back to article Belgian finds missus was born a MAN after 19 YEARS of marriage

A somewhat upset Belgian has recounted how he discovered his Indonesian missus was actually a born a bloke, but only after after 19 years of wedlock during which the couple enjoyed normal sexual relations. The 64-year-old hubby, named only as "Jan", fell for Monica, 48, when she was working as an au pair for his sister and …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ah ! We are in the news !

    You can always rely on us Belgians for a good tech scoop. Well done lads.

    1. Androgynous Crackwhore
      Gimp

      Re: Ah ! We are in the news !

      Not so dull now! ;o)

  2. Anomalous Cowshed

    I've just looked at the original article...

    And I cannot help but wonder, what's a "minuscule topjes"?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I've just looked at the original article...

      Tiny top garments that leave very little to the imagination. Or, in this case, the wrong kind of imagination.

  3. Lis 0r
    IT Angle

    Eh?

    Beyond the mere lack of IT angle, this seems pretty tawdry and insensitive...

    1. Captain Underpants

      Re: Eh?

      Glad I'm not the only one who thought so.

      By my money, this is a story about someone who can't see beyond an aspect of their partner's past even though it has never been an issue, and has seen their relationship collapse as a result. Whether it's an unconscious internalisation of the wider societal prejudice against transsexuals or something more pronounced isn't clear from the article, but it's also kind of irrelevant to the end result - which is a pretty sad situation for both parties.

      It's Lester, so the lack of IT Angle kind of goes with the territory. It'd be good if he could also have managed "not coming across as a prejudiced bellend" though...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Eh?

        Dunno about that. We'll never know the whole story and probably we don't need to. But maybe the bloke wanted kids or something. Thes may put a different complexion on the prejudice argument.

        1. Stacy

          Re: Eh?

          Nope, according to the linked article he was glad when she said that she didn't want kids.

          You're right, we'll never know the whole story - but they guy does not come across well in the article.

        2. Psyx
          Flame

          Re: Eh?

          "Dunno about that. We'll never know the whole story and probably we don't need to. But maybe the bloke wanted kids or something. Thes may put a different complexion on the prejudice argument."

          Then he should have married someone rather a lot younger.

          I'm going to jump aboard the 'this is generally insensitive' train.

          I don't mind non-IT stuff if it's funny or informative or a bit cheeky. This ticks none of those boxes.

          1. Lee Dowling Silver badge

            Re: Eh?

            I have to agree here, all I took away from it was that some bloke was obviously so infatuated with someone that he "came to blows" with them when it was realised that a factor that had *never* played a significant part in his own experience of that person whatsoever was brought to air.

            Sure, the secrecy might be enough to be angry at the *secret* of not telling someone, but somehow claiming to be "duped" or bringing up the whole immigration thing over it, and even admitting to domestic abuse (just the "push" was enough for me to think "Woah, that's probably enough to get you arrested if you're not careful", let alone the later admission it "came to blows") was a bit too much.

            The lady (or however that person wishes to identify themselves) in question, I feel quite sorry for. Some elements of this story you can't even be sure of - I mean, presumably they volunteered to become a lady after a period of adult reflection on the topic, but that's not necessarily so (certain times when genitalia are involved in accidents / deformities, the patient is asked if they'd prefer to have themselves restructured into something that *does* look "normal" even if it's not for their gender). And even if they chose to change, does that mean they can never marry and never be with someone without telling them straight away?

            The man? He's an abusive, intolerant husband who didn't care while he didn't know and was presumably in love with her enough to marry and live with and have sex with and help emigrate.

            Like calling someone "gay" as an insult, the greatest affront to some men is to have the suggestion that they might be homosexual, to the extent that they will happily beat someone they were in love with if there's the suggestion that others might think that. And we wonder why we can't stop homophobia.

            And, yes, in the traditions of meaningless sentences, I have gay and transsexual friends. I even know someone who is transsexual but identifies as a homosexual in their "new" gender (so their sexual preferences in partners never changed throughout their transition). You know what, I see no problem with that at all. It's not like they are making me change the arrangement of my own genitals.

            I'm disappointed that the article made news, and even more disappointed over the tone of The Reg's handling of it, but mostly disappointed that idiots like that still exist (but that's a chronic disappointment and not specific to this article).

        3. Pollik

          Re: Eh?

          Probably not, unless he asked if she could have children. Women who are not trans can also be unable to bear children, or even want them.

      2. Thomas 4
        Thumb Down

        Re: Eh?

        Although not LGBT myself, I do hang out with a lot of transexual folks on another forum. The process of transitioning is unbelievably tough as it is without articles like this. Rather than painting the husband as being gamed or conned, have a thought about what the wife's life is like. After years, she finally feels safe and accepted about who she is and then *bam* - she's lost the man she loves in the most devestating way possible and now articles are popping up all over the web painting her as a liar and digging through her past for sordid details.

        Not cool, El Reg. Not cool.

        1. a cynic writes...
          IT Angle

          Re: Eh?

          mmm....I would agree had she finally summoned up the courage to tell him herself rather than him discovering "...messages from other blokes on his wife's computer." That sort of suggests that not all was great in marriage anyway.

          Presumably the fact that he looked at her computer is the incredibly feeble IT angle. Or at least that would be excuse for El Reg having another "red top" moment.

        2. Don Jefe
          Meh

          Re: Eh? - Thomas

          You can't say "she". Even with surgery there are huge differences between a man and a woman: Having a sex change operation only changes certain physical parts, not the being as a whole. I don't know many women who would be happy if they found out their husband had an addadicktome and tried to cover it up.

          I don't know that I would have beat him/her up, but I sure would have found a lawyer and try to get the marriage annulled too. Marriage is supposed to be honest and this dude certainly wasn't being honest.

          Also, even with a sex change the vagoo doesn't operate like a natural body part. No matter how hard you try you'll never get a postop's panties wet.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @ Don Re: Eh? - Thomas

            Yes you can. Quite easily.

            I am currently on the waiting list for the operation, and my passport says she on the advice of the doctors to the passport agency.

            My colleagues (who have been amazing during the transition!) say she.

            My family says she

            My friends say she

            People who meet me in my daily life with no knowledge of my history say 'Mevrouw'

            Who are you, with obviously no knowledge of the condition, to decide who can and can't be she.

            Incidentally, I have taken part in medical research at the university hospital in Amsterdam on the way the brain works, before I started female hormones my brain worked the same way as a female brain.

            Previous studies on the brains of transsexuals donated to science after their death have drawn the same conclusions.

            Surely that is more important to who and what someone is than external body parts or your 'Eww' response?

            Anonymous as I'm not quite ready to be as out there as Michelle yet...

            1. Thomas 4
              Thumb Up

              Re: @ Don Eh? - Thomas

              Good luck AC - I hope it works out for you. =)

              1. BorkedAgain

                Re: @ Don Eh? - Thomas

                Quite so. Best of luck, AC.

                Don, catch a grip.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @ Don Eh? - Thomas

              @AC waiting ... Thing is for most people, the whole TS topic is so far from personal experience its difficult to engage in rational discussion on a board like this. Bottom line so long as people treat each other decently and fairly, surely its just part of the rich tapestry. The comments here reflect the variety of uninformed opinion from the 'still a man' though to the politically correct 'she is now a woman'. Reality is different.

              Quite a long time ago I was friends with a girl who had gender ressignment age 19, earlier than many, taught me a lot about the whole trans deal. Very feminine in all ways and I'm positive out and about nobody would guess she was other than a pretty young woman. However she chose to be open with friends and colleagues. Learned its not an easy path to tread, for instance one of her bugbears was getting hit on by gay blokes. At risk of sounding like a tacky newspaper column, will add we had a brief affair so I'm not speculating on what its like to be a straight guy with a 'different' girlfriend.

              The article does not make it clear whether Monica had surgery as a child because of one of various rare conditions, or whether she chose gender reassignment later in life. If the latter I'd personally regard it as deception whatever the law says about gender choice or whether she was clear about not being able to have children before they married. The former I'd find it harder to take any view.

              The oddest part of this story to me was the claim they had a normal married life in all respects. Sorry if this offends anyone but its a big mistake to believe reconstructive surgery and hormonal treatment enable a transition that a sensitive lover would not be aware of. It needn't matter of course but its not as simple as changing your body, birth certificate and passport then hey I'm a woman. I think for anyone considering transition its key to talk with those who have been there before you and find out about their experiences months and many years afterwards. Doctors and others for whom its all an academic exercise are not the best guides on what to really expect.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Happy

                Re: @ Don Eh? - Thomas

                @AC - Good luck and best wishes for a future which won't be hampered by ignorance.

                Their problems are their problems, not yours. It is a shame that a few of them will be in a position to act against you, but with your family and friends behind you, a good, solid future is possible.

                Just don't let other peoples limitations, limit you ;-) Aim for the sky. You might not get to space, but you should be able to claim a few clouds higher! And wave at Paris 2 while you're up there!

                1. Magnus_Pym

                  Re: @ Don Eh? - Thomas

                  The whole Caster Semenya went to show that when you really look into it defining sex is not as straight forward as it would at first appear.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @ AC Eh? - Thomas

                I can go with some of your post. Respect is the most important thing.

                However, not with the "Chose". I you knew what absolute hell I went through before making the decision to do this, knew the physical impact on me before seeking help, knew the impact it was having on my daily life then I don't think that you could say 'chose'.

                I do agree with your comment that anyone who has reached the point of having to transition should speak to someone about it though. But it should be a therapist who specialises in the condition, as each persons journey is different. Speak to people sure, see what their experiences are, but don't assume they will be your own. Trust me, though out the entire process over the last three years from when I first attended the clinic in Amsterdam has been warts and all in terms of disclosure. What can go wrong, what are the long term health risks. How could it affect my life. I am actually transsexual, or is there an underlying condition that needs looking into? It is a long and arduous process, and as far as I am concerned all the better for it - it's not something you want to do and regret.

          2. Psyx
            FAIL

            Re: Eh? - Thomas

            "You can't say "she". Even with surgery there are huge differences between a man and a woman"

            Yes you can.

            You appear to have rather missed the point as to what trans-gender can mean. It doesn't mean a bloke who fancies other blokes and wants boobs.

            Essentially it means being born in the'wrong' body, with a mind of a woman but the body of a man (or vice versa). Often in comes to light in formative years, where the child acts -for all intents and purposes - as they were of the opposite gender.

          3. ShadowedOne
            WTF?

            @Don Jefe

            You, like the jackass domestic abuser in this article, are part of the problem.

            1. Don Jefe
              Alert

              Re: @Don Jefe

              Spoken like a true virgin ShadowedOne. If you'd have ever been laid you wouldn't have opened your mouth on this topic. There is NO physical way that a surgery makes your body parts work like those of the opposite sex. Post-Op panties don't get wet...

              1. ShadowedOne
                FAIL

                Re: @Don Jefe

                A) I never made any claim that post-ops could function in the same manner as a 'natural born' person of the respective gender, so consider your strawman flame-broiled.

                B) Ad-Hominem attacks don't make you appear intelligent or clever.

                C) I've been married for 10 years and have a teenage daughter, and based on your post, if she isn't older than you then she sure as hell is more mature.

