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GLBT Health => General Health Discussion => Topic started by: swit012 on 09 October 2009, 12:12:AM



Title: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: swit012 on 09 October 2009, 12:12:AM
"Passing" in the Transgendered (TG) community refers to one's ability to be accepted or regarded as one's gender of choice
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passing_(gender) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passing_(gender))

I have a few TG friends and have spoken to a few people about these sorts of issues, so I have my own opinions, but I'd like to hear yours first. In particular, I see passing in two stages: crossdressing and gender reassignment. I guess this thread deals with both but ultimately the question most likely ends up at gender reassignment.

I'll throw a few inflammatory questions in to start with:
How necessary is it for others to recognise your gender of choice?
If you could look like your preferred gender without surgery, would that be good enough?
If you're already a woman on the inside, what does it matter if you have a penis?
How does changing how you look on the outside change the way you feel on the inside?
What happens after gender reassignment?

I use the word choice here but I recognise it's not a choice. These questions are intended to provoke a response, and hopefully a discussion, not to hurt anyone. So, talk away  :D


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: storm4u on 09 October 2009, 08:03:AM

How necessary is it for others to recognise your gender of choice?
If you could look like your preferred gender without surgery, would that be good enough?
If you're already a woman on the inside, what does it matter if you have a penis?
How does changing how you look on the outside change the way you feel on the inside?
What happens after gender reassignment?

I use the word choice here but I recognise it's not a choice. These questions are intended to provoke a response, and hopefully a discussion, not to hurt anyone. So, talk away  :D

Thanks for this thread and your interest swit - takes alot to offend this tough old skin so dont worry.
Whatever I write is from MY experience and is my own opinion and not necessarily the opinions of all Trans.
The word transgender has been hijacked to now be an umbrella term covering a multitude, intersex, cross dressers, transsexuals and more. I am a sex change - a female, Technically it can be said that I am no longer even a member of the TG commuity.


How necessary is it for others to recognise your gender of choice?
It's a mental thing and purely personal to each individual. To some it is more important than to others. Same as with a range of other things. Some people are proud to be recognised for their religion, some not bothered; some proud to be recognised by their nationality, some not bothered. When I met my ex friend in Oz, a Glam Trans, she told me I did it all wrong by rushing off to have GRS. I should have had facial surgery, hip implants, lazer, lipo, ribs removed etc first. To her the outward appearance mattered more than what was between her legs. That earnt her the $$$ she needed for surgeries. She passed as female easily. For me, Im not so worried about passing perfectly as female. I am one and thats enough. At 51, I could walk the streets of Surfers in a pink bikini and heels and got heaps of wolf whistles. At 54, I feel I still look a lot better than alot of natal women my age. Being outted doesnt worry me as I believe that as those who went before me, made my journey easier for me, I feel my being out there also helps those who come behind.

If you could look like your preferred gender without surgery, would that be good enough?
No. To me having a penis would have meant I was still male. Having a vagina means I am female. Even tho I knew I was female when I still had a penis, it was important to have it removed. Most working preopTS that I have known, allow it to be acknowledged when working but prefer it not to be recognised at all other times. If you want a relationship with a trans then dont go straight for 'it'. Ignore 'it.'

If you're already a woman on the inside, what does it matter if you have a penis?
As my surgeon said in my 20/20 doco " ...her body match her soul." Its important.

How does changing how you look on the outside change the way you feel on the inside?
It is very much all with in the head but it made a huge differance. Hard to explain.
Would you feel better owning and driving a brand new red ferrari or a 20yo 1600cc Toyota? (answer honestly)
If you get all dressed up in a suit for a formal wedding does it make you feel good?
It improves ones self esteem and makes one feel whole and proud.

What happens after gender reassignment?
Phew, hard. In what way and when?
Every sex change I know has said the same thing after their surgery.
They werent prepared for the emotional side of it. It's huge and I find it impossible to describe. The uplifting and release and happiness was phenominal. A totally uplifting experience.
I have recently been talking to NZs first sexchange (1975) and another of the earliest (1978) and it has been interesting. Most sex change when they return, tend to go 'stealth' either by choice or accident. They are happy and complete and just want to be allowed to live their life as the female they were meant to be. If the are lucky to have a partner then the just settle down and do thier thing.


'Choice' - yes pleased you understand thanks. Being trans is not a choice. The choice is if you want to recognise who you are or wish to continue to life as who you arent. To me most trans are the most honest people in the world, for they recognise who they are and are out there living as who they are.

The opinions above are mine and not necessarily those of all trans. My opinons have changed heaps in the last 5yrs.
Discussion is good and welcome but can moderators please watch that this thread doesnt get hijacked into personal attacks - thanks


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: RealTranny on 09 October 2009, 08:42:AM
NZ's first Sex changes long before 1975.
RT


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: CaitlinJ on 09 October 2009, 09:06:AM
I have a few TG friends and have spoken to a few people about these sorts of issues, so I have my own opinions, but I'd like to hear yours first. In particular, I see passing in two stages: crossdressing and gender reassignment. I guess this thread deals with both but ultimately the question most likely ends up at gender reassignment

I'd like to point out that there are a significant number of non-ops, who will never have surgery out of choice.
I'd also like to point out that the FTMs often get ignored when threads like this are created, because they have less visibility. The vast majority of FTMs will never have genital surgery, for a number of reasons. The primary reasons I see are:
a) cost (somewhere in the region of $100,000+ without even including multiple chest surgeries)
b) effectiveness (the phaloplasty surgery is incredibly rudimentary, the result is often unsatisfactory)
c) danger (the phaloplasty surgery has a 100% risk of complication, a high death rate and a 50% chance of leaving you incontinent)
Anyway, on to the questions (which are, disappointingly, aimed at trans women)...

Quote
How necessary is it for others to recognise your gender of choice?

Absolutely vital.
Humans are primates and primates are incredibly social creatures. Being socially recognised as the correct gender is vital to my mental well-being. Being recognised as something 'in between' or something 'fake' isn't satisfactory, as it puts you on the outer of the gender binary (and makes you a pariah) which is unfortunately still strongly represented in society. Of course, some people enjoy sitting outside the gender binary (genderqueer, androgyne, neutrois) but I'm not one of those, so being seen as a woman - and only a woman - is absolutely vital to me.

Quote
If you could look like your preferred gender without surgery, would that be good enough?

Tough question.
I consider myself visually non-distinguishable as a male and I haven't had any surgeries.
On some days, it's enough; I have no desire for surgery and I feel that I can operate (no pun intended) as a woman for the rest of my life without surgery.
On other days, the physical dysphoria really gets to me and I long for surgery. I'll be standing in the shower and staring down at this ugly, lumpy collection of bits at my crotch and my mind will scream at me "WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!"
As a result, I generally avoid looking at my genitals whenever possible.

Quote
If you're already a woman on the inside, what does it matter if you have a penis?

Bit of an excluding question as far as the FTM community is concerned, but anyway...
This ties into the previous question; some days it doesn't matter to me. Some days it matters a lot.
Overall, when all factors are taken into consideration, it doesn't actually matter. The only people who should ever see my genitals are myself, my boyfriend and maybe my doctor.
Let's face it, no one has ever died of not getting GRS. If I never get GRS, I might feel disappointed.
However, my goal is to live as and be recognised as a woman.
I don't actually need a vagina for that.

Quote
How does changing how you look on the outside change the way you feel on the inside?

Again, tough question.
Cross-dressing on my own felt good. It felt right. It felt wonderful.
Cross-dressing in public was scary, thrilling, dangerous and nerve-racking. I didn't actually like it much.
Initially, when I went full time, 'cross-dressing', it was terrifying. I was paranoid, scared, twitchy, easily offended, shy and a little depressed. In hindsight, my mistake was not going on hormones first to help feminise my features and body a bit more.
However, once I started to relax into my new appearance and the pills started to kick in, that good feeling, that feeling of 'rightness' and the wonderful feeling returned.
It was practically magical.
Some days I look in the mirror and I can't believe that the person I'm looking at is really me.

Quote
What happens after gender reassignment?

Apart from lots of dilating to keep the neo-vagina open?
Presumably you get your Birth Certificate changed from M to F or F to M.
After that? Life goes on as it did before GRS.


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: storm4u on 09 October 2009, 09:29:AM
NZ's first Sex changes long before 1975.
RT

Admit it looks like i got some dates wrong.
Problem is reliable information or just information on sex changes is hard to find.
VW told me she was first. Had her op in Oz and was only the 2nd over there.
Believe you know her.
The other starts with 'L' and hers was in 1975 here in NZ.

I was merely believing what they told me.


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: swit012 on 09 October 2009, 11:08:AM
Ok, now I'll have a go. I apologise that I don't have much to say about FTM transgendered people because I don't know any personally (I only know of one and I can't claim to know him that well to be honest).

