Now You’ve Had Your SRS… It’s time to Get Over It and Move On with Your Life…

One of the big lies pushed by both the Transgender Borg Collective and Transgender Inc. is that  the Doctors warned us as pre-ops not to hang out with other sisters and to never ever have other sisters as friends after SRS.

The first part of that proposition  is obviously contradicted by the existence of transsexual peer support groups run by and for pre-op transsexual women that actively worked with various medical professionals.

We were the ones who generated the advice that if you were in the process of changing your sex from male to female perhaps it might be a good idea to actually associate with assigned female at birth women.  After all you don’t really learn about being a woman from drag queens or even other transsexual folks who are going through the same process you are.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s there were other reasons.  for one thing the police arrested both queens and transsexuals who congregated together in the ghettos.  Especially if the places they congregated were known centers of prostitution.  Hence the our advising each other to not go and hang out in those places.

Those places were pretty shitty places to become anything other than a “trannie hooker” and substance abuser.  You see with few exceptions nearly every bar I’ve ever been in that was predominantly a Drag bar/Trans bar has been a focal point for prostitution and other forms of criminal activity.

Advising transsexuals in the process of becoming women and hopefully integrating into the world of women to avoid these places and this culture makes sense.

As does suggesting the avoiding of people whose lives revolve around such places.

The purpose of our getting sex change operations was to become women, not to become post-op transsexuals.

We looked at Sex Reassignment Surgery as a pivot point.  On one side of that pivot point we had a lot in common with queens and transgender people after we had our sex change operations we didn’t.

There is a difference between being a woman and being a transvestite, even a full time transvestite like transgender folks.

What ever happened to the idea of getting your sex change operation to become a woman and then actually doing just that, becoming a woman?

Beth and I have actually known each other since the early 1970s even though we lived in separate spheres with only occasionally intersecting paths.  In a recent e-mail exchange I mentioned how my being accepted in the gay and lesbian/feminist world grew out of my having  first been in SDS, then the feminist movement, gay and lesbian liberation etc., including being involved in the LA Women’s Building.  In other words my becoming feminist and lesbian was part of my growth and development.

I learned about feminism through reading all of the radical feminist writers including, Solanis, Millett, Firestone, Bunch etc.  I also listened to women folksinger/songwriters and women’s music.  Read women’s literature including fiction and memoirs.  I listened to women and learned.  The first year I started living as Suzan (1969) I was still living in the remains of our Action Faction commune.  The guys knew I needed private space so they let me have the big room at the back.  I furnished it with India Tapestries, and stuff salvaged from the streets including a record player.  It became our living room as well as my room.  We would get stoned on weed in the evening and when it was time for bed they would go off to their spaces and I would close the door and listen to a Laura Nyro album.

In short I immersed myself in woman culture, filled in the gaps my socialization by proxy had left me with.  That first year I was the only person with transsexualism I spent my time with.  Instead I spent my time with my female friends and learned from them.

I gradually became part of the sisterhood of women and especially after I took a Marine Corp deserter as a lover and sheltered him garnered their respect.  I was in the process of becoming a woman not a transsexual and especially not a transgender forever.

Quote from e-mail with Beth:

Me, too.  The DOB women (SF and LA) gave me a chance to prove myself.  Funny, but some TS women do that while the TG “accept me and my penis as a woman” crowd has no clue about that … I have a new housemate with a trans friend of whom she’s remarked on the lack of women’s/feminist books on her bookshelf.

Think about that for a moment…

Now consider those people wedded to the Transgender Community. So caught up in that transgender community that every thing is seen through the culture of transgender, so isolated from the lives of ordinary women and men that they coined new words to describe those ordinary women and men.  I’m speaking of “cissexual” and “cisgender”.  Everyone in that isolated world is caught up in an ideology of”identity” and “identifying as”  Identity trumps physical being in that world.

In Transgender World one learns about gender and being a woman from “gender theory” and from other transgender, transvestite and transsexual people.

But this is a really fucked up way to learn about being a woman.  You learn about becoming a woman from other women, like Simone de Beauvoir says, like Diane di Prima said in her book My Life as a Woman. You do not learn about being a woman by absorbing the corporate message produced via the male gaze.

Within the collective you learn about being a woman from drag queens and those few women who make a career out of the abetting of cross dressers.  Or you learn it from the advertising and fashion industry where womanhood is seen through the unmediated male gaze, which is in turn used to sell the generally male idea of what a woman should be.

You do not learn about being a woman though men, not even through gay men.  Nor do you learn about being a woman from spending most of your time around drag queens and heterosexual transvestites, even the ones that live full time as women.  You don’t learn about being a woman just from other transsexuals.  You might learn stuff you need to know to cope with the special problems transsexualism adds to being a woman, but unless they learned what it means to be a woman from women they make lousy role models.

Another message is clear, outside the hermetically sealed world of the Transgender Borg Mothership is a terrifying and threatening place where one will be absolutely alone.

Think about that one for a moment too…

There are two different basic reactions after sex reassignment surgery.  Most of us look at those in the Transgender Borg collective and think this is insane. “After all I didn’t get a sex change operation to be a transsexual. I got a sex change operation to escape being transsexual and to become a woman.”

Then you have the Transgender Inc. women, who are sort of enablers.  They are often terrified to leave the collective because their whole life is caught up in it.

Now those are admittedly the descriptions of the extremes of both groups with most people neither fully denying or fully embracing their past or any connection to the Borg.

What I learned and what the  sisters that I remained friends with learned after the period of time we spent in the programs is that friendship with other sisters required something other than our all having had the same operation.

We also found ourselves bored with the whole transsexual/transgender scene.

Pre-ops ask us to stay and offer support, look to us for words of advice and don’t want to hear what advice we have to offer.

