I remember a conversation a couple of years ago with a friend who had begun gender transition. She was wracked with self-doubt because she was unable to find any examples of people who had transitioned their sex and become successful. I tried to lift her spirits by explaining most of those people go “stealth,” so no one ever realizes they used to be the opposite sex. But she wasn’t satisfied. Surely some people who had transitioned and succeeded would come forward and speak about it.
This conversation took place a couple of years ago, and the intervening time has seen a difference. Increasingly we’re seeing transsexuals who succeeded in life after transitioning coming forward to talk about it. Also increasingly, the media seems willing to give such stories a voice.
A good example of that comes from a story the UK’s Telegraph today: So, I had a sex change.
The subtitle of the article is “Hostility, ridicule and financial ruin are some of the difficulties faced by Britain’s 6,000 transsexuals. But against the odds some do achieve personal and professional success”
Not the most positive spin on the topic perhaps, but you have to understand how rare it used to be to see it acknowledged that transsexuals could succeed following transition at all. This single article covers three big success stories and doesn’t even bother countering them with any stories of transition failure. That’s amazing progress!
The sad fact is that success, in terms of improvement to overall quality of life for the transitioner, has long been acknowledged in the professional literature of those who study these things. It’s just taking a long time for that word to filter out into the public consciousness. Stories like this can only help.