Transsexuality

I am one of the the lucky few late-transitioning transexual women who could afford proper treatment and therefore look normal and am thus able to lead a full life.

Transsexuality is a condition where during gestation the foetus's body and brain differentiate in different directions, one becoming male and the other female. It is not a choice - no sane person would choose to go through what I have had to go through - it is an innate medical condition no different from other birth defects.

A couple of years ago I told my story in the papers (Sunday Times, Financial Times, The Independant) and on BBC radio in the hope of challenging preconceptions about the transgendered. I support GIRES (the Gender Identity Reserch and Education Society), with the specific aim of helping improve medical care for transexual people in the UK, especially transsexual children.

Improving care for transexual children in the UK

If you are physically a young boy, but feel you should be a girl, please go to my other site: I want to be a girl - it has some advice and information you may find helpful.

It is my conviction that the UK NHS is failing transgendered children, especially trans-girls. As a transsexual woman who underwent a traumatic puberty and has only been able to live a happy and succesful life thanks to spending tens of thousands of pounds on private surgery I hope to save others that pain. Below is a press release I sent out in response to media activity following the case of a German trans-girl (Kim Petras) which captures why I believe this is important and what should be done.

If you are looking for information or advice on transexuality I encourage you to visit GIRES's site. However, if you are a parent with a boy or girl (either way) who is confused feelings about their gender, please visit Mermaids.

Leading Transsexual Businesswoman Lambasts NHS for barbaric Treatment of Trans-girls

Guildford, Surrey. 11th February 2009. Kate Craig-Wood, recently voted Natwest Everywoman Most Inspirational Woman of the Year, and managing director of award-winning IT company Memset® , wants a radical review of the NHS treatment of young trans-girls.

Following last week's case in Germany (Telegraph coverage) where it emerged that Kim Petras (pictured here) was allowed to start hormone treatment as a 12-year-old, Craig-Wood, herself a transsexual, is scathing about the parallel treatment offered in Britain.

"The current NHS 'method' of allowing trans-girls to undergo puberty without any treatment is barbaric," she says.

"It forces the trans-girl to go through traumatic body changes tantamount to a woman sprouting facial hair or a man growing breasts. Worse still, they'll have extreme difficulty later passing as female without expensive facial surgery. And their bodies may never look feminine because the skeletal structure will be masculine."

So the system in Britain forces trans-girls to go to Europe, Australia or the States for treatment. This is all the more unacceptable as leading medical bodies support the suspension of puberty at an early stage. These include:

  • The Royal College of Psychiatrists
  • World Professional Association for Transgender Health
  • Endocrine Society

The treatment is offered in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Norway, The Netherlands and the USA.

The process is understood to have no significant risks and the effects will naturally reverse, if necessary.

"Kim is now a beautiful girl because she was able to start testosterone blockers at the age of 12," says Craig-Wood. "The UK system is failing so many trans-people and causing quite unnecessary suffering with a high rate of suicide attempts, which early treatment would almost certainly mitigate."

"Almost universally transsexual people are aware of feeling 'in the wrong body' from before puberty - sometimes from as young as age 2-3. Despite this, only 100 out of 1,200 people requesting treatment for gender identity issues do so as children, which clearly shows that both the NHS and the wider community are failing trans-children."

"If we can catch those people before puberty we can help them avoid the traumatic puberty that I went through and enable them to look entirely female without major cosmetic surgery."

"Personally, I wish that I had grown up in a world where I felt able to tell people that I felt I should have been born a girl at a young age, and had been able to obtain proper treatment. That way I could have avoided a traumatic puberty, expensive surgery, and would not now feel that I was robbed of my late-childhood."

"Affected children should not in any way be ashamed about coming forward to talk about their feelings as this is a well-known condition. And the fact that highly respected medical bodies back the use of hormone blockers for trans-girls, makes the case for a review of current guidelines here all the more pressing."

"I hope to help prevent the next generation of trans-girls from going through what I did."

If this affects you or someone you care for, please visit Mermaids.

Awards & Nominations

UKtech50: No. 20 Social Media Champion Institute of Directors Young Director of the Year SE NatWest Every Woman Award Blackberry Women & Technology Awards 2008 PC Pro Best Web Host Award 6 years running Surrey Business Awards 2006/07 Computing Awards for Excellence 2007 Chamber Awards 2009 National Finalist Toast of Surrey 2011: Business Personality of the Year Carbon Neutral