Sunday, 21 December 2014

Being Myself..

Being Myself..

The title probably sums up just what we are all trying to do when we go through transition. It is the title of the two BBC radio 4 programmes broadcast at 11am on the past two fridays, how things have changed...

The depths of wilful human ignorance is almost beyond measure. Within the last decade a survey amongst the medical profession showed that 80% of doctors still thought that resources should not be wasted on transexuals even though it had been proved to be a curable medical condition for half a century. The prurient media treated us as an easy target to be beaten at will by them even if the report was of one of us already beaten to death by one of their readers!

Change in attitudes during my lifetime had been almost imperceptible  and I never expected to see much change yet attitudes are changing almost monthly now. Some news reports are almost positive and the negative ones are getting more infrequent as if those running the media have finally go it.

The two radio programmes were not sensationalist in the least, treating those interviewed like any patient with a tricky to treat condition. The first programme was even about the less frequently mentioned F2M condition and went into detail about the dramatic effects testosterone has on a body which came out of the female mould. This friday's programme, again from the London Charring Cross hospital was about F2M with a good cross section of people interviewed. One was the surgeon who operated on me all those years ago, he mentioned having now performed over a thousand such operations! Perhaps as our numbers grow it becomes more difficult to see us as "other". One of those interviewed had been on a national TV quiz programme during the past year or so and was subjected to much online vitriol so we do still have some way to go.

It was encouraging to hear that new surgeons are being trained since the demand grows as the stigma reduces. We who for a long time have just been the tip of an iceberg if we ever came out being transsexual will soon be joined by legions unfettered by public scorn.

On a slightly negative note, in the not so distant past there were surgeons in many parts of the country performing gender reassignment surgery but recently London and Brighton seem to be taking the whole load of demand.

On a different note there was a book of the week, five 15 minute episodes at 10.45 am about a family dealing with a pre puberty child trying to get access to puberty blockers and the family dynamics surrounding that. Superficially it seemed to tackling the subject well but sadly the writer lost the plot. The subject of blockers and how they could be obtained on the NHS system or having to fly to the USA to obtain them was left in the air while the focus shifted to the family trying to come to terms with the loss of a precious "boy" and getting  just a girl in exchange... An important subject was given air only to be heft hanging and unresolved.

Listeners were left non the wiser as to how such parents could deal with a child about to enter their secondary education with future gender role unresolved while parents and medical service dithered. A great opportunity wasted...

Not ideal but our condition is no longer taboo and can be aired in a non sensational way at last. Perhaps there is a bright future ahead.

These programmes can be accessed for at least a month on the BBC website, worth a listen.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Not one for Christmas cheer.

There was a time when winter had some attraction for me. The summer distraction of seeing girls enjoying their colourful clothes and exposing parts of a body that I had been denied by my accident of birth was long passed and they were safely covered up once again. The cold weather cleared the streets and parks so that I could enjoy them in peace and alone. There was the occasional magical fall of snow transforming the everyday cityscape into something wonderful that I would explore late into the nights. Now with the wisdom of age snow is a hazard and broken bones just one step away.

The part of winter that I always disliked was this time of year. With a december birthday and christmas there was the trepidation of presents and the inevitable disappointment once received.

My parents were less than generous and any birthday present could be accompanied with a warning that there would be little to follow later in the month! It hardly mattered, apart from any edible sweet presents they would all be unwanted anyway. I must have not hidden my feelings too well because relatives gave up trying when I was still quite young and I might get a small monetary contribution "to put towards something else". Hardly much use to a child who is unable to ever express their desires! One day perhaps luck could come my way and the money "saved" in the form of Premium Bonds", a government savings lottery for more distant readers, still sit in that system, a small reminder of that poor sad child.

I am quite happy giving presents, I take great care to choose something to suit each recipient and think little of paying for them out of my limited resources. I have still not really got over the bad feelings associated with receiving presents, christmas for me will always be something to be got over rather than enjoyed.

Roll on spring, I want to see my legs again!