My Mom Took Care Of Me After Top Surgery


– I had to be there. I didn’t want anyone else taking care of you. (calm music) – [Branson Voiceover] My name is Branson. I’m 24 years old, I live in New York, and recently, I had top surgery in order to alleviate my gender dysphoria and align my body with my identity as a non-binary trans person. And one of the people there with me every step of the way was my mom. Since I first told her that I was getting top surgery in the spring of 2017, my mom and I had a lot of conversations over the phone, Skype, and in person about my gender identity and why top surgery was right for me. Although these conversations were difficult and sometimes hurtful, we kept talking with the hope that we would better understand where the other was coming from. I knew I wanted her there for top surgery and to accept me fully for the person that I am, but for my mom, it was difficult for her to let go of the person she thought I would grow to be. – Say hi
– Hi – [Mom] Wave hi. – [Branson Voiceover] I grew up in southern California and was raised by my mom and my dad. – [Dad] Mommy’s waiting to scare her. – Boo! (laughs) – I kind of feel guilty about what we did. (laughs) But it was so much fun
– Right – [Mom] And you liked it too. – [Branson Voiceover] My mom was a stay-at-home mom for most of my life and I remember spending a lot of time playing outside and just being a kid. – We’re going to the zoo! We’re going to the zoo. – [Branson Voiceover] Overall, I had a really happy childhood. – You know, I loved being pregnant, I loved when you were born, I loved when you were a toddler, I loved all of that. – [Branson Voiceover] I was raised Christian but as I grew older, I ended up distancing myself from organized religion. My mom remained connected to her faith and it’s an important part of her life and identity today. High school was a rough period for both my mom and I. Things got a lot better when I started college in 2012. Distance brought my mom and I closer and we called each other at least once a week, but even though we were on better terms and talking more, I soon found out I couldn’t talk freely with her about my newly discovered queer identity. Queerness clearly made her uncomfortable. She would tense up when I brought up girlfriends and she couldn’t even say the word lesbian for a long time. Eventually, I just stopped bringing it up. Soon after I graduated college in 2015, I began exploring my gender identity. I would spend hours watching YouTube videos ^at night about top surgery reveals and testosterone updates. I found myself really relating to other people when they would talk about how they never felt like they fit their ascribed gender. Socially transitioning was a relatively painless process. I changed my name on Facebook, and I started a new job in New York where people knew me as Branson, my chosen name. I never felt like I needed to come out as trans or non-binary. Because of my mom’s discomfort surrounding my queerness, I kept my gender identity a secret from her. At the time, it was simply easier to put up with being called my given name and the wrong pronouns, but it was a temporary solution to something that I knew I would need to face eventually. Then in April of 2019, I received the news that my insurance had approved my top surgery. I immediately set a date for December and I received an overwhelming amount of support from everyone that I told. I knew I would need to tell my mom about my upcoming surgery. A part of me felt that I was confident enough in my decision that it didn’t matter what my mom would say in response to the news, but looking back, I knew deep down that I wanted my mom’s validation and for her to be with me for the surgery. – So I remember I got off work and I was walking through the little park by my work, and I just kind of told you that I was getting top surgery. How did that make you feel? – I don’t wanna say, it was just, it was really, really hard. Dad and I, you know, we created you. When you say to us that you don’t like what you have, that we made a mistake, that’s hard. – [Branson Voiceover] After that phone call in the park, a little less than a year ago, our conversations got more difficult. – [Mom] You know, as a parent, we want the best for our children. Dad and I planned everything out. The way we felt your life was gonna unfold changed. At the same time, we as parents want our children to be happy. – [Branson Voiceover] It was really difficult to hear that my mom disagreed with something that was so much to the core of my identity. I understood that my mom’s religious beliefs