The Plastic Surgeon Podcast kicks off with Dr. Sajan’s own patient, Jack Morgan. Jack Morgan transitioned from female to male and underwent gender affirming surgery. In this episode, we explore Jack’s journey of chemical transition and gender surgery.
Jack’s story of transgender transformation is unique because when he began his transition he weighed over 500 pounds and was diagnosed with uterine cancer. During his transition, Jack underwent weight loss surgery, uterine cancer surgery, and finally, gender confirming surgery. He provides insights into his female to male transition, viewing his uterine cancer diagnosis as his body rejecting femininity.
Learn about Jack’s transition and gender affirming surgery through this thought provoking episode. Subscribe to The Plastic Surgeon Podcast for more plastic surgery stories from real patients and providers. Follow Dr. Sajan and The Plastic Surgeon Podcast on social media @realdrseattle.
Learn more about Dr. Sajan’s plastic surgery at: https://www.allureesthetic.com/
Dr. Javad Sajan 00:09
So we're going live with our first podcast. We're gonna have a few bugs, but that's okay. Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to the Plastic Surgeon Podcast. I'm Dr. Javad Sajan, Seattle's number one plastic surgeon. We give you real stories, real triumph, real pain from real patients and providers. The goal of this podcast today is for us to understand what really motivates someone to have surgery and risk their life under the knife. So today, my guest is jack Morgan. Jack, thank you so much for being here.
Jack Morgan 00:37
Thanks for having me.
Dr. Javad Sajan 00:38
So Jack, where do you come in from?
Jack Morgan 00:40
I'm actually living out in Spokane for the last eight years now.
Dr. Javad Sajan 00:44
How do you like Spokane?
Jack Morgan 00:45
I like it. It's like a little big city. I'm originally from LA and San Diego. So it's a great little in between.
Dr. Javad Sajan 00:52
And, today we're going to talk about your journey, your transition. And, as we shared with you before the show, we're going to go over a little bit about your experience with me. What I did for you and before that. So, now a lot of people don't know much about transgender people, could you please identify tell people what your gender identity is? And, a little bit of your journey and your story?
Jack Morgan 01:15
Yes. So I identify as a trans male as he and him. My journey started probably about five years ago.
Dr. Javad Sajan 01:25
And, Jack just to ask, you know, me and you, we understand the correct words to use. So, when you say you identify as male, that means your gender assigned at birth was...
Jack Morgan 01:35
Oh, assigned at birth, I was female.
Dr. Javad Sajan 01:37
Okay,so gender assigned at birth is the correct way to say what the gender was before transition. Is that correct?
Jack Morgan 01:43
Dr. Javad Sajan 01:44
And then after that, you transitioned to male? Yes. Yeah. So I lived my life, presenting as female and as a female for, I'd say going on like about 25 years. And, then realized, you know, this wasn't me and probably right about the age of 25 to 27, I slowly kind of came into myself and realized, "Hey, I really am a guy" and slowly but surely realize the signs were there through childhood and then I started my journey. That's, that's awesome. I'm so excited to learn more about that. And, we're going to chat about that today. And, we're going to we're also going to talk about your journey to decide to have surgery and I was privileged to perform your surgery, your gender affirming surgery. Thank you so much for that. And we're going to chat a little bit about how you got there. So first, tell us a little bit about what led you to transition. So I was always struggling with kind of like my sexuality. And, gender and sexuality are two separate entities. I was always kind of a tomboy. I was always hanging out with the guys growing up I was into kind of like the sports, football and stuff like that. And, I was never really into like the girly things; make up, dresses, and whatnot. And, then getting into the gay community, drag shows, a friend introduced me to being a drag king. So how did you get into the gay community?
Jack Morgan 03:15
I never really grew up with the gay community. Well, when I moved out here to Spokane...
Dr. Javad Sajan 03:20
And, you move from where?
Jack Morgan 03:21
I actually lived in Montana for a little while.
Dr. Javad Sajan 03:23
Jack Morgan 03:24
Very tiny town called Kalispell. Once I moved from there out to Spokane, I had one of my best girlfriends introduce me to the drag community through a friend. And I fell in love
Dr. Javad Sajan 03:38
And before this, did you feel that your gender identity wasn't female? Did something lead to this? I don't know. I don't think she randomly told you, "Hey, let's go check out this drag show." Or, is that how it happened?
Jack Morgan 03:52
So beforehand, I think before I moved to Spokane, I think I was just lost. Like, I didn't identify really as anything. I didn't identify as female, I didn't identify as male. I just kind of was.