Staying in the transgender community means never actually becoming a woman.  Instead it is remaining in limbo somewhere between the sexes and genders.  If that is your trip, you are welcome to it.  It was a strange and alien space for me even when I was pre-op, most non-transsexual members of Transgender nation are pretty dull and boring people focused on only themselves with little clue as to what being a woman is all about.  It isn’t their fault.  How could they know?  They have enveloped themselves in this Transgender Borg Cult and isolated themselves from experiencing life as a woman.

Hell half the time listening to them is like reading one of those transvestite behind the pink door type fantasies.

Add to this the demeaning way people in  the  Transgender Community verbally abuse  post-transsexual women who have the audacity to say, having actual sex reassignment surgery creates a different life experience from hiding your penis and testicles behind a gaffe, or even keeping your dick and calling it a clit after you’ve had your nuts cut off.

Any one who continues to live in Transgender World after having SRS should really engage in some serious self-examination.

Lately it has become popular to bash the Benjamin Standards of Care, especially the part about the “real life test”. In the summer of 1969 I saw Dr. Benjamin.  When we met he asked me why I had come to him.  I said I was transsexual and his response was, “Why would a lovely young woman like you want to become a man?”

When I straightened him out and he discovered I had only been on hormones four or five months and had only been full time for a couple months  he told me he would sign a surgery recommendation for me in a year or two because as feminine and pretty as I was I still had to do the RLT.

By the way the RLT, didn’t mean transitioning in place and continuing to work where everyone knew you before.  It meant leaving the previous life and developing a new one.  Becoming a woman or man as the case may be, not being accepted as transgender.  Therefore you had to either attend school full time or get an actual job (Easier said than done when one had scanty identification and the Driver’s License folks wouldn’t give out ID with appropriate sex designation until after SRS.  But people were better and more open in those days before Reagan)

Today when I look at people who stay in the “Transgender Community” after having SRS I sort of find them kind of sad, pathetic in a way,  like a bird who has never learned to fly.

I know why they stay there though.  Many were men in prestigious positions and the loss of male privilege entailed with the process of actually being women, the having to start over to build the same sort of career in a world where women are discriminated against seems too much to ask.  Many relish the power of being spokes people for Transgender Inc.  Living at the top of a professional activist organization, fed by the donations of many who make up the Transgender Borg.


I’d rather be a grunt, a nameless faceless worker in the women’s movement or the eco movement.  Writing pamphlets or passing them out than be a leader in Transgender Inc.

This is because I had a sex change operation to become a woman, not to become a post-op transsexual still living in the Trans-Ghetto.

I can understand the lure of the Ghetto.  The first couple of years after I had SRS and bought my first Nikons I spent a good deal of time hanging out in and photographing the Hollywood Trans-Community.

I enjoyed the sort of star status.  Then I got raped.  I discovered that the Trans-Community had basically a male or maybe gay male attitude towards rape.

I started observing and saw how androcentric/male gaze oriented most transgender people’s ideas of women were.  I also saw the misogyny and contempt that most of my transgender friends held for assigned female at birth women.

I discovered I was spending less and less time with transgender folks and more time with women.  I discovered the more time I spent with women and the less time I spent with transgender folks the more I became part of the sisterhood of women and the less I had in common with the sisterhood of transgenders.

I was a pioneer, I co-ran what was probably the first peer to peer transsexual counseling service after the people who started it moved on into their post-transsexual lives. I felt guilty about abandoning “the community”.  So I went back periodically.

What I found was that I was treated like a star.  The first reactions toward me was that I was a lesbian social worker or a lesbian working with the LA Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center and not a post-transsexual. Then people would encourage me to take positions of leadership, which lasted until they realized I hadn’t done the Transgender Borg post-graduate work and received my doctorate in gender studies.

Being an unreconstructed 1960s and 1970s era left wing hippie feminist dyke meant that I had a tendency to listen to the post-modern wordy rapping games and offer up a serious critique by calling it a pile of bullshit.

Now when pre-op transsexual sisters, the ones actually surgery tracked instead of post-modern word salad tracked come to me and ask for my advice I tell them.

Avoid the Transgender Community, or if you do get involved in it make that only a very minor part of your life.  Immerse yourself in the culture of women.  Not the male gaze oriented surface culture found on television and in fashion magazines but actual woman culture.  Read women like Doris Lessing, Simone de Beauvoir, Erica Jong, Marilyn French.  Read women’s fiction along with the non-fiction.

Become a woman not a transsexual.  Transsexual was something you were born and get an operation to get away from being.

Having been born with transsexualism does not require you to live forever in Trans-world.  Be like those of us who were the pioneers.  Get your sex change operation to become a woman with out a prefix.

Letting yourself get sucked into the role of post-op transsexual star within the ghetto of Transworld is like entering an abusive relationship.  People praise you as long as you are the enabler, as long as you meet their needs, as long as you say and do exactly what they want.  But if you start to think for yourself or start to question the dogma they turn on you with a ferocity similar to that seen in the Communist Party USA during the Stalin and post-Stalin era.  Say something that contradicts the gospel of the Transgender Borg or Transgender Inc, something like, “I feel differently about my body and genitals now that I am post-op…” and you will find the abuse starts.

Say something like, “I feel I am being erased and my being is being disappeared by the imposition of the Transgender Umbrella, as I do not feel I have that much in common with much of the “Community” and you will be ostracized. The ostracizing will seem straight out of a playbook describing what happens to Scientologists who question the dogma of Scientology.

I got Sex Reassignment Surgery to be a woman, most other sisters I am friends with who had the same operation I had have voiced a similar intent.

Look around at how the idea of assimilating into the world as an ordinary woman is treated by the inhabitants of Transgender World.  Look at the contempt aimed at those who live in the real world as the sex to which they have been surgically reassigned and fit in.  Separatist and assimilationist are the nicest things the Transgender Borg say about us.  I don’t want to hear your whining guilt trips about how you will never be a beautiful woman.  There’s that male gaze again.  Neither will the vast majority of assigned female at birth women.

If you do not wish to be constantly guilt tripped about your ability to assimilate into the real world as a woman then you had better get away from Transgender World where they will lay heavy numbers on you if you aren’t constantly “out”.

