By Gustavo Arellano
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By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
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Contact us via e-mail (email@example.com), regular mail (Letters to the Editor, OC Weekly, P.O. Box 10788, Costa Mesa, CA 92627) or fax (714-708-8410). Letters will be edited for clarity and length. By submission of a letter, you agree that we can publish and/or license the publication of it in print and electronically. All correspondence must include your home city and a daytime phone number.EVERYTHING BUT THE (TRANSSEXUAL) GIRL
Being transsexual is about your brain sex (your internal feelings about who and what you are), not matching up to your external or body sex. Despite the extensive work Jessica has had to modify "her" external appearance, "she" insists "she" is merely imitating a woman. A "gay boy" with boobies is not a transsexual. Transgendered, yes; living full-time as a woman, absolutely—but not transsexual. Those who are truly transsexual feel at odds or incongruent with their external sex, a problem Jessica doesn't have. "She" seems to be relating her gender with sexuality, which is a common misconception for most people. (I have always felt bisexual, found myself attracted to both sexes, but I never questioned that. It was about my being uncomfortable—to the point of a nervous breakdown—living as a man.)
I don't have a problem if that works for Jessica (it would be hypocritical to condemn "her" lifestyle). But with all the misconceptions about transsexuality and transgenderism as a whole, I do have a problem with construing that viewpoint as a consensus for all transsexuals—because, I can assure you, it's not. Basically, I don't want John Q. Straight to read this article and then think I'm trying to imitate a woman. That's not where I'm coming from, and I would think most transsexuals, whether M-to-F or F-to-M (and yes, they're out there in the same numbers; they just aren't detected as frequently) would feel insulted.
I know there are a lot of labels to keep straight—transsexual, transgender, transvestites, drag queens and she-males, oh, my! But the straight (and even the gay) community tends to round us all up and stick on one catch-all label.
Jessica seems like a nice person with a great attitude, and I can certainly empathize with our shared experiences. But I'm going through the medical and psychological treatment for this disorder (known as "gender dysphoria"), and I wanted to be sure I was transsexual before jamming hormones into my body willy-nilly, and I wanted be treated by a reputable health professional. I've had to take a lot of tests, see a lot of doctors, and jump through some hoops. Even though I still have to finish my electrolysis and save for my surgery, I have already been able to change my driver's license with the state's blessing so that I am recognized as a female. I tend to believe that if Jessica believed "she" could afford going through the proper channels, "she" would probably not be able to get a doctor's okay for hormones because "she" doesn't meet the criteria.
I live as a woman because that's how I feel inside; it comes from a very organic place. I have a mother and two sisters I deeply respect, and I would never want to dishonor them by being some fey, fake caricature. My feelings of femininity have always been there, even before I knew what these feelings really were. I have felt "different" as long as I can remember. So, basically, I stopped imitating a man.Debra Benham
What the fuck was that story all about, and why should we care why a man would want to become a woman? That was one of the stupidest, if not the most insipid, stories you have ever covered. If you were born a man, then you should remain that way. I don't think you see women doing the opposite, do you? Becoming a man? But I am not advocating anything.Dennis Huffman