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JFK-------> DAVIE, FL

by Kit Yan

When I had top surgery in 2015, my friends gave me checklists that helped guide me through the procedure and saved my life when I had a complication. This serves as a reminder to myself that institutional memory fails trans people and that we are our own best blueprints for survival.

At the airport,

❏ 1 best friend of 10 years

❏ 4 weeks off “work”

❏ 9 hour flight

❏ two layovers

❏ bandages

❏ silicone gel

❏ over-sized shirts

❏ compression socks

❏ selfie for mom who cannot come

❏  $11,000

I am told-


❏ the surgery will last 1.5 hours

❏ Anesthesia and nausea

❏ one surgeon (may be insensitive but the best)

❏ two nurses

❏ hospital bill (do they take credit card?)

❏ medication, sleep, drain, eat, repeat

❏ two long scars from mid-chest to armpit

❏ nipple grafts (sensation?)

❏ stitches

❏ bruising

❏ drains, drain holes, puss, blood

I will miss my​

❏ old chest?

❏ boobs?

❏ tits?

❏ boobies? 

❏ beasts?

❏ lumps?

❏ ________?

last questions.


❏ is there a better way to spend $11,000?

❏ how much will I regret?

❏ is this because I desire manhood? what is manhood?

❏ am I cutting off this flesh because I hate the memory of their hands upon them?

Board the plane​.


Kit Yan is an award-winning trans writer and performer living in New York and raised in Hawaii. Their first book Queer Heartache is published by Trangenre Press (2016). Find him @kityanpoet

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