Old Dog, New Trick


I’m back in the game. After last week’s post about how I have nothing to write about, I return triumphantly with a strong card: a 60 year old sex change. That’s right.

I was working last night (and by working I mean staring dumbly at the ticket machine in a dead bar) when an old friend from high school whom I haven’t seen since last Thanksgiving showed up with my girlfriend. In the midst of our hurried catching up she mentioned that, given that I was writing about all things sex related, she had a story for me. Apparently, her grandpa knows some other old guy who, after 60 years of walking around with a penis, decided that he was tired of all things to do with shrinkage, chafing, spontaneous erections and whatnot; he got himself a lovely pair of blouse bunnies with a new name to boot.

This is nothing if it’s not odd. Why would someone go through the surgery, the hormone therapy, the legal process and the whole ordeal of getting a sex change so late in life? I mean, it’s not like he has much more to go – at best he’s got 25-30 years, and when you’re 60, it’s not that much. Plus, it’s not like he’s at the pinnacle of his sexual life and can pursue countless of previously unaccessible romances. Granted, I know nothing about this guy – my friend half yelled the story from across the hot table under the din of the blower struggling to keep the bar warm. My knowledge is minimal at best. Still, it’s under these conditions that my awesome powers of snap judgments thrive.

Let’s start with the obvious: he realized he would be happier as a girl than a guy. That is way too simple of an explanation when someone is 18, let alone 60. Why now? Conceivably, he’s been with lots of women, several long-term relationships, maybe even was married. And just now he realized he wants to be a girl? I can’t really think of any other reasons why a relatively old guy would want a sex change, though, I can’t think of a reason as to why this would be the only factor. Sure, I guess he could have been thinking about it for decades and just now there’s the technology, or just now he has the money or the courage. But still, from what I gather, there haven’t really been any other symptoms – I doubt he spent lots of time doing all he could to portray a woman.

I guess it’s really not that big of a deal – I’m all for people doing what they want when they want. This just seems somewhat capricious to me. If he’s lived this long, why not play the entire game and hope that overtime sees him better off? This is why modern medicine is such a bitch – it gives in to people’s whims at the drop of a hat. We’ve got medicine under our thumbs, and in this case, there’s a girl who just changed her ways. Sex is definitely not gender – people can feel a variety of ways with a variety of equipment. But, to me, this is a case of giving people too much rope. Today’s accelerated culture gives us what we want when we want it. This old guy either spent the last 40 years thinking about this or the last 40 minutes. Personally, I hope it’s the latter.



7 Responses to “Old Dog, New Trick”

  1. Kate Says:

    Glad to see you back in the saddle again, Seb.

  2. Natalie Says:

    I think if anyone chooses to have sexual reassignment surgery it’s not going to be a mere whim, whether at 18 or at 60. Also, transitioning to have a body that “matches” the gender this person feels more comfortable in is probably more a matter of identity than a matter of getting laid with “previously inaccessible” people. And anyway, who says getting laid at 60 is so far-fetched? This article is transphobic and ageist. Perhaps you should take time to reflect on your “snap judgments” before publishing them.

  3. Yun Says:

    This old guy either spent the last 40 years thinking about this or the last 40 minutes. Personally, I hope it’s the latter.

    I’m quite sure it would be the former.

    Incidentally, there was a very good movie released probably 5 or 10 years ago, specifically about a man who underwent sexual-reassignment surgery when he was in his late 50s. He was married and had kids that were grown up, but he’d had gender-identity problems since he was a kid.

    The movie’s called Normal (and incidentally, it stars the guy who played the “memory doctor” in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). I think you should check it out.

  4. Evelyn Says:

    I’m gonna have a to agree with natalie.

    First of all, why does this old man have to prove to anyone that he REALLY wants to be a girl? As a matter of fact, why should he have to prove any more than the 18 year old?

    And just because hes been with ‘lots of women, several long term relationships, maybe even was married” you don’t know what those relationships were like, why he was in them (ie maybe a marriage of convienience, esp at his age, when he was younger, trans issues were even more stigmatized than now). Historically, there have been so many people who have entered heterosexual relationships as a coverup, Winnie Singer, Bessie Smith etc. Maybe he only now realized that he even had this possiblity (not just technologically and medically, but mentally as well) of being a girl instead.

    And you say why now? Well, I ask you, why, is there some sort of biological schedule he has to follow? Just like the various careers, relationships,identities (ie. you were a emo rebellious teen in highschool, but a conservative, law-abiding adult) friendships, and having different homes that one goes through in a lifetime, at age 60 maybe he just FELT more like a girl than a guy.

  5. d. chedwick bryant Says:

    Jeeez I took this SAME photo–at Vigeland’s park in Oslo…. acres of naked folks, acres.

  6. Sandwich Repairman Says:

    You should read up on male lesbians.

  7. Seb Says:

    People totally missed the irony at the end

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