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.


  1. Good post, Ruby! I didn't listen to 'Just a Girl', fearing that, being a dramatisation, it would give too much time to confrontational or anguished family scenes, and not explain why this youngster felt as he did, and the importance of taking him seriously. It sounds as if I would have found it disappointing too.


    1. Lucy, sorry for the delay, I have had a blog free christmas.I feel that "Just a Girl" failed because the writer "thought" he knew about the subject and clearly didn't!