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(Above) A stellar photo spread of 14 transwomen published by the sadly now defunct C*ndy Magazine in 2014. 

This website covers various aspects of male-to-female transsexualism, now usually  referred to as Gender Identity Dysphoria (GID).   It was developed in the years around my own transition in 2000 and there have been no major changes since 2004, although I occasionally make small updates, corrections or additions when these seem important or are of particular interest to me (e.g. medical developments).  The site is thus largely historical in nature, it represents a snapshot of an extraordinary period around the turn of the millennia which was truly transformational for transsexual women.

The use of Latin terms such as trans and cis is very appropriate given the Roman fascination with hermaphrodites  

The articles often use words such as transsexual and transwoman, which in recent years have been replaced by the term transgender. The prefix trans is a Latin noun meaning 'across', 'beyond' or 'on the opposite side'. The articles use trans in the context of people making changes to their physical characteristics (hormonal and surgery) and lifestyle in order to match their selected gender.

A significant development since c.2014 is the use of the prefix cis, e.g. in words such as ciswomen, cisgendered and cissexual.  Cis is actually another Latin term, meaning 'on this side', and is increasingly used in the context of women (usually but not always genetically XX) who were assigned a female gender at birth, and whose bodies and their personal identity have always agreed with this.  It does make sense as an alternative to awkward phrases such as "genetically XY women" that I have resorted to in some articles. 

I strongly support the recent substitution of the term Gender Confirmation Surgery (GRS) for the very inaccurate term Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS) that dates back to the 1950's.


The March of Time
It is impossible exaggerate how much things have changed since 2000, for example the explosion in the size of the transgender community.  There was roughly 60,000 post-GRS women in the entire world in 2000 - and most had used a few dozen surgeons (each performing between 50 and 300 procedures a year) whose individual merits were intensely debated within the trans-community.  Fast forward to 2020 and a million post-GRS women is probably an underestimation, with the number rising by at least 10% a year.  In Thailand there are now specialist hospitals which each perform more "Gender Confirmation" surgeries than were performed world-wide twenty years ago.  Another huge but very under reported change is that in 2000 male-to-female (MTF) surgical procedures out-numbered female-to male (FTM) procedures by roughly 3 to 1, but by 2019 many clinics were  performing more FTM than MTF operations.

Most people now personally know someone who is transgender - a family member, class mate, friend, work colleague, etc.  Transwomen are no longer rare freaks, and this is changing attitudes to the extent that going deep stealth after transition is no longer the goal of many passable transwoman. 

Other key developments include:

  • Andreja PejicEU directives prohibiting any discrimination based on sex or gender being adopted in national laws. [A legal case taken by Caroline Cossey in 1989 played a huge role in starting this process] 

  • In many countries a transwoman born with a male birth certificate can now legally marry as a woman.  Some faiths/orders (e.g. The Church of England) will now perform a religious marriage ceremony as long as the couple identify and marry as a "man and woman".

  • The acceptance by the modelling industry of transwomen as female models, led by Andrej (now Andreja) Pejic (pictured right) and Lea T

  • A much greater willingness by the medical profession to pro-actively treat young transgender children under age 18 - take a bow Kim Petras

  • Medical advances - both surgical and endocrinological.  All the medical barriers have fallen and the announcement of the first pregnant transwoman and mother is a case when rather than if.


Gender vs Physical Sex
In the UK, the Gender Recognition Act 2004 (GRA2004) combines gender (a mental and lifestyle attribute) with sex (a physical attribute which includes sexual intercourse and reproduction).  As a result of the GRA2004, it is possible to legally change sex from male to female, or vice-versa, without having had any medical treatment. The requirements are filling in a form, finding a registered doctor who will sign it, and paying the requisite fee - and about a month later a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) will arrive in the post. 

A GRC permits an individual to be considered female for all legal purposes, whilst still physically a fertile male with a fully functional penis.  One example of the consequences of this is the case of David Thompson.  Whilst on remand for grievous bodily harm, burglary, multiple rapes and other sexual offences against women - David applied for and obtained a female GRC as Karen White.  When subsequently convicted as a male paedophile, her GRC meant that 'she' was sent to a women-only prison despite still having had no hormone treatment or genital surgery.  Within a few weeks Karen had raped or sexually assaulted four fellow prisoners.  Leeds Crown Court later described Karen as a "predator who was a danger to women and children".


The Near Future
In the UK the GRA2004 is currently (late 2019) being reviewed, with the expected outcome being a 'simplified' Gender Recognition procedure where people can self-declare their gender with no medical assessment required, and this declaration will be legally binding.  I fear that this will be a triumph of the views of a very small but very vocal trans-lobby, with the rights, safety and best interests of women with a vagina (yes, I'm including constructed neo-vagina's) being subordinated to anyone with a penis who can coherently fill in a form. 

Secondly, school records in the UK show that nearly 1% of all pupils are now registered as having have GID, an extraordinarily high number.   We seem to be getting close to a once Science Fiction like scenario where every child can decide if they want to be male or female, both legally and in their secondary sexual characteristics (i.e. external physical appearance).  As a society, we need to consider the implications of giving children that choice.


Being Controversial
Progress on transgender rights in the early 2000's has been so dramatic that there has been an almost inevitable backlash.  Arguably the pendulum has swung to far too quickly.

