Welcome to the party…

Good morning. And a very warm welcome not just to my regulars – but also to anyone who just happens to drop by as a result of the froth that has been going down of late in the national press and media. That’s the documentary…the morning TV…and shortly, too, yet another piece in the national press with my interview-happy – and today neatly prepped for photos – daughter.

Pull up a chair. Take a look around. The natives are mostly friendly – though i have, of late, had to moderate the occasional post. Differences of opinion are fine: more than tolerated. But (personal) abuse and vicious remarks about others, either posting here or out in the real world will not be tolerated.

From personal beginnings…

And explore. This blog started out as personal journey…and if personal stuff is what you came looking for, there is plenty of it around. Just dig a little way backward and you will find it all. The trials and tribulations of transition. Tears. Triumphs. And nail polish.

That, once upon a time was very important – albeit as metaphor for other stuff. And if you have to look up the meaning of metaphor, maybe this isn’t a good place to hang around.

…to wider bounds

Lately, the blog has grown a bit less personal, a bit more small-p political. Inevitable, really. The pace of transition cannot stay the same.

Early days – as more than a few have remarked – is a bit like a second teenagerhood, with the sole redeeming feature that having done it once one probably doesn’t make QUITE the same mistakes again. But i did my best.

Then, as things settle, the journey becomes steadier. Less event. More gradual appreciation of progress so far. Still, the occasional highly personal post about boobs. And relationships. And, inevitably, nail polish. But less frequently.

Too, there is something called “news feed”, which is where i put stories that i can’t be bothered to pitch properly but which deserve an airing to the wider national press. And there’s an events log, which is somewhat biased towards the academic.

Something, i hope, for almost everyone.

Ah, I hear you ask: why does she do it? No, not the blog. The public exposure. The self-humiliation and embarrassment in the arena of public prurience.

In the words of a wise old meerkat: “Simples!”

Telling the story

I’m a journalist by trade. Out and in the public gaze – though possibly for more modest reasons – long before all this trans lark happened. I am not afraid to hold an audience. Friday – ask nicely – and i might tell you where i will be doing my first public poetry reading in a very, very long time.

But there are a couple of other serious reasons for putting myself in the line of fire. First, because if i don’t, others will. I am a firm believer that stories are made not by people, but by the times. And right now, the times (the Times, too!) are demanding a certain sort of story about trans folk.

Those stories will be told, irrespective of whether the community co-operates or not and if they can be told well, sympathetically, that helps in the long run.

Unpicking the myth

Tonight’s documentary stemmed from one such impulse. My partner, andrea, discovered early in the process a staggering – and probably quite untrue – statistic to the effect that the vast majority of partners left within weeks…months of someone announcing plans to transition.

Is that true? Yes. No. Not exactly. The reality, as ever, is far more complex. relationships evolve when placed under pressure like this. Yet if the only story “out there” has partners upping and walking at the first sign of gender diversity…then that is bad for all concerned. For transitioners. For partners. For families.

Our first reaching out to the Mail stemmed from an impulse to present an alternative reality to the world. Tonight’s documentary builds on that. We hope.

For it shows a family – all of us – responding to stress and not shattering at the first sign of queerity.

Time for people to listen

There’s more. Some of my recent posts may look quite political. But they are less so than they might appear. Because beneath the surface runs a common thread.

It is this: crossness. Crossness at the wider world that it not only gets trans people wrong – so wrong – but having done so it then condemns trans folk by the standards of their own wrongness.

Like , f’rinstance, a non-catholic weighing in against the hypocrisy, supposed, of a catholic given to eating meat on a friday. except that such practice is now perfectly permitted. So criticism, if any, would be based on a false premise. A lie, dare i suggest it.

Stick around. Engage.

Trans reality: forget tabloid fiction

The papers have, of late, been awash with some rather more unusual trans stories. Stuff about trans men having babies. Five-year olds being diagnosed with dysphoria. Hormone blockers for teenagers.

I wince at the shock! horror! that seems to follow inevitably from each of these.

