Monthly Archives: October 2014

Please Care About Austerity

Austerity is a word we hear a lot these days, and not as a result of a new interest in the works of Senecus or other stoicist philosophers from Antiquity or something. Let’s talk about it a bit, because… I don’t know, maybe it will do something.

Austerity is based on an ideology, neoliberalism. In the 1980s, governments like that of Thatcher (UK), Reagan (USA) or Gorbachev (USSR) decided that it would be a great idea to liberalize their economy and to reduce the size of the state, because reasons. So they decided to sell state property for next to nothing, reduced services, fought unions, etc. It was generally enforced with solid arguments like “Debt!” or “We cannot afford this anymore”, or with brilliant analogies describing the state as if it were a family — ooooh, identity between macrocosm and microcosm! Inevitably, in all these countries, the results were disastrous on all points of view. And so their ideas became super popular and everybody started thinking these people were great. No, it does not make sense. (For more historical context, watch the beginning of this documentary.)

Neoliberalism would have a much better future than other bad ideas of 1980s, such as neon legwarmers and shiny leggings. This ideology is one of the few things we inherited from the 1980s, with Madonna and Star Wars. But it was better preserved than either (especially Star Wars — God, wasn’t the new trilogy awful?), because it’s just as much a danger now as when “Like A Virgin” first aired. In fact, if I had to choose, I’d buy ten copies of Hard Candy or watch Phantom Menace through to The Revenge of the Sith non-stop if it could do anything against neoliberalism.

Austerity does not work. Never. Even the IMF agrees, and really, they’re well placed to know, as they’ve forced this thing on dozens of countries. Politicians usually sell it as a sacrifice now for a potential better future, but this future never happens. And because the last government’s future didn’t happen, the new one will say that we must go deeper. Basically, people who think this is good are stuck in the same logic as compulsive gamblers: “Yeah, I already sold my car because of this, but if I mortgage my house this time, I’ll make it up ten times!” It’s just, you know, in the case of austerity, the government is asking other people to throw away their money.

An important problem with austerity is that its measures, more often than not, strike marginalized people more than others. Let’s just look at some of the concrete measures that resulted from the present Quebec government’s austerity.

Oh, and the government charges more and more money to individuals for random purposes, while companies to wtf they want. And obviously, raising taxes on the rich is not an option. And so on.


Tomorrow is the big demonstration against austerity in Montreal. 11 am, McGill College and Sherbrooke.

Be there.

Clothing Restrictions and Mature Patriarchy

“Go back home and change! You’ll distract the boys! This place is for teaching!” You know the drill. School people deciding that some girl’s clothing is supposedly too alluring to be worn, because reasons. Here are some examples, which are mostly similar in their essence: one, two, three, four.

It’s fairly easy to point out that these acts of discrimination create women as sexual objects and problematize their bodies instead of addressing men’s vision of women, as several of the female victims point out. As the girl in the second article put it in the posters she pinned, “Don’t humiliate her because she is wearing shorts. It’s hot outside. Instead of shaming girls for their bodies, teach boys that girls are not sexual objects”.

However, what these discourses forget, truthful though they are, is the harmful conception of male youth built through clothing bans. Because, let’s face it, in clothing regulations, it’s not the supposedly “distracted” young boys who ask girls to go home. The people who do this are adults talking about what young men supposedly feel.

This fits what I call “mature patriarchy” (as discussed in a previous article): the intersection between discourses against women and against youth, or the combination of patriarchy and gerontocracy. In this composite dispositive, the categories of women and young men are constructed as either identical or opposite. For example common traits attributed to both young men and women include irresponsibility and sexual desire — though women and men’s sexuality is framed differently. They are both accused of being thrifty spenders, weak-willed, and incapable of participating in politics (in fact, the idea of a female politician is more accepted today than that of a young politician). However, men are seen as strong and violent, while women are physically weak and passive — here, they are opposites.

Both are important parts of society in mature patriarchy, as young men are capable of defending the community, and women are productive through procreation. What frames the discourse on femininity, thus, is sexuality, which must be protected; young men are rather identified with strength, which must be maintained and not wasted. This requires a directing force — that of old men, or in the case of schools, just adults in general — because both women and young men are weak of will. This justifies the power of older men over the rest of society. The difference between young men and women is that the former are expected to follow their place in the age hierarchy, whereas the latter cannot change their gender status.

