Jay determined as a lesbian for quite a few decades prior to connecting with the transgender group and finally going through gender-affirming major surgery at Spectrum Health in 2020. (Taylor Ballek | Spectrum Health Defeat)
At age 35, Jay took the subsequent move in his life toward becoming a transgender male. He connected with Amie Hop, MD, a surgeon at the Spectrum Health Thorough Breast Clinic. (Taylor Ballek | Spectrum Health Conquer)
Jay hugs Kimberly Texley-Quigg, NP, an LGBTQIA+ safe and sound and affirming service provider who operates closely with Dr. Hop. (Taylor Ballek | Spectrum Health Conquer)
Dr. Texley-Quigg commences to tear up as Jay tells her and Dr. Hop that he now feels like his lifestyle has begun given that his top rated surgery. (Taylor Ballek | Spectrum Health Conquer)
“Everyone’s tale is different,” he said. “For me, it was an epiphany of what’s missing.” (Taylor Ballek | Spectrum Health Defeat)
“Jay is a perfect example of the self-assurance that men and women can obtain when their human body aligns with their identity,” Dr. Hop reported. “Numerous periods we see clients submit-op who mild up. Their electricity is so favourable.” (Taylor Ballek | Spectrum Health Defeat)
“Dr. Hop and her team are the sweetest bunch of individuals I have experienced the means to appear in make contact with with,” Jay said. “My lifetime did not get started until eventually I met Dr. Hop. And now the rest of my lifetime has begun at age 35.” (Taylor Ballek | Spectrum Health Beat)
Comics are a person of Jay’s passions and one thing he knows significantly about. “Darth is of course a single of my favorites, too,” he reported. “I have a tattoo of him that I acquired on Star Wars Day.”
(Taylor Ballek | Spectrum Health Conquer)
Jay also enjoys his motorbike. “I have been close to bikes my total everyday living,” he explained. “This one is great and loud.” (Taylor Ballek | Spectrum Health Conquer)
Jay not long ago enrolled in faculty and is contemplating starting a little company with his spouse. “We get and sell pallets full of merchandise and sell them at flea marketplaces,” he stated. (Taylor Ballek | Spectrum Health Defeat)
In continuing to far better his lifetime, Jay also had bariatric surgery a number of months soon after transgender major surgery. “I was around 300 kilos,” Jay mentioned, hunting back at outdated images. “I endured from overeating and consuming much too a great deal.” (Taylor Ballek | Spectrum Health Conquer)
His mother handed away about 8 a long time in the past, which led Jay to some soul-browsing. It was difficult for his mom to take the simple fact he was gay, but she and his sister, Judy, loved and accepted him when he arrived out. (Taylor Ballek | Spectrum Health Defeat)
“Mom generally hated that I was a tomboy,” he said. “I was into boy issues. I sat like a boy and walked like a boy. But I did obtain tremendous adore and assistance from my mother and sister together the way.” (Taylor Ballek | Spectrum Health Defeat)
Jay mentioned he wishes he could have been in touch with his emotions before in life, but points then weren’t as progressive in the planet as they are now. “I couldn’t see my future due to the fact I could not see myself in it,” he mentioned. “And now I can.” (Taylor Ballek | Spectrum Health Conquer)
Jameson “Jay” Dunn was born in 1984 as Amanda Dunn.
He enjoys all factors Legos, toys and movie games.
And he also loves bikes.
He rides a shiny, black-and-white Yamaha Street Star 1700 that has large handlebars. He wears a leather-based vest, and he has an amazing array of tattoos on his arms, upper body and upper physique, including one particular of the Continue to be Puft Marshmallow Male.
And as quickly as you satisfy him, he’s pretty much selected to greet you with a giant bear hug.
“I’m a hugger,” Jay claimed, climbing off his bike soon after a latest sunny afternoon journey.
He and his spouse, Jill, stay in Kalamazoo, where by Jay functions in surgery reprocessing. He sterilizes and cleans applications for surgeries—surgeries like gender-affirming leading surgery, which he is aware of a lot about.
Jay claimed he was a single of three openly gay individuals in higher faculty.
“Growing up gay was difficult on me and my finest good friend,” he said. “A good deal more of our men and women came out a lot afterwards in lifetime.”
