Coping with my daughter’s FFS Surgery
“I don’t know where to begin when talking about my daughter’s FFS Surgery.”
If you are here reading this article it is likely your daughter has already told you that she wants facial gender affirming surgery (FGAS).
I’m afraid my daughter’s FFS Surgery will make her unrecognizable
Surely the idea of surgery terrifies you. On top of that, you think she doesn’t need it because she’s already perfect just the way she is. Well, you are not the only parent of someone transitioning to say this. Nor are you the first to go through it all. There are many parent and family groups to help you navigate the social, emotional, and medical aspects involved in confirming your daughter’s gender identity.
Trans women who decide to have facial feminization surgery do so primarily for their quality of life, for themselves. In order to have that self-confidence, they need to identify with their own face. We all like to feel that what we transmit is consistent with who we are. It is not about beauty, either. Facial gender surgery is about softening masculine features so, overall, the appearance is more objectively feminine.
“You will still recognize the person you love.“
Understanding my daughter’s FFS Surgery
Surgeon websites have a wealth of information, but here we summarize to make it easier for parents to navigate the initial concepts.
All of us have facial features that may be considered on a scale of feminine or masculine. The vast majority of these traits depend on our skull’s bone development during puberty. Male skulls begin to change in adolescence. Actually, children’s skulls do not demonstrate marked gender differences. So we can think of FGAS as returning the bone structure to its original form, as Alexandra Hamer, a facial gender analyst, expounds in her thesis on facial gender.
Masculine faces are often, but not always, associated with more angular features: an M-shaped hairline, pronounced brow bone, forehead ridges, more distance between the nose and the upper lip, square chin or a flared angled jaw. In short, a certain combination of traits is unconsciously identified as male in a glance.
Why does my daughter want facial gender surgery?
Well, it’s precisely those features that your daughter wants to minimize so that her face looks more feminine, with smoother, rounded lines. Yet it is not just about appearances. These masculine facial features bother her, possibly causing excruciating dysphoria at times. She does not identify with the gender they represent, and suffers being misgendered as a result.
Imagine being called the wrong name constantly. Or being mistaken for someone else everyday. How long would you last at school or work if treated with hate or disgust while expected to be a “team member” producing acceptable work?
Hence, to a trans woman, facial feminization surgery may be extremely important, not only for her well-being, but also her safety. It is trans awareness week around the world and tomorrow is, sadly, Trans Day of Remembrance: a time when the 350 victims of transphobia (murdered in 75 countries over the past year) are recognized–an alarming 6% increase in reported mortal violence compared to 2019. The trend is worrying as well as the flaws in data because of unreported or improperly recorded incidences due to misgendering.
What’s involved in my daughter’s facial feminisation
This surgery is actually quite safe. Although it may last many hours (depending on the procedures), every detail is monitored closely by medical professionals. The care offered by Facialteam is constant throughout the entire process: before, during and after surgery.
If you want to feel more calm about the prospect of your daughter’s FFS Surgery, ask her to help you understand what it is about. Have a look together at some of the results online of other patients before and after FFS surgery. As you will see, these results tend to be natural. The essence and personality that your daughter already has is maintained.
One of our main objectives is that we try to avoid a “surgical look.” This means that strangers will not be able to detect she has had facial surgery. Scars are normally hidden or, in the case of the rhinoplasty or liplift, are made to become almost imperceptible over time. The incision for forehead surgery, for example, is made where the patient has good hair density and thus can effectively hide it.
Supporting my daughter’s facial gender surgery
Many parents have trusted our team of surgeons, which has gained international prestige with a decade of experience. Here are a few testimonials from parents and partners who were supportive of the facial gender affirming journey of their loved one:
We believe supporting your daughter at this time is key to her well-being and quality of life.
This is the second of a 3-part series for families, partners or friends of FFS patients. Coming next week, talking more about the family’s expectations of facial feminizing surgery. In the meantime, read more on the topic from the author on transitioning for loved ones of trans people: talking FFS with family, D. M. Maynard of the Workbook on your transition as your partner transitions.