The Man Who Had Two Sex ChangesNovember 9, 2010 No Comments
Transgendered people are certainly one of the most misunderstood groups and Charles Kane‘s story does not help them at all.
Kane was born a man, became a woman, then became a man again. He has had over $160,000 worth of operations (top and bottom). He has said that “sex change operations should not be allowed” and that people who want them are “completely deluded.”
Obviously, this has been his experience of it. But one “seriously deluded” man cannot (and really should not based on his experience) pass judgement on why other people have sex changes. There are plenty of people who have had sex changes (or the more correct gender reassignment surgery) and are happy with the results.
The fact that Kane is so public about this means that when the general public read his message they will think he is finally telling the truth. They will say, “You see, they are crazy!”
But Kane is doing a disservice to all transgendered people by being so public. It is an incredibly complicated subject and cannot be neatly summarized in any way.
There are people who feel they were born in the wrong body and surgically/hormonally alter their body; there are people who identify as a different gender but never have any medical intervention; there are people who are intersex or intergendered who don’t fit in any category and can feel their are both, none, or in the middle; there are people who might identify as one gender at a certain point in their life and another gender later on; there are people who are born with ambiguous genitals whose parents decide to raise them as one gender but later realize they are another gender; there are people who get gender reassignment surgery because in their country they are not allowed to be gay and it’s the only way to stay with their partner; there are people who act transgender just for work and to make money off of it (drag queens and some sex workers); then there are people who act very “male” but are happy being female or act “female” but are happy being male; then of course we need to throw sexual orientation into the mix which can confuse people even more.
Basically the intersection of chromosomes, genetics, hormones, and socialization can lead to a multitude of gender and sexual identities and we really cannot assume that everyone fits in the perfect box of male or female, straight or gay.
I wonder if Kane missed out on some of the most common “tests” before becoming another gender. In most cases people are required to have some kind of counselling before having any operations. This might be seen as an unnecessary red tape and an affront to someone who has known their whole life they want to be a man or a woman, but it is useful and essential to ensure there are not regrets and that surgery is the right choice (and that people don’t make the mistakes Kane says he did).
A lot of countries also require that people live as the desired gender for a certain time before undergoing surgery so that they know what living as that gender is like. Sometimes it is required for one or two years.
Luckily for Kane, he has found a new life with his fiance and step-child. She says that he is the perfect man because he knows how women feel and think about things.
Life as a transgendered person is difficult and having two gender changes would complicate it even more. I just hope they do manage to live happily ever after because that’s something we all deserve regardless of our gender or sexual orientation.