Friday, December 27, 2013

An Anniversary, 54 Years Ago Today

Today is an anniversary of the most important day in the life of a child 4 days short of her 14th birthday. She was in the Laurentian Mountains, supposedly learning to ski, with special friends of the family. It was December 27, 1959 and a month from her last attempt to take her life. A boy she really liked was teaching her to ski and thoughts of death were not present. One Psychiatrist, the last one, had told her she was the saddest child he had ever met and had then told her she could never be a girl and added several directed insults as to how she would end up. That last session had precipitated her last suicide attempt.

A very scared little girl who found the thought of ending up having to be male so abhorrent that death seemed preferable.  She had no idea what was going to happen and that was deliberate by her mother and the family that was helping. They were going to an event that evening at the Club they belonged to so she was excited but even the ability to be herself for this short time in Quebec could not eliminate the feeling of desperation that ate at her soul. Being born this different does that to a kid. It eats at your very existence when the intensity is this high and she was depressed and assaulted every single day by her need to be the girl she already knew she was.

By itself the evening was wonderful after they arrived. She was able to dance with the boy she liked because mistaking her for a boy was never the problem in her life. The problem was everyone thought she was a girl which was far from pleasant in the late 1950's. She was ill at ease when she met the Physician brothers of the boy's mother because she knew they knew her story, somehow, which made her feel ill at ease and uncomfortable. She was not a boy that looked like a girl, she was a girl that had mistakenly been given boys parts and she wanted them gone.

She was then introduced to this shortish man with a slight German accent and he introduced himself as Harry something but he seemed more interested in looking for someone else in the crowd. The boy took her back to their table and she sat a talked with him. He told her how beautiful she looked but she didn't believe him because how could any girl with her warts be beautiful? It was nice that he said it and she liked him saying things like that but she had little self respect and admitting she was attractive did not fit in her opinion of herself. She felt inferior because she just felt so wrong.

The boy's mom who was her mom's lifelong best friend walked back over to the short German man and said something to him and his head jerked around and for some reason he stared directly at her. She suddenly felt scared and uncomfortable because she was sure he was looking at her because she was a freak which sort of fit her own self assessment.

The boy's mom walked over and sat down in front of her and said something that flew right over her head. It was something about that man helping kids like her or people like her but she was confused by what was said. She looked quizzically at the women she knew as Mary and Mary added, "Sweetie he can help you be the girl you should have been born as."

The shock of those words brought about an audible gasp of, "he can?", and she leaped to her feet to run towards him but with the help of Mary and the boy she was forced to stay seated and told she would meet the doctor after the meal. She didn't touch a drop of her food. All she did was stare at this man that supposedly could help her but she had heard that before from her parents and the multitude of Psychiatrists that had labeled her as a transvestite, faggot, gay, and every other nasty word they could think of. She had been hurt before and letting anyone in would not be easy. He had not been nice, in her mind, when they had been introduced so she was wary.

A little after 9 PM on a Sunday evening she was ushered into a room that had a desk and several chairs that reminded her of several Psychiatrists offices except for the missing books and the walls of diplomas that advertised their obvious belief that they had a clue. She sat down and he introduced himself as Dr. Harry Benjamin of New York City and that meant nothing to her. He might as well have told her he was the Man in the Moon.

Nothing else was said until she asked if he could really help her be a girl and when he nodded silently she let everything out and begged him to help her. She told him everything and she actually became faint and he came around to help her and consoled her by doing what he was famous for. He put his arms around a terrified child and told her everything would be okay. This was the second time she had heard those exact words but the first time from someone who was actually there.

She learned she was a transsexual and that there were other transsexuals but not a lot like her because kids were unusual especially then. She learned the harsh lessons of being born transsexual. She was hurt to learn she could never get pregnant but she could adopt. She was upset that the process would take years because getting the sex change surgery was not easy and 18 was a possibility if he talked with some friends overseas. She was told of the hormones she would take but that kind of went over her head. She learned it was possible to have a vagina which in her mind made her as complete as she could be.

He asked if she would be willing to talk with some other doctors on Tuesday December 29 at a local teaching hospital and she agreed to do it. She would later regret that decision but saying no to him was difficult. After they finished she was like most kids like her. She was disappointed she could not be a girl today or at the latest tomorrow because afterall everyone thought she was a girl and that was affirmed that evening. It just seem logical that she should get surgery and be a girl. Waiting is not something kids like her do well.

