Does a FTM Post-Op Bare Chest Photo Count as Nudity? Facebook Thinks So

Canadian Dominic Scaia, who had his breasts removed in November as part of a gender reassignment surgery, uploaded photos of his post-op chest — sans boobies — to Facebook to show off his mound-free chest. But just hours after changing his profile picture, he found his account disabled. Uh oh!

“Since it’s a male chest, I didn’t see a problem with it,” Scaia says. The site, which Scaia has been using for three years and where he identifies as male, includes this note in its terms of service: “You will not post content that is hateful, threatening, pornographic, or that contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence.”

Which means we’re about to get into a whole discussion about what constitutes lewd photos! “This isn’t just about a Facebook account,” he says. “This is a discrimination issue, and it doesn’t just affect me; it affects all trans men, because if this happened to me, it can happen to them too. All it takes is someone reporting a photo.”

This is the post-op photo he uploaded to Facebook on Dec. 20, shortly before his account was disabled:

The most likely scenario: Someone flagged Scaia’s pic as inappropriate, a Facebook moderator agreed, and there went the account. But if men are allowed to publish photos of their bare chests on the site, why not trans men?

So far, Facebook isn’t answering questions — thrown at them by both Scaia and reporters — as to why the account was disabled.

But it has us all the more intrigued by how various social networking sites treat gender, as evidenced by these screenshots uploaded by UnionSt:

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  • Missanthrope

    This is bullshit. He’s had surgery, he clearly has a male chest.

    Even then the rule baring women from showing their chests is prudish and silly as well.

  • Fitz

    I think that a private business is allowed to set it’s rules.

  • Ben

    @ Fitz

    Would you be equally unmoved if Facebook started arbitrarily disabling the accounts of any gay man who had a photo of himself hugging or kissing another man?

    It’s not that you don’t care. You just don’t care if you personally aren’t affected.

  • graham

    One more reason why I’ll never use Crackbook.

  • Cam

    In fairness to Facebook, at first glance because of the scars resembling shadows, they looked like breasts to me, also his armpits are seem shaved, so to me if I was just taking a fast look at the pic it looked like a woman. I’m curious to see what Facebook does next on this one.

  • j

    Um, sorry for being ignorant but why are his nipples that colour? And maybe its because of his weight (and not his gender) but he does indeed look as if he has breasts.

  • Mike L

    @Michael W.: Well the op he’s refering to is just the removal of the breasts.

    OMG you’re so blunt and rude.

  • Mike L

    @j: Probably from swealling and bruicing the surgery still looks pretty fresh. Also they might have probably had to reduce the size of the nipples b/c they might have been bigger when he had breasts.

  • Ben

    @ J
    In the weeks or months after masculinizing chest surgery, the reconstructed nipples often scab over and look like that, ie very dark brown or black.

    These scabs later dry up and flake off like any other scab and leave the nipples looking much more normal.

  • Michael W.

    @Kian: Transphobic? What the hell, I don’t know how this stuff works and just wanted some answers for goodness sake.

  • terrwill

    Shows how these companies kowtow to the frightwing lunatics. In many countries it is perfectly legal and accepted to walk down a street with your tits flopping around bare chested. Does facebook have differing rules for each country? Or is only because they are afraid the lunatics will get up in arms if there is any views of tits that they have their panties all bunched up?

  • Alexander

    @Michael W.: “Scrape all that out”? Wow, that’s a horrifying image (and more than a little funny).

    @terrwill: I agree! Titties out, regardless of gender! Let’s see them milkers, ladies! I mean, if I have to see flabby old men with B-cups walking down the street shirtless, why not get a nice firm B-cup on a lady to cleanse my pallet?

  • alan brickman

    they’re nudes and facebook doesn’t host them….another fame whore…

  • Alexa

    Wrong, Alan. 1) he has pants on, therefore not nude. 2) men post shirtless photos all the time and facebook doesn’t care. 3) if facebook hadn’t suspended his account nobody other than his friends would have seen them, so how is he a famewhore? Unless you think anyone fighting discrimination is a famewhore?

