My Child Wants a Double Mastectomy and I’m Not Sure How to Accept it

The Japan News

Dear Troubleshooter:

I’m a homemaker in my 60s, and I have a daughter, who is in her late 20s.

My daughter said she is a sexual minority who is not sexually attracted to others. She also said she doesn’t like her feminine body and wants to get a double mastectomy in order to have a flat chest. Apparently, she can return home the same day.

I was glad she told me beforehand. It doesn’t seem like she wants to become a man, but more that she wants to get rid of her sexuality. I was readily able to accept her wishes.

I told her, “As a parent, I can’t be totally in favor of it, but if this is the decision you’ve made after careful thought, then I won’t oppose it. The rest is your responsibility.”

I understand why she wants the surgery, but a part of me wonders whether she really needs it or if she’ll regret getting it. My daughter is the type to think things through, so I don’t think she’ll change her mind.

My husband is hard-headed and doesn’t get along with our child. It likely won’t go well if she tells him, so she doesn’t intend to talk to him about it. He probably wouldn’t even notice a difference if she got the surgery.

I’m not confident if I’m doing the right thing as a parent.

Q, Kanagawa Prefecture

Dear Ms. Q:

I’m sure it was surprising to hear your daughter’s confession. I think it’s amazing that you were able to accept your child’s feelings and not immediately reject them outright.

Your daughter’s strong will is clear from your letter. It is probably very reassuring for your child to have an understanding mother.

A long time ago, people were criticized for “damaging the body they received from their parents” just for piercing their ears. Now, people will get plastic surgery to achieve their ideal physique. It doesn’t seem to be as big of a deal as it once was.

It might seem strange for someone of your generation, but I think it’s good to continue supporting your daughter’s decision.

Talk to your child further about whether or not she should tell her father about the surgery.

If your daughter goes through with the operation, don’t treat her any differently.

There is still a strong prejudice against sexual diversity, and the reality is that life is difficult for sexual minorities. I hope there will be more people like you, who are there for such individuals.

Masahiro Yamada, university professor