Wince too at the silliness of that shock! horror! Trans men have been having babies for years – and no-one involved think it in any way unpicks the validity of their gender identification. The press are decades late to this story…but to read some of them, you’d think they’d only just found out.

A five-year-old with dysphoria! OMG! Someone fetch the fire brigade. But wait: what is actually meant by that?

The child in the most recent report was struggling: has immense personal issues which seem to be linked to gender. For all the froth, though, nothing more is being asked right now than that other folk – pupils and teachers – respect that child’s wishes and not bully or abuse her for wishing to dress and identify other than as her birth gender.

Its a simple story about tolerance. That’s all. Yet to read some columnists, you’d think the sky was falling in.

And so it goes. Stories that are exceptional made out to be commonplace: those that are common presented as some great new discovery.

Time to end the ignorance

No. For the trans community, the biggest problem of all is ignorance, pure and simple. It is people and those who SHOULD know better, those who report the news, not really reporting at all. Rather, it is about people generally thinking they understand what its all about…not having the time or inclination to find out what is really involved…and then condemning trans men and women for not living up to non-trans expectations and narrative.

If you’re a regular reader here, chances are you knew that already. If you’re new: if you popped in today to find out what all the fuss is about; stick around. You might just find out!

jane xx

25 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Gabby said,

    I’m not a regular reader of yours and I have to say you don’t represent people like me I don’t mean to be unkind but I have an intersex condition.

    I saw your appearance on TV and it’s not just looks but the whole demeanour some of us don’t want to be primary transexuals and I am very grateful that I am intersexed because I do feel and think it’s wrong and selfish to have children. It’s just my view and I admire you and think you are very lucky but in terms of knowing women’s issues it’s not something you learn you will never be feminine to have men hold the door open for you or men to give you away whilst women act aggressively towards you

    It makes me dread being an intersexed trans person because unfortunately I get compared to people like you who I have absolutely nothing in common and makes a real mockery of genuine intersexed people. But then again I am not most trans or intersexed people but 5ft 6, 60kg and grateful that I don’t get called abusiive names. It’s one reason why I will not be friends with trans people as it invites abuse.

    Good luck anyway you’re need it had I been married personally and had children which I could not have anyway due to infertility from an intersex condition I don’t think I would have done what I did. Clothes, shoes and make up wear off you eventually life is more than just that and women are not like that I have learnt that after 10 years but I am still fairly young. You are brave though good luck.

    • 2

      Shirley Anne said,

      I feel sorry for you Gabby. Your remarks are offensive and unnecessary. You obviously know nothing about gender dysphoria and the plight of those who are born with the condition. To be honest I would rather be in one camp or the other than to be in both as you are but I don’t condemn you or judge you in any way for being who you are, you cannot help being that way. I hope you learn to be more tolerant and accepting of those who are different from yourself and really, that is the majority of the rest of the worlds population. Regards
      Shirley Anne x

      • 3

        Gabby said,

        But at least I pass better than you

        No need to feel sorry for me. The transition path is the same but the trouble is I don’t want to be compared to men who had kids then decide they want to be women.

        Trans women will never be like real women. I blend in a lot more easier than your average trans and am grateful for it.

        But I do get fed up with people like Crystal Warren and Jane Fae who claim to represent people like me. As someone with a life long intersex condition that could not have children but did transition well over 10 years ago I think I know a lot more than you about the benefits and the pitfalls including sensitive access markers , the gender recognition act, the psychiatric evaluation and the whole medical lottery process if NHS , the long term effects of medication and why they increasingly don’t want to prescribe on the NHS luckily I don’t have that problem, and the CRB process. So my point is Jane Fae isn’t an expert and I know more than you think – my point was Jane doesn’t speak for me I see transexualism and intersexualism as two completely different things. There is no malice or hatred or bigotry towards Jane because primary transexualism and gender reassignment at 40 plus is difficult. She has her family and a career and good for her. I wish her the best.