  • Fitz

    @Ben: No Ben, it’s perfectly ok for me that a business makes rules about who they serve. I have my own criteria about what I do, too. FB isn’t the place for those pics. I do wish him well. Oh, and BTW: is that a typical post op result? Does it get better over time? Cuz, I would be pretty pissed if I went through that pain and expense and didn’t get a more aesthetic result!

  • dontblamemeivotedforhillary

    I’m more mad that Facebook thinks breastfeeding is obscene! To defend FB (nicknamed FuckBuddy by some) for it’s throngs of queer cruisers tired of truncated torsos and hustlers, it’s nice to know someone’s human interests rather than the photo they’ve been using since 1996!

  • John Raymond Barker

    I hope Facebook educates itself about transgendered people.

  • gladys

    That, is hideous. No one needs to see that…

  • Shannon

    I agree with Fitz. A private company should be allowed to implement it’s own policies.

    It’s not like Facebook is some kind of evil monopoly. It’s a free social networking site. If you don’t like their rules you are free to patronize the infinite number of other social networking sites that are available.

  • Chuck Bass

    She still looks like a chick with small boobs.

  • Lime


    It is easy to stay stuff like that when you don’t know what you are talking about. Please respect people’s gender identity.

  • wmcarpenter

    @naghanenu: I’m speechless.

    As a matter of fact, this whole comments section is pretty disconcerting. Who knew there were so many ignorant trolling pricks on this site?

  • Lesbian*Pride

    WOW, I cannot believe we live in a world that is so filled with ignorent people. What if this was your child? you parent? your best friend? would you label them a freak? a disgrace? would you disown them for choosing to be happy and live their lives to the fullest? You are the ones who should be ashamed, you are iggnorent and small minded. “God choose whitch one you are” was in a comment. God gave us freedom the right to choose what we wanted for ourselves in life, and as it happens sometimes people are born into the wrong bodies, the sucide rate is alarming for people who are treated just like this being mocked and made to feel like freaks of natures. “insides scraped and gutted” I asume some of you know nothing about these type of operations and the hell they must endure before they will even be considered to have this done. They are better then you, you know why? beacuse they are not small minded assholes and dont call people down from being themselves!

  • RJ

    @naghanenu: Sure, I can educate you about the third type! In fact, there are lots of types of sex and gender, widely recognized by anthropologists, biologists and MDs for many, many years.

    There’s the Hijras of India, the Fa’afafine of Samoa, the Winkte of the Lakota… the list goes on! The Bugis of Indonesia have three sexes and five genders.

    What about the good old USA, you ask? If you’re not counting Indigenous people (and I assume you wouldn’t, since you’ve shown yourself to be, well, pretty gosh-darn ignorant), there have still been transgender and gender-variant people here for hundreds of years. Billy Lee Tipton was a male jazz singer in the 30s and 40s who was born female. He was also a proud father. There were also a lot of transgender people at a little thing called Stonewall back in 69. Maybe you’ve heard of it?

    If you’re into defining people solely on their genitals (this one goes out to all of you claiming he’s “still a girl”… I’m sure you “check” all of your loved ones and everyone you meet before you believe their identity, too), I have good news for you too! There’s this little thing called intersexuality. That means that about 1 in every 100 babies is born with anatomy that isn’t clearly male or female. True facts! Though highly stigmatized, it’s more common than you’d think. A lot of intersex people go through many years of their life not knowing about their intersex condition, because their “difference” is internal or hormonal. If you’re lucky, you might be intersex yourself!

    This is all irrelevant to this fella who’s being told his chest ain’t Facebook friendly, though, because he’s not a third (or fourth, or fifth) gender or sex. He’s a dude. He’s a dude, and you (and Facebook) need to get the fuck over that fact.

