Ruby’s Room – Gender Dysphoria [with CC]

[MUSIC] RUBY: Hi. Welcome to Ruby’s Room. It’s
my show on the web and this week we’re looking at Gender Dysphoria which is actually another
word for Gender Identity Disorder. And it comes from a kind of confusion or anxiety
about the gender you were born with. Now, it affects about 15,000 people who are seeking
medical help for the condition and it usually affects men more than women. If you have Gender Dysphoria you can feel
very strongly that you were born the wrong gender, you really dislike a lot of your physical
manifestations, and you can get long-term anxiety about your condition. Now, it covers
a really large spectrum. You can go from occasional cross-dressing all the way over to the whole
sex change, which involves hormones and surgery. It’s very different from Transvestitism,
where when you cross-dress you do it for sexual pleasure or entertainment. If you have Gender Dysphoria it means that
you’re born as a man but you really wanna be a woman. Now, a lot of people feel a lot
of shame about that but I don’t know why they should be. Is it the feel of the clothes? JANETT: I don’t–how could it be? I was
only three or four years old– RUBY: Right. JANETT: I found out after I met my mother’s
uncle and I’ve changed over to living as a woman. But he told me that I was doing it
when I was four or five. RUBY: Dressing as a girl? JANETT: Yeah. I enjoyed dressing as a girl. RUBY: Why? What’s it feel like? I don’t
like dressing as a girl. JANETT: Don’t you? RUBY: No. JANETT: You don’t like to? RUBY: You were married right? JANETT: Yeah, I got married in 1958. When
we–my wife first found she was pregnant in 1960 and she said I want you to be cured. RUBY: Cured of? JANETT: Cross-dressing. RUBY: Did she see that you were dressing up? JANETT: Yeah. She knew. She knew ‘cause
I told her. RUBY: Was she upset? JANETT: Not until she found she was pregnant.
I wanted to be cured because I, you know, she’s–my young wife. RUBY: So, where did you go to get cured? JANETT: I went to see my doctor and he said
oh, you’re a transvestite. And I’d never heard of the word. And so, he said there is
a doctor in London that’s doing a new form of aversion therapy. And every three weeks
I was to go to his clinic up in Hammersmith, change into girl’s clothes, he would give
me an injection in my backside that made me violently sick and vomit and he was telling
me what a disgusting person I was and how awful I was to my young wife and my new unborn
child that was coming along. And so, I had stuck it out for about six months. I said
to my wife I was cured. RUBY: Oh, right. JANETT: Told the doctor I was cured– RUBY: Yeah. JANETT: so I didn’t have to go back anymore.
And it was about five or six years I kept it out of, you know, kept it secret back in
the closet. RUBY: Right. JANETT: And we was at a cousin’s wedding
and I told her I hadn’t been cured. And by then we had two sons. Basically it was
the end of our relationship. When she died she was 51. She dropped dead of a heart attack.
I think, being honest, we would probably have been divorced. RUBY: So, now your wife’s dead, right? JANETT: Yeah. RUBY: So then, did you just think OK, I can
throw up in the closet? JANETT: Yeah, in a way. My oldest son came
home from work. He was 22. My youngest son was 20. And I was in the house dressed, in
the makeup. Just dressed. I heard him coming upstairs. I couldn’t hide and I thought
oh, God. He walked past me going into his bedroom and he went [MIMICS SLAP] on me backside
and says, “’ello dad. I think me and you ought to have a chat. Don’t you?” [MUSIC] RUBY: In childhood a sign of Gender Dysphoria
can be an interest in the behavior of the opposite sex. By adolescence if your feelings
of Gender Dysphoria are still strong then it’s probably not just a phase. Coping with
it becomes much more complicated as your hormones trigger changes in your body. In adulthood a lot of people with Gender Dysphoria
might think of themselves as homosexual or bisexual instead. Others might try to conform
more to their birth gender by settling down and having a family. These feelings can be
extremely difficult to deal with and many transsexuals and people with Gender Dysphoria
may experience depression or even suicidal feelings. JANETT: I told my sons when I retire at 60
I want to change over and live full-time as a woman but I’m not planning on having genital
surgery. RUBY: Mm-hmm. JANETT: And they said fine dad, if that’s
what you wanna do. Fine. I retired when I was just coming up to 58 and I made that transition
then. So– RUBY: In one day you go from–did you have
to do a lot of shopping? JANETT: Well, on the 31st of December I was
working and being Terry. RUBY: Yeah. JANETT: On the 3rd of January I became Janett. RUBY: So, how’d you learn how to be a woman? JANETT: A lot of practice. RUBY: In front of the mirror? JANETT: Yes. I got a great big mirror. I was
walking up and down in front of the mirror. And it took me about six months to get it
to the point that when I went out dressed– RUBY: Nobody noticed. JANETT: people weren’t staring at me. RUBY: What else did you have to learn about
turning into a female? JANETT: Turning my makeup down. If I’m going
shopping to Woolworth’s I don’t want to look like I was going to a wedding. I spoke to my doctor and she helped me change my documents. So, I spent four years before I actually made
that transition of learning how to become a woman. RUBY: Right. JANETT: I’ve spoken, to be honest, Ruby,
to literally hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of transgender people on help lines who have
had great difficulty in coming to terms with this very strong feminine side. And I tried
to understand why they feel like that when at the same time they’re very, very masculine
men who have very normal masculine lives, wives, and children. And tried to understand
that. It helps me to understand myself. And I’ve got to understand completely before
I can help them. RUBY: So, are you happy now? JANETT: Absolutely. Yes. Yeah. There is nothing,
nothing on good will, to be honest. I’ve got a lovely–a great life. I’ve got lovely
friends. I’ve got lovely family. What could I want? RUBY: Treatment for Gender Dysphoria really
depends on how they wanna live their lives. So, treatment can really vary from person
to person. Some people maybe just want the support and help from a clinic while others
can go for more extreme measures, either hormone treatment or the full surgery. Your first port of call should be a GP or
a health care worker who can refer you to a Gender Identity Clinic. For more information
and support visit the Beaumont Trust or Mind. Look at that. How does she learn to walk like
a girl? I love that Janett. What a gal. Nighty-night. [MUSIC]

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