        As I said Jane doesn’t represent me.And is not representative of people like me. I thank god for weighing 60kg, being a size 8, with my own hair and looking reasonably albeit an ordinary female for my age. Blandness is the best place to be especially in a very anti trans world and it’s still very bigoted even for intersexed

        My other point is I don’t understand why someone with kids and who could have kids would want to reassign. I would not if I had that option, having an intersex option meant I didn’t have the option of children. For me transition wasn’t a choice because I had a very andgrognous body that passed for either usually female.

      • 4

        Jenna said,

        Gabby,
        My initial thoughts when I read your first post were “wow, that’s a bit of a harsh response. Especially as its to a post that might be the first place that somebody who has seen the documentary and looks Jane up finds.”
        However, you do raise good points, transsexualism and intersex are different but as you point out you are lucky because of your height, weight and looks and some intersex people aren’t so lucky. The person on the street isn’t going to look at someone and decide whether they are transsexual or intersex though. They are going to look at someone and decide that either they look like a female, in which case they aren’t going to think about anything but their own concerns, or they are going to start thinking “are they or aren’t they” and then carry on with their own business, unless they are the type that are going to cause you problems.
        Most people I’ve come across will stare at you but say nothing. I have had one person who gave me a disgusted look but that was when there were two of us walking through town after just having met for a coffee and were heading back to our cars to head back to work. I know that I’ve been lucky in that respect.
        Blandness and blending in is something that I aspire to. I know that at the moment I’m far from that, and may never reach that point. I need to deal with getting rid of my beard shadow so I can wear a lighter foundation. I’m only 5’7″ so about the same height as you, I went full time at the beginning of January so am still working on being more confident when out and about in town, work is fine and I’m currently in the process of job hunting due to redundancies happening at work and have an interview with a company that now of my background and have invited my along because of my skills and experience, their job spec was like reading my own CV.
        I’ll point out that I’m married and have a son. My transitioning is hard for them. My son has had an incredibly hard life through illness so putting him through this was not an easy decision. However, he is such a sensitive soul that the alternative for me to transitioning would have seen me in a box in the ground. I have an uncle who took his life when I was about my son’s age and I know the effect it can have. Just so that I’m around when my son needs me in the future I had to do what I’m doing. Being someone who I know that I’m not was something I couldn’t carry on with.
        The last thing I’d like to add, and sorry this has been a long response, is that being intersex doesn’t mean that you couldn’t have children. Yes, I know that you couldn’t physically have them but that doesn’t stop you going down the adoption or fostering routes if you want to raise children. Its what other women who find themselves in the position of not being able to have children of their own have to consider.

      • 5

        janefae said,

        Bugger…it just ate what was a reasonably long and considered response. So i’ll try and re-do it, but shorter.

        No. I don’t claim to represent you – and i actually quite resent the assertion, without any real evidence, that i do.

        Sure, i write about intersex conditions, because i write about issues that are related to sex and sexuality…and i was writing such issues before transition as well as since.

        It does feel, at times, as though people have a thing both about people outside a group writing about people inside and, bizarrely, from the interesex side, greater resistance to trans folk writing about the condition than cis folk doing so. Hmmm. Unless we accept – which i don’t – that the only people entitled to write about a condition are those affected by it, then you need to get used to the idea that non-intersex folk will write about intersex issues.

        What you can ask for – indeed, should demand – is that people who write about issues be clear what their own relationship to an issue is. Also, make clear the boundaries between opinion and reportage. If i do that, i think…i hope…the result will be as fair as anything anyone else can do. Hopefully fairer.

