Pre-op / Post-op / Non-op

“Pre-op” / “Post-op” / “Non-op”


These terms refer to what gender-related surgeries a person has had, plans to have, or does not want to have. Pre-op (pre-operative) means the person plans to or wants to have some form of transition surgery but has not yet. Post-op means they already have had some form of surgery and may or may not be pursuing more. Non-op refers to transgénero people who do not desire any gender-related surgeries. These terms should not be used to define a trans person nor should they be applied to trans people without their consent.

Due to the ways various oppressions work, access to transition can vary widely between individuals and between countries. While these terms are used by the trans community, we at the Primer have put them in scare quotes because they are seen by many as too focused on medical transition and thus using these terms is seen as contributing to the medicalization of trans people. So generally they should not be used by folks to describe others.

e.g. Bobbie was dismayed when her doctor referred to her as “pre-op” despite her having no intention of pursuing surgery.

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