Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2001/04/27/transsexual_jokes_too_close/

Transsexual jokes too close to home

Submariner speaks

By Lester Haines

Posted in Letters, 27th April 2001 15:08 GMT

Miss France or Mr Snip?

Life on the Vulture Central Mailbag desk prepares you for most things. Occasionaly, however, we do get something rather different. Ladies and Gentlemen, give it up for Kimberly:

Really Kieren, I am a bit disappointed. I found the linked page amusing, but let's just say my humor is lacking this morning (7:42 AM PST). Here in the US, our military is not nearly as enlightened as that of the UK.

As a result, I lost a nearly 7 year career as a submariner for the US Navy just because I was medically diagnosed as transsexual and sought civilian help. I do wish our medical profession was also up to a more British standard too, as American insurance does not cover the surgery. Let's just say that I have been remarkably fortunate despite starting my transition as late as 26 and took after my prettiest aunt in looks. Sorry bloke, I just can't find the humor today since it hits too close to home. Here's to your next article, may it tickle my funny bone!

There is a serious side to this issue, as Kate Elliot, of Linuxgrrls.org, points out:

I'm saddened to see a news site which I like and read regularly make fun of a recognised medical condition. I'm not sure exactly what Kieren McCarthy has against transexuals but perhaps he should consider doing some research into the suffering which individuals with this condition go through.

The world has moved on a lot, and *most* people don't feel that transexuals should be the object of ridicule - perhaps Kieren McCarthy feels differently, but would you publish a story making fun of those with cancer, or depression just because one of your journalists felt it was amusing? I hope not.

Perhaps you, and Kieren should do some reading on the subject of transexuality, which I say again *is* a recognised medical condition. Just to give you an idea of the seriousness of it; last time I checked, the statistics were something like 50% of untreated sufferers commiting suicide before the age of 25.

I hope that in future you'll think more carefully before making fun of medical conditions.