Many people today believe that facial feminization surgery – also known as FFS – is a strictly cosmetic procedure meant to enhance a person’s looks. This notion, however, is false.
For many transgender people, FFS is a matter of seeing on the outside what they feel on the inside – not to mention a huge safety matter.
When transgender, it does not matter where you are or what you are doing. At any time, you could become the victim of extreme violence due to anti-LGBTQ activists, certain religious communities, or simply a close-minded person in general. Although all people are at risk for bullying or street violence, the transgender community is at as much as two to three times at risk. They are often sought out to be targeted and are often the victims of sex crimes simply because of “who they are” – or rather, what some people see them as.
FFS is a procedure that allows those transgender individuals who wish to “complete” their external transformation to appear significantly more feminine. The face is one of the most telling gender-specific parts of the human body, outside of sexual anatomy. In fact, many choose to undergo FFS along with gender reassignment surgeries as one of the final steps in their transformation processes.
But why does this really matter? Let’s look at some of the facts on FFS to understand why it is such an important step in the transgender journey to self-realization.
It’s Not for Everyone
Not every transgender woman will decide that facial feminization surgery is for her. At its core, the procedure helps someone whose assigned gender is male transform into a more feminine appearance. It is a very personal decision, undertaken with plenty of thought. In the end, some decide they don’t want to transition after all – or they may feel as though they present more feminine already, such as is sometimes the case with those who have been taking hormones.
It Is Different for Everyone
Although there are several procedures which are commonly asked for, FFS is a fully customizable surgery which offers a different experience for each unique person. The most commonly asked for things, however, include:
- Tracheal shave (i.e. removing the Adam’s apple)
- Removing forehead bump
- Forehead contouring
- Bring down the hairline
A Different Journey Every Time
Despite the similarities through many people’s transgender journeys, nobody takes the same exact path. There are many differences along the way, which can contribute to whether the person wishes to have FFS or any other procedures.
Some have support, others do not. Some feel bold and confident, while others are timid and even frightened about who they are. When it comes to FFS, even those who do decide to have it may have different motives behind the big decision.
For some, the surgery represents an ability to blend in. With no masculine facial features nobody looks twice. To outsiders they are no longer a transgender woman – they are just a woman. For others, it’s about partnerships or simply coming into the person they feel they should see in the mirror already.