What kind of life is that?

Better to keep your distance from the “Transgender Community” if you are really transsexual and want to become a woman and not a post-op transsexual member of the Transworld Ghetto.

Better to make the Transgender Ghetto a place to maybe visit or play and not the core of your live.

Better to get your sex change operation and move on, get a life in the real world and say good-bye to the Ghetto.

Integrate and assimilate into the world of women instead.

13 Responses to “Now You’ve Had Your SRS… It’s time to Get Over It and Move On with Your Life…”

  1. JinianVictoria Stareye Says:

    True words. I have followed the same path to some extent. I am a woman and enjoy being that. I make no secret of having a male past (by standard definitions) but I dont emphasize it either. I am simply a woman that is all.

  2. Circé (@CirceArt) Says:

    Your words ring true with me Suzan. I have had some nasty remarks directed at me for simply wanting to move on as a woman by some individuals within the trans/tg/etc community like being reminded that I was born female and that, ” well you know, you’ll never really be a woman ” bull.

    My world is inhabited by my sisters, many lesbians as I am, many feminists and all women. I just posted on my Facebook profile after reading your post and being inspired to speak about this sort of experience, thank you so much for your courage and for walking your talk.


  3. Teresa Ellen Reeves Says:

    I have repeatedly said these words over and over again:

    All that I ever wanted to be was a woman, and nothing else but a woman, a respected woman among women and a female-bodied one at that. And that is what I became. I had an inner sense of who I was and a neurobiological imperative to seek a congruence of mind and body. To correct a medical condition, a birth defect through hormonal treatment and sex reassignment surgery.

    My role models were part of the greatest sorority of all, The Sisterhood of Real Women.
    My mother was my role model and hero who understood me when I said that I thought that I was of a female mind in a male body and she stood by me through my transition to surgery and after for the rest of her life. She would not have understood why someone of a female mind would want to keep a male body.

    The Transsexual Rap (TSR) group that I went to in the Wilshire District of Los Angeles in 1976 and 1977 was one that was designed as a peer support group for people in transition that was facilitated for the most part by a college student who was an FTM.

    There were no persons then who identified as “transgender” and for the most part there was a simple classification of those attending into three or four possible differential diagnoses.

    Transsexuals, persons born of one sex by anatomy who want to become the other sex, who want to change sex by eliminating male (female) anatomy and sexual function through surgery which creates female anatomy and enables female sexual functioning.

    In June 1976, I was asked by a person attending the group about what I thought the word “transgender” meant, she having read of the word having been used by Virginia Prince. I said that I thought that the word meant full time transvestism, full time crossdressing and cross-living without having surgery. But I never heard the word again for more than 20 years.

    Therefore there were transvestites, who according to Virginia (Charles) Prince were “femmiphiles” (lovers of the feminine) who crossdressed while maintaining a male identity and who liked to have sexual relations with women while dressing feminine. Prince saw transvestism as superior to transsexualism.

    There were drag queens, who were seen as primarily male-identified people who crossdressed in their expression of their “female” personas that was the way they sought to attract gay male partners for a sexual relationship..

    Almost no one ever spoke of transvestism, crossdressing or drag kings in regard to female -to- males then.
    It probably has become important now to discern the differences between a butch role lesbian and a transsexual man although some people may not be able to tell the difference.

    And there were some people who were called “genderf**ks” and polymorphus perverse by some then– later to be called 3rd gender, gender rebels, gender queer or polygender. Today they state their desire to deconstruct the sexual (gender) binary that they see as oppressive and they see those who identify as natal females and males as oppressors who subscribe to that binary and are the “cisgender and cissexual” enemy of transgender people.

    But if you examine the sociological nature of such support groups then and now, a similar pattern of evolution of a group or organization occurs that fits the sociological principle of MIchels’ Iron Law of Oligarchy.
    Michels’ principle suggests that power in these groups concentrates over time in the hands of a few, the oligarchs.
    In transition support organizations, this means that the group identity, individual personal power and group focus and purpose tends to go to those who have been with the support group the longest– those who transition the slowest, or those who have delayed, stopped or rescinded their transitions.

    For those who who were transsexual and adhered to the set Standards of Care, the path of transition leads them through with group support and when they have accomplished their goal and achieved the mind and body congruence they were seeking– then they have graduated as their transition has ended successfully and they can carry on as women and men among mainstream society.

    But to identify as transgender is to stop somewhere on the path perhaps midway to congruence and to go no further.
    Although they have stopped transition, they are in constant need of transition support against an oppressive “cis-society” that doesn’t support their defiant stance, railing against the sex binary of the human race. And they want to be granted special status in which their halfway change of gender is supposed to be protected as being the same thing as a legal change of sex. With all the legitimacy that transsexuals have earned for their medical condition being sought after and stolen by those who claim no medical condition. They declare those who are transsexual in transition or transsexual by history to be elitist essentialists whose medical necessity is nothing more than a rich person’s unnecessary elective procedure– which is nothing more than cosmetic and one that fails to make the person post-surgically more male or female by chromosomes or by reproductive function than the non-operated persons.

    I decided to study the field of psychology after I was two years post-operative because I found the profession to be full of misogynistic jerks, including the ones who were the gatekeepers to my future happiness who were allowed to evaluate and pass judgment of the quality of my womanhood and identity as a female.

    My transition psychiatrist was a Freudian pig obsessed with oral sex.
    Thank God I didn’t have to cater to or comply with his fantasy– yet he often fell asleep during my sessions.

    I was anxious about wanting surgery to fix my nose.
    The jerk said , “Your nose is like a penis, you know!”
    Just exactly what kind of sex is this man having?
    He offered me a trcicyclic antidepressant. After nasal surgery the medicine caused tardive dyskinesia, pseudo-Parkinson tremors and horrific pain in my stomach that kept me awake for 60 hours.
    He was sorry about the side effects and afterward he offered me another tricyclic antidepressant.
    When I refused the medicine with a potential for similar side effects, he threatened to withhold his evaluation that I needed for the surgeon. So I learned how to humor him and he reported my amazing progress on his meds.