Dr. Javad Sajan 04:07
And, if you don't mind me asking, did you have male? When you identified as a female? Did you have male partners? Or did you engage in relationships? I did. I wasn't really a relationship type of person I just kind of in my own world. I did have a couple girlfriends before I moved from California to Montana. And, I've had a few boyfriends growing up. Even when I was in Montana, I dated a couple guys. But it just wasn't. I wasn't big on dating, and it didn't feel wrong, but it didn't feel right. It's really hard to explain because it's different for everybody. Yeah. Course.
Jack Morgan 04:50
I just I kind of just existed, I was more focused on work. And that's kind of where I went into my own head is "I'm going to work and just kind of exist." I actually managed a store so all of my employees were men. And, we just all got along in that respect. I was one of the guys, and it was comfortable.
Dr. Javad Sajan 05:14
And Jack. Now I know sometimes people wonder--especially the people who may not have as much information--when someone decides they are gay, or a part of the LGBTQ community. Sometimes I've had people ask me, well, this person who decided to transition or identify differently, they want to know where their intimate relationships before you transitioned with the opposite sex? Did you have those types of relationships, or not really? Oh, yeah, I've had intimate relationships with females, with males, not necessarily transgender people, because I just really didn't have that experience yet. It was your first relationship when you were identified as a female. Was it with a male or a female? With men. Yeah, with males. I just didn't know back then. So, you know, the typical hetero relationship. I'm a girl, I'm a dating a guy. I mean, I had gay friends growing up in high school and I just never met a transgender person. So, I guess it just wasn't in my head. I didn't know. But yeah, I mean, I've had relationships with with both and now, relationship wise, I've actually come to self discover that I am a gay male. So, I identify as male. And I'm attracted to male, whether they're trans male or a cisgender male. And, as you may know, but listeners may not know, cisgender males are born men and they identify as men. So yeah, same with cis females, they identify as their birth gender. Okay, so now going back to your friend that introduced you to the drag community. So, tell me, I want to understand more. How did you decide or what got you to--I know you shared it with your work--when you met the drag community through your friend, I'm assuming she knew that you had that you were leaning that way. Is that correct or no? I think she knew more than I did. I there was a handful of friends that they after I kind of came out, they were like, "Oh, well, you've", I used to go by the nickname Skully because I'm obsessed with skulls. Yeah.
Jack Morgan 07:24
And, that's a very gender neutral nickname.
Dr. Javad Sajan 07:26
Jack Morgan 07:27
And, even after coming out and transitioning, they're like, "Oh, we've always you just, you've just existed. You always have been, we've never associated you with any gender. So they were like, you know, "We never thought of you as a woman." And I was like, well, that's kind of cool. A lot of them knew before I did.
Dr. Javad Sajan 07:48
So, when you met the drag community, how did that change your thinking? And how did that help you decide to transition? So, the really cool thing about the drag community: drag queens are phenomenal. Like, they are the coolest people and they're so accepting. Regardless of who you are, what you look like what your gender is, or sexuality. And, as I got to know them, I met more transgender people. And I'm like, oh, okay, so I started learning more about the community because like I said, I've never grown up with them. And, then I started meeting drag kings, women who would dress up as men. I never heard of that. Yeah. Is that as common more or less? Not? It's not as publicly common. But, there is actually a huge drag king community. Whether they're trans guys, trans women, or they call them a fab assigned female at birth. Yeah.
Jack Morgan 08:45
Or, cisgender women who dress up as men. And, they'll get on the beard, they'll strap down their chest. I mean, they go full out to look like a man and then they perform musical numbers and it is the coolest thing. I think I actually ended up trying that myself like three or four times.
Dr. Javad Sajan 09:03
That is so cool.
Jack Morgan 09:03
And I'm like, this is so cool. But I didn't know that and yet, it kind of slowly came to me.
Dr. Javad Sajan 09:09
Was there a moment or aha moment that you had? Kind of, so after a drag show that I performed in, I was walking home, talking with my mom on the phone. And, she's like, so what's the deal? Do you want to be a guy? And, I'm like, "No, mom. It's just like, it's like acting. It's like when you put on a costume, and you act in a show, like a soap opera." She loves soap operas. And she's like, "No, but do you want to be a guy?" And I was like, "No, Mom, you're--I'm fine. You're fine. I'm not a guy." And then a little while longer, it kind of started resignate. And I'm like, "Oh, my God, I think she's right." And this was just a few weeks later, I kind of sat in the back of my head. And I'm like, I just couldn't let it go. How long were you in the drag community before that phone call with your mom happened and you had that aha moment. I would probably say about six months to maybe eight months, like I was still a drag baby. So, just fresh in the community. And I was just a starter. And and then when you had that moment, which was, which I know was a process. It wasn't like an event. But, you had that moment when your mom asked you that. What did you do next? When you decided that I'm a male. I really didn't do anything. I kind of just let it stew for a while. Because at that point, I was more focused on my weight loss journey because I used to be 520 pounds. So, I kind of put that on the back burner and it was more focused on my health. Well, when I finally officially came out, it was about a year later. My younger sibling came up to live with me from California. And, I was kind of nervous, but I was like, "Hey, did you hear that state insurance, the state of Washington will now pay for transgender surgeries?" Took her a second to kind of figure that out. And I was like, "That means I can now get surgery" and she's like, "Wait, are you telling me what I think are telling me?" I'm like, "Yes." Wow. She's the first person you told me. Yeah. Now, we're close. So, your mom or anyone else before your friends in the community? Yes. Yeah, we've kind of, I kind of just led on to it, and then, I just slowly, I never really just did that whole "Hurrah! I'm out!" Yeah.
