McMessy, Columbus by Congress, The Life of a Gender Surgeon
When it comes to special-edition McDonald’s products, employees aren’t lovin’ it. V explains how adult Happy Meals are just one recent example of nostalgia and fandom drawing crowds and putting pressure on workers. V also breaks down the different levels of holidays, as the nation splits between Columbus Day and Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Then, V sits down with Dr. Sidhbh Gallagher, the surgeon known on TikTok for providing gender-affirming care to grateful patients. She and V discuss the nitty t*tty of top surgery, the political climate surrounding her Florida-based practice, and the peace and satisfaction she gets from her work.
Keep up with V on TikTok @underthedesknews and on Twitter @VitusSpehar. And stay up to date with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at @LemonadaMedia. Click this link for a list of current sponsors and discount codes for this show and all Lemonada shows go to lemonadamedia.com/sponsors.
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V Spehar, Sidhbh Gallagher
V Spehar 00:00
Hey friends, it’s Tuesday, October 11th, 2022. Welcome to V INTERESTING, where we break down the viral and very interesting news you might have missed. I’m V Spehar and today we’re talking about the missteps that McDonald’s has made and continues to make with its promotions. Plus, why federal holidays are both more and less complicated than you might have thought. Then we’ll be talking to tick tock famous gender surgeon Dr. Gallagher, who will demystify gender affirming care options like top surgery, all that and more on today’s V interesting from Lemonada Media. Let’s be smart together. And now for the headlines first, if you watch any movie set in a city, you can just feel that there’s a McDonald’s nearby, you know, it’s everywhere, physically, spiritually, McDonald’s is pop culture. And for decades, companies and celebrities have struck deals with a franchise to capitalize on its cool. There have been limited edition meals special discounts. There has even been an entire clothing collection made and considering McDonald’s is already so popular. Be added traffic when they run a collab promo has been well a bit of a mess every time. Locations are short staffed, inventory is out, customers get hostile, and not just in the comment section in person. With McDonald’s most recent promotion, it was no different. Last week, the company partnered with cactus plant flea market, which is a popular streetwear fashion brand. The twist the product at the center of the partnership was a Happy Meal aimed at adults. It contains either a Big Mac or a 10 piece chicken nugget plus fries and a drink and of course, a toy. As expected fans just about lost their minds. As you might also expect the restaurants were not prepared. Workers reported quickly running low on various parts of the meal running behind because of the sheer number of orders running out of space and running out of patience. Because these new Happy Meal boxes are not stackable, it was a mess. Friends, I had to go check this out for myself. And it was just as bad as they were saying. When it was my turn to try and order the grill at the drive thru window responded in near tears. Please do not yell at me. I cannot take it today. We are out of the happy meal. We actually never even got all the parts for it. I don’t have the center button for the Big Mac. I don’t have the boxes, and we’re not supposed to just give out the toys. This poor girl we ended up having a whole fun conversation at the window about how we both had wished that the toy was a beanie baby. And that would be the only reason to yell at anyone, right? It’s for like the nostalgia of remembering when our mom’s used to like unhinged yell at the McDonald’s workers trying to collect them all. Why haven’t we learned from past mistakes? The short answer is money. Mickey D’s pays big bucks for these partnerships. Recent celebrity partners have reportedly made millions of dollars just for their endorsement plus millions more from sales. And there was bound to be tons of interest over something as clever as a happy meal for adults. I mean, this is peak millennial trying to relive their childhood bait. So can they really be surprised that people are once again getting hotter than a box of fries at the drive thru window? You think they would have learned from the 2017 promo debacle when McDonald’s surprise restocked a dipping sauce they had originally made in 1998, Szechuan sauce was initially made to promote the Disney movie Mulan and it was getting renewed attention almost 20 years later because of a storyline in the cult TV show Rick and Morty. Unsurprisingly, the sauce ran out super quick and people got very angry. And not only were they having a full breakdown in front of teenage fast food workers, but they were doing it in full cosplay, high on the excitement of their favorite TV show and the promise of the good old days. It is the perfect storm. At the time that McDonald’s released a less than believable statement saying quote, we did not anticipate the overnight crowds, the Cross State travel and the amazing curiosity passion and energy fans showed friends. If you Google Szechuan McDonald’s you’re gonna see that that amazing curiosity, passion and energy is looked at an awful lot like disrespecting workers and screaming. This time around McDonald’s was pedaling in similar nostalgia, and the company seems to have experienced the same craze and pitfalls as it did in 2017. Other past collaborations have produced New things like Limited Edition shirts are a cool wrapper you could keep once you wiped off the ketchup. But a Happy Meal promised something old, something familiars something happy, and people came running. And wouldn’t you know it only three days into this venture, McDonald’s announced it’s going to bring back another nostalgic product. The Halloween boo buckets, they’re coming back, I will be first in line because this cycle never ends.
