March 9th International Transsexual Awareness Day

    • 19 posts
    February 27, 2007 6:35 PM GMT
    It should be and, just maybe it could be.
    I know that as a pressure group it is a difficult situation - we do need protection in so many areas even though so many of us do not want to be transsexuals.
    BUT !!!!
    It was on March 9th that the very first legal 'sex change' operation took place - after which nothing was ever the same again. Surely this date would be an ideal one on which to forward awareness of our needs.
  • February 28, 2007 10:03 AM GMT
    I have noticed how I have changed from a beautiful woman into a heap of crap within a few seconds after I have told about my past. So, I´m not very convinced about educating people on this stony field.
    Instead of saying "Oh, you have that kind of a past? That proves that you are just like any other human being " they scream: "Aha, so, you are a man".

    Sorry, but I don´t believe we can change much. Best for us with a trans past is to mingle and keep silent as much as possible.

    • 588 posts
    February 28, 2007 11:04 AM GMT
    I would have to agree with you Laura. The way i'm thinking there can be no question of really educating people as long as we are defined as mentally disturbed. Which certainly is what the GID diagnosis says. And Transsexualism too, as it is listed with other personality disturbances. It's a real problem, i think, that the medical profession tends to define any anomaly as an illness. Some experiences i've had tells me there is a growing awareness though, that transsexualism is not a mental illness. But then again, they were all women, the ones i have met , being aware... So.. i actually think we would serve our case better by celebrating March 8th, International Women's Day. But i see nothing wrong in commemorating that day after... Perhaps Women's Day could have been extended into a three days celebration...

    • 588 posts
    March 1, 2007 8:12 AM GMT
    There just comes a point when something has to be done; there is simply no other way to survive.

    In that perspective i really think every single one of us must find out how we can do it the best way for ourselves. At times i have been pretty tired of the ones who are too preoccupied with passing. Last week i said so to the gender therapist i have been talking to since autumn. And she agreed with me that the too great weight put on appearances by some of us just makes it more difficult for the rest - at the GID clinic too, as it tends to taint the perception of what the RLT should be about. Certainly not about passing.

    I'll admit my chances, personally, of passing are small anyway. And then it works that way - something must be done. Being honest about who we are, it's the minimal thing. Still, the RLT is no guarantee of getting treatment in my country as the health professionals in charge does not consider it necessary to survive. I was told so in quite plain terms more than a year ago, by the chief psychiatrist at our clinic: Whether we are fullfilling the RLT or not doesn't matter. It's up to the doctors to decide freely if we need the treatment or not, regardless of all. Personally, I would of course prefer the US system. I would have outed myself at some point anyway. At 6'4'' the idea of passing is more or less an illusion. A delusion, perhaps i should say.


    When i am agreeing with Laura, it's because i think there's a major difference between being perceived and thought of as a woman and as "suffering from transsexualism". A lot of people are tolerant towards minorities of different kinds these days. Which is not the same as to say they are agreeing with our self perception. And if she really is met regularly the way she says, by disclosing her past, i guess i might have become more cautious too.
  • March 1, 2007 10:28 AM GMT
    Lucy, you say: "Maybe they haven´t met any transsexual person before." Maybe you didn´t get my point. I have used myself as an example, so in me they have met a person with a trans past and I have seen their reactions. As I said I turned from a normal woman into crap.
    That´s why I don´t believe in "showing them a good example". Then, what about telling them that anyone out there can have a trans past? What would that cause? Probably some would start to look around more suspiciously on people around...if this or that possibly has the mentioned past.
    There has been incidents that genetic tall women have been attacked at because suspected to be transwomen. Do we wish this?
    I think for us average transwomen it is totally okay that people think that transpeople look like perverts in a dress. We are safer that way.

  • March 1, 2007 11:57 AM GMT
    In Finland our organization Trasek has been active in the preparation of the legislation concerning the legal, social and other problems of transition. And very successfully. We might have the best trans law of the whole world. But we have kept otherwise a very low profile, which I think is wise.

