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Transgender man shares the reality of trying to transition as a ‘poor person’, forced to keep boobs

A transgender man has spoken out about the reality of trying to transition as a “poor person” with no job and state insurance, revealing that he was forced to keep his breasts because he couldn’t afford the surgery to have them removed.

Physically transitioning from a man to a woman or from a woman to a man usually requires two surgeries — one on the chest and one on the genital area — and each operation costs thousands of dollars.

Transman Adonis Zeigler, 19, now exposes the devastating impact these costs, most of which are not covered by his insurance, can have, describing how growing up in a “poor family” kept him from completing his physical transition, and left him facing cruel comments from trolls who question his sexuality because he still has visible breasts.

Adonis, of Ohio, began transitioning from female to male in 2017, but has not yet undergone surgery to change his physical form.

Now he says he is often confronted with questions and comments like, “You have breasts.”[What the f**k] are you?’ and ‘I’m confused, why do you have a beard?’

Speaking Out: A transgender man has opened up about the reality of trying to transition as a 'poor person' with no job and state insurance

Speaking Out: A transgender man has opened up about the reality of trying to transition as a ‘poor person’ with no job and state insurance

Adonis Zeigler, 19, revealed he had to keep his breasts because he couldn't afford the surgery to have them removed

Adonis Zeigler, 19, revealed he had to keep his breasts because he couldn't afford the surgery to have them removed

Adonis Zeigler, 19, revealed he had to keep his breasts because he couldn’t afford the surgery to have them removed

He spoke about it in a now viral TikTok video, which has been viewed more than four million times

He spoke about it in a now viral TikTok video, which has been viewed more than four million times

He talked about it in a now viral TikTok video. When someone asked him, “Why do you choose to keep them?” he replied, ‘I don’t. I am poor, unemployed, with state insurance’

And he decided to respond to one of the questions in a now viral TikTok video.

“Why do you choose to keep them?” Adonis wrote in the clip. ‘I didn’t. I’m only 19. I’m poor, come from a poor family, unemployed, with state insurance.

‘Not all [transmasculine] someone is lucky enough to have privileged parents, support networks, or lucrative businesses to have top surgery young. Stop fucking asking us unless you pay the bill.’

“I’m really sick of this shit,” he captioned the video, which has been viewed more than four million times since it was posted earlier this month.

After a viewer told him to “get to work,” Adonis — who defines himself as a non-binary man — responded, explaining in another clip that he was recently forced to quit his “abusive job” because he ” inconsistent hours, poor management and inconsistencies in pay.”

“I had a job but quit because I didn’t want to be abused by that workplace anymore,” he added.

‘I had saved quite a bit, but over the past year and a half I have relapsed again and again.’

When he started menopause at age 15, Adonis said he was able to take hormones because his father had a union job and it was covered by his insurance.

“We were still poor, but he had union benefits so I could get hormones. Until he lost that job. I haven’t used hormones for several years,” he continued.

Adonis said he is often confronted with questions and comments like 'You have breasts'.[What the f**k] are you?'  and 'I'm confused, why do you have a beard?'

Adonis said he is often confronted with questions and comments like 'You have breasts'.[What the f**k] are you?'  and 'I'm confused, why do you have a beard?'

Adonis said he is often confronted with questions and comments like ‘You have breasts’.[What the f**k] are you?’ and ‘I’m confused, why do you have a beard?’

After a viewer told him to “get to work,” Adonis, who defines himself as a non-binary man, said he was recently forced to quit his “abusive job” because of “poor management.”

The 19-year-old told Buzzfeed in a recent interview that the only reason his father supported his transition was because he was “getting worse mentally.”

HOW MUCH COSTS TRANSITION?

  • A ‘top’ male-to-female surgery can cost between $5,000 and $10,000
  • A ‘top’ female-to-male surgery costs anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000
  • There are three different types of “bottom” surgery, including a vaginalplasty, a phalloplasty, and a metoidioplasty
  • Vaginaplasty costs anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000
  • A phalloplasty can cost between $6,000 and $30,000
  • A metoidioplasty normally ranges from $20,000 to $50,000 but can go up to $150,000 in very rare cases
  • Source: health line

“Even after years of therapy, I couldn’t stop my self-destructive tendencies and poorer grades,” he said.

