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Quotes: On the effort of gender transition

I was aware, during the time of boygirl, that I had been given a rare and precious gift, to see into the worlds of both men and women for a time and to be able to travel almost effortlessly between them. ... It was like being Clark Kent and Superman, in a way.

* * *

I think it is hard for me to be with people that I love for whom my transition is something other than a cause for unbridled celebration. I feel great these days, like somebody who just got out of prison after 40 years for something she didn't do, like I got pardoned by the governor. When dear friends deal with me with mixed emotions, it is a little like being told, 'Well, Jenny, we're glad you got sprung, really, but quite honestly we did kind of like you better when you were in jail.'

Jennifer Finney Boylan. She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders. New York: Broadway Books, 2003. p. 153, 179-80.

...the psychiatric disorder of transsexualism [means that one has]...agreed to go through life with an official diagnosis probably comparable in many people's minds to necrophilia.

Amy Bloom. Normal: Transsexual CEOs, Crossdressing Cops, and Hermaphrodites with Attitude. New York: Random House, 2002. p 28.

I found myself resenting the psychological requirements [for gender transition]. Part of it was distrust; after years of therapy and meditation, not one single person had noticed this truth, and now that I had finally found it, I was supposed to go to them again?

Dhillon Khosla. Both Sides Now: One Man's Journey Through Womanhood. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, 2006. p 17.

I smiled, grateful for my masculine traits that testosterone now emphasized, but I was trying to forget about that change, too, since at that time I still believed that the mark of success for any transsexual person is when he or she is able magically to make his or her transsexualism disappear.

Jamison Green. Becoming a Visible Man. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 2004. p 25.

Lacking the Karhidish “human pronoun” used for persons in somer [the asexual cyclical stage], I must say “he,” for the same reasons as we used the masculine pronoun in referring to a transcendent god: it is less defined, less specific, than the neuter or the feminine. But the very use of the pronoun in my thoughts leads me continually to forget that the Karhider I am with is not a man, but a manwoman.

Ursula K. LeGuin. The Left Hand of Darkness. (1969) New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 2004. p. 94.

Ladies are the kind of people who won't let my girlfriend use the public ladies' room, thinking she's not a woman. Oh, but they're not going to let her use the men's room either—they're not going to let her be a man either. If she's not a man, and she's not a woman, then what is she? Once I asked my mother what fire was: a solid, liquid, or gas? And she said it wasn't any one of those things—it was something that happened to things: a force of nature, she called it. Maybe that's what she is: a force of nature. For sure she is something that happened to me.

Holly Hughes, Clit Notes, 1993, quoted by Kate Bornstein, Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us. NY: Vintage Books, 1994. p 102.

Mr. Jeavons asked me whether this made me feel safe, having things always in a nice order, and I said it did.

Then he asked if I didn't like things changing. And I said I wouldn't mind things changing if I became an astronaut, for example, which is one of the biggest changes you can imagine, apart from becoming a girl or dying.

He asked whether I wanted to become an astronaut and I said I did.

Mark Haddon (in the character of Christopher). The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. New York: Vintage Contemporaries, 2004. p 25.


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