When I was younger, I only ever recognised MTF cross dressers and I perceived them in two flavours: the ones which made me feel sad and the ones which made me feel happy.

The "sad" cross dressers were tragic: make-up not done properly and quite obviously male. It made me feel sad and uneasy because I realised that no one would do that simply to get some kind of reaction, would they? It can't have been a fettish, because they didn't look happy. They looked glum, trapped. There was an obvious need there to pass as a woman and they were obviously very very bad at it.  The "happy" ones were beautiful, admirable and you either had to *know* they were physically men, or have some kind of sixth sense. Because this came so easily to them I assumed that they just did it for fun, drag queens.

From the above happy/sad dichotomy I (mistakenly) formed the notion that people who were good at cross dressing did it for fun and people who were bad at it did it because they really needed to be another gender.

I have two such friends, who I won't name. They're both MTF, they both seem to be comfortable being called "he" but I'll use "she" to avoid confusion. Miss A is young, full of life and beautiful. She passes, she passes so very well that members of the transgendered community in New Zealand have turned their backs on her "you can't understand our problems " is what they said. Miss B is tall, masculine and very blokey. She loves to wear little Lolita dresses but they are entirely inappropriate and it just doesn't work. She knows that, her friends know that, we support her as best we can.

I used to think A did it for the kicks and B did it because she had to. Turns out they are both TG and A went so far as to go through the psych screening for hormone replacement therapy. She didn't go through with it in the end. Why? Well, she said "It would ruin my sex life."

Reading between the lines, it seems as though gender reassignment is not so important for A. Passing is important, but only in certain circumstances. She cross-dresses in public with the same trepidation Caitlin mentioned and she finds it liberating, scary and exciting. It's obviously a very big deal. Then again, I've seen her in her (men's) underwear and that's not an issue for her. Gender seems to have ceased to be an issue between us as friends, passing seems to only be important when presenting herself to the rest of the world.

One of the things that A is very concerned about is the number of pre-op transgendered people who think "after I get my surgery everything will be better". I sounded this out before with storm and she says the surgery made a big difference, but apparently, a number of transgendered people do get the surgery and then realise that their lives haven’t changed. They may be different on the outside, but their problems on the inside haven’t changed. This is because (as we all know) being transgendered can bring with it a great deal of other problems. 

I know a number of other MTF transgendered people who have a great many problems in their lives. Mental illness seems to be high in the GLBT community or maybe it's just that I tend to gravitate towards mentally unwell people. Caitlin: you mentioned dysphoria and that's a concern for me.

When I think dysphoria, I think about those people who have fixated on a part of their body they don't like and need to get rid of it. One man (for example) disliked his legs so much he eventually chopped them off. The sad thing about his story is that no sooner had he gotten rid of this legs that he fixated on his right hand as the next thing to go. My fear is that the need to change one's body, when it finally happens, may not produce the life-change  expected and lead to bitter disappointment. My understanding is that the jury is still out on whether gender reassignment surgery makes people happer or not. For some people (like storm) it certainly seems to be a positive thing. For others, it results in bitter disappointment when they realise that the genitals weren't the things causing the negative thoughts and feelings.

So, my view on passing is that it seems important but not always and not when presenting to all people: in some contexts, gender is unimportant. As for gender reassignment, my view is that it’s valuable, but only in so far as allowing one to present as the proper gender, not as a catalyst to “fix my life”.

I know that sounds a little flaky and disjointed but I am still forming my views about this :D


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: storm4u on 09 October 2009, 11:31:AM
My fear is that the need to change one's body, when it finally happens, may not produce the life-change  expected and lead to bitter disappointment. My understanding is that the jury is still out on whether gender reassignment surgery makes people happer or not. For some people (like storm) it certainly seems to be a positive thing. For others, it results in bitter disappointment when they realise that the genitals weren't the things causing the negative thoughts and feelings.

So, my view on passing is that it seems important but not always and not when presenting to all people: in some contexts, gender is unimportant. As for gender reassignment, my view is that it’s valuable, but only in so far as allowing one to present as the proper gender, not as a catalyst to “fix my life”.


My opinion.
No two transsexuals journey is ever the same as anothers. There will always be similar paths but each has its own highs and lows. There is no right way or wrong way. I know many sex change and all are totally happy with what they have done. Im sure there are a few who regret what they did somewhere. GRS is not the sole panacea for transsexuals but for many it can be a huge help. For those who think it is the sole cure of all thier ills, then yes likely they will be disappointed. For me personally, it was positive. But going through what I have, has cost me alot. Its not the loss of family, $$$$, employment but something more that is hard to describe.

Andrew (me) was a very confident and well grounded person. People came to me for sound advise. I was a leader and respected.
Storm, puts out the same except I'm not. I may come across to others as confident but actually I know I have lost alot of that. Stress effects me alot more now where Andrew handled it fine. Even enjoyed. Ask Storm how she is and I will always say "Great" but that isnt always right. Im still honest just have learnt that if I sit there and blub, who will really listen and help.

I'm the one who has to do it. No one else can do it for me.
When other trans come to me for advice, I tell them plain, 'I cant tell you what to do or what is right for you. You are responsible for yourself. I'm not, your Doctor isnt, Psycologist isn't, you are solely responsible for yourself. Ask the questions, seek the knowledge and take control and responsibility for your own decisions.'

I made my choices for me. My outcome is my responsibility.

Gender and gender recognision is important for a transsexuals mental well being. Having to fight for it is mentally draining.
So to me it is important in all contexts.


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: CaitlinJ on 09 October 2009, 11:43:AM
One of the things that A is very concerned about is the number of pre-op transgendered people who think "after I get my surgery everything will be better". I sounded this out before with storm and she says the surgery made a big difference, but apparently, a number of transgendered people do get the surgery and then realise that their lives haven’t changed. They may be different on the outside, but their problems on the inside haven’t changed. This is because (as we all know) being transgendered can bring with it a great deal of other problems.

There have certainly been a number of horror stories surrounding post-GRS patients who have not dealt with the surgery well. Only a month ago, a recently post-op girl from Aus whom I chat to online tried to commit suicide. Other stories are bandied about the trans community; the girl who threw herself out of a window after GRS, trying to kill herself, the girl in Auckland who detransitioned to being a man without a penis. The anti-trans movements in the States like to cite the numerous cases where GRS has failed to make a difference.
Of course, it's incredibly easy to fixate on the horror stories, because the success stories are...boring.

And there are tons of success stories; Storm certainly thinks she is one of them and I have at least a dozen post-op friends scattered across the globe who are happy, well adjusted, beautiful, complete people.
The other reason why you won't hear about the success stories is because they tend to fade away into the background of everyday life. The term used by the American girls is 'Woodworked'. It's not quite the same as Stealth, but it has most of the same benefits.
You become so unremarkable and mundane that you simply don't stick out from the general populace of women in any easily perceivable way. Some people will know your past and you're not actively hiding it. However, you blend so well that it no longer becomes a topic of conversation and people feel rude bringing it up.

Anyway...
GRS doesn't solve all your problems. It solves a singular problem: not having a vagina.
As you pointed out, there is a tendency to believe that GRS will fix all your problems, whether they are related to being transgendered or not. I know of at least one such person, who is so desperate for GRS that it is consuming her. She honestly believes that it will fix all her problems; relationship, passing, work issues, depression, etc, etc.
Fortunately her psychiatrist has denied her the letter she needs to get GRS.
Which is reassuring as it means that there are measures in place to prevent the horror stories happening. The psychiatric profession isn't perfect (is there any medical profession that is?) though and some people slip through the cracks - or are simply practised liars and manage to get through the psyche assessments.
There will always be mistakes.

And the mistakes are what we will hear about in the media, not "Caitlin had her surgery two months ago and has adjusted fine. Now here's Tom with the weather..."

Quote
When I think dysphoria, I think about those people who have fixated on a part of their body they don't like and need to get rid of it. One man (for example) disliked his legs so much he eventually chopped them off. The sad thing about his story is that no sooner had he gotten rid of this legs that he fixated on his right hand as the next thing to go. My fear is that the need to change one's body, when it finally happens, may not produce the life-change  expected and lead to bitter disappointment. My understanding is that the jury is still out on whether gender reassignment surgery makes people happer or not. For some people (like storm) it certainly seems to be a positive thing. For others, it results in bitter disappointment when they realise that the genitals weren't the things causing the negative thoughts and feelings.