V Spehar 05:32
For many a Happy Meal revival probably felt like its own holiday, but yesterday was an official holiday, October 10, commonly known as Columbus Day, or in other areas as indigenous peoples day. The tension between these two names represents the tension between these two entities. Christopher Columbus is known to have enslaved killed or otherwise harmed the indigenous people he encountered after landing in the Bahamas. He also came back a couple of other times in his arrival, kickstarted lots of other journeys westward. And so colonization continued and worsened. Immigrants to the Americas enslaved Africans and killed indigenous people, forcing many others to leave their homes. And for many celebrating Columbus as the catalyst of all of this has felt wrong. Hence changes we’ve seen recently, dozens of places like Lincoln, Nebraska and the entire state of Vermont have officially changed the name of Columbus Day to indigenous peoples day. But Columbus Day has been celebrated in some way for the last 130 years, Colorado was the first state to make it a holiday that happened about 115 years ago. FDR changed it to a national holiday 88 years ago, and then Congress boosted it to the coveted Federal holiday status, where it has sat for the past 51 years. For all you little detail freaks out there. Federal holiday status doesn’t carry that much substance. A federal holiday only affects federal offices, like the post office, the government cannot force state governments or non-government businesses to close because you know, states’ rights and all that. However, even if your local Waffle House is open, the positioning of a federal holiday means something a person or idea becomes almost canonized once it’s a federal holiday. It’s locked into place, and it feels really respectable. All the 12 select holidays have the power to shut down the National Archives for Pete’s sake. And well, they gave that place in our calendar officially to Christopher Columbus. In contrast, the highest level that indigenous peoples day has existed is only in city and state government calendars. The first place that it was observed was in Berkeley, California, and that was only in 1992. So that got me thinking, how did the federal holidays even get started? Turns out the first four federal holidays were created all the way back in 1870, or about 152 years ago. And just like what happens now, Congress granted these days as PTO but it was only for federal workers physically working in DC. They started with New Year’s Day. Then they added the Fourth of July Thanksgiving and Christmas. 10 years later, they added George Washington’s birthday because all G dubs wanted to get the day off to party. I’m just kidding. And making bad jokes, he was long dead. A lot seems to have changed since then, with seven new federal holidays joining the list. But when you do the math, it’s still not that often that we get a new holiday. On average, it’s like one new holiday every 20 years. Weirdly, though, getting a federal holiday approved is relatively simple. The proposal needs to be a thumbs up from Congress, which has proven difficult for a lot of other decisions. But the most recent example, Juneteenth, it passed unanimously in the Senate, and by majority in the House, only 14 Republicans said no, understandably, many folks felt frustrated by the speed of Juneteenth being added to the list. They were advocates, and they wondered if it was so easy to do this, then why hadn’t it been done years before? After all, if 19th century congress can approve for holidays in one day? Wouldn’t it be reasonable for our Congress to approve more than one generation? All that to say if they want to elevate indigenous peoples day to the same status as Columbus Day, Congress can do that. If they want to replace Columbus Day entirely with indigenous peoples day, they could do that, too. I mean, don’t forget, they approved Martin Luther King Jr. Day when the sitting president was Ronald Reagan. Congress can do what they want when they want when they put that effort in. So talk it up. Do you want election day to be a federal holiday? Lunar New Year, the day after Thanksgiving otherwise known in my family as jingle hell? As history shows? It might be slow, but PTO is never out of the question. Prepare the others I’m not coming PTO.
