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Letters to the editor 

Crossing Every "T"

To The Editors:

I was directed to the article, "Right Sex, Wrong Body" (by Sam Boykin, March 13) through a post-op transsexual group (actually itself a misnomer which they use among themselves for "practical" purposes, since a post-op person is publicly the gender they are after the operation). There were complaints about the "insensitivity" of Boykin's article by using the masculine article with reference to Ms. McLaren.

Holding a Masters in Clinical and Counseling Psychology and having been a managing and executive editor for a professional (ethics) journal, I am aware of the difficulties of using appropriate gender references when speaking of transgender and "transsexual" people.

In your article, Boykin used masculine articles when describing her until he reached the point where she "found" herself to be female. This is entirely logical from a historical perspective, but it does not reflect the current understanding, and literary treatment, of post-OP transsexuals. More accurate contemporary definitions of transgender and transsexual would be: transgender (a person who lives a role other than their birth sex); transsexuals (a person who is a sex other than what was physically apparent at birth and which condition is being medically corrected, as well as a description of the etiological process of someone's currently apparent gender)

Major news and journal publications now use the convention of referring to these people as the gender they apparently are currently. If you had consciously chosen a historical life perspective and wished to emphasize the distinction of genders in the time-line of her life, a note to that effect should have preceded the article and also a statement that no disrespect was intended thereby.

I am not advising you to be politically correct, I am offering you information to increase your accuracy in communicating with others about the phenomena of transgenderism and transsexualism. Also, I would ask that in other than specific articles of journalism, that you consider that these persons finally are able to live as the gender they "are" and that to "out" or "emphasize" their past is a disservice and unwarranted invasion of their privacy so please tell your friends -- and enemies.

Dr. Dee Ann Mrovka

Dallas, Texas

Respect Chosen Gender

To The Editors:

In "Right Sex, Wrong Body," Sam Boykin referred to Elizabeth as he or him throughout the description of her. The second girl was referred to as she. In the last description, you referred to Hollis as he and him. You seem to have respected their chosen gender while you did not show Elizabeth the same respect.

I too am transgendered and I don't think you should be treating someone like that. Why not show each of them the same respect? I think you owe Elizabeth an apology for your disrespect. She took the time to give you an interview and you just treated her like crap. Personally, I think Boykin should be taken out back and horse-whipped.

Terri Cook

Rock Hill, SC

Leggo The Prounouns

To The Editors:

I thought "Right Sex, Wrong Body" was very good. Although the cover art was a bit tasteless, I'm sure it got people's attention (which is all it was designed to do). After being in marketing and PR most of my career, I know all about the good, the bad and the ugly of journalism. Elizabeth, please try and let the pronoun stuff go. The interviewer said you were all woman, and he thought no one would know unless you outed yourself (which, let's face it ... you did). But it is a literary "standard" in gender issues for pre-ops to be referred to as "him." You have to look at the article as a whole. . .three cases, two women and a man. Not DQ's, not Jerry Springerisms, but real people suffering from this condition. The interviewer actually did pretty well, especially for being in the Deep South!

A great woman once reminded me that the world changes in very small increments, much like that of a glacier moving. When you believe in something so strongly that you are willing to out yourself publicly, then you have to accept whatever stones and arrows are flung at you. Hang in there, Elizabeth. . .ya done good.

Name withheld by request

Lucy Wins "Most Offensive" Award

To The Editors:

With amusement I read Lucy Perkins' latest hate speech in which she resorts to name calling of the State of South Carolina, the South, Southerners and the Confederate battle flag ("Rebel Without A Cause," March 27). Liberals like Lucy always demand that people treat them with courtesy and respect, but they feel free to go on the attack and resort to lies, insults and slander. Lucy is typical of most liberals; she's all opinions and feelings and has not facts and no truths. She says she supports the NAACP, which has become the nation's largest hate group. She preaches false history when the very facts of the matter prove her to be wrong. Lucy says that half of the state of South Carolina needs brain transplants. That sounds rather hateful to me. I'd suggest that Lucy try to be a little more honest, a little more educated, a little more objective and a little more polite.

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