She was still confused and upset things would take so long and to her four years was a lifetime. She could not sleep and she did what she had done the previous night, she got up went into the kitchen and got a glass of milk and sat on the coach looking out the glass wall at the lake she did not realize was there and the lights across the lake lighting the surrounding town. She started crying because it seemed every time she thought help was available something happened and she had her doubts about this Benjamin guy regardless of what he had said.

She was interrupted by an opening door and tried to remain quiet but she knew Mary sensed when she was crying in the great room as she had the previous evening.  She talked with Mary for a few minutes and expressed her doubts and worries that this help would evaporate as it always did and Mary left the room and returned with a bag and handed it to her. Inside were vials of female hormones that she was to take. There was Premarin which was the only word she remembered but Mary took several purple pills from a vial and gave them to her. She took them and started down her path to salvation.

The future would contain a horrible rape and the tragic death of the boy she loved but she would survive it all and eventually flourish after her SRS as  just another girl, as just another mother, as just another wife(twice), as just another woman, and eventually just another elderly woman and grandmother. It was all she ever really wanted and in her mind she had won. She had a very successful career in business and consulting but that was never as important as the simple fact she got to be as she should have been.

That is of course me and today was an important day 54 years ago for me because it saved me from me. I have to wonder why something as simple as being the female, girl or woman you should have been is not enough? I left transsexualism in the dust where it belonged but somehow today that seems to not be enough.


Anonymous said...

Perhaps I misunderstand, but why "is it not enough"?

You are so fortunate to be able to remember exact days and places. My recollections are mostly blurred by the passage of time. I do remember certain key moments and events like when I gave my mom the fateful news that I had found a surgeon and would be attempting the miraculous. I remember waking up from that surgery and knowing that now, at last, I was free to live my life as I was meant to. I also remember some of the darker moments as well, but happily they to are but faded old memories.

But not enough? I clearly do not understand. For me, just the opportunity, the remotest chance to make my way in the world, initially as a young woman, then love and marry, raise children and now grandchildren...

What else is there? Yes there was a career and plenty of travel and adventure, but what matters to me the most...what I cherish and will take to my the love that I have shared and the smile on my lovers' face.

Elizabeth said...


You might want to reread the post because once you have SRS IMHO the rest of your life is up to you and that was enough to live the life we should all want. That is more than enough.

Anonymous said...

The key point that leaps off the page to me (and I have heard this narrative from Liz privately) is how the events described here illustrate vividly the points raised in the previous essay. How painful and foreign the descriptive "transvestite" "gay" "Faggot" sound and how painful and damaging they are to the psyche of a young transsexual girl. Transgender and its close association with those descriptive terms does irreparable damage.

When I saw the second psychiatrist 30 years ago now he described my state as "gender dysphoria". It seemed wrong and foreign to me because I have a good command of English and I knew what both "gender" and "Dysphoria" really meant and it was at odds with my own view of what it was that had plagued me all my life.

When only 13 my father said "there are men who like the feel of women's clothing, is that like you" Even as a naive child I knew it was far more. I knew I was a girl but was too scared to speak the words. it was nearly a year before I screamed at them 'I am a girl why can't you see that" I had been interrogated for hours by that time and was tired and angry with myself, hated myself and simply wanted to die.

The term transgender was not in use in Britain in 1962 but if it had been I would have hated it in reference to me as much then as I do now.

Happy anniversary Sis


Anonymous said...


I **exactly** get what you're saying.

Every year I come to my own 'anniversary' day and I am, once again, overwhelmed by gratitude upon remembering how many people were willing to be helpful to me, and how accepting the majority of them were to my subsequent decision to make a long-distance move and (simply) get on with life.

Hugs from afar.....
an (apologetically-pseudonymous) elfchick.

Elizabeth said...


The woman I mention, Mary, lives near me in North Carolina and is a very spry 93. She was my surrogate mom for a while and she acts like one today. Since I lost my mom she has taken that role.

Without her and my mom I would not be here so we are close. I spent XMas here rather than go south to my daughter because I have traveled so much this year I just did not want any more and we had a great Thanksgiving together.

Mary's family came down here and I was part of her family on Xmas day. I will wonder to the day I die what would have happened between her son and me if he had not died when I was 17.

I got what I had to have which was my life as a girl and I am grateful for that every day. I have loved every darn second of it and still do.

Anonymous said...


" I have loved every darn second of it and still do."

Thus and so.