          4. Resound

            Re: Eh? - Thomas

            Wow, you must have put whole minutes into your view of gender identity. Firstly, the surgery is only a part of the physical transition and I'd argue that the hormonal aspect, which *does* affect the entire body is far more significant. On top of that, the social and personal identity aspect of gender identity trumps the physical by so many orders of magnitude it's not even funny. This is *not* a man who decided he wanted to lop of the floppy bits, she's a woman whose body played some really unpleasant congenital tricks on her. This stuff isn't intuitive and it doesn't always make immediate sense. I've personally been going through the process for several years and I'm *still* hammering away at it teasing out the gnarlier bits, and that's consciously, rigorously thinking through it Every Single Day. Don't think you know better than we do. You really, seriously don't.

          5. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Eh? - Thomas

            actually you are wrong in most cases in most cases they remove a piece of the bowle and use this to provide Self lubricating surface lining for the new vagina. Time plus further hormone treatment and to will get drippings.

        3. Fibbles

          Re: Eh?

          "she's lost the man she loves in the most devestating way possible and now articles are popping up all over the web painting her as a liar and digging through her past for sordid details."

          I feel the tone of this article was completely wrong and the "coming to blows" part is especially worrying. If you love someone then the gender that they were born should not matter. However, if you're going to marry someone I also don't think you should be keeping such secrets from each other. Why would you want to marry somebody who can't accept you for who you are?

        4. Trevor_Pott Gold badge
          Unhappy

          Re: "Not cool, El Reg. Not cool."

          I agree. This isn't something to be laughed at, regardless of the angle. It is a sad tale of a complete fucking bellend who beat his wife.

          I'm perfectly aware that this shit happen in the world, but I go do generally try to avoid facing the reality that assholes like this still exist in the world. Maybe it's raw cowardice on my part, but I find that if I encounter too much depressing shit about the wastes of carbon that are out there, ruining the lives of others, I get pretty down.

          That's why I read about computers. Computers aren't bigoted shitheads.

          Crushed. :(

        5. Fatman Silver badge
          WTF?

          Re: Eh? Not cool, El Reg. Not cool.

          Sorry, but I don';t buy that!!!

          HeShe should have been honest upfront!!!!!

          I would feel completely betrayed if I were in his shoes.

    2. Wild Bill
      Thumb Down

      Re: Eh?

      Totally agree. Really appalled by this article. The tone of it is actually worse than the shite you expect to find in the paper rags. "That evening came to blows" - LOL.

      Domestic abuse is always funny right Reg? Oh those crazy transgendered types, they deserve everything they get. Poor violent, bigoted bloke getting duped. Chortle chortle.

      This article is a huge editorial oversight, and to be honest you've probably just lost a reader (depending on whether you're actually going to rectify this error with a retraction / apology).

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Eh?

      What a lot of politically correct sensitive pussies. Heck, I even consider dyed hair to be fake and a cover up. My latest gag reflex trigger is coloured contact lenses. "Look deep into my eyes and see my plastic self." I don't care how politically incorrect and insensitive it is to say this, but so many people today are uncomfortable with who they are, and they try and cover it up with never ending levels of fake.

      Down vote now! Or else you will never attain to higher levels of fakeness. Fake on fakers...

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Eh?

        @AC - cover up? Wrong way of thinking when it comes to transsexuality. We're not talking cosmetics here. It might be easy to see it that way, but it isn't.

        What you are on the outside governs how people interact with you and how they treat you. If you're uncomfortable with that interface, and it doesn't feel like "you" then the only way to get around this is to change the outside so that people react to you in a different way. If you're more comfortable with that, then you're not covering anything up, you're actually opening up what is really inside.

        When it comes to physical sexual function, that is another matter of comfort. Like it or not, mother nature plays all sorts of tricks on us in the physicaly department. Like the web site I linked elsewhere, one in a hundred births are deviations from what is generally accepted as male or female. There are people running around out there with the social presentation of one sex and physically functional genitalia of the other. Whether you like it or not, they're happy.

        And I'll tell you this ... it doesn't really matter whether you like it or not, whether you think it socially acceptable or not, whether you think it is politically correct or not ... that's the way it is. The people that can't live with it; it's their problem.

        But here is one thing to consider; would you rather me a functioning member of society, holding down a job, paying my taxes and contributing to society ... or would you rather me an unhappy, depressed, internally troubled person, costing the state in ongoing psychotherapy and unable to hold down lunch let alone a job?

        At the end of the day, I'm glad that regardless what some of the more backward, biggoted individuals think, society has made a choice to prefer the former. The rest of it, is just argumentative icing.

        I'm also glad that society has made this choice because I was one of a number of volunteers on private telephone lines; lines that we paid for ourselves; to make ourselves available to talk to people who, thanks to the verbal and physical attacks of narrow minded bigots, would have killed themselves. When we started coming close to the 21st century, fewer people called and we wrapped up the line.

        When you take people who would happily kill people, or drive them to suicide, simply because they don't like what they've done to their hair and think it is a cover up; I know who I'd lock up and throw away the key on.

      3. Corinne
        FAIL

        Re: Eh?

        So AC 06:57 holds in abhorrance women who wear any form of make up too, that's fake. Even if it's worn to cover up disfiguring scars too I suppose, because not being "fake" is better than having that awful feeing of depression when someone looks at you with disgust - not me thank goodness, but a couple of friends.

        Hair dye - I went grey very early, and found people assuming I was at least a decade older than I was, and was judged by that. I dyed my hair back to close to my original & hey presto attitudes changed, even from those who knew me. Was I being "fake" by using dye? Or was I just compensating for a misfortune of nature.

        And I suppose his idea of "fake" includes any form of surgery to correct birth defects? Because that's what being transgender is, someone born with a birth defect that is luckily correctable with surgery, same as conditions like a hare lip or cleft palate, or extra fingers/toes.

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Eh?

          So AC 06:57 holds in abhorrance women who wear any form of make up too, that's fake.

          Presumably he considers shaving fake too - it's just hiding your "real" hair. Or cutting hair. And what about wearing clothing - so fake! Probably he'd have included all of those, but typing is difficult with those long, curling fingernails.

          Of course, posting as AC is pretty fake. Anyone who doesn't post using their legal name is obviously a fake. Though legal names are pretty fake too, since they're given out arbitrarily and aren't unique. (A quick search would give you an idea of how many "Michael Wojcik"s there are in the US. Am I the former Chicago alderman? The New Jersey high school principal? Only my hair stylist knows for sure!) Really, if you can't smell me, how do you know who I am?[1]

          On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog. Curiously, though, we can often tell when someone's an ass.

          [1] And let's not even get into how this whole bogus "real/fake" dichotomy ignores centuries of more-sophisticated thinking, like the interventions into essentialism or the rejection of the metaphysics of presence. Somehow I doubt the OP is up to thinking on that level.[2]

          [2] With my Reg Bronze status I'm supposed to be able to use the HTML superscript tag, but it's not working, at least in preview. Oh well.

  4. Flawless101
    Coat

    Guess you could say that... she dropped the ball....s.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IT Angle

    No I'm not asking what the IT angle is. I'm providing it:

    "There are few women in the ranks of computer programmers, and pitifully few that can be called famous. So few in fact, that transsexuals are giving women a run for their money. The dataset includes 211.5 men, 6.5 women and 4 transsexuals."

    - from http://grokcode.com/37/famous-programmers-from-adleman-to-zimmermann/

    (Follow the link to find out where the 0.5 comes from.)

    1. Lis 0r

      Re: IT Angle

      Or, you know, not being a prejudiced caveman: 211.5 men, and 10.5 women.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: IT Angle

        @Lis 0r You are of course correct, and I apologise. That should have been 6.5 women with XX chromosomes.

        1. Lis 0r
          Facepalm

          Re: IT Angle

          You've done a chromosome assay to ensure that none of them have intersex conditions, then?

      2. Jedit
        Stop

        "Or, you know, not being a prejudiced caveman: 211.5 men, and 10.5 women."

        Did you consider that some of the transsexuals may have been female-to-male?

        1. Lis 0r
          Go

          Re: "Or, you know, not being a prejudiced caveman: 211.5 men, and 10.5 women."

          Yes, then I read the linked article, which stated they were all male-to-female.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: IT Angle

      The only thing in those statistics that I really care about is that, looking at the present state of the processor world, Sophie Wilson must rank as one of the most influential people in IT ever, having designed the original ARM instruction set.

      Not a bad claim to fame.

  6. Captain Underpants
    Thumb Down

    It's disappointing to see El Reg joining in the retrograde childishness that is pointing at people who've had gender reassignment surgery and saying "EWW!" Because, you know, it's a fair bet that anyone who's undergone gender reassignment surgery has had more than enough that judgmental bollocks already and could probably do without.

    1. Jedit
      Joke

      "More than enough of that judgemental bollocks"

      I think we can say with certainty that post-op male-to-female transsexuals have had more than enough of bollocks, and are doing very well without.

    2. Thomas 4
      Stop

      In Lester's defence

      Lester is normally a very enjoyable writer and his articles have often given me a laugh when I needed one. The other thing to bear in mind is not everyone has had the genuine pleasure of working/knowing transfolks; as a consequence not everyone knows when ribbing turns into hurtful remarks. This article has been a swing and a miss for Mr Haines but if were revised to be more sensitive, I'd be cool with that.

      Christ knows there's enough bloody witch hunts in this country at the moment without needing to nail Lester for a one-off fuck up. Just as long as it is a one-off fuck up. =)

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: In Lester's defence

        @Thomas 4, I don't think anyone is calling for Lester's head. I haven't read a single comment here demanding the immediate sacking for the writer and so forth yadda yadda.

        But you know what this is? This is The Register's readership telling Lester, The Register writers at large, and every other person who happens to read the comments section of this article that we are not okay with these sorts of articles. I've never met Lester. I know absolutely nothing about him. Maybe he's a great guy, maybe he's not. Maybe he's 25, maybe he's 105. Maybe he's raised in an ultra-conservative culture where social conservatism isn't questioned and there wouldn't have been a moment's thought that others would view this in a different light. I don't know, so I won't pretend to judge him.

        What I will say is this: as a reader of The Register, I hope the reactions in this comment thread send a message loud and fucking clear that The Register's readership is emphatically not cognate with the Fox News-class social conservative demographic. I hope that the message gets across that we find this degrading and bigoted, not humorous.

        Lester gets off free here, I think. There was a point not so long ago that The Register's readership would have laughed uproariously and slapped a knee. Thankfully, mercifully, that is no longer the case.

        So no, let's not vilify the writer: I'm with you there. That said, let's make sure the message gets across crystal clear:

        This is something up with which we will not put.

        I suspect the message has been delivered for deliberation by the brass hats. I hope so, anyways...

  7. TRT Silver badge

    Wow.

    Well, I guess this isn't the first time this kind of thing has happened. It's the lack of honesty that's quite disturbing, and it does seem to have been engineered in order to get visas and citizenship etc. You'd have thought that a history like that was something to get straight between them. Mind you, it should have raised suspicions when she beat him time and again on the XBox.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    As a post op...

    ...I was all ready to slate the article, based on the title, but I've got to admit that while, in everyday life, I don't care to uncover my past, unless it suits me to do so ... when it comes to intimate and long term relations I think it would be irrisponsible for me not to disclose to a potential future partner.

    I wouldn't want to live with a bloke that was more focussed on my legs than my personality anyway. It's as much a safety net for me as for him. If I tell him and he throws up, then that's not the bloke for me. :-)

    Incidentally, I've had a few good relationships; they were fun and amicable ... and I swear I didn't kill him for his money!

