I’ve been out as queer since my teens and started transitioning in my early twenties. It was at that time that I got my start as a drag performer. I currently work in commercial real estate finance. My hobbies include all things fashion and beauty, playing classical piano, and singing.
How did you find your surgeon? What were the specific reasons you chose him or her over other providers?
I was fortunate to find Dr. Liu through my primary practitioner. I consulted with several other surgeons but I chose him because I loved his natural results, gentle demeanor, and compassion.
What type of procedure did you have and why did you decide to have this procedure?
Facial Feminization Surgery ( FFS) including a Brow lift, Rhinoplasty, and Fat Transfer to the upper lip and cheeks.
I was fortunate to have been born with feminine features and never really felt the “need” to pursue FFS. That said, I always felt a sense of dissatisfaction with my face as it felt too “hard” for my femininity. As I grew older and started to lose facial fat, I began to notice more male features that I wanted to address. When I had my consult with Dr. Liu, he listened to my wants attentively. I still wanted to look like me, albeit refined, sophisticated, and elegant. I wanted the essence of old Hollywood or a classic painting; pure, striking beauty.
Describe your surgical experience and recovery.
Dr. Liu exceeded my expectations on every level. The minute I woke from surgery I was already LIVING for the flatness of my brow. I kept feeling how there was no longer a ridge (just started doing this again right now, lol) and I could already see the improved outline of my nose. When Dr. Liu sent me the after-surgery pics I was GAGGED. My profile was perfect and my nose was exactly as I had requested. It was still aquiline, yet more feminine.
Honestly, my recovery has been a bit more difficult than I anticipated. I ended up with a hemorrhage in one eye that is still healing, and there has been more soreness than I expected. Nothing too crazy though. I had GRS when I was younger, and that honestly was a cakewalk for me so I had anticipated this would be even easier. Now I can tell it will take a little longer to heal from this surgery. However, even with the swelling, I’m so in love with my results already.
What were your fears about having this procedure and how did your surgeon help you overcome them?
I think everyone has a fear of being “botched” but I felt very safe with Dr. Liu from the start. I consulted with other surgeons and they showed me pictures of nice results, but Dr. Liu was the first doctor that I felt a true connection with. I knew I was going to be in great hands with him and I really wasn’t scared going into surgery, to be honest.
Describe why you are happy you chose this procedure. How has it positively impacted your life? Your self-esteem?
Even though I’m only a few weeks post-op, I immediately felt a weight off my shoulders that I didn’t even know had been there. I realized that for the past decade I had just been “okay” with how I looked because I had always passed well enough without surgical intervention. I think to a degree didn’t want to proceed with FFS until I found a doctor that I felt safe with and who could deliver the delicate results I wanted.
Living in the city I walk everywhere and I no longer feel anxious while walking around. Previously I would’ve been concerned with lingering eyes, but now that’s all just a thing of the past. I can be out in the HARSHEST of lighting and still feel beautiful. I have so much more poise and confidence now and that’s allowed me to be more present in myself. Others have commented how much “lighter” I seem already. I can’t wait until I heal more as I know I will then be even more powerful in my femininity.
Tell us specifically about why you are happy you chose the surgeon you did? Describe his/her most outstanding qualities.
Dr. Liu is my Michelangelo. I was a beautiful piece of marble already and he has now carved me into literal walking art. I will forever be indebted to him for his artistry. In addition to being an artist, he is also so gentle, kind, and funny. I’ve loved our interactions. I almost cried when I had my nose cast removed and he told me that he had been really looking forward to doing my procedure. Dr. Liu absolutely changed my life and I will forever be his hype queen.
How did our staff support you in your surgical experience?
Y’all are amazing people! Dr. Liu’s patient coordinator, Porcia, was awesome. She got my insurance approval and surgery dates squared away without issue. She helped make the entire process so easy. Susan, his nurse, was so kind and patiently answered all of my many questions. The anesthesiologist was also super kind. The entire staff has always been so sweet and they’ve always hyped me up in some fashion. Everyone on the Polyclinic Plastic Surgery team has been a dream, to be honest.
Do you have any advice for others who may be considering this procedure?
Go to Dr. Liu, period.