Jack Morgan 11:47
I just slowly within conversations with friends just said, "Oh, yeah, hey, by the way," Just, you know, randomly here. I know. Most people have their big coming out stories. I just kind of slowly let everybody know. And most of them were like, "I know."
Dr. Javad Sajan 12:04
And, was this after you told your cousin and you started telling your friends and everybody else? After you had a feeler? So, that was like your feeler.
Jack Morgan 12:11
Dr. Javad Sajan 12:12
You said, "Let's see what people are gonna say. How they're gonna respond." Oh yeah, absolutely. So it was kind of cool. It wasn't like, it wasn't like this. Like I said it wasn't a big hurrah. It was just like, I'm gonna do a little here and there, which was really nice. And thankfully, I know this doesn't happen with most transgender people. My family, they didn't care in a negative manner. They're just like, "Cool." Yeah, that's who you are. I support you. Yeah. And, it seems like you're close to your mom and she was accepting. What about what about your father? Tell me about that a little bit. My dad he doesn't necessarily understand it. But he's not against it. Like he started calling. He's Mexican. speaks a lot of Spanish and he started calling me mijo. Which is like me, my boy. He still slips up a little bit and says, "mija" instead, still calls me by my old name and I'm like, "Dad." And, he's like, "Oh, sorry, sorry," with his thick accent. But, he doesn't, my family growing up my mom, my dad, we've all been really close. They never taught hate or non supporting type behaviors. And, so they've always both been there and accepting, like, they're just like, "Oh, you know what, this is who you are. We accept you as long as you're not, you know, doing bad things with your life hurting others, and you're taking care of yourself. Happy, healthy." That's, that's what their main goal is so. So, you told your cousin you started telling people, what did you do next? I mostly focused on my weight loss because I knew that I had to get healthy in order to become myself physically. With my weight loss, it was dangerous, very dangerous. I ended up almost dying. I had five blood clots in my lungs. I was about 48 hours away from never waking up. Wow. This was cause you were so heavy. Yeah, I was very heavy. And that kind of complicated things. Were you in a wheelchair, or were you walking okay?
Jack Morgan 14:22
Surprisingly, I was still walking. Not very far, but I still took care of myself walking, which is difficult for most even at 400 pounds. But, I was diagnosed with uterine cancer at the time, which helped cause the blood clots. So, I was really, really focused with my weight loss journey, because that is the only way I could have transitioned.
Dr. Javad Sajan 14:49
So, do you think transitioning that concept that you could become male helped you with your weight loss?
Jack Morgan 14:56
Oh, yeah, the fact that I wanted to not be as heavy as I was. But, also transitioning and being a happy healthy me, not only physically but mentally. Because it started weighing down on me a bit. And, I know that happens a lot in the trans community is if you can't become who you are outwardly, it degrades who you are inwardly. So, me I didn't have a lot of dysphoria. I was--my dysphoria was my weight. Once I actually got my hysterectomy to remove cancer, I got my my weight loss surgery, I had gastric bypass, ended up losing 150 pounds in six months, lost an additional hundred pounds over the next year. Then, that's when I got to the point where when I was about 280 I was like, that's when my dysphoria for my top set in. And yeah, that's when I called you I was like, I gotta come in.
Dr. Javad Sajan 16:00
Absolutely. Now, now tell me about your transition a little bit more. So you have lost this weight. And what does it mean to transition? I know there's different forms of transition. Can you tell me when you started that and how you did it? So my first official start was the way I dressed. Because of my size, I was very limited on clothing. So, I still had all of my old female clothing. I started a new job that made quite a bit of money. And, so I started buying more male presenting clothing, And, what weight were you at during all this? Where were you in your weight loss journey? Oh, this was well beforehand. About I'd say, a year and a half, two years before, so I just started with my clothes. Before, well, okay, so I, I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome, which can help cause weight gain but also facial and body hair. So, I had a little bit of a beard, sideburns, mustache and chest hair before all of this started. So, I instead of shaving every day and hiding it, I just let it go. I let it free flow, here's my facial hair, and I let that go at my new job. And, then got my clothing which was great. So I was like, here I am. And, this is, this of course was after I started telling people. So you told people they were expecting it then you showed up one day at work dressed as a male.
