Posting to TikTok, a mother named Janna (@jannatransmomma) shared her reasons for allowing her 17-year-old son, Cody, to undergo top surgery, and she couldn’t be more proud to be his mother.
One mother explains why she allowed her son to get top surgery amidst hateful comments.
Top surgery, also known as chest surgery or masculinizing chest surgery, is a type of gender-affirming medical procedure that alters the chest area that requires the removal of breast tissue and is typically performed for transgender men or non-binary people who are assigned female at birth.
Captioning her video with, “Cody’s heart is so full,” Janna began with a question that many people have asked her before. “Why would I ever allow my 17-year-old to have top surgery?” she says. “Why would I do that? That’s insane. That’s crazy. It’s child abuse (eye roll).”
She continues, “Until you look at the really, really happy kid who walked out of the doctor’s office today, feeling really great about himself for the first time in I don’t even know how long.”
Photo: TikTok / @jannatransmomma
She soon turns the spotlight on her transgender son, Cody, whose face radiates joy as he walks out of the doctor’s office, having seen his chest for the first time.
“What did it feel like when you saw your chest for the first time?” Janna asked. With a beaming grin, Cody replied, “Normal.”
The 17-year-old eventually became teary-eyed as he expressed how the surgery finally made his body feel right for the first time.
In a separate TikTok, Janna stitches another user’s since-deleted video and used it as an opportunity to showcase her trans pride gear that reads, “Proud to be his mother.”
“How many times do we have to say this to these idiots who just don’t educate,” said Janna. “We are not taking children who say that they’re a boy when they’re born female in to have their breasts removed. It doesn’t work like that.”
To clear up the all too common misconception about the transitioning process, Janna explained that as far as the medical intervention was concerned, her son didn’t undergo any surgery until a month before he turned eighteen. “That was with a lot of meetings with doctors, therapists, his father, myself … and he came out [at the] age of fifteen.”
“We are not just sending these kids to surgeons to have body parts removed. That doesn’t happen,” she stated.
For one, invasive procedures such as top surgery are generally reserved for individuals who are 18 years old or older; however, there are exceptions for teens who have been on testosterone for at least a year.
In the video, Janna explained that prior to authorizing any form of medical procedure for her son, she allowed him to experiment by means of “social transition,” which is an area of transitioning that isn’t necessarily medical.
Instead, it can include the ways a transgender person internalizes their identity that allows them to feel true to themselves, such as changing their name, pronouns, voice, or attire that aligns with their gender identity.
“If you love your child and you let them guide you, one of two things is going to happen,” said Janna. “They’re going to come out trans when they’re old enough to really make that decision, as far as medical intervention is what I’m talking about.”
“You’re either going to see that unfold or they’re going to say, ‘Yeah, I’m not really a boy,’” she continued, further adding, “Either way, their relationship with you will not be tarnished because they know that my mom loved me no matter what my decisions were.”
Transgender medical treatment for minors has received much backlash in the U.S. and has even been labeled as a form of child abuse, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Gender-affirming care requires more than just one appointment with a doctor, but with several; it’s a process that can take months or years to explore.
This can be a confusing time for a parent navigating through this journey with their child, but giving trans youth the support they need in a world that stigmatizes them can create a space that allows them to feel loved and accepted.
Xiomara Demarchi is a New York writer and frequent contributor to YourTango’s news and entertainment team. Keep up to date with them on Instagram.
This article originally appeared on YourTango