So this past weekend I attended the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference and learned a couple things that I just wanted to share. So the list of things I wanted to share are about scar healing, GRS/bottom surgery, and Asian Pacific Islander transmasculinity. So you can skip to whatever part you want to read or just skip it all if you aren’t interested.

Scar Healing -
I went to a workshop run by a lady who deals mostly with pregnancy scars and just general scarring rather than any chest surgery scars or anything like that. She explained how the scars aren’t just on the top of your skin but they can also be running beneath the skin and can cause some damage depending where the scars are at. I don’t remember her exact terminology for it all but basically you should be breaking up the fiber angles or something like that left under your skin with gentle and repeated motions added in with heat. So rubbing your scars in small circle motions in the shower works or getting one of those rice pads that can be heated and just holding it to your scar helps. The circle motion helps to move the fiber angles in different directions so that they can be laid down flat, causing the flattening of the scars. She also recommended using castor oil when massaging the scars but said to buy a small bottle and use only a dime size each time. When buying it she said that a good place to go would be Mountain Rose Herbs or Whole Foods if you can’t buy it online. One of the people in the audience also suggested using B6 vitamins if you have those pins and needles feelings along your scars. And if you haven’t had surgery yet, exercising in a “long and lean” mannerism rather than a get super buff and rad helps with the healing process more. Like yoga.

GRS/bottom surgery -
So before I went to the Trans Health Conference I kind of just assumed that bottom surgery had sub-par results that were nothing like getting an actual penis or that the sensation was basically non-existent. So when I went to the first GRS workshop, I mostly went out of curiosity rather than looking for actual research. The first workshop for GRS I went to had Doctor Curtis Crane speaking about the surgery itself and how the procedures are done and all the medical and technical stuff. But as he continued his lecture, people began asking questions about sensation and functionality and he responded that these people who got the surgery had both. I was a little surprised but didn’t think much of it until I went to the last workshop of the conference about GRS and heard these guys who had undergone GRS themselves speak about it. They spoke of how their surgeries went and how they felt afterwards. The guy who first started speaking spoke of how he felt put down by others who had said that GRS just gives you “dead meat” between your legs and how it isn’t functional. How it’s discouraging to hear many transmen speak about GRS turning out to be a bad decision when most of them haven’t had GRS themselves. So when I heard that I was kind of taken back in the realization that I myself have done that. After realizing that I kind of just sat and listened to all these stories of these different guys and their feelings on it as they basically held their own Mythbusters episode about GRS for me on the spot. They stated how the price range really can vary from 3,000 all the way to the 100,000’s. It all just depended on procedures and all sorts of things. So I feel like it’s important to share this information that GRS is more advanced than I previously thought. I bought the book Hung Jury as well which is full of stories from guys who had GRS themselves. I’m a little more than half way through but it got me thinking about the surgery being a viable option and whether or not I would still get it if it is.

Asian Pacific Islander Transmasculinity -
I went to a specific workshop for API transmasculine identified people where folks shared their stories about how being API has impacted them and all that type of stuff. And as everyone shared their different stories, a main theme came around about feeling like no one fit in even within the trans* community. Like there were certain styles of presentation that a person needed to have to be able to be in such a community. In this case, at least for this group of people, they felt as though white folks were the main representation of the transmasculine community. Then there was the whole other issue of who counts as API, like do Middle Eastern folks consider themselves API and all that. Plus the idea that when you think of POC (People of Color), usually African American and Latino people come to mind. So usually Asians aren’t really thought of when people think of POC. Obviously not everyone does but there is a general lack of representation of the API community within the POC community. But the main thing I got from that workshop was that there is a lack of visibility within the API community of transmasculinity. I remember before I got top surgery, I was trying to look up Oriental Asians who had similar skin tones to me and who had already undergone top surgery in order to get a feel on how my scars would turn out and I couldn’t really find any. So that entire workshop got me thinking of how to help out with the API transmasculine community and how to try and give more of a representation. I’m thinking of trying to get together some API transmasculine identified folks to start some sort of blog or Youtube channel or something that allows for other Asian transmasculine people to find a little more to relate to. So if you’re interested, send me a message or a carrier pigeon or somethin’ somethin’.

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