The Doctor Is Out

Trinidad's transgendered sex-change surgeon knows what her patients are going through.

Although her own background is a strong plus with some patients, others initially regard Bowers with some skepticism. "It's like your kid brother doing well for himself," she says. "There's a belief that there's so much personal tragedy in this kind of journey that you couldn't possibly come out of it unscathed. They feel I must have a few thorns in my body, too. Then they meet me, and I'm pretty normal, and that surprises them."

Bowers says another transgendered doctor is currently finishing her plastic surgery residency in Philadelphia and has expressed interest in an SRS practice. Other specialists have been building practices in cities ranging from Montreal to Scottsdale, offering an increasing array of services, including facial feminization surgery. But the demand for the procedures continues to outpace the available number of qualified surgeons, she says.

"I've actually gotten an e-mail from somebody in Iraq," Bowers says. "I could only offer advice from afar. They're certainly not going to have much support if they do anything there."

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