A lot of what I wrote above applies to your quote above.
I think the other issue to explore here is what I have dubbed the 'hobby' aspect of being trans, which perhaps ties into the dysphoric amputee situation.
There is a certain degree of challenge in being trans. There is also a fairly well mapped path to being a MTF trans person (which has minor variations on the order):
- Get counselling
- Go on hormones
- Dress part time
- Dress full time
- Get a psyche assessment
- Get GRS
- Finish
The problem here is when being trans becomes the focus of a person's life; what happens when they are done? People can end up feeling deflated and disappointed, because everything is done. What have they got to look forward to now? Surgery was the driving purpose of their entire life, so what can they do now?
For some, it can turn into a constant battle of self improvement. A dear friend of mine in the states has, I believe, a problem. I believe that she is now addicted to surgery. She has had at least 5 surgeries on her face. She has had several breast augmentations and has had lipo and botox. It's a concern, but it's her body; I can't really tell her that what she is doing is wrong. If it makes her happy and she can afford it...well, then do it.
But for others, who see it as the finishing line and don't know what to do with themselves afterwards; often it means suicide. They have achieved all their dreams and there is nothing left to live for.
This is why it is important to have strong goals and dreams that go beyond GRS.


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: swit012 on 09 October 2009, 12:22:PM
My opinion.
No two transsexuals journey is ever the same as anothers. There will always be similar paths but each has its own highs and lows. There is no right way or wrong way. I know many sex change and all are totally happy with what they have done. Im sure there are a few who regret what they did somewhere. GRS is not the sole panacea for transsexuals but for many it can be a huge help. For those who think it is the sole cure of all thier ills, then yes likely they will be disappointed. For me personally, it was positive. But going through what I have, has cost me alot. Its not the loss of family, $$$$, employment but something more that is hard to describe.

Andrew (me) was a very confident and well grounded person. People came to me for sound advise. I was a leader and respected.
Storm, puts out the same except I'm not. I may come across to others as confident but actually I know I have lost alot of that. Stress effects me alot more now where Andrew handled it fine. Even enjoyed. Ask Storm how she is and I will always say "Great" but that isnt always right. Im still honest just have learnt that if I sit there and blub, who will really listen and help.

I'm the one who has to do it. No one else can do it for me.
When other trans come to me for advice, I tell them plain, 'I cant tell you what to do or what is right for you. You are responsible for yourself. I'm not, your Doctor isnt, Psycologist isn't, you are solely responsible for yourself. Ask the questions, seek the knowledge and take control and responsibility for your own decisions.'

I made my choices for me. My outcome is my responsibility.

Gender and gender recognision is important for a transsexuals mental well being. Having to fight for it is mentally draining.
So to me it is important in all contexts.
You know, Storm, I have to admit that at times I have seen you as hysterical (not in the funny way) and I was worried that this thread would turn into a lot of negative vitriol. Your above post has effectively shattered that image I had of you. I think it’s because you allowed yourself to be vulnerable for a bit, I understand and respect you better.

Also, thanks for your measured response, Caitlin, I appreciate that discussing this kind of thing, especially with someone who is not TG is probably quite difficult. I think it’s useful though, hopefully the many TG people lurking on these forums will find both of your insights useful.  :D

Good to hear about the horror-bias. I never thought about it in that light before. It’s also good to hear about the doctor putting the kibosh on your friend’s surgery. I know at least two MTF people who under no circumstances should get surgery because they are simply not ready. I guess the message for anyone considering surgery is to go get counselling.

I think the other issue to explore here is what I have dubbed the 'hobby' aspect of being trans, which perhaps ties into the dysphoric amputee situation.
...
The problem here is when being trans becomes the focus of a person's life; what happens when they are done? People can end up feeling deflated and disappointed, because everything is done. What have they got to look forward to now? Surgery was the driving purpose of their entire life, so what can they do now?
For some, it can turn into a constant battle of self improvement. A dear friend of mine in the states has, I believe, a problem. I believe that she is now addicted to surgery. She has had at least 5 surgeries on her face. She has had several breast augmentations and has had lipo and botox. It's a concern, but it's her body; I can't really tell her that what she is doing is wrong. If it makes her happy and she can afford it...well, then do it.
But for others, who see it as the finishing line and don't know what to do with themselves afterwards; often it means suicide. They have achieved all their dreams and there is nothing left to live for.
This is why it is important to have strong goals and dreams that go beyond GRS.
Yes, this is why I added the question about "what happens after gender reassignment". Instinctively it makes sense if you are fighting a long battle and finally win, what’s left for you to do? I think that's not just a lesson for TG people. We all set up these goals for ourselves (lose weight, get a boyfriend etc) and when we end up achieving them we realise we have nothing else planned. I learnt that lesson myself.

This may be unrelated but at least one TG person I know has clearly developed a victim complex to the point that I think she puts herself in situations where she can play the victim. I think that if/when she gets the surgery, she will still be looking for people to victimise her.


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: storm4u on 09 October 2009, 12:39:PM
You know, Storm, I have to admit that at times I have seen you as hysterical (not in the funny way) and I was worried that this thread would turn into a lot of negative vitriol. Your above post has effectively shattered that image I had of you. I think it’s because you allowed yourself to be vulnerable for a bit, I understand and respect you better.


Hmmmmmmmmmmm. Not to sure if that is good or bad but my attitude these days is I'm happy, I live my life for me. If people have a problem with me, its their problem, not mine. I'll take it as good.

Catlin often has a lot of good points in what she says also. She has obviously done alot of research into things and alot more than myself.
Happy to admit it. I think Catlin and I are two good examples of Transjournies that while seeking the same goal take different routes. Catlin has researched, gone and become involved in Trans groups, listened and makes her decisions from what she knows.
I just knew it was right, no questions and went and did it. Neither one of us is more right than the other.

Catlin wrote:
"But for others, who see it as the finishing line and don't know what to do with themselves afterwards; often it means suicide."

Dont know that it is 'often' but im sure suicide is a result for some but for alot yes there is a big question 'Ok achieved that. What now?'

And yes she is right that the stories written are about the bad results and not the good ones. I have been trying in the last few months to get some media coverage on just that but no one is interested in picking up on it. What about the sex change 5yrs after? Where r they? I know many who are just leading 'boring normal' lives. Happy as.


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: Wabbit2 on 09 October 2009, 12:44:PM
How necessary is it for others to recognise your gender of choice?
Ok I guess this is a two part question; as in recognition of society of your Gender and “Passing”.  

In my opinion the recognition of society is most important; though of course it is a thorny issue for many Trans people and it leads directly to the second part of the question, “passing”.  If you pass well you will generally get more recognition of your gender from society.

I expect people to respect my gender and have worked on my ability to pass having said that I’m not ashamed of who I am and though I don’t tend to tell many people about my TS status I am happy to discuss it with people in the right circumstances.

Of course the question of passing is not just your own self presentation, as unless you transitioned very young with the support of family and friends then you frankly have a history.

So unless you are prepared to completely wipe your past then it will come up at different times.  And to be honest sometimes it can probably be a bit arrogant to expect all family and old friends to accept who you truely are as much as you may want them too.

If you could look like your preferred gender without surgery, would that be good enough?
Absolutely!  

Surgery of course is a very personal (and financial) choice for anybody and there are many different surgeries open to trans people, not just the obvious one of SRS.  Which as Caitlin pointed out is regularly a non option for FTM Trans people.

If you're already a woman on the inside, what does it matter if you have a penis?
It’s a very personal state of mind.  Personally I have times when I want the surgery now (like right now) and times when I’m comfortable with where I am.  Part of my position on this is I have a long term partner who certainly does not judge me on what is between my legs.  Also having been through many of the stages of transition over a lengthy period of time my attitude and priorities change (my prerogative as a woman!).

Having said that I believe at some point I will go for SRS.

How does changing how you look on the outside change the way you feel on the inside?
It’s that recognition of society seeing you as you truly are; having people accept me for the gender I am gives me the confidence and self belief in myself.  

What happens after gender reassignment?
Have to get back to you on that one :)


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: CaitlinJ on 09 October 2009, 01:18:PM
I have been trying in the last few months to get some media coverage on just that but no one is interested in picking up on it. What about the sex change 5yrs after? Where r they? I know many who are just leading 'boring normal' lives. Happy as.

Fortunately there is the 'Sex Change Hospital' show which aired on Sky a couple of months back. It ran for one season, but I'm not sure if there will be a second season. I'm certain it will be repeated though.
It followed a number of patients, both FTM and MTF, who went and had their surgery with Dr. Marci Bowers in Colorado.

The issue with trans related shows is that the heteronormative agenda rears its ugly head when these shows come on TV. Your average hetero kiwi male is going to balk at the idea of watching a show where 'men' get their willies cut off. He will change channel and make crude jokes about trannies and the idea of having sex with an inside-out penis.
Sadly, the kind of people who will watch these shows aren't the ones who need to see them.
I think the best saturation that can be done is in public. There are 3 trans women in my workplace alone, so pretty much every single person who works here (a good 600+ people) can say that they know at least one 'transsexual' (the most common thing I'm called at work).
Some people at work might know all three of us, which is an even bigger bonus.

