• A place where ideas TRANScend GENDER.
  • Calendar

    March 2018
    M T W T F S S
    « Apr    
  • Archives

  • Blog Stats

    • 224,397 hits
  • Meta

  • Advertisements

Review: “My Secret Female Body” on BBC America

Having reviewed “Transvestite Wives” earlier, I felt it was only fair to give a similar treatment to “My Secret Female Body”, another in the ‘Reveals’ series that premiered on BBC America on June 22, 2008.

This documentary focused on a twenty two year old transman, Danny. From the BBC America web site:

Born as Katie, Danny has been living as a man for four years and has had male hormone injections every two weeks for a year. Now, at 22, Danny undergoes a dramatic surgical transformation, which physically changes his body from female to male. This documentary sees Danny embark on the first stage of this irreversible procedure – a double mastectomy, followed by complicated penis surgery.

Like “Transvestite Wives”, Danny has an amazingly supportive girlfriend who loves him in his pre-op body, and is fully behind him in his decision to undergo SRS. We also get to hear from Danny’s mother (“I had a wonderful daughter, and now I have a wonderful and happier son”), sister and best friend who talk frankly about their initial misgivings and current acceptance. There’s very little discussion of social intolerance – just a couple of anecdotes about altercations “down the pub”.

Much of the focus is on the physical transformation. We see Danny’s doctor administering his testosterone shot, and discussing the bodily changes these have already brought about. We’re also there for Danny’s first consultation with the plastic surgeon who will be doing his top surgery. A note to sensitive viewers – although BBC America did blur out some visuals, probably to bring the show into line with American censorship guidelines, there’s still plenty of detail to the scenes in the operating theater and the descriptions used by the doctor made me squirm just a little.

When the surgical results are not as perfect as they could have been, the viewer is spared none of Danny’s anguish and emotional turmoil. At the end of the hour, we are left with the impression that there is no fairytale ending for Danny and his girlfriend – and yet Danny’s life is clearly a happier one even though he faces more procedures in the future. Just from watching his face as he listens to his friend discuss how his new phallus was fashioned from forearm grafts, we can tell what’s on the horizon for Danny…

This documentary is highly recommended for any FtM pre-op transsexual who is considering the next step. It doesn’t sugar-coat anything, but still manages to convery a message of hope.

For those of you with access to BBC America, this will be shown again as follows:

Wednesday, July 2, 2008 at 8:00 PM and 11:00 PM
Thursday, July 3, 2008 at 1:00 AM
Sunday, July 13, 2008 at 5:00 PM

“Transvestite Wives” will also be shown again on Sunday, July 13, 2008 at 6:00 PM, if you missed it the first time around.



Ok, so I have finally decided that the time was right for me to step up and say something here.  

Why are so many of us so afraid to feel happy?  It is guilt?  Is it that nagging feeling that everything is in the process of falling, or about to fall apart?  Do we worry so much about everyone else that we lose sight of ourselves through all of this?

Yes, transition is a stressful and often painful thing.  But why do we do it?  To be ourselves of course, but also to find personal happiness.  I find that far too often we spend the majority of our time talking about the negatives of transition and how bad things are either for ourselves or the others around us.  I’m not discounting the fact that many people lose everything to this, but in the end are we not happier than when we began?  And if not, why?

I can truly say that before transition I did not know what happiness really was.  I may have thought I did, but I really didn’t.  If I recall all of the times I thought I was happy, none of them hold a candle to how I feel now.  Now before I go on I should probably mention a few things for those who don’t know.  I’m 33 years old, MTF, been transitioning since September 2007, and have been on HRT for 7 weeks.

In the last week or so I have begun to see the world in a different way, and begun to thing differently about things.  Difficult to articulate all that I feel right now, but the overriding thing has been the tremendous amount of joy and happiness I am feeling.  Granted I have been much happier than ever before since beginning transition, but the last little while has been completely off the scale.  

It feels like living inside joy.  As if joy itself were something tangible that you could just reach out and grab!  I have my share of challenges and difficulties through all of this, but I am so happy with my life now that is doesn’t get me down for very long anymore.  I see my future, and its very bright.

People have often accused me of seeing things in an overly positive light.  To that I say, “Why not?”  Keeping a positive attitude about things has truly saved my life.  I wake up everyday and tell myself how amazing it is to be alive, and how great the day is going to be.  And you know what?  It usually is.

Take today for example.  I was standing in the flower section of my local supermarket looking for fresh flowers for my Mom when I was approached by a very nice man who, to make a long story short, told me I was beautiful and asked if I would be interested in grabbing a coffee with him at the cafe in the store.  Now even though I turned him down, it made my whole day to get that kind of attention!  It let me know that I really have arrived and my path is the right one.

So I say take the time to feel the happiness and joy that transition brings to you.  After suffering through all the dark years that we do, I think we deserve to let ourselves be happy.  Don’t let the fear and guilt stop you.  Life is too short for that.  Don’t you agree?