Jack Morgan 17:23
Dr. Javad Sajan 17:24
And what did people say? Did they ask you "What are you doing? What's going on?" Did anyone say anything?
Jack Morgan 17:28
It was kind of like a little bit of a shock. They're like, "Whoa, you're not wearing girly clothes anymore?"
Dr. Javad Sajan 17:33
Oh my god.
Jack Morgan 17:34
Yeah, they're like, "Okay, this looks more like you." I was wearing flat bill baseball caps. Like, over shirts kind of like I am now. Just more comfortable. And, they noticed that which was really nice. Well then, after my clothing and letting my facial--
Dr. Javad Sajan 17:52
And, what kind of job was that? Just the job type. You don't tell us what it was.
Jack Morgan 17:55
It was working for like an internet company. TV, internet, and stuff like that.
Dr. Javad Sajan 18:01
And, they were pretty accepting?
Jack Morgan 18:02
Oh yeah, thankfully they were and they were the ones that allowed me to get my weight loss surgery. But then I slowly started doing things like changing my name on online and just--I don't know. I just started, I guess like acting more male
Dr. Javad Sajan 18:21
After you dressed then you're sort of acting and that's your transition journey. And then you started hormones too, correct?.
Jack Morgan 18:26
Oh, yes. Sorry. I kind of got off track there. A little bit. A little bit of a memory loss. So many. Well, so many surgeries in such a short time.
Dr. Javad Sajan 18:33
Jack Morgan 18:34
The gastric, top, and hysterectomy in about a year and a half actually. So, after my weight loss surgery and my hysterectomy, that's the only thing that allowed me to have my hormones because you have to get healthy before you can start hormones. So, three weeks after my hysterectomy, a week of going through hot flashes and menopause. I started my hormones.
Dr. Javad Sajan 19:03
This is after the weight loss, too? And all of that? Yes, yeah. So weight loss first, hysterectomy, cancer removal, and then hormones. So, were they refusing your cancer removal at your weight? It was very unsafe. So, you had to get the weight surgery first. Get the weight controlled. Then, get the cancer removed. Uterine cancer can be very deadly. It can. Thankfully, mine was still contained within the uterus. Otherwise, they would have had gone in immediately. I actually had a friend passed away from the same cancer that I had, but hers was stage four. I can't imagine what you're going through mentally having cancer knowing there's no treatment. Because there were no drugs or pills you could take. They had to take the uterus out. Yeah, I could go on birth control, but that in itself has a lot of side effects. So. Now, I know this sounds a little crazy. But, do you think that cancer coming was a way of your body rejecting your female identity?
Jack Morgan 19:54
I think so. I was kind of lucky, in the sense of having cancer, because I know a lot of people in the trans community still have their uterus five, seven, ten years out. And, they struggle with having periods. Being a guy transitioning, looking presenting male and still, occasionally, all of a sudden, they have their period because testosterone stops that. And, then all of a sudden, they have to go to the store and buy tampons. And, that alone will break their mental health down.
Dr. Javad Sajan 20:32
People can have periods still on testosterone.
Jack Morgan 20:34
Yeah, they can still have periods on testosterone. It's not as common. But, I kind of went backwards. I had a hysterectomy first, then started hormones. So, I lucked out on that. So, I didn't go through that struggle. Which, I guess it's a blessing and a curse because I don't have the same experience as most trans guys. But yeah, so I had had different steps, a different journey. But, once I started the hormones, it was almost, I didn't have that aha moment that most people do. But it was like a weight lifted off my shoulders literally and figuratively
Dr. Javad Sajan 21:13
Jack Morgan 21:14
Which was great. Then, body hair, facial hair.
Dr. Javad Sajan 21:18
Did have depression before hormones?
Jack Morgan 21:20
Dr. Javad Sajan 21:21
Did that change at all with the hormones? Kind of. I still do, but that clinical depression is a lifelong diagnosis. I was actually diagnosed bipolar. So, life and mental health is a struggle, no matter who you are, but as long as you are an advocate for yourself. Life is great. I mean, I couldn't imagine being anywhere else. Now, going back. You started, so then you started hormones after the weight loss surgery. And all and the uterus surgery. You started feeling more in your own body. Is that correct?
Jack Morgan 21:57
Dr. Javad Sajan 21:57
You said hair started growing. What else changed?