In saying all that, I'm not going to be 'out there' forever. At some stage I will leave this workplace and I will attempt to Woodwork myself or go full Stealth.
The next trans person can pick up from there. I will have done my time.


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: storm4u on 09 October 2009, 01:41:PM
Fortunately there is the 'Sex Change Hospital' show which aired on Sky a couple of months back.

Yes alas never saw it but have heard varying comments on it.
Good and bad.

But there are many successful sex change here in nz, who like you state, many rub shoulders with on a day to day basis.
We need to get to those macho hetro males and show them that here in NZ society we are being accepted.
To me showing them good kiwi trans is better than showing them some of the American ones I have seen.

Saw an American programme on a TS about to go for GRS. It showed 'him' still working and living as male and actually the day he was admited to hospital for GRS, he arrived dressed as a male.

Is that for real? And what an image it showed the world.


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: swit012 on 09 October 2009, 01:44:PM
In saying all that, I'm not going to be 'out there' forever. At some stage I will leave this workplace and I will attempt to Woodwork myself or go full Stealth.
The next trans person can pick up from there. I will have done my time.

I guess that's the great paradox: "successful" transgendered people integrate and disappear. The ones that make themselves visible are either because they're "unsuccessful" or because they have a particular axe to grind. I suppose for every one transgendered person making a scene in the media, there must be dozens just quietly going about their business, being normal.

I guess that's another question: is it important for TG people to be normal?

I know that some gay people kind of like being "different" being "special" and if homosexuality was perfectly 100% accepted it wouldn't feel so special.

That said, I have never considered myself "normal", though as I get older I do see myself fitting surprisingly comfortably into the norms set for me by society.


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: phaag on 09 October 2009, 01:50:PM
Best doco series I've seen about FTM and MTF is Transgeneration.
Here is the imdb link
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0461110/

the wiki page is great too
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transgeneration

TransGeneration is an eight episode documentary series depicting the lives of four transgender college students during the 2004/2005 school year as they attempt to balance college, their social lives, and their struggle to merge their internal and external selves[1] while gender transitioning.

Two of the students are transitioning from male to female and two from female to male. All four are living on campus at four different colleges.[1]

TransGeneration is shown on the LGBT television network Logo, was broadcast weekly on the Sundance Channel from September to November of 2005 and released as a feature film at some festivals and independent theaters
.


It played onb the documentary channel in New Zealand so if you don't have Sky you wouldn't have been able to see it... really intresting look at young people transitioning... their different reasons... how people reacted to them etc.




Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: CaitlinJ on 09 October 2009, 02:03:PM
Saw an American programme on a TS about to go for GRS. It showed 'him' still working and living as male and actually the day he was admited to hospital for GRS, he arrived dressed as a male.

Is that for real? And what an image it showed the world.

Oh yes, I saw that show as well - the one with the peroxide blonde person with glasses.
My bf and I watched it with suspicion and trepedation; unsure as to how to take this person's journey.
I think perhaps the saddest part was watching her walk along, facelift done, hair styled, breast implants, vagina...and she was loping along like a Texan truck driving male, arms swinging like an ape and legs wide apart. It was so...incongruent.
And really, it was as a result of not having lived as a woman. I'm sure she will eventually adapt her mannerisms, but it seemed such a shame at the time.
Probably my biggest gripe was that there was no mention of counselling or psychiatric assessments; I believe she went to one of the Thai doctors that don't require a psyche letter vetting the surgery.
The show left a strange taste in my mouth.
I didn't want other people to think that I was like her.


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: jdhunter27 on 09 October 2009, 02:28:PM
How necessary is it for others to recognise your gender of choice?

Very.

If you could look like your preferred gender without surgery, would that be good enough?


As an FTM, I (at this point) plan only to go through hormone treatment (lifelong) and "top surgery". As Caitlin mentioned, many FTM men find the options available for "bottom surgery" to be unsatisfactory, and I feel that I would only be left with severe dissatisfaction and empty pockets if I were to go through with it.

If you're already a woman on the inside, what does it matter if you have a penis?


-

How does changing how you look on the outside change the way you feel on the inside?


A lot of people have their self confidence, self worth, self esteem, etc. tied in to how they look. I feel more like myself now that I can look in the mirror and see someone I recognize. People definitely treat others differently based on their (real or perceived) gender, and I've also certainly noticed this.

What happens after gender reassignment?

You go on living.


What you need to recognise (and some trans people themselves need to recognise, too) is that being transgendered is only one aspect of what makes up an entire person. For me, being transgendered is certainly fairly far down the list of descriptors I would use for myself - I'm the fiance to a great man, I'm a brother and son, I'm a friend, I'm pansexual, I'm a university student, I'm a dog owner, I'm a part-time pseudo artiste, I'm an SPCA volunteer, and I'm a femme FTM guy. Transition is only so much of what makes up my life in the future - I'll also be a home owner, studying canine behaviour theories and training techniques, rescuing, rehoming and rehabilitating dogs, getting civil union'd, etc.


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: swit012 on 09 October 2009, 02:54:PM
Sorry about the MTF bias, JDHunter. Those questions were really just designed to start discussion, not to frame it.
It seems as though the basic answer for both FTM and MTF is very similar if not the same.

I'm also glad that trans doesn't consume your life. Everything in moderation as they say  :D


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: storm4u on 09 October 2009, 03:16:PM
I guess that's the great paradox: "successful" transgendered people integrate and disappear. The ones that make themselves visible are either because they're "unsuccessful" or because they have a particular axe to grind. I suppose for every one transgendered person making a scene in the media, there must be dozens just quietly going about their business, being normal.


So (Politely asking) does that make me 'unsuccessful"? or "have an axe to grind"?
I dont believe I am either.
I believe I am the third one.
The one who is happy in myself basically but am not worried so much about 'looking' the part of the perfect female but happy in who I am.
I stand up and speak, definitely not for self glory but because I do know that in the past there has been some terrible discrimination and I dont want to see it happening. Its caused by ignorance and as I think Catlin commented earlier the way to stop that is for Trans to be out there and be seen. Showing we are just 'normal' people.
I do it for those who follow. So thiose young ones coming through can have a better chance with less emotional and mental stress put on them by society.

When I came out, I lost 3 stone in 3 months. I basically lived inside in fear of what people thought and were saying. Only going out when I really needed to. I would cry for 3 hrs and touch the laundry cupboards, walk through the kitchen, lounge, hallway, up the stairs, into the bedroom, round the bed to the ensuite and touch the shower door. Turn and go back. Clutching myself and crying for 3 hrs or more. No wonder I lost weight. And I was strong so how do those not so strong survive?

is it important for TG people to be normal?

See thats just the point - We are normal.


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: storm4u on 09 October 2009, 03:17:PM

Probably my biggest gripe was that there was no mention of counselling or psychiatric assessments; I believe she went to one of the Thai doctors that don't require a psyche letter vetting the surgery.
The show left a strange taste in my mouth.
I didn't want other people to think that I was like her.

The one I saw had surgery in USA.
We differ re the psyche letter.
but yes agreed it left a bad taste in my mouth to see trans portrayed in that way.
Judging solely on the programme, she wasnt ready for GRS so I hope she survives and will be happy.


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: swit012 on 09 October 2009, 03:31:PM
So (Politely asking) does that make me 'unsuccessful"? or "have an axe to grind"?
I don't know you well enough to say, to be honest.

I use "unsuccessful" in quotes because that's really whatever the individual person thinks of themselves, not an objective measure.


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: CaitlinJ on 09 October 2009, 03:44:PM
As an FTM, I (at this point) plan only to go through hormone treatment (lifelong) and "top surgery". As Caitlin mentioned, many FTM men find the options available for "bottom surgery" to be unsatisfactory, and I feel that I would only be left with severe dissatisfaction and empty pockets if I were to go through with it.

It's probably worth mentioning that hormone treatment is often very successful for FTMs; the effects can include:
- dramatic muscle/body mass increase
- heavy body hair
- heavy facial hair
- hand and foot growth
- bony growth over various body areas (i.e. knees, forehead)
- clitoral growth (to the point where it becomes a small penis)
- deep male voice
- male pattern baldness

So it's not all doom and gloom for FTMs with regard to surgery; it is balanced a little by the hormone effects.
Comparatively, the hormone effects on MTFs aren't nearly as noticeable (breast growth being the most obvious). However, the surgery options for MTFs far cheaper and far more satisfactory.

I've postulated that the poor surgery options for FTMs is because of sexism - i.e. there hasn't been as much research and development into the field of 'penis construction' because the largely male surgeon population hasn't had much interest in helping someone who is biologically a woman become a man.
Whereas most MTFs have had a healthy dose of male privilege during their lives and this influence is the likely cause of the progress that has been made with MTF genital surgery.


