Friday, 2 March 2012

Just seen: My Dad is a Woman

Yes...a successful documentary, grown-up in tone, not glam, not a red-nose event, a factual thing, almost a short guide on What To Do and How It happens, and starring two eminently viable candidates for genital surgery: two people who would clearly and obviously live an ongoing life as credible women.

The professionals got a good portrayal: the Sheffield team handling Michelle's affairs seemed super-reasonable, and it was a pleasure to see Mr Philip Thomas and Liz Hills at Brighton, and Christella Antoni in London. Each step of the surgery was explained as it was going on, but there was no shot of a gaping abdomen to shock the eyes; indeed hardly any blood at all. Jane's gentle wake-up by Liz was a happy moment - so much like my own wake-up exactly one year ago, the same sleepy euphoria.

There wasn't much about the 'family'. We had some comments from the wives, one set of parents, and Jane's daughter, but the side-effects on family weren't covered in depth. Which was odd, since I thought the programme was going to be as much about the family as about the transitioner.

I confess that I felt inferior and less womanly compared to Michelle and Jane. And I couldn't help thinking what a shame it was that I'd had to do it all on my own, unassisted, and uninvolved with anyone else as the surgery approached. As I watched, I wished so much that I'd had Michelle's wife and parents to support me, or a hand like Andrea's to stroke me at the hospital. That my Dad had immediately accepted everything, simply because my happiness was important. And that my Mum had wished she could have 'done the mother and daughter thing'. But it's no good. It wasn't like that, and it's all done with now; all in the past, beyond recall, beyond any amends; literally dead and buried.

I consoled myself with the thought that even if my own transition was blighted by parental and partner disapproval and obstruction, I'd had some good friends to step in and assist me, and cheer me up. And in any case, it was uplifting to see Michelle and Jane having a very much better experience.

I hope that those who frown and tut-tut over the concept of trans women made the time to watch this programme. It won't have forced them to change their minds about the 'rightness' of sons and husbands and partners and fathers letting the inner woman out. But it just might have made them less rigid in their views.


  1. Unfortunately I missed the program Lucy so I cannot make comment but from what you say it appears to have been a true representation of things, sadly from only the transitioners point of view.

    Shirley Anne xxx

  2. Transmission stopped somewhere in the Scottish Borders! I have heard that it will finally be shown here next tuesday. This is taking Scottish independence too far...

    What a good sigh that we are getting non sensationalised Programmes at last.

  3. Hi Lucy. I just got to see the program on ITV Player (after a few problems with streaming). I was amazed at Michelle's progress and how feminine she looked even though at the time of recording she was still pre-op. She has wonderful parents who have accepted her. It was interesting to see Jane on her journey too and the progress she made up and until her surgery. I could see how much more feminine she became as time went by and the way her family has coped with her transition. I'm happy for them both and I'm glad i got the chance to see it having missed it first time round.

    Shirley Anne xxx


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