I drove through to Glasgow on Tuesday morning and got caught in heavy traffic. As a result I heard all of a BBC Radio 4 programme called choices in which Michael Buerk interviews people who have made life-altering decisions and talks them through the whole process, from the original dilemma to living with the consequences.
This particular programme focussed on an elderly ‘lady’ (Miranda Ponsonby) who had changed sex in ‘her’ late 50’s; releasing her from the inner torment ‘she’ had experienced all her life as a man.
On a number of levels it was extremely interesting, not least because the chap in question had been a member of a cavalry divison and had fought with honour in Aden amongst other places and had raised a family before divorcing his wife when ‘the children’ were out of the way.
He was, of course, extraordinarily posh. In fact a member of the ‘king making’ Ponsonby family and so had endured a life of extreme privelege.
My views on this sort of stuff are well documented on this blog so I won’t bore you any further on this matter. There was much to distance and dislike oneself about this chap…and yet I felt sorry for him.
He had endured bouts of loneliness and persecution (although, frankly, there was plenty of upside too).
What I loved about it though was the little story he told towards the end about his sex change operation.
It was hideously painfull and upon resuming normal life (in his dress) on the farm that he (now she) owned, she could not bear to sit down in the tractor because the pain was excrutiating. After a while he/she went back to the surgeon that performed the procedure (privately and in a dodgy backhander sort of way) only to find out that “the bugger realised he’d left one of my testicles inside!”
“Bugger me. I only had two of the little blighters, how could he have missed one of them?” he/she said (or words to that effect.
It made me laugh and now…I am a fan of this uber posh woman/man called Miranda.