Saturday, 6 August 2011

Personal Image - Trials and Tribulations

I recently went to Amber Swallows' 'Boob-A-Thon', a fund raising party for Amber's new transitional bosoms. I had a chat with Amber and she told me that the only funding the NHS would provide for  her was speech therapy, hence a whip round to help Amber attain her curvaceous female form.

Amber Swallows (De Hanika)

It's a so called 'postcode lottery' as to what funding is available and to whom it can be applied. The process is lengthy and complicated and it seems all a bit hit and miss when it comes to personal analysis. I was curious to see how the NHS allots funding and found this...

assessment and for hormonal medication. In addition, a few PCTs

It may seem hard to understand why someone would want to alter themselves so drastically but in afore thought it makes me wonder how many people have suffered silently in the past when faced with this dilemma. In todays modern age we have the knowledge and wherewithal to address and alter our outside appearance to align with our innermost sensibilities. In varying degrees perhaps we all feel uncomfortable in our own skins. Certainly from a personal viewpoint I have used various devices (make-up, personal style, botox) to acquire an image I feel comfortable with, but I have never felt truly 'comfortable' in my own skin. It's a strange feeling. 

Some years ago in the early 80's, a friend of mine called to say 'she/he' had something to tell me, would I come over. I happily went to see my dear friend, who, had bravely decided to explain the predicament. ' We discussed this uneasy feeling deciding the only conclusion was to move forward, my friend in essence has always felt a woman inwardly and mentally and has been living outwardly so for over 30 years. One of her eureka moments came after reading April Ashley's book truly fascinating book Odyssey, which tracks April's pioneering life and experiences in a time when the idea of gender reassignment was vertually unheard of. 

April in her modeling days, London, 1961

'Although sex-change operations in 1960 were associated in the public imagination with Dr Frankenstein (and still are very often), they were not brand new. The first report of one was made by a German, F. Z. Abraham, in 1931, but he gives no details. The first popular account was in 1933 in Niels Hoyer's book Man Into Woman. It is the story of a Danish painter, male, who became Lili Elbe after a series of operations only vaguely described.
Lile Elbe

      The term 'transsexualism' was invented in 1949 by Dr D.O. Cauldwell who wished to describe a girl who obsessively wanted to become a boy (the incidence of transsexualism in males however is much higher than in females, about four or five to one). A few years later the word was taken up by Dr Harry Benjamin whose researches led eventually to the first systematic study in 1966, The Transsexual Phenomenon
In 1952 a team of Danish surgeons under Christian Hamburger performed the operations on George (later Christine) Jorgensen which established the general blueprint for transsexual surgery and post-operational treatment. Publicity of the case the following year brought the matter before the whole world for the first time.'
Christine Jorgenson

Excerpt April Ashleys book 'Odyssey' 1982

Personal Choices

In the search for perfection and peace we all make use of what's available to us whether it's off the shelf or something rather longer lasting. In one sense it's big business, ( a thing we're all quite well aware of) on the other hand it's an individual and personal choice of how we choose to present ourselves. I wouldn't go out out of the house without at least lipstick on, part of my own insecurity when dealing with my own image I suppose. Nevertheless I feel a whole lot happier. 

Friend, Pete Burns is truly one who has become a pioneer of perfecting self beautifcation. His knowledge and fascination with surgical procedure means he could probably carry out an operation himself. He takes it very seriously and readily admits there have been some disasters in the past. To me he is somewhat of a work of art. His ideas and concepts are very precise. His honesty is very refreshing when it comes to explaining his ideas of self image. 

Pete Burns with Lynn Burns

Perhaps I come from and have been influenced from an old fashioned style of self preservation. My role models are all people who express themselves in varying extremes of considered beauty and style, presenting themselves with individuality but ultimately having strength of character to live a life with conviction ultimately realizing their full potential

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