Frank Maloney Sex Change — A First-Hand Insight

Gender reassignment, the reality.

I’d never heard of Frank Maloney until yesterday. Yet the minute I learned of her ( let’s put the pronoun thing to bed right away) transition from Frank to Kellie I felt the beginning of a certain fellow feeling. One that would be instantly recognizable to any transgender person fortunate to put some years between them and their ‘ Switcheroo’.

Boredom.

You read that right. Now lest you think me a horrible human being I should point out that I support Kellie 100% in her choices. It IS an incredibly courageous thing to do and no matter how financially, mentally and physically secure you might be you are going to lose a lot. Gender reassignment is an exceptionally difficult path even for those of us blessed with the resources to weather it successfully. Knowing all of this and proceeding anyway is a special kind of brave. I can admire that but at the same time stifle a yawn at the managed PR tactics surrounding her announcement. It’s actually quite clever. Getting the news out in this fashion allows her a certain degree of control and having it all out in the open gives the red-tops nothing to sniff out in the coming months. Mitigating media response perhaps? Fair enough I suppose but how much interest is there in a retired boxing promoter?  If this was, if you’ll forgive me, Round One in her return to boxing I’d be less jaded.

frank maloney

Now here’s where I get a bit inconsistent. I really am interested in how she proceeds through the coming months. At this point in transition Kellie is living as a woman full time. The ‘Real Life Experience’ period is a critical time. She must live in her target gender full time and experience all of the absolute fucking lunacy that such an experience entails. It’s also an extremely dangerous time with dubious legal safeguards and lots of idiots. In her Independent interview she touches on the suicide rates being high for transsexual women.  This is true but I’d like to flesh that out a bit.  According to the (US) National Transgender Discrimination Survey it’s a staggering 41% with an astonishing 90% experiencing harassment or mistreatment at work. It could be argued that having a relatively high profile could be a counter to some of this. The other method of transitioning is referred to as going ‘Stealth’. You keep things low key, change jobs, names and city and hope you can ‘pass’ in your new life. You could also do what I did. Write an appalling blog about the whole sorry affair. Mind you Kellie has done away with her Twitter and Facebook accounts.  Keeping her transition all private, like.

So let’s leave aside the mixed media messages from Herself and have a look at why someone is compelled to change genders. First of all it’s not a choice.  Imagine being sentenced to life imprisonment and your cell is your own body. Imagine being trapped in a body that is fundamentally wrong to you and not having even the language to communicate that.  Imagine being a very young child praying to your God to turn you into a girl while you slept. Imagine the absolute horror of waking up every morning to find your prayers unanswered. Imagine steeling yourself every day to the realities of ‘being a man’ and donning the construct of a ‘man suit’ to interact with the world. That is what my life was like for as long as I can remember. By September of 2003 I’d had enough of living a lie and faced a stark choice. Kill myself (I was going to fly a single engine Cessna out over the Atlantic and see how far I’d make it) or get into therapy.

In my case it wasn’t bravery.  Just weariness.

We all get to the point where we simply cannot continue.  Kellie reached her tipping point and chose to live an authentic existence. Who can fault her for that?  Well… as it happens… loads of people.  No doubt there are some reading this who find the whole thing completely bizarre. That’s fine. No one wants to be transgendered less than the transgendered and it was plenty bizarre from within so I can’t fault people for that. I would ask though that those having a hard time with the idea of changing gender just engage their imagination for a minute. Would you deny someone sight restoring surgery after 40 years of darkness? If you can’t get behind that then spare a thought for the mortal anguish and terror many trans people find themselves in every day.

So far I’ve read nothing about Kellie’s path that differs substantially from my own.  Apart from the UKIP thing, of course.  Hey! Just cause she’s a transsexual doesn’t mean she’s not an asshole. I’ll not be saying that to her face though. She’d batter the head off me. The best thing she can do to ‘further the cause’ is just be herself. (I’m delighted she’s gone for the 60-something executive look rather some kind of Union Flag bedecked Lady Gaga monstrosity. )  She’s checked all the transition boxes and appears much happier now.

I sincerely wish her all the best as she moves forward.

It’s all worth it in the end. I can promise her that much.

15 thoughts on “Frank Maloney Sex Change — A First-Hand Insight

  1. Nicely put.

    “Knowing all of this and proceeding anyway is a special kind of brave”
    Agreed. As you are yourself.

  2. I have to admit I was ignorant to understanding transgender issues until I watched Lana Wachowski’s speech – that was an education.

    Listen to Lana.

  3. More ignorance on my part. I just copped that this post was by Hangar Queen. All the time I’m thinking it was by yourself Bock and that you were coming out and I was thinking, wow that’s some big revelation. And because you blog anonymously I was thinking we should never make assumptions about writers. I originally had you down as a sort of Ernest Hemingway character – all machismo like.

    Anyway great post Hangar Queen. I have to say your choice of suicide would have been most glamorous – but glad you decided to stay in the world.

