Yeet these nards into the sun!
A list of dumb things I think about doing with my testicles as a transgender woman.
We interrupt your regularly scheduled social commentary and Serious Discussion About Trans Equality to discuss something fundamentally silly: what to do with my testes after my orchiectomy.
Being trans in a transphobic society isn’t always easy. We are at higher risk for a litany of terrible things: assault, rape, harassment, murder, denial of housing, loss of healthcare, employment discrimination, and suicide. We must shoulder the burden of our dysphoria (those of us who suffer from dysphoria), we must advocate continuously for our healthcare needs to be met (those of us who seek medical transition), and we must fight daily for the right to be accorded the basic human dignities that cis people take for granted (being called by our correct names and pronouns, being allowed to exist in public gendered spaces without fearing for our safety).
If you know a trans person, chances are you’ve seen them have to fight for their right to be accorded their correct gender. You’ve seen them advocating for their civil rights. You may have seen them dogpiled online by the transphobic masses for daring to politely (or impolitely) request that they be treated with humanity and kindness. Unless you are trans yourself, or a member of their inner circle of friends you may not have seen the really raw stuff: the tears over medical care denied or delayed, the trauma response when deadnamed by a co-worker that they hid until they were in a safe space, the struggles over facial hair, or binding, or bone structure, or any of the other ways in which trans bodies can sometimes (but not always) be unruly, uncooperative, and often unkind to their owners.
But, unless you are trans yourself, or a member of their circle of trust, you may not have seen the celebrations, the silliness, or the solidarity. You may not have seen the irreverence that often accompanies someone finding the strength within to declare their gender in the face of a world that would prefer they not mess around with the status quo. So many of the trans people I know are brilliant, creative, and funny. We have turned thinking outside the box into a lifestyle, we eat social conventions for breakfast before overthrowing the toxic patriarchal norms of gender before lunchtime. By dinner we’re feasting on the corpse of global capitalism, and planning our queer utopias for dessert.
Of course trans people have a sense of humor about our transness. Sometimes it’s the only thing keeping us from cracking under the pressure of trying to negotiate with the demands of a cis society.
Lately, as the date of my orchiectomy grows closer, I’ve found myself reflecting on something that would be unthinkable for most testicle owners: funny things to do with balls once they’ve been chopped off. I can see the cis dudes reading this shifting uncomfortably in their seats, and the trans dudes trying to contain themselves. “No! Those are precious!”
Too bad, boys! My gals are gettin’ the chop!
Someday I’ll tell the whole story of what I’ve had to go through to get a surgery date for this procedure. I view my impending castration as nothing less than a life saving surgery: my dysphoria nuggets need to be removed. They need to be gone. Not just because they have been painfully atrophying since I started hormones 13 months ago. Not just because they make my clothing fit awkwardly. Not just because when I look at them they make me feel viscerally wrong and uncomfortable. These need to be gone because they are poisoning my body with a hormone that wants me to go back into the darkness. This surgery is my insurance plan! It’s my safety net! It’s my guarantee that no matter what happens with my health care in the future I won’t be reverted back to how things used to be. It’s also my liberation from a medication — Spironolactone — that has been shown to interfere with the feminization process in trans women, even as it (theoretically) suppresses our androgen receptors. The gonads gotta go!
The thing is, you only get to chop off your balls once in your life. It’s a momentous occasion! It warrants celebration! So, my trans friends and I have been brainstorming fun things to do with them once they’re detached from me. And so, without further delay, I present:
Ten Dumb Things To Do With My Testes After My Orchiectomy
Pickled in a jar labelled “deez nuts”. I think I’d probably keep this somewhere prominent in my home. Like on a coffee table. Or in the pantry.
Dipped in gold and turned into earrings. Because I’m fancy!
“Encased in a pair of d20s for when you need to roll with advantage or disadvantage in D&D.” -from a friend in my gaming group.
“It would be fun to turn them into a Newton’s cradle. You can have mine after my orchi if you like!” -from a very generous friend on Discord.
Make a brass casting of them and place them prominently on my desk at work so that I can say I have a set of “Brass Balls”.
Install bells in them and encase them in spheres to make Baoding Balls for meditation, or acrylic spheres for contact juggling. (A friend suggested I make them into Ben Wa Balls and save them for once I’ve gotten my vaginoplasty, but honestly, that feels about as kosher as a cheeseburger to me.)
Dip in latex rubber, tie to a string, and hang them from the back of my truck. Truck Nuts (or Bike Balls)!
Incinerate/cremate them, and compress the resulting carbon into a teeny tiny diamond! Because, again, fancy!
Donate them to my favorite trans dude! Which…let’s be clear: I couldn’t choose which deserving fella these should go to.
Full on Konmari them. “These no longer spark joy.” Thank them and let them go.
And, as a bonus, the most popular answer was consistently some variation of “incorporate their removal into a ritual of personal empowerment, and then YEET them into the sun!”