Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Today I was planning on following up yesterday's post about my recent diagnosis with the choice I'm faced with about moving out... but something else caught my attention, and is on my mind at the moment.

I was watching Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, using a take on the John Joan story, of a boy who was, in response to a medical accident given sex reassignment surgery, with the advice that he should be raised as a girl. This experiment failed proving that gender identity is wired in, not learned.

I was so moved by the story I had to write about it. In this one, Lucas had a brother and was the victim of rape and ended up killing the rapist in self defense. The story ended up revolving more around the doctor and his obscene experiments to "train" Lucas into thinking like a girl.

In the end one of the twins murders the doctor, and neither one of them will come forward with who did it. I am not condoning their murder by any means, but I do believe that sex reassignment surgery performed without the consent of the patient should be considered criminal.

I remember asking my mom once if she was keeping a secret from me. Later when I came out as trans I asked her if I was somehow surgically altered at birth, if I was born a girl. Of course I know that that isn't possible now for them to have reconstructed my male parts. I wish however that I had that birth right... I f I was born a girl, I doubt my parents would have fought so hard against me reclaiming my proper gender identity. If the birth defect was only postnatal where someone could see it happen... then nobody would be trying to stop me... but even if not in the way others would like to insist, it really is "all in my head." That is, my head is the portion of my body affected by Benjamin's Syndrome.

Another thing that had a profound... and negative impact on me was unfortunately not intended. Before I found out where exactly the plot was going, I thought he was an aggressive... tomboyish girl, I related to him, and felt like he reminded me of myself, till I found out he was a boy. I can't let this get me down, I know who I am and I know that minor things don't make me less of a girl, but I still wish I had more people I could relate to... I don't fit in with most women or men I know in person. Men are too masculine, obsessed seemingly with some endless, doggish competition for the alpha position, and forming endless silly social regulations on each other, and rating one another on upholding such regulations. (I do not mean that men are bad in any way nor do I know if all men are like this. I have had such experiences myself though, where men expect me to behave in a similar way and I end up preferring to exclude myself. All human beings are individuals and I do not mean that men are animals because some of them behave a certain way. I haven't had this experience among women yet. I associate this behavior as male in other words because of personal experience, that doesn't mean it properly describes male behavior in general)

Women just don't like the things I like. Plenty of girls play video games, and like fantasy and adventure... just none around here it seems. I like a lot of girl things too, but the nerd in me separates me from them... it makes me feel more like a boy, and it makes them see me more as a boy.

More than anything though, it just hit home. He gave subtle signs of being a boy, but overall was living the part of the girl... a miserable girl. He didn't guess what was wrong until he was told, but when it came out it wasn't much of a surprise. "I knew it! I never felt right!" he said. I never felt right either. Send me those estrogen pills I'll take care of them for you. I guess I'll post about my choices tomorrow. I've got a lot to say lately.

Nonfiction about Fiction.



Mereille Despres said...

Hi Claudia,

I know this doesn't help, but that episode was based on the true story of David Reimer (at least the part about twins, and on being raised as a girl...not the crime part!). If you are interested in his story, his wiki is here:


Sara said...

thank you for clarification, it does help. Any cases of these "emergency" SRS procedures performed on children need to be brought to light. The kind of harm it can cause to a person's life is imeasurable. Also I'm sorry for my mistakening this for another case I was more familiar with.