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transexual teen beauty queen - naff title, amazing documentary

(21 Posts)
ThatVikRinA22 Tue 20-Nov-12 21:38:31

on bbc3 now.

that woman is just stunning.
she had pioneering treatment to stop the onset of puberty, she knew she was a girl from a very early age, she was beaten up as a teen and spat on and abused, and now she is 18 and in the running for Miss England. She is a girl through and though, you would never ever have guessed that at any point she had been born as a boy.
im stunned
and i also think that treatment to delay the onset of puberty should be available in this country for kids who are as sure of their gender identity as she is.
she is just amazing.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Tue 20-Nov-12 21:41:28

It is really interesting!

She is amazing

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 20-Nov-12 21:45:08

she truly is, i think in instances where someone is so certain of who they are from such a young age we should allow them to have control of their body from a much earlier age.

she had the operation at 16 in asia.
her mum is amazing too.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Tue 20-Nov-12 21:51:35

Those rubber hands!

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 20-Nov-12 21:52:56

cheeky! its good that she didnt give her life story to the judges too, good on her.

and she came 18th out of 60!

MariaMandarin Wed 21-Nov-12 16:59:25

I felt uneasy about this actually. Don't you think 16 is too young to have major genital surgery for non functional reasons? It's possible that you won't have explored your sexuality very much and will regret reducing your sexual responsiveness as you get older.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 21-Nov-12 17:07:25

i think it depends.
in the case in the documentary she knew from very very early on that she was a girl.
she dressed as a girl from primary school onwards.
she was on 'this morning' and her desperation for the surgery came across loud and clear - she said if she had not got the surgery, and prior to it found that doctor who stopped her going into male puberty she would have killed herself - she was very matter of fact and said she just could not live as a man when she was a woman.

her sense of identity really was so clear i think in her case it was justified. She had the surgery on her 16th birthday.
her mother clearly knew what it meant to her and i thought she was amazing and supportive.
she was no more a man than me, and i think it would have had far more reaching consequences psychologically if she hadnt had it when she did. I think if someone is so absolutely sure of something as she was then i see no benefit in waiting.

MariaMandarin Wed 21-Nov-12 17:23:20

Hmm I'm not convinced. I am happy that's she is happy, but she is still very young and has had a lot to deal with already. I believe that's it's considered good practice not to operate in the genitals of children born intersex now because of the associated loss of sexual function. They can decide when they are adults. How important is it what a body looks like compared to how it works?

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 21-Nov-12 17:30:17

i suppose if its a reminder that you are not on the outside who you are on the inside it could be very hard to cope with, but i dont know.

i also think that the doctor in america who gave her the drugs taht stopped puberty was the one who made most difference to her.

in our diversity training we met a trans lady, who clearly used to be a man. that must be so much worse psychologically, because people stare and its so obvious that she used to be a he.

in the documentary in point there was just not a clue that she used to be male. surely thats the way forward?

maristella Wed 21-Nov-12 17:47:33

I thought Jackie was great smile

And yes, the blocker treatment has made a huge difference to her as it has given her the freedom to just blend in

MariaMandarin Wed 21-Nov-12 18:41:07

I agree that blending in is important especially when you're a teenager and I'm not being critical of her, rather of the treatment that she's had which I can't help thinking that she was too young to know the full implications of. She obviously is very vulnerable and even after the successful treatment was not happy with her body and had further unnecessary breast augmentation. I was quite angry with her mother for facilitating that although I can understand that she is tryin to make amends for her unhappy past. I just don't think that having bigger breasts, or superdicially female sex organs will make you happy.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 21-Nov-12 19:00:08

did you think she was vulnerable?
she seemed very sorted and sensible from what i saw, just a young woman enjoying her life.
she had breast augmentation because she had small breasts - lots of women have that surgery - i dont think that means they are vulnerable.

i think her past was only unhappy before she had the surgery and lived her life in the body she clearly felt she should have been born into.

i think i disagree that having female organs wont make you happy - if you are a woman you want to be a woman, in body, and in spirit.
how awful to get up everyday feeling feminine and womanly then seeing your penis dangling between your legs as a constant reminder that you are in the wrong body.

so sorry for the fail link but this was the best pic i could find of her, and i think she explains herself so well for anyone who didnt see the film

GrrrArghZzzzYaayforall8nights Wed 21-Nov-12 19:11:19

I have a friend who is trans*. He started having period when he was 7. He would do serious self-harm while he was on his period, it became a very hard trigger for him - imagine being triggered by your own body regularly to the point of self-harming for days and being told you need to explore your sexuality some more before you can really decide (trans* isn't about sexuality, it's about gender).