  • March 1, 2007 1:48 PM GMT
    I cannot live instealth, simply because I have a long career behind me. I was kind of famous as an architect already in my male role and mentioned as such in many books, which will stay in libraries for my lifetime. And the architect branch is limited, we are a small country, nearly everyone knows somehow the others. So it was a surprise to me to learn that there are three M2F architects in Finland. And I know just me. That shows the fact that even if you know nearly all the other architects you don´t know their past, be it then you have studied with them in the same place at the same time. That shows also that we seem to pass fine and mingle well.
    Certainly about the half of my collegues know my past and have even had the opportunity to follow closely my transition. Some of them have said to me they are happy to have the opportunity to be able to follow the process so closely. Today I have the feeling most of them have kind of "forgotten", they take me naturally as a woman collegue, men open doors for me. For my collegues my life has been a lecture about this phenomenon. They know how it is in reality.
    For that reason I have done my part in this education. Since I pass well as a woman, also in the phone, I have no real drive to bring this matter into the public. But, I´m always ready for the personal support for those who follow. I have left my phone number to the Trans Support Centre and they have alarmed me already a couple of times. Once I went into a prison to visit a transsexual set under arrest.
    I have given two interwievs in magazines and I have written a couple of articles about transition in magazines.

    • 588 posts
    March 1, 2007 1:49 PM GMT
    I think for us average transwomen it is totally okay that people think that transpeople look like perverts in a dress. We are safer that way.
    Perverts in dresses ? It's really a shit attitude. And who are they supposed to be ? Wouldn't that be about the same as Magnus Hirschfeld, the first great pioneer within transgender care, at a party in 1920's Germany ? He was gay and supposed to be a tranvestite too, and with heavy hair on his upper lip ? No doubt a lot of germans at that time thought of him and the likes of him as perverts in dresses. You're welcome.

    • 19 posts
    March 5, 2007 1:24 AM GMT
    I have just been posting elsewhere and felt that I should add the same comment I added on that site - I do not wish to be a transsexual as an objective but as a stepping stone to uniting my inner gender with my outer appearence.
    I too felt that I was unlikely to 'pass', being 6ft tall and of medium/large build until I realized how demeaning that was to females of that build trying to survive in this world.
    I am delighted with the comments, conversation and issues this posting has raised. I have found that I have been well accepted in transition with most people having an incredible and well meaning curiosity -and fear that I would be angry being asked to answer their queries. Other people have been more afraid for me than I have been, and it has also been friends that have caused most of my self consciousness. at least I know what to expect when a sentence starts 'I am not embarrassed of you but.......
    Finally - and it must have happened to you girls - why do men stick both feet in it when, in all innocence, and after I tell them what the real life expreience means they tell me 'my god, youve got balls'
    • 588 posts
    March 5, 2007 5:49 PM GMT
    All i'm saying is height can be a major problem when it comes to passing. There's a limit. I'm 6'4'' and living in a country with many tall women. Still, i never have met a woman my height. If i had the face of a woman i probably could have been passing, as i am of a fairly light build. But i don't have that. I may be androgynous, but that is not good enough at the gid clinic. I could try to disguise my features of course. But it could just make me look worse, regardless of gender. My female gender therapist agrees with me. And according to her my attitude reminds her more of many transsexuals much younger than me. We should not let some predefined look be forced onto us. I was happy to hear that of course. But it made for some problems at our gid clinic. Some additional problems...
    • 19 posts
    March 5, 2007 7:26 PM GMT
    I fully understand that bit Sabina. We can only do our best.
    I too had articles published (travel) and then worked in film and tv before studying to be a teacher. I read some comments and applaud them, but cant help feeling that I shouldnt be made to feel embarrased - when asked I always tell people that I am having a sex change not a frontal lobotomy, What limited skills I possess I hope will be enhanced and less confined.
    • 588 posts
    March 6, 2007 4:35 AM GMT
    Personally, I would of course prefer the US system.

    After reading Trisha's last post here i came to see my comment as at best uninformed... It's truly difficult to know how things work in a foreign country. And obviously, a system with an underbudgeted tax financed clinic is preferable to a system with no public finance at all. My opinion anyway. I should have said i prefer the UK system of course, as the Charing Cross clinic has no monopoly on the treatment of transsexualism, as far as i know, and self inititated HRT is an option. Which makes for a different dynamism than in my country.

