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Blaze
09-17-2011, 04:07 PM
My character was born a female but decided to have surgery to become a male. How can this effect him during the changing process? Would it make him gay if he married a female? How could his family punish him if they didn't approve and wanted to torture him 'cause of his choices?

Theo81
09-17-2011, 04:33 PM
My character was born a female but decided to have surgery to become a male.

"Decided" seems an awfully "light" way of putting it. Because you're asking some very basic questions about this process, it sounds to me as thought you haven't quite thought this through as much as you might need to in order to write a good and believable story. It's not a small process. I only know about the male-to-female process (because I've a friend who's had it done) and I know there is a hell of a lot of psychotherapy involved in addition to hormone treatments prior to the operation/s. I don't know how long it took for my friend, but it was upwards of a year, closer to two from beginning (taking the hormones) until after the final op and they were in psychotherapy for a good year before that (because a psychiatrist needed to sign off on the op).



How can this effect him during the changing process?

You begin by taking hormones. So, for your woman, her voice will deepen. She'll begin growing facial hair. I don't know any more than that, but it's going to have a fairly large impact on her life.
Also, you'll need to find out if you can legally change your gender on your documentation wherever this is set. If you can't, that involves a whole lot of other day to day problems.





Would it make him gay if he married a female?

Don't take this the wrong way, but this questions sets off klaxons for me. The best way that I can answer it is to say you're asking the wrong question.
People who have an operation to change their sex do so because (in the most simplistic terms) their gender on the inside doesn't match the gender on the outside. As far as your character is concerned, they are male, they are just in a female body. If women are their preferred gender partner of choice, they would probably consider themselves something close to straight. My friend identified themselves as Bi. These days she identifies herself as married. Whether or not they are gay is up to how the character identifies themselves.




How could his family punish him if they didn't approve and wanted to torture him 'cause of his choices?

He wouldn't see it as a choice. And it depends on the family and on him. What do they regard as torture? What does he? And torture? Seriously? He couldn't just move away, start a new life? Remember, he's GOT to have the support of a psychiatrist to even have this done, if they start that kind of thing, he's got a support network to cope with it already in place.


This is not something to be taken lightly in a novel. Sure you're up to it?

Blaze
09-17-2011, 04:34 PM
I'm not sure now.

jaksen
09-17-2011, 05:01 PM
You really need to talk to some people who have gone through this. I have a classmate from childhood who went from female-to-male and according to her mother, the emotional toll was the most difficult. (She was raised in a strict, religious household and the entire family had to be involved to help ease this young woman's emotional guilt. The family members actually were adjusting better to her change than she was, even though she felt compelled to do it.) I knew the person as a little girl and we (her playmates) always knew she was very very different from us. She wasn't a lesbian, either, just a girl who knew - in every way- that she was supposed to have been a boy. (And I was a tomboy and this girl out-tomboyed me in every way.)

What I'm saying is, the process is complex. Very much so. Even putting aside the physical surgery and physiological changes, the emotional part was difficult, too. He (not a she anymore) is now very well-adjusted and def. not gay as he is marrying his sweetheart, who was born female and intends to stay that way.

I am sure there are books written on this subject. I'd suggest you raid your library and read all you can, both first-hand accounts and those written by family and friends and medical professionals, as well as psychologists. It is a complex issue.

But a fascinating one and one which is ripe for interpretation by us fiction-writers.

Blaze
09-17-2011, 05:07 PM
Thanks. I am a new writer and wanted to write something different to most things people write and I saw something on TV which I found quite interesting.

Captcha
09-17-2011, 05:33 PM
Blaze, I get the feeling you're pretty young, as well as being new to writing, and those are both great, exciting things to be.

But I think it's important for you to realize that good writing is powerful. And, as you've probably heard, with power comes responsibility.

If you're just writing for yourself, write whatever you want, however you want to. But if you're writing something that you hope to show to other people, and maybe even get published, then you have the responsibility to think about the people who might read your work. It's admirable that you want to write something different and original, but remember that you need to responsible, as well. Whether it's this topic or any other, things are controversial because they're complicated. Trying for novelty is great, but you absolutely need to educate yourself and make sure you get a deep, true understanding of the topic.

So, this thread was a great idea, but I think you may be underestimating the challenge you're facing. In order to write about transgender issues effectively, you're going to need to know a lot about gender studies, sociology, psychology, medicine, law -- all kinds of stuff!

if you decide to go ahead with it, good luck, but don't feel as though you need to stick with this idea right now. You can always put it on the shelf for a few years and come back to give it another try when you're ready.

ShyWriter
09-17-2011, 09:46 PM
Now I am intrigued.

I would love to read this kind of story (like a progression of what someone goes through from decision through hormone replacement and therapy to the final result).

Anyone know of any good reads in this category? (I think I would prefer an autobiography, but fiction handled well would do too.) The OP could probably benefit from such a list as well.

Little Ming
09-17-2011, 10:22 PM
Don't worry about writing something "different." Write what you want to write. Forcing a topic that you are unfamiliar with and/or uninterested in will show in the quality of your writing.

But if you are serious about this, check out this section (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=210) of the forum. But be warned, that this is a very sensitive and complex topic. You're in for a lot of research.

Good luck.

Blaze
09-18-2011, 09:11 AM
Thank you =D

L.C. Blackwell
09-18-2011, 10:21 AM
This link is a very basic primer on the physiological process, and doesn't discuss the psychological aspects at all; however, you may find it helpful to start with.

Wikipedia article on sex reassignment surgery (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_reassignment_surgery_female-to-male)

Blaze
09-18-2011, 10:49 AM
Thanks for the link. I think this story idea will be put onto the ideas folder until i have enough writing experience for it to be done good enough.

lastlittlebird
09-18-2011, 11:09 AM
I agree with what has been said above about researching a LOT before undertaking this.
You might be interested in this column by a woman who was born biologically male. It's a very good read, and might give you some idea of the psychological/social aspect of transitioning, even if it isn't female to male.

http://www.mcsweeneys.net/columns/balls-out-a-column-on-being-transgendered

jmlee
09-25-2011, 10:43 PM
How can this effect him during the changing process?

A lot of FTM transpeople don't get full bottom surgery, because the processes aren't really great right now. Most will stay on hormones -- which will change his voice, his muscular physiology, give him body hair -- and probably get top surgery. Then there are also health dangers of being on testosterone, such as cervical cancer, so most FTM folks look into getting hysterectomies. There are a lot of steps to the process.

If you want to watch a (very troubling) movie that is very accurate and close (in my experience) to some of the issues that come up in FTM transitioning, to get your feet wet, check out BOYS DON'T CRY (1999).

But otherwise, what Theo and Captcha said.

There are lots of resources online but I think your best bet is to find someone who has undergone the process themselves and who is willing to be interviewed.

Sorry for the late reply, but this is something close to me, so I felt the need to add in my two cents.