Even today (he lives in the States where getting any treatment is very expensive, as you have to pay for the psychological reviews for quite a while before it will prescribed which is also costly) it's hard for him. Hours will be spent crying in the shower during his period, multiple showers daily to clean it away. It's not about new parts or lack of period making him happy, it's that his current parts and how they work being a major factor in him being depressed, anxious, and suicidal.

And as this is Trans* Remeberence week, to remember those who have been killed and incarcerated for who they are, it's good that this documentary was on to show that trans* people deserve what the rest of us can take for granted.

MariaMandarin Wed 21-Nov-12 20:03:40

I wasn't equating trans with sexuality. I was saying that major surgery on the sex organs can be associated with lack of sexual function, (and by that I mean the ability to experience sexual arousal, pleasure and orgasm not the ability to be penetrated or whatever), and that 16 is too young to make the decision to have that surgery.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Wed 21-Nov-12 20:27:11

I saw her interviewed on This Morning as well as on this show. She is very clear in her mind that she had attempted suicide several times and, if she had not had this treatment, would be dead now.

Whilst I agree that, as a general rule, waiting until 18 is ideal, in this case, I have seen nothing to suggest anything other than a greatly positive outcome.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 21-Nov-12 20:52:35

age is just a number - why not look at each case individually and on its own merits? surely that would be better than thinking up a number and saying before that you have no capacity to decide but a day after that you do.....

seems a bit wrong.

and in her case, she knew with such certainty and it completed her, i felt her conviction when she spoke.

MariaMandarin Wed 21-Nov-12 21:15:48

I think she's vulnerable because she's been bullied for years, has had serious physical and psychological trauma, and has had suicidal feelings. It's surely naive to think that she can just put that all behind her in a couple of years. I'm sorry I can't see this as as unguarded success story. I hope I am proved wrong and in 10 or 20 years time she is still as happy as she is now. But I fear there will be more difficulties to come.

And I actually don't think that girls should be having breast augmentation at age 18. I think it shows massive insecurities which would be better dealt with in ways other than surgery.

MariaMandarin Wed 21-Nov-12 21:21:04

I felt her conviction too. I do not dispute that she believes absolutely in what she is doing. But I think we do need to protect young people from making irreversible decisions about their bodies that may adversely affect their future health and happiness. You have to be 18 to get a tattoo!

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 21-Nov-12 22:33:25

so we should protect her from herself.

and watch as she slides into depression and paranoia and suicide. Make her stay a boy because.....why?
for me the difference in her was marked. She was vulnerable because she hated being stuck in a body she despised - i think to deny her the operation would have adversely affected her future health and happiness more.

i think to compare your entire sense of self to having a tattoo is belittling what she felt to be honest and i think we will have to agree to disagree because i dont think anyone has the right to project their own reservations or prejudices onto anyone else.

i think in 10 or 20 years time she will be living her life as happily as she is now snd if not it wont be anything to do with her operation, im pretty sure of it.

time will tell.

MariaMandarin Wed 21-Nov-12 23:21:01

I don't know why you think I am prejudiced. I fully support anyone living their life as any gender they wish. The programme made me feel uneasy because
1. I think she was too young to know the full implications of the surgery and other treatments that she had. As far as I know, some people who have this surgery lose sexual function. That is a big deal. I'm not sure if you can know at 16 (and maybe especially if, like Jackie, you have not gone through puberty) how much of a risk that is. I used the example of the tattoo to show that we do actually try to protect young people from themselves, and if we do it with something relatively minor like a tattoo, surely we should also do it with something major like genital surgery.
2. I was concerned that an 18 year old who has already had lots of invasive treatment should want to have further, unnecessary, surgery for cosmetic reasons only. It suggests to me that she still has issues with her body even after getting the female body that she thought would make her happy.
3. She has these insecurities and she's hanging around beauty pageants. That will not make her feel better. Being content in your own body comes from within yourself, not in the judgements of others. She wants to be a woman, she is a woman, she does not have to be poked and prodded by a panel of judges to prove some point.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 21-Nov-12 23:29:52

i didnt say you were prejudiced but i do think you are projecting your concerns onto her. I am quite certain that all the risks associated with surgery would have been explained to her. The fact she chose to do it anyway shows the strength of her feeling.

i didnt see her as being in any way insecure. plenty of young women enter beauty contests - she was actively scouted, i dont think she sought that out and she is a very beautiful woman.

like i said. we will have to agree to disagree.

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