Jack Morgan 22:00
My facial structure like my weight loss still helped. So, I started seeing my face becoming more male presenting. It wasn't as soft like I have more of a hard jawline. It's--my cheeks aren't as full as a female. So, that's kind of cool. And, like my shoulders and my neck have slimmed down and change shape a little bit to. Still a little chubby in some areas, but the weight has shifted. So, I'm not hippy anymore. I don't have as wide of hips. So, that's what usually happens for most trans males is the weight shifts around and you get more chiseled features, which is kind of cool. And, that happened for me too. And, of course, the best part--deep voice
Dr. Javad Sajan 22:49
Yeah. What led--and you're going through all of this, and then you were on hormones for a while, and then the first gender affirming surgery you decided was your chest is that right? Oh, yes, that's usually the first step. And, how did you decide you need a chest surgery? And how did you hear about me and learn about me? So, I actually followed you on on Instagram and Snapchat for a year, a little over a year before I even knew that I could have top surgery with you. How did you hear about me on Insta? I really don't remember. I just came across you one day. And I was like, this is kind of cool. He's showing his surgeries and then I showed, shared, you with some friends and I'm like, "Oh my god, you see everything" and going through and I would look everyday for your videos. And I'm like, this is really cool. Dr. Sajan, and, I got to remember that name. Well, then I started working for an insurance company. One of the big ones out here. Who was that by the way?
Jack Morgan 23:56
Dr. Javad Sajan 23:57
Jack Morgan 23:57
Oh, Kaiser Permanente. Absolutely love them. They've been amazing through my entire transition, my name change, which that actually came by year two of my employment. I kind of waited. And they were from day one, they're like, "Yes, you can be Jack" because obviously this voice does not sound feminine on the phone at all. Um, so I looked through my resources on who we were contracted with for top surgery because they are very transgender friendly. I saw your name and I about wet myself. I was like, "Oh my gosh, he does top surgery." There's a couple like about three surgeons that were contracted with. I'm like, "Nope, I don't want surgery from anybody else, period." Because I mean, I've had experience seeing your work. Here's the funny thing. I'd never had to experience seeing your work on a bigger patient. But, I knew that you strive for perfection, and I knew there would be no way I would ever come out with anything but perfection.
Dr. Javad Sajan 25:08
Jack Morgan 25:09
So I was like--
Dr. Javad Sajan 25:09
That's very kind of you.
Jack Morgan 25:10
I was like, "Okay, I gotta go see him no matter what."
Dr. Javad Sajan 25:16
And, then when you came for the consult, I remember you had a lot of history, a lot of medical problems from your weight loss and gain. Did the other doctors, I don't know if you call them sounds like you didn't, but did they have any restrictions? Do you hear about that kind of thing before you even thought about them? Like were they what other providers say I can't see you unless you lose this much weight or things like that?
Jack Morgan 25:36
Oh, yeah. Are you talking about like other surgeons?
Dr. Javad Sajan 25:40
Yes. Other surgeons for top surgery. Do they have any restrictions or you didn't look much more into it than me? I kind of looked into another surgeon. He did do, I'll leave him unnamed. Yeah.
Jack Morgan 25:53
He did do bigger patients, but more on just the thick side. Maybe slightly. overweight or chubby. Me? Technically, I'm still obese. At about the 300 pound range which is when you did my surgery I was about that weight, give or take. They're like, "You know what you want to be about that 35 BMI for you to get the results that you want. For there not to be extra fat or dog years left behind." Because not a lot of surgeons do lipo. Which thankfully you do. That's a lifesaver. So they're like, "You know what, we can do it. The results are not going to be the best. We don't want you to not be happy." And, I'm like, "Understandable." So then when I had my consult with you, that's when I brought my sibling with me. Drove all night to get here early in the morning and I was afraid the entire time that you were going to say, "Hey, you need to lose another 50 pounds. You need to lose, you know, get down to a certain weight." Not once did you ever mention anything negative about my weight. And, at the end of our meeting, I was like, "Wait, he didn't say I had to lose weight." The only thing I remember you mentioning is, "There might be a little bit of fat leftover, but I'm going to do the best I can, or I am going to do the best in making your chest perfect."
Dr. Javad Sajan 27:25
That's so cool.
Jack Morgan 27:25
And you did.