Militaristic discourses on society from the early 20th century followed this exact logic: women were necessary for creating young men, and these young men were necessary for staffing the army — while older men stayed home and directed the war. Obviously, the actual experience of mature patriarchy is also modulated my the experience of class, but this is the basic schema: women produce, youth fights, and elder men rule.

Incidently, this coincides with George Dumézil’s trifunctional hypothesis. According to the scholar, in Indo-European cultures, there were three functions in society: sovereignty/religion, war and productivity. It would be rather easy to identify sovereignty with mature men, war with young men and productivity with women, and I’m not expert enough to judge if this is true. Indeed, the three functions could be further divided, but what can be observed is that 1) women could rarely occupy a position other than productivity, although men could also hold the third function 2) the attributes of the second function are similar to the characteristics attributed to male youth, and the same applies to the first and aged masculinity.

In “clothing violation” incidents, what really happens is not only sexism on the part of the staff. The assertion that 1) female dress needs to be controlled because 2) boys’ sexuality is beyond control does more than just problematize women’s bodies and appearance, and more than construct men as incapable of constructing their sexual urges. By positionning women as weak and their sexuality as something to protect, and boys as weak and incapable of controlling themselves, school staff justify the very asymmetry of the schooling system, and reinforce a hierarchy that not only sexualizes women’s bodies, but delegitimizes the experiences and assertiveness of young people. It constructs not only femininity, but also youth as problematic, so as to enable the power of adults.

Let’s Talk About Alphabet Soups

The tradition in the making is to refer to sexual and gender diversity and stuff by accumulation of significant letters to include more and more people, creating a longer and longer list (or, as some jokingly put it, longer and longer alphabet soups). Ever since trans people fought for adding a T after LGB to make LGBT, it seems that every category out there wants to add a new letter, including Q (queer, questioning), I (intersex), A (asexual, ally), P (pansexual, polyamory), 2S (two-spirit), and others I forget.

This is great, as it shows how all these people are recognised. I totally support inclusive ways to refer to our universe of oppressed people. However, what isn’t great is how people misuse them. There are many purpose for using alphabet soups like these. Let’s look at them, and at a few specific problems.

(Note: Uses vary wildly, so for the purpose of this article, I’ll use LGBTQIA as a standard alphabet soup. LGBT is the most frequently used, but I like LGBTQIA best. Amongst other things, I prefer not to talk about two-spirit issues as I don’t feel knowledgeable enough on this issue at the moment, so I won’t put them in my personal soup so as not to misrepresent them.)

We represent this alphabet soup

Many groups or organisms in the queer universe say that they represent LGBTQIA people as part of their mission, because they want to show inclusiveness.

This intent is good. However, if you do want to include, say, trans, intersex and asexual people, or even bisexual people (because let’s be honest, gays and lesbians are generally not forgotten), don’t start with changing your alphabet soup: change your practices, services and discourses first. Being asexual and trans, I have received some weird receptions in supposedly LGBTQIA spaces, especially about asexuality, and seen several such organisations not do anything at all that could be related to trans issues. Using an over-inclusive alphabet soup and waiting for newly rhetorically-included people to create changes in services is the wrong way to go about this.

Now, to be clear, I believe that organizations targeting gay people should also try to extend their services to include bisexual, trans, intersex, and asexual people. This is a partly a question of historic reparation, as the “gay rights movement” since the 70s has tended to hide or exclude its least normative members (especially trans people) even though they were the most active and needy; partly because these issues are all related, especially in cases of harassment and violence, which usually targets gender expression, not strictly “sexual orientation”; partly because some people are treated badly in “gay” contexts because they are inconveniently “gay” (such as by being romantically attracted to same-sex people, but not sexually, or by being also attracted to opposite-gender people, or by having transitionned); and partly because gay organisations are often the ones with resources (political and financial), while trans and intersex people, in particular, need them the most.

But my point is: changing the alphabet soup should be the consequence of a more inclusive practice, not the manner of achieving inclusion.

Add nutrients before changing the soup’s packaging.

We’re fighting for alphabet-soup rights!

Or when people say stuff like “this thing is a great advance for LGBTQIA rights”. Does this thing really mean anything to all your letter? Probably not. If so, there is a solid chance you are erasing someone’s experience.

