Following the reveal of Caitlyn Jenner's transition in an explosive 22-page feature in Vanity Fair, medical experts are now shedding light on the procedures she has undertaken. These doctors said that the whole process entails a lot of difficulties financially, medically and emotionally.
It goes without saying that transitioning involves a lot of money. There are surgery expenses and hormone treatments to cover that could reach up to tens of thousands of dollars, according to Forbes.
Jenner underwent a facial feminization procedure and, depending on how complex the requirements are, the bill for this can run from $10,000 to $60,000. The former Olympian also had two rhinoplasty procedures ($7,500 to $15,000 each) and a tracheal shave ($2,500 to $12,000). The Forbes article said that these procedures are likely done without any insurance coverage because, as the experts pointed out, they were not "medically necessary."
All procedures are supposed to be in accordance with the standards cited by the World Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH), according to People magazine.
"There is a requirement that they need to have a psychologist statement that they've been under care for a certain period of time—[and] there is a waiting period—[and that] this is a perfect thing for them, that it really is a male or female stuck inside the other sex's body," Dr. David Alessi told People.
Care from psychologists also involve money, with rates depending on the specialists. This is crucial because the emotional effects before the surgery and during recovery shouldn't be taken lightly. "People have a variety of responses after surgery, and the most common feeling is impatience," said Dr. Jeffrey Spiegel, according to Yahoo Health. Spiegel runs Advanced Facial Aesthetics, which does facial feminization procedures all the time.
"They have waited their whole lives for this moment and when they wake up afterwards, they still have weeks to go before they can see the change," the doctor added.
While Jenner has yet to undergo gender reassignment surgery, the cost of this is estimated to cost between $20,000 and $200,000, depending on how much work must be done. The surgery involves vaginoplasty or genital reconstruction.
Unfortunately, not every transgender can afford Jenner's procedures.
"People who don't have her notoriety or her financial means... they have a terrible time of it. And they don't get the exposure that they deserve," said Kylie Aquino of the Jim Collins Foundation, which helps transgender people with no means to pay for surgery, according to ABC News.
Aquino's sentiments are echoed by Jacob Tobia, an LGBTQ activist.
"The largest deviation from Caitlyn's transition is that most transpeople do not have access to the kinds of wealth and funding Caitlyn did and the healthcare they need to transition in the way they'd like," said Tobia via Forbes. "We can't take her transition as typical of the trans experience. She has access to the top services she needed. The reality of so many transpeople across the country is poverty."