    I did need a counselor to help me cope with betrayal and rejection by my father and brother which resulted in my never having seen my father in the last 36 years since his 53rd birthday before my transition and I would see my brother only once in 1987 as me before he died in 2000.

    I really needed a counselor to help me one year after my SRS when my brother’s 12 year old daughter was raped and murdered in 1978 in Ohio. I wasn’t allowed to visit family there as my mother had done just before then and my father was prepared to meet me with violence if I dared to go to the funeral.

    But my psychologist could even write the report he promised to write in time for a court hearing.
    After that I really needed a woman to talk to and I had an emotionless wooden man who didn’t care about my heartbreaking losses. He assigned me his female protege. An attractive women, looked like the blonde Agnetha in Abba.

    She was real sweet. But also a religious fundamentalist who thought that my surgery was immoral, unethical and against God’s will. She kept that thought from me until she lured me to her storefront church whose pastors accused me of consorting with the devil– and they would have loved to have performed an exorcism on me!
    Fortunately I escaped.

    Fed up with the whole sucking profession, I enrolled at Santa Ana College, I found joy, acceptance, friends and Sisterhood through a wonderful program called Women’s Studies! What a wonderful concept! Feminism! And the feminists there (even including men) were my mentors and role models including a woman who had just earned her PhD. in psychology. Her friend-an idiot psychiatrist- He told me not to trust her or confide in her as if she would not accept me. But because of her encouragement and guidance, I began to believe that I could do anything. I was to win 10 scholarships in my academic career including the Bank of America State debate competition and regional finals, a State Graduate Fellowship all totaling $35,000 and my picture appeared in the newspaper six times without mentioning my history. I chaired an honor society convention, I was an instructional aide to three daeaprtment heads and I would be nominated as valedictorian with a GPA of 4.0

    Although Feminist support waned and fell by the wayside after those first years, I was to be recruited by lesbians to be a counseling intern at the Gay & Lesbian Community Services Center of Orange County in 1986, and I worked mostly with lesbians– individuals, couples and I co-lead a group of lesbian incest survivors.

    It was a proud moment for me to be among the first ever post-transsexual women to ever serve as a counselor in a Lesbian & Gay center long before “LGBT”. It was an opportunity to serve a community of Real Women and Men, to be respected and also to be able to give back to my people, those who are or were transsexual, to smooth the road for those who followed on our path and to offer a place of acceptance, safety and respect.

    Although rampant transsexual phobia among lesbians and gays would tragically wreck my career, destroy my future and send me into despair, depression exile for 20 years, I did come back in 2008 to mostly indifferent transgender, lesbian and LGBT communities after having been homeless in Seattle.

    Yet I found my acceptance in 2008 as a respected woman among women as advocate, writer, facilitator and speaker in a community of feminist women as an advocate working with homeless people. Through the Women’s Housing Equality and Enhancement League, the Antioch University Women’s Education Project, & Real Change News. These organizations are loaded with Real “Cissexual & Cisgender” Women and these women let me know that I belong and I would never rebel against them and try to secede from being a woman or from being a member of the human race.

    • Suzan Says:

      Teresa, did that group meet at a center on Melrose Ave. near Western. Run by Jude Patton, Carol Katz and Joanna Clark? I went to a few meetings there. I was already a person in history due to my having been involved with the SF Center and I knew some of the folks who went to the meetings there. I was a blonde and wore a black leather motorcycle jacket and either feminist or punk rock t-shirts.

  4. Geena Says:

    Best post ever!

  5. Andrea B. Says:

    A very well written article with some good points.

    The only thing I take exception to is the the statement around socialisation. In the USA where you are Suzy, you might have had no problems with socialisation with other transsexual people, but in western, eastern and northern europe at the time it was a very mixed situation, with widely varying policies in the clinics. What you have to remember is that in the 60’s, 70’s 80’s and 90’s most of the clinicians we had in Europe, were ranging from slightly disturbed to completely and utterly insane, which they projected onto there patients. I know of several clinicians from back then, that make present day Blanchard and Zucker look like nice people and that is no exaggeration.

    To the best of my knowledge the most well balanced during that time in Europe was Russell Reid, who was only slightly excentric in a nice way, but overall a nice guy. Russell Reid was the sort of guy that most people would want to take home with them and adopt. He was the psychiatric equivalent of a cuddly teddy bear. Most of the others were just crazy narcissists, living in a self obsessed world of personal hatred, sexual criminality and bigotry, which they imposed on there patients.

    Some clinics had a policy of encouraging transsexual people to meet, some had a policy of opposition to transsexual people meeting other transsexual people and at least half of the clinics had a complete indifference as to wether transsexual people met up or not. The shrink in my clinic in Belfast, vehemently opposed transsexual people meeting up outside her supervision in the clinic or the local TV-TS group run by a nurse from her clinic, where’as the clinic down the road in Dublin actively encouraged transsexual people to meet up, socialise, meet up in cafes, meet up in the clinic, go to the pub together and learn from each other. A similar picture of widely different attitudes was in place in England and Scotland. It was only when the HBIDGA-WPATH stuff started to come into the clinics in the UK from about 85-95 depending on clinic, that things standardised.

    Russell Reid is the only psychiatrist involved in transsexual treatment that I genuinely have a good opinion of. He genuinely was a really nice guy. He helped sort out a lot of aspects of my healthcare and went out of his way to do so. My mum thought he was one of the nicest, understanding and comforting people she had ever met and I concurred with her. Russell gave me my second opinion for SRS. Mum went over to London with me for the second referral appointment, whcih was the first tiem I had ever met him and Russell called her into the office after he met me, to talk to my mum. That held up the clinic schedule for at least an hour, while Russell fed her on coffee and biscuits as he chatted to her about transsexualism for about five minutes, then everything under the sun.

