Sunday, May 27, 2007

Wrong on so many levels

Sibohan Curran posts a very personal discussion:

(I wrote this about a month ago. It was supposed to be the first of a three-part discussion on some of the problems I have with transvestism, the issues I think it generates, and the effects it has on other people. I was going to wait until I'd written all three parts before I posted it, but I think if I stuck to that strategy, it'll never see the light of day.)


It would be ridiculous, I feel, for me to even hint at the notion that I think transvestism is A Bad Thing™. Not just ridiculous, ludicrous in fact. I mean, if I thought for one second that what I did day-in, day-out was in someway inherently wrong, well, I'd be a hippocrite of the highest order.


But that doesn't stop me wondering about it, you know, in a "What if?" kinda way.

11/10/09-Sibohan closed her blog, so I removed the now useless link.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Sex change doctor guilty of misconduct | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited

Sex change doctor guilty of misconduct | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited

Sex change doctor guilty of misconduct
David Batty
Friday May 25 2007
The Guardian

The UK's best-known expert on transsexualism was today found guilty of serious professional misconduct for rushing five patients into sex-changing treatments, but avoided being struck off.

The General Medical Council ruled that Russell Reid, who retired last year, could only return to work under strict conditions imposed for the next 12 months that mean he can only work under strict supervision.

He must provide the GMC with a record of his treatments of any patients with gender identity disorders such as transsexualism every three months.

The disciplinary panel ruled that Dr Reid must no longer prescribe patients with sex-changing hormones at the first appointment, nor without a firm diagnosis that they are transsexual or a proper psychiatric assessment.

The panel determined that the consultant psychiatrist was too quick to provide patients with hormones and to refer them for genital surgery.

"The panel considers that the seriousness of your misconduct lies in your lack of caution in initiating hormonal and surgical gender reassignment treatment in these patients without more careful and through investigation and assessment," said John Shaw, the panel chairman.

"The panel therefore determined that your misconduct was serious, and that you are guilty of serious professional misconduct."

Mr Shaw said Patient D, who mistakenly believed she was transsexual as a result of suffering from manic depression, only narrowly avoid an "unnecessary mastectomy" as a result of Dr Reid ignoring the second opinion of another psychiatrist that treatment should proceed with caution.

The panel chairman added that Patient C, a convicted paedophile, was still uncertain about his gender identity after having a sex change. The male-to-female transsexual has returned to living as a man and wants surgery to try to reverse his gender reassignment.

Mr Shaw said that although patients B, E and F remained in their reassigned gender roles and appeared not to have suffered harm, Dr Reid's treatment of them "fell well short of the standard of care to which [they] were entitled."

But the panel decided against striking Dr Reid off or suspending him because it did not consider "it would be in the public interest to deprive the [transsexual community] of an experienced and otherwise well-respected doctor."

Mr Shaw said: "[The panel] determined that it would be proportionate and sufficient, in the public interest as well as your own interest if you were to return to practice under strict conditions."

Speaking afterwards, Dr James Barrett, one of four NHS psychiatrists who brought the complaints against Dr Reid, said: "I'm pleased that it was felt that it amounted to serious professional misconduct. And I'm pleased that conditions to his practice were imposed for a year that mean he will operate in line with good practice."

But a former patient of Dr Reid, not involved in the GMC case, said she was "disgusted" with the verdict.

Claudia, who regrets changing sex, is one of six former patients bringing a separate legal claim for damages against Dr Reid. She said the decision not to strike Dr Reid off was "absolutely scandalous".

"I'm deeply disappointed with the GMC ruling," she said. "If this had been about another group of people - not transsexuals - I think there would have been a much tougher sentence. Everything that has been taken from me - both physically and in the broadest human sense - can never be recovered."

However, Charles Kane, another former patient of Dr Reid, said he was glad the "kind-hearted" psychiatrist was not struck off.