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: Eromenos on 09 October 2009, 03:49:PM
Admit it looks like i got some dates wrong.
Problem is reliable information or just information on sex changes is hard to find.
VW told me she was first. Had her op in Oz and was only the 2nd over there.
Believe you know her.
The other starts with 'L' and hers was in 1975 here in NZ.

I was merely believing what they told me.

I think you should ask the person you quoted. Shes probably known about and had far more experiance then most in nz.


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: jdhunter27 on 09 October 2009, 03:51:PM
It's probably worth mentioning that hormone treatment is often very successful for FTMs; the effects can include:
- dramatic muscle/body mass increase
- heavy body hair
- heavy facial hair
- hand and foot growth
- bony growth over various body areas (i.e. knees, forehead)
- clitoral growth (to the point where it becomes a small penis)
- deep male voice
- male pattern baldness

So it's not all doom and gloom for FTMs with regard to surgery; it is balanced a little by the hormone effects.
Comparatively, the hormone effects on MTFs aren't nearly as noticeable (breast growth being the most obvious). However, the surgery options for MTFs far cheaper and far more satisfactory.

I've postulated that the poor surgery options for FTMs is because of sexism - i.e. there hasn't been as much research and development into the field of 'penis construction' because the largely male surgeon population hasn't had much interest in helping someone who is biologically a woman become a man.
Whereas most MTFs have had a healthy dose of male privilege during their lives and this influence is the likely cause of the progress that has been made with MTF genital surgery.

Hormone treatments are very effective, which (it's been theorized) is why so many trans men "go stealth" - because it's so easy. I've been on T* (*testosterone) for nearly 13 months now and pass pretty much 100% of the time.

The sexism theory is pretty popular from what I've heard. To be honest, I'm not that fussed over it anymore, I've come to terms with the fact that I need to be content with what I've got lol.


Also, re: mental illness within the GLBT community - I don't think it's particularly that the GLBT community is susceptible/has a higher rate of mental illness, just that because our community is so condensed that it seems that way, maybe. Personally, I'm coping (suffering?) with mental illness that is predominantly hereditary, but I know a lot more heterosexuals than queers with mental illness.


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: jdhunter27 on 09 October 2009, 03:53:PM
Sorry about the MTF bias, JDHunter. Those questions were really just designed to start discussion, not to frame it.
It seems as though the basic answer for both FTM and MTF is very similar if not the same.

I'm also glad that trans doesn't consume your life. Everything in moderation as they say  :D

S'fine, the MTF side of the T community is predominantly more visible/vocal than the FTM side :)


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: CaitlinJ on 09 October 2009, 04:09:PM
S'fine, the MTF side of the T community is predominantly more visible/vocal than the FTM side :)

YA RLY!


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: Eromenos on 09 October 2009, 04:20:PM
Well i suppose being 6 " 4 doesnt make you inconspicuous lol


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: CaitlinJ on 09 October 2009, 04:27:PM
Well i suppose being 6 " 4 doesnt make you inconspicuous lol

Nor does loving the sound of my own (loud) voice  :(


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: Eromenos on 09 October 2009, 05:56:PM
Nor does loving the sound of my own (loud) voice  :(

were like 2 peas in a pod!


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: RealTranny on 09 October 2009, 07:25:PM
Ok, now I'll have a go. I apologise that I don't have much to say about FTM transgendered people because I don't know any personally (I only know of one and I can't claim to know him that well to be honest).

When I was younger, I only ever recognised MTF cross dressers and I perceived them in two flavours: the ones which made me feel sad and the ones which made me feel happy.

The "sad" cross dressers were tragic: make-up not done properly and quite obviously male. It made me feel sad and uneasy because I realised that no one would do that simply to get some kind of reaction, would they? It can't have been a fettish, because they didn't look happy. They looked glum, trapped. There was an obvious need there to pass as a woman and they were obviously very very bad at it

How do you know these people were unhappy to me that just seems to be your opinion based on their looks actually it says `more about you than it does about them.


The "happy" ones were beautiful, admirable and you either had to *know* they were physically men, or have some kind of sixth sense. Because this came so easily to them I assumed that they just did it for fun, drag queens.

Same question how do you know they were happy on my wall I have photos of some of the most beautiful TS and drag Queens, most are dead either murdered, drug OD or Suicide.

From the above happy/sad dichotomy I (mistakenly) formed the notion that people who were good at cross dressing did it for fun and people who were bad at it did it because they really needed to be another gender.

Maybe they all had the same common goal.

I have two such friends, who I won't name. They're both MTF, they both seem to be comfortable being called "he" but I'll use "she" to avoid confusion. Miss A is young, full of life and beautiful. She passes, she passes so very well that members of the transgendered community in New Zealand have turned their backs on her "you can't understand our problems " is what they said.

Maybe you could define what you think makes up the Transgendered community as I can not imagine many TS saying something like that, also I cant imagine any TS being comfortable being called he unless of course we are talkintg about F to M.


Miss B is tall, masculine and very blokey. She loves to wear little Lolita dresses but they are entirely inappropriate and it just doesn't work. She knows that, her friends know that, we support her as best we can.

and I am sure `she is all over come with that support.

I used to think A did it for the kicks and B did it because she had to. Turns out they are both TG and A went so far as to go through the psych screening for hormone replacement therapy. She didn't go through with it in the end. Why? Well, she said "It would ruin my sex life."

Takes all kinds back in the good old days we would have called her a Drag Queen (good for straight trade)


Reading between the lines, it seems as though gender reassignment is not so important for A. Passing is important, but only in certain circumstances. She cross-dresses in public with the same trepidation Caitlin mentioned and she finds it liberating, scary and exciting. It's obviously a very big deal. Then again, I've seen her in her (men's) underwear and that's not an issue for her. Gender seems to have ceased to be an issue between us as friends, passing seems to only be important when presenting herself to the rest of the world.

As it should be.

One of the things that A is very concerned about is the number of pre-op transgendered people who think "after I get my surgery everything will be better". I sounded this out before with storm and she says the surgery made a big difference, but apparently, a number of transgendered people do get the surgery and then realise that their lives haven’t changed. They may be different on the outside, but their problems on the inside haven’t changed. This is because (as we all know) being transgendered can bring with it a great deal of other problems. 

the main problem most TG folk have is coming to terms with their unique position once that is sorted most go on to live productive and normal lives , i know I mentioned previously photos of TG who have passed let me say out of literally thousands of TG I have known the tragedies are by far in the minority. 

I know a number of other MTF transgendered people who have a great many problems in their lives. Mental illness seems to be high in the GLBT community or maybe it's just that I tend to gravitate towards mentally unwell people. Caitlin: you mentioned dysphoria and that's a concern for me.

Gender Dysphoria is I guess TG specific and yes a number do get desperate enough to take matters into their own hands I empathise with them ande completely understand why they go to those extremes. Most TS I know had a lifelong burning desire to change genetalia to match their perceived true sex nothing less was satisfactory.

When I think dysphoria, I think about those people who have fixated on a part of their body they don't like and need to get rid of it. One man (for example) disliked his legs so much he eventually chopped them off.

Absolutely get rid of it sooner the bette3r is the way a lot of us thoufgt.

The sad thing about his story is that no sooner had he gotten rid of this legs that he fixated on his right hand as the next thing to go.

Nope I never chopped my hand off sorry neither did any of my peers to my knowledge.

. My fear is that the need to change one's body, when it finally happens, may not produce the life-change  expected and lead to bitter disappointment.

Oh yes it did for me and all my friends bar none.


 My understanding is that the jury is still out on whether gender reassignment surgery makes people happer or not.

Is that the Swit Jury  and where does he get his information or is this all supposition.

For some people (like storm) it certainly seems to be a positive thing. For others, it results in bitter disappointment when they realise that the genitals weren't the things causing the negative thoughts and feelings.

Once again what is this based on can you quote stats and research.

So, my view on passing is that it seems important but not always and not when presenting to all people: in some contexts, gender is unimportant. As for gender reassignment, my view is that it’s valuable, but only in so far as allowing one to present as the proper gender, not as a catalyst to “fix my life”.

I know that sounds a little flaky and disjointed but I am still forming my views about this :D


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: RealTranny on 09 October 2009, 07:41:PM


And there are tons of success stories; Storm certainly thinks she is one of them and I have at least a dozen post-op friends scattered across the globe who are happy, well adjusted, beautiful, complete people.