Dr. Javad Sajan 27:26
Thank you. Now, now, I don't know if you know this, but I haven't told you this yet. A lot of people believe that we shouldn't get--that top surgery isn't medically necessary. Right? And, I had, and I actually had a lot of angry messages from people when we put your before and after saying I should have had you lose weight. How do you feel that would have if I would have told you to lose weight how would you have felt? I'm the kind of person I don't care what other people think because if I'm not hurting anybody, what is it to them? But, I know for a lot of people, I mean, it would have hurt me. And, I know that something that I should have done was get down to my goal weight first. But, when it comes down to it, it is absolutely medically necessary. For myself, it's something that was itching, at the, in the back of my head every day, like a voice, many voices for some just saying, like derogatory things to like, kind of like when somebody doesn't think they're pretty or somebody who's anorexic that thinks they're fat. It's that voice in the back of your head that's talking negatively about you. Like, "Oh my god, look at these big boobs. You're not a man. You have--". You know, just eating at you every day and I didn't have much dysphoria. My dysphoria was my weight. When I got down to a healthier weight, woke up one morning, that voice suddenly appeared and 24/7, I could not get out of my head. I've known people who have killed themselves or tried to kill themselves, because they were denied or told by public, friends, family, and people. "Oh, you don't need top surgery, that's a choice. You being transgender is a choice." So, when they say it's not medically necessary, I believe they're wrong. And, what about some people who say you know, it's not fair, that insurance which will help cover to your case covers your surgery, but in a in a woman who wants a cis woman who wants breast implants, for example, or a cis women who wants to reduction that doesn't get coverage? That's not fair. They should get coverage too. What do you think about that? That's a really tough one. It's a gray area. Mental health definitely is a difficult, there's no wrong or right. If it's something that makes you happy. I say do it, but it's really hard as to what insurance will cover. Breast reductions, I do know, those will be medically necessary, but you have to go through hoops just to get that covered. Like other health issues. Breast implants. Honestly, I wouldn't even be able to give an opinion. Just because it is hard. It's like, there's some people that want to get really, really big boobs. There's some that just want a little bit bigger. But I don't know.
Jack Morgan 30:40
It's tough though. It really is because the mental health part of it is, what's more important to me, as long as your mental health is good. I don't know maybe that's something that insurance companies will do in the future. But, then it's like, "Oh, are you doing this just To get bigger boobs? Are you playing with your mental health when there's people that truly have mental health issues?" So, that's where it's really a gray area.
Dr. Javad Sajan 31:10
Jack Morgan 31:10
Cause nobody, nobody, wants to just go and get cut open and get--technically an organ--removed.
Dr. Javad Sajan 31:18
Jack Morgan 31:19
For just because.
Dr. Javad Sajan 31:22
And, then, so the surgery I did for you it's called a double incision chest reconstruction with the free nipple graft, or I basically removed your breast tissue. I left a little bit so it doesn't look dented in. I liposculpted your chest and I made new nipples. That surgery for you was much harder than most. Probably one of the hardest ones I've ever done because of the amount of skin and tissue I can move. The reason most people would have had you lose weight is because it would have been easier to do. And, I met you I saw you I had you get many clearances from other doctors to make sure you were safe. So, I checked the safety first then we did the surgery. Tell me how it felt after the surgery and a little bit about your recovery.
Jack Morgan 32:05
It's, it was kind of surreal. My mom actually flew out or I flew my mother out here. She was the one who took care of me during my surgery, and it's almost like I didn't know how to feel. Because I know that they were there. And then all of a sudden they were gone.And she was she was almost excited. More excited for me because I'm, I mean, I'm her firstborn. I'm her baby. And, she, I know I keep saying she but I was, I was in a state of like, "I don't know how to feel." Because, I just I literally got pretty much cut in half. I got cut open, and had something that I've had since I was a teenager since puberty just gone. But, when I saw them, I was just like, like, it's real, they're gone. Like, I feel complete. And, pretty much I just had the biggest smile on my face for like the next month. It was a really rough recovery because you know, you can't move you can't bend stoop, lift your hands above your head, hands above your head. So, that that was the biggest struggle, but a lot of it was just surreal. Like this really happened. I can't believe this happened.
Dr. Javad Sajan 33:32
That voice that you had in your head that was telling you you're a man, you have boobs. How does that voice change after surgery?
Jack Morgan 33:40
Oh, that one was kicked to the curb in the gutter and washed away. It was just gone instantly. I was like super nervous the day of. I was afraid that it wasn't gonna happen.
Dr. Javad Sajan 33:51
Jack Morgan 33:53
Yeah, I was just, I don't know. Every surgery I've had I always get nervous that something's going to happen because my health wasn't the best, and even the tiniest of surgeries, something can go wrong.But I was like, "Okay, this is gonna happen." With the anesthesiologist, he's like, "Your heart rate is a little bit low." And, I'm like, "Ah, that's normal." And he's like, "No, it's a little too low." And, I'm like, "Okay, this is not gonna happen." Okay, so I'm like standing there get trying to get excited and jumping and bouncing. And I'm like, "Okay, this has to happen. This has to happen." I got excited enough. Because I was nervous and way too calm. So, I got excited enough jumping around, that my heart rate was good. Patrick, he was amazing. I absolutely love him. We were good, cleared. I remember going back to the operating room, laying down, and then, all of a sudden I woke up in a wheelchair getting carted to the car and I'm just like, "Oh, my goodness. This actually happened."
