Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Feminine Mystique - CNS News

"Five-minute magazine piece"

Looking Back: A gender for success

Rachael Padman underwent genital surgery in 1982 to become a woman. But, as she tells David Batty, she chooses to define herself by her successful academic career, rather than her transsexualism

August 4, 2004

Rachael Padman says that changing sex did not make her a woman. The Cambridge University lecturer believes that the genital surgery she underwent in 1982 was just another step towards living as the woman she always felt she was, rather than the point at which she became female.

By any measure Padman, the director of studies in physical sciences at the university's Newnham college, is a successful woman. Within the transsexual community her story is widely viewed as challenging negative stereotypes of transsexuals being unhappy and dysfunctional.

Padman, 50, underwent gender reassignment after moving to England from her home country of Australia in 1977. She was assessed and treated with female hormones at the Charing Cross NHS gender identity clinic in north-west London while pursuing a PhD at the then all-male St John's college, Cambridge.

But she encountered no hostility from her peers or tutors when in 1981 she started to live full-time as a woman in preparation for genital surgery. She gained her doctorate just after undergoing a sex change operation, paid for privately, in October 1982.

Although she had an overwhelming desire to change gender from early childhood, Padman believes the main reason for her post-operative success is that her identity is not solely based on her being transsexual. . . .Read More

Book Review - How to Help Children Along the Transgender Journey

October 29, 2008

by Terry Schlichenmeyer

The Transgender Child: A Handbook for Families and Professionals,
by Stephanie Brill and Rachel Pepper. Cleis Press. 252 pages, $16.95.

Did you play dress-up when you were a kid? A box of old clothes, a few nearly tattered hats, some shoes that were way too big for you and a rainy day were the recipe for trying on all sorts of new selves and pretending you were something other than what you were.

But for some kids, there is no pretending. They strongly feel they were born as the wrong gender or they feel they are neither gender. For some of them, the feeling starts almost before they learn to walk. In this new book, you’ll learn about gender, biology and understanding.

In the process of growing up and learning about the world, children naturally try on different identities, “becoming” boy or girl as easily as they become a princess or a pirate. Brill and Pepper say that our society perpetuates acknowledgement of only two genders but that to understand transgender children, we need to throw those old ideas out. Gender is fluid, and many of us are, biologically speaking, a blend of sexes. . . .Read More

Transsexual beauty queen crowned in Philippines



An unusual beauty pageant took place in the capital of the Philippines, Manila, last week. The pageant, Amazing Philippines Beauties 2008, was held to choose the beauty queen among transsexuals and transvestites.

Angelika Santillan, 27, won the title of the most beautiful contestant from 25 other ‘women.’ Santillan stole her crown from her major rival, Rosa Garcia, 19, who came in as the first runner-up. Rianne Barrameda, the 2007 winner of the contest, awarded the crown to the most beautiful and amazing beauty in the Philippines.

Angelika was supposed to fly to Thailand on October 26, where so-called lady-boys are categorized as a separate sex, to represent her country at the international pageant Miss International Queen 2008. However, the visit was later delayed indefinitely due to ongoing riots in the country. . . .Read More