    Flame suit donned, let me have it, pasta meatball jokes and all, I've heard it all before!

    Anyone for tennis?

    1. TRT Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: As a post op...

      Have an upvote for being a wonderful and honest person.

    2. Captain Underpants
      Happy

      Re: As a post op...

      @Michelle:

      I agree overall, but I think the issue that's done for them is more general - ie if you keep secrets from your partner about significant aspects of your past, they may well bite you on the arse later on. Whether the secret is "I'm a post op transexxual", "I'm separated and it was a nasty split", "I've got kids" or something else again doesn't really matter - the key is being honest with the person who shares your life about the events that have had an impact on your life.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: As a post op...

        @CaptainUnderpants - I agree, and I also agree with JeeBee. This one was a right old mess.

        She was cheating on him, he was violent with her, there is a fair chance that her documents were forged, blah, blah, very messy, pass the lawyers please.

        There is more that has shaped my life than just being post-op. I'll keep quiet about the international late night TV shows I've been on when times have got tough, (which is probably why I'm not so backward about coming forward these days) but, honest guv, it is still hard for women in IT even in so called developed countries these days. It has taken managers with vision to give me the chances that I've had; and I'd like to say that I've, ahem, "performed" for them ... um ... let me rephrase that ... done a good job ... um ... er ... oh fuck it, you know what I mean.

        I have faced changes of managers who have wanted to get rid of me purely for being post-op, but fortunately the customers have liked the work I've done and wanted me kept on, but eventually I've always lost the war, where these kinds of battles are fought.

        There is so much about my past that makes me, me, that it WOULD be ridiculous to try and keep it hidden. All I can hope for is what I started when in the '90s I joined those standing up to say, "There's more of us here than you think." and get society to wake up to the fact that Mother Nature is not all black and white and likes a good joke as much as the next fictional being.

        1. ridley
          Thumb Up

          Re: As a post op...

          Excellent post.

    3. Def Silver badge

      Re: As a post op...

      "pasta meatball jokes and all"

      Would this put me off Italian food if I asked you to elaborate? :)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Joke

        Re: As a post op...

        A man was on holiday in Spain. He went in to a restaraunt and was perusing the menu when he saw the wiater take a plate of pasts and large meatballs to another customer. "That looks interesting," he thought. "I'll order that." So he calls over the waiter and receives the explanation that the balls are the testicles of the bulls as they are slaughtered at the bull fighting arena. Undeterred, the man orders a platefull and enjoys it.

        A few days later, he felt that he would like to have another dish of balls and pasta, so he returns to the restaraunt and orders the same meal. This time, when the plate came, the balls were the size of golf balls. He nevertheless ate the meal and decided to complain after he had eaten. With his stomach full, feeling there was no way he could come out of this as a looser, he called the waiter over to complain at being so short changed in his meal. "Ah, but you see, senior, sometimes the bull wins."

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: As a post op...

          I forgot to add all the glamour of the bull testicles being a powerful aphrodisiac and all the rest of the trimmings, but the 5 mins editing wasn't enough! Also, I had problems typing a Spanish accent. Ok, I'll own up, I have problems typing anyway!

    4. PaulR79

      Re: As a post op...

      I was going to post something similar about how you can't have a relationship with such a secret. You put it pretty much how I'd have too, it's your secret (and hers) to keep and even myself I have secrets I wouldn't just blab around to anyone. However, if I got close to someone to the point this guy (I use the term loosely) there are some secrets that have to be shared.

      Unfortunately this moron couldn't see past it and resorted to violence and perhaps more unfortunately I don't think I could. I have nothing about transgender people but I know I couldn't be with someone who had been that route. I wouldn't have resorted to violence, I'm not a violent person unless you count shouting at computers and occassionally threatening them.

      Be gentle with the downvotes, I chose to be honest.

  9. JeeBee
    Stop

    I would hazard a guess that this lady might have been born physically a man, but was totally female gender, hence the sex swap op. It was probably a very distressing thing for the person to go through, and the eventual aim is to physically become what you feel you are.

    The bloke should just get on with the divorce for the cheating, and remember that he had quite a few happy years with her and that her birth sex is irrelevant - unless he had expressed a wish to have more children - and even then she could simply say that she was infertile rather than go into details of the past.

    I also note that the bloke was violent, so let's not all start feeling sorry for a perpetrator of domestic abuse, eh?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Where did it say he was violent? or mention domestic abuse?

      all I see is a man angry his wife is cheating on him and then finding out she lied about being a woman, she was born a man and that is a BIG secret to keep from your husband!

    2. El_Fev

      Sorry but what rubbish, this is not a small secret ITS A FECKING MASSIVE SECRET!, Jesus its not like running up some credit card debt, its, not only are you cheating on me, but your were born a man! My god are flesh crawingly awful!

      I bet if it happened to you, you wouldn't be so PC about it!

      1. Thomas 4
        IT Angle

        Hand on heart, it wouldn't faze me in the slightest. What has someone's sex got to do with whether you love them or not?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "What has someone's sex got to do with whether you love them or not?"

          It depends on the kind of love. But, to heck with family. May the state raise your offspring and may they be all transnutered. Ops, I meant transgendered. Snicker...

      2. Captain Underpants
        Thumb Down

        @AC 11:29

        RE: Domestic abuse. From the husband's own comments as quoted in the article: "That evening came to blows. The police came."

        @El_Fev

        " My god are flesh crawingly awful! I bet if it happened to you, you wouldn't be so PC about it!"

        I'm pretty sure that if my partner were to confess to me that she was born biologically male but had gender reassignment surgery after realising that she identified as female, it would neither magically invalidate the bond and history we share nor would it somehow go back in time and retroactively wreck our sex life.

        Try reminding yourself that trans people are people first, trans second, and exercise some compassion. Trans people, like anyone who doesn't conform to society's views of what is normal and/or normative, are forced to put up with enough prejudice and total bullshit on a regular basis without the usual Dude Problems Representative turning up to explain how the real problem is that they almost had to confront some part of their own complex sexuality over which they're in denial. The world is a wonderfully diverse and complicated place. Stop trying to make it conform to some infantile and reductive model you've got just because you're scared of things that are Different To What You Know.

        1. Danny 14 Silver badge

          For me it wouldnt be the op it but the lies that would affect me the most.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Relationships and stereotype imposition.

            I can't help but wonder what Facebook would make of their relationship page...

            1. Reading Your E-mail
              Coat

              Re: Relationships and stereotype imposition.

              ...It's complicated

              ofc :)

          2. Jess

            Lies?

            In your hypothetical situation, why would there have to have been lies?

            It would be quite possible to avoid lies, and just allow the partner to make assumpitions.

            1. TRT Silver badge

              Re: Lies?

              A lie of omission is a lie all the same.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "For me it wouldnt be the op it but the lies that would affect me the most."

            This here! Danny, you are a wise man... umm... living thing.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "the eventual aim is to physically become what you feel you are"

      I feel like superman!

  10. Tank boy
    FAIL

    It was a big old mess

    This is why you must be sure that the girl is pure for the Funky Cold Medina.

    1. TRT Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: It was a big old mess

      I'm sorry, I have no idea what you are on about. I've googled "Funky Cold Medina" - it's a song or a drink. "pure for" it? Nope. Sorry. Lost without translation.

      1. Mako

        Re: It was a big old mess

        He's referring to the song by Tone Loc, which in turn references a mythical drink with aphrodisiac effects. In the song, indescriminate use of the drink leads to hijinks which at one point involve a dog.

        What I believe the poster above you was referring to in particular, is the verse that includes the line;

        "But when she got undressed it was a big old mess; Sheena was a man."

        It's not clear from the context whether Sheena was a transvestite or a pre-op transexual, but either way Mr Loc made his excuses and left. And I quote; "This is the 80s and I'm down wit da ladies!"

        He later goes on to explain that the episode taught him a valuable lesson about not dosing his dates with what amounts to a sophisticated date-rape drug, while nevertheless remaining a blissfully unreconstructed 1980s stereotype.

        I hope this helps.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: It was a big old mess

          Cleared that one up, thanks! I seem to be hopelessly unhip. :(

        2. Kristian Walsh

          @Mako Re: It was a big old mess

          Upvoted for imagining your post delivered in the voice of that inestimable gentleman's gentleman, Reginald Jeeves.

        3. Lamont Cranston

          Thanks, Mako.

          What was once a whimsical recounting of one man's sexual misadventures, will now be forever heard as the disturbing story of a would-be-rapist, stalking around bars in search of his next victim. Thanks a lot.

  11. Longrod_von_Hugendong
    Coat

    I cannot believe its not butter...

    It seemed to have worked for (s)him :D

  12. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Hear, hear!

    The tone of the comments is a good deal more measured than the tone of the article. Go commentards!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hear, hear!

      Don't worry - normal service will resume following the next Apple/Android article.

      Oh- you mean this wasn't a complaint?

      1. LaeMing Silver badge
        Happy

        Most people have to hate something.

        Most people here are to busy hating particular tech companies to have time for trivialities like what gender someone is/was/willbe.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I bet

    its a sad world we live in when people cant be honest with each other....

    I bet he felt a right dick though.....

    1. John G Imrie

      I bet he felt a right dick though.....

      Actually he didn't, which was rather the point I thought.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does ? have a Y chromosome ?

    If so then still a man.

    1. Lis 0r
      Boffin

      Re: Does ? have a Y chromosome ?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Androgen_Insensitivity_Syndrome says differently.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Does ? have a Y chromosome ?

      So you're saying that that woman in Serbia who gave birth to several healthy children is actually a man, just because she's genetically XY? Apparently doctors are now recommending the mothers of all women with Swyer syndrome be tested as they suspect there may be a lot of fertile XY females.

    3. Lee Dowling Silver badge

      Re: Does ? have a Y chromosome ?

      X/Y, male/female is not the binary choice you think it is. As with EVERYTHING you were taught as a child, it's just not true, genetically, mentally, or even in the heads of others.

      There are numerous "intersex" conditions, there are many (sometimes conflicting) genetic markers, and no one marker is enough to determine a binary answer. Hell, when it comes to sportswomen in the pre-Olympics news, it's almost impossible to say that they were 100% born a woman or a man, for example.

      You were taught biology by the age-old precept of "lies to children". In the same way that Pluto isn't a planet, chameleons don't change colour, Newton wasn't hit by an apple (but close!), brontosaurus never were, most bee species don't gather honey or even live together and atoms are not "the smallest thing" by a long-shot, the X/Y chromosome thing is, although correlated, not definitive on the issue of gender. And we don't just mean you can be a little effeminate/masculine if other things are tweaked but that you can be the polar opposite of what gender your X/Y dictates and healthy and reproductive and "normal" (whatever that means in this context).

      Hell, it's not unheard of (or even that rare) for humans to grow feathers or horns, so saying that someone's DNA will indisputably give you a binary "sex" is so wrong as to be ridiculous. And exactly the kind of prejudice that forces people to hide "secrets" like this - this is what makes people bring up their child to "be a man" when they have deformed genitalia and are actually female, and then people wonder why they rebel later and actually turn out to live a "homosexual" life (because it's not, to them, biologically speaking!). This is exactly the kind of thing that make some intersex / confused / deformed / not accepted children who would have lead a perfectly happy life were it not for other people to commit suicide and similar.

