Wednesday, August 06, 2008

August Update 1

My family and I have recently returned from a trip to Scotland based around Oban. We found the slower pace and single base more relaxing than our usual marathons and we all came home satisfied and refreshed.

I wrote to my MP a while ago asking for a ruling on the issue of using prosphetic breasts when travelling through airport security. Their reply is shown below.

The aviation security measures put in place following the terror alert of August 2006 were in response to a very real and serious terrorist threat, which continues. Their primary aim was to prevent prohibited liquids from being taken into an airport's Restricted Zone. I should point out that these regulations were not developed in isolation and other Government departments (including the Department of Health) were consulted.

Guidance provided to industry at that time was that silicone bras were permitted if there was a medical need; for example women who have had mastectomies. Following consideration of your constituent's case we will update our guidance on silicone bras to include transsexual women in transition from male to female. I would strongly suggest that when travelling through an airport your constituent takes with them supporting documentation from a relevant qualified medical professional.

Nigel found a news item concerning the attitude of radical feminists towards transsexuals, notably their opinion that Sex Reassignment should not be allowed. Some people who had gone through Sex Reassignment only to find out that it was not what they wanted after all, gave their opinions in support of the feminist point of view. Nigel asked me to read it and reply. My reply is reproduced below, with Nigel's permission of course.

None of the arguments expressed are new to me. Simply put, seven months ago I reached a point in my life at which I had no prospect of a future with any significant quality of life. The path I am taking may not solve this, for some people sex reassignment does not provide a solution. I sincerely hope that I am not among that group. If I am, then I am a person with a problem for which there is no solution and my future will be a world of mental pain and anguish until my dying day. Other potential solutions have been tried by others, for example, hypnosis, aversion therapy, electric shock therapy, male hormone therapy, partial lobotomy, all of these have been shown not to work. Sex Reassignment does work for some, the number quoted to me is 98%. The people who quote this number may have a vested interest in painting a more glowing picture than reality but even if the number is 50% or 40% that is better than no chance at all. The internet gives the individual the chance of telling their own stories. Many people who go through sex reassignment find that they have new problems as a result, most notably the stress related with the non acceptance of us by other members of our cummunities. This is something I confront daily and yes sometimes I do find a quiet place at home, curl up into a ball and wait for the anguish to pass. As I have said before in a previous email to you, before starting my transition the world was at peace with me but I was not at peace with the world. Now, I am at peace with the world but the world is not at peace with me. I am hoping that the world will one day be at peace with me but so far as I am concerned, even if this does not happen I am already a happier, more content, less angry person than I was before. I have moments of angst now, but before the mental anguish filled every waking moment and some of my dreams too. The loss of my male genitals is a very minor issue, my reproductive days are over and even in the worst case scenario it can be reversed, contrary to popular belief. Self analysis has become a habitual part of my life, I have tried to imagine putting the trousers back on, cutting my hair and pretending to be a man but each time I try the thought experiment I am left with a feeling of horror. The points of view of the feminist activists are political points of view and irrelevent to me. I don't know how the transsexual comes to exist, I don't know whether we are born or a result of our experiences and from my point of view it does not matter. My problem is real now, I have to deal with it and I am dealing with it now, how it came about is not relevent to me, only to future generations.

Did you ever watch X-Men 3. It may sound like a strange question but if you have watched it or do watch it there is a section of the plot which resonates with me. The mutants are offered a cure which when administered will remove their mutant powers and turn them into normal human beings. Many mutants object on the basis that they do not have a disease, they don't need a cure, they are functioning human beings capable of contributing to their society who need only the acceptance of the rest of humanity.

I would not be me if I had not suffered (for want of a better word) gender dysphoria for my entire adult life. I would be an entirely different person. To cure me in the X-Men meaning of the word would be to murder part of my self and change me into someone else. For me that is horrific. On the other hand, if transsexuals could be identified in early childhood and cured before the transgendered part of their character came into existence perhaps that would be more morally acceptable although there are deaf people who considering a cure for all deafness in early childhood consider the application of such a cure as a form of genocide.

I am a female person, I am not stupid, I know that I will never be a woman as the majority of the worlds population define that word. I am a transsexual woman and I can strive to make myself as close a facsimile of womanhood as is possible for me. This is what I am doing. Just by making this decision and persuing this course I am able to function in a more normal fashion. There is space in my life once more for my interests. editing Wikipedia, canal restoration and other stuff which 7 months ago I could not do; there was not space or time in my waking life for anything accept gender dysphoria and my failure at the time to address the problem.