Across the country, there’s greater visibility of the transgender community than ever before—but that comes alongside alarmingly high rates of violence perpetrated against trans men and women, especially those of color. Society has a long way to go in terms of creating a safe, accepting environment, but there are rays of hope: growing destigmatization of gender dysphoria is leading more young people than ever to report transgender identity, and thanks to more comprehensive insurance, Medicaid, and Medicare coverage, gender confirmation surgeries are on the rise.

Whether you’re looking into procedures or educating yourself in order to become a better ally, here are seven important things to know about gender confirmation surgery—according to three leading surgeons in the field.