I'm trying to educate my cis self. :boost_ok:

Trans folks, what terminology do you prefer to use when talking about surgical procedures relating to your gender?

Thank you so very much to all of the people who took the time and effort to respond to this poll.

I learned a whole lot, particularly from the folks who wrote comments with details of their preferred terminology.

Thank you for volunteering to help me understand. Maybe I can take on a little of the burden of communicating the answers I've been given to other cis folks so trans people don't have to put as much energy into education.

My takeaway: Always ask how to be polite.


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@stelepami I don't feel strongly about it, but: Genital Reassignment.

@stelepami I guess to add/clarify: on the basis that genitals and gender are not directly related. Personally prefer the name of the specific surgery because I find the way some kajillion-odd different surgical procedures are all conflated into The Surgery to be pretty weird. (Obviously my preferences don't match everyone else's, tho.) To abbreviate or be deliberately nonspecific, probably "top surgery" or "bottom surgery".

@skysailor @stelepami this is about where I am. The contexts in which there is a need for a catch-all term for a class of different surgeries are political and immediately reminds me that these are being classified as a group to make it more convenient for discriminatory framing.

@lawremipsum @skysailor Thanks so much for the input! I appreciate your willingness to share with me.

I'm trying to figure out how to be polite and respectful across a broad range of procedures but maybe the most respectful thing I can do is *not* lump everything from a tracheal shave to a phalloplasty together.

I also acknowledge that there's no one term that everyone will agree on, so I should probably ask the person I'm talking to about their specific preferences.

@stelepami I ultimately voted for "gender affirmation" because it at least can plausibly apply to not just the range of surgeries, but aptly to each possible individual medical intervention—it best accommodates that these aren't all a package (for a lot or most people), you do some all or none of them often at different times, and each of them is affirming.

@stelepami "transition-related surgery" or something similar is one of the more neutral and broadly acceptable phrasings for this use case, IMO. But yeah, there aren't many situations where all those surgeries are really one category--perhaps if you're conducting research on attitudes of anesthesiologists towards transitioning patients or something, haha.

grs terms 

@stelepami I would add that often I talk about “GRS,” by which I mean “genital reconstructive surgery,” which is probably the most succinct term for “I want my genitals to be very much not like they are right now thanks”

grs terms 

@vy @stelepami big fan of this myself

as far as umbrella terms go, my current insurance lumps everything from GRS to hair removal under "gender dysphoria procedures" (and then doesn't cover most of them)

@skysailor @stelepami agree with this. if I have to describe them collectively for some reason, I prefer simply "genital surgery".

@stelepami genital reconstruction/reconfiguration

Surgery doesn't do anything to my gender

@stelepami scheduled retrofit at the Utopia Planita shipyards

@stelepami really no need for an umbrella term given that they're all very different procedures. there's a very weird concept that trans people go in for The Surgery as one gender and come out as another, which i think describing them all as the same thing reinforces. i guess if pressed i'd refer to "gender confirmation/affirmation procedures" but i'd rather be specific when possible

@stelepami I usually use "sex reassigning surgeries", since even though they are gender affirmation procedures for a lot of people this terminology makes it seem like they are gender-specific (as in: agender people and women have to want different bodies) or like one's gender can only be affirmed by surgery.

@stelepami I just call it "transition-related surgery" or "gender surgery" or something like that!

@stelepami most likely the name of the respective procedure, or "transition related surgery".

@stelepami "bottom surgery" if I'm being vague, but most of the time when I'm talking about vaginoplasty + labiaplasty or similar, I'm going to say GRS. I personally expand to Genital Reconfiguration Surgery; that's a factual description of what occurs, without even needing to bring all the societal baggage of gender into it.

If I'm talking to The Cis, I might say "transition related surgery."

@stelepami GRS (for “genital reconstruction surgery”) if I’m being clinical, or bottom surgery if I’m being colloquial. But I’d call an orchidectomy an orchidectomy.

@stelepami I think the common factor here for me - and probably other trans people though of course attitudes vary - is not wanting to focus on gender when talking about surgery. My gender’s the same with or without surgery.

anatomy mentions re: surgical procedures 

@stelepami Honestly? Talk about where the surgery is focused or what it's changing.

- Top surgery, breast reduction/[I don't actually know what the other one is called]
- Bottom surgery, genital reassignment surgery (GRS), phalloplasty/vaginoplasty
- Facial feminization/masculization surgery
- Electrolysis/laser hair removal

and so on.

- Packdragon 🐲

@stelepami Gender Affirmation Surgery is like, non-offensive, but I would usually call it by specific names or say medical transition/transition-related surgery/ies

@stelepami bottom surgery, srs, top surgery etc. I don't tend to like using "gender" to refer to them because genitals don't equal gender, but I don't care what other people use.

@stelepami like many other people who've commented, i prefer just naming the particular surgery (or a generic term for it), rather than tie it to something that's involved with my gender; i try not to medicalize my transness or gender if i can avoid it. i think just saying 'getting surgery' is about the equivalent of "going on HRT".

@stelepami I'm similar to several others - "bottom surgery" (vague but widespread) or "genital surgery" (slightly more specific, squicks some people). Naming and describing actual procedures and outcomes (for any doctor poking around down there or friends who are curious & that close).

Or the term I actually use/want "genital origami" - covers that it's a reshaping/reuse/reconfiguration but lacks so many body-as-machine overtones, gently playful and less onerous.

(mentally framing as meme...)

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