Reflections of a fourteen year post-op

(Taken This Year)

Hi.  I'm Melanie Anne.

I'm 53 years old, a professional teacher of fiction writing, parent of two, still married to my spouse of thirty years but living with another woman, my soul mate, for the last eight years.

I'm also a fourteen year post-op from sex reassignment surgery.

Welcome to my life....

By Way of Apology

I've unintentionally perpetrated a great disservice.  I've given the impression the anyone can learn to sound completely female in voice as I have.  That's why I created the voice video I've been selling for about ten years.  Now, I'm not so sure.

And in my diary, without every considering an alternative, I've presented myself as just another transsexual and documented my story in the hope it might smooth the way for others.  But now I wonder if it doesn't really foster false hope.

In my Third Iteration I described how out of all those who have sex reassignment surgery, only a very few have female minds.  All the rest, no matter how feminine they have become, have male minds - they don't just think like men, then think as men.

That being said, I began to wonder - if there are some small number of people who are born into male bodies but truly have female minds, might there be some additional physical clues or manifestations that one could use to determine if their minds are male or female.

Now, granted, a woman born into a male body is no more entitled to sex change surgery than any man who wanted it.  And the standards that they use to determine if you can receive surgery are ignorant, outdated, and laughable, if they weren't so cruel.

Honestly, SRS should be available to anyone who wants it, as long as they are certified sane.  No RLT should be required.  I don't know of a single individual (though there must be some) who determined to have the surgery and then changed their mind because of problems with RLT.  And I don't know of anyone who had the grit to go through with the surgery who didn't have what it needs to get through RLT.

So just knowing if you have a male or female mind shouldn't have any impact on whether or not you want surgery, but it might have a big effect on how you'd want to go about it, and certainly on your expectations.

All right then, what kinds of traits might we look for to determine the nature of our minds?  I'll start with one that is rather well-known in the transgender community: elbows.  Turns out, there is a huge difference between the angle of the lower arm to the upper arm in men as compared to women.

Men's arms go almost straight down along the same line from the shoulder past the elbow to the wrist.  Women's arms take a sharply angled turn at the elbow.  That's why boys throw baseballs like boys, and girls throw them like girls.  It is also why men usually hold a car steering wheel on the sides while most women hold the wheel with both hands closer to the top.

Why would such a thing be?  Women's arms are perfectly designed to hold a baby to the breast for feeding.  Men's arms would have a lot more trouble trying to hold a baby in that position.

Here's how to test it in yourself: Stand in front of a full-length mirror.  Let your arms fall normally to your sides, with your palms open and facing toward the front.  If you have male arms, you'll see that they go pretty much straight down.  If you have female arms, you'll see that at the elbow the lower arm angles out from the body as much as twenty-five degrees.  This puts the inside edges of your hands about six inches away from your legs, while male arms would be almost flush against the legs.

Try it at work or at school: Watch for when the men and women in your group have their arms by their sides and note that virtually every woman and essentially none of the men have that angle.

Most transsexuals don't have that arm angle, but a very few do.  Certainly that one trait is not enough to indicate if one has a male or female mind, but if we can find a whole collection of qualities, we might be able to see if we shared a preponderance of those attributes that would favor having a female mind.

Next, consider crossing your legs.  Men cross their legs just once.  But women often cross their legs and then take the upper leg and re-cross it again behind and under the lower leg so and hook it there at the ankles.

Women can do this because of the angle of the hip joints on the pelvis.  Men (unless they are acrobatically inclined) generally can't do this.  Anyway, I've never met a man who could.  Unless she is really overweight, I've never met a woman who couldn't.

So, try it on yourself - cross your legs and then tuck the upper leg under and behind the lower leg below the knee, and hook your ankles together.  If you can, you have another trait that may indicate a female mind.

Next indicator: compare the width of your pelvic bone at the hip to the width of your shoulders.  In general, men's hip bones are narrower than their shoulders and women's hip bones are wider than their shoulders (which aids in giving birth).

Hands:  Do you have thin finger bones or thick ones.  Do your fingers look stubby or long?  Certainly their are many members of either sex with fingers of both kinds, but in general, women's fingers are thinner and appear long and men's fingers most often are thick and appear stubbier (even if they are in actuality longer than women's).

Facial bones: Though there is some crossover, most women have little or no jaw flare at the back of the jaw.  The chin is usually tapered.  The cheekbones are most often higher and more pronounced.  The forehead is set back further, and the brow ridge is far less than in the male of the species.

Body Hair: If you have no hair on your neck, chest, abdomen, and upper thighs, and are not of a racial background such as Native American in which this is common, your body functions not completely as a male.  Even if you have a full beard, hair on your arms and legs, but not in the areas described, you still do not fall into the typical male biology.

Now, most people have one or two physical traits of the opposite sex.  But those who have many of these traits might be more inclined to conclude that they possess a female mind.  Still and all, of the few female minds I've met in the transgender community, all of them had at least some male physical attributes.

So here's the crux.  I have quite a few of these traits myself.  And as a result, I have come to wonder if the ability to develop a truly female voice is not through some insight I discovered and can teach, but rather is due to some physical quality I possess that most in the transgender community do not.

After all, those who speak in a female voice are as rare as those with female minds, in my experience.  Sure, anyone can learn to be more feminine in their speaking, but to actually alter the timber of the voice so it is rich and full but female in resonance, that may be beyond the ability of the rank and file transsexual.

And my diary, which spoke of my experiences, discoveries, and feelings may be more passion than possibility for the vast majority of readers.  Sure, any reader can uncover valuable perspectives in my words, but to achieve the end product in a similar manner may just not be a do-able task for most.

Again, there is nothing better or worse about having SRS if you are of male or female mind.  And the achievements of anyone from that community who has a female mind and a collection of female physical traits may not be as heroic or laudable as it first appears.  They simply may have had more to start with and an easier path because there was less to alter.

Ultimately, I think of female minded post-ops as intersexed women rather than transsexual.  In some, they are close enough to the range of normal male physical form with fully functioning testicles and no ovaries that no medical professional would class them as hermaphrodites.  And yet, possessing many of the traits above, they are truly intersexed in all ways except the reproductive organs.

In conclusion, no matter what your physical situation, no matter what your mental state, you are entitled as an individual to pursue any kind of lifestyle you choose, and to live in any social role you desire.

But if you do not possess many of these intersexed qualities, you may wish to re-evaluate your expectations, rather than assume that with enough work you can achieve anything.  Some things are just not possible for everyone.

And yet, science is in a period of magical options.  Surgeons are now performing radial grinding and reshaping of the facial bones to change a male skull type into a normal female skull.  Soft tissue work is able to create waists, breasts, ass, and any other female physical attributes to which one might aspire.  Perhaps some day soon, medical alternatives may exist for arriving at a female voice, even if starting with a fully male vocal system.

You can become the spitting image of whatever you want.  But is the wise adventurer who knows his or her own mind.


Melanie is a prolific author, musician, composer,
teacher, theorist, and successful businesswoman.

She is also the founder of the first Transgender Forum on America Online
and the creator of the world's very first Transgender Support Web Site.

Visit Melanie's Home Page

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