made her think that I should be happy with the body that I was given, and that it was tough for her to think that there was something with the body that she had given birth to, but in the end, this was something that I needed to validate my identity. It was gonna make me more whole, not less so. As the days grew closer to my surgery date, my mom began to watch top surgery videos herself. I think these videos gave my mom a sense of what my future might look like and also gave her the peace of mind that I would be okay. – I thought I was gonna have a middle seat. I just got upgraded to a window seat. – [Branson Voiceover] Soon enough, it was the day of my top surgery. I flew to San Francisco from New York and my mom and dad drove from southern California. – [GPS Voice] Let’s take U.S. 101 North, Leavenworth Street, San Francisco. – Today is December 14th, and it is the day of my top surgery, so it’s seven o’clock right now and my surgery will be happening at 9:30 A.M. – [Branson Voiceover] At around 7:15, we arrived at the surgical center and I was prepped for surgery. I was feeling pure excitement. After years of binding my chest and dreaming about the day that I could simply throw on a tee shirt, I was so calm and completely ready for my surgery. But my mom was still feeling uneasy and above all, concerned for my safety. As I was getting prepped for surgery, I wanted my mom to understand why I was feeling so happy. Earlier this year, she had undergone some surgeries of her own to remove a hernia that was causing her a lot of pain. I hoped that our shared experience would allow us to relate to each other better. – This year, when I went through my surgeries, and I knew that this was going to relieve my pain, I was happy about that. – Can we stop filming? – [Branson Voiceover] And then it was time for surgery. – [Mom] Wait, can I give one last hug? – Absolutely. – [Mom] I love you, bye. I love you
– Love you, too. – And I’m not crying because I’m sad. – [Branson Voiceover] I said goodbye to my mom and my dad and I was wheeled into the operating room. – [Mom] They told us that everything went well and so when I saw you, I remember just telling you that you were going to be okay. And that you made the right decision. – [Branson Voiceover] Throughout my recovery, my mom took care of me. She helped me with my surgical drains, gave me my medication, and washed my hair when I wasn’t able to shower. – Is that too hot? – No. – It’s my job as your mother, I feel. I had to be there. I didn’t want anyone else taking care of you. – [Branson Voiceover] I felt cared for and grateful, but at the same time she was still calling me by the wrong pronouns and by the wrong name. I knew that my mom had taken great care in picking out the name that she had given me at birth and that she had grown emotionally attached to it. – [Mom] Lauren, Lauren. Lauren’s eating oatmeal and orange juice, Lauren? – [Family] Happy birthday, dear Lauren. – [Branson Voiceover] I still wish that she would try harder to call me by my preferred name, and realize how damaging it can be when trans people are misgendered, especially by people they love. Then eventually, little by little, she did start trying harder. By the end of my first week in recovery, she had started calling me by my initials, L.B. 10 days after my surgery, I had my post-op appointment where Dr. Mosser would remove my bandages. As we drove to Dr. Mosser’s office, I wondered how my mom would react to my scars. – [Mom] I was preparing myself for the worst because I watched a bunch of YouTube videos. – [Branson] Right, right. – [Mom] And I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t the worst. – [Branson] Is this experience how you thought it was going to turn out? – [Mom] It turned out better than what I thought, maybe your life isn’t unfolding like dad and I had thought it would, but it’s just different and we love you. – [Branson Voiceover] It was difficult for my mom to accept the person that I am today and there are still times that we grow frustrated with one another, but it’s getting easier with every conversation that we have. This whole experience has made me see my mom not just as a parent, but as a person trying to navigate something outside of her comfort zone. Our journey to understand each other hasn’t always been easy, and there are still things that she doesn’t fully understand and some that she probably never will, but one thing that I do know is that she loves me and that even when she struggles to understand my identity and the choices I make to live my life authentically, she’ll keep on loving me.

