Transgender regret in NZ: From girl to boy and back again

first_imgFrom girl to boy and back again, Zahra Cooper shares her journey: ‘Everyone is different’NZ Herald 29 April 2017Family First Comment: This is a fascinating read – and backs up the legitimate claims that changing your biological sex is not the answer, and that healing the mind is the real solution. “Her first doctor, in Whangarei, refused to even discuss the issue. “He was really transphobic,” Zahra says. “He said ‘you’re a female, you were born female, I pulled you out of your mother’.” Afterwards, Zahra began seeing a counsellor. They wrote a referral for a second GP, who arranged an appointment with an endocrinologist, who could prescribe testosterone – a first step on her journey to becoming male… “….after the suicide attempts he pushed for Zahra to see another mental health specialist. This time, she was diagnosed with borderline Asperger’s syndrome, a mild form of autism. “That’s when everything clicked,” Zahra says. “And that’s when I started doing some deep thinking.” On the internet, she learned Asperger’s people commonly struggle with gender identity issues. Experts say this is because of a tendency to think in black and white, to have a very fixed idea of the rules, and therefore look for reasons why they don’t fit in – often landing on gender dysphoria as an answer.” So the first doctor wasn’t ‘transphobic’ – he was operating (correctly) under the principle “First do no harm”.Read more stories: www.sexchangeregret.comZahra Cooper was born a girl. Then she became a boy. And now she’s a girl again. Kirsty Johnston reports.Some people call it “transgender regret”. When you change from one gender to another and then feel, somehow, you’ve made a mistake. Others call it “detransitioning” or a “reversal”.Zahra Cooper calls it, simply “going back”.“It sounds weird so I don’t usually say it. It’s embarrassing. It’s embarrassing to go back.”Under the table she is holding a smooth round stone, gripping it to try to keep from shaking. She looks at the floor, and hunches her shoulders as if trying to hide herself in her black Batman sweater. Talking doesn’t come easy for Zahra, 21, particularly when it’s about the events of the past year – her transition, her suicide attempts, her eventual Asperger’s syndrome diagnosis.”If I’m asked, I just say my voice sounds deep, because it is,” she says. “It’s not a thing to say to someone I used to be a boy and now I’m a girl … again.”Zahra was born in Kaitaia. As a girl. Or, as they say in the transgender community, she was assigned as female at birth. Photos show a smiling child with an impish grin, dark hair, round cheeks. She was shy, a little naughty. Her family split up, and Zahra moved between Whangarei and Kaitaia.At school, she struggled to make friends, preferring to spend time with her animals while feeling constantly out of place. “I’ve always struggled with my gender identity, always questioned whether I was a boy or a girl,” she says.Everyone thought she was a typical tomboy, wanting her hair short, asking her mum if she could wear blue or black clothes. “I knew I was different when I was about 14. I hated my boobs at the time. Everything on the body, I just hated it.”At first, Zahra thought she was gay. But after searching the internet and watching YouTube videos about transgender people, she realised she felt more like she was trapped in the wrong body.For four years, she struggled between the genders, being bullied at school and online for being “weird”. At 18, she asked her family to start calling her “Zane” and using male pronouns. She began to think about formally transitioning – taking hormones to become more masculine.Her first doctor, in Whangarei, refused to even discuss the issue. “He was really transphobic,” Zahra says. “He said ‘you’re a female, you were born female, I pulled you out of your mother’.” Afterwards, Zahra began seeing a counsellor. They wrote a referral for a second GP, who arranged an appointment with an endocrinologist, who could prescribe testosterone – a first step on her journey to becoming male.It took eight months to see the endocrinologist because of long wait-times in the public health service. During the wait, Zahra was required to meet a psychiatrist, who questioned her about her childhood, and how long she’d been dressing like a male. She was diagnosed with gender dysphoria – feeling at odds with one’s biological sex – paving the way for the endocrinologist to go ahead with the hormone treatment when the appointment came.In December 2015, Zahra began taking testosterone, at first swallowing pills three times a day, and then via injection. After what seemed such a long wait for treatment, she expected to feel elated. But the euphoria many trans people describe at that point never really set in.“I started getting really angry from the testosterone, which is a side effect,” she says. “But then I started getting depressed. I was like, why am I depressed? I should be happy.”As the physical changes began, Zahra grew more and more anxious. She fought with family, often storming out of the house.“I was getting a deeper voice, facial hair and many other changes but I just wasn’t happy with them,” she says. “I didn’t feel like myself.”Then eight months in, things hit crisis point. Zahra tried to kill herself. Twice.Her grandfather, Victor Rakich, found her, comatose after an overdose, and helped to save her life.Zahra had been living with Rakich, a retired farmer, for four years prior to her transition. He “took her in”, he says, and Zahra loved life at his little farmlet north of the township, where she hand-raised a duck named Ducky, and bottle-fed the sheep.Initially Rakich, who Zahra calls “Poppa”, struggled to accept his granddaughter’s new identity. He refused to call her Zane, despite wanting to support her. “I couldn’t handle it,” he says. “I said I can’t change. If you want to change, you change, but I can’t. But I wasn’t going to kick her out. I love her.”They puddled along like that, until Zahra began taking testosterone.“When she went on to those pills and stuff I could see her going downhill, but no one believed me,” Rakich says. He was concerned she hadn’t seen the endocrinologist again, despite the rapid change in her mood and appearance, and was told it was partially because of their remote location.“I kept saying, why isn’t anyone monitoring her? Why isn’t anyone coming in? If you were in Auckland they’d do it, but since you’re in Kaitaia you can’t do it.”Rakich says after the suicide attempts he pushed for Zahra to see another mental health specialist. This time, she was diagnosed with borderline Asperger’s syndrome, a mild form of autism.“That’s when everything clicked,” Zahra says. “And that’s when I started doing some deep thinking.”On the internet, she learned Asperger’s people commonly struggle with gender identity issues. Experts say this is because of a tendency to think in black and white, to have a very fixed idea of the rules, and therefore look for reasons why they don’t fit in – often landing on gender dysphoria as an answer.READ MORE: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11847330last_img read more

