Stupid. No make that stupid beyond words. Might as well just commit suicide.
Unregulated silicone injections have long been a concern for trans health advocates, but it’s spreading to other parts of the LGBTQ community — and it’s claiming lives
By Joseph Darius Jaafari
November 29, 2018
Rob Waltman tried to tell his partner, Peter Dovak, he looked fine. He didn’t need to look any different. He especially didn’t need to inject himself with silicone to look bigger.
“Peter had the worst body dysmorphia out of anyone I ever knew,” Waltman tells Rolling Stone. “For years it was me shooting him down when he wanted to get silicone injections. He wanted to go to Mexico to get it done because he was too squeamish to inject himself and I sure as fuck wasn’t going to do it.”
But eventually Waltman gave in, and Dovak went to California to get his first injection in early 2017.
By November, Peter was dead.
Four years ago, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons witnessed a disturbing and deadly trend among those within the trans community: many were injecting silicone into their bodies to achieve the perfect curvy look. But the trend — coined “pumping” — has continued to be a cause of concern as it makes its way to a group called “injectors,” which is a subgroup of “gainers,” gay men who want to appear larger. But there are dangers to the illegal practice, as often it’s not just silicone being injected into the body. And now, the gay community is calling for more visibility on the practice now that two internet-famous gainers within the last year — including Dovak — are dead.
Among trans women, silicone injections are a well known way to achieve the ultimate body: curvy butt, thick thighs or larger breasts. But over the past five years, there have been a number of news reports exposing “pumping parties,” where groups of trans women pool their money to get injected with silicone, and the practice has now become more underground and more risky.
And much of that has to do with what’s being put in the mixture, which many times is unknown by those who receive the injections. In one Florida woman’s case, tire sealant and cement were both injected into her face.
It makes health experts reticent to even call the mixture “silicone,” at all.
“When people come in and say silicone, they don’t really know what they mean because it could be anything,” says Asa Radix, senior director of research and education for Callen-Lorde in New York City, an LGBTQ-focused health center, adding that some of his patients even had quick cement or peanut butter injected in them. “You’re desperate to change your body, people will go through great lengths [to get that done].”