First, they struggle with acceptance. Then, a lot of humiliation, remarks, and bullying from the judgmental world. Transgender people suffer from unfair treatment and deal with a lot of inferiority complex for not being accepted in a same way as cisgender humans. They have to live with fear and anxiety of being treated as odd one out, whereas, they must be treated with same respect and love as cisgender people. There are some stereotypes surrounding transgender women. It is a misconception that these women are not “real” women until they undergo surgery. Some of the transgender women seek a gender confirmation surgery; not due to stereotypes, but to feel like themselves. For some, it is not necessary as they do not want to go through the process or they have money constraints. However, some of the women want the life changing surgery and do whatever it takes to get it done.
Sydney Walther, 21, the resident of Virginia told NBC News that she was terrified to go out in public and always feared to be judged. Then she traveled to New York City for gender confirmation surgery at NYU Langone Health. She described her experience of the surgery as life-changing. “It is the first time in my life that I can be myself,” she told NBC News. “I can go to the store and not worry about, ‘Are people trying to figure out who I am?’”
Sydney’s parents also noticed the change in her emotional state after the surgery. Her mother outlined that she felt comfortable in being who she is, and it was touching to notice such transformation as a mother. Sydney was one of those transgender people who shared their stories about how their lives improved following the surgery. The new study on effects of gender-affirming surgery in transgender people showed that the quality of their life improved considerably following the surgery.
A team at University Hospital in Essen, Germany studied 158 transgender women patients for more than six years after the surgery. The subjects were transgender women aged 18 and above. The team unveiled the results last month at the annual European Association of Urology Conference in Copenhagen. It discovered that nearly 75 percent of women enhanced their quality of life.
“It’s very important that we have good data on quality of life (QOL) in transgender people,” Dr. Jochen Hess, the study’s lead author, told NBC News. “They generally suffer from a worse QOL than non-transgender population, with higher rates of stress and mental illness, so it’s good that surgery can change this, but also that we can now show that it has a positive effect.”
The participants were asked total 30 questions regarding body image, family acceptance, physical health, discrimination, and others. The study found that three out of four women were able to have orgasms after the surgery. Moreover, the support from friends, family, and community are vital components to improve life of a transgender people following the surgery.
The research offers significant finding about importance of the gender-affirming surgery in lives of transgender people. It is necessary to provide education about the surgery, because those who wish to undergo can gather information from only those who had already gone through. Moreover, research about such subjects is very difficult to find. There are many misconceptions about the surgery such as how the procedure is carried out, how excruciating it is, and what will be its after-effects. Creating awareness and educating people about the subject would help in improving the quality of life of transgender people.