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Transgender, Transitioning and Feminisation

September 23, 2011

In 2010, Abi decided to get professional assistance for Facial Feminisation Surgery (FFS).

Sparkle 2011 with Abi

She is a transgender woman, which means her gender identity is not in accordance with her biological gender. In frank words, she was born with an anatomy that didn´t match her gender identity. This situation is referred to as gender dysphoria. Most transgender people note that they realized they truly belonged to the opposite or undefined gender from as early as 2 years of age.

Can you put yourself in the shoes of an alternate “sex”, being forced to live as male for example, EVERYDAY? It would be extremely difficult.

Transgender people suffer greatly in society, which is generally un-accepting. The general public do not understand the interior gender conflict, which is not to be confused with sexual orientation. This social pressure often results in high levels of stress in the struggle to either hide their true identity or attempt to survive in an often critical and reactionary, sometimes violent, environment.

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Transitioning gender identity is daunting, as it may entail losing careers, family and friends.  Nevertheless, for the individual, it is not an option but an absolutely necessary part of life, despite the numerous risks and inconveniences.

Faced with this dilemma and failing to cope due to not “passing”, not surprisingly, many commit suicide: transgender folks have one of the shockingly highest rates of suicide as well as a greater incidence of clinical depression. Although some find support in the LGBT or online community, many are solitary.

Transgender patients who take the step to seek medical help simply couldn´t consider the possibility of continuing life in the incorrect gender. Nearly 100% of FFS surgery patients are transgender women. We admire these people greatly because deciding to transition is an enormous challenge with plenty of ups and downs along the way. Transitioning is not simply about having the genital operation, Gender Confirmation Surgery (GCS), which may change the ability to experience sexual pleasure in the same way.  For this reason, many don´t believe it is as important, considering it is a feature that can be more easily hidden. However, there are others who do opt for GCS to eliminate this undesirable gender characteristic.

Transitioning is about transforming oneself completely: learning to act different, dress, put on makeup, wigs if necessary, voice retraining and possible surgery, hair growth patterns which require long-term removal or transplant surgery, intensive hormonal treatment, breast and other body enhancement surgery, and often, facial feminisation surgery.

Fortunately, Abi´s story is mainly a positive one. She found a supportive group of friends who shared her experience. She made the appropriate changes to transition, but remained unhappy with her facial features until she found out about facial bone sculpture.

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In 2010, Abi had her FFS in Marbella, Spain, which she feels has significantly improved her ability to pass in public and therefore her self-esteem.

We encourage patients to seek a supportive circle and the professional guidance necessary for all aspects of transition, albeit many different doctors! Facial feminisation surgery may be considered as an effective solution, depending on the individual case.

We hope that through this article, we will help educate the wider public and therefore make steps towards a greater social acceptance for transgender people.

This article is dedicated to all our patients, but especially Abi!

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