V Spehar 10:02
Now to round out this Tuesday with a hopeful story. A generous photographer just started offering pro bono photo shoots to people who haven’t historically been in the spotlight, and it’s part of a trend that’s been going on for years. In 2015, a social worker named […] created an event in Kansas City, Missouri to celebrate natural black hair. It is now a multifaceted event with a fashion show and poetry, but it started with a simple mission to offer free professional photoshoots to celebrate the beauty of Black curls. She called it Casey Curly. […] told the Fingerlakes times that growing up she felt ugly because of the comments that people would make about her thick natural hair. She wanted to prevent younger Black people from growing up with that same noise. So she created a space for the community to showcase their beauty. Fast forward and Casey Curley just celebrated its sixth anniversary. This month. Another photo project sprung up in Dorchester, Massachusetts, a Boston Neighborhood made up of mostly people of color. longtime resident Mike Ritter is offering several weeks of outdoor photo shoots completely free of charge. This project is called beautiful dots, and it’s being funded by a grant from the city’s office of arts and culture. Mike is a professional photographer; he edits the photos and then the participants get to keep them for good. And since we’ve seen just how vulnerable queer youth can be, it’s only fitting that several other opportunities have been created exclusively for queer folks. In 2020, a photographer named Ally Schmaling started a quarantine project for queer households in and around Boston. They invited people out onto their sidewalks and porches to pose and they gave it the best name ever queerentine. Dozens of households participated pairs families chosen families solo folks, and once the pictures were posted to Instagram, they could see just how many other queer people lived nearby. Then last year in Philly, a photographer named Shannon Collins started offering gender affirming photo sessions for young people who are trans, non-binary and gender expansive. This project is called Youthphoria and had been a dream of Shannon’s, participants get to work with a stylist and hair and makeup artists. And the project recently received a $6,000 grant. So tell your cousin in Philly, or your friends in Dorchester, or get inspired to start a project like this yourself. Surprise, people actually love to have their photo taken. And it is so important to ensure that the legacy and the history that we are writing today is actually representative of the people living it, not just the people who can afford to be remembered. Let’s make sure that funding and time gets directed to projects like these in our neighborhoods, feeling beautiful matters, friends, it matters so much and each of you are beautiful to me. So take a picture of yourself. Let’s post it on Instagram. Let’s do it together. After the break, I’m gonna get to chat with somebody who truly made me feel like the most beautiful version of myself. It is the gender surgeon from TikTok, my friend and the doctor who did my top surgery revisions. Dr. Gallagher, you’re gonna want to stick around for this conversation. It’s going to catch you up on everything you wish you knew about top surgery, stay tuned.
V Spehar 13:38
Welcome back friends. We’re here with Dr. Sidhbh Gallagher, a plastic surgeon based in Miami. She’s been a surgeon for years and now she focuses on gender affirmation surgery. helping folks bodies better match their identities. You might know her from Tik Tok. She has hundreds of 1000s of followers and celebrates her patients recoveries while dispelling myths about the services she offers. One of those services as I mentioned before the break is top surgery, and we’re gonna get into that today. So Dr. Gallagher, welcome to the V Interesting show. Last time I saw you I was in a completely different physical state. And it’s been about six months now. And I mean, the people at home can’t see but you did pretty good. You did pretty good. It looks good.
Sidhbh Gallagher 14:24
Yeah, I don’t usually get to do my follow ups like this. But this is a first for me, but always a pleasure seeing you. Thank you for having me.
V Spehar 14:33
Yes, of course. And one thing that I found so just interesting about you when I was looking for a surgeon to do my top surgery revisions, because I had had this surgery two times before both times were a failure was the fact that you identify not just as a plastic surgeon but as a gender surgeon. Can you tell me about that?