Jay discovered as a lesbian for a lot of a long time prior to connecting with the transgender community and lastly going through gender-affirming top surgery at Spectrum Health in 2020.
“Everyone’s tale is unique,” he said. “For me, it was an epiphany of what is missing.”
His mother handed away about eight a long time in the past, which led Jay to some soul-browsing. It was challenging for his mom to accept the reality he was gay, but she and his sister loved and acknowledged him when he came out.
“Mom often hated that I was a tomboy,” he reported. “I was into boy points. I sat like a boy and walked like a boy. But I did acquire huge love and support from my mom and sister along the way. My wife Jill is also my greatest toughness and supporter—she’s my pillar of energy.”
But then just one working day, he said it just hit him.
“I’m trans,” he said.
‘The future step’
Transgender leading surgery was the to start with step that would turn into a lifetime-shifting process for Jay.
Dr. Hop stated she remembers meeting Jay for the initial time.
“He would often come into the clinic with such a significant smile,” she mentioned. “He’s a confident and robust particular person. And his positive mind-set is contagious.”
Preparing for surgery included consultations with Dr. Hop, as well as assembly particular clinical necessities.
The surgery took just 3 hours. And recovery was somewhat quick—one to two weeks for most clients.
“Most individuals can do their possess treatment at dwelling starting the working day soon after surgery,” Dr. Hop reported. “And at two weeks, many are again to normal things to do with the exception of significant lifting.”
Preparation for surgery will come with a great deal of safety measures: no smoking, for illustration, as nicotine hinders the therapeutic method.
Following surgery, Jay necessary drains on his incisions for around a thirty day period, alongside with putting on a binder—a tight-fitting leading to compress the upper body.
“I did not truly get to see myself for two months because of to bandages,” he claimed. “But when I finally acquired to see it, even though the scars and incisions were rather gnarly, I was extremely delighted. To see myself flat-chested was just incredible.”
‘Perfect case in point of confidence’
Dr. Hop said these techniques are critical for several explanations.
“Jay is a fantastic instance of the self-assurance that people today can achieve when their entire body aligns with their id,” she reported. “Many situations we see patients write-up-op who gentle up. Their vitality is so constructive.
“This can advantage so many factors of their existence, like their psychological outlook, self-self-assurance, associations with their loved ones and mates, and their technique to their plans and overall health.”
In continuing to better his daily life, Jay also experienced bariatric surgery a few months just after transgender prime surgery.
“I was above 300 pounds,” Jay stated, looking back at outdated photos. “I suffered from overeating and drinking too a great deal.”
He would get rid of much more than 125 lbs on his prolonged-term health journey, which included life-style modifications together the way.
Jay reported his outlook on lifestyle now is that bad matters transpire just about every working day, but you just want to preserve waking up every working day and continue to keep seeking.
“Some days I’ll get so pissed off I’ll cry,” he explained. “But you just have to keep placing just one foot in entrance of the other.”
Jay not too long ago enrolled in college or university and is thinking about starting up a small company with his wife.
Double J’s Pallet Finds is the thought.
“We get and market pallets entire of merchandise and sell them at flea markets,” he mentioned. “My wife likes the pallets, and I’m into getting and advertising Legos.”
He has a “bat cave,” packed complete of parts and parts. He options to keep on setting up and making, right until they find a place to launch the small business.
Comedian books and bikes are his enthusiasm, and some thing he knows much about.
“I have been all around bikes my complete existence,” he said. “This a person is awesome and loud.”
His preferred comics are Batman and Deadpool.
“Darth is certainly just one of my favorites, as well,” he mentioned. “I have a tattoo of him that I acquired on Star Wars Working day.”
In respect to transgender top rated surgery, Jay describes the practical experience as just daily life-transforming.
“Dr. Hop and her workforce are the sweetest bunch of persons I have experienced the potential to appear in make contact with with,” he said. “My existence didn’t start until eventually I achieved Dr. Hop. And now the relaxation of my existence has begun at age 35.
“I can acquire on the world now,” he explained. “The self esteem I have is just wonderful.”
Jay explained he needs he could have been in touch with his emotions earlier in life, but items then weren’t as progressive in the entire world as they are now.
“I couldn’t see my upcoming due to the fact I could not see myself in it,” he reported. “And now I can.”