(Above) A stellar photo spread of 14 well-known transwomen published by the short lived 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 made small updates, corrections or additions in areas of particular interest to me. I have also reluctantly removed some pages and information of a personal or controversial nature - views and opinions that were the norm in the late 1990's are often now considered unacceptable.
The site was launched during an extraordinary period around the turn of the millennia which was truly transformational for transsexual women. In 2000 the Internet had hundreds of small websites [admittedly often amateurish] published by transgender women on free hosting platforms such as Geocities, which collectively contained a huge amount of helpful information. Fast forward 20 years and these time-consuming websites are sadly long gone - replaced by thousands of social media accounts (usually Instagram and Facebook) and easy to make videos on YouTube and Tiktok whose content is often either 'woke' or very benign (or get banned!), repetitive, sometimes dubious, and usually focussed on getting lots of views and likes.
Whilst this website is largely historical in nature, I hope that it contains some information that may still be useful and helpful for modern transgender women.
The articles often use words such as transsexual and transwoman, which have largely been replaced by the term transgender.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 support the recent substitution of the term Gender Confirmation Surgery (GCS) for the very inaccurate term Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS) that dates to the 1950's, but due to age of the articles they do extensively use the abbreviation SRS.
The March of Time
It's impossible exaggerate how much things have changed since 2000. For example, in 2020 I was watching TV when I realised that two commercials in the prime time ad break - one was for a shampoo brand and the other for a fashion retailer - featured female models who I knew were MTF transgender. Twenty years ago either ad would have resulted in a major story in a Sunday newspaper!
In 2000 there were roughly 60,000 post-GCS women in the entire world - 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-GCS women is probably an underestimation, with many times that number who were born Sex 'Male' now identifying their gender as being Female. In Thailand there are now specialist hospitals which annually each perform more "Gender Confirmation" surgeries than were being performed in the entire world twenty years ago.
Probably because of the huge increase on the number of transwomen, they are no longer constantly featuring on afternoon television shows or in a tabloid newspaper exposé. Transwomen are no longer rare freaks. Most people (particularly in younger age groups) now personally know someone who is transgender - a family member, classmate, friend, work colleague, etc. This is changing attitudes to the extent that going deep stealth after transition is no longer the goal of every transwoman who can pass convincingly as a woman.
Other developments since 2000 include:
Gender vs Physical Sex
Despite all the positive developments, huge problem remains in the wide-spread assumption that gender and sex are the same when in fact they are very different. Gender is a mental and lifestyle attribute), whilst is sex is a physical attribute which includes genes, sexual intercourse and reproduction.
In the UK, the ignorance of Civil Servants and Members of Parliament about the difference between sex and gender resulted in the passing into law of the Gender Recognition Act 2004 (GRA2004). This inaccurately confuses sex as being synonymous with gender.
In 2016 it was announced that GRA2004 would be reviewed after a campaign for a 'simplified' Gender Recognition procedure where the applicant could self-declare their gender with no medical assessment required, and that this declaration will be legally binding. An amendment to the Act was expected to be passed allowing this in 2019, but other government priorities such as Brexit and then Covid-19 delayed the legislation. It's unlikely to be passed soon, with the possible exception of Scotland which has devolved powers.
Even without the amendment, under GRA2004 it is possible (at least legally) in the UK to 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, pay the requisite fee (currently £5) - and about a month later a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) will arrive in the post.
Implementation of the GRA2004 has become a triumph of the views of a small but very vocal trans-lobby. The rights, safety and best interests of women with a vagina (yes, I'm including constructed neo-vagina's) are subordinated to anyone with a penis who can coherently fill in a form.
Possession of a GRC permits the holder to be considered female for all legal purposes, whilst often still physically a fertile male with a fully functional penis. One (and not unique) appalling 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 who had sexually abused young girls, her GRC meant that 'she' was sent to a women-only prison - despite having had no genital surgery or even any hormone treatment. Within a few weeks Karen had raped or sexually assaulted four fellow prisoners. As a result, Leeds Crown Court described Karen as a "predator who was a danger to women and children", but the fact remained that she was legally female so it couldn't reassign 'her' to a male prison.
The pendulum has swung extraordinary quickly and I'm not surprised about the increasing number of cis-women complaining about transwomen:
I'm going to be controversial by stating that I consider some of the complaints to be valid. I'm too old to face them on a sports field, but the prospect of being forced to share women's toilets and changing rooms with physically complete and sexually fully functional males who claim to identify as being female is very uncomfortable. Even outside a changing room I've met some very scary (both physically and behaviourally) individuals who I've struggled to accept as being women. I was once astonished to hear a very large and masculine looking transgender activist proclaiming as apparently a positive to 'her' LGBT+ credentials the fact that 'she' had had no medical treatment of any kind!
