Thursday, November 13, 2008
Berlin, Vermont - November 12, 2008
A professional makeover: A gift Michele Todd desperately wanted to give herself for decades, but didn't.
Not because she couldn't afford a visit to the salon. She had the money. Michele feared a new look would devastate her family and friends and get her fired from her job, because the makeover she wanted would be drastic.
Michele lived most of her life as Michael.
"I want to work and breathe and live 24-7 as Michele," she explains.
Earlier this year, she legally changed her name, started wearing women's clothes in public, and now walks solely in Michele's shoes. The 51-year-old is transgender. She was born with male genitalia but identifies as female.
"I feel much more comfortable and that's what I want to be," Michele says.
As far back as she can remember, Michele knew she was different; knew she was more feminine than the other boys.
"I had a desire to do things that a girl might do," she explains. . . .Read More
Christa Hoisington can barely utter her birth name. It still bothers her to this day.
"It just didn't feel right," she says.
It didn't make sense to her. Gary is a boy's name. And Christa says she knew, even as a child, she wasn't a boy.
So, in August of 2001 she legally changed her name. Christa was 49 years old, but says she felt reborn. Gary was officially gone and Christa could live full time as a woman.
"I wish I had done it when I was 20. I really do," she says.
Like many trans people, Christa's childhood was troubled.
She wanted to be a girl. But to her parents she was a boy; their son. And she felt pressured into more masculine activities. Her parents even sent her to a psychiatrist trying to change her mind. Christa says she tried to please them.
"You're born male. You're expected to do what males do," she says.
Experts say there is a clear difference between being transgender and cross-dressing for fun; that this is a condition that people are born with and not a choice.
"All of the clients I have worked with-- I can't think of an exception-- have said that they were 3, 4, 5 years old thinking they were different from the other boys or girls," psychiatrist Nancy Judd explains. "Your sense of who you are in that deep down place doesn't fit with the gender they were given at birth. It doesn't fit with their body.". . .Read More
Nov 13, 2008
Trans pastor hopes Day of Remembrance prompts more advocacy for rights, protections
Simone Walton was killed for being a transgender person right here in Dallas.
In December of 2005, the 40-year-old was shot to death in Oak Cliff. She is not alone.
The Remembering Our Dead Web Project estimates that two people a month, on average are killed in violence against transgender people. Transgender pastor David Wynn of Agape Metropolitan Community Church in Fort Worth wants to do something about it.
“My emotions in a situation like this run the gamut. I feel profoundly sad that those folks have lost their lives simply trying to be who they are. And then I also feel very angry that someone felt like they had the right to hurt somebody simply because they are surprised by who they were,” Wynn said.
That’s why he’s helping to organize a local ceremony to commemorate the 10th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance. . . .Read More
An American transgender man, who created news waves around the world when he gave birth to a daughter earlier this year, is pregnant again.
In his first interview since giving birth, Thomas Beatie, 32, told journalist Barbara Walters he opted out of taking the male hormone testosterone after giving birth because he and his wife Nancy wanted another child, reported Agence France Presse.
"I feel good," he said in the interview with US network ABC.
"I had my checkups with my hormone level...everything is right on track," said the bearded Thomas.
The couple's second child was due on June 12, he said.
Known as Tracey when he was a child, Thomas made it to the finals of the Miss Teen Hawaii USA beauty pageant when he was 14, but was "uncomfortable" throughout.
Thomas began a lesbian relationship with Nancy when he was 24, and in 2002 had sex-reassignment surgery to remove his breasts.
He never had phalloplasty, surgery to create an artificial penis, and retains female reproductive organs, according to ABC. . . .Read More