This comment was condescending and uncalled for and shows a bitchiness not usually seen amongst Trans.
Rt


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: swit012 on 09 October 2009, 08:02:PM
Same question how do you know they were happy on my wall I have photos of some of the most beautiful TS and drag Queens, most are dead either murdered, drug OD or Suicide.
For sure, in fact, “happy” miss A is very unhappy and has a lot of issues herself. I use the terms “happy” and “unhappy” because that’s how they made me feel when I perceived them when I was younger, and perhaps quite a bit more naive.
Maybe they all had the same common goal.
That’s why I said “mistakenly” as I elaborate later I came to realise that yes, many of them did/do have common goal :D
Maybe you could define what you think makes up the Transgendered community as I can not imagine many TS saying something like that, also I cant imagine any TS being comfortable being called he unless of course we are talkintg about F to M.
Some Internet thing, I believe.
Takes all kinds back in the good old days we would have called her a Drag Queen (good for straight trade)
Wait, so she can’t be transgendered if she doesn’t want the surgery? This is precisely the thinking I wanted to get some clarification on. You don’t even know this person and you’re clearly saying “not one of us, not one of us”?


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: RealTranny on 09 October 2009, 08:06:PM
I guess that's the great paradox: "successful" transgendered people integrate and disappear. The ones that make themselves visible are either because they're "unsuccessful" or because they have a particular axe to grind.

what a lot of  oh Im not going to say what i want to here i think Matt would kick me off the forum, suffice it  to say some of us who have had a public persona whether it be politically or because we have been outed by the media many years ago made a conscious decision to stand up and be counted and to help maker the path easier for others coming after us, I well remember the furore when Georgina and I were elected to District councils at around the same time it was the media that made the scene we just wanted to get on with the jobs we were elected to do, for Georgina I guess the attention never stopped, for me my greatest days were when the local papers and laterly television mentioned my achievements without mentioning my TS status not to long ago North and south did a feature on my business and not one mention of me being TS WOW I thought I have arrived.
RT


I suppose for every one transgendered person making a scene in the media, there must be dozens just quietly going about their business, being normal.

I guess that's another question: is it important for TG people to be normal?

I know that some gay people kind of like being "different" being "special" and if homosexuality was perfectly 100% accepted it wouldn't feel so special.

That said, I have never considered myself "normal", though as I get older I do see myself fitting surprisingly comfortably into the norms set for me by society.


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: RealTranny on 09 October 2009, 08:13:PM
Quote from: RealTranny on Today at 07:25 PM
Takes all kinds back in the good old days we would have called her a Drag Queen (good for straight trade)


Swit said :

Wait, so she can’t be transgendered if she doesn’t want the surgery? This is precisely the thinking I wanted to get some clarification on. You don’t even know this person and you’re clearly saying “not one of us, not one of us”?

No Swit you said that;        I said in the old days we would have called her a Drag Queen I was quoting how it was, I am clearly not  saying anything about your friend as unlike you folks I don't have opinions on people I do not know and neither am I a psychiatrist or amateur psychologist.
RT


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: swit012 on 09 October 2009, 08:18:PM
what a lot of  oh Im not going to say what i want to here i think Matt would kick me off the forum, suffice it  to say some of us who have had a public persona whether it be politically or because we have been outed by the media many years ago made a conscious decision to stand up and be counted and to help maker the path easier for others coming after us, I well remember the furore when Georgina and I were elected to District councils at around the same time it was the media that made the scene we just wanted to get on with the jobs we were elected to do, for Georgina I guess the attention never stopped,
Ok, poor comment on my part and I apologise. I respect the work people have done in the past for this and other causes.
My comment was more that I get the sense that there are so many "ordinary" "boring" transgendered people living their "woodworked" lives out there. Perhaps if the general public knew all of their stories then there would be less of a stigma.

for me my greatest days were when the local papers and laterly television mentioned my achievements without mentioning my TS status not to long ago North and south did a feature on my business and not one mention of me being TS WOW I thought I have arrived.
That is it, that is the goal after all. I'm not begrudging you that.

Quote from: RealTranny on Today at 07:25 PM
No Swit you said that;        I said in the old days we would have called her a Drag Queen I was quoting how it was, I am clearly not  saying anything about your friend as unlike you folks I don't have opinions on people I do not know and neither am I a psychiatrist or amateur psychologist.
RT
Ok, perhaps it's me misunderstanding what "drag queen" means. I took it to mean someone who did it just for kicks (miss A decidedly does not do it just for kicks, it's very important to her). I have been meaning to make a thread about terminology as well  :D


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: swit012 on 09 October 2009, 11:51:PM
Quote from: RealTranny
Quote from: swit012
My understanding is that the jury is still out on whether gender reassignment surgery makes people happer or not.

Is that the Swit Jury  and where does he get his information or is this all supposition.

I neglected to address this so maybe I should. I'll let you into my slightly obsessive thought patterns on this one if you like:

I want to say that some transgendered people are disappointed by the end results because that's what miss A told me. Then again personal communication is an unreliable source and I'd rather make a more general statement than a specific one. Ok, so why not google "sex change disappointment (http://www.google.com/search?q=sex+change+disappointment)". Hmm a few hits but all from unreliable sources. Except perhaps for the BBC one. Scanning through the article I immediately disagree with its claims: that feminism is threatened by MTF transgender operations. Still it has one sentence of interest to me:

Quote
According to a review carried out by the School of Health and Related Research at Sheffield University, the poor quality of research in this area means that "little robust evidence exists" on the outcomes for patients who have sex change surgery.

Aah, looks sound enough to me. I trust the BBC did their homework and cited the original research. I'll just rephrase the academic wording as something a little softer "the jury's still out". Yeah, that sounds good.

I confess it's not of an academic quality but I felt it was good enough for a post on a discussion forum.


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: RealTranny on 10 October 2009, 09:02:AM
Ok, poor comment on my part and I apologise. I respect the work people have done in the past for this and other causes.
My comment was more that I get the sense that there are so many "ordinary" "boring" transgendered people living their "woodworked" lives out there. Perhaps if the general public knew all of their stories then there would be less of a stigma.
That is it, that is the goal after all. I'm not begrudging you that.
Ok, perhaps it's me misunderstanding what "drag queen" means. I took it to mean someone who did it just for kicks (miss A decidedly does not do it just for kicks, it's very important to her). I have been meaning to make a thread about terminology as well  :D

Nooooo just dont go there  ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::)


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: RealTranny on 10 October 2009, 09:03:AM
Ok, poor comment on my part and I apologise. I respect the work people have done in the past for this and other causes.
My comment was more that I get the sense that there are so many "ordinary" "boring" transgendered people living their "woodworked" lives out there. Perhaps if the general public knew all of their stories then there would be less of a stigma.
That is it, that is the goal after all. I'm not begrudging you that.
Ok, perhaps it's me misunderstanding what "drag queen" means. I took it to mean someone who did it just for kicks (miss A decidedly does not do it just for kicks, it's very important to her). I have been meaning to make a thread about terminology as well  :D
What Drag Queen means now is far different to what it meant 20 to 40 years ago and even then it was just a generic term for most, a bit like the way Tranny is used now.
RT


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: thepotplant on 10 October 2009, 10:16:AM
Awesome thread peoples!

How necessary is it for others to recognise your gender of choice?

I like it. And I refrain from dismembering people who don't get it right (because I'd have to dismember way too many people). I kinda expect many people will get things wrong if they knew before or have just met me and are just picking a gender based on my gratuitous androgyny.

If you could look like your preferred gender without surgery, would that be good enough?

It's 'good enough', but I still want SRS at some point.

If you're already a woman on the inside, what does it matter if you have a penis?

It gets in the way- I can't get changed in public changing rooms, wear a variety of form fitting womens clothing without things being obvious, I don't have F on my birth certificate or passport so those documents inaccurately identify me.

How does changing how you look on the outside change the way you feel on the inside?

I'm a far more confident person these days, and the change in appearance is a significant part of that. I actually function as a human being in society these days, which I didn't before transitioning.

What happens after gender reassignment?

I'll skip naked down a west coast beach with the wind in my hair like I'm in some kind of a movie.
...what?!
Err, anything you like really. Have fun with life.


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: storm4u on 10 October 2009, 10:52:AM


I want to say that some transgendered people are disappointed by the end results because that's what miss A told me. Then again personal communication is an unreliable source and I'd rather make a more general statement than a specific one. Ok, so why not google "sex change disappointment ([url]http://www.google.com/search?q=sex+change+disappointment[/url])". Hmm a few hits but all from unreliable sources. Except perhaps for the BBC one.
 Still it has one sentence of interest to me:
Acc
according to a review carried out by the School of Health and Related Research at Sheffield University, the poor quality of research in this area means that "little robust evidence exists" on the outcomes for patients who have sex change surgery.

Aah, looks sound enough to me. I trust the BBC did their homework and cited the original research. I'll just rephrase the academic wording as something a little softer "the jury's still out". Yeah, that sounds good.



