For me, a closeted teenager in the '80s, it was not a good time to know you were gay. Besides the hysteria whipped up by the AIDS scare and manifesto promises for cracking down on the 'promotion of homosexuality', the realisation that shocked me most was just how much people like me were hated by mainstream society.
Top surgery, and in fact almost all medical interventions for trans* people are spoken about with such rose tinted glasses, it's hard to find a story about the difficulties or sad times. Particularly the social aspect of transitioning and the impact of surgery on these things. So rather than a simple before and after I want to share with you journey of this.
Those two approaches are not the only options, though. The best option is to allow someone to explore their feelings, support them in gaining self-understanding, and accept their identity whatever it turns out to be. It is not complicated, and it's only scary if you are still holding onto the belief that being either autistic or transgender - or, perish the thought, both - is a terrible thing to be. Which it's not. I am, along with countless others like me, living proof of that.