    Do five minutes of research before you spit your hateful bile, and have fun explaining to your grandkids, or whatever future generation you come into contact with, that you were a total transphobic asshole but, hey, you didn’t know any better.

  • Lesbian*Pride

    Oh and as for the weight comment, are you serious??? do you know the over-weight population across the world? Dom is an average size male, I have seen 500 pound plus people on facebook showin off there goods and nothing was done. Maybe you should look into a mirror and see who the really ugly one is making the iggnorent comments

  • dannyal

    Oh, RJ… :(
    why did you have to educate Naghennu on this matter? I would’ve preferred if he stays dumb… now he’s just become a bit smarter.. :(
    I just didn’t see the point in explaining all these things to someone who’s so clueless about this issue – to think you would’ve at least understand just a tiny bit when you frequent Queerty.

    “If you’re lucky, you might be intersex yourself!” Hahah, it would be so funny if those who mock transgender people turned out to be a hermaphrodite themselves without realizing it. lol.

  • Eric

    Quit the trans hostility, friends.

  • Lime

    Being transgender is never a choice. Transphobia is. When will facebook learn?

  • Ian

    wow, so much transphobia from gays. it’s pathetic.

  • naghanenu


    I am shocked and embarassed. I am sorry that i did not know there were more than two gender types. Wow!!!!

    I apologise if i offended anyone but i was thinking based on the genitals you are given. I did not think that it made sense to refer to the psychological perception of what you think your gender is…as that is a disorder in itself. Please see the link i got this from here..http://www.transsexual.org/What.html
    I am also sorry for referring to anyone as a freaky but you got to admit i was only referring to the mutilated and scarred body. It is disgusting to display yourself that way and well it can be seen as disturbing for many people. I was disturbed and i can imagine Facebook was as well. I cannot go around showing my just operated body parts and expect not to get a reaction.

    Also just because you feel you are a boy does not mean you actually look like one. Everyone i showed that picture to just assumed it was a chick trying to gross people out. Trannies should take this to mind as well. If a trans person shows their not-fully transitioned body,people will freak out. Its not a nice thing to see

    Im just sayin!

  • simon

    They are still female breasts. Her chromosomes are XX (female) and her breasts are XX. Being female breasts, they are sexual/reproductive organs.

  • jason

    I wish all the best to Dominic. It’s difficult going through the gender re-assignment process. He seems to have come out of it with his sense of humor intact. Perhaps facebook should have contacted him personally about this sensitive issue before shutting down his account.

    All the best, Dominic.

  • Me

    So, it’s a chick that got a titty reduction? Right? What if some other chick got implants and wanted to show them off too? Facebook would pull them, but then would they be considered heterophobic? What if it was a lesbian?

  • Sherry


    By your logic, a transwoman showing her breasts is really appropriate. Obviously, XX and XY doesn’t always determine gender.

  • David D.

    While this is not the most efficient or effective place to educate people about trans issues, clearly it’s necessary. So, while you’re here and if you’re wondering:

    1) Someone who has identified as FTM is male. Just as someone who has identified as MTF is female, regardless of the parts they were born with. No ifs, ands or buts. It is no different from someone who identifies as gay. We who are gay understand that we are born gay, that it is not a choice. Similarly, someone who is FTM is not a woman choosing to become male. They’re male. End of story.

    2) Someone who is FTM is male, regardless of what stage of surgery they’re at, and whether they choose to have any surgery at all. Trans surgery is a highly personal issue, and its effects and results are highly personal as well. For some it is hugely validating, for others it is traumatic and fraught with compromise. Someone who is FTM does not “need” surgery to become male–they are already male–but may need or desire surgery to better realize the person they wish to be and wish to be perceived as being.

  • Michael W.

    @David D.: Can a FTM still have children? Does the surgery do anything to disable that, or can they go.. I don’t know, MTF someday in order to bear children if they wish?

    Also do they take male hormones or something? Does surgery do anything to suppress female hormone production? Will a FTM still go through menopause?