I **did** get to marry my boyfriend: he waited for me to be ready for him, and I am still glad of that, although our marriage ended over thirty years ago (how time flies!). He wanted children; so did I, but adoption wasn't an answer that he could accept.

Yes, the inability to bear children myself still guts me. :( Did end up with two children in another relationship and of course I did my darndest to be a good mum to them, and now I'm a god-mum to three others: it's all turned out to be remarkably good despite the rocky start.

The gratitude continues "every day", as you out it. Other than that yearly reflection, I don't put too much brooding into where I came from and how I got here, because that seems somehow to be unnecessary to the simple daily work of getting on with life (especially the work of being a darned good engineer in a discipline which is mostly populated by bullet-headed men, who weren't all that welcoming to my arrival in their midst).

Some day I should probably tell you my John Money story: he was a character in his own right. He and Harry Benjamin must have occasionally met, I'd think.

Hugs from some other country,
.... an elfchick ^_^

Anonymous said...

@Cassandra: Yes, everything you've said there is 100% spot on. A lot of TG identified people say things like terms like "trapped in the wrong body" and "transsexual" are not appropriate, and that many "transgender women" wouldn't describe themselves as trapped in the wrong body. Not only does the term transgender harm those who are transsexual by being associated with things like homosexuality (though of course, it is possible to be transsexual, and gay), and transvestism, but also by men in dresses (who identify as TG) thinking they can speak for those who are born transsexual, and thereby, erasing the real narratives and feelings of those suffering with transsexual.

I was ostracised from my extended family at 15 years old, when they finally realised they couldn't "discipline" the female out of me. Years before I'd even left school at 16, I knew that life as a man wasn't worth living, and so I wasn't even going to attempt to do that. My family couldn't live with that, so we washed our hands of each other.

I feel my very poor treatment for years at the hands of the medical establishment, can be attributed directly to being seen as a "man wanting to be a woman", and not as a female with the birth defect of being trapped in the wrong sexed body, which is what I'd always knew I was. In other words, I was seen as being "gender dysphoric", rather than suffering with transsexualism, which greatly inhibited my access to appropriate treatment, and SRS. The fact I'd always been a bit of a tomboy, and didn't wear dresses and skirts immediately set me against the medical gatekeepers, who seemingly didn't care that everyone I came into contact with saw me as, and addressed me as female, and that I had never lived life "as a man". All they cared about, was that I wasn't "dressing feminine" enough to really be "trans". So as well as simply not identifying as "trans" just as a natural matter of course, I resent the terms trans and "TG" because being wrongly seen as "trans" has had a very negative effect on my access to proper care and treatment. Finally, after a lot of years, I saw a clinician who agreed I'd been treated terribly by the medical profession which should have helped me. And that I need not undergo a "real life test", as I hadn't been living as a male in the first place. I always thought that never living as a man would work in my favour when it came to access to appropriate medication and surgery, but I was wrong. Just because I didn't come across as a man in drag, I was given a miniscule hormone dose, and no male hormone blockers. This thankfully has since been rectified, and now surgery seems like it will finally become a reality due to access to a fantastic clinician who simply sees me for what I am. A woman wanting to correct a terrible birth defect.

I've never said all this to anyone, even online, but Elizabeth's story has inspired me to do so. You have been through a lot, but I think all of us who are born transsexual, aside from a very few lucky ones, have had to go through a lot of blood, sweat, and tears just to be who we really are. And, certainly from my experience, the transgender phenomena, and men in dresses conflating themselves with women with transsexualism, does direct harm to those who simply want rid of a disgusting physical organ, and get on with life as simply women, free from the baggage and immense weight on the shoulders which is transsexualism. As long as I have this horrid, unwanted genitalia, all I can do, is exist. And I believe this is true of all transsexual females. Only after SRS can we truly begin living.

Thanks for sharing your inspiring story Elizabeth, and hope you had a wonderful Xmas, and that your new year to come is filled with happiness.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing that story Liz, it was very moving and had elements of my own childhood.

Every year when my Anniversary arrives I spend a little time in quiet meditation and I thank god I got through it all.


Elizabeth said...


Harry knew Money but they had a falling out. I have met and been "analyzed" twice by John Money. In fact today December 29 is the 54th anniversary of a meeting I had at a Montreal teaching Hospital with Money, Benjamin and a bunch of doctors where I was the kid on display.

I was too young and naive to have a clue what to say and Money said some things I found very offensive and then tried to touch me inappropriately in a private room later where my boyfriend heard my scream and slammed Money into a wall. Harry saved Money from a beating. He was a pedophile and I assume he saw me as something scrumptious for his perverted mind.

