The New Girl in School: Transgender Surgery at 18

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from The New York Times,

In a cozy cottage decorated with butterflies to symbolize transformation, Katherine Boone was recovering in April from the operation that had changed her, in the most intimate part of her body, from a biological male into a female.

It was not easy. She retched for days afterward. She could hardly eat. She did not seem empowered; she seemed regressed.n

“I just want to hold Emma,” she said in her darkened room at the bed-and-breakfast in New Hope, Pa., run by the doctor who performed the operation in a hospital nearby. Emma is her black and white cat, at her home outside Syracuse in central New York State, 250 miles away.

Her childlike reaction was, perhaps, not surprising. Kat, whose side-parted hair was dyed a sassy red, is just 18, and about to graduate from high school.

It is a transgender moment. President Obama was hailed just for saying the word “transgender” in his State of the Union speech this year, in a list of people who should not be discriminated against. They are characters in popular television shows. Bruce Jenner’s transition from male sex symbol to a comely female named Caitlyn has elevated her back to her public profile as a gold-medal decathlete at the 1976 Summer Olympics.

With growing tolerance, the question is no longer whether gender reassignment is an option, but rather, how young should it begin.

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