    Everyone always told me how easy Russell Reid was to get hormones and referrals from. The day of my appointment for my second referral, there was a person (TG) in the waiting room who had been turned down for a second referral for surgery. That did not exactly inspire me and left me on edge going into the appointment with Russell. About a month after he gave me my second opinion he turned down another person who turned out to be transgender. Russell visited me after I had SRS in hospital as well, which was really nice of him. He also had another long chat with mum when he visited, mostly about Scotland. He was a really good conversationist.

    Regarding politics. I came to the conclusion a long time ago that dogma from left, centrist, right, single issue, religious and neoliberal is exactly that, dogma for the sake of dogma at the expense of ordinary people. I can’t be arsed with any of it. Most politics comes across to me as bordering on crazy or insane, just like transgenderism which to me appears to be like some sort of self imposed political ghetto of the mind. I think politics of all kinds are detrimental to transsexual people.

    I have read Germanine Greer and Raymond and was sickened by them. I know when a situation is unequal or not and don’t need a book to tell me that.

    I prefer to read science fiction and occassionally a history book. Some science books interest me as well.

    One thing that made me think about the whole TG thing being a ghetto, was when I had sex reasignment surgery. When I went to the hospital my mother completely freaked out the nurses, matron and ward manager by coming with me, to keep me company when I was in hospital.

    When the nurse talked to my mother when taking blood from me, after I arrived at the hospital and realised she was my mother, I saw the blood drain from her face, in shock. She could barely speak and got of the room as fast as she could. Within five minutes the matron arrived and spoke to my mother in private. Ten minutes later the manager of the hospital unit, was there to speak to her.

    It became clear very fast, that they had never encountered a parent of a transsexual person before. The matron also worked in the hospital down the road from were I was snipped and tucked, with transsexual patients. She had encountered a few hundred up to that point, without meeting a single parent.

    When my mother was out in the corrider lobby talking to the matron and manager, lots of nurses and other surgeons came out to look. It was clear to mum, that nurses were pointing her out and that there was even a heated discussion between staff. It was very clear to me and mum before we even discussed the situation, that there had never been a parent along with a transsexual patient before in that hospital, up to that point, which the matron made clear to my mum. From the reaction mum got, it was as though she had landed from another planet. They were completely freaked out.

    Mum was told by the staff, how common it was for people to back out of surgery at the last minute. The description that mum was given of those people would fit perfectly with transgender people. They all came across as men in dress’s with very male atittudes towards the female nurses, with some being agressive towards nurses.

    People who had surgery came across mostly as women, quite often quiet and some even as sexless, in the opinion of the staff. Seemed about right to me and fitted with my personal experience of transsexual people, I had encountered.

    Mum got it out of the nurses, manager and matron that the only people who visit transsexual people in hospital are other transsexuals, tranvestites, occassionally a partner, occassionally some gays, maybe a neighbour and some who have maybe a family member who would visit for five minutes and rush back out the door again, mostly with a look of shame on there faces. It was very rare for them to have more than one or two visits for more than ten minutes. It was usually a five minute, one of visit, if even at all. It apparently was not that rare for ex-partners to use the fact that the patient was in hospital to serve divorce papers and claims for child custody as well as assets.

    Most got no visitors apart from clinicians or a few TS’s from the various foums, which is most likely why my surgery was a new experience for them.

    That is when I found out that most transsexual people did not even get phone calls to the hospital, when recovering from SRS. In my case the receptionist on the phones, was driven nuts. I suppose it is the first and only time, she was asked by someone with an Irish accent to ask someone when they come out of surgery where the spare needles for fixing the fishing nets were. After I came around from SRS, the first thing I was asked by a nurse, was what was my mobile phone number so they could give it to my cousin when he rung back, who wanted to talk to me about fishing nets. The nurse had a very strange expression on her face. Some of my family have very strong Irish accents, just as the Scottish side of my family has strong Scottish Clydeside accents. That caught the receptionist between a rock and a hard place, who just ended up referring everyone with a Scottish or Irish accent to my room including a sales rep with a Scottish accent, who had a good laugh with me on the phone about it. I still laugh to myself about that one.

    At least the surgeon had previously met mum when I went for my pre-surgery appointment. He also spent more time talking to my mum than to me. No suprise there:) I got the impression he found the reaction of the staff to my mum, to be quite amusing. He smiled when I mentioned it and said it will be a good learning experience for them. Dad was going to come as well, but my surgery was booked right in the midle of the clay pigeon shoot he was running at the end of the fishing.

    Personally I am a lot less in contact with other transsexual people as time goes on. Literally I am only in personal contact, such as phone and face to face over coffee or a beer, with three transsexual people whom I might bump into once every six months or so. One in Sweden, one in Ireland and one in England.

    Email and internet is not real contact as far as I am concerned and I find it hard to define anyone I have only ever had only email contact with, as more than an aquaintance. I don’t get or understand the virtual friends thing. I have to interact in real life.

    The transgenderists are mostly on a social level, internet based. There lack of real life interation with other people, must be very damaging to them on a personal and mental health basis and assume that having that type of interaction only with others without face to face personal interaction would eventually degrade a persons ability to socially interact.

    I don’t think I have ever went more than a couple of days in my entire life without having a conversation with someone face to face, about something. I could not imagine not talking to other people face to face on a regular basis about normal every day stuff. I think I would go nuts, if I was to socially isolate myself in the way that transgender people isolate themselves from non-transgender/LGBT people.

    I am a very social animal and really need to speak to someone face to face to become friends with them. I grew up surrounded by lots of family and family friends in a very large social setting with what seems like a lot more interaction between people than I have seen in Swedish, German, US or Canadian people. When I was a kid, the homes of my parents, uncles, aunts and grandparents were all more or less open houses, with us all in an out of each others houses, constantly. In spring making the nets for the fishing season was entirely a family event with all of us doing various jobs. The same with slaughtering chickens, turkeys, dealing with the cattle, etc. The majority of people I grew up with, that I bump into when back home, I also meet in each others homes.