  • Sherry

    There is so much confusion and ignorance here. Gender identity is different from sexual orientation. A transguy might be attracted to women, men or both. Heterophobia is not the opposite of transphobia.

  • Ben

    @wmcarpenter: Any trans person who has paid any attention to this site knows that the moment a trans issue gets mentioned, the queer bigots come out to play.

    Apparently there are a lot of bitter old queens out there who have been so warped by their obsession with their own oppression that they jump at the opportunity to belittle, deride, and mock those they see even farther below them in the social order.

    @ Michael W.:

    There are numerous answers to that question. An FTM who has not undergone a hysterectomy/oophorectomy could still bear children if they were to undergo estrogen hormone treatment for several months in advance to the pregnancy. A majority of transmen, myself included, would never even consider this. But some have. There was a bit of a media frenzy over the “pregnant man” Thomas Beattie, who bore a child because his wife was medically unable.

    The period of estrogen treatment and the subsequent pregnancy is usually insufficient to fully redevelop feminine secondary sex characteristics, and I assume most trans men who do bear children immediately return to their usual testosterone regimen afterwards. So, they do not “revert” back to being female.

    Most trans men undergo hormone therapy, which typically consists of a weekly injection of testosterone to imitate the amount that the average man produces naturally, in order to develop male secondary sex characteristics such as a deep voice, body and facial hair, and a more masculine pattern of muscle and fat distribution. Based on the photo of the person above, he has either not yet started undergoing hormone treatment, or is only very shortly into the treatment (like normal puberty, hormone treatment takes several years to be fully complete, and trans folks continue the hormone therapy for the rest of their lives in order to maintain these secondary sex characteristics).

    Surgery to remove the uterus and/or ovaries will suppress female hormone production but will not supply the necessary testosterone, so hormone therapy continues with or without that surgery.

    A trans guy will not go through menopause if he is on testosterone or if he has had his uterus and/or ovaries removed.

    After a few years of hormone treatment and chest reconstruction surgery, most trans guys are indistinguishable from ordinary guys on the street.

    Here are a few examples of trans guys:





    There is a wide spectrum of what FTM guys look like, and not all of them look like the guy pictured in this post.

  • Jadis

    +10 to Ben! The anti-trans sentiment here is pretty revolting.

  • Michael W.

    @Ben: What an enlightening post, that’s exactly what I was looking for. Thank you.

    Wow at those pictures. I seriously can’t believe they used to be women. If I saw a couple of those guys on the street, I’d be all over them. It’s a bit scary to me that plastic surgery and hormone therapy and all that has gotten so good. I’m happy for transgendered individuals of course but it… I don’t know, I guess I had comfort in believing I could spot a trans person but I was clearly wrong.

    I now feel like I have a better understanding of our trans brothers and sisters. I really had no clue about any of this and I personally don’t know any transpeople (unless they’re hiding it), but I’ll hopefully get to change that in the future.

  • Ben

    @ Michael W.

    No worries – a lot of people feel pretty smug about their ability to “spot the tranny” because the ones they spot are the ones who aren’t very far along in their transition. And of course they have no idea about all the ones they don’t spot! As a trans guy myself, this is slightly irritating because in a way it reinforces the stereotype that all trans men are short with high-pitched voices and wide hips, and conversely, that all trans women are freakishly tall with bad wigs and deep voices, when that simply is not the case. But it is also a bit of an ego-boost to see the shocked looks on people’s faces when they learn that a very attractive, masculine guy is trans, or a very beautiful, feminine woman is trans.

    My close friends and family all know that I’m trans, but many of my acquaintances haven’t the slightest clue. It’s nice to be socially perceived as male, which is how I feel inside, but at the same time it would sure be funny to see the reactions of some of the people who would never suspect I was born with a female body.

  • graham

    I’m really in awe at the level of ignorance and bigotry in these comments. I’m glad that Ben and others have taken the time to try to enlighten people.