    In general things may be even worse than i thought in the US. This morning I read something about teenage boys killing homeless people. Not to difficult to imagine how things could be for transsexuals then. I have a sister living in NY, but after an idiot comment she made a couple of months ago, comparing the US system favorably to the norwegian one, i more or less had enough of her. According to her things seem so much better in the US, and our health care system a mess. I sent her a message saying the major mess i've had over the last two years really may have come from my family, including my two sisters. According to the chief psychiatrist at our clinic about 25% of the ts patients need some therapy, not for the transsexualism of course, but for mental problems mostly caused by non-supportive family, friends and/or work environment. My guess would be more than 25% of the patients my age fall into that category. The kind of thing no system can entirely cover for. General awareness obviously is the only remedy.

    I think it's important to note too, that for children awareness usually is of a very concrete kind - like seeing is believing. Which has made me think sometimes that if i had been less self preoccupied in my twenties and thirties and more aware that ts children still are suffering the same way i used to do, i would have felt ashamed not to be more open about my identity and my sexuality. I may have felt forced to take a clearer stand. In that perspective i would say the idea of hiding really is a shameful one, and that we have an obligation to do whatever we can to be open about our condition.

    • 588 posts
    March 6, 2007 7:52 PM GMT
    I'm kind of disappointed now. After checking my height with a metric conversion calculator it turned out i'm no more than 6'2.5'' But then again, perhaps i really can become the invisible woman after all.
  • March 7, 2007 5:28 AM GMT
    I´m tall, too. But in spite of my size, 186cm, I pass well. So, the size is only one factor in passing.
    Here you see me with my collegues and can notice our size difference.

    • 588 posts
    March 7, 2007 8:54 AM GMT
    I remember your picture from last summer. I didn't make any comment then. But you really do look like a woman. Just shows how much the face can mean. And the not too broad shoulders.

    I guess i could have passed, with my height even. But like Sandra used to say, passing is mostly about the face. Perhaps as much as 90%. I guess that would be even more true with my height. I'm nearly 190cm. Not much room for any other telltale signs then. Still, my guess is i could have some chance of passing in most situations if i had some facial surgery. But i don't have the money for it now, and then i simply will have to make the best of my situation. Without passing. In my view though... it's not that much about passing as about relationships. To be taken for and treated like a woman means a lot in itself of course. I can imagine.
    • 2017 posts
    February 28, 2007 9:47 AM GMT
    What a marvellous idea. There definately should be some kind of day to mark the awareness to transsexualism. It affects a good percentage of the population after all. Perhaps it would help to educate others to see us as perfectly normal, well adjusted people and not some kind of 'freak'.

    Unfortunately you can bet the media would focus on the more sensational aspects of our world which make better reporting so there is a danger it would give out the wrong message.