I was on a television show with Harry and Money in 1972 outside NYC and I called him a few choice words on live television.

I have four grandchildren that I spoil rotten and adore. I have always regretted not preventing my boyfriend from going to Southeast Asia and his death. I felt I should have gone to the military and said I was his girlfriend but I knew I would lose him. I know I was only 17 when he died but I loved him. Surgery was planned by my mom in Casablanca with Harry's help on my 18th birthday which is December 31 and my world sort of went to shit when Kevin died.

It all worked out and I have had a good life full of ups and downs like any woman but I do wonder at times.

Elizabeth said...


Hang in there and I am happy you will get your SRS.

Anonymous said...

@Elizabeth: Thank you for replying, and for your kind wishes. I can only hope that today and in the future, children born with transsexualism, will find it much easier to get the appropriate treatment. But I feel whilst transsexualism continues to be conflated with transvestitism, things will always be difficult. That's why Transsexualism needs to be removed from the transgender umbrella.

It's hard for me not to be bitter at the fact that people who had lived lives as men, and probably also had sex and relationships (and maybe even fathered children) as men, were taken more seriously than me simply because they wore dresses and make up. One clinician even admitted to me that had I been a "normal woman", the way I dressed would not be an issue, and my sex/gender would be not be questioned just because I wasn't wearing a skirt/dress or lots of make up. Transsexualism has zero to do with transvestitism, so I was mystified at why they were making such a big thing over how I was dressed. And that is because some clinicians DO conflate the two things. For me, it was never about the clothes, they weren't important. My current clinician agrees that the fact I had not lived as a man should have been an advantage in me getting appropriate treatment, not a disadvantage. I am bitter, and will always be, but at least now I can look forward to SRS and simply getting on with life as a normal female. Life with transsexualism is literally hell, and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. It shouldn't be difficult to see why I hold such anger towards the TG lobby who seem to be prioritising men in dresses' needs over those born transsexual. As long as clinicians are being taught how to deal with "gender confused" people, then some transsexuals are going to fall through the net, and are going to find it very difficult to get appropriate treatment. The fact I had not lived as a man, and that everyone who interacted with me saw me as female, should have been more important than how I was dressed. But to them, the latter was of greater importance. And that is simply wrong. Trans-sexed people are not "confused" over their "gender", and this is something that sorely needs to be addressed within the system.

But as long as there's brave people like you pushing for change, Elizabeth, maybe one day all young transsexual sufferers will have access to early treatment, and can start living a normal life sooner rather than later. Your blog is an inspiration, I always enjoy reading your thoughts. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...


Your experience with John Money squares with mine, as noted; I must also note that I do have a friend who used to work with him as a research assistant, and she report him to have been quite a marvellous and caring person. Maybe one's experience of him depended upon whether he saw someone as being or not being a potential plaything. :\

In earlier writing to you, I had wondered out loud why there were so very few memoirs of Type VI people. Upon reflection, I wonder that perhaps two factors have been at play:

1) We're so busy with getting on with being ourselves, that we simply don't have time or inclination to write down, let along tell, our stories.

2) Stories of Type VI people might not be all that terribly interesting/inspiring/titillating to a general audience, because there's not all that much in the way of 'before' to put into a 'before and after' narrative.

Anyway, happy birthday to you. Sure, I'm a few days early, but that's got to be better than a few days late, ayuh?

**Hugs** from afar,

a quietly-extant, grandmotherly (yay!) elfchick

Anonymous said...

To Anon, clinicians don't meet many transsexuals in your position and frankly too many seem short on common sense. It's like taking a fancy car to a filling station mechanic. You have to find one with a clue.

- an old aunty

Elizabeth said...


If there is one thing I am not it is brave. I am not a hero nor am I a role model. I am just me, a somewhat flawed woman that happened to have a problem at birth that she fixed.

It was fear and not courage or bravery that drove me.

Jessica said...

Mmhmm, well stated by this anon, at 6:59, and 3:18. I'm in the same boat as you-in that I'm transitioning now, and still haven't gotten my SRS cure yet, as well as various medical incompetences. They sure love trying to push that awful TG label on us, don't they? I'd go as far as to argue it's worse than the men in dresses, since doctors, and other medical persons have greater impact, value in people's minds.

Can't speak to your story at large, however, as we are all individuals-from parents, to medical experiences, the same as our goal may be, our experiences are all as individual as us.