Mr Kane, who complained to the GMC about Dr Reid but did not participate in the hearing, said: "I am happy with the verdict because with these conditions he cannot really treat anybody else the way he treated me."

Mr Kane had surgery to reverse his sex change in 2004. "I really believe that Dr Reid and the general public should view gender reassignment and sex change very seriously and this is a warning to doctors and patients not to rush into it," he said.

However, he added: "I think generally he [Dr Reid] is a kind-hearted doctor and he didn't really mean to be malicious to the patient. Most of the patients came here to support him because of this quality in him. He is a caring, almost father-figure."

The ruling came after a three-year investigation into Dr Reid, who the GMC earlier this week said had treated the five patients inappropriately, against their best interests and contrary to international guidelines on the treatment of transsexuals.

The disciplinary panel said he had provided the patients with hormones and referred them for genital surgery without an adequate assessment of their health or proof that they were transsexuals.

He was found to have repeatedly breached guidelines set by the Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association, regarded as the minimum standards for the treatment of transsexuals.

Despite the verdict, Dr Reid continues to command wide support in the transsexual community, many of whom regard him as their saviour. A blog set up by his supporters attracted more than 250 messages in his defence.

Copyright Guardian News and Media Limited

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Lavender Heart of Texas | TIME

The Lavender Heart of Texas | TIME

A wonderful article in this week's Time on how accepted gays are in Dallas. I've been amazed at just how accepting the city is, and how gays and lesbians are part of not just society but government as well.

If only the rest of the country was as accepting...

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Quoted from another blogger

Yahoo! 360 - Renee's Blog: "“I think trying to find a cause of transgenderism or trying to find a cause of sexual orientation is really going down the wrong track,” Aronoff said. “It doesn’t really matter why people are who they are, it just matters that they are. And that they be treated with respect and are able to live to their full potential.”

-- Simon Aronoff, a female-to-male transgender activist"

11/10/09-Yahoo! 360 was shut down in mid-2009 so the link no longer worked.

More experimentation

|| Welcome to Southern Comfort ||

Trying the BlogThis! tool for Blogger. Yes, I'm risking my l33t status :P

Oh, you should check out the link to Southern Comfort if you are interested in the world's largest event for TG's. Last year's event drew nearly 800 people!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Just a little test.

I am still learning how to use Blogger, and thought I'd try adding a photo to see how that works...

This is one of my favorite photos, taken at the Southern Comfort Conference in 2004. It was taken by my friend, the fabulous Miss Emma M, in the Crown Room of Atlanta's Sheraton Colony Square hotel. It was during a social for the Southern Belle Society, and I had been messing around with my camera and Emma offered to take a photo for me...

Expect more photos and posts soon.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

How do people manage to post something every day?

It is hard enough for me to post something at all! I am kind of surprised that I did not get any comments on my last post.

Monday, May 14, 2007

That Newsweek article

By now you have probably read the cover story in Newsweek on gender. I was actually quite impressed with how well it's written, and that they chose to speak with a variety of people who have transitioned successfully.

Of course, there are a few things that irritated me...

Like, Dr. Renee Richards:

Richards and other pioneers reflect the huge cultural shift over a generation of gender change. Now 70, Richards rejects the term transgender along with all the fluidity it conveys. "God didn't put us on this earth to have gender diversity," she says. "I don't like the kids that are experimenting. I didn't want to be something in between. I didn't want to be trans anything. I wanted to be a man or a woman.

Well, that's you, Renee. Some people are still searching, others do not feel they need to be locked into one gender type. Maybe you ought to remember what it was like when you were trying to understand yourself?

Alexis Arquette:

I'll say it a million times—my documentary is a vain pursuit, and I can see why a lot of people could say gays are narcissistic, but it is just as important. Until all of us can feel we can walk down the street without ridicule, none of us really will ever be safe from Hitler's Gestapo.

