CUSTOMER SERVICE AWARD WINNER

When you think you’ve heard everything, you come across an article like the one below and quickly change your mind – A former Hawaiian beauty queen, Thomas Beatie was born female and grew up in Hawaii as Tracy Lagondino, was a Girl Scout, model and finalist in a teenage beauty pageant. Eventually she met partner Nancy but in order to marry her, started the process of sex change surgery.  Part of the process was that former Tracy LaGondino (Thomas Beatie) would start taking hormones, thus encouraging hair growth, and also giving her a masculine look. Her womb and ovaries were kept intact in the hope that one day he would fall pregnant as his wife Nancy was infertile.

Eventually Thomas Beatie made known that he was expecting a baby (from an anonymous donor) – he was quoted as saying: ‘’I opted not to do anything with my reproductive organs because I wanted to have a child one day.’’ Instantly he was headlines with critics saying that, as he was born female this did not make him a man but only masquerading as one. The State of Oregon, however, did recognise him as one, and so this made his marriage to Nancy above board and legal, enabling them to enjoy all rights and privileges of a normal married couple.

And so it came that he gave birth to his firstborn where he went through a 40-hour labour – and that’s not all, his second baby was born in June 2009 – so really and truly nothing should surprise anyone these days.

Usual procedures

Taking all the above into consideration, it is obvious that what Tracy LaGondino (Thomas Beatie) did was highly unusual, to say the least.  She actually interrupted the process of taking male hormones, thus allowing her periods and pregnancy to take place as usual.

With these complex cases there are several stages one must go through initially, like the diagnosis, which is usually done by a psychiatrist, where counselling is suggested before, during and after.  Then the patient is usually asked to live for a certain amount of time in the gender they have chosen, during which time hormone treatment is given – then lastly there is the surgery of removing the womb and ovaries (as the male hormone treatment increases risk of cancer) and a bilateral mastectomy (the removal of both breasts) – genital surgery is usually done after a period of at least two years.