Sidhbh Gallagher 14:52
Yeah, so I’ve been very lucky in my career. I wasn’t sure starting out during this role. exactly what sort of plastic surgery I like, though is new, like making things look good. And while cosmetic surgery, you know, let’s it allows you to do that and sort of apply the aesthetic to your work. I was definitely drawn to the field of gender affirmation surgery because it’s so much more meaningful and all the gratification that we get from working with the community. So over the course of my practice, you know, since I was a baby plastic surgeon about eight years ago, it’s my practice has really morphed from reconstructive some cosmetic. Now I’m exclusively gender affirmation surgery, which I love on our staff as well, you know, so we’re very privileged to work in this area.
V Spehar 15:41
Yeah. And you talk about meaningful work. When I first came to you, I was literally in tears, I cried almost the whole time. And it was because I had two surgeries prior to visiting you. When I was much younger, I had a breast reduction, because I had been convinced by another surgeon to not have top surgery because I would regret it. And I was too young. Granted, I was like 25 at that time. And then I had later in life, about 10 years after that I went to the guy up here in Rochester, who was supposed to be the best at this. And so he was gonna be so sensitive about everything, and he really got the community. And I woke up and I had cleavage. And I was like, something has gone horribly wrong here. And I really thought that was it. I was like, Well, you know, what, two chances was already more than a lot of people get and I’m just going to be stuck looking like this. And you were like, no, you’re not.
Sidhbh Gallagher 16:36
Yeah, yeah. Well, I have to say one thing my patients have definitely taught me over the years, just from a practical standpoint, is that if you if you really try to listen to patients, you know, I may personally not, like understand, you know, why, why the goal is, as it is, you know, as a sis hat woman, but you know, my only job at the end of the day, what my preferences are, you know, nobody cares about that, you know, the most important thing, my only job is to deliver the results that the patients need, and especially when it comes to gender affirmation surgery is incredibly crucial to get them there. And so, you know, one thing is my patients taught me earlier on that is it doesn’t tend to backfire. If you listen to your patients, it tends to work out very well, for everybody in the room, you know, so as much as possible, it’s kind of my job to deliver those results, you know, regardless of what my personal preferences would be and revisions or, you know, I do have a passion for revisions for sure. You know, it’s so disappointing when somebody, you know, spends money invest their time, their body, and their finances into gender affirmation surgery, and then you know, it’s just not comfortable at the end of the day, you know, so those patients, you know, a lot like your situation, they’ve kind of I, it’s probably about the most gratifying group of patients to work with, when we can turn that around just that disappointment.
V Spehar 18:04
And for folks who might be listening, that aren’t really that familiar with what the difference between, say, top surgery or a breast reduction or double mastectomy is, do you have just like a common breakdown of what the difference is?
Sidhbh Gallagher 18:16
Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, one thing my patients taught me early in my career is it’s not one size fits all, you know, so traditional, let’s say, you know, for somebody who is assigned female at birth, like traditional masculine surgery is not the right answer for every patient. And so there’s a whole spectrum of different preferences and results are reported to nips, not nips. And, you know, as such, the terminology, there’s many, many different terms to describe the surgery. So I tend to try not to get too hung up on the different terminologies and, you know, insurance companies can use different terms as well to further confuse things. But for folks who are getting surgery for gender affirmation that you know, whatever it is, it’s the duty of that surgeon to get them the look they need. And so that may be smaller breasts, or it could be a flat chest, or it could be masculine eyes and type surgery to create, like a natural, masculine look. And oftentimes, it’s difficult to you know, we sometimes don’t have the language for this. So my patients, you know, today, I just did a few consults this morning. And a lot of my patients are very good at Photoshop, you know, or other pictures, other results. And I always welcome that, you know, diagrams, all that sort of thing can really get us there.
