It is always interesting to watch what happens when a high profile "transgender" person decides that maybe, just maybe, transition was not the best choice. The transgender extremists go into defense mode, and quite frankly, they panic. I guess it hits just a little too close to home. For example, Mr. "Autumn" Sandeen often takes the lead in addressing such incidents.
Recently, there have been too such cases. The first, and the one that has received far less attention, involves Michael Wallent, a high level employee of Microsoft, who had gone as far as having facial feminization surgery and implants. He announced that he was returning to being a male in March. The other, much higher profile case, was that of Don Ennis of ABC News, who suddenly announced in May that he was transitioning, and who just as suddenly announced that he was returning to being a male again.
Both of these cases share things in common. Both transitioned relatively later, after long and successful careers as males. Bother were married to women. Both had relatively high profile jobs. Both made very public transitions, Ennis more than Wallent.
The Standards of Care used to have a very strong standard for at least a year of what is known as the Real Life Test (or as some prefer to water it down, the Real Life Experience) before one could undergo sex reassignment surgery. Unfortunately, under pressure from transgender extremists, this has been watered down to a requirement of 12 continuous months of living in a gender role that is congruent with their gender identity, along with a suggestion that one be seeing a therapist during this time. The old standard spelled out what was required for a successful Real Life Test, including maintaining employment, being in school, or at the very least doing volunteer work. Also, it was required that one change one's name to a gender appropriate one. It also required that the therapist verify that the person was not simply hiding away from society, waiting out the time until surgery would be approved.
Contrary to what some tried to claim, this was not to prevent someone from having surgery, or to make them jump through hoops because the therapist was some sort of sadistic control freak (though there were abuses in rare cases), but to ensure that the patient was not going to make a tragic mistake. But many extremists pushed for surgery on demand. The compromise opens the door to people being able to effectively bypass protections, which greatly increases the possibility of a mistake.
Even with the old standards, mistakes happened. Some, which are often glossed over by transgender activists, whose mantra has become "No one ever really regrets." But that simply is not true. In some cases, the person changes their mind before going too far, as in the case of Don Enniss. In other cases, the realization that one is not really a woman comes too late, such as the case of "Samantha Kane."
Born Sam Hashimi, this person was a perfect example of the classic mid-life crisis transition. He was successful, married, and a millionaire. Iraqi born, both his business empire, and his marriage collapsed at the end of the first Gulf War, and at age 37 he announced that he was going to become a woman. And it appeared that he had made the right choice. He poured quite a bit of money into cosmetic surgery, and took on the appearance of being a rather attractive woman. He had a successful interior design firm, lived a jet-set lifestyle, and had sex with a number of well to do men. But, he was miserable. Being a woman, even a successful woman, was simply not what he really was.
None of the articles I have read on this person, who now calls himself "Charles Kane," indicate if he had a history of crossdressing, but I suspect he did. Many articles about his return to being a male mention things like his "sitting like a woman," and him wearing "dusty rose moccasins" with his suit. He has a very androgynous appearance, probably due largely to the facial feminization surgery he had. In 2010 he was engaged to be married, and has since dropped out of the spotlight.
A somewhat lesser known case was Dani Bunten Berry, a successful game programmer, who after a third failed marriage underwent SRS at the age of 43. Again, this person had serious regrets before dying of lung cancer at the age of 49. Berry did not return to being a male, but did warn others about not rushing into having surgery.
Another, much more publicized case where regrets are clearly an issue, though denials have been made, is that of Renee Richards, the famous, or perhaps better, infamous tennis player, and eye surgeon who became the face of transsexualism in the 1970's. Richards is a classic example. He was an eye surgeon, a crossdresser, and he had surgery after a mid-life crisis. He has clearly expressed regrets, even though he has also written a second autobiography in which he tries to hide this fact. Of course, it should be remembered, once you have SRS, there is really no hope of reverting to being a male, no matter how much one wishes to. Some, such as Kane, choose to return to a "male role," but once the penis is gone, it is not coming back.