      My girlfriend works as a genetic scientist and if you have a relative with cancer in the London area she's probably the one who did the labwork to determine whether it was cancer or not, along with a range of other genetic ailments. She will happily tell you that you can get perfectly everyday samples where it's actually almost impossible to tell the sex of the patient from the DNA alone, or that you can find female patients who have no history of gender reassignment who have certain parts of "male" DNA. It's a handy guideline and nothing more.

      And drawing a line in the sand between male and female is no more ridiculous than drawing a line in the sand between good and evil. There are clearly people on both sides, and clearly people who should be in one category or the other at some time in their lives, but there's no way to definitively categorises people binarily without coming up against something that will really stretch your credibility to pigeonhole.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Obviously not a "real" woman.

    "after after 19 years of wedlock during which the couple enjoyed normal sexual relations."

    19!!

    Years!!

    Sexual relations!!

    <sobs>

  16. ukgnome
    Terminator

    Is this an Autobot or Decepticon Transgender

    Wow - Lester, it seems that some people don't like this boot note.

    I first read this on Digital Spy in the Odd news section and almost sent this to El Reg's news room (glad I didn;t, I can't handle the down votes, they make me cry)

    This piece isn't offensive or disrespectful, it is what it is. In this world of cyber sex and troll posting this is just the human side of things. Most people wouldn't want to find out that their partner is not all they seem, unless they are married to their car and it turns out to be a transformer. Been marred to a transformer would be cool, although some people wouldn't understand why you are married to a ten foot tall robot. If I found out my partner was a man then I would also be angry and hurt and upset. However if they were actually a sleek and sexy transforming robot then I wouldn't be as angry.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is this an Autobot or Decepticon Transgender

      10 foot tall? Is that all? That's pathetic. Optimus Prime, now that's a beefy man-bot for you. He can stick his hot exhaust pipe up my muffler any time.

    2. Captain Underpants
      Meh

      Re: Is this an Autobot or Decepticon Transgender

      @ukgnome

      "If I found out my partner was a man then I would also be angry and hurt and upset."

      It may help to stop for a second, ensure you've engaged your brain and try thinking about it again.

      1) You wouldn't be "finding out your partner was a man", you would be finding out that your partner was at birth biologically male and subsequently had gender reassignment surgery as she identified as female. "Finding out your partner was a man" suggests some sort of ridiculous contrivance involving having the Male Danglies tucked away just so, rather than actual surgery and possibly counselling to try and understand what's happening.

      2) The issue here appears (despite Lester's choice of focus in the article) to be that the discovery happened through the husband discovering that his wife was cheating on him. I would imagine that the bigger shock, and more likely cause for ending the marriage, is the infidelity - but there are many who simply cannot get past infantile and simplistic notions of biology and gender identity to reconcile the person they fell in love with and married with the imaginary person they now imagine that partner to have originally been.

      1. ukgnome

        Re: Is this an Autobot or Decepticon Transgender

        @captain underpants

        Right, brain engaged - but unfortunately the cold hard logic part of the brain that deals with science and stuff and not the emotional part of the brain that screams lies all lies

        1. No, my partner would still be a man, no matter what their outward appearance is. This is not a case of if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck.

        2. Not just Lester's choice of focus in the article but the focus of every journalist that has covered this case. But that's what journo's do. Otherwise were is the story? Shocker as Belgian mans marriage fails after reading txt.

        "But there are many who simply cannot get past infantile and simplistic notions"

        Welcome to planet earth!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Is this an Autobot or Decepticon Transgender

          So, you are admitting to being both infantile and simplistic?

      2. El_Fev
        FAIL

        Re: Is this an Autobot or Decepticon Transgender

        I think you need to engage your brain!

        Just because you have had some bits chopped off, does not change the fact that you were born a man, and you are still a man , no matter what the courts may say on the matter, I suggest you get back to reading the guardian!

        1. Captain Underpants
          Thumb Down

          Re: Is this an Autobot or Decepticon Transgender

          @ukgnome + El_Fev

          Do some reading on gender identity and conditions like Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome, and try very very hard to realise that the world is more diverse and complicated than is allowed for in the reductive model you had inculcated into you as a five-year-old, and perhaps you can understand why "what bits I had between my thighs at birth" or "do I have a Y chromosome" are not particularly good ways of understanding someone's gender identity.

          Alternatively, accept that it's your problem of being unable to deal with gender identity that is the issue here, not the existence of trans individuals.

          TL, DR: The problem is not trans people, the problem is you thinking like a bellend.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Is this an Autobot or Decepticon Transgender

          "1. No, my partner would still be a man, no matter what their outward appearance is..."

          Some women think I'm still a man, other women think I'm a woman, some men think I'm a man and other men think I'm a woman.

          Bottom line ... does it matter to me whether people think I'm a man or a woman? No.

          Does it matter to me that some people are so short sighted about life that what I've got or had between my legs can grant them a legitimate excuse to treat me in anyting other than a professional and civil manner, or think is acceptable to deny me a job, or leave me out of the round of drinks at the bar? To damn right.

          I do wonder at some people's priorities.

          1. Neil Barnes Silver badge
            Unhappy

            Re: Is this an Autobot or Decepticon Transgender

            Exactly so, Michelle.

            I worked for several years with a woman who made the mistake of telling the wrong person she had had gender reassignment surgery. Other women in the company then attempted to prohibit her the ladies' lavatories... I don't recall how it all ended up except that she felt forced to leave the company.

            This is not the behaviour of civilised people.

            1. EddieD

              Re: Is this an Autobot or Decepticon Transgender

              I heard a similar story about a company near hear - a worker announced that they were starting their year as the opposite gender, whereupon staff of both genders refused them access to the gender specific toilets, and they ended up having to use the disabled toilets.

              I was absolutely horrified - the company involved was a tech company, entirely staffed by high achieving, highly motivated, and above all, highly educated people, who turned out to be as bigotted as the the lower aspects of the red-top press.

              To Michelle and TrishaD who have posted here - thank you for posting.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Is this an Autobot or Decepticon Transgender

                I don't know what they think we do in there. I hate to break it to them, but its the same as everyone else, have a piss, wash your hands, check your hair.

                They apparently think its huge sexual jollies in the washroom, Its all just so stupid......

          2. Oninoshiko
            Thumb Up

            @Michelle Knight @11:45Z

            I mostly wanted to say, good for you for feeling the world can be damned. I think if more people had that attitude rather then making everyone else's opinion the most important thing in their lives, everyone would be in a better place.

            I also wanted to voice my support with you fully about unprofessionalism, uncivility, and outright employment discrimination.

            1. Lamont Cranston
              Thumb Up

              Re: @Michelle Knight @11:45Z

              I would like to second this. Bravo.

        3. JeeBee
          Thumb Down

          Re: Is this an Autobot or Decepticon Transgender

          Sex and gender are different things.

          You may physically be male (male sex), but your gender can be different.

          If you are a female in the head, and you have the male bits chopped off to become female on the outside, what does that make you?

          People who have gone through this very stressful, traumatic reassignment don't do it for giggles. They do it to become physically what they are mentally.

          1. ukgnome

            Re: Is this an Autobot or Decepticon Transgender

            "They do it to become physically what they are mentally"

            But for some men this doesn't change the fact that their partner has an X and a Y chromosome, if this hasn't been disclosed then you have every right to be very pissed off.

            Try to leave emotion out of debates like this as it has clouded your scientific minds.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Is this an Autobot or Decepticon Transgender

              @ukgnome - People have already been trying to tell you about the science of chromosones. They don't actually mean a whole load of beans. Just look at the figures and ... if you can actually be bothered to see beyond the simple matter of xx xy then there are some other statistics in there that should make you think twice about your position - http://www.isna.org/faq/frequency

              Including this one - "Total number of people whose bodies differ from standard male or female one in 100 births"

              Just drop the chromosone thing. You're barking up a tree branch and ignoring the trunk.

            2. Captain Underpants
              Thumb Down

              Re: Is this an Autobot or Decepticon Transgender

              @ukgnome

              "But for some men this doesn't change the fact that their partner has an X and a Y chromosome, if this hasn't been disclosed then you have every right to be very pissed off.

              Try to leave emotion out of debates like this as it has clouded your scientific minds."

              Anger is an emotional response to someone being different or more complex than might be suggested by their experience. The rational human approach is to understand when their initial reaction to a development might be angry, or fearful, and to rein in that reaction and give it due consideration.

              For the general case of "bloke's partner discloses, once they are past the early stages of dating and have feelings as well as an established sexual relationship, that she is a post-op transsexual", self-righteous anger is not a justifiable reaction, not really. To be honest, it sounds broadly the same as a white bloke getting self-righteously angry at a white partner who told you she'd previously had a black partner (except that of course, since this example makes it clear that only a racist bloke would do this, and You're Not Racist, It's Just That It's Totally Different With Trans People Because You Can't Tell By Looking At Them). The angry reaction is one I'd expect in people who've never felt comfortable giving any thought to their sexuality or contemplating that they might not be 100% Super Straight, because the Idiot Logic at play is that somehow, despite going to bed with a self-identified female who had all the right bits, the Lingering Ghost of Male Danglies was hovering over them, waiting for the ideal moment to pounce and Make Them Gay. That special kind of gay man who fancies women and has sex with women, you know.

              You're bringing emotion into play by justifying and defending angry, defensive, fearful reactions from people with limited understanding of the human condition as it relates to identity and sexuality. A bunch of us are trying to explain, by pointing to various areas of science that are relevant, that humanity is a more varied and interesting species than your limited model allows for, and that therefore the best way to approach the world is to rethink your basic principles and adopt a more flexible model. Do try and keep up.

              1. ukgnome

                Re: Is this an Autobot or Decepticon Transgender

                @captain underpants

                BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH

                You seem to want to write an essay on this just because someone disagrees - You seem to want to provoke me with your "Do try and keep up." excrement. People have different views, get over yourself and move on. Your diatribe seems to mention everything except people who have a prejudice against people with OCD.

                Maybe the XY chromosome isn't the best point, but it is valid in almost all cases, having skimmed the site that Michelle Knight posted and a couple of others

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Is this an Autobot or Decepticon Transgender

                  I have to admit that jumping back and forth posts here, I'm starting to lose some of the threads.

                  Correct me if I'm wrong, but I see it like this...

                  *) We're agreed that sex and gender is not the black and white that people would like to think; mother nature plays all sorts of silly buggers on the physical side and gender is a see saw from the most masculine muscle builder to the most feminine ... um ... well ... you know what I mean.

                  *) We're agreed that in cases of long term relationships, disclosure is among the wiser options.

                  *) What we might not be agreed on is whether the bloke was justified in physically harming, or (as someone translated) wanting to harm her once he found out, based on what he discovered. And I have to admit that I'm not clear where, exactly, the tipping point is; whether he wanted to get violent just at the history part, or all bundled in with the cheating, etc.

                  Do I have that right?

                  1. ukgnome

                    Re: Is this an Autobot or Decepticon Transgender

                    @Michelle Knight

                    First point - agreed, it's not as simple as it at first appears but a large portion is perception, and perception is an individual thing. As I have said if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck it might not actually be a duck.

                    Second point - Honesty is always the best policy, not just in relationships but in life. If you can be honest with yourself and people around you then you have won gold - no matter what your preference/gender assignment/employment history.

                    Third point - physical violence is the tool of the pikey, those that cannot debate or use logical reason usually resort to this. It is pathetic and all forms of man \ women \ trans bi \gay resort to this. it is not a hetrosexual response to problems.

