Community Conversation > Non-Op

Non-Op FAQ? WIP? Maybe?

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It seems like at least once a week, tempers flare up in this subforum, often because of misunderstandings about the definition of non-op and folks feeling threatened by our personal positions.  The reality is non-ops are pretty rare among the trans community.  And because of that there are many misconceptions.  I'm typing this out in hopes that maybe we can diffuse some of that.  Much of what I will type is based on my personal experience... other's experience, opinions and views will vary greatly.  I hope other folks here will contribute as well and maybe help to refine this make it a more thorough and enlightening discussion of the non-op experience.

1) What is a non-op transsexual?

Simply, a non-op transsexual is someone with GID that acknowledges their transsexual status but chooses not to pursue GRS of any type.

2) I can't afford GRS, does that make me Non-Op?

Most likely, no.  Lack of affordability does not reflect a lack of desire to have GRS.  If you have a desire for GRS, but can't afford it, you would be more likely Pre-Op.

3) Aren't non-ops contrary to the trans-experience?

Not at all.  GID can display itself in many ways.  Non-Ops identify as transsexuals... we have the clear sense the bodies we were born in aren't necessarily congruent with who we are.  But rather than seeing GRS as a treatment option for us, we pursue other avenues of finding peace with our GID.  Neither choice is necessarily better, they are just different.  Each person needs to determine how they can best deal with these weighty issues.

4) Since FTM's don't have accessibility to effective bottom surgery, aren't they necessarily non-op?

No.  It is possible for a FTM to be Non-op, but they would need to have not had top surgery and have no desire to pursue bottom surgery if Medical technology was to meet the same levels possible as GRS for MTF's. 

If an FTM has top surgery or a hysterectomy, they irrevocably alter their bodies.  In many areas this is sufficent to change their legal gender status.

5) I hate my [penis/ vagina] How can you be transsexual if you want to keep your [penis/ vagina]?

Please be clear, keeping "it" doesn't mean we love having "it".  But it means we've 1) Found a personal way to be "ok" with letting "it" stick around and 2) it's a good personal choice for us.  It doesn't mean we love it or have drum circles celebrating "it".  It's simply a part of our anatomy and we make due.  Ideal world, we'd love to be equipped properly.  But the personal cost/ benefit analysis of GRS doesn't make sense.

6) Are you just a...

--- Quote ---Transvestite: a person who wears the clothing of the opposite gender, and has no desire to permanently change their sex. There is generally a strong sexual motivation for the cross-dressing.
--- End quote ---

Well, non-ops have no sexual motivation for crossing gender boundaries, so we aren't this...

--- Quote ---Crossdresser: a person wears the clothing of the opposite gender, and has no desire to permanently change their sex. There is generally no sexual motivation for the cross-dressing.
--- End quote ---

As a non-op, we don't simply wear the clothing of a gender we weren't born -- We fill those roles of our mental gender completely.  The change is permanent -- we don't want to go back to our birth gender, so we aren't this.

--- Quote ---Transsexual: a person who is mentally one gender, but has the body of the other. They desire to live and be accepted as a member of the mental gender, this is generally accompanied by the strong desire to make their body as congruent as possible with the preferred sex through surgery and hormone treatments.
--- End quote ---

Here's the closest fit.  Born in one gender... feeling like the other.  Definite yes!  Desire to Live and be accepted as the mental gender.  Definite yes! 

Generally accompanied by the strong desire to make their body as congruent as possible with the preferred sex through surgery and hormone treatments.  "Generally accompanied" is the key.  With non-ops, this desire will be at many different levels...  some will do hormones, but no surgery.  Others go full-time without either.  We get as close as we feel we need to to successfully function in the world in our perceived gender.

To the folks here, anything inaccurate or that should be added?


Just Kate:
Thank you very much for your information.  Your definitions are in line with my thoughts as well.  :D

I consider myself a non-op transsexual despite having had an orchidectomy.  Granted, I had it done back when I was transitioning before I stopped my transition.


--- Quote ---Re: Non-Op FAQ? WIP? Maybe?
--- End quote ---

it isn't rocket science.

--- Quote from: Katia on April 26, 2009, 09:12:31 am ---the term "non-op transsexual" is an oxymoron. the term "transsexual" was coined by a reporter in the late 50's after christine jorgensen had her surgery. at that point in time, there were only 2 terms. ts for those who obtained/wanted surgery, and tv for those who didn't.  the term tg was coined in the late 60's around the time of the stonewall riots and was first used for those who lived as the other sex without grs. so it was for someone who was more serious than a crossdresser, but without the desire for a complete transition. that is what a non-op is, not a preop who must stay there. non-op is in one's head, not in their circumstances.

if a person cannot have grs, they are pre-op, rather than a non-op. if they could get surgery, they would.  a non-op is one who would never get surgery even if you wrote them a check for a million dollars.

furthermore, for me, "can't-op" or "perpetual preop" is not the same as non-op. a non-op has nothing against their original parts below.  non-op is a mindset rather than a condition. what i call a "can't-op" is someone who is too disadvantaged, sick, or elderly to get surgery.  so there is a big difference between having the non-op mindset and simply being unable to have grs.

--- End quote ---


--- Quote from: Katia on April 28, 2009, 05:46:33 pm ---it isn't rocket science.

--- End quote ---


I agree with you, but too many here find it confusing.  Susan  just opened this section recently and there's already been fights in here over what non-ops are...

Besides, I'm curious how other non-ops view and define themselves... I know many people in the trans community yet have not met irl a single other non-op....

 I guess I will always be a pre op then even though I have desided to not transition. I don`t want to be knowen as a transexual woman but just a woman. If I was passable I would do it but, since I am not I`m going back to my old life and going to try to just deal with it. ( And don`t tell me passability comes from within) I have been off hormones for about 4 months now and things seem to be going ok for me. I get to keep my wife and live with my kids. It`s like no matter what I deside to do it is going to be a frustraiting road to travel. So, why transition? Does this make me a pre op or a non op? It doesn`t really matter , I am just curious.   


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