With the testosterone changing his voice and appearance, Lucas publicly changed his outward identity. “I had always been pretty androgynous,” he says. “But the testosterone caused physical changes that made it easier for me to present myself as a man. It was easier for people to relate to me as a man because they could see the changes.” He notes that most people who meet him now have no idea he was assigned female at birth.
Fortunately, Lucas is surrounded by supportive family and friends. “But I was my own worst enemy, judging myself more than other people judged me,” he says. “With my clothes on, I feel confident, but seeing myself in the mirror was tough.”
In September 2016, Lucas had a hysterectomy, and in June 2018 he underwent a double mastectomy, removing the breasts he’d been trying to hide for so many years. Before his metoidioplasty, Lucas met with all three physicians who were involved in the procedure. In addition to Dr. Gray, Satish Ponnuru, MD, a board-certified plastic surgeon, and Joshua Broghammer, MD, a board-certified urologist, participated.
“All three surgeons were passionate about making sure I meet my goals,” Lucas says. “They wanted this to be perfect for me, and they were willing to put in time and commit to research to make sure the surgery was right for me.”
Gender reassignment surgery sometimes requires multiple stages and procedures before the desired result is achieved. “Team Lucas” collaborated to complete the entire procedure in a single surgery. The result was a scrotum and penis with an elongated urethra, allowing for natural urination.
“I know not every transgender man feels the need to have gender reassignment surgery, but this is what I needed to do to feel complete as a man,” Lucas says. “I think it’s important to be open to all the possibilities, whether that means a full surgical transition or not. And that’s why I want to share my experiences with the community.”