The transgender community, particularly transgender women, have often resorted to black-market silicone injections in order to achieve a more feminine appearance. While there is definitely a significantly high level of risk in undergoing this type of procedure, as well as it being illegal, it seems to be a risk many individuals have been willing to take.

qnotes sat down with Kysha Wellington, a transgender woman who has undergone black-market silicone injection procedures as well as having been a provider of these types of procedures for more than 20 years.

Wellington, 45, and a North Carolina native said she was 16 years old when she had her first silicone injection procedure, which was her breasts. Having already been on hormone therapy for a number of years as well, bestowing natural feminine attributes, she said she didn’t require very much silicone in order to obtain her desired cup size.

“After getting pumped, my breasts were about a B cup,” Wellington said.

When asked what prompted her to get her first silicone injection procedure, Wellington replied by saying, “that her drag mother at the time had promised to pay for her breasts to be done as a birthday present.”

Undergoing any type of medical procedure is always a bit scary, but having a black-market silicone injection procedure performed by an individual who bears no medical credentials and lacks the necessary training for such an invasive procedure? Not to mention being completely conscious with no type of anesthesia or pain medication. One might think that an individual would be much more nervous prior to having this type of procedure done.

However, Wellington said she wasn’t the least bit scared and that she doesn’t recall experiencing any type of pain during her procedure.

“I was so excited, I don’t even remember having any type of pain,” said Wellington.

As an up-and-coming drag performer and an increasingly popular icon in the gay community, Wellington began having these types of procedures not to necessarily look more like a woman for her own personal reasons, but to help her to become a performer of higher caliber.

“After a girl would get pumped and then go perform on stage, the kids in the audience would gag at how they looked more like a real girl,” Wellington said. “After winning my first pageant, I realized it was much easier to look better in my clothes if I actually had the body to fill out the garments that I would wear.”

According to Wellington, having these types of procedures done was a rite of passage for many transgender women, as well as drag performers. It made it easier to portray a feminine physique without having to wear prostheses, such as foam padding for the hips and buttocks.

Over the years, Wellington said she has undergone four procedures of silicone injections: having had her breasts, hips, thighs and cheeks injected with silicone.

While Wellington initially began having silicone injection procedures to promote her image as a drag performer, she said after venturing into the adult entertainment industry she learned that having these types of enhancements made her more appealing to her male clientele.

“Bigger is better for the clients,” Wellington said. “So, I continued getting pumped in order to please my male clients who sought out transgender women that were more feminine and passable.”

According to Wellington, there is an array of different contributing factors to why transgender women pursue having a black-market silicone injection procedure. As mentioned, for her, it was ultimately to appease her audience as a drag performer as well as to be more marketable in the adult entertainment industry. Which, according to her, are the two main reasons why transgender women have these types of procedures done.

Wellington said that many people are very rash when making the decision to have these types of procedures without considering the risk that comes with it. And, from what she’s observed in her community over the years, she said she feels that individuals are usually not motivated to get procedures done in order to achieve a certain look for their own personal contentment but to appease other people.

Gender dysphoria is a condition where an individual experiences discomfort or distress when their physical appearance does not match the gender with which they identify. That said, for a transgender woman, having certain changes made to the body can often alleviate the symptoms that coincide with this type of condition. However, from what qnotes has gathered from Wellington, having silicone injections is something that many transgender women pursue not to alleviate their symptoms of dysphoria, but to obtain the approval and admiration of others.

The idea of having any foreign substance injected into an individual’s body would lead most people to believe that no matter what precautions are taken, it would be potentially dangerous to an individual’s health. Although, Wellington said that both black-market, as well as professional plastic surgery,  carry the same risk in some cases.

“The difference between black-market and legal procedures is when someone goes to a hospital to have a procedure done, they’re signing their life away,” said Wellington. “If they die on the table, which many people have, then the individual who performed the procedure is covered because the patient signed documents relieving the medical provider of certain liabilities.”

Wellington said she doesn’t regret having her silicone injection procedures done, and that she’s been fortunate enough not to experience any type of complications. But as a local celebrity within the transgender and drag community, she said she does her best to implore the younger generation of transgender women to truly consider their reasons for altering their body, whether it be through the means of black-market procedures or by having professional plastic surgery done.

“If you’re going to put your life on the line to achieve a certain look, at least do it for the right reasons,” Wellington said.

While many people perceive black-market silicone injections to be a procedure that is primarily pursued by transgender women, in recent years it has become increasingly common for cisgender women to have these types of procedures done.

After going through an extensive legal battle as a result of being a provider of black-market silicone injections, Wellington made the decision to no longer provide these types of procedures. However, she said that in the last 10 years she spent as a black-market silicone injection provider, the vast majority of her clientele were cisgender women.

“Transgender women aren’t the only girls getting pumped with silicone,” Wellington said. “Whether it’s an issue of money or merely wanting a shorter recovery time, a lot of genetic girls are veering from traditional plastic surgery to the black market for their work.”

As black-market silicone injections are becoming more common in mainstream society, it is growing increasingly more appealing to the masses, thus perpetuating the trend of these life-threatening procedures. While these types of procedures may be a great deal cheaper than going to an actual plastic surgeon, the element of risk of having a medical procedure performed anywhere but in a sterile environment by a certified medical provider, is just too great.

Apparently, that hasn’t stopped generations of women to pursue having these procedures done.

Why are black-market silicone injections so dangerous?

Black-market silicone injections have been quite common among the transgender female community for decades. However, these life-threating and illegal procedures have become increasingly popular with cisgender women as well, with the buttocks being the primary region of the body of which women are having those injected.

One would think that the possible dangers which surround undergoing these types of procedures would ward off an individual from doing so. For starters, when someone allows an individual who is not a licensed medical professional to perform any type of invasive procedure, the risks are already extremely high. Furthermore, in terms of black-market silicone injections, an individual really has no way of knowing exactly what’s being injected into their body, as there have been many cases of fraudulent practitioners concocting all sorts of toxic substances and calling it silicone. To name just a few they are: car silicone, vaseline and other petroleum-like substances.

In the event of having actual silicone injected freely into the body, a host of complications can arise, including: pulmonary embolism, infection, kidney failure, nerve damage, chest pain, breathing trouble, and in extreme cases, death. When silicone is injected into the body without any sort of barrier, it has the capability to migrate to other parts of the body, which not only carries life-threatening implications but can also cause an individual’s body to become extremely disfigured.

One can protect themselves best by going to a legal, licensed medical practitioner.

Photo Credits: Berchtesgaden via Adobe Stock (insets); nikilitov (sidebar)