    I know some LGBT people casually as in to say hello with, have a quick chat and thats it. I have practically nothing in common with them at all. I know two lesbians and a gay guy from my sci-fi group whom I get on quite well with as I have helped them get dressed up as Klingons at the local sci-fi events, which are usually funny as hell. I help make the molds with my friend from the local retro-computer club for there klingon clothing, armour and headware. They leave there sexuality at the door and it is sci-fi all the way with them, however they don’t seem to get on well in the LGBT world, which is interesting to note. We usually have a good laugh, mostly at there expense as three small skinny people dressed as klingons, look really out of place.

    My entire social group is made up of a very eclectic bunch of both men and women from several cultures and backgrounds. Being friends with only one sex, culture or group would not make sense to me. To be honest about it, would be bloody bizarre to me. I socialise with a very diverse groups of people. Growing up in a very large Scots-Irish family has me used to having large numbers of both men and women in my social group, just like the men and women I am related to. Sometimes there are girls night, sometimes mixed depending on situation. Scots-Irish culture is not as sexually differentiated as modern North American or Arabic culture. It is more fluid and mixed, although that is changing due to US media and culturally dominating influence.

    I have friends from animation, art, sci-fi groups, rock concerts and craft hobbies people I have worked with. Some are quite close friends. I know I have a sofa to crash on if need be with any of them.

    Regarding transgender people. I have never been able to be friends or strike up even a friendly conversation of more than a few minutes duration, with anyone who is actually transgender. Transgender people come across to me socially, as projecting a wall that stops in depth social contact of any description, beyond a hello or a politically approved topic. Every conversation revolves around sex, gender, LGBT or associated, almost without exception.

    Social interaction around Transgender people appears to involve some type of hierachy or caste system in which certain people at different levels of that hierachy look down upon or up to certain individuals cdepending on where they are in the caste. I have observed them interacting with each other socially and the only analogy I can think of that that comes close to describing there interpersonal behviour, is the caste system.

    I have bother articulating what are my thoughts are about transgender people. The best way I can think of describing there socialisation, interactions and lives, is as though they live in a self imposed caste system, with all social interaction stuck on some sort of automatic replay, that occassionally adds in politically based words. It is as though they are stuck in a loop in a moment of time, at a various point in there lives, which they live over and over again. It is almost like something out of science fiction, except that it is a self imposed prison, with walls made entirely of there own thoughts and enforced by the thoughts, actions and internet fantasies of others like themselves.

  6. Teresa Ellen Reeves Says:

    Yes, Suzan. That was where the meetings were held. I first attended the group in January 1976 and the last time was in June 1977 when I came back just once after I had been post-op 2 months. At the time the round trip and the meeting took about 7 hours from Long Beach and my mom and I would get home around midnight.

    The usual facilitator was an FTM named Jay Urbach . Jude, Carol, and Joanna were frequent but not weekly visitors there. I saw Jude & Joanna Clark when I was attending Santa Ana College 1979-1981 and they had done some guest speaking there. I actually friended Joanna Clark on Facebook a few months ago. I also found Ar’lene Lafferty and Sheila Blaise on Facebook, and I have seen Jude’s directory listing as a counselor in Bellingham, WA. Jackie Cogswell had had her surgery at Stanford then and was trying to reconcile with her mother. And I, Rochelle Richards, and the late Kara Blohm followed Carol Katz to Trinidad.

    The notorious butcher John Ronald Brown visited there in September 1976, drawing 60 in attendance and I got into an argument with him over a question by about his surgical technique. I met him originally and he wrote my first estrogen prescription in November, 1975 when Shannon O’Hara and Artus D’Longweill were working for him (in trade for surgery?) at GCSC Hollywood on Highland and O”Hara & Brown had appeared on the Tomorrow show with Tom Snyder in 1975 and early 1976. Anton Ammond worked for Brown’s Sunday office in L.A.

    Just days into my transition, Ammond said I could have surgery in six weeks for $5, 200. He would characterize Stan Biber as a butcher who runs a mill. Considering that Brown was doing surgery in the equivalent of a dentist chair or on a kitchen table with unlicensed assistants, dumping his patients into nursing homes with zero aftercare– and Biber in 1977 wanted $1,200, the new (1973) hospital $1,200, I paid $300 for three more days due to a urinary blockage due to spasm, and $300 extra for a tracheal shave– it makes me wonder just how strapped Brown was for cash that he couldn’t have beat that price by a mile for his shoddy work. Folks had said Brown was a pioneering genius with his surgical technique, but a sloppy and reckless one who may not have washed his hands before going in to surgery.

    There were an awful lot of people who were not on our path to surgery and the end of transition- and some were so vicious, catty and bitchy– obsessed with exaggerated femininity, playing dress up. One woman who had nicknamed me “Cupcakes” said to my face after I was recovering from my nose surgery, “Honey, I wouldn’t have paid $25 for that!” and she then said .. “I am only kidding!”, and I removed her knife from my back. I did get to facilitate the group just once in January 1977, but once I knew I was going to have enough money to go to Biber and I scheduled my surgery for April 21, 1977– I found it in my best interest to stay away from the meetings because I found them to be detrimental to my well being as I prepared in those final days that i was pre-op.

    And the evening I departed for Trinidad April 16, 1977, 60 Minutes did its story exposing the real Dr. John Brown and his license being revoked by the State of California for gross malpractice and negligence, including a patient who died undergoing treatment for acne!

    Amazingly, no one had even mentioned Stan Biber the first five months I had gone there.. All I ever heard about was Brown, Stanford and whatever bizarre stuff was going on in Mexico with Barbosa, etc. But fortunately that changed and my dream came to be within my reach when I received the information packet in the mail from Biber in July 1976 and I started seeing an increasing number of Biber’s post-ops who came to our meeting.

