Gender Identity: The in-betweeners

Sydney Morning Herald 1 August 2015
It was the tears that first signalled to Cecile Stuart* that she was no longer a man. Living for five years as Michael and receiving a dose of testosterone daily, crying for the then-28-year-old had been almost impossible.
“I just didn’t feel like crying, even when things were really, really bad,” she says as we sit in the living room of her house near Melbourne, children’s bikes in the front yard and a forgotten, straggling vegetable patch in the back. But three months after coming off the male hormones and reclaiming her female birth gender, she was once more able to shed tears.

This was about the worst thing I could have done to my body, my life and myself.

Other physical characteristics were, unfortunately, more stubborn. “I felt like exactly the same person, but I had a full-on beard and had to have whole body electrolysis twice a week for two years,” she recalls of the traumatic transition nearly 20 years ago. “It was horrible.”
How she went on to deal with her surgically flattened chest, muscly frame, family, colleagues and society at large – quite apart from the underlying psychological condition that had now caused her to change her gender not once, but twice – is another question.

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