The gender dysphoria phenomenon keeps escalating. In a Vice piece by Sarah Emily Baum titled “Trans People Are Seeking Nonbinary Bottom Surgeries,” readers learn that “Across the gender spectrum, some patients are looking for mixed sets of genitals, or none at all. Actually receiving this affirming care isn't easy.”
Baum provided specific examples of this, all disturbing and tragic. One is someone named Hyde Goltz, who sought bigenital anatomy, meaning both a penis and a vagina. Golz goes by “they/them” pronouns and is part of a phenomenon called “Salmacians.”
According to Baum, it is “a term coined by sci-fi writer Raphael Carter in the 90s to describe people who want a mixed set of genitals.” Sci-fi? How fitting.
There is also a mythological element: “The term ‘Salmacian’ is derived from the Greek myth of Salmacis and Hermaphroditus wherein the nymph Salmacis begs the gods to unite her with her male object of desire, Hermaphroditus, and the gods merge the two into a single androgynous being.”
From science fiction and mythology, to (sort of) reality. And it is not just a few people: “Online trans communities claiming it as an identifier have grown into the thousands.”
On the opposite side of the nonbinary spectrum, some want no genitals whatsoever. Baum writes about someone named Mels, who is agender and asexual. “She wanted a full gender nullification procedure — a wholly smooth exterior.” (She?)
It seems like a devastating mental illness: “‘It used to always be at the forefront of my mind — anytime I'd go to the bathroom, take a shower, or change my clothes, so multiple times a day,’ Mels said.”
Mels said the surgery helped her to avoid thinking about this issue anymore.
It cost her tens of thousands of dollars. Hopefully, it helped her, but it is hard to believe it was just a happy ending. What are the odds Vice would disclose negative ramifications?
But Baum does cover some of the complications with Goltz’s surgery to have two sets of genitals. Of course, she writes about the so-called bias that makes it hard to get the surgery in the first place as well as makes potentially lifelong post-op care riskier.
Vaginoplasty patients use dilators indefinitely so that their vagina doesn’t close up after healing. Orchiectomy recipients, or those who have their testes removed, must often go on testosterone to balance out their hormone levels. Those who receive a surgically constructed penis through metoidioplasty or phalloplasty often need additional surgical shaping and upkeep.
People who receive this kind of surgery will likely continue needing surgery for the rest of their lives. It will limit and burden them. God forbid they end up regretting it and cannot reverse it.