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Friday, May 6, 2011

Reassigning Sex

I heard a story about a man who committed a white collar crime (perhaps to get money for the operation) and went to jail. At this point in life, he was in the midst of a sex change. Breasts he had, a penis he also had, thus he was locked away in the men's prison.

Years later, he was released and he continued with the sex change. Finally, he became a woman. Unfortunately, greed got to the better of her again. She forged more cheques and was caught. This time, she was sent to the women's prison.

Perhaps now that she is a woman, she inherited the trait of a fickle mind. After she got released, she changed her mind about being a woman and went for another sex operation to restore what was severed.

I think all this confusion must have stemmed from him having a tiny wiener to begin with. Feeling insecure and worthless, he must have felt less than a man because of his small package and thought he was meant to be a woman.

What he should have gone for is penis lengthening or phalloplasty instead of vaginoplasty.

Nonetheless, the curious mind got the better part of me and i look to my friend Google on a Friday night again. I needed to do some of my own investigation to verify the possibility of this story.

The following video is EXTREMELY GRAPHIC. My eyeballs hurt, i felt nauseous and i think it infinite turned me off sex. On the bright side, i think its a great video to encourage virginity before marriage because it is THAT much of a turn-off.

For the benefit of the gutless (but wise) readers who won't click play, a clitoris fully supplied with nerve endings can be formed from part of the glans of the penis. The vagina has depth, (14cm) get wet and can urinate (no mention about tightness). When recovery is complete, it is often difficult for anyone, even gynecologists to know if a woman has gone through vaginoplasty. Yes, they can orgasm too. In fact only 40% of natural women can orgasm but 95% of transgender can orgasm post-op. As a bonus, the transgender woman has a prostate that has many sexual nerve endings that can add pleasure to love making when stimulated.

However, because the human body treats it as a wound, certain measures need to be taken to keep the new vagina open long term. An appetite for sex is not the answer.

So, he became a woman and then changed his mind eh? Vaginoplasty is irreversible. The piece of meat was pretty much dissected, sliced up and reconstructed in ways unimaginable. That's when phalloplasty is introduced.

This procedure is not exclusively to women who want to be men but is also a procedure considered by men who are not well-endowed.

Not sure if you want to sit through another video but this one is pretty cool because skin was taken from the patient's arm, resulting in a tattooed penis! A detailed procedure description and pictures can be found at this medical site.

It's so much easier to be a gorgeous woman transexual though. Men who became women look absolutely lip smacking tasty...

whilst women who became men look ordinary. Not quite ordinary when the man gets pregnant though.

Read story here.

I think its a misconception that transexuals undergo sex change for the sex. It's a lot more for the psychological well-being. A transexual who writes the book Pholomolo describes,

"Gay men are never being discriminated against by other gay men for the fact that they are gay. But as a straight transsexual woman I would of course date straight men, and I always had to fear that they would reject me for the fact that I was a transsexual, something that gay men do not experience. So in that respect being a transsexual is more difficult that being gay.  The thing is: if you are a woman, it is very, very difficult to live as a man, being it a straight or gay man. There is a very good reason why transsexuals go through all the trouble of hormone replacement therapy and surgeries in order to match the physical body with the emotional spirit."

The Transexual Bond Girl  

Tula: The Transexual Bond Girl AKA Caroline Cossey
Barry Kenneth Cossey
At the age of 17, Cossey started hormone therapy and began living as a woman full time. Soon after beginning transition, Cossey began a career as a showgirl and, after breast augmentation surgery, a topless dancer, working in nightclubs in London, Paris and Rome. After initial shock, Cossey's parents were supportive. After years of hormonal and psychological treatment, and legally changing her name, Cossey had sex reassignment surgery on December 31, 1974 at Charing Cross Hospital in London.

Post-op, Caroline's career took off. No longer a topless burlesque dancer, she became a highly sought-after glamour model and commercials actress, in an age when her lanky, other-worldly looks were the height of fashion. Caroline even posed in Playboy Magazine in 1981. However, all of this attention would pale in comparison to when she was cast as an extra in 1981's For Your Eyes Only, finally fulfilling her childhood dream of being a Bond girl.

A Double-0 Scandal:

Shortly after the film’s release, in 1982, the tabloid News of the World did what it had been threatening to do for quite a while and revealed that Cossey was a transsexual, which brought her modeling career and hopes of becoming an actress to a halt. 

Tula: The Transexual Bond Girl AKA Caroline Cossey
Tula's Autobigraphy
- purchase -
She was in deep despair, but decided to fight it head on. In 1982, Cossey responded by releasing I Am a Woman, her first autobiography, which sought in straightforward terms to defuse the situation by telling the story in full, from her point of view. If anything, the press coverage intensified, but now it was largely sympathetic. Eventually, Tula was able to return to modeling. But a career on a bigger stage was now irretrievably gone.

Life After 007:

Eventually, Tula was able to pick up the threads of her life. A romance followed with an Italian Count who knew her story in full before meeting her (a first). They fell in love and he proposed. However, British law regards gender reassignment as merely a cosmetic procedure, and the changes in legal status allowed are cosmetic. Caroline was allowed to be called female on her passport, and that was about it. To all intents and purposes, in the eye of the law, she was and is still male. It says so on her birth certificate. It is illegal for her to use a women's lavatory. If she were convicted of a crime, she would go to a men's jail. Obviously, she was not allowed to marry another man.

Tula: The Transexual Bond Girl AKA Caroline Cossey
Tula: The Transexual Bond Girl AKA Caroline Cossey
Again, Caroline would not take this lying down. In 1983, she began legal proceedings against the British government to get the legal status of transsexuals changed. The process was to drag on for seven years and go through successively higher levels of the judiciary until it reached the European High Courts in Strasbourg in 1989.

During this period, she campaigned tirelessly for transsexuals' rights, appearing countless times in the media. Her ties with the Count suffered and they separated. In 1985, she met Elias Fattal, a Jewish businessman. A professional relationship soon became personal, and in 1988, they were engaged.

On May 21, 1989, Caroline and Elias married, at a synagogue in St. John's Wood, London. The European High Court had ruled in her favor a fortnight before, so she was now legally allowed to marry, although the government had immediately lodged an appeal, scheduled for the subsequent year. On their return from a blissful honeymoon in the Caribbean, Caroline discovered once again that what fortune and commitment create can be dashed in a day by the tabloid news.

The News of the World had done it again. Elias' family were orthodox Jews, and immediately summoned him to account for his marriage to Caroline. Soon, she had lost him back to his family. Now she received death threats. Her car was sabotaged. At the lowest ebb of her life, she again attempted to cope by writing, publishing her second book, My Story, in 1990. Again, she was in the public eye as the British government's appeal against the Strasbourg ruling came to court. This time, the court found in the government's favor.

Caroline has since returned to modeling, and has continued her fight against the system and society that has treated her and those like her so shabbily. Cossey also married again in 1992 to Canadian David Finch. The couple is still married and living in Kennesaw, Georgia, just outside Atlanta.

Is true love overrated or does it really exist? While sex reassignment appalled me at how human can play God, it is a medical profession at its most ingenious and pioneering. Transexuals shouldn't be judged or ridiculed. 

Their story is one about lifelong suffering, despair, courage and scandal in equal measure.

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