The most frequent “LGBTQIA right” mentionned is marriage equality. Obviously, this is a nice thing to have, and a reason to celebrate. It’s mainly an LGB issue, but I’ll grant it affects other people. For instance, trans people may be denied right to marry in any relationship without same-sex marriage laws. Although homophobic laws may work strangely in a transphobic context, allowing sex-same marriage and banning opposite-sex marriage (as Russia learned), straight couples with a trans person become impossible in these situations. Ban of same-sex marriage also forced some trans people to divorce as they transitionned — and at some point, this was a prerequisite for transition.

All the same, asexual aromantic people often couldn’t care less about marriage equality in their personal lives, and from where I stand, it is not a high priority in intersex activism. Heck, it’s not even a high priority for trans activists: even though they may touch some trans people, issues related to marriage are sort of less important than access to healthcare and having our identities recognized.

This is even more oblivious when large features promise to talk about “LGBTQIA!” rights, and then proceed to talk about marriage equality and stuff like that.

The reverse is true. If some place, for example, votes a law to ban or limit forced surgical sex assignment on babies, no need to attribute this to the LGBTQIA movement — intersex activists fought for it, most likely, and deserve the full credit and their moment in the spotlight, even if they had other allies (LGBTQA or not). And if a law is passed to allow easier legal sex change, well, that’s a trans fight that basically benefits only to trans people — it is they, not a wider LGBTQIA constituency, who should be mentioned. Specificity is a good thing.

Not everyone likes every soup flavour.

Our research shows that LGBT people are totally awesome

So this is how it works. Some researcher decides to do a paper or monograph or whatever on homosexual people, and possibly on how oppressed they are or something. But current practice wants us to use LGBT, so out of nowhere, the article will say “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender”. There are many problems with this approach:

  1. The research question is generally framed to talk only about homosexuality, so the “T” is silent, as always. So people will be discriminated against for their “sexual orientation” (actually, their gender non-conformity, but anyways), discover their sexual orientation, first have a relationship with someone of their gender, come out to their parents, etc. These findings are meaningless to most trans people, whose specific experience is very different from that. Yes, trans people experience similar things — discrimination and harassment, starting to understand they are trans, experiment with gender for the first times, coming out to… everyone, ultimately –, but if research questions are about sexual orientation, well… what should a trans person do? Talk about their (possibly unproblematic) sexual orientation? Or may change the questions in their head so that they apply to their experience?
  2. They assume sexual orientation is fixed. In the case of trans people, this is flawed for two reasons. 1) Our categories for describing sexual orientation are cissexist, in that they take the gender identity of the subject for granted, as if it were always the same. Therefore, if a (binary) trans person is attracted to women, they will have appeared homosexual and heterosexual at some point in their lives, even though their attraction never changed. This may seem trivial, but it explains that some trans men identify as lesbian, because they still feel a bond to the lesbian community they were part of, or that transition is more acceptable for people who will be straight in their gender of identification. Also, non-binary people have no word for themselves. 2) Many, many trans people experience changes in their attractions as they transition. Some trans men attracted to women before transition come to be attracted to women also later on. Myself, I was asexual aromantic before transition. Now that I’m full-time, I’m more homoromantic, I even have a girlfriend. And I wouldn’t be surprised if SRS were to change my attitude to (a)sexuality as well, making me a grayer shade of gray than I am.
  3. Often, the way to find out who is trans is through a question like “Male/Female/Transgender”, whereas another (or several) specific question will be dedicated to determining sexual orientation. This erases the experience of many trans people. Some trans women like me would rather answer “Female”, but this means they would be invisible. And many trans men attracted to women identify as lesbians even after their transition, and may decide to frame themselves as women so as not to be labeled “straight”. Using “Male/Female/Transgender” is about as accurate to determine trans status as is asking “Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual” to determine gender identity — sure, it works for some people, but others will be necessarily mislabeled.
  4. In my experience, these researches never allow for people to disclose their intersex status — it’s not something their interested to know. And being asexual is impossible, as these researches don’t offer a “not attracted to anything” option anywhere. But at least, I never saw a research stating it would investigate “LGBTQIA” concerns, so the I and the A are more forgotten than erased. However, it is also true that they are also forgotten in research focusing on trans people, many of whom are intersex or asexual

If your research does not have a single thing to contribute to trans issues, please please please, do not say it does.