    Here's hoping.......
    • 1652 posts
    March 1, 2007 1:44 AM GMT
    “I know this is not going to make me very popular by voicing this opinion…”
    On the contrary, I applaud you and wholeheartedly agree.
    Laura said “I don’t believe we can change much. Best for us with a trans past is to mingle and keep silent as much as possible.”
    That is a lesson in how not to change much.
    We can change people’s view, because as Trisha points out, many people have never met a TS in real life, and have no point of reference; they don’t really have a view. The notion of society being intolerant towards us I believe is slightly misleading, because it’s individuals we have to deal with, not “society”.
    I’m sure things must be different in England. How so..?
    Trisha says, “There is an unwritten rule in this country I'm living in that says it's alright to mistreat and discriminate against TG”.
    There is a written rule in my country that says it is NOT alright to mistreat and discriminate against TG. It’s a fairly new law, but it shows that this thing we call society is changing.
    For gender treatment here, whether NHS or private, and to obtain legal recognition in your preferred gender, it is compulsory to do the infamous Real Life Experience, which seems to be optional in the States. I think this helps with the very issues that Trisha is addressing. A TS in transition is not necessarily a pretty sight (you should see me first thing in the morning). Only by being read will people be aware that we are here, that there are TS’s mingling about doing what everyone else does – getting on with their lives. For that reason I think the RLE is a good thing; it raises public awareness.
    Maybe that’s why “society’s attitude” seems to be so different in the states; so many girls are trying to transition furtively, and when they feel they are passable enough to actually start living as a woman, they do it in stealth. That is not going to change anyone’s opinion. It even implies that it is wrong, seedy, something to be kept hidden. A vicious circle.
    “But I say, if you don't like the way the world treats TG people, then get out there and change it…”
    I say that too, and I’m doing it, and it is not difficult. If you are a decent, sane, normal, happy person then that is what people will see. They will not see you as a freak if you do not act like one.
    You don’t need to hide your past, or your present. You can’t let the "restraints of society" stop you from doing what you need to do, because it’s really only you that is stopping you, not society.
    Face the world, be yourself, make people aware.
    • 1652 posts
    March 1, 2007 1:02 PM GMT
    I did get your point Laura, and I do understand where you are coming from, this differs between each of us of course. I fully sympathise with any TS who, unlike myself is able to pass well enough for the revelation about their past to become optional. If I didn’t get read every time I meet someone I wouldn’t automatically introduce myself as TS, but that wasn’t my point really.
    I can’t agree with the logic behind your analogies:
    “There has been incidents that genetic tall women have been attacked at because suspected to be transwomen. Do we wish this?”
    Of course not. I see this as no more or less tragic than a “real TS” being attacked. I don’t think it’s going to happen where I live, the reason I mentioned the apparent differences between US and English systems of treatment was to point out the significance of one’s immediate location. It seems to be a bit of a geographical lottery. I certainly don’t think that any transphobic nutter would start attacking all tall and non-feminine looking women just because they were introduced to a real life TS. Transphobia is ignorance, the only treatment is education.
    “I think for us average transwomen it is totally okay that people think that transpeople look like perverts in a dress. We are safer that way.”
    This is the sort of ignorant perception that we need to disprove. By sweeping transsexuality under the carpet we perpetuate misconceptions, and thereby allow transhopbia to breed. Forgive my cruelty but some of my friends look like men in dresses, but you’re alright Jack*, you’re passable; let the public think that those less fortunate are just perverts…
    Wouldn’t it be better to show the public that we are all the same inside, that we can be architects, or musicians, that we are really quite normal people regardless of our appearance?
    I’m not saying any one person will be safer by not living in total stealth, I’m saying that nothing will change by all of us doing so. Most, if not all of your colleagues, Laura, know of your past, and no doubt have come to realise that TS’s are really quite normal, and not perverts in a dress. I congratulate you for that. I’m always slightly saddened to hear of people only willing to transition if it means absolute stealth; change of location, new job, new friends. I’m also of the view that passability isn’t everything. Some of us have no choice in that, but to me what really matters is being presentable; physically, socially and emotionally.
    That is what people need to see.
    If we all hide away, how will anyone ever learn?
    We don’t need to hide away. I’ve been playing in a band for a year and thousands of people have seen me on stage and many have come up to me afterwards. They might not mention the fact that I’m TS, they just want to say how much they enjoyed the gig, but many people I’ve met since I’ve been full time say how they admire people like me for transitioning so publicly (like I say, not much choice in England). Most people do actually know that we’re not weirdos these days, they’ve seen plenty of documentaries on the telly and these have a greater impact than the Jerry Springer show, which they know is just circus tv. In all honesty, I believe most people I’ve met are actually glad to meet a real life transsexual; it’s something they admire, for whatever reason.
    Being open about our situation, talking about it when people want to listen, showing the public that we are many is the only way to improve our acceptance. To not do so, is to allow the ignorance to continue.

    * “I’m alright Jack” – English/American saying: “My situation is fine, never mind anyone else.”
    • 2573 posts
    March 6, 2007 1:13 AM GMT
    "But I say, if you don't like the way the world treats TG people, then get out there and change it. Your sister's are out there doing just that, and they need your help and support. Don't wait for someone else to give you the right to be you. Be the change you wish to see in the world. "


    Your are right, of course.