                    I never thought that this would be so controversial - The only real issue is the 19 years of what could be described as lies and deceit.

                2. Captain Underpants

                  Re: Is this an Autobot or Decepticon Transgender

                  @ukgnome

                  I don't particularly believe that you have any entitlement to a view that's founded on ignorance of the relevant facts, and as can be seen by the various challenges to your assertions about chromosomes, the facts are not on your side here.

                  In the specific case here where:

                  a) it appears infidelity was a substantial factor, and

                  b) the truth emerged after 19 years

                  then I can understand being hurt and angry at having a secret kept from you for that long, and especially being hurt and angry over having your partner's infidelity. The specifics of the secret are irrelevant, and we can see this in the fact that Jan's partner is a post-op transsexual yet 19 years they were apparently happily married and had a normal sex life. In terms of his wife's gender identity, the only thing that has changed is that in Jan's head, his wife is now apparently a man in drag - while in reality she is every bit as much a woman now as she was for the 19 years where he was happily married to (and presumably having sex with) her. Therefore, the issue at hand is whether Jan can reconcile the reality of his wife's gender identity (with the history that entails) or whether the discrepancy between that reality and the simpler model he is accustomed to is more than he can accept and he has to abandon the relationship.

                  I'll reiterate, again, the point you don't seem to understand - various experiment-based scientific disciplines such as neurobiology, neurochemistry and macroscale biology have shown, over the last century or so, that sexuality and identity in humans are manifestly not simple binary functions. This explains the consistent presence of homosexual individuals of both genders, the existence of transgendered individuals and the existence of conditions like Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome. I have generally found that I fare better in the world when I am able to revise my working model of things to match up with experimental data - hence my suggestion that you revise your working model to acknowledge these conditions and realities.

                  You seem to expect that transgendered people should have to wear some sort of badge to indicate that they are Not Normal - why exactly do you have an issue with them being treated by their gender identity where this differs from their birth gender?

                  1. ukgnome

                    Re: Is this an Autobot or Decepticon Transgender

                    Ok then, I'll bite just one more time as it has been a slow support day....

                    "I'll reiterate, again, the point you don't seem to understand blah blah blah hence my suggestion that you revise your working model to acknowledge these conditions and realities."

                    There is conflicting scientific information out there, I am looking at the biology of the situation and not the metaphysical or psychological aspects. May I suggest that you revise your working knowledge to deal with one point at a time. Otherwise we take this to the ridiculous - if you think you are a kettle does that make you a kettle?

                    "You seem to expect that transgendered people should have to wear some sort of badge to indicate that they are Not Normal - why exactly do you have an issue with them being treated by their gender identity where this differs from their birth gender?"

                    Telling me how I think is a bit odd, you don't know me or know how I think. I have said that honesty is the most important thing. I would want to know if my partner was transgendered / murderer / apple user / so that I can make my own decision at the time. If you build a relationship on omission then you are not been honest. By getting offended at my honesty you are showing that you are not as tolerant as you think you are. Also, I have no issue with them, if you want to call yourself a teapot then great, but it doesn't actually make you a teapot. I guess this wouldn't ever be an issue if you was honest and upfront.

                    1. Captain Underpants

                      Re: Is this an Autobot or Decepticon Transgender

                      There is conflicting scientific information out there, I am looking at the biology of the situation and not the metaphysical or psychological aspects. May I suggest that you revise your working knowledge to deal with one point at a time. Otherwise we take this to the ridiculous - if you think you are a kettle does that make you a kettle?

                      There's conflicting scientific information out there, including a fair amount of research showing that simple binary models aren't particularly instructive for gender. Binary gender models don't account for what experimental evidence has shown us to be true of human sexuality, and are therefore not particularly useful in that regard - and since that's how most people try to apply chromosome-based tests ("Do you have a Y chromosome?") it seems sensible to me to not try and apply it.

                      If you want me to call you a kettle or a teaport or anything else, I'll go along with it. It's no skin off my nose if that's how you identify and present yourself to the world, and I've got no reason to disregard your sense of identity.

                      "You seem to expect that transgendered people should have to wear some sort of badge to indicate that they are Not Normal - why exactly do you have an issue with them being treated by their gender identity where this differs from their birth gender?"

                      Telling me how I think is a bit odd, you don't know me or know how I think. I have said that honesty is the most important thing. I would want to know if my partner was transgendered / murderer / apple user / so that I can make my own decision at the time. If you build a relationship on omission then you are not been honest. By getting offended at my honesty you are showing that you are not as tolerant as you think you are. Also, I have no issue with them, if you want to call yourself a teapot then great, but it doesn't actually make you a teapot. I guess this wouldn't ever be an issue if you was honest and upfront.

                      That's not what you appeared to be saying, on the basis of the following statements:

                      "If I found out my partner was a man then I would also be angry and hurt and upset."

                      " No, my partner would still be a man, no matter what their outward appearance is. This is not a case of if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck."

                      I think it's fair to take both those statements as assertions that you are roundly rejecting any self-identification aspect of an individual's gender identity and judging them based on their birth gender. Which, when dealing with adults in the context of sexual and gender identity, is not necessarily a helpful way to proceed. From my perspective, it's akin to judging as being an incontinent screaming tantrum because that's broadly speaking how they behaved shortly after they were born ;)

                      Don't get me wrong - I can understand that for someone with no exposure to transgendered issues or the trans world, finding out that someone with whom they'd started a relationship was transsexual might be a shock, and might involve learning a substantial amount about worldview-broadening things. In the specific case of finding out 19 years after that relationship started, I can understand being hurt at the secrecy. (Though given what Michelle and others have said upthread about the experience that post-op transsexuals have in being accepted under their new identity, I can see how circumstances might drive someone to keep the secret to themselves - even if we're both in agreement that honesty is a better policy for avoiding future issues).

                      Neither of those are specific to the person being transsexual, though - they are merely examples of how people react when someone or something proves to be very different to their expectations.

                      What I don't understand or see as justifiable is being angry at the person for what they are, which is where I took issue with your posts (or at least how I understood them). Gender identity and sexuality are not binary absolutes (see for example Kinsey's research), so trying to use those as absolute methods for categorising people seems futile to me; quite aside from which the insistence on telling someone, after the prolonged trauma and stress involved in first identifying and coming to terms with being trans, then deciding to go for the reassignment surgery, then going through counselling and hormone therapy, then building a new life and gender identity for themselves, that they were still a man strikes me as a combination of insensitivity, lack of compassion and lack of understanding of the actual issue at hand (gender identity & sexuality). I just don't see why it's an issue to say "this person looks like one thing, and was previously another thing, and biologically is probably somewhere in between, and you know what? Who frigging cares, I'll just treat 'em like a person, same as everyone else". What's the benefit in specifically having a mental category for "Woman who used to be a man but had surgery?" as separate from "woman"? (I chose that particular transition because culturally we don't seem to have as much of a problem with the other transition - I'm not sure if there's a clear reason for that or if it's the general "women can be gender benders and that's not threatening but the second a man does it there'll be hell to pay" phenomenon again...)

                      I suspect we're not going to find much common ground beyond "being honest is probably the best policy" (though I'd qualify that with "Unless it means you get a load of prejudiced bellendery from idiots as a result, in which case fuck 'em").

                      1. ukgnome

                        Re: Is this an Autobot or Decepticon Transgender

                        Yes I would be angry at the lies, I thought that was clear.

                        Glad we can agree in honesty, just wish you hadn't resorted in your posts to name calling. It devalued your argument but did highlight your passion. Tsk humans eh, thank fuck I'm a teapot shaped like a bellend.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    pictures or it didn't happen

    that is all.

  18. Winkypop Silver badge
    Trollface

    Not happy Jan!

    All those years, should have been buying her/him Old Spice for chrissy.

  19. That Steve Guy

    Trust

    Relationships are all about trust so lying to your partner about your past and keeping secrets from them is a sure fire way to ruin it.

    Better to just be honest up front and if anybody has a problem with who you are, well they know where the door is.

    1. Crisp Silver badge

      Relationships built on lies

      Rarely last.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How could you not tell?? Not even during sex??

    Well the surgery must have been amazing...

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. DJ Particle
      Holmes

      Well the surgery must have been amazing...

      In the case of male-to-female: yes, with the right surgeon, they often are.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        That is absolutely bloody Amazing!!

        Any surgery that can fix the body in a way that in indistinguishable from nature is amazing in my books!

        This is the kind of thing that is hidden from plain sight and advances are not well known because people are too squeamish about it!

  21. Koyaanisq

    What a terrible way to react.

  22. john list
    FAIL

    I hoped for better from the Reg

    I can't help thinking that your long time contributor Jane Fae would have treated this story more sensitively.

    1. Jane Fae
      Alien

      Re: I hoped for better from the Reg

      That's wonderfully ARCH of you, @John List and since i write a fair amount about gender and topics that don't always go down too well in some quarters, such as gender, feminism and violence against women...i can see where a link might be made.

      Though i'm not sure "sensitivity" is quite the right word in this case.

      Let's start with a few interesting facts. The intersex thing: the more i read and write about it, the more i find the idea that "there are just two sexes" quite problematic. There are two categories that share a lot of things, including chromosomes and bits: but there are a LOT of humans outside those categories...between point something of a percent and 4-5%, depending on point of view.

      Here's a piece giving a bit more chapter and verse: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/09/27/gender_database_debate/

      There was some debate about the %-age i quote, but i checked it out with more than a few learned bodies...which leaves me to wonder, if aliens dropped in on this planet, whether a purely empirical study of humans would decide there were just two sexes.

      Jane

    2. Jane Fae

      Re: I hoped for better from the Reg

      Anyway: so much for the intersex angle. As to the deception, there's more than a few angles on that front.... but if you genuinely consider yourself to be male or female...then can you said to be deceiving anyone? There's room for a slightly philosophical angle to get your teeth into.

      More to the point, i looked at this whole "deception" issue in the UK recently and spoke at length to the CPS on same. They certainly would not give any guarantee that not coming clean about your earlier lived gender was OK: in some circumstances, they suggested, it could count as rape...but that observation possibly opens a far bigger can of worms than anyone is prepared to deal with at this moment.

      Where they are going with that is down the line that says: if someone would not have slept with you if they had known some particular material fact about you and you deliberately concealed that fact...then it is arguable that you managed to obtain sexual intimacy through deception.

      But hang on: does the "victim" have to declare what would count? I mean, it is clear from responses here that some folks would care a lot about someone's previous gender history and others wouldn't. What if you didn't mention it was important to you?

      And to those who say: of course it is...well, really?

      Bubbling along nicely is the case of the undercover cop who lied about his previous employment (as a policeman) in order to get to first base...and beyond. And what if you just happened to exaggerate your wealth or job prospects or not mention your religion while trying to bed a confirmed atheist.

      Its not easy, for which reason, maybe peeps should be a little more cautious about demanding total honesty...cause basically, those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. And if you ever fibbed even slightly in order to get into bed with someone.... hmmmm!

      Jane

    3. Jane Fae
      Angel

      Re: I hoped for better from the Reg

      Last up, there's this "sensitivity" thing. In one sense, the story is as it is. The comment from the bloke's lawyer is remarkably spiteful and plays on supposition, which it oughtn't to.