There is nothing wrong with not mentioning something that has nothing to do with your research in the first place. Is that clear? At least, it won’t pop up on Google Scholar or EBSCO when I look out for trans experiences.

When you look into the nutritional properties of Lipton soup, don’t say your results work for wonton soup.

“A is for Allies”

The idea of including “allies” in the alphabet soup is to recognize that straight, cis allies are necessary for some changes to happen — and indeed, some people like President Obama do great things with regards to LGBT rights, like granting health care benefits for transition expenses and striving for marriage equality, while not being LGBT themself. So in some contexts, this makes sense.

But this doesn’t mean that everything, everywhere should include “allies”. And sometimes, this is pushed to the bizarre end of combining this with other alphabet-soup problems — fighting for LGBTQIA rights hardly makes sense if “A is for Allies”, because by definition, allies are in a position of privilege here, and we’re not fighting for their rights.

The ubiquity of “A is for Allies” is so ridiculous that World Pride succeeded, in one of the longest alphabet soups I ever saw (LGBTTIQQ2SA, meaning “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer/Questioning, 2 Spirited, Allies”), to forget that A is really for Asexual. I mean, when Mr. Cisheterodude is more important to you than actual marginalized people from your own community, you might want to ask yourself if you’re doing something wrong. (Spoiler: Yes, you are.)

One might argue that the “A” is meant to include friends and parents and whoever has a relationship with someone on the rainbow, because these people may also need help coping. However, two things here. 1) Their place is not necessarily in queer spaces or as people whose rights we fight for, as they generally need different services than queer people. 2) These are parents and friends, not just “allies”, and should be defined as such. President Obama is an ally. My mother is not principally an “ally” — ally or not, she’s my mother, and she is related to trans issues as the mother of a trans child. I’m fairly certain that she lives trans stuff differently than Obama.

Sometimes, we need to keep grandma’s soup recipe for us.

We want a letter too!

Another basic problem with the principle of alphabet soups is that they include (a finite number of) categories. This means that when another related category appears and demands inclusion, the only way to accommodate them is to add another letter. So the soup grows ever and ever denser and less useful. And yet more people will still not feel included. So we must add more letters, and more letters, until it is, in this end, hard to manage. People will forget letters, or put them is a different order. Adding an asterisks, a plus sign or an AI for All-Inclusive doesn’t solve the issue, as some categories will be explicitly included, and others only as “not important enough to be in the main list, but hey! you’re technically there!” — basically, this is a loophole for justifying lack of inclusiveness.

And I want to be clear: every group or category should be included.

This is why we need better inclusive language. We need expressions that center on oppressions, on experiences, not on categories. That’s what we do in our LGBTQIA fights, in fact: we don’t have laws say “Gays and lesbians should not be discriminated against”, we say “One should not discriminate against sexual orientation” — where sexual orientation includes many experiences that go beyond “gay and lesbian”, and some that legislators or activists didn’t think. Same thing in the trans universe: we talk of gender identity and of gender expression, not of given categories under the trans umbrella.

What are our candidates?

One of the letters, Q (for queer), is very inclusive — at least in theory. “Queer” should include all non-normative categories gender and sexuality. However, because LGB people are very many, it generally reduces its scope in practice to non-normative sexualities — prompting some non-binary people to specify that they are genderqueer. In practice, I’m not sure I feel included or erased in “queer” as a trans person. Also, the term is very, very white.

Personally, I like “gender, sexual and romantic minorities”, or GSRM, as an alternative. Its scope is very broad and inclusive. Any “minority” (which I define as a group that is oppressed and made into a minority, non-standard experience through discourse, not through numbers) — any minority that experiences oppression because of gender, sexual or romantic norms is potentially included. Partial list: trans people (binary or non-binary), asexual people (romantic or aromantic), polyamourous people, LGB people, intersex people (with a broad definition of gender at least), two-spirit people, people with variant gender expressions, etc. Hey, it’s even more inclusive than, say, LGBTQIA2S, and it’s open-ended, so it includes people I didn’t even think about I’m sure! But it hasn’t caught on yet, so if I go on about “GSRM”, no one will understand me, which is a problem.

