What's your ultimate goal for your transition, if you have one? If you do, how did you figure out that was your goal? (I mean, ideally, would you get any surgeries, any other procedures, etc.) Do you think most people have a goal for what they want out of their transition, or are most people you're aware of just kind of feeling it out as they go along and explore new options? (I'm not insinuating any answer is right or wrong. I'm curious as to the thought process to pursuing or forgoing the various options available.)
Wow this one is a big question, Anna.
So I wanna preemptively say that I'm gonna try REAL hard here not to put words in the mouth of any other trans person because we're all on our own journeys, ya know?
I think the number one goal, and I certainly hope this is true for any trans person, is peace. We just want peace with ourselves and our bodies. I can't speak to the experience of my friends who don't have dysphoria so keep in mind my answer here is from the perspective of a person who lives with gender dysphoria.
I think trans folks start out with a list of like "these are the things that hurt me and If I changed these things about this body, I would not hurt this way." I know it was the case for me and a lot of other trans women that I know that I felt dysphoric about my body shape, hair, and particularly my chest. But also it is a more holistic kind of dysphoria where, when I looked in the mirror I didn't see the woman I was expecting and every day she seemed further away — those things I mentioned were just what stood out to me. And as i've dealt with "bigger" problems I've been able to move my mind to equally important problems (like eliminating my facial hair) that were hidden by the other things that I saw in myself.
Medically speaking the goal here is to eliminate my gender dysphoria. So my transition is not really successful until that happens, or has mostly happened.
So yeah, absolutely given unlimited budget I would have a lot of different surgeries. I am getting other procedures like laser hair removal right now, in fact. I have to wait a while to see what the hormones I'm taking will do to my body before I start modifying it surgically but I anticipate that I will have both top and bottom surgery (breast augmentation and vaginoplasty, respectively) in the future. Or that's the hope.
Now I understand your question was medical but there is another thing I wanna add to it here which is like.. transition isn't just about our bodies, it's about our identities. My body is part of my identity, sure, but so are my name, pronouns, and everything else about me. My name is every bit as important to my transition as my hormones and any surgeries I might have.
As for whether or not folks have this firm road map of what they want to do. I don't think so? That's not been reflected in anyone I've spoken to about it. A lot of transition is just.. wait and see. Am I going to be ABLE to get hormones? Will my name change go through? Am I even a decent candidate for surgery? You just have to wait and see about so many things before you can decide what's next. So I think yes and no. Folks usually have loose ideas of where they want to head, but the steps to getting there are often not what anyone expects.