  4. What’s the problem Sniffle? Could you be specific? What was stupid? What was insensitive?

  5. Well-written thought-provoking piece. Well done, Hangar Queen, and kudos to Bock to publish it.

  6. Hangar Queen,

    Great to read your words again! I hope all is going well for you and your family

    EGW

  7. My view is that there is nothing unhealthy about being a man and there is nothing unhealthy about being a woman but what is unhealthy is not being able to adapt to the role of the sex to which you have been ordained. It is essentialy a psychological problem and should be addressed only from this perspective. I remember somebody once, some years ago, who underwent this, cursing the surgical team to their faces for what they did.

  8. Nothing unhealthy about being a man, or nothing unhealthy about being a woman says iap337. That’s such a relief to hear.
    What’s your view on a person being ‘ordained’ hermaphrodite iap337?
    Is that unhealthy?

    Such arrogance.

  9. Artemis,
    More erosion than courage but thank you all the same.

    Featherpost,
    Does it really matter? Genuine question. I’m not trying to be smart. Just curious.

    A.L.C.,
    Lana has it going on. It’s interesting you mention Hemingway. He came up a lot in therapy. As for Bock. Very much a blokey sort of bloke’s bloke. :)

    Bock,
    You sought understanding and knowledge. Therefore you were never ignorant. Thank you for that and for allowing me to crayon all over BTR.

    Sniffle,
    Babe! Where have you been? We need to catch up. Wires might have been crossed as Bock said. It’s all good. Promise.

    Nut,
    Thank you.

    Sami,
    You,me L.A., rum. Or I can just as easily get you to Glasgow, Dublin or Limerick. What say you?

    E.G.W.
    Thank you. All is well here in the Hangar. The smallies are grand (eldest just started middle school and is pre-teening the life out of) and I’m back in the airline business. I’m an SUV driving suburban American soccer ‘mom’ these days. How bad?

    iap337,
    Your assertion that there is nothing wrong with being a man or a woman is correct. I think you’d be hard pressed to find a trans person that would disagree with that. As for the rest of your comment…
    What do you mean by ‘ordained’ exactly? As for gender identity disorder or gender dysphoria being a psychological disorder ‘only’. Are you aware of the medical genesis of the condition? The studies revealing the different brain structures in transgendered people? The ‘gateway’ process for transition? I can’t speak to incident you seem to remember but the vast majority of people who transition go on to lead happy and healthy lives. Funny old mental illness that can be cured with surgery, eh?

    Artemis,
    You beat me to it. It’s a very broad spectrum and most people are fortunate to land near one end or the other.

  10. Hi Hangar Queen,

    I had funny feeling that the use of the word “ordained” was going to attract questions in itself and with Artemis joining in I must say it exceeded my expectations !
    As Bock knows, I do have strong religious views and the word was probably a reflexive choice, albeit against my better judgment for the purpose of this particular discussion.
    Nevertheless, I would have the word stand because it does indicate a situation over which we have no control.
    To explain more precisely what I mean, let us take the genesis of the person as that very first cell that is formed in the womb at fertilization, the zygote. This cell is the actual genetic blueprint for the new person about to form and the genetic codes contained therein are the precise instructions for every single minute aspect of the organism that will result absolutely independent of our desires. This is what you may understand by the word “ordained”.

    Now,on the matter of the surgical procedure known as gender reassignment,(G.R.), my view as I said, was there is nothing unhealthy about being either a man or a woman, but the rest of the sentence seems to have gone unnoticed namely that “…… what is unhealthy is not being able to adapt …….” to one’s endowed situation.

    Taking the opportunity at this point here to respond also to Artemis, the matter of the hermaphrodite status: This is a malformation subject to medical assessment and also correction IF it is appropriate. I understand, (I don’t know), that female is the usual choice simply because it is easier and has less risk in the long term. How the chromosomal issues are addressed, once again, I don’t know.

    People who have undergone G.R. surgery are however, still genetically belonging to the sex from which they came and unless you can change the chromosomal identity of every single cell in the body then your sex essentially remains the same. Also, I will just mention in passing the matter of hormone antagonists and replacements.

    Onwards is the matter of ageing. All the systems and organs of the body age and weaken with the passage of time. Structures that have been artificially formed are, at least nominally, in more danger of failure than natural formations. In the case of male to female transformation, vaginal fistula is a constant concern.

    Now, I would like to point out that a person’s need to identify and integrate with the opposite sex is without doubt a psycho-social need and not a biological or physical one and this is the main reason for my belief that the whole matter needs to be addressed from the psychological standpoint. However, for those who have undergone and are happy with G.R. I wish them well to the end of their days.

    All in all, I do believe that you cannot interfere with nature indefinitely or past a certain point and if you do, disharmony will result.

    It is my private opinion that gender reassignment is overstepping this border.

    Stephen Hawkings, Scientist, once said that nature is not politically correct so to change that statement slightly, I might say that nature is seldom socially correct either and I think that for most part we just have to make the best of our natural endowment.

    Best wishes, iap337.

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