        But represent you? No. I don’t put myself forward as such…wouldn’t be too impressed by folk treating me as though i had.

        jane x

      • 6

        Shirley Anne said,

        You have just proved by your own words what a horrible person you are Gabby. You indeed probably do not pass as good as me, even though you think you might. I notice you haven’t posted a picture of yourself or have it available through your blog (if you have one). Probably because you want the anonymity to be hurtful to others. I really do feel sorry for you. At least I did have the guts to transition albeit late. I could argue that you are hiding away pretending to be the woman you are not. In fact you are neither male nor female are you? Like I said, you have no idea what being gender dysphoric is all about nor why it often is the case that some transsexuals transition late in life. That is because it didn’t happen to you for if it did you would realise how it feels.
        Shirley Anne

  2. 7

    Jenna said,

    Just finished watching the documentary. I think it was really well done and handled everything very sensitively. I’m glad that it included your daughters thoughts, loved the part where your wardrobe was being vetted.
    My son is having to deal with my transition and its been difficult to find support or even the experiences of other teenagers.
    The nurse and vice principal at his school are going to watch the programme and we’re going to sit down and watch it as a family so that he can see someone else’s experiences and then discuss it with us or the nurse at school.

    Thank you to you and your family for doing something so visible to help with understanding all of this for those of us that are in similar situations.

  3. 8

    Hi Janefae!

    I just wanted to say hello! I’m 32yr old daughter of a trans’dad’ (now Helen) and thought it may be useful for me to do a quick share of some of my experience as a daughter… Although I’m much older than your lovely children, I had similar problems at school / with friends / in public etc as your children have experienced – yet now we are here some 16yrs on! The subject of transgender topics are now far more relaxed within the public eye than they were when I was young.

    I began by called her Helen… But, similar to the feelings shown by your own daughter, it felt so wrong and disrespectful to our roles as Father/Daughter to just call her by her first name.

    Some years ago, I decided I couldn’t call my Dad “dad” in public as, in one fell swoop, it would ruin all the hard work she/ us had put in to her ‘passing’ and so I discussed options for pronouns with my elder sibling, my brother Tom.

    We agreed we would cross the words Mum+Dad together… That left us with either D-um, or M-ad… We opted for Mad! At the end of the day, it suited our Mad down to the ground and it also reflected the roles of our parent/sibling relationship – ie: having a special parental pronoun we could use – and also sounded and felt far more respectful and loving than calling her Helen.

    We both think it’s funny (you have to have some sense of madness to go through the whole reassignment process both as an individual and as a family) and we have a positive story to tell people if ever they ask who “Mad” is. This helped us all to cope in a positive way.

    Our Mad was very happy with the title and we now have a “Mad’s Day!” instead of a Mother or Father’s Day. We designated a day for Mad inbetween the standard Mothering Sunday (March) and Father’s Day (June) and created our own Mad’s Day on the Sunday nearest the 8th May each year. I tend to either make cards myself or find a nice Mum’s Day card and stick a printed MAD over the top of the Mum bit!! Atleast there is always makeup and handbags and shopping on the Mum’s Day cards lol! Farrrrr more suitable than golf or fishing or football etc.

    I feel it’s still important to celebrate our Mad’s role as a parent. So it’s important to do something as a daughter/son.

    Well, now I’m 16yrs on now and the world is becoming a far more acceptable place for trans people both pre- and post-op. I don’t think the world will ever fully understand how difficult it is – not just for the transperson but for all those who love the person we are losing. The gain of the new family member is always a bonus but it takes time for everyone to become used to, of course.

    My Mad hasn’t been any happier and that’s all we could wish for as her children. However I do wish now and again she would stop chatting relentless rubbish about makeup and shopping and laser hair removal…(similar to your partner!). I’m a tomboy anyway so that leaves me with a sincere lack of interest over any of those topics, let alone having a Mad try and bore me senseless with it. I love her best when she is just ‘being’ and we are out with the dog or feeding the birds… Stuff we always did when she was Dad and will always do together.

    It’s important transpeople are aware how selfish they become and keep a tabs on their conversations with people – it’s awful to say (and possibly selfish on my part) – as family – we know and feel how drastic and traumatic everything is through the hormones and reassignment process, we witness it first hand, if we could make it easier for you we would. But we can’t. It’s a draining and frustrating process and hurts us as much as it hurts you… Don’t go on about it!! And do give us time to adjust. We need the time to heal emotionally as much as transpeople need the time to grow into their new self.