And I want to echo this--Elizabeth's story is absolutely inspiring for me, as well. From her adversities, difficulties, to successes, pioneering, and, ultimately, normalcy as a woman.

As for the blog post itself, it's perhaps fascinating about how we learn the necessities of being female (vagina, estrogen) are there, and our absolute elation to such a concept, at a young age. With such excitement however, I see myself reflected back; around the time I learned SRS was possible, I also learned I could not carry. That to this day remains a dull, empty pain within me.

Like you, hopefully at this time next year I can leave the transsexualism in the past, and live as I was meant to...just another normal female in the world.


PS: Congratulations elfchick on being a grandmother! :)

Anonymous said...

@An old aunty: You are absolutely correct. I think the whole problem is, too many clinicians don't see female transsexuals as being "real women", and expect everyone in that category to conform to a very narrow stereotype of "femininity". Those who fit that stereotype are fine, but those who do not, will find it much harder to obtain appropriate treatment than those who do.

To me, it is plain common sense that if female transsexuals are really girls/women, then they will all be individuals, exhibiting a wide range of different tastes, in everything from music, movies, dress sense, and everything in between. Just the same as any other women. All women are not the same, so why do so many clinicians expect transsexual women to be all the same? It is because they do not see us as real women, and do not see us individuals, as women actually are. Lots of females born with the right anatomy are a bit tomboyish, and don't like wearing skirts or dresses, so why do so many supposed "experts" in the field find it so hard to believe that some females with transsexualism would also share these traits?

Before I sought medical help for my birth defect, I did not for one moment think that I would encounter prejudice and ignorance from people who are supposed to be professionals in the field, and are there to help people like me access appropriate medication and surgery. But I learned the hard way, that there are many ignorant minds still, in this field of medicine.

I also now firmly believe that transsexualism sharing the "transgender umbrella" with transvestites, and "transgender women" who claim to be women, but have no desire for female anatomy (and actually enjoy their male anatomy), makes it much more difficult for us to be treated differently from them by the medical profession. Most clinicians dealing with transsexuals, are also dealing with the trans-types I described above, and too many fail to see the massive and fundamental differences between the two things.

I now have a clinician who can tell the difference, and it's hard for me to take that had I seen him when I was first sent for treatment, I'd have had SRS a long time ago, and been living a normal life now, instead of this limbo/purgatory that I've been enduring. He said he knew right away, early on in our first meeting, that I was really female, and that the way I'd been treated by previous clinicians was a travesty. Why were the other clinicians I saw blind to something that to him was completely obvious? Too many clinicians have a one-size-fits-all approach to dealing with thier patients. And I feel until transsexual females who are in desperate need of medical aid and surgery are actually seen as real girls/women by the gatekeepers, more transsexuals will sadly have to endure similar ignorance to what I encountered. Because in the end, I think that is the major difference between the clinician I have now, and the previous ones I'd seen. He sees me simply as a woman wanting to correct a physical defect, all the others likely saw me as a man wanting to be a woman. Of course, none of them called me that directly, but I think it's safe to assume that is what they were thinking, with the way they treated me.

Anonymous said...

@Elizabeth: I know exactly what you mean. It is not brave to endure transseuxlism, because we never had any choice in the matter, and nobody would willingly be transsexual. We fight to be who we are, because we have to, not because we are "brave". I have been called "brave" before, simply for having transsexualism, and that does not sit easy with me. But I wasn't calling you brave for that. You stand up for other transsexuals who are suffering, and are not afraid to tell it like is as regards to the transgender men taking advantage of those who are trans-sexed for their own ends. You long left transsexualism behind, so you don't have to be doing this. And that is what I admire.

@Jessica: The fact that we will never be completely free of male physical characteristics even after SRS, and more importantly, that we will always lack normal female reproductive anatomy, is why I don't really see SRS as a "cure" for transsexualism. For now, it is simply the best treatment we've got available, and losing that useless, ugly appendage will be an immense relief to me.

I have mourned the fact that I can never have my own biological children, and I have come to terms with that, but it still hurts if I think about it, which is why I try not to. That, and the lack of a normal childhood and upbringing as my true sex, are things that SRS cannot fix, or change, so these are things we must come to terms with before surgery.

SRS isn't a magic wand, and living with transsexualism is going to leave most people who endure it with mental scars. The key thing to realise, is that SRS will never make us forget what we've had to endure in order to simply be ourselves, but it does enable us to move on, and forge a semblance of a normal life for ourselves. Good luck Jessica, and I hope SRS becomes a reality for you this year, as I also hope the same for myself.

