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A Girl to a Man: I'm still daunted by the surgical options

I enjoy going on nights out with friends. I love the whole idea of going out and being social; listening to everyone's news and the gossip on who's dating who and meeting new people.

I could probably drink anyone under the table, which is a surprise to most people because of my shortness in height, but consuming more liquids on a night out has its catches.

The more I drink, the more trips I have to the bathroom, which is a challenge in itself.

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Being transgender and pre-testosterone, I still look rather feminine and often get mis-gendered. Using the bathrooms I prefer, I get quite a few funny looks from revellers at the urinals.

Guys seem to freak out if they think there's a girl in there, but most of them don't say a word when I walk in with my gaze focused away from everyone and head to the stalls.

Most female-to-male transgender people probably have the same problems as myself and have probably been told they're in the wrong bathroom.

On one occasion in a bar, I was having a couple of pints with some work friends, a guy at the bar called after me as I walked confidently into the male toilets saying 'that's the gents.'

One of my good friends jumped to my aid, telling the lone stranger that I was in fact male. I like my friends to know these sorts of things; I'm quite open about my 'trans-ness' as I call it.

I like everyone to understand where I'm coming from and usually they couldn't give a toss if I was male or female. They're my friend because I'm me.

A few people in my situation get bottom surgery: when a transgender person has what's called "sex-reassignment surgery" on the lower half of their body, so that the bottom half matches what's inside their head and how they feel.

I've read a few accounts of people's experience of these types of surgeries and normally the male-to-female surgeries go well, although the female-to-male surgeries seem to be a little more complicated.

Female-to-male bottom surgery comes in two different forms: metoidioplasty and phalloplasty.

Metoidioplasty was invented in the 1970s and takes advantage of the genitals that are already there. It transforms the patient's clitoris into a small penis by cutting it away from the hood and forming the skin to make it look like a micro-penis.

The whole procedure takes up to three to five hours and may need small follow-up procedures. With this procedure there's always the option of urethroplasty (urethral lengthening) so the patient would have the ability to pee through their new penis. It requires another procedure and takes 2-3 weeks so that the body can heal.

Phalloplasty is a one of the most difficult procedure in gender re-assignment surgeries and starts with urethroplasty. The patient's urethra is lengthened before a graft is then taken from the patient's forearm which is then made into a phallus, the huge area then covered with skin taken from the thigh.

It doesn't tend to look very life-like and needs four different procedures to get to the end

result. There can be many complications during this surgery and can often lead to infection. Sometimes there are even urethra leakages which can be very serious.

In my own opinion, I'd rather wait a few years to see if any of the surgeries advance a little. The

bottom surgeries are risky and, with the phalloplasty, there would be severe scarring from the

harvesting sights.

Some trans guys online have posted pictures of the finished results of the surgeries. To me, the results are nowhere near the real thing and I don't think that I'd be happy.

There might not be a lot of sensation down there either, as some people have expressed online. You

can stand up to go to the toilet, but to me that's all it would do.

Many people are 100% happy with the results, but unfortunately they don't seem good enough for me.

Maybe I could find someone to invent a time machine and go forward in time just to see if the

surgeries advance at all.

I'll always be that person dreaming of farfetched fantasies and hoping for something better. I'll always wish to be a real boy.

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