Ten thoughts on: Jenni Murray: “Be trans, be proud — but don’t call yourself a ‘real woman'”

Jenni Murray, presenter of BBC Radio 4’s woman’s hour has recently shared her viewpoint that Transgender women are not ‘real women’ in her piece in Sunday Times Magazine entitled: Be trans, be proud — but don’t call yourself a ‘real woman‘”

1. I do not seek to silence you

There are those that feel that respectable press and institutions should not give a platform to right wing individuals such as Germaine Greer and Jenni Murray to peddle their views. In fact right now, there is currently a petition to prevent Ms Greer from talking in Brighton at the Dome on International Woman’s Day 2017.

For the record, I find her views offensive, small minded, flawed and privileged. I also have enormous respect for the organizers of the petition as activists and as people that have increased the visibility of the LGBTQ+ community. However, it is clear that there is a large group of women that hold similar views as Ms Greer and Ms Murray. Silencing them will only make those that hold similar viewpoints feel more disenfranchised. The reality is that echo chambers are what lead to Brexit and Trump. The path to progress is through debate, not through oppression.

I am not saying that the opinion of these people is valid; In so far as if a survey revealed that more people thought 5 was a bigger number than 15, then it doesn’t suddenly make what they’re saying correct. Opinion does not equal fact. Nor am I saying that I am happy for my identity to be decided in the court of public opinion, but preventing people from sharing their views, however offensive doesn’t stop their views going away and in the long term does not help our community.

If our movement is valid and just, it can withstand people holding opposing views. However, we must resist “The bias towards fairness”.

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GRS Diary: Day 100 – Another Revision

Dilation since surgery has been pretty rough. The first dilation, I’d lost 3cm of depth and could only manage 14cm. Over the next few days, I worked my way back to 16cm and don’t feel like there’s anymore to go, which is still a centimetre lost, but I can live with that.

Thursday is clinic day. On clinic days there is often lots of sitting around in the waiting area chatting with the other women. It is one of the social hub activities.

When Doctor Suporn came into the exam room, he seemed almost more concerned about the mosquito bites on my feet and legs than my veejay.  He said he would prescribe antihistamines. It seemed really kind, because he could have just left me to sort it out with a local pharmacy.

He then examined me and said that I had more granulation that had formed “very quickly” since my operation last Friday. He physically showed me in the mirror that lumps of granulation look big and scary, but they are essentially sacks of blood and tissue, with very small connection to the body. He said that if this happened back home it would have just healed in a month, but he would remove it today.

I didn’t feel any nervousness at the prospect of a revision – as this would be my third in his little operating theatre above the clinic.

The process is always the same. They apply numbing strips and cream to the area & leave you to wait for thirty minutes. While I waited Aey came an applied cream to my mosquito bites – again so much kindness here. Then I was lead into the operating theatre. It’s slightly dated looking somehow, which made me nervous the first time, but just feels familiar now. Because he was going to cauterize the granulation electrically they put a pad with a wire coming out of it under my arm. Like the other times, Jib stayed to talk to me and it really helps as a distraction. At one point, I felt something that might have been a scratch and I said to her “I think he just injected me”. He glanced up and said “I already did it”. I could then hear an electrical buzzing sound of the cauterization, but couldn’t feel a thing. He then stitched away for maybe ten minutes. At the end of the operation he showed me with a mirror. My result seems to get better and better. I made completely the right choice in coming here.

One of the other women had asked if they could do a group picture and I got one too – it feels like a lovely souvenir of my experience and time hereIMG_0280

Back row: Kookai, Dr Suporn, me, Mrs Suporn, Bow, Aew
Front row: Baitoei, Aey, Jib, Mod

Trip to Dr Suporn’s Beach House

Part of the suporn experience is the day trip to his beach house. I did it last time I was here and today I got the opportunity to go again.

Before going to the beach house, they take you to a temple. it is apparently a place for chinese people in Thailandt is, but it’s incredibly ornate and quite impressive to see. There was also a massive drum and huge bell to ring. As experiences go – it’s pretty average tourist fodder, but compared to the hotel it’s the most interesting place on earth.

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After the temple, we went to Dr Suporn’s beach house

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It’s hard to really describe what it feels like to see this picture; To look at this and know it is me; I am her. I lived a good, successful life but carried around a sadness deep within me at a thing that I thought I could never have. I live that life now. I made it to the other side and sometimes it feels pretty amazing.

Amy x