Here I explain a few of the biological causes of variation in gender determination and development.
My metoidioplasty was performed by Dr. Miro in Belgrade, Serbia, in November of 2012.
My surgery included: metoidioplasty, testicular implants, and urethral lengthening. I had undergone a full hysterectomy previously.
Dr. Miro’s website: http://www.genitalsurgerybelgrade.com/ftm_surgery_detail.php
Keep in mind that the charges are going to be in Euro but the cost to me was in USD. Because the exchange rate changes all the time, the $ amount will shift around a little bit. They use (http://www.oanda.com to calculate the exchange rate. Exchange rate @ time of my deposit: 0.7552.
Here’s the breakdown:
- Deposit: €1,780 (€1,000 surgical deposit, €780 to pre-pay for the testicular implants) Total deposit in USD: $2,229.54
- Wire payment: €9,000 (Pays for surgical costs, hospital stay, medications while in the hospital, etc.) Total wire payment in USD: $11,938.90
- Airfare from Monterey, CA to Belgrade, Serbia: $1,196.10 per person, round trip. (Some guys go by themselves, but if you have someone to go with you I highly recommend it!) Total airfare in USD: $2,392.2
- Apartment in Belgrade: €1231.2 (€ 60 + 14% tax (€ 68.40) per day. This comes out to approx. $89/day. Must be paid in cash (€) upon arrival. I stayed for 18 days, so obviously if you stay longer it will cost more. If you can afford it, the longer you stay the more comfortable you will be when traveling home. By the last few days there I was doing some short sight seeing outings, but traveling home was still very painful.) Total lodging in USD: $1,602
So to tally it up:
Total cost of surgery: $18,162.64
Expenses not itemized:
- Doctor appointment for physical done prior to going to Serbia
- Blood work/Lab work done prior to going to Serbia
- Therapist fees associated with acquiring the required letters prior to surgery
- Food while in Serbia (not a big expense)
How to become exempt from registering with the Selective Service if you are transgender, and why it is so important.
Why should I bother? If you do not register with the Selective Service then you will be ineligible for all federal financial aid (Pell Grants, Work Study, etc.), you will not be allowed to hold a government job or receive federal job training, etc. Keep in mind that most universities will not allow you to apply for their other financial assistance programs until you have completed your FAFSA – which also requires SS registration.
If you are under 18: Don’t worry about it until you are 18.
If you are 18-25: Request a Status Information Letter showing that you are exempt from registration.
If you are 26+: Once you turn 26 you are no longer allowed to register with the Selective Service – this does NOT mean you are off the hook! You must still request a Status Information Letter proving that you did not break the law, but are exempt from the requirement.
Transgender Individuals: You are exempt from registration, but you MUST request what is called a “Status Information Letter” from the Selective Service. Obtain it here: http://www.sss.gov/Status.html and keep it somewhere safe so that you can always make copies.
What if I am stealth? Will this letter out me? No! The Status Information Letter does NOT out you. There are several possible reasons why you could be exempt from registration, and your letter does not specify which one applies to you. So when you send a copy to a university or a prospective employer it only has generic information on it stating that you are, in fact, exempt.
What if I am legally male now? Should I just go ahead and register? You are welcome to try, but I was not allowed to even though all of my governmental documents show me as being legally male. So, I just requested proof of exemption.
What if I am legally female now, do I still have to get an exemption? It would be a very good idea to have the letter on file just in case.
What is Selective Service Registration? In the U.S. all males between the ages of 18-25 are required by law to register with the Selective Service. This is to ensure that the government has a draft list should we find ourselves in a large scale war. Keep in mind that we have a massive standing military force, which is all volunteer, so the likelihood of ever having to re-institute the draft is incredibly small. Generally speaking this registration process is mostly a formality.
Who has to register? All males between the ages of 18-25. You are exempt if you have served or are currently serving in the armed forces.
What about cis-females? Although the ban on women fighting in combat has been lifted, the laws around Selective Service Registration have not been changed. Women are not only not required to register, but they are not permitted to.
If you have any further questions please visit the Selective Service website: http://www.sss.gov/Status.html
You can also comment on this post, or e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
When I was a kid I followed my big brother around everywhere, wanting to do everything that he did. As we both got older and my body betrayed me by going through puberty – I was pushed further and further into a female social role. We grew apart, as I struggled with who I was becoming.
I transitioned at 20 years old and my brother and I are closer than we have ever been before. He is the role model I always looked up to, and I am the brother he always wished I could be.
Feel self conscious working out in public places? Short on cash? You do not need an expensive gym membership to get into great shape. After my top surgery I decided I wanted to bulk up a bit, and I haven’t set foot in a gym. I have a couple of free weights, but mostly I just use the weight of my own body. Pushups, sit-ups, pull-ups, etc.
Step one: Set achievable goals for yourself. Do not try to do 50 push-ups on day 1 and get frustrated when you fall short. Start small and gradually work your way up.
Step two: Something is better than nothing. I almost never set aside a specific long workout time. I am busy and frankly I get bored doing nothing but working out for extended amounts of time. Instead I do mini-workouts throughout the day. It is better to do a dozen 5 minute workouts than to do one hour long workout – not only does it keep your metabolism going throughout the day, but you are less likely to skip out on it. Seriously, who doesn’t have time for 5 minutes? Just build it into your day. And if something comes up later and you aren’t able to do all of your mini-workouts, that’s okay! Life happens. At least you got in something! (Note: The exception to this is cardio – you really do need to get your heart-rate up for a reasonable amount of time for that. However the focus of this is muscle bulk, not cardio).
Step three: Eat real food. I define real food to be something someone could potentially make in their own kitchen. It wasn’t designed in a lab, and there aren’t 20 ingredients in it. Don’t eat fast food, it’s low in good stuff and high in bad stuff. Don’t drink soda, it does absolutely nothing positive for you and a lot of harm. I’m not saying go on a super diet or cut out sugar or carbs, etc. I’m just saying think before you eat. You can have delicious meals that are also high in nutrients. What happens when you put crap oil in your car? It doesn’t run/perform well and it breaks down faster. The same thing goes for your body. Yes, you can technically live off of junk food, our bodies have evolved to survive off of very meager diets. But if you want your body to function well and look good you can’t keep dumping poor quality energy into it.
Step four: Believe in yourself. Whether you are scrawny or overweight, it is in your power to change. Before I transitioned and started working out I weighed 125, I now weigh 165. None of that was easy, but it has been worth it. Change takes time, but so does everything else about transitioning. It isn’t easy, but you are worth it.