Price freeze holds in 5 typhoon-hit towns

first_img“Ursula” struck northern Iloilo onDec. 25. Basic necessities identified under Republic Act 7581 (Price Act) include rice,corn, bread, fresh, dried and canned fish and other marine products, freshpork, beef and poultry meal, fresh eggs, fresh and processed milk, freshvegetables, root crops, coffee, sugar, cooking oil, salt, laundry soap,detergents, firewood, charcoal, candles, and drugs classified as essential bythe Department of Health. A freeze in the prices of basicnecessities is automatic in areas under a state of calamity. Retailers not following these priceswould be issued with notices of violation. DTI-6 is monitor prices in Carles,Concepcion, Batad, Balasan, and Estancia, said Assistant Regional DirectorErmelinda Pollentes. Under Section 15 (Penalty for Acts of Illegal Price Manipulation) ofthe Price Act,a person who commits price manipulation shall suffer the penalty ofimprisonment for a period of not less than five years nor more than 15 years,and shall be imposed a fine of not less than P5,000 nor more than P2 million. ILOILO – Retailers are respecting theprize freeze in five northern Iloilo municipalities that declared a state ofemergency due to the devastation caused by typhoon “Ursula”, according to theDepartment of Trade and Industry (DTI) Region 6. Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr. said aprovince-wide state of calamity may be declared if data would warrant it. According to Pollentes, what should befollowed were the prevailing prices as of Nov. 24 – these were the suggestedretail prices released by DTI on October 2019 – or a month before the typhoonstruck. Hoarding is the undue accumulation ofany basic commodity beyond the normal inventory levels, or the unreasonablelimitation or refusal to dispose of, sell or distribute the stocks of any basicnecessity or prime commodity to the general public, or the unjustified takingout of any basic necessity or prime commodity from the channels ofreproduction, trade, commerce and industry. DTI-6 regional director Rebecca Rasconwarned traders last week not to take advantage of the difficult situation bymanipulating prices (hoarding, profiteering, cartel). Profiteering is the sale or offeringfor sale of any basic necessity or prime commodity at a price grossly in excessof its true worth. On the other hand, a cartel is anycombination of or agreement between two or more persons engaged in theproduction, manufacture, processing, storage, supply, distribution, marketing,sale or disposition of any basic necessity or prime commodity designed toartificially and unreasonably increase or manipulate its price./PNlast_img read more

