In light of online criticism by anti-transgender forces over phalloplasty, trans men are sharing how the surgery has enhanced their lives.
Several men recently spoke to PinkNews about the surgery, which is the construction or reconstruction of a penis. It involves a skin graft from the arm, thigh, or back, and some social media users have shared pictures of scars left by the grafts, intending to stoke transphobia. It comes with risks, like all surgeries, but is well worth it, according to the trans men interviewed by the site.
“The increase in self-confidence and love has been more than I dreamed. I am still amazed at how it feels sometimes,” said a man identified only as Felix. “I’m able to feel more safe in situations I didn’t before, like locker rooms at the gym. I don’t hate my scars — they each tell a story of a time in my life I made it through a hardship.”
“If you were to ask anyone in my life if transitioning helped me, it would be a resounding yes,” he continued. “Transitioning saved my life, sincerely, and it makes me so sad that so many people aren’t able to receive the care they need.”
Some of the men are sharing photos of their skin-graft scars on social media, and one, Finlay Games, has made several YouTube videos regarding his transition. He had phalloplasty in 2015.
“I think trying to change [anti-trans] minds is like banging your head against a brick wall,” Games told PinkNews. “I’ve given up trying to change their minds and instead focus on helping trans people. Allies are where it’s at. I have loads of great allies on my channel, and the work I do, sharing the truth of transition, the way it has positively impacted my life — that changes allies’ minds and steers them away from the toxic misinformation spread by gender-critical.” Some anti-trans activists refer to themselves as “gender-critical.”
“My life has been changed beyond all recognition, for the better, because of this incredible surgery. I’ve changed in ways I didn’t even expect,” Games added. “I wanted a body part I deeply felt was missing and in the process of that part being created, I’ve discovered myself and so much more.”