! I am an 18 year old female and I am considering ballet as a career.. So i want my breasts removed because it will help a LOT for my self confidence! Would a plastic surgeon do this for me? Have you had the surgery?

    • I have had the surgery, Not to sound like a jerk, but if you had looked at any number of my most recent posts, you would know this.

      I had top surgery because I have been struggling with gender issues most of my life. I can’t speak for what a surgeon may or may not do. You would do best to ask a surgeon directly what surgeries they will or will not preform.

      Best,
      Eli

      • I’ve been thinking of going through surgery to get my breast removed i just have so many questions and concerns like will it leave a big scar and after removal what would my cheat look like and do i need any other type of surgery after the removal? I know there are many people with feeling the way i feel, just scared also how much dows something like this cost?

      • Hey Steph,

        Yeah, surgery is surely a big decision. All of the questions you have posed I have addressed in one way or another on this blog: search for the top surgery tag and I think you’ll have great luck finding some answers/guidance with your decisions.

  8. Pingback: Retrospect | My Life Without Tits

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