Refresher course

first_imgJo Koy draws ire for cutting through Cebu City traffic with ‘wang-wang’ ‘Stop romanticizing Pinoy resilience’ Arinze Onuaku PHOTO BY TRISTAN TAMAYO/INQUIRER.netJust in case anybody forgot, Arinze Onuaku was the best import in this conference two years ago. And he reminded people why, putting together a performance that helped Meralco open the PBA Commissioner’s Cup strong Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.Onuaku punched in 30 points, missing just one of 15 attempts from the floor, while adding 19 rebounds, six assists, three steals and four blocks in a 43-minute stint that helped the Bolts stop the Columbian Dyip, 116-103.ADVERTISEMENT Ancajas-Sultan title tiff moves to Fresno Truck driver killed in Davao del Sur road accident Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew “I believe that our locals, the other guys, also played well. KG (Canaleta), JD (Dillinger), and the other guys,” Black said. “Great effort, great start for us coming off the All-Filipino. Hopefully, we can sustain this performance the rest of the conference.”CJ Aiken played much better offensively with 21 points that went with 18 rebounds after scoring only nine in his PBA debut in Columbian’s win over Blackwater, but the Dyip obviously need more than just that if he wants to keep his job.Jerramy King, who erupted for a career-high 30 points three days ago, had only 12 points this time on a sputtering 4-of-14 shooting from the field.Until that late Meralco spurt, though, the Dyip—riding on a strong opening victory over Blackwater—kept backing the Bolts into a corner, establishing control in the first half and staying in the thick of the fight for most of the final two periods.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next P16.5-M worth of aid provided for Taal Volcano eruption victims — NDRRMC Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES MOST READ Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles05:02SEA Games 2019: Philippines clinches historic gold in women’s basketball02:43Philippines make clean sweep in Men’s and Women’s 3×3 Basketball02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award “I was a game-time decision. I knew my guys needed me so I tried to give them what I could.”Later in the night, Phoenix Petroleum handed Blackwater its second straight loss via a 107-102 victory.Onuaku certainly set the bar for imports in this conference but he wasn’t the only big-time performer for the Bolts.Chris Newsome added 18 points, seven rebounds and seven assists while Niño Canaleta and Nico Salva combined for 15 points off the bench to give Meralco the victory.Jared Dillinger chipped in 11 points, including the dagger triple from the left corner that put Meralco ahead, 108-96, with 1:41 remaining.ADVERTISEMENT And that’s despite the fact that the bull-strong import came straight from nearby Cardinal Santos Medical Center due to a bum stomach.“First, I’d like to tip my hat off to Arinze,” said Bolts coach Norman Black. “He’s been sick the last few days. He hasn’t practiced with us and he came from the hospital.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown“I would like to tip my hat off to him for playing really, really well. He gives us exactly what we need—rebounds and post play.”“I’m still sick but I just tried to give my team what I could today. I only got one more day so I’ll try to do it again,” said Onuaku. “I didn’t really know how it was gonna go, I hadn’t seen my team since Friday. But they kept me involved in the game and what they wanted to do, guys were able to make some shots. Green group flags ‘overkill’ use of plastic banderitas in Manila Sto. Niño feast Scientists seek rare species survivors amid Australia flames Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ View commentslast_img read more