Dr. Javad Sajan 35:00
So, with the surgery, I made you a male chest.
Jack Morgan 35:03
Dr. Javad Sajan 35:04
How is--how are things different now? As far as how you present yourself and what you can dress than it was before? I don't have to worry about getting shirts or over shirts that are bigger. Because of my size, I wasn't able to bind or flatten my chest with binders that are tight or whatnot. I wore a loose sports bra. I just looked like a big guy with a big chest. So thankfully, I was able to pass with oversized shirts. But now I can wear, alongside my weight loss, instead of four or five x shirts, I can get into an extra large, sometimes a 2X. And, it's flat. It is so flat. I'm just like I rub it all the time because I'm like, "There's nothing there anymore." But, clothing wise It just makes me feel so good. I'm like, I can buy off the rack. And, I don't have to worry about getting something bigger just to fit a big chest because I had a big chest, really big one. Any back pain, neck pain, any of that change? That wasn't a big deal before.
Jack Morgan 36:17
It was a little bit of a big deal before. But now, no issues whatsoever.
Dr. Javad Sajan 36:22
What about using the bathroom?
Jack Morgan 36:23
Are you talking about like?
Dr. Javad Sajan 36:27
Using a male bathroom?
Jack Morgan 36:28
Dr. Javad Sajan 36:28
Is that is that different? And, when--And tell us a little bit about when did you start using male bathrooms?
Jack Morgan 36:33
So, once I got back to work, so when I worked for the cable company, I was still using the female bathrooms because even though I presented and dressed as a guy, everybody knew that I was still female. So, I still use the restrooms. Now, once I went and started working for Kaiser Permanente after I had my weight loss surgery with the cable company. I had three months after I got hired I had my hysterectomy. And then, I started hormones before I even returned off of disability. Then, I started going by Jack, stepped foot into that male restroom. Nobody questioned me. That was the first day I got back from my leave after my hysterectomy. Nobody batted an eye, and my training class, which we were training class of almost 20, they knew me as she when the beginning no questions whatsoever. They always like, "Jack, he always the greatest guy." Like no slip ups whatsoever, like such a great community and it's kind of one of those things. Once you go there, there's kind of no going back. Even to this day, though. I present as a guy, I look like a guy. I'm a very hairy guy. I have a thick, full beard and I still get nervous. I get nervous that because I can't use urinal. I still have my original parts down there. So that's kind of where my dysphoria is with using a male restroom. But nope, I can--I use male restrooms all day long, which is really great. And it's kind of like, unreal. Like as it happens, but I'm like, I don't get questioned anymore, which is kind of cool.
Dr. Javad Sajan 38:27
And do you think you're gonna have genital reassignment surgery? Or is that something you're not thinking about?
Jack Morgan 38:32
Possibly. I remember one of our visits. About a year ago, you had mentioned that because I want you to eventually do my skin removal. And you had asked, "Hey, do you want bottom surgery?" And I was like, "No, it's not a dysphoria for me." But over the last year, I've been thinking about it. So definitely huge possibility. My first goal is weight loss and skin removal, but it's there. There's so many different options. I'm going to be limited because of my extra skin and where a donor site would be. But yeah, I do eventually want to be able to just stand in a urinal and not have to use an external device, which there's a lot on the market and I've tried a few and I don't like any. So, it's on the books one day, but not anytime soon.
Dr. Javad Sajan 39:29
Did you ever experience any abuse? Abuse or violence during your transition?
Jack Morgan 39:35
Thankfully, no. I'm one of those people personally that nobody messes with me. It's--it's the confidence in my personality. I just never was really bullied. It was more looks and stares. Maybe snide comments behind my back but never directly like, not necessarily violent, but never directly commented to or bullied in any way. So, little different.
Dr. Javad Sajan 40:06
Was there any history of abuse Jack before you transitioned or nothing like that?
Jack Morgan 40:11
Not really, I mean a little bit of a rough childhood dealing with a family member who had drug abuse. Kind of being in the foster care system living with grandparents instead of my parents. But overall, no, not really physical or sexual abuse. Just more mental, not mental abuse either. Just just a lot going on mentally and depression at young age.
Dr. Javad Sajan 40:42
Did you ever attempt suicide?
Jack Morgan 40:43
I thought about it a lot. I wanted to so many times, but never could physically bring myself to want to enough. Um, it got to the point where my depression was bad enough. With my transition with my weight with my life that I really wanted to I thought of dozens of ways that I could do it that would be painless. But, I never had--it's gonna sound bad--but I never had the guts to do it. I could never bring myself to do it.
Dr. Javad Sajan 41:23
Do you think it was the guts or you never had the spirit that wanted to not do it?