Some countries such as Japan (since 2002) and Sweden (until 2013) require an applicant requesting a legal change of sex to have been sterilized (most commonly via an orchiectomy) or have completed sex-assignment surgery before this is granted. There is a lot well-argued opposition to such rules, but I can see merit in the view that these are the least worst hurdles (excluding intersex sufferers) to set for a very serious matter.
The Thought Police
Extreme and polarised views are now dominating the transgender agenda in the UK and in other western countries. For example, a lesbian woman (normally the good person in 'woke' thinking) who refused to have sex with a self-labelled lesbian transwoman who had not had "bottom surgery" (i.e. she had a penis!) was damned on social media as being 'transphobic'.
Supposed transphobic behaviour (e.g. posting a comment on Twitter that a post-GCS neovagina "goes nowhere" - which is physically true) has become so unacceptable in the UK that it can lead to a visit by the police, with a formal warning issued that "whilst a criminal offence has not been committed, you now have civil offence record for a hate incident".
In the UK, thousands of companies, schools and public sector bodies subscribe to schemes run by the LGBTQ charity Stonewall, which is largely tax payer funded. It's unclear why Stonewall qualifies as being a charity and when it appointed a new CEO in May 2020 her salary was reported as being more than the £160,000 paid to the UK's Prime Minister!
Stonewall advices participating organisations against the use of the words "mother" and "father" (instead use "parent who has/has not given birth"); "boy" and "girl" (instead use terms such as "learner"); and "he" and "she" (use "they"). Compliance will gain Bronze, Silver and Gold awards. As a result, the NHS Scotland is busily removing these offensive words from it's forms, leaflets, website, etc.
Stonewall is far from unique, numerous other LGBTQ organisations and individuals are demanding similar changes to accepted terminology, for example:
I find it impossible to defend this situation - it's a modern incarnation of the Thought Police in George Orwell's novel 1984. If the recommendations of Stonewall and similar organisations are followed, the resulting genderless society seems akin to a science fiction book - and certainly does nothing to advance women rights. Indeed, women's rights are becoming subsumed into the rights of transwoman, even if the later have had no medical treatment. For example, in 2021 the medical journal The Lancet tried to be progressive and inclusive by avoiding the word "women" and instead used the phrase "bodies with vaginas" on its front cover in reference to an article about menstrual periods. This nevertheless created a hail of criticism that the phrase was prejudicial and exclusionary to transwoman, in the midst of which a senior British politician unhelpfully stated that "it was not right [to say] only women have a cervix". A scene in the 1986 movie the Life of Brian lampoons the current situation with surprising accuracy:
Stan: I want to have babies.
Despite all the high profile and superficially very successful LGBT+ campaigning (at least in the USA and Western Europe, I suspect that the vast majority (99% ?) of the world's human population still identify themselves as 'male' (a man) or 'female' (a woman). Trying to encourage or even 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 people who describe themselves as such that don't deserve to be destroyed by a very small minority with a differing opinion. Deleting the word 'mother' is surely simply putting wishful or woke thinking before the reality of biology.
In October 2021 the European Commission published communication guidelines which attempted to ban gender specific words and phrases such as “man-made” and “ladies and gentlemen” and replace them with neutral phrases like “human-induced” and “dear colleagues”. This was withdrawn a month later with the official reason that it was not "a mature document and more work was required". An alternative reason is that examples were in English but the French language categorises every noun as masculine or feminine, and France is strongly advocating that French should replace English as the primary working language of the EU post-Brexit.
Women / Woman
Since renaming this website as Second Type Woman in 2003 I've occasionally received comments and complaints about the name. These essentially suggest that transgender women are just 'women', not a 'second type' of women. However I believe that the spectrum of sex and gender is very wide, and 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 experience the highs and lows of pregnancy and child birth - and I consider this to be a major differentiator from a First Type Woman.
I've also received several quite strongly worded emails about my use of the word "transwoman" rather than "woman" in some articles. I accept that the world has moved on immensely in the last 20 years and confining the word "woman" to essentially cis-women is now potentially offensive. However, I remain reluctant to include as "women" genetically XY men who self-identify as women without having had any professional medical treatment.
Impact on Children
Children are now being bombarded on social media, television and even at school by LGBT+ messaging. Organisations such as Stonewall are sponsoring television programmes and making adverts to encourage children 'to be themselves' and come out as transgender. Their pamphlets and posters have also appeared in almost every school. It's become trendy and attention gaining among teenage children to come out as transgender, gender neutral, non-binary, gender neutral, etc. UK children with Gender Identify Disorder (GID) are almost doubling annually - the NHS accepted 77 children for treatment in 2009, 2,590 in 2019. A typical UK school now has 1% of its pupils registered as having GID.
We seem to be getting close to a once Science Fiction like scenario where every child can decide if they want to be male, female or something else - 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, a choice which that they may later bitterly regret.
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 possible 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.