Anonymous said...

To Anon. The clinicians don't see many actual transsexuals and the great majority they see are late transitioning and TG types. You may have been the first like you they ever met. People are intellectually lazy more often than not. It's easier to try to fit you into a familiar mold than to imagine a new one. It's critical to find a very good resource at the beginning. Local easily found resources are not as likely to be good resources.

- an old aunty

Anonymous said...

@an old aunty: Yep, you are right. I have wondered a few times whether I was the first person like me that my previous clinicians had encountered, and that's why they didn't have the first clue how to deal with me. Too many clinicians, especially the older ones, see dressing in an overtly feminine way as being an intrinsic component of transsexualism. Some still see a link between crossdressing, and being transsexual.

Unfortunately, if you don't have a lot of money, you need to take the limited resources that are available to you. Which makes getting appropriate treatment entirely a post/zip code lottery. Over the years, I've been saving money to fund privately done SRS. But it's safe to say, had the funds been available to me from the start, SRS would have happened in my late teens/early twenties.

There's two solutions I can see to this problem. One, clinicians who deal with transsexual patients, should be dealing with them exclusively, and be trained to deal with their very specific, and unique needs. Or two, if clinicians are going to continue treating both other TG types as well as transsexuals, they need to be trained in the fundamental differences between transsexuals, and all other people under the "transgender umbrella". And of course, they need to be taught that there is no intrinsic link between crossdressing and transsexualism. Transsexuals are already a huge minority in society, and tomboyish female transsexuals like me are a minority within a minority. In a few years time, hopefully things will be better for female transsexuals in my position, but fundamental changes need to happen in the system in order for that to take place.

Anonymous said...

@anon. Good Luck with that one! I've been trying to educate clinicians in the field for some 30 years! It's like teaching pigs to sing, all you do is annoy the pig.

Clinicians don't see and the general public do not see beyond what is deemed birth sex. We even have the current batch of supposed experts who have managed to classify patients born with various physical intersex conditions who were wrongly operated on to supposedly correct the condition classifying that patient as "transgender" and "gender dysphoric" Its a new definition of stupid in my opinion. Quite apart from anything else unless the intersex condition is life threatening a lot of intersex people are quite happy to stay as they are. Most will make a choice one way or the other but the patient themselves are the only ones who can or should make that decision.
However back to the point; Most clinicians will never encounter a type VI transsexual in their entire career a very few will come across a type V most will see dozens even scores of transvestites who will claim to be transsexual. So much of today's science is based on statistics and there is the problem. Until there is a clinical laboratory "test" this current situation will prevail. All any of us can do is continue to speak up whenever and wherever we can.


Anonymous said...

The "real lift test" is a tool to help weed out transvestites who would regret surgery. Dressing in an unambiguous way as a woman is a requirement intended to prevent dodging the requirement. If a clinician fixates on the rule, they forget the purpose. Intellectually lazy authoritarians rarely question the purpose of rules.

- an old aunty

Anonymous said...

More thoughts: When to meet a clinician, ask questions. You must evaluate them at least as much as they evaluate you. Listen carefully to what they say. Listen more carefully to what they don't say. Discover their experience with patients like you. How many have gotten surgery? If they dodge your questions, they likely have little experience. Do you want to pay with your time and money to train them? Ask more questions. Discover their mindsets. What do they believe? It's too hard to change a bad mindset.

- an old aunty

Anonymous said...

@aunty: yes, certainly the real life test was largely about perception, including (in my case) bringing in a copy of my college transcript showing that I'd been attending classes under a 'proper' name (which, of course, made perfect sense).

I still have one of my (now, alas, two sizes too small) jean-skirts from my college years. Back in fashion again, it is, though I'm now rather too dumpy to fit into it.

Le sigh....

one generally-happy elfchick ^_^

Anonymous said...

In my case, because I had not lived as a man, and because everyone I met interacted with me as a woman, I did not feel that there was any need for me to undergo a "real life test". The other, major problem I've always had with the "real life test", is that you're expected to live like any other woman, but with male outer sex anatomy. To me, there's nothing comparable between life as a woman, and life as a woman packing a penis and testicles. You also need to remember that I was not given an appropriate oestrogen dose, and was not given male hormone blockers for the first few years I was attending the clinic. It was only later after aqquiring the internet, and at my own investigation, that I learned that what I had been prescribed, was woefully inadequate, and wasn't normal or standard practice for treating transsexual females. So although, society interacted with me as female, that was certainly no thanks to the clinicians I'd seen, and in fact, was in spite of the treatment (or mistreatment)I had been receiving.

