Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Thursday, 25 January 2018

We Are Not All The Same

I have just realised that it is now ten days since my last post.   It was quite a dramatic post, with over 1,500 hits on the first day alone, for some that may not be much but for me that is pretty momentous.   Having said that I would much rather not have felt as though I needed to say it all, yet even with the much higher profile that trans people now have sometimes it feels as though these things do still need to be said.

Part of that higher profile has come from a variety of media stories, one of the latest is the ITV program Transformation Street. This series started a couple of weeks ago, but with my stupid life I have only now got round to watching the first couple of episodes on Catch Up.   In many ways it is not as bad as I was expecting, but I do have to remind myself that the show is following people through surgery, and the surgery is what much of this show seems to be about.   Although it is nice, if on occasion a little voyeuristic, to see some of the processes that some will go through, as well as to get some of the insights into different people's journeys, I do feel uncomfortable with the basic premise of the show ~ that we become the person we are through surgery!

The central characters are the staff and patients of this private clinic, many are interesting attractive personalities, including the surgeon Christopher Inglefield, but once again I feel I need to stress that this is a surgical clinic and so surgery is central.   I am really labouring this point because for many, indeed most of my trans friends surgery is not the be all and end all of our transition.  Certainly for some it is, but for many of us it isn't.   Maybe it is the stage of life I have now reached, or maybe I just have a different approach to life to many, but just as my transition has not all been about high heels and short skirts, then neither is it all about surgery.

I will admit that for some (particularly trans women) they can be so focused on surgery, the aim that has been pursued, potentially the end of their transition, that I do worry about what may happen after surgery? what happens to your life after you have achieved the one thing that you have been pursuing?

Certainly I do know that this series has taken quite a bit of flak on social media from within the Trans community, I do think much of this has been unfair, but I also think that just as India Willoughby did not speak for the trans community on Celebrity Big Brother then these stories are not necessarily common for all trans people.   They are insightful, they may be heart wrenching, they are certainly indicative, but they are not my story, they are personal stories, and we are all very far from being the same!


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