    I’m a male, and I was born that way, but I have a friend who is FTM and had breast reduction surgery. His chest is now flatter than mine is! I’m actually kind of jealous. He has a shirtless pic on his Facebook page and nobody has ever said anything about it. I’m sure that Dominic’s chest will flatten out eventually, too, and nobody will know that he used to have breasts. It takes time. The results don’t happen overnight. It can take months for the post-op swelling to go down.

  • Yuki

    I’m going to have to agree, honestly, that I can see how it may be construed as lewd. Since it’s so soon after the process, they still look somewhat like breasts. I can see where Facebook is coming from.

  • graham

    @simon: “Being female breasts, they are sexual/reproductive organs.” No they’re not. The glands have been removed. He wouldn’t be able to breastfeed with them.

  • graham

    @Yuki: What about obese men who have big B-cup (or larger!) breasts? How come Facebook hasn’t removed all of those and disabled their accounts? It’s a double standard.

  • hyhybt

    @graham: breasts aren’t ‘sexual/reproductive organs’ anyway.

  • zenflo

    Re: Nos. 32 and 45: Good point on No.45.

    Also, the reference to only women’s breasts as sexual organs might infer that men’s breasts — be they be ripped or Rubenesque — are thus not.

    Well, sometimes they are!!!

    Blushingly Yours,
    Nervous Tit-ter

  • zenflo

    Well, yes, No. 47 HYHYBT has a point, and most likely, two.

    I worked from the punchline up and lost clarity as a result.

  • John Raymond Barker

    It never ceases to amaze and disgust me to see some gay people behaving no better than the bigots that oppress them.

    Seriously–being gay or bisexual, enduring name calling and ignorance from homophobes, but not seeing the absolute insanity of behaving just as viciously towards transgendered people.

    Grow up and educate yourself.

    Applause for those of you who do not behave like this.

  • Biki

    I do not understand the hatred of transpeople on this site! There is enough bigotry to go around for all of us. Hard as it is to come out of the closet? Imagine trying to explain to people that you are androgyne.

    I think a lot of this trans bashing by others on this site is due to the treatment in general that LBGTQ are subjected to daily. Everyone needs someone to pick on to feel better, and the trans are a very small group, and we are easily bashed.

  • B

    No. 20 · Shannon: “I agree with Fitz. A private company should be allowed to implement it’s own policies.” … not so fast – Facebook is located in California, and is thus subject to the Unruh civil rights act as a “public acomodation.” It is illegal for Facebook to discriminate on the basis of a number of criteria.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unruh_Civil_Rights_Act has a discussion of it and a very short summary: “All persons within the jurisdiction of this state are free and equal, and no matter what their sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, language spoken, disability, medical condition, marital status, or sexual orientation are entitled to the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges, or services in all business establishments of every kind whatsoever.”

    A business can set policies, but those policies may not discriminate on any of the criteria mentioned in this act. While someone at Facebook may have misinterpreted the pictures, and hopefully any mistake would be corrected quickly, that does not mean that Facebook or any other California company gets to do whatever it likes.

  • romeo

    I don’t have much of an opinion about this one way or the other, though I do think Dominic looks like a woman in that shot and might have waited until the procedure is more complete.

    However, I do think that transpeople are overreacting to the comments made here. I’m not seeing gays bashing transpeople as much as I’m seeing transdefenders bashing gay people. Jesus, you’re acting like some of the bi’s that come in here to let all the gays know how much they hate them. WTF?

  • graham

    @romeo: Maybe you need to re-read the comments. I see several that seem transphobic and trans bashing. Some of them are obvious, some of them are vague, some of them are thinly veiled. Some of them aren’t trans-specific but are simply personal attacks on Mr. Scaia for the way he looks. Some of them are just ignorant and probably aren’t *meant* to be hurtful, but are hurtful nevertheless. I certainly hope that Mr. Scaia isn’t reading these comments.