V Spehar 19:36
You know, one of the things I remember telling you in our first video appointment was I didn’t I’m not trans in the way that I wanted to transition to be male the way that some of your patients did, but I did want to look like a candle and you were like, we could do that. We can give you the definition on the side that keeps it flat on the side and you don’t have to have nipples which was a really big insecurity for me and a lot of other people. Because even if you have top surgery, and you’ve neutralized the outward physical volume of chest that you had before, when you were born female, you know, if you want to wear a white t shirt, it’s going to show and there’s some insecurity that comes from that that nipple factor. And I was like, I don’t have to have nipples, are you sure? And you were like, No, and this is what it looks like. And honestly, it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Because for me, it wasn’t necessarily about transitioning, it was about neutralizing a part of my body that I was really hurt by and really took a lot of my mental space. And I know, that’s something that a lot of your other patients struggle with, too, is just the lack of confidence you have when, you know, like, if somebody had a crazy mole they would want removed, it would make them feel insecure. And this is a place of deep insecurity. And it just feels right. You know, I was reading recently, there was a big write up about your work in the New York Times. And I was reading about how the patient who had gone through who went by the name of Michael said, after the surgery, he just felt right, he just felt like the boobs never existed in the first place. It didn’t necessarily change who he was, it just sort of gave some relief. Do you hear that a lot from people?
Sidhbh Gallagher 21:18
I do. I do. And honestly, that’s, you know, one thing that I wish that article maybe touched on more is that is our overwhelming experience. You know, surgeons like myself, other health care providers who work in this field. The reason we love it, and we’re passionate about it is that’s our everyday experience, you know, the kind of like gender euphoria Fridays, or, you know, whatever language you want to use for, you know, patients come back, and it’s like, you know, almost on a weekly basis, you know, we’re getting the fields in a good way we’re getting, you know, like, kind of tear jerking moments of folks who have worked so hard, and so long, and this is what they’ve dreamed of all their lives have, you know, taken off the dressings and that reveal, you know, it’s such a big deal for them. So, yeah, I mean, that’s, that’s why I do this, you know, that’s when I talk about meaningful that that’s what keeps me going in this field. And, you know, definitely, I would say, it’s, you know, it’s not universal, obviously. But the overwhelming majority of patients, there is an element of that.
V Spehar 22:22
And I came to find you actually through TikTok, as many people did. During it was a nip reveal, I believe video that I saw, that was the first one. And this, you’ve really made it part of the brand and part of the TikTok to normalize this experience of having the scar of showing what your new body looks like, a being proud of that even through the healing phase. Can you just talk about the power of that?
Sidhbh Gallagher 22:44
Yeah. So you know, one of the things when I got into this field initially, one thing that I found was very frustrating, even amongst healthcare providers was the lack of good information. And so there’s a lot of myths in the field. Number one, and number two, of course, like visibility of the community, and public awareness is, you know, so much needed, it’s huge. And so those were the two things that kind of prompted me to invest more in social media. You know, I do get, you know, some people do frown upon it, you know, some people call it unprofessional. But, you know, the question I ask is professional and whose eyes you know, the community I serve, that’s the only thing I really care about, you know, if they consider me unprofessional, if I’m not living up to a certain standard, in their point of view, yeah, I have a problem. But you know, what may be traditionally considered professionalism. In the old school sense, you know, does that really matter? Is that the community observant? Not? Not really. But yeah, like, We’re incredibly proud of our patients. And you know, it warms my heart. Like I said, I absolutely love my practice. I love my office. I love the energy we get from our patients every week. And I really tried to share that as much as possible on social media.
V Spehar 24:00
Do you ever worry about the fact that your practice is in Florida and Florida is, you know, one of these states that’s really leading the charge against trans people being able to live peaceful lives?
Sidhbh Gallagher 24:11
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. For sure. You know, because at the end of the day, you know, I have to follow the rules, you know, the, the Board of Medicine is who I’m answerable to. So, you know, and we will do that. And at the moment, we’re just waiting to see we’re approaching election season. So things are a little bit crazy right now, you know, politicians tend to be more vocal than usual, you know, with their different opinions. So what my philosophy is, we’re just going to wait and see, you know, there’s some unknowns, you know, if we have to, I really hope we don’t have to make any difficult decisions down the line. But, you know, it’s kind of in the back of our minds at the moment.