    I found the support group to be important in the obtaining of information and fortunately I was to gain valuable advice from a few, who had had sex reassignment. Without those sisters who did come back to reach out to us I would not have made it through. They were the inspiration for me when I chose to become a counselor to be able to give back as others had done for me. Sadly for the other 80% of those attending, those who were tracked to do something else, I wonder what ever became of them?

  7. Andrea B. Says:

    @ Teresa Ellen Reeves,

    Regarding those who did not transition or get sex reasignment surgery when we all went through our various avenues to sex reasignment surgery, most of them have not got sex reasignment surgery and the majority have detransitioned to life as occassional transvestite men, with some going on to become gay men in the gay community, usually as activists who are experts on transgenderism, trans theory, queer theory, trans therapy, sociology and other deranged self imposed ghetto nonsense.

    When I was back in Ireland about two years ago I did ask an old friend about some of the people I have known over the last 25 years. The majority of them who were in TV-TS groups, were still hanging around TV-TS groups. Only about 10% of them had went on for surgery.

    Those who did go not go for surgery were all transgender identified and imposing there nonsense onto everybody and everything.

    There are a few post ops who have been hanging around those groups for decades. Those groups are there only socialisation at all, with them staying in doors, when not attending those groups.

    Those going through the process now are being fed the transgender mantra from the moment they first contact any groups for information or help. It is then constantly enforced over and over again. The lies the newbies are told are incredible. They are told that such and such was the first to have SRS in the country in the 90’s. I knew TS people personally who had been done in the 60’s, 70s, and 80’s from the same area and clinics. I know of at least two post op people who hand around those groups who were operated on in the 80’s, who literally start the timeline for everything in 1993, or shortly afterwards.

    The transgenderists have established an arbitary cut of point, for most of history. Basically they are refusing to accept anything existed before 1993 and the World Wide Web being available for anyone to use, outside of academia. Literally they write anything that existed before that point out of existance, if they can. Anything that can not be rewritten out fo existance they transgenderise with extreme vigor.

    The transgenderists literally consider the world to have begun when the World Wide Web went open to all in 1993.

    That is something that just plain does not compute to me.

    • Suzan Says:

      Every actual Transgender person I associated with or photographed in the early 1970s is dead. The “Transgender Community” is like many ghettos, a toxic waste site. Only a few died of AIDS but more died of AIDS than violence. The Violence is a relatively new wrinkle and seems inflamed by Transgender Community ratcheting up the whole “Trans-awareness” bit. It was far rarer before the right wing back lash and the whole out and proud transgender bit.

      Men fucked queens and still considered themselves straight, they bought sex from trannie-hookers and still considered themselves straight. This whole linkage to queer and theoretical gender tower of babel had ended that sort of uncomplicated I’m a man and you look like a woman, ugh me have hard-on because you got nice tits, lets fuck level of sexual transaction. Making the men think too much about all the shit causes them to question their sexuality in a way they didn’t have to prior to the landing of the Transgender Borg Mothership.

  8. Says:

    Supremely excellent post, one that shares wisdom: learning about being a woman from cissexual women. Spout all the theory you want, but BIOLOGY will tell you they are the standard and we the variations. Nothing “cissexist” about that, just biological fact. Suzan has done a real mitzvah here. And yes, transsexual friends can hip you to how to navigate transition … so long as you pick them the way you would pick any other friend, by whether they are true friends.

    Hey, Suzan, maybe someone reading your post in order to trash you might learn something!

  9. Teresa Ellen Reeves Says:

    Yes, Suzan,
    You’ve hit upon the most haunting memory I have of my work as a counseling intern at The Center Orange County from 1986 to 1988. While I had been recruited to work there by two lesbians, the first person to greet me on Day One of my working there was a sweet man named Ron Nevarez, the beloved Center Administrator who asked me at the outset how many clients I needed and with ten days he’d delivered that many and he continued to do, treating me with the utmost dignity and respect as long as he was there.

    In 1986, Ron was HIV positive and he was the co-facilitator of The Center’s HIV+ support group. The lead facilitator for the group was supposed to be a lesbian graduate student named Jennifer, but she, with all her training, skills and experience took a back seat to Ron, a peer counselor by comparison who was an Antonio Banderas in looks and charm and a poster child for facing being positive with a positive attitude. Even the newspapers favored him over Jennifer, taking pictures and interviewing him– and because she was not being respected as the senior professional therapist by The Center staff, she would end up quitting in disgust. Four months after she left she was given the special honor of being named Center Volunteer of the Month!

    The disturbing reports that we heard from the group leaders at our weekly counselor staff meeting was that the men in those groups were very much supportive of each other there. But after the meeting was over these friends would go to a bar have a few drinks, pick up men and then have unprotected sex with them.

    And as time passed I began to see women coming to this group and eventually transgender women.
    More than half of my hours as a counselor were spent with lesbians, about 1/ 3 of my hours with gay men and the rest with transsexuals. But despite my openness and high visibility on staff, these people were not seeking me out and didn’t know me. Because they were not transsexuals, they did not identify with me and they did not need my advice.

    All the people that I saw coming to the groups were their own “Purple Testament”– I’m referring to an episode of the classic Twilight Zone television series where a soldier can tell who is next to die in battle by merely looking at someone. For me, during the height of the AIDS epidemic it meant that dozens of people I knew or had seen were destined to die much too soon.

    Despite the development of support organizations including The Center’s own educational outreach, the AIDS Response Program, it would do little to halt the ensuing avalanche of infections, disease and death that would kill 500,000 in the U.S. by 2005, wiping out a major part of a generation of gay men. While tens of thousands had acquired the infection were those who were caught unaware until the CDC and others were able to identify the virus, the fact is that most infections and deaths occurred after the highest risks for transmission were known and safer, more protective behaviors prescribed.

    And gay men collectively, actively resisted any call for them to change their behavior, even if failing to do so would enable their acquisition of infection and eventually lead to death. Too many would rather die than change what they saw as en essential part of who they are and their “unalienable” right to privacy and to love whomever they want in whatever way they want of their own free choice.

