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.

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Good news, bad news, the same news?

The intrepid reader may recall that in my last post here, I was talking about the resurgence of my sex drive to some extent.  Well I may have found out why this is happening, although I find it hard to believe myself.

Tuesday, the 20th, I had an appointment with my Endocronologist at the Milwaukee V.A. hospital.  Of course, they did the usual blood tests, I finally got them to do an estradiol test along with the T test and liver and kidney function tests.  I got my test results back on Friday, and, either they tested the wrong blood, or something is really messed up with my testie function.  The T test came back in the mid 500s, I think it was 548 or something like that, the range being 250 to 1000 for a normal male.  The estradiol test came back at 38, below the normal level for post-menapause.  If these numbers are correct, it explains my sex drive, but it also means that my body has developed a resistance to spiro.  I’ve been taking 100 mg daily for over a year now and my last T test last fall showed me at 111.  Also, I’ve been on the Vivelle Dot patch, the .1 size, the largest they make, for more than 6 months, and 2 mg of Estrofem for at least 6 months before that.  So, why is my estradiol level that low and my T level that high?  Do I need to get them removed to solve this problem?  A better question would be, can I get this done through the V.A. health system?   After all, I’ve only thought about having them removed for, oh, about 20 years now.  It just costs so much for basic things like this!  Ugg!