      So let's make two observations. First, she may well be wrong about the alleged deception being grounds for annulment. Certainly, in the UK, not declaring a trans history can be grounds for annulment...in the first couple of years of a marriage. After that, the law takes the fairly pragmatic view that it is no longer.

      After all, if you've lived with someone and made love to them for several years....its clear that the situation is not problematic and the question of whether some piece of information "changes" everything is again a philosophical wotsit.

      That said... i think the insensitivity and maybe the problem in this piece lies in covering it in bootnotes: which is not to say that's th WRONG thing to do. Just that it positions the story in a certain way. And if you take a particular fairly dim view of domestic violence, maybe you would feel that is the wrong place for it.

      F'rinstance, last night i was discussing the use of a frozen Basa as a weapon. No, honestly! But if you've ever cooked one - or indeed, watched Basic Instinct - you'll know what i mean...

      They start out being almost throwing knife shape. Just sharpen one slightly and hey presto! a serious weapon...that can be eaten after the fact of the crime to hide the evidence.

      Now, suppose someone actually DID follow that bright idea into reality...where would you report the story? Sure...it would be weird, funnym, unusual and more than deserviong of a Bootnotes spot. But also it would be about murder, death and killing.

      Is such ever fit subject for humour? Ah...now there is another question altogether.

      jane

  23. James Hughes 1

    Weird story, weirder comments

    Seems to me this is less a transgender story than a "lied to me for X years" story. That and the apparent infidelity seem to outweigh any transgender part - that's the bit that makes it newsworthy though - and to hide anything from your partner for that length of time shows rather a lack of confidence in the relationship. Although as with all these things, the longer it went on the more difficult it would be to bring up. And that would apply whatever the lie had been.

    Some of the comments here are a bit harsh....I occasionally work with a transgender person, I regard her as female, whatever her origins. Her decision, and I am more than happy to accept it.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: Weird story, weirder comments

      @James Hughes 1: I happen to agree. "Lied to me for X years" is pretty goddamend shitty. The infidelity thing is also not cool. At no point does physical violence become acceptable however, nor the dude's reaction to the whole transgender bit.

      There is clearly no excusing the wife's actions here; both parties would appear to be - quite frankly - pretty shitty people. That said, how exactly this constitutes something to show up on El Reg - even in bootnotes - is absolutely beyond me.

      Sad all around. For the man, his wife but most importantly for their children. Having your parents divorce is never fun. It wasn't for me. Given the extended circumstances involved here, I suspect it will be even less so for those unfortunate souls.

      The kids are the ones who are going to be made to pay for he sins of their parents.

      Sad.

  24. NomNomNom

    All I will say is when i saw the little mermaid in the cinema I didn't see anyone in the audience having a problem with mermaid-human relationships and mermaids aren't even human so...

    Also I fundamentally disagree with everyone on this thread so far

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You've just given me an idea for a private prosecution

      Thanks!

  25. koolholio
    IT Angle

    Misplaced info?

    Were the servers broken into for this forgery? Were there silly operators who put in incorrect input?

    Lacks any IT angle!

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A Different Angle

    Since in the Thai language you say in every sentence whether you're a man or a women, there is not much room for interpretation which restroom you use. Or even debating what you have been before. Different mindset and cultural acceptance, I guess.

    There are several religions that accept reincarnation. Now, assume that you had many lives already (dozens or hundreds). You kept one gender for several lives and then transitioned to the other gender to get that experience too. And changing back and forth after several lifetimes each again. A transition takes about 3 to 4 lifetimes. Guess what you are when the body has changed its sex but part of the consciousness is still used to the old role... Basically, it means everyone has been gay in the past except for new ones on earth. It's natural for humans.

  27. Captain Underpants
    Unhappy

    Just realised something even more pathetic than Lester's choice of tone for the article, from the "similar articles" list at the bottom:

    11 years ago El Reg ran an article similar in tone by Kieran McCarthy and Lester himself published the mailbag article in which someone pointed out that mocking transsexuals wasn't cool then either. (See here).

  28. Some Beggar
    Unhappy

    Crass Daily Mail Mode: Engaged.

  29. TrishaD

    Keeping Secrets

    First thing I'd like to say is - well done, commentards! It's nice to see an online forum with grown-up attitudes on display.

    I am, for want of a better word, transgender. Unlike Michelle, however, I'm still physically male and live what you might call a transvestite lifestyle. But I am quite involved in the trans community and the issue of 'stealth' is one of those that's under constant discussion. It's important to realise that many trans women find the issue of their previous 'maleness' to be somewhat distressing (else they'd not be trans), and do not wish to be reminded of it. I'm sure that Michelle will confirm that it's a long hard slog through counselling, psychiatric testing, hormones and surgery, not to mention all of the practical considerations of finding work, establishing relationships etc etc. So many people at that point simply want to get on with life and being basically just women.

    So - did the woman featured in the article deceive her husband? Obviously she did. Is it understandable for her to have done so? I'd say that it was. It should also be noted that she comes from an Asian culture that has a rather more relaxed attitude to the acceptance of trans women. I feel a great deal of sympathy for her. I'm not totally without sympathy for her hubby either even if he does appear somewhat unevolved.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Keeping Secrets

      You can have an upvote too.

    2. Lamont Cranston

      Re: Keeping Secrets

      Quite. Still, smacking your wife about is a line that should never be crossed, so any sympathy he might have garnered for being "deceived" for 19 years, goes right out the window.

  30. Xander
    FAIL

    Man assaults transgender woman, World cares not

    Seriously el Reg, this is so not on.

    This woman was violently assaulted, has had her entire identity rubbished and now an IT site has run the story demonising her for no reason.

    Your staff, this reporter and your editor in particular, would do well to educate themselves: http://www.transgenderdor.org/about-2

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Jan has applied for the marriage to be annulled. His lawyer, Liliane Verjauw, said: "That person has deliberately deceived him for years, even scammed [him]. Presumably she has also forged documents used here to get a residence permit. The children, who for years have lived with her, are devastated."

    So what? Alright you may feel devestated but if this person wanted to scam but you do you really think they would have spent 19 years in a marriage and not made their move? That's still the same person inside that body, the same person with the same feelings, same drive, same amibition the only difference is that you now know that they didn't start life as the same sex they are now, but really what's the difference from an emotional point of view?

    1. El_Fev
      Unhappy

      The person is a man, end of story , Jan feels humiliated and lied to. The PC crowd may be all " oh he should get over it" blah blah blah, but I will lay cold hard cash , that 99% of the male population on this planet would react the same way!

    2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      "The children, who for years have lived with her, are devastated."

      They are probably devastated because their mother and father came to blows and are now getting a divorce. Do remember that the lawyer in question is paid to represents the interest of the husband in this case and thus his representation cannot be taken to be impartial.

      I don't doubt that the children are devastated. I sincerely hope it isn't because they suddenly believe their mother is somehow a monster.

      My family history is pretty non-standard myself - though admittedly there are no transgendered individuals that I am aware of - should I hate members of my family because I learned a dark secret about their past that ate at them for decades? Should I launch lawsuits and demand remuneration from someone I hardly know even though I theoretically could under the law? To what end? What would that make me?

      Both parents seem to be right jerks, but I'll bet their kids still love them. The poor kids.

  32. Count Ludwig
    Joke

    Last lines of 'Some Like It Hot'

    Jerry: Oh no you don't! Osgood, I'm gonna level with you. We can't get married at all.

    Osgood: Why not?

    Jerry: Well, in the first place, I'm not a natural blonde.

    Osgood: Doesn't matter.

    Jerry: I smoke! I smoke all the time!

    Osgood: I don't care.

    Jerry: Well, I have a terrible past. For three years now, I've been living with a saxophone player.

    Osgood: I forgive you.

    Jerry: [tragically] I can never have children!

    Osgood: We can adopt some.

    Jerry: But you don't understand, Osgood! Ohh...

    [Jerry finally gives up and pulls off his wig]

    Jerry: [normal voice] I'm a man!

    Osgood: [shrugs] Well, nobody's perfect!

    [Jerry looks on with disbelief as Osgood continues smiling with indifference. Fade out]

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053291/quotes (search for 'perfect')

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sorry, what is this, The Sun in the 1980s?

    This is just a nasty nasty piece of writing, you probably thought it would be funny but actually it just comes across as really insensitive, like a nasty piece written by the The Sun in the 1980s.

    Not content with having use caps in headlines which screams Daily Mail, you consider this a worthwhile way to report this 'news'?

    As someone has previously said, transitioning whether female to male or male to female is not something that is easy and takes a great deal of courage and strength, and retaining that even if that means losing everyone around you; and these people deserve a little bit more respect than your ideal of journalism.

    As for the comment above about having a Y chromosome makes you a man, no, as someone else pointed out the existence of AIS negates that. I should know, I was born CAIS (that is complete AIS) and have never once thought of myself as male, I'm just me and seemingly happy as a woman. These things happen, and you just get on with life.

    But every now and then, you come across articles like this and realise the knuckle-draggers still walk among us. There is more to be said on this, but others have eloquently put most of it forward anyway, and to be honest, I don't know why I'm bothering to write this even.

    I don't think I'll personally bother with this website any more as it seems to be having a bit of an identity crisis of its own. Shame really.

  34. Bob 18

    Good to Hear..

    The article was small-minded, bigoted, and practically condoned domestic abuse. But reading the sheer number of enlightened comments and reasoned discussion was really a breath of fresh air. It looks like things really are getting better (slowly) for the trans community.

    1. TRT Silver badge
      IT Angle

      Re: Good to Hear..

      Is it OK to still refer to a m/m or f/f connector/adaptor as a gender bender, though?

    2. Invidious Aardvark
      IT Angle

      Re: Good to Hear..

      At the risk of suffering death by a thousand downvotes, I'm failing to see where the article is "small-minded, bigoted, and practically condoned domestic abuse". The article relates the facts of the story (albeit in El Reg language) and doesn't seem to suggest anywhere that violence is acceptable, nor offer any view on the rights or wrongs of transgender issues.

      I can see that Jan doesn't come across as all that enlightened but calling the article bigoted seems a massive overreaction.

  35. Schultz

    After 19 years...

    the warranty is surely expired. The whole story sounds like a catholic divorce to me, or maybe he doesn't want to pay alimony.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Holy Misplaced Membrum Batman!

    Is what Robin would've said.

  37. Dave Ashe
    WTF?

    This is sad

    She is a woman, physically just like a woman because of hormones and surgery, he doesn't need to be an idiot about it and throw all the toys out of his pram..

    I would quite happily have a transsexual partner, whats the big deal? Most of the ones i've met are more feminine than most women and actually want to be women.

    And the fact that he said if he was fit enough he would have physically hurt her is one step too far (translated on the dutch news website at the end of the story).

    1. El_Fev
      Thumb Down

      Re: This is sad

      No actually he is not a woman, no womb or ovaries for a start and without constant hormonal supplements would revert back to the sex he was born with. Simply fricking biology people!

      Yes on the internet Dave Ashe , would quite happily have a transsexual partner, I reckon that in reality you would run screaming.

      1. ShadowedOne
        FAIL

        Re: This is sad @El_Fev

        A) Repeating it doesn't make it true, and

        B) What you 'reckon' doesn't mean jack shit.

      2. Lis 0r
        FAIL

        Re: This is sad

        Do you even know what a transsexual is? What on earth makes you think they'd revert?

        Like any woman who'd had her reproductive organs ripped out, without pills she'd slowly die of an early menopause.