    But people live under the delusion that in a free society that everything is permitted.
    But everything is not good for you or anyone else and no one wants to be the victim who succombs to someone else’s free will choice.

    Thirty years after the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, Tracy Bumpus, a California transgender activist posted in January some recent studies reporting an HIV infection rate of transgender women ranging from 27% to 60%. This is said to be a higher rate than for exclusively gay men. Why? Because gay men have learned some lessons in the last 30 years and perhaps transgender women haven’t .

    Men having sex with men- and transgender women- not seeking to change sex- who are having sex with men- are essentially engaging in what is usually defined as the same high risk gay sex. But why are transgender women taking a higher risk?

    Because although the sex they are engaging in, including unprotected receptive anal intercourse (URAI) is a major HIV transmission vector, transgender women may magically think that their identifying as a woman protects them from the harm of what was once called a gay men’s disease. Transgender women may believe that anal intercourse validates their womanhood and that it is a sufficient substitute for the lack of a vagina in a sexual relationship. They may also be afraid of rejection if they dare to ask their partner to use a condom.

    I was saddened when I learned of the death of Ron Nevarez a few years after he had left The Center to take a position at SHANTI. Our big boss at The Center, Director Werner Kuhn was also die to from AIDS within a year of Ron’s death.
    And Tracy Bumpus, a former friend whom in her split from me made derogatory remarks about transsexual women and lauded with pride her keeping and using her d**k, died just six days after her 45th birthday on June 17 after having been HIV+ for perhaps 20 years. She ridiculed my lack of a sex life and even bragged about hers on her Facebook a month before she died.

    Is there a lesson to be learned by transgender women that they have yet to learn and will they ever learn it?
    As long as behavior is not changed then the infection rate will stay high. 50,000 new infections annually, thousands of deaths.

    There are some who have altered their behavior through a practice known as status or sero-sorting. This is the idea that people can pair off in sexual relationships — with those who are HIV negative choosing those also negative as partners– with those positive choosing similarly positive people. Some HIV health care workers think that sero-sorting has caused a drop in new infections. But sero-sorting has given high risk-taking men permission not to use protection. And the theory only works if those who are negative are not lying about their status or are unaware they are infected.
    And the idea that HIV positive people can’t reinfect someone or transmit serious secondary infections.

    But as longer as the gender relativists, the transgender and genderqueer ideologists declare that everything is permitted, that we are all equal under the gender variant umbrella, and that people have an unalienable right to live and engage in high risk sexual behavior without protection, then transgender women will continue to be the ones most likely to die from being infected due to their naive belief that their change of gender role magically protects them from the consequences of unprotected male-bodied sex with men.

  10. Andrea Rosenfield Says:

    @Andrea B:
    “Transgender people come across to me socially, as projecting a wall that stops in depth social contact of any description, beyond a hello or a politically approved topic. Every conversation revolves around sex, gender, LGBT or associated, almost without exception.”

    That’s been my experience with heavy LGBT users in general, actually. That LGBT identity thing is like heroin, it’s a euphoric rush at first, then becomes a life-trap that requires constant maintenance doses just to feel normal. Once caught up in it, LGBT addicts strongly resist all attempts at intervention, using prepared talking points that their LGBT peddlers give them for the purpose, and often conclude that the intervenor is a “bigot” who wants to “exterminate” them. Those who do “kick” the LGBT find it a very painful process and need to start their lives all over again with new friends and a new lifestyle.

    Oh, and the reason the TG start the clock around 1993/4 is not the web, it’s because that’s when the DSM changed to give people with Fetishistic Transvestism access to hormones, surgeries, and ID changes with its introduction of the “concurrent diagnosis” concept. Before that, a FT diagnosis was a brick wall. The TG hatred of the words “fetish” and “transvestite” is a holdover of this pre-history. The TG couldn’t exist the way they do now before that 1994 DSM was developed, so for them, that’s where time starts. The “T for Transgender” got tagged onto LGB at roughly the same time the DSM revision came out. This is not a coincidence, as Cook-Riley’s Bilerico interview admits, when it is directly stated that the blurring of TV/TS into TG was done to protect surgeons from the inevitable “regret” lawsuits that would follow if a FT actually did it:

    “There was [sic] the medical providers who were looking at those people who wanted to have surgery, and they wanted to cover their backside for lawsuits, so they were looking for a way out to guarantee that a person who presented for surgery, even if it might have not been the best thing for them, that they weren’t going to be sued. So it was a bunch of, let’s just say, ‘Covering your ass.'” –Yvonne Cook-Riley, explaining the origins of “Transgender” to Jillian Weiss,, 2011.

    “I thought it was Skinny and Sweet. The boxes are identical, except for the skull and crossbones.” — Lily Tomlin as Violet Newstead in “Nine to Five,” 1980.

  11. Beth Elliott Says:

    Fetishistic Transvestism … that’s going to leave a mark! I’ve been reading up on the DSM change. One thing I found was Norman Fisk’s 1974 article about using “gender dysphoria syndrome” as a change from the extremely restrictive “true transsexual.” I’ve always preferred this term to GID because you could have “GID” and be happy with wherever you end up short of surgery. It doesn’t define my experience of the need to change my physical sex.

    Technically speaking, fetishistic transvestism is about cross-dressing to masturbate … but one wonders when you have people so extremely adamant about not changing sex while insisting their male organs are female ones.

    Maybe, if they want the LGBT meme so badly, we should start mocking it as LGBFT … like the racist WWBT.

    It’s difficult to go directly at the TG umbrella idea because so many people have been conditioned to have a Pavlovian response to words like elitism and privilege. Maybe a good approach is to go after “non-op transsexual” and call it out as the oxymoron that it is.

    Or maybe take on GLAAD for its terminology guidelines. They can’t afford to be as snippy as individuals can.

    It would be good to put the Borg on the defensive instead of always having to have shields up.

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