The RLT is supposed to mimic "life as a woman", but as I've said, to me that idea is totally bogus, because generally, in real life, women don't have the massive handicap of possessing male physical anatomy. And to me, that's what I've always seen possession of male anatomy as. A handicap. Do women have to reject romantic interests because the idea of entering a romantic relationship possessing male anatomy is totally unnatural and horrible? Not to mention the risk of rejection would be extremely high even if you didn't see your anatomy as a barrier to a relationship (though I can't imagine how any genuine transsexual wouldn't see it as a massive barrier)? I myself, on two occasions, have pushed away potential love interests, because of my knowledge that I don't possess the correct sex anatomy. Which was highly emotionally traumatizing, and distressing for me. Of course, this is something that women who don't have transsexualism have no concept of, and do not have to go through.

I also feel very nervous, and experience trauma when having to use a public bathroom, which is why I will avoid using one at any opportunity, and would rather "hold it in" until I get home, which I know isn't very good for me. Other people are not aware that I possess male anatomy, but I am aware of it. Every moment I am around other people, I am acutely aware of it, and it prevents me from living any kind of normal life. Again, do the vast majority of women live like this? Of course they don't, and that's why to me, a "real life test as a woman" that involves possessing a penis and testicles is not a true real life test at all. To me, the only way I can live any kind of real life as my true sex, is to be rid of the accursed male appendage I had the grave misfortune of being born with. As I said, the clothes are not the issue and never were, it's what's under the clothes that is the source of the trauma.

The clinicians who fixate on the rule, do forget the purpose of the rule. If people are seeing me as female, and interacting with me as one, what should it matter if my clothing is ambiguous? And ambiguous is the right word, because whilst they are not overtly feminine, they certainly aren't overtly masculine either. And I do occasionally wear female specific clothing, but again, they are not overtly feminine. Living a normal life with male sex anatomy is simply not possible for me, as my dysphoria over having male parts is far too intense to allow that. Am I the first type VI transsexual female that my previous clinicians saw? It wouldn't surprise me in the slightest.

Anonymous said...

This last comment by anonymous, re: the RLT, is an interesting observation because it seems to reflect the "conventional wisdom", (read ignorance), that permeates the current protocol at the NHS and elsewhere.

I have heard repeatedly that any candidate for HRT must, after waiting months for an app't. at a GID, must then, if 'passed' as an appropriate candidate, 'pass' yet another hurdle which is the RLT without HRT.

To me this unnecessarily cruel and not a good diagnostic tool. If on the one hand, the patient is a genuine transsexual they, the patient, are very much aware of the difficulties involved. Having a male anatomy is just one. The facial hair, the voice, the manly stature and the other physical side effects of testosterone make it almost impossible to survive. This is, I believe, the main reason that so many of our sisters are driven to suicide.

If on the other hand, the patient is your typical fetish driven crossdresser, RLT is just a matter of dealing with being "trans" and coping with all those "haters and bigots" who just cannot get behind their new " gender presentation". Hence all the laws against "transphobia".

It is my view that this RLT is just one more bad example of the gender industry avoiding responsibility for the well being of the patient. Instead of actually diagnosing the patient, they simply fall back on the "established protocol", provided by WPATH, (a group of old men with nary a clue), and just hope the patient just lacks the persistence to survive the gauntlet of meaningless barriers and hurdles.

What this "protocol" has done is destroyed thousands of lives and families, and given us armies of persecuted trans-genders, screaming, crying and lobbying for even more 'spshul snowflake' status and entitlement.


Anonymous said...

@Anon2: "It is my view that this RLT is just one more bad example of the gender industry avoiding responsibility for the well being of the patient. Instead of actually diagnosing the patient, they simply fall back on the "established protocol", provided by WPATH, (a group of old men with nary a clue), and just hope the patient just lacks the persistence to survive the gauntlet of meaningless barriers and hurdles."

I have long suspected that my previous clinicians were trying to break my resolve, and spirit. Their angle likely was, denying me appropriate treatment (and access to surgery) would make my ordeal so tough and unpleasant, that I would simply give up, and stop persuing surgery.