    On a final note about pronouns… The use of he/she has simply evolved within our heads now… The brain is an amazing thing… Subconsiously, I find myself now talking about he and Dad when I am seeing/ discussing older memories of “…when ‘Dad’ used to do this…” and my brain automatically now flits to ‘our Mad’ and “…she does that…” when I am talking about the more recent memories. But like anything, this just takes time to evolve. It’s a very rare occasion I slip up now and called her Dad but, in retrospect, it only ever happens when she is telling me off!!! :o)

    Much love to you and your family,
    Bobs xxx bobsblackwell@aol.com

    • 9

      eclectic chicken said,

      thanks for the above Bobs… wonderful to read how others have coped and adapted before us
      Andrea xx

  4. 10

    sachakbrown said,

    Oh dear; transgender and intersexed are two completely different things. I’m not sure I need to say any more. Neither one less or more valid than the other, I might add. I am slightly nauseous at the first post, I cannot even credit it with a detailed response, mainly as I find it quite disgustingly rude and offensive in so many ways and wouldn’t know where to start to be completely Honest………urgh, yuk. Big love Jane and fabbo family, Transgender Life Livvy James xxx

  5. 11

    Susan said,

    I really thought your insight into the family dynamics of living with a TS parent where very positve. Like you I have a daughter and son, who i am very close too. The whole calling you still Dad thing may seem inappropriate to the wider world, but in our world we always will be that parent. I am not hung up on it at all. Its healthy, we need to be honest with our children ( mine are 28 and 26, + two grandaughters). My children knew from a very young age about me and saw me on a daily basis as a woman, while still jumping between male/female personas. There friends saw me and it was widley know in the community. It did cause some problems, now theres a suprise, but no traumas.
    I look forward to reading more bout how you cope with your growing media status, and your family are just so wonderful.
    I am on the surgery waiting list now so i am nearing the end of my initial journey now, which as you know is a long one.

  6. 12

    Paula TransPanther said,

    G’day Jane.

    I’m not even going to give that first comment the time of day.. rude, othering, erasing and offensive (and thats coming from ME ffs!!)

    No.. what I’m interested in is the TV last night. Now lets dissemble a little.. I don’t want to know peoples previous names.. It’s in the “Trans 101” of things NOT to do.. You don’t volunteer it either. What is this complete fixation and fetish for who people “were” before? When people talk about married women they don’t go on to show photographs of them as teenagers and splatter their old names all over the programme..
    What I’m getting at is this. It was totally clear the program was supposed to be about two women and their families at the end of a transition process. It became clear about 10 minutes in that it was little more than more tabloid gawping, rudeness and outing! I sort of lost interest at that point and did some more work on my webserver with it burbling on in the background..
    The thing that did come across very clearly is how the UK idea of transsexualism is still firmly rooted in the era of the Beaumont Society, and the stereotyped views (by shrinks) of what transsexual woman should be, ignoring OUR realities and who WE are. In particular the voice training sqequence.. I had to go make coffee.. PITCH is nothing to do with it.. completely 1960’s thinking. We have spoken on the phone.. you know exactly what I mean. They do love turning out gay male drag queen stereotypes from the “transsexual services” industry in the UK.
    It was also very very clear how many of the “hoops and hurdles” exist purely at the whim of the shrinks, because they hold the power to make people jump through them, not because they are in any way benificial!! It’s like bloody “uniform inspection” at school most of the time.. are you conforming nicely to your orders, erasing yourself on demand and coming out with the script you have been taught they want to hear?.. yes.. well you shall pass to the next gatekeeper.. ONE mistake in the pantomime performance of psychiatric traps and pitfalls.. and it’s back to start.. do not collect anything except 3 more years of your life wasted on the way!! And the pitfalls can be completely outside your control.. being bounced and told to get a new referral, after getting stuck on a train delayed due to another broken down on some points ahead.. Second time that had happened to my friend.. it won’t happen again.. she went home, took an overdose and slashed her wrists in the bath!!! You can’t treat people who have spent 7 or 8 years of their lives on waiting lists and jumping through hoops like that.. It’s fucking criminal!!!