Therefore, I will probably continue using alphabet soups (the long kind), within the bounds I’ve given myself (i.e. no unwarranted letters, but as many as possible). In fact, thinking about whether you should include one letter makes you think about what you are doing for some members of the GSRM constellation. If you want to use LGBTQIA for your organism, or to describe a new policy, or for research purposes, you have to ask: “Is this something queer or LGB people might want? What about trans people? What about intersex people? What about asexual people?” And if you want to add 2S, you have to start your own little reflection on postcolonialism (which, incidentally, I had to do for writing this very article). This sort of reflection is important. And maybe it’s the point of the longer soup formulas?

Transition as Travel: Learning from Bilbo Baggins

It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door. You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off.

(Bilbo Baggins, in JRR Tolkien’s Fellowship of the Rings, b. 1 ch. 3.)

I want to talk a moment about the travel metaphor of trans experiences. Defining trans experiences is often done through metaphors. A frequent one is the butterfly metaphor: trans people, through transitionning, reveal the essential butterfly they always were, or were to be; trans people are beautiful being, created through a personal metamorphosis; they are reborn as they come out of their cocoon and experience the world. I would like to discuss another: the idea that transition is a form of travel through gender.

First, some theory. You may have been introduced to the idea of “metaphor”, like I was, in high school literature classes, where it was some kind of magical instrument of poetry, never accessible to mortals. In fact, metaphors are an important part of language. A lot of what we say depends on metaphors. Now, I will draw from Lakoff and Johnson’s (1980) example: Discussion is war. The metaphor that discussion is comparable to war can be seen in phrases like “He attacked my position“, or “I defended myself against her arguments”, and so on. This metaphor frames our understanding of discussion as something oppositional, where there is an objective and rhetorical strategies. Basically, metaphors have an effect on thought, in some ways. So how we express these things is important.

Anyway, enough theory.

The “being trans is travel” metaphor makes trans experiences part of a process of movement, where you start somewhere, and go somewhere else. But people like me, from the Western urban middle class, tend to understand travel as something strongly goal-oriented. We travel from A to B, from home to work, from Boston to Paris, from Laurier station to Papineau. Of course, trans people can “travel” from female to male, or from male to female (notice how MtF and FtM, as words, use the idea of direction “to” something, as part of the travel metaphor), but we can make more of the metaphor than just this. After all, the road of transition changes; there isn’t necessarily a clear goal in any transition, and some times, objectives change as transition goes forward. So let’s look at another way to understand travel: Tolkien’s Road, as expressed through Bilbo Baggins and his fellow hobbits, which I find beautiful and instructive for trans realities.

It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door. You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off.

I think this is a great way to frame our experiences. From the point when you first enter the Road of transition, you can never know what will happen. It’s a path of self-discovery and of new experiences. Some people walk slowly and carefully on the Road; some, like me, are more like runners, going as fast as possible. Some have a clear objective in view when they start, like SRS, but change their plans along the way; others just walk on, not thinking about where it will end, and they may end up at the same place anyway. Personally, I never even decided to transition: I just did new things that felt right, more and more, and my transition just… happened. But whatever your way of going forward, you are transformed by going on the Road at all, by the good and by the bad experiences you will have. As the movie says:

Bilbo: Can you promise that I will come back?
Gandalf: No. And if you do, you will not be the same.

In a way, in this metaphor, cis people stay at home, eating cake with their afternoon tea. But trans people are called out by wizards, and they go beyond the door, where “there’s no knowing where you might be swept off”. Sure, your plan may be to reach the Lonely Mountain, but everything can happen along the way no matter where or how you start — even if you left without a pocket handkerchief. You may meet dragons, elves and giant spiders, ride barrels, find hoards of gold or outwit trolls. You may make new friends in your treasure hunt, and hey, you may even have to betray your friends for the greater good, and not even come back with any of the gold your contract promised. You may reach your initial objective, or have a new objective, or come back home in the end after a great trip. Who knows? But the travel itself is meaningful.

In the travel metaphor, the distinction between trans and cis is whether you cross the door in the first place, no matter where the Road leads you. To Erebor, perhaps? To Mordor? Or just back home? The Road decides. What matters is that we, trans people, are on the Road. Because the Road has its autonomy, its own internal logic that affects where you go, and it decides where you end up.