Jack Morgan 41:28
I wanted to a lot of times so bad. I just wanted to give up. I struggled especially with my weight so much that I just didn't want to wake up. I was like, I wish there was a way I could just not wake up just fall asleep and just, you know, drift off but I think it was a little part of me like a little shimmer of light, or, you know, glitter, leftover from the drag queens. That just there was something that said, you're better then you think you are just keep going, it gets better. I had a really amazing group of friends. I was the life of the party. And they always wanted me around. And I'm like, you know, I know that there's more. There's more out there I can do better. And, I think that little bit of light kept me going as cheesy as it may sound.
Dr. Javad Sajan 42:22
No, it's not cheesy at all.
Jack Morgan 42:23
But I did. There's a little bit of hope there and just enough hope that I was like, No, I can't give up.
Dr. Javad Sajan 42:30
It's--It's amazing. It's an amazing journey. I like to end every episode by you sharing one thing out of your experience with surgery that you feel had the biggest impact in your life. If you had to tell other people who are thinking about, those people who are learning about it, people who are questioning his surgery, right? Should it happen? Is it worth it? What would other people who are in your position who're thinking about going through it? What is one thing you would want to share with the world?
Jack Morgan 42:59
That's a tough one because I could say so much.
Dr. Javad Sajan 43:03
One thing, one of the things that you felt the most that you feel had the biggest impact in you.
Jack Morgan 43:09
Like the biggest impact going through surgery?
Dr. Javad Sajan 43:11
Yes, and living now. So, it's a little bit different for everybody. Some may have chest dysphoria, some may not. For the ones that do have chest dysphoria, it is a long journey. It's a rough journey. If it's something that you truly want, wait. Wait until you're ready, because there's really no going back from it. And, also, if it's meant to happen, it will happen. I know there's a lot of people that try and rush into it. Try and save up money as much as possible. And, what I've noticed a lot that happens with that is their mental health degrades because they're so focused on, "I need that top surgery, I need that top surgery." When the time is right, it will happen for you. As much as you want to rush into it. Personally, I rushed into it. I'm glad that you had done it for me at the weight that you did, because my mental health has gotten better. But, I really wish that I would have waited till I got to my goal weight of 200 instead of three. Why? The results would have still been perfect regardless. But I think I would have been in a better physical state. The results would have been different, not necessarily better, not necessarily worse, but it would have been different. Because my body would have been different. I might have had a better muscle structure of my chest, because I know that I'm at my weight now. When I get down to my goal weight, my chest is going to look a little different. Things might shift. So, I may need, eventually, a revision because of my weight loss, not because it wasn't perfect. Yeah, no, it's okay. Yeah.
Jack Morgan 45:05
It's different. So, that's why I say don't rush into it. Wait until you're mentally ready. You may think you're mentally ready at that time. You might not necessarily be. So, that's kind of like my advice.
Dr. Javad Sajan 45:22
If you could go back--if you could go back, do you think it was a wrong idea to have it at your weight?
Jack Morgan 45:28
For me? I don't think so. I think it happened at the perfect time for me. Because of my mental health, my mind was ready for it. My body may not have been aesthetically, but it was one of the best decisions of my life. I wouldn't take it back. Like I look at myself in the mirror daily, and I'm like, "Dang, my chest looks good." And, it like it boosts me up in the morning and the day. And, I'm just like to see my hairy chest because I love my body hair. But to have seen that on, you know, triple, quadruple, whatever size chest I was, would have damaged me more mentally than not. So, did I do it at the right time for me? Absolutely, But some may not. So that's why I say wait, wait till you have the money, but also wait until you're mentally and physically ready for it. So.
Dr. Javad Sajan 46:29
It's an amazing story, Jack.
Jack Morgan 46:30
Dr. Javad Sajan 46:31
Thank you so much. I'm so happy we could chat. Your journey makes a tremendous impact for other people. Not only those who are thinking about transitioning, but those who want to learn more about the community. A community that's held tightly together, a community that's becoming more prevalent, and one that's being more and more noticed, especially during our current life and situation.
Jack Morgan 46:52
Well, thank you for having me. It was a pleasure. And, you know, I'm proud to call you a friend.
Dr. Javad Sajan 46:57
Jack Morgan 46:57
And have you for my future surgeries and in my life for that, so.
Dr. Javad Sajan 47:01
I'm here for you no matter what. Thank you, Jack.
Jack Morgan 47:03
I appreciate that.
Dr. Javad Sajan 47:04
Thank you Jack for coming in. It was such a such, a such an amazing. It was a real pleasure. Good thing we're not live yet. Thank you everyone for listening to our podcast. Tune in next week where my guest is a teacher who had botched surgery done in South America. She works in the public school system here. We're going to be sharing her exciting journey and story with all of you. Bam What!