Even before I had left school, I had promised myself that I would not attempt to lead any kind of life, unless it was as a normal woman (and I don't regard life as a "trans woman" as being that at all). My reasoning for this was, I did not want my future to involve the people in my life seeing me as "trans", I just wanted to be seen as simply female. I did not want having the medical condition of transsexualism to continue being an albatross around my neck, even post-surgery. So the idea was to access treatment, get surgery, and then start living life as I really wanted to. Now of course,
and unfortunately for me, the NHS system is not set up for dealing with someone in that position. Add on to this my ambiguous sense of dress, and it's probably very easy to see why I was treated so harshly by my previous gatekeepers. Despite the fact that people in general society always perceived me as female.

I have always steadfastly refused to allow anyone to mold me into something I'm not. The whole point of me accessing treatment, was so that I could just be myself, and live life the same as any other woman (barring the reproductive anatomy of course, which will always be a source of anguish for me). I wasn't going to allow my clinicians to mold me into a "tranny", any more than I was going to allow my family to mold me into a man.

Of course, in hindsight, had I known the attitude of the clinicians when I started the process, I might have played along with their ignorance, just so I could get access to surgery (although at the time, I had no idea that my hormone dose was inadequate, and had never even been told about male hormone blockers). But it didn't cross my mind that I would face such ignorance from so-called "professionals in the field."

Because I didn't fit into their narrow stereotypical mold of "femininity", they tried to break my spirit, I am convinced of that. I may have waited longer than I wanted to for appropriate treatment and surgery, but at least once I've had SRS, I can say I achieved my dream without compromise, and never allowed anyone to mold me into something I'm not.

Everything in your above post is spot on, and I think it perfectly illustrates the huge problems with genuine transsexuals having to use the same system which deals with crossdressers, and TGs who don't mind the their born sex anatomy. Only genuine transsexuals suffer in such a system, not the TGs.

Anonymous said...

"I did not want my future to involve the people in my life seeing me as "trans", I just wanted to be seen as simply female. I did not want having the medical condition of transsexualism to continue being an albatross around my neck, even post-surgery. So the idea was to access treatment, get surgery, and then start living life as I really wanted to. Now of course,
and unfortunately for me, the NHS system is not set up for dealing with someone in that position" ~Anonymous, (Anon 1).

And there you have the very root of all evil. Add to that those sorry bunch of over-aged cross dressers and far left political activists you have the perfect storm.

This earlier post might interest you. This is a very sad fact that most of us that have taken an interest are well aware of.


Anonymous said...

^^ I see that as simply one of the many examples of TG males (masquerading as women) talking down to transsexual females, as if they have the first idea what it is like to live with transsexualism.

I never use the word "stealth", as it implies wanting to live life as your true sex as something which is dishonest. The ONLY reason anyone would have the right to know someone's transsexual status is if they were entering a romantic relationship pre-surgery. Seeing as I've never had a relationship, and never will have one pre-surgery, my medical status as trans-sexed is my own personal business, and there is absolutely no need for anyone else to know about it.

It seems clear to me, that deep down, TG "women" know that they really are men, as they are more than willing, and indeed, are even happy to, accept being seen as something other than a real woman. Although disturbingly, I have seen some TGs referring to their male sex anatomy as "female".

This is why transsexuals sharing the transgender umbrella with such people is so damaging for those of us who have a medical condition who simply want to have that treated, and then live life the same as any normal functioning member of society would. TG "women" are happy to wear a big trans badge, which marks them as fundamentally different from real women. And what's disturbing is, they also try and force those who are trans-sexed to wear this badge, when all female transsexuals have ever wanted, is to be the same as any other woman. Again, this is something many TGs have no concept of whatsoever.

People like Monica Roberts haven't got the first clue of what it's like to be transsexual, and therefore, should not be attempting to lecture us, or speak on our behalf. TGs like that talk of transphobia, but fail to acknowledge their own hostility and ignorance shown towards those born transsexual. They attempt to twist or erase the experiences of the trans-sexed to suit their own agenda, and yet we are the ones who are "transphobic?"

As long as people like that are talking down to us (and worse, attempting to speak on our behalf)our road to acceptance within the wider community, is going to be made much more long, and difficult. Which is why I'm a strong advocate for the removal of transsexualism from the transgender umbrella. We are a tiny minority within that, but I still feel in the long term, it is better to be represented by a small body of individuals who know exactly what it's like to be born with the affliction of transsexualism. Better that, than having a far greater number of people misrepresenting us, and making our road to acceptance that much tougher.