Pre-gender reassignment surgery transwomen (sometimes even pre-hormone therapy) are a particular focus of complaints, including:

  • their use of women's toilets and changing rooms

  • participating in women's sport events

  • availing of benefits available only to women (such as an earlier pension age)

  • advocating radical feminist views on topics such as rape and abortion without having a vagina or uterus

Women find sharing gender neutral toilets with men distressing, and avoid them if possible.

In recent years I've met at meetings and rally's some very scary (both physically and behaviourally) individuals who I struggled to consider as being transwomen, and doubt if they had had any medical treatment for GID.  I'm too old to face them on a sports field, but the prospect of being legally forced to share women's toilets, women's changing rooms, women's hospital wards, etc., with a physically complete and sexually fully functional man is very uncomfortable. 

I'm thus going to be controversial in my belief that some of the complaints are valid - and may worsen if proposals to allow people to self-certify their gender (without any medical treatment) start to become law in the UK and beyond. 

Some countries such as Japan (since 2002) and Sweden (until 2013) require an applicant requesting a legal change of sex to have been sterilized (e.g. orchiectomy) or have completed sex-assignment surgery before this is granted.  There is a lot of opposition to such rules, but I have personally swung to view that these are the least worst hurdle (excluding intersex sufferers) to set for a very serious matter. 

Extreme and polarised views are dominating now dominating the transgender agenda in the UK and in other western countries, for example lesbian women who refuse to engage intimately with self-labelled 'lesbian' transwomen who have not had "bottom surgery" (i.e. still have a penis) are being called "transphobic'.  Supposed transphobic behaviour (e.g. posting a comment on Twitter that a post-SRS neovagina "goes nowhere" - which is physically true) has become so unacceptable in the UK that it can lead to an unannounced police visit, with a formal warning that "whilst a criminal offence has not been committed, you now have civil offence record for a hate incident".  I find it impossible to defend this situation - it's a modern incarnation of the Thought Police in George Orwell's novel 1984.

I also believe that a lot more thought needs to given to the treatment of children diagnosed with Gender Identify Disorder (GID).  The root cause of the annual almost  doubling of cases in the UK (the NHS accepted 77 children for treatment in  2009, 2,590 in 2019) and other Western countries has not been identified, but I suspect that it has become trendy (and attention gathering) among teenage children to come out as transgender, gender neutral, non-binary, etc.   In my own (medically unqualified) experience there's a small proportion of transgender children who should undoubtedly be given pro-active medical assistance (including blockers, hormones and  surgery) at the earliest appropriate age, but there's also a far greater number where it would be best not to medically intervene too early.  Unfortunately there are also some children in the middle that require the "Wisdom of Solomon" to assess correctly.


Women / Woman
Since renaming this website as Second Type Woman in 2003 I've occasionally received comments and mild complaints about the name, essentially suggesting that transgender women are just 'women, not a 'second type' of women.  The spectrum of sex and gender is very wide, and I believe that the name I adopted for this site is still valid.  For example, I gather that as the years have passed I've become ever more like my mother in both appearance and behaviour, but unlike her I will never (and could never) experience the highs and lows of pregnancy and child birth - and I consider this to be a major differentiator from a First Type Woman. 

More expectedly, in early 2021 I received several quite strongly worded emails complaining the content of this site.  Some points I can accept - the world has moved on immensely in the last 20-25 years.  But I refuse to accept that my use of the word "Woman" is offensive.  The vast majority (99% ?) of the world's human population still undisputedly identify themselves as 'male' (a man) or 'female' (a woman).  Trying to enforce the use of gender neutral terms such as 'them' (rather than 'he' or 'she'), 'person' (rather than 'man or 'woman') and 'parent and co-parent' (rather than 'mother and father') seems to me to be an oppressive rather than liberating action.  The words 'women' and 'woman' have social connotations for the majority of people who describe themselves as such that don't deserve to be destroyed by a very small minority with a differing opinion.  As for deleting the word 'mother', that is simply putting wishful thinking above biology.


Finally ...

I hope that some of the information presented here might still be helpful.  I'm always delighted to hear from readers, contrast experiences, and perhaps attempt to answer any questions.  My email address is annie.richards@hotmail.com.

Important Notes:
I'm not a qualified medical professional and the contents of this website are merely based upon my experience and research.  It does NOT in any way constitute Medical Advice.
2. Please contact me if you are featured on this website and wish to be removed.  Whilst I will usually do this, in a few cases I have declined to act when the information or image is clearly in the public domain and relevant to an article. 

Treatment of Young Male-to-Female Transsexuals Female Hormone Treatment
Breast Development in Transsexual Women Breast Augmentation for Transsexual Women Sex Reassigment Surgery Options for the Transsexual Woman
Orchidectomy for the Transsexual Woman Stealth and the Transsexual Woman The transwoman and transition
The Transsexual Woman and Work The sexual orientation of transsexual women Marriage and the MTF Transsexual
Transsexual Preganancy Lactation in the Transsexual Woman The Transsexual Woman and Motherhood
Average Body Size Differences in the Male and Female Skeleton What is Female Physical Beauty?


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Last updated: 15 February, 2021
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