Sunday, January 15, 2006


I learned the term “gender reassignment” at law school within the study of European labour law and its rules on discrimination. Also while I was at law school, a woman named Nadia, who had previously been a man, won the reality tv show Big Brother in the UK.

Last night, while out with Monkey and Dalibor, I met Christina, an enchanting young woman who is in the middle of having her gender reassigned. Christina is pre-op, which means that she still has a willy, but she has been taking the meds for a while and so has grown breasts and developed a more womanly figure, among other things.

Christina is interesting, intelligent, multi-lingual and absolutely lovely. We spoke at length on many topics, amongst them language learning, the difficulties and rewards of living in various countries, people’s attitudes in different places towards foreigners and our own experiences with all of the above. When Christina left the bar to go home, we agreed that we would meet again.

Later in the evening, Monkey, Dali and I discussed the whole thingy of gender reassignment. My conclusions were that it must take a lot of courage for someone like Christina to make the decision to do it and that it is a wonderful thing that the medical know-how is available to people that have the need to change their gender. It is an unusual thing simply because most people are comfortable in the gender they have been from birth, but there is really nothing “weird” about choosing to go through the process.

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