See you are focusing on the few bad stories but not looking at the successes. Your looking for the negatives.
http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TSsuccesses/TSsuccesses.html

for sure there are some sad stories but there are way more success ones.

according to a review carried out by the School of Health and Related Research at Sheffield University, the poor quality of research in this area means that "little robust evidence exists" on the outcomes for patients who have sex change surgery.

There are two ways to read that sentence.
To me what it says is there is little evidence to suggest GRS has a bad effect.
The whole point is there is little evidence.

There needs to be alot more research world wide into a whole range of things effecting Trans which was one of my main points in the original article I wrote.

Why did the School of Health and Related Research at Sheffield University do a study in the outcomes of sex change patients instead of a study on how hormones effect Trans, whats the best ones, how can employment issues for trans be best helped, how many trans are mentally ill.
I would predict for the same reasons our own MoH did a similar paper with a similar answer to that in an attempt to block Trans access to high cost funding for GRS a couple of years back.
" poor quality of research in this area" was basically the same wording used in our MoH report and yet they tried use that report to block funding. Even the people who produced that report said it was the wrong type of report asked for and that they could little evidence.
Not enough is known and yet these people make decissions for trans based on incorrect information.


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: jdhunter27 on 10 October 2009, 11:02:AM

How necessary is it for others to recognise your gender of choice?

I like it. And I refrain from dismembering people who don't get it right (because I'd have to dismember way too many people). I kinda expect many people will get things wrong if they knew before or have just met me and are just picking a gender based on my gratuitous androgyny.


A lot of us have had to learn self restraint! Sometimes it can be hard to remember that not everybody has a good grasp on certain concepts (ie. differentiating between sex and gender), but I also tend to be pretty tolerant of people getting it wrong - unless someone is being willfully ignorant or intentionally mis-gendering me.
For example, I once had a friend who, in a situation where I teasingly used his full name (he had a name that is typically shortened in casual situations, like Nick -> Nicholas*) turned around and full birth-named me in a group of people who either didn't know my birth name or weren't aware of my trans status - Needless to say we're no longer friends!
I think it's important that we're tolerant, but it's also important that people recognise that they could put us in a seriously dangerous situation by mis-gendering us around the wrong people.

*obviously not his actual name.


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: swit012 on 10 October 2009, 12:16:PM
Nooooo just dont go there  ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::)
Awww. I take it this issue has been thrashed to death on the forums then?

What Drag Queen means now is far different to what it meant 20 to 40 years ago and even then it was just a generic term for most, a bit like the way Tranny is used now.
Not to go into too much detail, but I always thought the term "tranny" was a negative one. Obviously since you've chosen the word for yourself it can't have that meaning to you. I always associated "tranny" with "transvestite" which also has negative connotations to me.


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: Wabbit2 on 10 October 2009, 12:14:PM
I like it. And I refrain from dismembering people who don't get it right (because I'd have to dismember way too many people). I kinda expect many people will get things wrong if they knew before or have just met me and are just picking a gender based on my gratuitous androgyny.

Dismerbering people, lol, i like that quote!

A lot of us have had to learn self restraint!

Self restraint is a good thing to learn.  I'd recommend a healthy dose of this to anyone starting down the path of tranisition.
For me I had quite a few acceptance issues from my family; to be honest the way I handled certain situations wasn't that flash, I would go back and change this if I could as though some relationships have been mended others may never be.


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: Wabbit2 on 10 October 2009, 12:21:PM
Not to go into too much detail, but I always thought the term "tranny" was a negative one. Obviously since you've chosen the word for yourself it can't have that meaning to you. I always associated "tranny" with "transvestite" which also has negative connotations to me.

Its the problem with labels Swit, some people will take offence where others are comfortable or unconcerned with a certain term.  Often it can be in context to and who is doing the "name" calling.


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: RealTranny on 10 October 2009, 12:33:PM
I wear it like a badge of honor a rite of passage.

It leaves no room for anyone else to use it in a derogotary way against me and gives me the power in fact these days folks become embarrased when i mention it and say things like we had forgotton why bring it up.


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: Noob on 10 October 2009, 12:37:PM
I wear it like a badge of honor a rite of passage.

It leaves no room for anyone else to use it in a derogotary way against me and gives me the power in fact these days folks become embarrased when i mention it and say things like we had forgotton why bring it up.


Good call.  I like this attitude  ^-^


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: Wabbit2 on 10 October 2009, 12:41:PM
Its the problem with labels Swit, some people will take offence where others are comfortable or unconcerned with a certain term.  Often it can be in context and who is doing the "name" calling.


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: swit012 on 10 October 2009, 12:43:PM
There are two ways to read that sentence.
To me what it says is there is little evidence to suggest GRS has a bad effect.
The whole point is there is little evidence.

There needs to be alot more research world wide into a whole range of things effecting Trans which was one of my main points in the original article I wrote.
Yes I don't think you & I are in disagreement here, Storm. The only thing I wanted to draw out of that article was the fact that some gender reassignment surgery ended in disappointment for some people. There are good stories and bad stories. What makes the bad stories happen? My (unsubstantiated) view is that the bad stories happen when people were expecting the surgery to fix a whole lot of problems that the surgery was never intended to fix. Which is the reason we've been saying all along that good quality counselling is an important part of the process.

I wear it like a badge of honor a rite of passage.

It leaves no room for anyone else to use it in a derogotary way against me and gives me the power in fact these days folks become embarrased when i mention it and say things like we had forgotton why bring it up.
Good for you. Taking back the power as they call it  :D

Its the problem with labels Swit, some people will take offence where others are comfortable or unconcerned with a certain term.  Often it can be in context to and who is doing the "name" calling.
One day I want to get a shirt with all the negative words for "homosexual" printed on it in different font sizes.


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: storm4u on 10 October 2009, 01:09:PM
Awww. I take it this issue has been thrashed to death on the forums then?
Not to go into too much detail, but I always thought the term "tranny" was a negative one. Obviously since you've chosen the word for yourself it can't have that meaning to you. I always associated "tranny" with "transvestite" which also has negative connotations to me.

Terminology alas is something the TG has been fighting over for years with no real sign of any agreement.
Alas how can we of the TG world explain to others when we can't even agree on the meanings of words ourselves.
To me there is nothing wrong with Tranny and it relates to Transsexuals.
Transvestites are basically Cross dressers in my book.


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: CaitlinJ on 10 October 2009, 01:35:PM
This comment was condescending and uncalled for and shows a bitchiness not usually seen amongst Trans.
Rt

There was nothing condescending, if you read it that way then it shows more about your own issues than anything else.

And please edit your big post RT, it is extremely difficult to read.


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: swit012 on 10 October 2009, 01:48:PM
these days folks become embarrased when i mention it [the word tranny] and say things like we had forgotton why bring it up.
I neglected to comment on the last bit of this which is actually quite interesting.

Is it important for people to recognise that you are transgendered and have thus been through this rite of passage? This seems to be the opposite of what a "woodworked" transgendered person is looking for.

For me, it's important for people to see me as gay, but also important that I be accepted. Do transgendered people want to be recognised as transgendered?


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: RealTranny on 10 October 2009, 01:48:PM
[This comment was non compliant with our User Agreement and has been removed - GayNZ.com]

No my grammar isnt the best neither is my spelling and puncuation, well im told it leaves a lot to desire however it has never stopped me from being succesfull even though as a 12 to 13 year old TS I had to leave school so was denied the same educational opportunities you obviously have had.

I dont like to throw cheap shots like you seem to delight in rqather i am happier getting to the real issues in posts.
RT


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: swit012 on 10 October 2009, 01:52:PM
[This comment was non compliant with our User Agreement and has been removed - GayNZ.com]

No my grammar isnt the best neither is my spelling and puncuation, well im told it leaves a lot to desire however it has never stopped me from being succesfull even though as a 12 to 13 year old TS I had to leave school so was denied the same educational opportunities you obviously have had.

I dont like to throw cheap shots like you seem to delight in rqather i am happier getting to the real issues in posts.
RT
Seems to me Caitlin was just a little taken aback by your post, that's all. Let's not get personal, or "bitchy" as you referred to it earlier  :D


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: RealTranny on 10 October 2009, 01:56:PM
I neglected to comment on the last bit of this which is actually quite interesting.

Is it important for people to recognise that you are transgendered and have thus been through this rite of passage? This seems to be the opposite of what a "woodworked" transgendered person is looking for.

For me, it's important for people to see me as gay, but also important that I be accepted. Do transgendered people want to be recognised as transgendered?

