Trans Visibility

Laurence Michael Dillon

As previously discussed, historians have acknowledged that people have identifying with another gender other than what gender they were assigned at birth. Gender reassignment surgery was not attempted until the 1940's. The first known gender reassignment surgery was successfully completed in 1945 on Laurence Michael Dillon (1915-1962).

Dillon was a female-to-male transgender person. His trans journey started after puberty when he, and others, noticed dominating male physical features: deep voice and facial hair. Dillon, like many young transgender individuals, lived a life of depression and lived in the margins of society as a garbage hand. In 1942 he began therapy with a progressive physical who started Dillon on testosterone therapy and performed his mastectomy surgery (know today as "top surgery"). In 1945, Dillon successfully received his phalloplasty surgery. His confidence level increased and his depression levels decreased. Subsequently, Dillon became a ship doctor and was happy with his life. Unfortunately, his secret was publically reviled in the Sunday Express in 1958. He was forced to a life of exile and found safety underground in the Buddhist society where he became a monk until his death in 1962.

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