3 min read

Be the Change You Want to See in Dick Pics

Photo diary of a phalloplasty

IN 2019, SOMEONE showed me his penis and saved my life. (Thank you Ian!)

I don’t know if that sentiment has ever been uttered about a cis peen—if so, I would love to hear the context. In my case, it was another trans person who’d come over to my house with my then boyfriend to tell us about his phalloplasty, and he offered to show us if we wanted.

He wasn’t finished with his multi-surgery journey; he still had several go before his particular dick was complete. But it was still so much more wonderful than I ever could have imagined.

Two years later, I was visiting a friend of mine, also trans, for a few days out of town, and one day in his living room he said no pressure, of course, and he understood if I didn’t want to but if I did feel comfortable showing him my year-old penis, he’d love to see it.

It took me some time. I got nervous, and hot, and had to take deep breaths, getting ready to show someone who wasn’t my boyfriend this part of me. In addition to being new, it, too, was unfinished; my two surgeries (phalloplasty and glansplasty) were done, but it was still another month before my first session with the medical tattoo specialist, and there were yet many more months of never-ending electrolysis. My friend was going to see it raw and incomplete, and I feared that he wouldn’t get it, or wouldn’t be able to appreciate it for how magnificent it was—that he wouldn’t see it the way I saw it, or the way I’d seen Ian’s in my own living room. I feared putting myself out there, in the most literal sense.

But he did get it. I took my pants down, and just like I had, he dropped his jaw and gasped with awe at the penis I’d made—that had made me. My penis is perhaps the principal source of joy and comfort in my life and the voice of wisdom I felt separated from for the first 40 years of it. But I’ve said plenty about it already. I’m gonna let it speak for itself.

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