V Spehar 24:49
Do you worry about you know, we’ve seen things like people showing up to the hospital, the Boston Children’s Hospital, false accusations of working on children and like All these kinds of like, very ill informed people who are out there thinking they’re protecting kids, and they’re showing up with that kind of like sole mission, right? And a poorly informed soul mission, but a soul mission nonetheless. Do you ever worry even if it stays, you know, legal, let’s say Charlie Crist gets to be the governor and things remain pretty safe, that the public in Florida could potentially become a barrier for people.
Sidhbh Gallagher 25:23
Yeah, yeah, they potentially could, you know, it’s always very dangerous one, you know, healthcare decisions are politicized. You know, obviously, obviously, we see that more these days, you know, what you want to always do in healthcare as we evidence based, as much as possible. And the onus is on us, as physicians, you know, to keep publishing to keep getting that evidence out there, you know, so we have the data. But yeah, it is, I would say, I’ve seen an increase, like that is concerned, and, you know, like hate comments, you know, threats, you know, directly to our practice, that it is at an all-time high, you know, and the other colleagues, you know, it’s not isolated to Florida by any means, you know, I have colleagues all over the country who are, you know, unfortunate experiencing the same thing.
V Spehar 26:08
Another thing I’ve been seeing a lot, we talked about how people don’t complain, if you get a nose job at 16. They don’t complain if you get breast augmentation at 18. And they don’t complain if you get calf implants, or a jaw implant, or any of these things that make people feel more themselves, you know. But there is new criticism that I had really never heard before, of people saying, well, there’s a lot of trans people who regret it. And I saw somebody de- transition. And this is like a river, a pickle river. I can’t say that word this is you can never change it. Thing to do. What’s your experience with D transition rate? Ben?
Sidhbh Gallagher 26:45
Yeah. So again, this is something you know, that I have to, you know, say like, it does make me worried because that is the narrative we’re seeing more and more that folks are de-transitioning, and people who do de-transition, definitely their stories need to be heard. And, you know, we can, you know, for, for convenience, you know, take them out of the picture. But the one thing I will say is, I think there’s a lot of exaggeration there. But the rate of the transition, you know, it’s traditionally published, is that the numbers are very low. And as far as I know, in my practice, that my practice seems to reflect that. And I only know one, maybe two cases of regret on de-transition compared to the overwhelming majority of folks who you know, do so well. And this is, you know, such benefit to them. One thing I would say, you know, probably the most common surgery, I do, you know, which is top surgery, it is surgically reversible. And there’s a whole branch of plastic surgery that deals with reconstructive breast because one on it, people who are assigned female at birth, develop breast cancer, you know, so let’s stick with me, it’s a pretty common procedure. So, you know, if folks needed that to happen, it could happen, you know, but the narrative seems to say that, you know, these are, you know, irreversible and it’s true, some of the genital surgeries are irreversible. But what we don’t want to do is take those few examples and weaponize them against the entire community and go to the extreme and say, look, just hold up these rare cases and say, well, you know, that negates all the other benefits. So, you know, therefore, we shouldn’t do this.
V Spehar 28:26
Yeah, gender is a journey. And it could take you various places, all over the place. And it is interesting, to follow people who are evolving and what serves them best and how and I agree, I think it’s really interesting, but certainly not an excuse to say, well, you’re going to regret it because everyone I know myself included, who has been able to achieve this. It is such a quality of life booster, when it is the right thing for you, as it was for me. What is something that you wish the public knew about top surgery?
Sidhbh Gallagher 28:57
Right now the public and the media, we really need to examine our biases, you know, because breast augmentation, for example, that outrage isn’t there, you know, nobody ever talks about not allowing people to get breast augmentation, because while they may regret it, and even though, you know, breast implants, ex-plants, for example, are reversing that surgery is seems to be a hell of a lot more common than detransitioning, or regret and gender affirmation surgery. You know, where’s the outrage there, you know, and so that really kind of tells me that a lot of these narratives are coming from a place of transphobia and just not understanding what we’re doing that’s in the first place.