  • romeo

    @ Graham: Just checked out the posts here. Why don’t you do the same? Like I said, transdefenders bashing gays, not even bothering to see what’s on here. You want understanding, then give it. Otherwise, fuck off.

  • Kian

    @romeo: where exactly are the gay-bashing comments? Oh, do you mean criticism and being called out for transphobic comments? I didn’t know that was considered gay bashing…

  • Duncan Behines

    lol So many of you are missing the point. Too funny. A bunch of idiots.

  • John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)


    Some have been flagged and taken away. If you follow the comments, you will that they don’t make sense.

    For example Nethangu said a comment that was rude and people responded to it but if you see, the comment was taking away bu Queerty, so it looks weird when people are making a comment to it.

    Also Michel W also made a comment that was taken away right at the start and people responded to it. Again it looks odd because Michael W’s comment is not to be found.

  • Jean

    Does it really matter if they are breast or not. Although Facebook is a private company and may decide to do as they like. They are unlikely to change their decision. Beside who say male breast is any more decent than female breast. Whatever they decide they should make it sound levelled and reasonable. In this way they would be fair to everyone.

  • Traviona

    i find it funny all the people gay and str8 say she was born a woman so they are female breast mtf should stand up for ftm but going topless and making these ppl question themselves

  • Alex Michael Reeves

    Hello Fellas, I myself am an young trans-man and being as how my parents let me do what i wanted i have been sense i was 4? ive always acted and dressed like a male cause i am a male. end of story. I dont get mistaken of female ever, infact i told a few other trans-men that i was trans and they thought i was making fun of the cause i pass so well, but anywho Im alex michael reeves, you can talk to me if you want :)

  • Cassandra

    @Alex Michael Reeves: Hey Alex. I’m so glad your parents are supportive. Are you on puberty suppressive therapy? That sh*t is amazing! Don’t let the haters get you down.

  • Lush

    Huh, at least Digg seems to have the right idea.

    This is completely absurd, and whoever reported it was probably doing it just to be a douchebag. Nobody is going to complain on FB if there are a pair of tits staring them in the face.

  • Eleanora

    I don’t really know what to make of this. I am definitely in favour of transgender rights and can understand how this is viewed as discrimination. But the pic offended people and that is essentially the issue – at least to facebook. If you saw a fat guy squishing his moobs together and enough people reported it I bet it would get taken down too.

  • Castiel

    I’m much more appalled by the commentary than the actual article itself. I know it’s an old issue (the article itself having been posted back in January of last year), but still. This is for anyone who might see this now.

    I don’t understand how on Earth the ‘LGB’ portion of the LGBTQIAetc. community could forget or outright shun the existence of the rest of the community, especially when we ourselves know how it feels to be left out, forgotten, hated, and/or spit upon.

    It’s disgusting and disheartening. We KNOW. We know how it is, yet here we are, pushing the same hate and oppression we ourselves are receiving onto the rest of our community, whether it’s strictly out of ignorance, or out of sheer spite. Why? You know how it feels to be treated exactly like this, so why would you do that to someone else?

    Educate yourselves, and spread LOVE, ACCEPTANCE, and RESPECT, not hate, ignorance, and bigotry. Isn’t that what we’re fighting for anyway?

  • Alex

    I’m ftm and in the early stages of hormones. Nothing wrong with this picture, but maybe he should’ve waited for a while for this to heal up a bit.

    The rest of the world is yet beginning to accept the trans community, and IMO, we should go about this gently so as not to overly shock them. Something that doesn’t seem appealing to them will immediately get shot down. Although I know we shouldn’t care about what they think, I think gaining acceptance should be a bit more diplomatic so that things will go smoothly. I envy this dude, though, can’t wait til I get my surgery! :)

    Understanding goes both ways. We can’t expect to be understood if we don’t understand where they’re coming from.

    Btw, if you really wanna see gays spewing trans hate, look up dirtywhiteboi on Google and find her blog.

Comments are closed.