      3. Dana W
        FAIL

        Re: This is sad

        My mother has no uterus or ovaries. I'd better start sending her fathers day cards right away!

        And hormones don't work that way, but thanks for playing.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This is sad

        So tell me where does the testosterone for this "reversion" come from? I'm keen to know.

        So much for biology.

  38. Ginolard
    Joke

    I apologise in advance

    In the words of Bad Company that's "Good Leuven Gone Bad"

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The IT Crowd - s3e4

    "You said you where from Iran"lol

  40. Robert Grant
    Boffin

    Er random question:

    Maybe it was in the original article, but it didn't say here that the husband beat the wife up. Might she be stronger than him?

    1. Lamont Cranston

      @ Robert Grant: Here:

      "I pushed her against the wall and said: Now I know the truth. Are you a man? She then announced that she was born as a boy and that she had been operated on. She was now a woman, and so she did not need to tell me about her past as a man. My world collapsed. That evening came to blows. The police came."

      Granted, "came to blows" doesn't specify who was beating up who, but "I pushed her against the wall" suggests that the husband started it.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ouch

    Wondering whether I should have sent this into the newsdesk now. There's a lot of people who seem very offended by Lester here simply re-telling what's already been told. The original was linked to me by a good friend who is only "male" until they can get the $40,000 or so together for the operation.

    Really, I'm wondering where the spiteful tone of the article is.. it seems to be pretty matter-of-fact. Sometimes, life is messy.. are reporters supposed to sanitise it for public consumption or just tell us what happened?

    AC because somebody who knows me might read this, and the prejudice against TS people can extend to their friends, too.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    From the article it seems that the real problem may have been that he was quite a bit older than her, and that she was behaving like...some women in their 40s with older husbands or no husbands behave...and he didn't like it. Perhaps after so many years she felt secure enough for a more interesting social life. Perhaps there's quite a bit of jealousy involved.

    Perhaps even he really knew all the time (there must have been clues) but suppressed the knowledge until he wanted a reason to get shot of her.

    I'm sorry if this seems like slightly tasteless speculation, but I'm trying to make a case that the real problem here may be nothing to do with someone being transgender at all but just to do with the way marriages fail.

    I don't know why, but I'm reminded of the German general who happily married an ex-prostitute. It didn't worry him in the slightest, but Hitler used it as an excuse to get rid of him. It is surprising what doesn't matter to people who fall in love.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bring back article ratings, stat

    ..the crater for this one would outdo even the mighty Andrew Orlowski's ratings!

    On another note, I am very pleasantly surprised with the commentard response today. Too often, the tone around here is sniggering beery laddish "pub banter" stuff with a very Clarksonesque feel. Today, some remarkably grown-up and sensible comments have prevailed, and while I am sad that we have possibly just seen a new low for the site itself, the users may just have had their finest hour to date.

    Big up the commentards!

  44. url

    no mention of whether the sex change was forced

    as is commonly practiced - to order no less - in some parts.

    if it wasn't an issue for 19 fucking years, it really ought not be an issue now.

    give her 50% and move on

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    WHY you don't want to tell anyone!

    I'm a post op trans and a regular poster. I'm staying anon because as soon an anyone finds you had "the surgery" Your life changes, and they treat you differently.

    Everything you do wears the "tranny" label, were you a programmer? You become "[name] the tranny programmer", you were a musician? you become "[name] the tranny muscian" . You go one one date, two dates, three dates. On date four you tell said person, somehow the next date never happens and they won't answer the phone. You make friends, and when you are sure they are close enough to tell they wind up furious that you "lied" to them. The act of telling them isn't enough. Apparently you were supposed to wear it on a t-shirt or tell everyone five minutes after you meet them or you are a liar. And the people who WANT to tell you about it in the first five minutes tend to be activists who's company gets old fast.

    My partner knows, and my doctor knows and that all that NEED to know.

    So if anyone is wondering why people keep this secret? Because it's still considered a "stigma". Remember this old joke, it sums it up perfectly

    -----------------------------------------

    “You see that dock out there?

    Built it myself, hand crafted each piece, and it’s the best dock in town!

    But do they call me “McGregor the dock builder”? No!

    And you see that bridge over there?

    I built that, took me two months, through rain, sleet and scorching weather,

    but do they call me “McGregor the bridge builder”? No!

    And you see that pier over there, I built that, best pier in the county!

    But do they call me “McGregor the pier builder”? No!”

    The old guy looks around, and makes sure that nobody is listening, and leans to the man, and he says:

    “but you fuck one sheep…”

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Interesting

    I seem to recall a similar argument about Olympic and other sports "females" being disqualified for showing up as XXY or something like that because they may have had an unfair advantage.

    Might have been something like that, the male organs were removed as nonfunctional at an early stage...

    Which would explain a lot, the remaining female organs would probably work essentially normally.

  47. This post has been deleted by its author

  48. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

    Why we're uppity.

    I've given a lot of thought to "just why exactly are all us commenttards flinging our shit out of the pram about this, when we will gladly accept seemingly misogynistic stories about ladies trying to smother their husbands with their boobs." What makes exploding breast implants more acceptable than this?

    So I am going to take a moment to try to put my feelings to a little bit more of a considered comment format.

    ITEM 1) A couple of unfortunate word choices in the article. Consider the following:

    For almost two decades Monica was a "big sister" to Jan's two kids from his previous marriage.

    There is no logical reason to put "big sister" in quotes here, excepting to accentuated Monica's transgendered nature. This gives me a sad.

    There is also this:

    Monica's cover was finally blown

    Again, this wording gives me a sad. It once more emphasises Monica's transgendered nature as though it is something that would/should obviously be hidden.

    Now, I am entirely willing to chalk this first bit – the tone of the article – up to some sort of "super-sensitivity" on my part. Maybe I'm just a bleeding heart ultra-left-wing liberal. I don't know. I don't want to burn anyone at the stake over tone choice here, but I do have a couple of sads.

    ITEM 2) Bootnotes has traditionally been – at least in my personal perception – the repository of "things which are funny or completely bizarre." I don't find anything about this sad story funny or bizarre.

    The only thing about this situation that makes it any different from any other "domestic violence leading to divorce" situation is that the lady in question is transgender. Keeping a secret from your partner for 19 years is not that fucking uncommon. How is it any different than "that son of yours…not your son"? How is it different than "I spent our kids' education fun on hookers and blow, but didn't tell you all these years?"

    It's sad.

    It isn't bizarre. It sure as all get-out isn't funny. Given the prevalence of similar domestic disturbances, this isn't even news, except that there remains a certain category of individuals who still cling to social prejudices that – quite frankly – I find abhorrent.

    The lady smothering her husband with her breasts is just weird. Truly bizarre. Not because she tried to use her breasts as the murder weapon, but because her rationale was so off-kilter. The inclusion of massive breasts to an all-male audience will drive clicks – no question – but the story itself is still just odd enough to be "news of the weird."

    The same (mostly) could used to apply to the whole "exploding breast implant" thing. (Though that is admittedly becoming a bit tired.) The first time I read it, I didn't even know that was possible. I think it is still news if/when this happens in some novel way – this is a technology and science website, after all…some of us are actually interested in the science behind breast implant design – but I'm pretty sure that unless the headline convinced me this was something other than "some lady's new jumblies burst on an airplane again," I wouldn't click.

    This is why.

    So that's the thing, I think. That's where the pushback comes from. It isn't because you have a bunch of people trying very hard to prove they are politically correct, or whatever other bullshit I'd hear from the clowns at the local Tory pub. It's because – if this thread is to be a barometer of commenttards – there a significant chunk of The Register's audience are actually empathetic enough that we don't believe in discrimination any more. Not out of political correctness, but because inclusion is a truly core part of our philosophy.

    So if the only thing shocking about a story is something that requires bigotry to appreciate, I think this exact response will recur.

    I'm going to take a bit of a risk here and say that I'm glad this is the case. For years now, I had thought I was one of the only Register readers who believed in these sorts of principles, lived my life in this manner. It is the number one reason I spend time in the comments section of Ars Technica: because I have found in those commenters individuals with a shared reverence of science and a shared empathy for our common man.

    I am humbled and awed to see that my fellow Register readers are in fact the wonderful people that they are. I am proud of you all. Proud to be a member of this community.

    So to The Register's fine commenters: thanks guys. You've restored a little bit of my faith in humanity today.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why we're uppity.

      @Trevor_Pott - I bow at the wisdom of your gold badgedness :-)

      I would like to offer something else up for your consideration.

      Some of the people I've gone toe to toe with on this particular issue, go beyond being simple biggots. They see transsexuality and other issues of this kind of ilk, to be a direct attack on the roots of their self identify.

      They prefer to see things in black and white; it is where they gain their strength. For whatever reason, I don't know, but they will invest every last ounce of strength they have in enforcing this stereotypical view. As is said in my native Wales, "Men are men, women are women and sheep are very bloody worried."

      The facts of nature and historical events of societies other than our own, have shown that even though the surgical techniques to change physical sex were not available, other societies have coped with people changing their social role within those societies. Native Americans are one of the most beautiful examples; their wisdom even extends to such a separation of mind and body, that one person can even contain two spirits.

      However there are people who are so blind and have such investment in supporting their own narrow interpretation of male/female/man/woman, that they have to kill in order to try and eliminate any threat to their self identity.

      Here is a good summary - http://www.nativeout.com/digital-library/researching/321-hate-crime.html - and there is an award winning video on the murder of F.C. of the Navajo. - http://twospirits.org/

      For my side, I will defend hard and fast because there are people out there who will happily murder people like myself when, in truth, it is their own views that are out of whack with nature; and they just can't handle it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why we're uppity.

        And allow me to put one other thing forward which it both linked to this subject and to IT.

        Where this un-natural view of binary sexes came from, I don't know, (I fear religious scriptures but I am willing to stand corrected on that) but it is entering our society and our work place in a frightening manner.

        I know of a woman in another UK IT company; an eastern european was working in said company and openly told her that, "IT is a mans job."

        Now, some people will put that down to freedom of speach, but the last I knew, it was sexist behaviour which is punishable by law.

        It does concern me that immigration from societies that are still suffering from these stereotypes, are now within our work places and have the potential to undo a lot of the social progress that has been made in this country.

        All that european biggot needs is an office full of men who think and nod, and we slip back a little bit further in time. Where are the men who would stand up and tell that bloke that this is the UK, and that views like his aren't welcome in our society? Where is the manager that would pull that biggot up by his shirt collar and tell him what our laws are?

        And people wonder why there are not more women in IT? I wonder what the hell was the situation in this woman's work place that she had to come to someone outside her organisation, and tell them instead.

        And we call ourselves a democratic, developed society?

        We have a long way to go, I fear.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Why we're uppity.

          You know that reminds me of what 95% of people said when I told them what I was doing and why...

          But... You work with computers and ride a motorbike! How can that be possible?

          My grandma even added 'Well, she'll have to sell the bike now then'

          I have no idea where that comes from...

      2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: Why we're uppity.

        Can't say I disagree, but then I've had people tell me to my face that if the law allowed it they would murder me because I was fat. Bigotry knows few bounds.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Why we're uppity.

          OK - here are some articles on people being murdered because they're transsexual.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_unlawfully_killed_transgender_people

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wwjtd/2012/05/murder-statistics-of-transgender-people/

          Your turn to list articles on people murdered for being fat.

