We Are… Everywhere

While the conservative pseudo-scientists of Psychiatry insist that the prevalence of Transsexualism is incredibly rare those of us who are sisters and brother with a medical history of Sex Reassignment Surgery know different.

Studies by Lynn Conway and the late Femke Olyslager place our prevalence at some where between one in five hundred and one in a thousand. Not people with transgenderism but post-SRS folks.

The thing is that mosT of are not Kim Petras, or Kate Bornstein or for that matter Amanda Lapore. It may come as a surprise to the conservatives who like to label us as sick and portray us all as sex workers, man of us are in a wide range of careers that do not involve subjecting ourselves to the brutality of the sex indistry.

This is not to deny that there are many of us who are so far down on the socio-economic scale that we do sex work and measure status according to the form of sex work. We often come from background of severe child abuse including physical, emotional and sexual. We are often throwaway children and grow up to be substance abusers.

We are diverse population. My Facebook friends include professors and lawyers, writers and musicians both brothers and sisters.

I have been talking a lot about ENDA and Critical Mass favoring trans-inclusion for both people with transsexualism and people with transgenderism.

Today there were articles about post-SRS women in both the New York Times and in the Dallas Morning News. One a concert pianist the other a police officer. A picture of diversity one from the northeast and one from Texas. Both major metropolitan centers known for their diversity with many being surprised by the fact that Dallas has non-discrimination laws that protect transsexual and transgender people.

From the Dallas Morning News

17 years on the job, Officer Joe became Officer Debbie

08:52 AM CST on Sunday, November 15, 2009

By SHERRY JACOBSON / The Dallas Morning News
sjacobson@dallasnews.com

After 17 years with the Dallas Police Department, Officer Joseph Grabowski showed up at work one day sporting makeup, a feminine hairstyle and a new first name: Deborah.

Deborah Grabowski says she had a happy childhood growing up as Joseph Grabowski. In 2005, though, she decided she’d kept her feelings of being female secret long enough and started the process to change her gender.

The 44-year-old officer was scared and relieved that the secret was finally out.

“I have always felt like a woman and, suddenly, everybody knew I was going to have the surgery to make it real,” she said.

Because the city of Dallas does not offer health insurance coverage for sex-change operations, Grabowski paid for the costly procedure herself.

In recent years, a few cities – and a growing number of private employers – have decided to cover the cost of these surgeries, and the city of Fort Worth is considering whether to join them.

Continue Reading at: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/localnews/tv/stories/DN-sexchanges_15met.ART.State.Edition2.4bb8770.html

From the New York Times

Anything He Can Do, She Can Do

IN September 1998, David Buechner, then 39, a prominent classical pianist, came out as a transgender woman, explaining that from then on, she would live and perform as Sara Davis Buechner. The pianist had been accustomed to rave reviews (at 24, David, in his New York City concert debut, was called “an extraordinary young artist” by a New York Times critic). But the debut as Sara, reported in a Times magazine article, was not so well received, even by loved ones.

Elizabeth and Anthony Buechner, the parents, as well as Matthew, the older brother, all expressed their opposition. In a recent interview, Matthew Buechner, a professor of molecular biosciences at the University of Kansas, said he had counseled David to remain a man publicly and cross-dress in private. “A lot of people live that kind of dichotomy,” Matthew said. “I saw the switch as something that would destroy a career. Classical audiences are very conservative.”

But Sara Buechner was determined to be. She said that from when she first took lessons at age 3, she knew she’d be a pianist, and not long after, realized she was meant to be a girl. (“On the playground, boys yelled ‘David’s a girl’ and I’d think, ‘You got that right.’ ”) She believed that bouts of heavy drinking and depression during her years as David stemmed from not being true to herself.

In the next years, Ms. Buechner largely disappeared from public view, though not by choice. David had done 50 concerts a year — performing with philharmonic orchestras in New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland and San Francisco — but as Sara, she couldn’t get bookings. “Apart from local gigs, from 1998 to 2003, I did three to five concerts a year,” she said. David taught as an adjunct professor at Manhattan School of Music and New York University, but as Sara, seeking a full-time professorship, “I applied 35 places and wouldn’t even get a response. Behind my back, I’d hear, ‘Is it safe to leave him in a room with undergrads?’ ”

She left Manhattan, where she got the wrong sort of attention (“In line at the bank, I hear, ‘You’re the guy living on the sixth floor having a sex change’ ”), and moved to the Bronx, where she was only Sara. She took a job teaching the piano to children at the Amadeus Conservatory in Chappaqua, N.Y. “A nice lady said, ‘Why teach here?’ I lied. I said, ‘I want to teach kids.’ I needed work.” She earned a third of what David had made 10 years earlier.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/15/fashion/15genb.html?_r=1&ref=style

When I came out over 40 years ago I could count the number of books either by or about people with transsexualism.  Now I cold easily fill a couple of IKEA 72″ Billy bookcases were I to even half try to keep up.

Yet for all our diversity we are mostly an invisible minority, although in the world of the internet and data banks probably far less invisible than many sisters who claim to be stealth think they are.

Yet many of us question why we shouldn’t treat having been born with transsexualism as just that, a fact of life neither a source of pride nor of shame.

I’ve come to realize I like some of my sister and some of my brothers while disliking others and it rarely has much of anything to do with their having been born either transsexual or transgender and a great deal more do do with them as people.

And yeah I am glad when people have the courage to tell their stories, especially when their live have more to them than just what they were born.

 

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