Now he works as a freelance artist and “makes barely $200 a week.” He no longer has contact with his father.

‘I have no contact with my father and I have no mother. I never asked or even expected my parents to help me with this,” he explains on TikTok.

“I didn’t expect anyone to help me with this. I didn’t make that post to seek or ask for help. I was venting because it’s something I’ve been frustrated about for years.

“I’m afraid I’ll never be able to switch because of the pattern of working, saving and then being hit by an emergency that I couldn’t have predicted.”

According to health line, a “top” male-to-female surgery can cost between $5,000 and $10,000. The reconstructive surgery involves doctors adding saline or silicone implants to a person’s breast to increase the size of their breasts.

A female-to-male “top” surgery costs anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000, and it involves removing breast tissue so that the chest takes on a flat, masculine appearance.

“Bottom” surgery, also known as gender reassignment surgery or gender confirmation surgery, normally ranges from $6,000 to $50,000, but in very rare cases it can go as high as $150,000.

There are three different types of “bottom” surgery, including a vaginalplasty, a phalloplasty, and a metoidioplasty.

Now he works as a freelance artist and “makes barely $200 a week.” He said he struggles to save money because he has to spend it on things like ‘car repairs and sudden movements’

He said: 'I'm afraid I'll never be able to switch because of the pattern of working, saving and then being hit by an emergency that I couldn't have predicted'

He said: 'I'm afraid I'll never be able to switch because of the pattern of working, saving and then being hit by an emergency that I couldn't have predicted'

He said: ‘I’m afraid I’ll never be able to switch because of the pattern of working, saving and then being hit by an emergency that I couldn’t have predicted’

Adonis added to Buzzfeed, “When it comes to accessing gender-affirming surgery, I really wish people would consider the individual and their circumstances.

“Apart from financial constraints for those who want surgery, there are countless situations that necessitate surgery, not only for their mental health, but often for their survival.

2021 was a horrendous year in trans-homicide statistics and I have personal experience of being kicked out even in a regular work uniform and feeling unsafe in my own workplace.

‘Every trans person has their own unique situation. Some are lucky enough to have access to what they need early on and that makes me happy that their joy is the general picture of trans experiences.

“But many transgender people are less fortunate and that is why our struggles are not talked about.”

Transition from man to woman: what does it mean and how do you do it?

The transition process is different for each person. Some transgender women choose to have surgery to alter their physical appearance, while others simply rely on hormone therapy — including testosterone — to create masculine characteristics.

According to Planned ParenthoodFor many trans people, the process often begins with taking various social steps, including coming out to friends and family, and asking people to refer to them by the pronouns that match their gender identity (him/he, her/she , they/them).

Changing names is also an important step for some, as is dressing in ways that better suit your gender.

Medically speaking, gender transition usually starts with hormone therapy; in the case of transgender men, testosterone is used to create more masculine characteristics such as a deeper voice, facial hair growth, muscle growth and the redistribution of fat away from the hips and breasts.

Hormone therapy is also used to prevent a transgender man from menstruating.

For those who choose to have surgery, there are several procedures that can be performed, including “top” surgery — which removes the breasts and breast tissue — and “bottom” surgery to create a penis.

For the “bottom” surgery, they may have a phalloplasty or a metoidioplasty.

The phalloplasty usually involves doctors taking skin from other parts of the body to build a penis, while the metoidioplasty makes the clitoris work more like a penis; hormone therapy usually makes it bigger.

Some transgender men also decide to have a hysterectomy to remove their female reproductive organs.

Not all transgender people choose to switch, however, some choose to take social steps without undergoing any medical treatment.

“There are many reasons for the differences in how people transition,” says the Planned Parenthood website.

“These medical procedures can be very expensive and not everyone can afford them. Some transgender people may have health insurance that covers transition-related procedures, and some may not. And last but not least: not all transgender people want all available medical procedures.’

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