Thursday, September 17, 2009

Changing Gender: Because mainstream isn't always fucked up

While I was skimming through the articles in my inbox, I came across the following article Changing Genders: An Interview With the World's Leading Sex Change Surgeon, by Karlie Pouliot for

You know how mainstream media is, it seems that no matter how bullshitty their content is they are always speaking to "Das Expert." But this time, it was actually someone who knows what she is talking about.

The interviewee is Dr. Marci Bowers who is:
  1. Gender reassignment surgeon
  2. Transgender
Reading this article was a pleasure not only does the doctor go through interesting details about the procedures that transindividuals go through and the common v/s not so common surgeries, but she also emphasizes the importance of social conformism and acceptance:
Sometimes what people get hung up on is that it’s all about the surgery. And the fact is it’s really all about their gender role and how society perceives them. In fact, it’s estimated that 80 percent of transgender persons never undergo surgery.
Another issue she tackles is the financial burden and how very few transgendered individuals can afford enough intervention to become who they really are:
It’s very expensive surgery that is not generally covered by insurance,” she said. “Some surgeries are very simple and can cost as little as $4,000. But I’ve heard of people spending anywhere from $80,000 to $100,000 for all sorts of surgical procedures. It’s highly variable.

The most provocative part is probably how she totally destroys the concept of "you are only trans if we say so" by stating:

Who are we to judge who is a perfect candidate?” she said. "I think if you feel it in your heart and soul and you feel it’s something you have to do…. then you have to do it

Then, the best part is where she invents a term that I find very positive for the Trans community:

Bowers is not only a leading expert in the field of genital reassignment surgery -- or gender-confirming surgery, as she likes to call it -- but she was also a patient at one time.

(Emphasis is mine)

And last but not least:

We are the first center in North America actually that’s going be doing female genital mutilation reversal. We’ve now done two sets of patients from Africa — so that’s kind of the latest and greatest thing we’re up to

I am not sure how that works, but they're the experts ask them.

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