  7. 13

    sachakbrown said,

    Paula TransPanther said, above “It’s like bloody “uniform inspection” at school most of the time.. are you conforming nicely to your orders, erasing yourself on demand and coming out with the script you have been taught they want to hear?.. yes.. well you shall pass to the next gatekeeper.. ONE mistake in the pantomime performance of psychiatric traps and pitfalls.. and it’s back to start.. do not collect anything except 3 more years of your life wasted on the way!! ”

    I so agree! I felt the same bloody thing Paula! I think on remembering what I thought whilst watching the group of people who hold transgender folks lives in their hands was I bet there are less hoops trying to get a job at The Whitehouse.

    On a different note to the doc, so incredibly sickened and sorry to hear of your friend. I do believe there is only so much one can take before they crack and we should prevent this sort of thing at all cost however we can,

    God bless, Sacha Transgender Life Livvy James xx

  8. 14

    herr brockman said,

    I did not watch this program. Not my cup of tea. I must say that I am confused why some would consider the comments made by Gabby as rude or nauseating. It just seems this individual does not want to be drawn into this transgender identity.

    Based on what little that I have read on this subject it seems clear to me that a person suffering from congenital IS is completely different from all those claiming to beTG.

  9. 15

    I don’t see any hate in the post 1? What I read was a person stating they felt concern that programs like the one in which our hostess was involved created the impression TG TS IS were all the same. I share her concerns if indeed that was the case. I have not seen the show I make a point of avoiding them. I would not invite media intrusion into my life in the way Jane has done. I don’t see documentaries that involve wardrobe inspections and vetting as doing anything more than reinforcing the concept that this is all about cross dressing.

    • 16

      k said,

      @cassandra,

      I don’t think that the programme suggested that TG, TS and IS are the same. Rather, as Jane has pointed out in her post, it was really a programme about the effects of later transition on other family members. it’s worth watching and I learnt from it; if you had seen it you would know that the wardrobe scrutiny scene was not to do with crossdressing.

      It was a brave thing for all those involved to do and I find some of the attitudes expressed in comments such as Gabby’s to be mean-spirited; this particularly applies to personal remarks about “passing” and appearance; I dont think Jane has claimed to represent anyone in particular; however, when a friend with an IS condition was in trouble she responded to an email requesting help and did her best to help.

      As for the “trans” conmmunity, you can see one of the unelected former leaders of Press for Change ( who are credited with inventing the term “trans” defining it in the following government information film. “transvestite, transsexual, transgender”.

      Nobody was consulted about this :

  10. 17

    Shirley Anne said,

    Whilst to some degree I feel that programs such as these shouldn’t be made I also feel they can be educational. The vast majority of folk seem unable to understand what transgenderism is all about and the need for some (transsexuals) to have corrective surgery, for that is what it essentially is. The fact that this program and others like it have presented the medical facts and the whole proceedure of going through transition and the reasons for it shows that they are not reinforcing the concept that it is all about cross-dressing at all. I didn’t get to see the program when it was broadcast but I saw it today (Saturday) on ITV Player and I thought the subject was treated with great sensitivity whilst at the same time giving an insight to those who lack an understanding as to what it is all about. Personally I though Jane and Michelle both to be very brave in allowing their personal and private journies to be exposed to the media as they have done. I couldn’t have done that.

    Shirley Anne xxx

  11. 18

    Sandy said,

    I am seeing the use of three terms, (IS, TS and TG), which I understand describe three different conditions, used somewhat interchngeably. Could this be the cause of so much mis-understanding by the general public?

    I can also understand why some individuals who experience a ‘condition’ that is different from that which was portrayed by this current documentary, do not want be seen or understood as being “the same as”. After all, these individuals actually have a physical condition which necessitates medical intervention, and precludes those same choices that allow for later transitions or the ability to choose their gender presentation based on a whim or convenience.

