THE ED’S LET­TER

What’s he on about this month?

DNA Magazine - - CONTENT - An­drew Creagh Found­ing Ed­i­tor

A FEW YEARS AGO, I shared an apart­ment with some­one who was in the process of tran­si­tion­ing from be­ing a girl to be­ing a boy. When I in­ter­viewed prospec­tive house­mates, this young man asked me, “Do you have a prob­lem with trans­sex­u­als?” No, I replied, as­sum­ing he meant he had trans­sex­ual friends who may visit from time to time. I had no idea that he was trans­sex­ual him­self.

It didn’t take me long to re­alise. Tom, let’s call him, was a brave but dam­aged young man. I don’t have per­mis­sion to tell his whole story, but he was fac­ing the chal­lenges of tran­si­tion­ing alone. He had suf­fered vi­o­lence at the hands of an un­cle, been re­jected by his mum when he came out as trans­sex­ual in his teens, and been left to fend for him­self.

Along with the usual is­sues faced by young peo­ple – train­ing and ed­u­ca­tion, jobs, money, etc, Tom was deal­ing with the enor­mous task of tran­si­tion­ing from the body he was in, into the body he knew he should’ve been in. There were con­stant tests, both of the blood ex­trac­tion kind and the psy­cho­log­i­cal kind, and the daily chore of bind­ing down breasts and pack­ing a sock into his jeans to look re­al­is­tic.

I never saw the girl he had been (he re­ferred to her as a sis­ter who had died), but I saw the joy he ex­pe­ri­enced in life, even in the lit­tle things we take for granted, as he grad­u­ally be­came the real him. There’s a line from a Pet Shop Boys song that comes to mind when I think of Tom: “I never thought that I would get to be, the creature that I al­ways meant to be.”

So it has been ter­rific to see the in­cred­i­ble leap for­ward that the broader com­mu­nity has made in the ac­cep­tance of trans teens. Last year, the Aus­tralian ABC’s Four Cor­ners pro­gram aired Be­ing Me, which told the story of an eleven-yearold born a boy but iden­ti­fy­ing as a girl, and the amaz­ing love and support she re­ceived from her fam­ily and the pae­di­atric pro­fes­sion. Be­ing Me won its rat­ings times­lot and at­tracted noth­ing but pos­i­tive re­sponses. Even the usual haters have been silent – it’s hard to hate on kids and not look bad, right? Mean­while, an Amer­i­can doc­u­men­tary, Be­com­ing Me, tells the story of young gen­der non-con­form­ing and trans­gen­der kids and their fam­i­lies, and watch out for Lav­erne Cox’ ( Orange Is The New Black) lat­est trans youth project for MTV, The T Word.

Trans­for­ma­tion is a pow­er­ful thing, and a theme in this is­sue. Fran­cis Moss­man looks at the allure and the pit­falls of bod­ily trans­for­ma­tion through steroids (page 56), Jesse Archer gets some “work” done for his Salon Skep­tic fea­ture (page 94) and our cover guy, Chris Glebatsas shares his per­sonal, phys­i­cal and ca­reer trans­for­ma­tions (page 68).

It’s also our Un­der­wear Spe­cial, so I hope our Style (page 44) sug­ges­tions from Matt Young will help you trans­form from clothed to un­clothed with sexy sar­to­rial el­e­gance!

Even the usual haters have been silent – it’s hard to hate on kids and not look bad, right?

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