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet, [Note from Lucrezia: Another version has “weary feet”]
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.

There might be a destination, and yet there may not. And even if there is, the intermediate steps may not be settled. You just follow the Road, on and on, until the next crossing of paths. Sure, a great objective (say, being full-time, or having SRS, or just being happy) exists, but it may be far off. In the meantime, you just have to go on, and follow the Road one step at a time, whether eager or weary, looking for the very next step — and whither then? You cannot say. Cross-dressing for the first time may be a step. Identifying as trans or as genderqueer or as something else may be a step. Changing legal name may be a step. Just thinking about gender may be a step as well. As you make more steps, you may notice that you are near your initial destination, or notice you have strayed; you may keep that objective, or give yourself a new one; and you may also just follow the Road, wherever it leads, not knowing what will happen.

The Road goes ever on and on
Out from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
Let others follow it who can!
Let them a journey new begin,
But I at last with weary feet
Will turn towards the lighted inn,
My evening-rest and sleep to meet.

But eventually, your Road is over. If being trans is travel, there can be an end to that travel, a point where you stop, weary or just satisfied of the person the Road created. Perhaps you reached the destination you chose when you got on the Road, or perhaps not. Perhaps you’re back home, or perhaps not. And perhaps your home has changed while you were on the Road, like Bilbo Baggins coming home to an auction of his property. And you will have changed too. Who knows?

But one thing is certain. The Road is still there, for others to follow.

Works cited

Lakoff, George and Mark Johnson (1980). Metaphors We Live By, Chicago, University of Chicago Press.

Detransitionning After Being Rejected as a Trans Woman: An Answer to Bad Media

I’ve seen several newspapers reporting on this Daily Mail article on Matthew Attonley, generally making even more horrible a fairly badly written, sensationalist article about a virtual non-story. It was so badly written that even trans people reacted negatively towards Matthew and his experience, where the real issue is media representation. This is my attempt to do less-shoddy journalism, using the same tools as shoddy journalists — i.e. isolated quotes stolen out of a piece of someone else’s biased reporting.

After attempting a gender transition as a woman, Matthew Attonley decided to detransition and live again in his assigned gender.

When living as a trans woman, he felt rejected, his identity denied and not acknowledged: “When people found out about my past, they treated me like a liar and a fake.” “No matter how much make-up I put on or how I dressed, I knew people would not know me as a real woman.”

Indeed, Matthew felt the harsh pressure put on women’s appearance after his transition:  “It is exhausting putting on make-up and wearing heels all the time.” [*] But even moreso, he had to deal with the specific difficulties male-assigned women face when taking on new gender roles one was never taught: “It was draining to constantly think about how to walk and speak like a girl.”

Despite all his efforts, he doesn’t feel he looks “like a proper woman”. His hard experience with being trans left him with a bad body image. Like many trans people, he could never feel at ease with his body, partly because of his internalized cissexism: “I knew deep down that, even though I had had surgery, I had still been born a man.” “I have always longed to be a woman, but no amount of surgery can give me an actual female body and I feel like I am living a lie.”

He also suffered from the transnormative treatment of gender dysphoria that makes genital surgery the focus of trans people’s trajectory, and felt an inevitable backlash when it did not, in fact, make him happier: “I thought the surgery would make me feel complete, but it didn’t.”

Throughout his transition, he suffered from mental health issues which the NHS did not treat successfully, and which were compounded by side-effects of hormone replacement therapy.

For all these reasons, he decided to go back on his transition and identify as a man. He is now hoping that the NHS will pay for the surgeries he needs for his second transition, and for recovering some lost happiness.

Despite experiences like Matthew’s, transition is usually very effective for people with gender dysphoria. Most people who regret their transition do so for the same reasons as Matthew — because society rejects trans people and invalidates their bodies.

However, few feel the pressure is so hard that they want to transition back to their assigned gender after getting through the long and difficult admission process of UK’s gender identity clinics and meeting the criteria for surgery. In fact, gender reassignment surgeries enjoy a satisfaction rate of around 99 %.

That wasn’t hard, was it?

[*] After seeing people’s reaction on this, I’d like to clarify something: I did not include this quote because I find it particularly meaningful, but because I wanted to show what could be done with the quote that attracted the most media attention, and make it non-dismissive.