    Speaking of “mainsteam” media representations, I just recently watched an excellent docudrama entitled, “A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Arajo Story”, (2006). In addition to the emotional impact and relatively accurate protrayal of what it is like being born transsexual, I found it quite interesting that the during the subsequent murder trial a clear distintion was drawn between the use and meaning of the words trans-sexual and trans-gender, lthough it was extremely subtle and gone in a flash. Even more disturbing is how Wikipedia has now been completely accepted this conflation of terms, and is adding and contributing to it by the use of such misleading terms as “pre-operative transgender”.

    Can it be that the angry and obviously vituperative responses by some on this post is a reflection of the need of some in the trans community to be seen as the same or somehow related to those who actually do suffer from a physiological condition in an effort to “coat-tail” on to that very limited and fragile understanding and acceptance that they seem to have acquired.

    It seems to me that those most vocal in their personal attacks are the ones most guilty of claiming to understand that which they do not.

    • 19

      janefae said,

      tbh, sandy, there is long history here, with bad blood on both sides. Also a lot of turf warring around definitions.

      Some folk see trans as wholly separate from interesex. Others see it as a subset of same. Depends on how wide you draw the intersex boundary.

      I don’t know. I think that intersex is, to date, very much the forgotten minority and most undeservedly so. I am also aware of some degree of…friction…between some individuals in the trans community and some in the intersex community, based on two issues:

      – who speaks for whom (which is also an issue WITHIN the trans world, as various bods seem to draw boundaries between ts/tv/tg at various different places and, as you can see within the comments on here, some ts women take it seriously amiss that they are included under an “umbrella” that includes transvestite and cross-dressing individuals);

      – direct nastiness.

      My view on the first is that its up to people to speak for themselves. I get tarred at times with what feels like the wrong brush, because i write and report on matters…and sometimes people regard reporting as being a somewhat more active process than it is. I don’t see myself as speaking FOR anyone, though i am well aware that my journalism can have an impact on the powers that be. Hopefully, mostly, a positive one.

      On the second, i simply have no time for it. Having said that, i am not altogether sure i have direct evidence of it happening, so much as claims made by people on either side of generalised nastiness, without chapter and verse being given. Bottom line, though: where it happens, it shouldn’t, any more than gay blokes should put down trans women…or any other group should be trying to usurp or erase other groups.

      jane x

  12. 22

    Rachel Annel said,

    Just a thought on the intersex vs trans? debate….

    I have a friend who went full time a couple of years ago and after starting on hormones developed a lump in her abdomen that was suspected as cancer. On further investigation, it turned out to be a vestigial womb that was developing probably as a result of the change in hormones. I wonder what that makes my friend up to the point of discovery compared to thereafter?

    I concede this must be very rare, but I think we all know there is a complete spectrum of ‘conditions’ (dare we call it that), and we all just fit somewhere on it…..

    Rachel x

    • 23

      janefae said,

      Dunno. I am loathe (very!) to get into debates about labels and the like. Nonetheless, i do wonder at times if ts, as condition, doesn’t simply fit under intersex. Its not necessarily a physical variation (although if, as is claimed, some elements of ts ARE the result of brain chemical differences, then of course it would be physical, at some level).

      I think one of the biggest probs doing the rounds right now is that of categorisation, which is not something that is always, obviously, amenable to being settled by “science”. Not only, but the whole process is poisoned by both big- and small-p politics.

      Big-p: all the debates about the role of gender in society.

      Small-p: the fact that recognition of intersex as a real condition means the medical profession accepting it has been mistreating – to the point of abuse – individuals with this condition for many years.

      jane

  13. 24

    Jane – sorry, it’s probably bad form to talk work on here, but we’ve sent you a couple of emails & would like at least a confirmation from you before we rush off to print.
    Regards

    • 25

      janefae said,

      Cheeky bugger!🙂

      But no: you may ask anything you wish out on the blog, so long as it is neither too personal or too rude. And i am afraid i have been up to my eyes in deadlines for the best part of a fortnight and therefore putting things off and back. So apologies for that and will deal with your e-mail once i am back from the school run.

      jane x


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