March Conch – Transitions

This column first appeared in The Sunday Times on 5th March 2017

MARCH 2017 CONCH – By Paige Nick


A very close friend of mine’s sister is currently on a journey to transition from a woman into a man. She’s on testosterone and meeting with surgeons, and I can already see on Instagram that her jaw has widened and I hear that her voice is deeper.

When I picked his brains about it, my friend’s husband was conflicted. He said, I’m a manly guy, I surf and ride bikes, but I’m honestly not sure why she wants to be a man. I can see his point, as far as humans go; men haven’t always been our flagship brand.

My friend has some reservations about it too, she loves her sister and wants her to be happy and comfortable, but she’s concerned; once she’s on the other side of her transition she will be a white male lawyer in South Africa, fighting for gender equality as an ex woman. That’s not only a mouthful, it’s an ambitious mouthful.

And if you think renewing your passport at Home Affairs on a regular day is challenging, try it with a new face, a new name and a new voice. Plus she’s married to a woman, so after the transition they’ll be heterosexuals. I’m no expert but that feel like a step backwards.

It feels like trans and gender questioning is so trending right now. It’s a bit like tattoos were fifteen years ago, a statement that was with you for life, until they figured out how to reverse it.

Caitlyn Jenner and the popular TV series, Transparent, have all done more to popularise, normalise and remove the stigma from the transgender community in the last three years, than we’ve managed in decades. Not to mention the part advances in medical technology has played.

We live in an incredible world. Women who no longer want to be women can transition into men. Men who no longer want to be men can grow breasts. And people who no longer want to be decent can become American politicians. It’s not easy or cheap, but it’s possible.

So I’ve been wondering what I’d choose if I had the opportunity to transition? I do love being a woman on the whole, but there was a fifty-fifty chance and we definitely drew the shorter end of the stick. That being said, I’d never want to be a man, even if they do earn more. So that doesn’t leave very many other options. We’re not quite familiar enough with aliens to become them yet. I wouldn’t mind being a dog or cat, but only if I could belong to some of my friends, they treat those things like pharaohs. Speaking of rulers, toddlers in the suburbs don’t have it too bad either. I’d love someone to bring me a juicy and a blankie and put me to bed for nap every afternoon. But regression isn’t an option yet.

So I’ll probably just stay like this. Although living as a woman in the world as we know it, requires a massive pair of balls, so maybe I’ve already transitioned.


Twitter: @paigen


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