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‘Balding nerd dysphoria’: Elon Musk’s alleged hair plugs resurface as he wonders why people get gender-affirming care

Hair implants and breast reconstructions are gender-affirming too.


Claire Goforth


Posted on Jun 14, 2022   Updated on Jun 14, 2022, 3:54 pm CDT

The potential future overlord of Twitter recently expressed confusion about why transgender people receive gender-affirming surgeries.

People quickly pointed out that many cisgender people regularly receive gender-affirming surgical procedures and medical care—including (allegedly) Elon Musk.

The nation is in the grips of a wave of anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and legislation, much of it targeting transgender people, particularly children.

As of March, Republican-led efforts in 15 states have outlawed or restricted gender-affirming care, according to the Williams Institute. Numerous others have proposed and/or passed other legislation aimed at restricting the rights of transgender and nonbinary people, their families, and medical caregivers.

Some of these bills include criminal penalties or potential loss of parental rights.

Conservatives have continued escalating such attacks. Matt Walsh of the Daily Wire is one of the standard-bearers of the transphobic movement. His crusade against the transgender and nonbinary community culminated with the recent release of a transphobic “documentary.”

Musk shared his thoughts about gender-affirming care in a comment on a tweet about the documentary.

Musk wrote, “We are simultaneously being told that gender differences do not exist and that genders are so profoundly different that irreversible surgery is the only option. Perhaps someone wiser than me can explain this dichotomy.”

In response, Twitter users dunked on Musk for reportedly getting procedures that helped him present as more traditionally masculine.

Sabrina (@abelinasabrina) commented, “Cis people get more gender-affirming surgery than trans people do.”

The tweet included side-by-side images of Musk in 2000 with male pattern baldness and a more current photo of him with a full head of hair and a narrower face.

In Body Image

It’s widely believed that he received at least one surgical hair transplant. Musk has not confirmed whether this is true.

Others made the same point about his hair.


Breast reconstructions and implants are also extremely common gender-affirming surgeries for cisgender people. @DearSplenda noted that over 100,000 women receive breast reconstructions annually, many after mastectomies due to breast cancer.

Others pointed out that cisgender people (those whose gender identity conforms with the one they were assigned at birth) are similarly more likely to receive hormone replacement therapy (HRT) than transgender and nonbinary people. HRT is commonly used to counteract the effects of aging, such as menopause or to correct hormone deficiencies.

Some cisgender men use testosterone to help boost their masculine profile, essentially affirming their gender in the same way.

“Guys are definitely always guys but they just need more testosterone!” one quipped sarcastically.

Joe Rogan has long been open about using HRT. A decade ago, he reportedly said, “I take human growth hormone and testosterone. I go for hormone replacement therapy.”

Other commenters shared their reasons for receiving HRT, such as polycystic ovary syndrome.

People flocked to the comments to dunk on Musk.

“Balding nerd dysphoria,” wrote one.

“This is such a great example of straight cis people getting gender affirming operations,” @ginatonicnyc said of Musk’s presumed procedures.

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*First Published: Jun 14, 2022, 3:51 pm CDT