V Spehar 29:42
It’s not this thing I think, folks have this idea that it is this like, oh my god, I’m not going to recognize you. Things are going to be so different. It’s going to change who you are as a person. Nobody noticed. Nobody noticed at all and I think that that was just another great gift. I just was happy. I just felt like myself, people. would ask me Oh, did you lose a little weight? And I was like, Yeah, I did lose a little weight. Like, it wasn’t this extreme transformation that folks maybe think it is and don’t need to be afraid of that being it is. It’s not always.
Sidhbh Gallagher 30:13
Yeah, absolutely. And you know, the surgery itself, it’s, I get accused, sometimes it may be trying to minimize it. But people this is a medically necessary surgery so often. And why would I turn a medically necessary surgery into a big scary ordeal when the fact is, it’s really not, it’s usually an average, it takes us an hour and a half. That’s an outpatient procedure. A third of my patients take Tylenol and Advil to recover, you know, so that’s the truth of it, you know, we’ve done a bunch of different interventions to try and make it as easy on patients as possible. You know, so, from that point of view, it tends to be of all the surgeries I do, it tends to be pretty easy on patience, you know, from a physical point of view anyway.
V Spehar 30:59
When I woke up, I knew that I was fixed, I knew that I was going to have a good life, like, folks really do. And I’ve seen their TikTok’s when they wake up also and the way that they just behave. I mean, I was back under the desk, like four days later, I couldn’t lean on my elbows. But I was back to work, I was feeling really good and really positive. And I was excited about what that meant. And I think for folks who have ever felt insecure, even if you’ve never had gender dysphoria, you’ve had something about that you just wish so badly, people wouldn’t notice first about you. And when you can remove that thing. It just opens your life up to like, so much more potential and just such a better, higher quality of life in all ways. And so I’m so grateful to you for giving me that. Okay, friends, we are going to come right back and we’re going to do the vSphere questionnaire with Dr. G. Welcome back friends, we are here with Dr. Gallagher, who has given us just so much information, dispelling myths about top surgery, what the process is like, who gets it? And why she does this, why she identifies as a gender surgeon and the importance of that. So now that we’ve got business out of the way, we’re going to have a little bit of fun with the V Spehar’s questionnaire. Are you ready?
Sidhbh Gallagher 32:28
V Spehar 32:29
Okay. What is something that you learned this week?
Sidhbh Gallagher 32:34
Let me see. I’ve learned that I like middle eastern food. I tried a new restaurant. It was pretty good. And it tells me also.
V Spehar 32:44
Oh, fantastic. What new story do you wish was not real?
Sidhbh Gallagher 32:50
Ukraine, everything that’s going on with that.
V Spehar 32:53
Yeah. And what fictional news story do you wish was real?
Sidhbh Gallagher 32:59
That LGBTQ rights and public awareness was at the forefront of policymakers and lawmakers agenda.
V Spehar 33:12
Is there a queer or trans icon that you think not enough people know about?
Sidhbh Gallagher 33:17
Oh, there’s so many. There’s so many I follow? You know, particularly on social media, I would say, you know, […] I’m biased a former patient of mine, who has a big presence on TikTok. He’s hilarious and not enough people know about that guy.
V Spehar 33:37
A couple of questions about the work that you do. What’s a piece of media that’s gotten gender affirming surgery or transitioning right.
Sidhbh Gallagher 33:47
There’s been a few. So, you know, there was a kind of a heartwarming piece came out of Indiana, about a family who were raising a transgender daughter, and just, you know, that support that goes along with that, and the, you know, the I think the reporter did an excellent job and dispelling myths around, you know, kids who transition. And just one thing I always say, I have to say, My faith has renewed and humanity when I see relatives, choose their son or daughter or sister or brother over their beliefs, you know, so they’re willing to listen to their kids set aside their, you know, beliefs, whether it be religious or whatever, sometimes have to fly in the face of their community, and say, you know, what, I’m choosing my son over this, and I want to support my son, and that’s kind of getting the field and I can talk in about that. But it’s just, I mean, it’s just pure love, and it’s, you know, bravery. I love it. And I’ve seen that so many times, that the family of an individual who’s coming out and transitioning, they have a lot of opposition at first and then they get it and then they become fierce advocates, you know, and I just love to see those stories.
