The first objection people have to the whole concept of gender reassignment surgery (what people used to call "sex change" surgery) is, "What if that person is just going through a weird phase? What if they get all this done and then change their mind? What if it's just something they're doing on a wacky dare?"
Well, it's not like nobody has ever thought of that. Gender reassignment surgery is a massive, totally life-altering process that we'll cover in just ... so much gross detail shortly. It's such a serious procedure that the first step involves proving you really, really, really, really want it. The World Professional Association For Transgender Health advises patients to spend at least a year living and dressing as the gender they'd like to transition to. This is called real-life experience. Nora lives in the Netherlands, where gender reassignment is covered by government-mandated health insurance, and an extended period of RLE is mandatory there:
"I had to wait out a six-month list to see a psychiatrist for a minimum of three sessions before I could start hormone-replacement therapy, but only if I could show I was going to start living as my gender."
"If you're not comfortable living as a woman, maybe labia aren't right for you."