Thank you for going on the record. You had to put up with a lot from the evasive self-appointed SRS surgeon. I got much from the redoubtable Roberto Granato, within greater New York City, who unbeknownst to me had done Renee Richards — she had not been outed yet.
This is not to pile onto surgeons, but to say some things seem to never change. Some time later I was telling a cis friend ally about the exam. “Stand on the stepstool” and like hike up my dress. Wow! My friend rushed to her bookshelf and got a copy of Second Serve out and read almost the same thing word for word, so you don’t have to believe me. Read Dr. Richards.
Granato then proceeded to shove his fingers into the “spot” where “it” would go. Ouch!!!! That did not deter him. He kept at it. Then he looked me up and down. “You sleep with men?” Before I could give an answer, he smirked, “Looking like you, of course you do.” But then the bad news. “I’ll have to do a skin graft,”
“Yes. You were circumcised.”
I grew up with the weenee like on the old Greek statues and it scared the boys in the boy’s room. They did not routinely circumcise where I was born.
“Ha!” He sneered, “I can see the surgeon’s incision.” He pointed. He gave me a hard look. “You want to sleep with regular sized guys, right?”
Fine. Next stop Trinidad, Colorado. Filled with confidence, Stanley Biber gave me an exam, rapid fired some questions about my history — doctor’s letters were necessary but not sufficient. You had to get past Biber. He then told me to report to the hospital. We would go in first thing in the morning
No mention of grafts or changing sexual orientation or anything. In, out, done! No graft and no problem with “regular sized guys,” forty years later and counting. All which is to say, some things will never change, as the song goes.
It may be that some of these docs have never seen what happens “down there” after a long time on estrogen. Things . . . well . . . they shrink a bit. Biber used to tell all his patients to keep pulling on the foreskin to keep it from retreating.
I have reason to believe I was Biber 428th patient. He went on to do 5,500 vaginoplasties. He talked about how he developed the technique. He would discuss complications.
Again, this is not to vent . . . just to say no matter how far we think we’ve come, there’s always someone who isn’t with the program.