Granted, actual regrets are rare. I imagine a lot of people begin transition, discover it is not the right path, and return to a male role without much attention. And, in some cases, what Mr. Sandeen refers to as "external pressures." Yes, a person transitioning may face such issues. I did, and it resulted in a seven year delay for me. But, I should also point out that my initial transition was hasty, and not well planned out. I also had a very poor therapist who was pushing me to move at a faster pace than I was comfortable with, and who glossed over real concerns that I had.
And, one other factor that contributed was the fact that even though I had changed my name, and lived as a woman, on Sunday mornings I would dress as a male for church. It was an odd experience. It was near impossible for me to "pass" as a male, and on one memorable occasion, I remember one of the older men holding the door open for me, and saying, "There you go young lady." even though I was wearing a suit (granted, I refused to wear a tie). By the way, it was a relatively large church, so not everyone knew me.
I tried, very much, to convince myself that I was doing the right thing when I reverted. I struggled to find someplace where I would be comfortable remaining a male, but it was just not possible. In the end, for me, it was become a female, or die trying. But ironically, it is often those who are the least suited to transition who find it the easiest, at least in terms of finances.
If you look at a lot of the most virulent of transgender activists, they tend to have transitioned late, after successful careers as men, have been married with a number of children, and to either have been able to retain well paying jobs, or to have a steady source of income from retirement and or disability (often military). What may appear to be a successful transition is more likely, something of a sham. They don't live as women, but as transgender. For many, their lives do not improve, but they have sufficient resources that they are able to avoid actually being forced to face reality.
But sometimes they cannot escape the simply truth that transition is not living up to their fantasies, and they revert back to living as their true gender. And, if the person is high profile, the transgender activists go into a panic, because they fear that the truth might come out. The simple fact is, most "transgender" people have a gender that matches their birth sex. They are not "women trapped in men's bodies." They do not have a mind that is at odds with their body. They are simply engaging in what is, in effect, a form of anti-social behavior.
Unfortunately, the transgender extremists know this, and that is why they have an obsessive need to hide behind true transsexuals. They want to first claim us, and then push us to the forefront and claim to be just like us. But they are not, and this is clearly seen by anyone with a shred of common sense.
And if someone who is not a transsexual realizes this, and decides to return to their true gender they may well find themselves under pressure from their so-called friends to continue with their transition. I know when I postponed my transition, which actually was because of external pressures, though this was not immediately obvious to myself, or anyone else, I was pressured by my therapist to not do so. I actually had to have someone else speak to that therapist on my behalf because of the pressure I was subjected to.
This sort of behavior is outrageous. It very likely led to the suicide of Mike Penner, also known as Christine Daniels. Instead of letting that person sort things out, there was an attempt to "help." Or more specifically, an attempt to force this person back into being a very public face for the transgender community.
Keep in mind, transgender dogma now holds that simply saying "I am a woman," makes one a woman. The idea that someone might "think" they are a woman, and then realize they are not, refutes this absurd position. If someone can realize they are making a mistake, it means that it is entirely possible that anyone could be making a mistake, and well, deep down, many know they are not really women, so this could blow their little fantasy world wide open. It's like a loose thread. If people notice it, and start pulling at it, the who thing comes unraveled.
I am sure that many were thrilled to have someone as high profile as Don Ennis donning a wig, and a dress, but if that was not right for him, that is his right. Attacking him because you find his reasons for returning to his birth gender lacking is outrageous. His story is a bit odd, but if he feels the need to hide his real reasons, that says more about the voyeurism of the transgender community than it does about Ennis. Making such a choice can be difficult, and the person should be given space to do so.
The same is true for anyone else who feels the need to make a correction. It may terrify those who know, deep down, that they are now living a lie, but they should deal with their own demons, and not try to drag others down with them.