Who knows i guess you will get a lot of different reasons and it is not my place to answer that however   in my case I like to be recognised for my acheivements which are not because i am TS rather in spite of.
The TS part of my life while significant is not what makes me tick but i do think it important that the community has role models to look up to , geeze that sounded arrogant .
R


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: CaitlinJ on 10 October 2009, 01:57:PM
No my grammar isnt the best neither is my spelling and puncuation, well im told it leaves a lot to desire however it has never stopped me from being succesfull even though as a 12 to 13 year old TS I had to leave school so was denied the same educational opportunities you obviously have had.

I don't have a problem with your spelling or grammar, your post was difficult to read because you had inserted your answers into the quote from Swit.
It makes it difficult to determine which parts are your and which parts are his; changing the colour of your text in the post would help immensely.


Quote
I dont like to throw cheap shots like you seem to delight in rqather i am happier getting to the real issues in posts.
RT

I don't understand what you are trying to say here.


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: RealTranny on 10 October 2009, 01:55:PM
Seems to me Caitlin was just a little taken aback by your post, that's all. Let's not get personal, or "bitchy" as you referred to it earlier  :D
[/quote

Swit there is history you may not know about .
]


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: RealTranny on 10 October 2009, 01:57:PM
I don't have a problem with your spelling or grammar, your post was difficult to read because you had inserted your answers into the quote from Swit.
It makes it difficult to determine which parts are your and which parts are his; changing the colour of your text in the post would help immensely.


I don't understand what you are trying to say here.

Then I guess you will never know as I have no intention of engaging with you but i have every intention of pulling you up at every opportunity.
RT


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: CaitlinJ on 10 October 2009, 01:58:PM
Then I guess you will never know as I have no intention of engaging with you but i have every intention of pulling you up at every opportunity.
RT

Why?


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: swit012 on 10 October 2009, 02:05:PM
Who knows i guess you will get a lot of different reasons and it is not my place to answer that however   in my case I like to be recognised for my acheivements which are not because i am TS rather in spite of.
The TS part of my life while significant is not what makes me tick but i do think it important that the community has role models to look up to , geeze that sounded arrogant .
R
I get the sense that it's a complex thing. On the one hand, being transgendered, it's very important people accept you as the gender you present. But in some ways that may also be dissatisfying, I imagine that for some people it's also important for others to recognise the struggle you had to get there.

I wonder if there's a generational thing going on here: there certainly is in the gay community.

Maybe the younger transgendered people just want to pass and get on with their lives and don't even want the TG part to be acknowledged, whereas previous generations have had to fight so long and hard, they need this fight to be acknowledged?


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: CaitlinJ on 10 October 2009, 02:08:PM
Not to go into too much detail, but I always thought the term "tranny" was a negative one. Obviously since you've chosen the word for yourself it can't have that meaning to you. I always associated "tranny" with "transvestite" which also has negative connotations to me.

I usually consider it to be pejorative; I will certainly upbraid anyone who calls me a 'tranny'.
I see it as being synonymous with other pejorative terms that are used to describe trans people, like 'trap' or 'shemale'.
Of course, some trans folk use it amongst themselves as a term of endearment or to describe themselves. In that context it's not such a bad thing.


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: CaitlinJ on 10 October 2009, 02:45:PM
Is it important for people to recognise that you are transgendered and have thus been through this rite of passage? This seems to be the opposite of what a "woodworked" transgendered person is looking for.

I prefer not to be recognised as trans, I personally don't perceive being transgender as a positive thing.
If I could take a pill that would make me a happy cisgender person, I would.


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: Wabbit2 on 10 October 2009, 02:48:PM
Maybe the younger transgendered people just want to pass and get on with their lives and don't even want the TG part to be acknowledged, whereas previous generations have had to fight so long and hard, they need this fight to be acknowledged?

I would suggest the age is not a factor in this Swit; its more of a personal choice.  For many simply being accepted and the ability to pass in their gender is the goal, for others they are happy to sit somewhere in the spectrum of gender.  


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: Wabbit2 on 10 October 2009, 02:48:PM
I prefer not to be recognised as trans, I personally don't perceive being transgender as a positive thing.

I agree about the trans statement; i certainly don't wear the "Trans" label, I relate to being a woman and that is how I live my life.  Though i'm not ashamed of my past or concerned to bring this up in the right circumstances. 


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: RealTranny on 10 October 2009, 02:55:PM
I would suggest the age is not a factor in this Swit; its more of a personal choice.  For many simply being accepted and the ability to pass in their gender is the goal, for others they are happy to sit somewhere in the spectrum of gender.  

I think it may be a age thing to an extent but for some of us who are out either by choice or through external circumstances it is a great defense mechanism I have always found that i can use it to stop speculation and gossip in it's tracks.

I think being TS (I do not consider myself TG) is a large part of what makes me tick and i am very comfortable in my skin I am not ashamed of my status it is me .
RT


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: storm4u on 10 October 2009, 02:58:PM
Do transgendered people want to be recognised as transgendered?

I consider myself to be a member of the Transgender community but I am not transgendered?
Im a female or sex change.


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: storm4u on 10 October 2009, 03:02:PM
....that good quality counselling is an important part of the process.
 

Are there any counsellors etc in NZ who actually are Transsexuals?

They are the only ones who will have actual experience.


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: CaitlinJ on 10 October 2009, 03:04:PM
Are there any counsellors etc in NZ who actually are Transsexuals?

They are the only ones who will have actual experience.

Mani Mitchell is a counselor who specialises in trans issues.
She is not transgender however, she is intersex.


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: storm4u on 10 October 2009, 03:08:PM
I dont like to throw cheap shots like you seem to delight in rqather i am happier getting to the real issues in posts.
RT
Agreed


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: storm4u on 10 October 2009, 03:13:PM
I think it may be a age thing to an extent but for some of us who are out either by choice or through external circumstances it is a great defense mechanism I have always found that i can use it to stop speculation and gossip in it's tracks.

I think being TS (I do not consider myself TG) is a large part of what makes me tick and i am very comfortable in my skin I am not ashamed of my status it is me .
RT

I find I am largely accepted well but am sprung at times - so what, Im happy.
Im open and honest about who and what I am simply because I dont lie (I lied as I have told the odd few in years gone by) But I dont lie about being trans or once have been deemed to have been a male. I am as proud of Andrew as I am of Storm.
If people have a problem with me and my being TS, its thier problem not mine. Like RT, Im not TG and have more problem with some one calling me TG that calling me a trans or Tranny


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: storm4u on 10 October 2009, 03:33:PM
The only thing I wanted to draw out of that article was the fact that some gender reassignment surgery ended in disappointment for some people.

We dont disagree but to me, why bring it out? Why not bring out the positives like the successes I posted.
What you bought up was a story in the UK where I believe only 3 bad results were talked about.
Ine the same story is the below.............

"She is one of a small number of trans people who have publicly expressed their regrets about having had sex change surgery."

"Against these stories of disappointment and regret, there are many more people who will testify publicly to their overwhelming satisfaction with sex change surgery."

There are the odd bad case for sure but why publicise these but not the many successes.


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: CaitlinJ on 10 October 2009, 03:42:PM
There are the odd bad case for sure but why publicise these but not the many successes.

Human nature. The general public doesn't care about the success stories, they want to hear about the tragedies.
In my opinion, it's good to talk about the cases where surgery was not positive. Those stories serve as a warning for those who are not ready.


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: storm4u on 10 October 2009, 03:42:PM
In my opinion, it's good to talk about the cases where surgery was not positive.

Dont disagree with you. They need to be balanced with the far more numbers of successes tho, so they dont scare people.


Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: Wabbit2 on 10 October 2009, 04:10:PM
Human nature. The general public doesn't care about the success stories, they want to hear about the tragedies.
In my opinion, it's good to talk about the cases where surgery was not positive. Those stories serve as a warning for those who are not ready.

Agree human nature likes to see distress; just watch the 6pm news each night

Dont disagree with you. They need to be balanced with the far more numbers of successes tho, so they dont scare people.

It would be great to see more success stories broadcast; I remeber when I was a young teenager I hung on every "rare" story i heard through the magazines.  The real benefit (my opinion) of the success stories is not so much for the general public; its for the ones struggling with the inner turmoil to transisition, and the family and friends trying to deal with a loved ones revelation to transistion.



Title: Re: TG: How important is Passing?
Post by: storm4u on 10 October 2009, 04:19:PM
Agree human nature likes to see distress; just watch the 6pm news each night

It would be great to see more success stories broadcast; I remeber when I was a young teenager I hung on every "rare" story i heard through the magazines.  The real benefit (my opinion) of the success stories is not so much for the general public; its for the ones struggling with the inner turmoil to transisition, and the family and friends trying to deal with a loved ones revelation to transistion.


Yes I do agree. The real benefit of telling of the successes is as you say. However you are talking about a VERY limited audience there and will never sell it to anyone who can help publisize it with that. There are benefits also to the general public and to helping people understand and so that is where the focus needs to be to be able to sell it. Bigger audience potential.