A little paranoia, here? Yes, it is not exactly peachy if you are a transperson nowdays. There is still prejudice, still a real risk of losing jobs, friends, family, social standing, and being harmed in many ways. And as much as the present administration wants to turn us solidly into a right-wing state, I can't compare it to Nazi Germany. She may have been exaggerating for effect, but doing that often turns people away from our cause.

Where are the sidebars with transmen? And while the story is very positive, there should have been some mention of how hard it is for many people to transition, or even find the kind of help they need to understand what they are.

Okay, kudos for a link to the Southern Comfort Conference, which I support and am a part of. More on that particular subject in the future.

But mostly, seeing a major publication treat transgender as a real subject and not as a freak show? Wow.

11/10/09-Edited Newsweek link to point to new location of article.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Yes, I do read the comments...

Angie Demaskau posted a nice comment to my last entry:

I guess it comes as no surprise that I say, nah - not uncomfortable at all. I identify with the question you posed. Heck, I am sure most like us have pondered which of those labels best describes us. For some it may be easy and straight forward, but I am sure there are many who identify with aspects of two or more of those definitions. making the decision about which is more applicable can be the defining moment. This experience is such an individual thing, and for me, I don't try and use labels as a defining thing. If someone says to me "I am a .....", then it helps me understand where they see themselves, helping me identify with them in one way or another. Ultimately though, it is the quality of the person - their attributes, personality and values that truly defines who they are and whether they are someone I would like to know.

She makes a couple of very important points here. First, that the labels people use for themselves often define themselves to others. Which is why you need to chose labels carefully.

Second, that it is the quality of a person which matters. I know someone who, the first time I saw them, was dressed in the most provocative outfit you could imagine. She got looks and whispers behind her back, and even I thought she was being a bit tacky. When I ran into her later that night, sitting on a patio, I talked to her and found out she was a very intelligent, very interesting person.

Sometimes, you need to put away your preconceptions and accept the real person there.

Friday, May 11, 2007

It's all about something

This is a blog about me, Zelda Rose. I am...

What am I? A crossdresser? Genderbender? Transgendered? Transsexual? All? None??

I was once described as "a crossdresser with transsexual leanings." This is not a fetish to me, or a sexual turn-on. It's where I feel comfortable, where I feel like I find something I really need.

I hate labels. But some people need them.

If I make you uncomfortable, sorry. You have the option to leave. I'm not.

This is my girlspace.

My thanks to my friend Gjorgett for giving me the name for this blog. It happened over lunch one day while shopping (or at least heavy window shopping).

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

A brief questionaire, if you please?

What is your female name? Zelda Belladonna Rose.
How long have you been Zelda? Since 1998.
What do you consider yourself? Transgendered? A crossdresser with transsexual tendencies? Who cares?
Sexual preference? Bi, with lesbian tendencies.
Do you consider yourself a male or female? Yes.
Do you cross-dress for a sexual thrill? Not anymore
Do you have other fetishes? This is not a fetish, and my fetishes are numerous.
Are you a closet CD or have you come out? Out, mostly. I am not out to my mother and a few other people. I do go out in public dressed, because the idea of just dressing up to sit around a hotel room is ridiculous.
Could you pass for a woman? I pass as Zelda, that is all that matters.
...article of women's clothing?
...purse? Either my Craig Morrison spikey latex heart-shaped backpack or my silver metal box purse.
...pair of women's shoes? Black patent mary jane flats from Hay-Way Shoes.
...kind of lingerie? Lacy.
...make-up? MAC, baby!
...drink? Cosmos or martinis Sushi!
...cities to visit? Atlanta, Chicago, New Orleans, NYC, London.
Panties or thongs? Panties.
Thigh highs, knee highs, stockings or pantyhose? Stockings.
Skirts or dresses? Dresses.
Bra or bustier? Bra.
Swimwear: bikini or 1-piece? Victorian bathing costume.
Night out with girl friends or CD friends? Either.