Last month, Carl*, a 33-year-old banker in New York City, decided he was going to make a big change that he had been stewing about for years: He was going to get breast reduction surgery. Carl recalls hearing jokes about his body — specifically his chest — all throughout his adolescent and teenage years, and says the words stuck with him.
After seeing a subway ad for male breast reduction surgery, Carl was intrigued, but still felt embarrassed about getting plastic surgery on his breasts. So, he hid it from everyone he knew, except for the friend who picked him up after surgery. As a private person, Carl didn't feel like anyone needed to know what he was choosing to have done. "It was strictly personal for me, and was just about me bettering myself and making me happy with how I look," Carl says. Now that he's had the operation, he says it has improved his confidence immensely: "Now I'm walking with my chest out, so I love it."
*Name has been changed
Gender and sexual orientation are both highly personal and constantly evolving. So, in honour of Transgender Awareness Week, we're talking about the importance of language and raising the voices of the LGBTQIA community.