About the author

Comments

  1. The mom is just the cutest. She was there washing your hair and trying to take care of you. That’s so cute

  2. ftm trans guy here. my mom passed away a few years ago and i never got to tell her that i'm trans. i'm so happy that the two of you can connect, even if it is difficult at times. thank you for sharing.

  3. parents need to stop planning their kids future, also you dont have a control over your babies genetics so ? but their mum is good because she put in the effort, people don't need to be 100% comfortable straight away they just have to try

  4. if my child ever comes out as trans, gay, bi, pan, anything, i’ll tell them to do what they need to to be happy. it doesn’t matter what they look like to me, or what they prefer to be called. they’ll still be my child and ill accept and love them just the same.

  5. This is not okay. People should not butcher their body because of a mental illness. Fix your brain not your body.

  6. You and your mom's view/nature of relationship and conversations are very similar to what my mom and I are going through. Seeing this made me tear up a little to think there could be such a positive interaction and connection from this video. It gives me hope that my mom and I can create some closure and support. And know that she still loves me even if she doesn't understand or agree due to religious beliefs. Thank you soooo much for making this video. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it.

  7. s/he says s/he is non-binary trans. Isn't a non-binary person a person who has no gender? But trans is switching between male and female? I don't get it. hELP

  8. I feel like one of the worst mistakes to make as a parent is to plan your child's life (especially into adulthood), that's just setting yourself up for unnecessary disappointment/hardship.

  9. Im so jealous of how privileged American people are. In my country is almost unreal to get hormones or surgery if you are transsexual and when you are non-binary is crazy to doctors and law that you may want to do something with your sexuality. it is literally impossible to be non-binary and changing your body

  10. I’m also non binary, I’m terrified of surgery but the one surgery I’m not scared of is top surgery, but I don’t know if my parents or family would take care of me but I don’t want them to, to be honest I want someone who understands it to take care of me

  11. Besides the point of the video, but her mother is beautiful both inside and out. It is a hardship when your faith, which is defining quality of who you are, is at odds with what a beloved one owns as a defining quality of theirs. I doubt everything feeling, belief, question is resolved, but this family chose to share their story anyway. Thank you and God bless and keep you.

  12. Very interesting video. Trans and non binary is very confusing for people that don't identify as it. Please dont be to hard on your mom. She will learn the right pronouns and the name you pick.

  13. That’s awesome that your parents love and support you, no matter what. As a parent, I can understand how hard it must be to call you by a different name and pronoun, but I think it’s great that she’s trying!

  14. Her mother is soooo self absorbed. Soooo controlling. Sooooo selfish. Yet, she wants she wants her daughter to be happy??? What a narcissist. Mother is crying as though SHE herself is God. What a manipulative psycho.

  15. It's weird that insurance would cover this- they won't even cover some really vital things.- Meaning- life or death.

  16. Poor dude. Out of all the places to grow up they grew up in Orange County. No wonder they moved across the country.

  17. I’m very curious about what happens with your private parts like when you go from female to male do you get a working private part and how do they make it then when it’s male to female what do they do I’m really confused there I just want to know Thai ya been bothering me a lot but i don’t want to ask bc it’s rude but here I am

  18. I’m MTF 31 and have been on hormones since 11/2016 but ORIGINALLY started in 2004/2005 back when I was living my life as a FULL-TIME female. My name and gender marker is CHANGED to FEMALE and I’ve been approved for Orchiectomy BUT I haven’t told my mom or family yet. I have not been living as a FEMALE since 2013 although I still take hormones. My mom is cool with the hormones but IDK how to explain my decision when she believes deep down there’s still hope that I can still be “male”

  19. Them: I would spend hours watching youtube videos at night about top surgery reveals and testosterone updates
    Me(watching this video at 3:04 in the morning): I swear, I'm totally cis

  20. Whenever they mention being understood by their mother it makes my heart race because I know one day I'l have to tell my mom that I'm getting top surgery. I've been binding for almost a year now and my mom has mentioned how she wishes that I would just let them be as is, to just wear a bra and let them be normal but instead I choose to bind. She hates when I refer to myself as a guy and I have tried to tell her that I went through a girly phase when I had moved in with my step family who had two very girly daughters. I felt pressured to be something like them and I tried to tell her that and she instead retorted with, "I did not force you to do anything, how do you know this isn't a phase?" Because if you look back to my childhood I didn't like conforming to 'normal' girl things and I dressed a lot more different. Sure she never forced me to but people in the past had tried to (my step mom specifically tried to tell me how I should be wearing a dress because, "Don't you want boys to like you?" Keep in mind I was in 2nd grade" and moving in with girly people, being shown and told how I should act (being told a lot recently by family and family friends) and going into middle and high school above all that… it's hard. I'm so glad I'm in college now, it's been a very confusing year for her, cutting my hair, binding, referring to myself other than a girl but I know one day she'll understand me. She wants me to wear a bra, wear a dress, stop cutting my hair short and styling it like a guy and to shave my legs. I'm not giving though, I'm in college now and can be who I want. I've already told a lot of friends that yes I am getting top surgery eventually.