V Spehar 35:02
Those are the best stories and we do need to put more of them in the public. I mean, my own mother going into the surgery with me was like, I’m just afraid you’re gonna look so different. And then I came out and she said the kindest thing to me. She was like, oh, you look like yourself. You look normal. And I was like, wow, ma, yeah, those moments really just makes such a big difference for folks. And it just lights up your whole soul. We definitely need to see more of that. Right. What is on your surgery playlist?
Sidhbh Gallagher 35:29
Oh, okay. So we need to bring a lot of energy, a lot of positivity to the room. And so it oftentimes comes out as a lot of drink a lot of future and some EDM as well to kind of keep the pace up.
V Spehar 35:45
Just jamming out doing surgery having a party, I love this.
Sidhbh Gallagher 35:50
I’s very important part of the equipment. Essential equipment.
V Spehar 35:55
No, I’m kind of sad that I was asleep for that part. Yeah. And what’s your top song right now?
Sidhbh Gallagher 36:03
I like the new Nicki Minaj stuff I like I like myself, Megan Thee Stallion that says she’s got some pretty awesome lyrics. So any of those girls right now lighten up my world.
V Spehar 36:16
Dr. Gallagher, it is always such a pleasure chatting with you, the work you were doing is so incredibly important to humanity and society, and just the LGBTQ and us in general, I don’t even want to say the LGBTQ world alone, because it’s just important to the world right now. So I’m so grateful for you and for you giving us this time to chat and get to know you a little better.
Sidhbh Gallagher 36:36
Thank you so much for having me. And, you know, just it’s strange times we’re living in, you know, with this stuff being politicized. So I really appreciate your words of affirmation, you know, just, you know, it really helps remind us of why we do this. And best job in the world.
V Spehar 36:54
Yeah, and you absolutely are the best at it. And every single day when I’m getting dressed, because I’m not a shirt off person. I’m still the shirt on person. But I’m like, oh, man, these clothes fit well. I feel like myself, I look in the mirror and I can smile. And I just feel like, like everything’s okay. So I’m just so grateful to you. And I hope that you get to continue to do this work and give other people that experience. Because just such precious important work. And I hope other people are inspired to learn from you the way that you approach this as, like you said, medically necessary.
Sidhbh Gallagher 37:25
You’re gonna make me cry now. Thank you so much for having me.
V Spehar 37:34
Look, I know this piece probably came off as like very pro-top surgery. And that’s my truth, you know, but it’s important for anyone listening at home to really take the time with your body and your journey to decide what is right for you, okay? There are many steps that I took before electing surgery to achieve feeling like myself. And for me, this worked and I feel complete. But for other people, you know, like, it’s a whole other ballgame. You got to trust yourself, you got to talk to yourself. For me, this was the end of my journey. And for others, it’s just the beginning. And for others still, this isn’t even a stop on the map for them. And those are all correct answers. Those are all good things. You have to do the work to figure out what is best for you. While you’re doing that work, be sure to tune into this Friday’s episode where we get to chat with the iconic Ricki Lake truly a dream guest for me and such an inspiration. You do not want to miss this one. Leave me a voicemail. 612-293-8550. Let me know what’s going on with you guys. This is a friendship. You can give me a call anytime. Subscribe to Lemonada Premium on Apple podcasts. Follow me at @underthedesknews. And as always take care of yourself. I will see you on Friday.
V INTERESTING is a Lemonada Media Original. Our producers are Rachel Neel, Xorje Olivares, Martín Macías, Jr. And Dani Matias. Executive Producers are Stephanie Wittels Wachs and Jessica Cordova Kramer. Mixing and Scoring is by Brian Castillo, Johnny Evans and Ivan Kuraev. music is by Seth Applebaum. Please help others find the show by rating and reviewing wherever you listen and follow us across all social platforms at @VitusSpehar and @UnderTheDeskNews, also, @LemonadaMedia. If you want more be interesting, subscribe to Lemonada premium only on Apple podcasts.