Nonbinary surgical transition

I’ve long dreamed of what it would be like to have a physical/surgical nonbinary transition. But in a world where gender affirmation surgery is hard to get in the first place and surgical interventions continue to be binary focused, it is hard to see where I fit and what is possible.

The body I’ve dreamed about long before I knew I was trans had breasts, smooth skin, a penis (that in my dreams is often detachable or retractable), a vagina, and no scrotum. But other than a few intersex people who didn’t have non-consensual surgical interventions as infants, I didn’t think that could exist. Over and over I’ve thought about and researched vaginoplasty only to come up frustrated by the limited options. The typical process involves deconstructing the penis and essentially turning it inside out to form the vagina with the tip becoming the clitoris. If you have a strong stomach, you can watch a digital visualization of the process.

The surgery has come a long way over the years and I know plenty of people who have had it done and are very happy with the results. I speak from personal experience when I say that the sex can be pretty amazing. But for me, it just doesn’t feel like the right solution. There are still frustrating issues because it doesn’t have the same kind of mucous membranes that internal tissue in a cisgender vagina has and quite a bit of work needs to be done to ensure that it doesn’t start growing hair again (ouch!). A few creative surgeons have tried creating vaginas out of sections of the colon but it apparently has a residual smell.

But today I learned that a brilliant trans woman researched on her own some of the techniques used on cisgender women in repairing vaginas and convinced her doctor in New York to create her vagina out of the peritoneum, the tissue in your abdomen that hold your guts in place. It apparently worked very successfully, at least from initial results, and hundreds of patients are already on the waiting list at Mount Sinai.

Discovering that, along with learning more about orchiectomy, removal of the testes, really has me thinking again. Is it possible for me to have both a vagina and a penis? So far I haven’t been able to find any writing on that but I’m definitely going to be digging deep and tapping some of my online nonbinary resources. There are a few forum questions proving that I’m not the only one seeking this but none that have any resolution from what I can tell. If anyone reading this has suggestions on where to start, please let me know in the comments or by contacting me.

7 thoughts on “Nonbinary surgical transition

  1. I actually reached out to Dr. Ting’s office about exactly that and got a flat no – he removes the penis, even if he’s not going to use the skin, end of story. I did get a better response from Dr. Satterwhite saying that it might be possible, so I’m trying to follow up there, but the wait time is … well. You know how it is. I’m trying to build up the guts to start asking more widely.


  2. Is it not true that to have a vagina you have to use the same cavity the penis comes out of? I’m not sure where the vagina would go if you kept the penis in pace. It may be that you could have one where the testicles came out if you got them removed (vagina without a clit), but the genitalia might not be aesthetically pleasing at that point.


    • What I’m trying to determine is if there is a way to go around or through the base of the penis. Because the penis is still in place there obviously wouldn’t be a clitoris but the scrotum could be used to form the labia. It would essentially resemble what a lot of trans men have but the penis would be “full size.”


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