          1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

            Re: Why we're uppity.

            @MIchelle Knight it's not a contest. I don't have any articles to hand on the topic because I purposefully put them out of my mind. (Though I can think of at least three incidents in the past few years; the worst of them being in – I think – Florida, where a group of hooligans bad a kid to death "because he was a stupid fattie.")

            I can personally recount for you tales of domestic violence situations – two in total – here in my home town in which a man murdered his wife "because she just sits around the house getting fat." "No fat chicks" is a popular t-shirt around here, to say nothing of the discrimination we receive looking for jobs, etc.

            Do trans people have it worse? Possibly. Quite probably, even. The social acceptability of "being fat" seems to vary from place to place, but being trans seems to get folks in Deep Shit just about everywhere.

            My point was not to compare one type of bigotry to the other, or to render the hate directed against trans people somehow more "common" or acceptable. My point was to reinforce that some people are just – to use my new insult du jour - fucking cuntweasels. They will find a reason to hate and then find people who fit that category.

            Hatred and exclusion are an important part of their psyche. We've seen it in everything from racism to misogyny, persecution of fat to the shit that poor gingers have to put up with. Different is bad to some people and the only thing that determines how violent or abusive they become about the topic is how socially acceptable it is to act out their violent, exclusionary tendencies.

            That said, if you really feel the need to make it into a competition, I am sure Google can provide you information on people murdered for being fat. I know of several incidents first hand. I won't, however, go looking them up. Because it's depressing. Because I have a conference call in 5 minutes. Because those people don't deserver another 15 seconds of fame.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Why we're uppity.

              @Trevor_Pott

              You're correct in one thing. It isn't a contest. Your statement was so throw away it has sent me through the ceiling. I'm far, far, far too angry to coherently post.

              1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

                Re: Why we're uppity.

                @MIchelle Knight that's because it is "Throwaway." I don't find violence against trans people - or any identifiable group - to be particularly surprising. Sad, yes. Something that needs to be fought, yes.

                Surprising? No.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  FAIL

                  Re: Why we're uppity.

                  "@MIchelle Knight that's because it is "Throwaway.""

                  What the hell have we become?

                  1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

                    Re: Why we're uppity.

                    "What the hell have we become?"

                    We were never any more civilised than we are today. We have become better as a culture than at any time previously. We've just always been pretty crap to each other; ask Homo Sapiens Neandertalensis about our tolerance for others some time...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Why we're uppity.

          "Can't say I disagree, but then I've had people tell me to my face that if the law allowed it they would murder me because I was fat. Bigotry knows few bounds."

          Gold reg medal or not ... that statement beggars belief. Do you think it is lawful to kill transsexual people? I'm offended by the suggestion Trevor. You've really upset me with the light hearted way you've treated the subject of transsexual people being killed simply because they are transsexual.

          I request you reconsider your statement.

          1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

            Re: Why we're uppity.

            Where did I say it was "lawful" to kill transsexual people? I said "people are generally shit." People are killed for being black, white, trans, gay, fat, pretty, stealing a boyfriend, embarrassing someone, you name it. Killing someone for being trans is no different than killing them for being black or for being fat. It's a hate crime directed at an identifiable group. Humans have been doing that shit since time immemorial.

            It's not okay, but it is fairly common. That's why we can't allow shit like this to occur; if we are ever allowed to point to a single group and say "violence against them is acceptable," then the violence against them will be unimaginable. They will become the locus of all the pent up rage and desire to exclude of society's twatdangles.

            Black, white, trans, straight, fat, pretty…it doesn't matter. We either make "being a bigot" the problem that needs punishing, or we splinter off into our little tribal groups and howl at intruders.

            Bigotry isn't to be tolerated, regardless of the target.

    2. Lamont Cranston
      IT Angle

      Re: Why we're uppity.

      Indeed. Stories of domestic violence don't really belong in the "And finally..." section of The Reg that is Bootnotes. There's nothing funny about this story (and there's no IT angle!).

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Indonesian...

    Sorry to subscribe to stereotypes, but I used to live there. Thailand is similar. They have a whole culture of lady boys. I somehow doubt that this particular organism was born a male and felt like a female. But I could just carry a predisposed amount of prejudice towardsd such organisms. It's not got to do with gender changing. It's got to do with changing. I don't like it when people switch up on me. It's uncomfortable, and I prefer more stable friends and acquaintances. Colour me confused.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Indonesian...

      I like that, it's not about changing gender (btw, just so you know I didn't change gender, I'm still the gender I always was, I am just living it now) it's about change full stop.

      So your friends can't start new relationships, jobs, move houses and expect to stay friends with you?

      Life is change, growth is optional

    2. Captain Underpants

      Re: Indonesian...

      @AC 08:17

      Err...you're equating "stability" with "can be judged entirely on initial impressions" apparently.

      If you want people to be stable, you probably want them not to be struggling with contradictory feelings, or with identity conflicts. Someone who feels that their gender and possibly sexual identity is substantially different to what they see in the mirror is, by definition, not going to be stable - they deal with a set of expectations from their peers and society based on their appearance rather than their true identity. Allowing them to express that identity externally would remove the conflict and allow them to create a more stable life for themselves.

      You may not like change, but it's what every single person does all the time as they age and evolve, so you'd be better off learning to accept it.

  50. Andy Christ

    Reading between the lines

    Perhaps the crux of the story here is simply that just about every one knew Monica was transgendered save for the guy who had been sleeping with her for nineteen years. From the article:

    "A friend told me that he had heard that Monica was actually a sex-changed man," recounts Jan.

    Things came to a head when Jan discovered saucy messages from other blokes on his wife's computer. He said:

    "I pushed her against the wall and said: Now I know the truth. Are you a man? She then announced that she was born as a boy and that she had been operated on..."

    So for one thing, Jan's friend had heard on the grape vine that Monica was a sex-change, thus the secret seems to have been pretty open. For another, one might deduce that she had actually been trumpeting her transgenderedness online, as those "saucy" messages from interested gents bore out rumor.

    Anyway, there's the IT angle for you. Husband's still scum though.

    Incidentally, long time ago I tended bar in a gay establishment where we had weekly drag shows. One evening while hauling a case of booze up from the basement I chanced upon an incredible creature standing by the stairs. She was the spitting image of Marilyn Monroe — well, save for being much more petite — complete with gold lamé dress. While I stupidly gawked at her she smiled bashfully and lowered her gaze. Assumed she would appear later on stage but never saw her again. (Honestly I have no idea what the point of my story is, so take from it what you will.)

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm sure we can expect a lot more of such confusion ....

    as gay marriage is legalised and gender descriptions become dropped from government documents.

    Historically, of course, the rough and ready guide with regard to valid marriage was the requirement that penetrative sexual intercourse was possible between them.

    Now, it's easy to understand why the Dutch guy had sex with the wife of dubious gender but didn't notice anything unusual (even though he'd already been married twice): women can be physically very different from each other, even if we were to define women as being biologically XX. A fertile woman may have no obvious breasts, she may have to shave every day, she may have a clitoris as long as her thumb and, in some cases with CAH, may even have a penile urethra. Presumably the "woman" in question had genitals which were a reasonable facsimile of something within the wide range of genitals which may be encountered among biological females.

    Where one draws t he line at who one can describe as a woman -- or for that matter a man -- is a difficult question, but where there are known abnormalities which prevent childbearing or indeed child begetting, these should surely be matters for full and frank disclosure. Quite clearly full and frank disclosure did not take place in this instance.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm sure we can expect a lot more of such confusion ....

      As someone living in Holland I have to complain... Belgian, not Dutch! :)

  52. Don Jefe
    Meh

    Panties

    Go ahead and downvote me. Those AC's with no badges... If you've ever been with a naturally born woman (not your hand with a name written on it or a website) then you'd know that there's no replacement for a vagina that isn't a vagina. Women everywhere would agree but I'm not sure there are any women on this site.

    Apparently at least 15% of the readership (based on Drew Culleen's email) are post-op's. Which I don't believe is even reasonably true. The people who downvoted my OP should just suck on a man's cock if they're so certain they were "born in the wrong body". Or even better try and make a post-op pussy wet. Ain't going to happen you silly little boys. The downvoters should maybe spend some more time away from their computer.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Panties

      So you view a woman solely as a penetrable orifice. I wonder how many dates YOU have had. And I was married once and engaged twice before I transitioned. I'm quite aware of what a "real" vagina is like.

      BTW LOTS of transitioners in IT and tech. I've known a few. You probably do too. You just don't know it.

      With attitudes like yours you wonder why we post anonymously. You have the same views on sexuality of a frat boy with too many rap albums. You are a sad lonely man.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Come on, lets get this into prospective.....

    If after 19 years of marriage, I found my wife was being unfaithful, straight to the divorce courts it is.

    I would not immediately cease to love her, but infidelity is something to me that is unforgivable and would be the end of the relationship. My wife of 9 years is well aware of how I feel about this and she feels the same way....

    When we first got together and stuff was getting serious, all our skeletons and things that if they came out in the future may cause issues for each other were talked about and then put away, some things never to be talked of again... but at least we know....

    If something came up 19 years later that was such a big bombshell, like that she previously was a man, then for the 19 years of lies, the 19 years of not really knowing who she was, that would put a massive strain that is probably not recoverable, regardless of the gender realignment.

    If it was talked about right at he beginning, then its possible that its something that could have been got over. 19 years later, when it was discovered is not the right time, its too late....

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: Come on, lets get this into prospective.....

      @AC: who in this thread is holding up the lady in question as a beacon of humanity? She sounds like a right Bad Person for keeping that bottled up for 19 years, coupled with infidelity and gods only know what else.

      I can imagine that most people would be pretty upset. I think it's small minded to be upset about the fact that the lady is transgendered, but it is perfectly reasonable to be upset about infidelity, not coming clean about your past, etc.

      For "perspective;" if you had done a dime for murder and not told the person you married for 19 years about it, that's probably in the same category of "things you should probably disclose when a relationship starts getting serious." I think "I'm adopted," or "I have cancer" probably fall into that category as well. Not because I am judging someone's past, but because the fact of marriage means both parties are now subject to the emotional, social, familial and economic burdens that the other bears.

      If I am adopted, this could cause awkwardness at the next family gathering if my mate happens to say something unknowingly. If I did a stint in jail, it could affect my ability to travel, obtain employment, and more. If I have cancer – or had cancer – this could indicate a higher likelihood of dying in the near-to-medium term.

      Trans, not trans…that bit isn't the important part. Not disclosing something that potentially affects both of them is huge. Despite what some might say, "I was born a man" affects both people. There is a massive social stigma – especially in some countries – associated with transgendered individuals. Dealing with the reality of this is something that will affect both parties.

      If the fact that your partner is trans magically affects how you feel about them, that says some pretty shitty things about you. Similarly, if you feel that you need to hide your past from someone, despite the fact that if/when it catches up with you, you are both going to have to deal with the fallout, you're probably a Bad Person too.

      As I've said in other posts; the whole situation is just sad. Lots of sad things from a couple of people who – at least from the limited information available – don't come across as very Nice People at all.

  54. icetrout

    Poor kids had to live through this vile creatures deceit...

    1. Dana W
      Trollface

      Troll or just stupid?

  55. cortland
    Coat

    Gestation?

    ... born a man after 19 years of marriage...

    That's a LONG pregnancy! Or a work slowdown.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019