  21. You don’t want to identify as a boy or girl, right? Seems as though you want to look like a boy though, I would assume you were a boy if I didn’t know. What do you consider yourself? You have to be one or the other.

  22. This gives me hope that one day I will get top surgery and I can get thru my dysphoria so thank you for this video, thank you I have hope I will become my true gender, again thank you!

  23. I cried. I'm going through the transition myself and recently my mom said that I would always be her little girl because that's what she gave birth to. She supports me and I know that, but hearing your mom say the things she did made me realize where my mom was coming from. Today was a good day because she wanted to get my pronouns right, and I realize that the change that we make with ourselves won't happen as fast with our parents. I'm glad you had someone to help you through it all, and I can't wait for the day that my outside matches my inside. Hope you have a good and happy life

  24. Such a great mother figure. What won't people do to have a parent like her? Every moment of your video was enjoyable with all the positive vibes, despite your mom struggling to get the hold of the things her religious beliefs taught her to be wrong. Thanks for sharing your journey or atleast a part of it with us friend.

  25. I am going through a very similar situation currently. I have come out to all of my friends, I'm out at university to all my classmates and professors, but I haven't come out to my family.
    Coming out as gender fluid is nerve-racking. A lot of people don't get it, and would rather not make the effort to learn. I can hear the hate from other people and that royally sucks, but the fear of possibly hearing the same hateful things coming from my family has kept me in the closet.

  26. I would like to subtitle this in french and send it to my mom cause she doesn't speak english and I feel like this would help her understand why I want top surgery, can I ?

  27. I love this video so much. I watch it over and over again when I get nervous or anxious about top surgery in the future. I have anxiety and this video helped me to imagine what will happen. I’m hoping to go to Dr Mosser too! Thanks for sharing your experience. It was really good to hear someone I related to.

  28. Lauren just know this is one of your moms student, I want you to know even tho I dont know you if feel close to you and your mom. I'm happy that if the end everything was worth it. "Sometimes you got to burn bridges to create some distance."(I hate you, i love you) to me if I made that up first for no song I would mean it like this you got to burn bridges which is like hurting someone you love to create distance to get closer to them. But I'm still happy everything went good.

  29. I don’t know why these chicks just don’t train chest. Like you hit fly, bench press, incline and decline your boobs disappear quick

  30. I loved…just loved watched this! Thank you for sharing your story! Your mom lools alot like mine! I hope you booth are ok! ..and our moms have they way to show us their love!

  31. Why cant I have parents like that. I got religious robots for parents. My mom keeps sending my binders back.

  32. yay mrs. Branson you got 569k people to listen to ur stories instead of a group of 35 fifth graders. your famous!!!!!!!! CONGRATS!!!!!

  33. Perhaps it's because my own relationship with every adult who ever tried to raise me is rocky at best, but children are not possessions. You do not PLAN out their lives. You give birth to them, instill the best values you can into them, love them unconditionally, and hope you dd a good job. You don't get to pout because they don't conform to this horseshit idea of a binary gender-normative fairy tale you had in mind when you saw a miniature vagina in the delivery room.

  34. Wish my grandmother and mother and family in general where as supportive and accepting.. I hopefully will find someone as accepting as your mother is. Happy for you though!

  35. I’ve been working on getting my insurance approval for over a year now. I’ve done 3 appeals, but I couldn’t get the doctor I wanted covered. But now, I’ve accepted that I’ll be paying out of pocket. I have another consultation coming up in SF (the same one, Dr. Mosser!), and I’m happy I’m finally getting back on track to becoming the person I’ve always wanted to be.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *