Sunday 30 July 1995
2 A Self-Made Man by Paul Hewitt with Jane Warren, Headline pounds 10.99. This is the latest in the sub-genre "I was trapped in a man's/woman's body". Bubbly blonde 26-year-old Martine had it all: "I was born perfectly female, the ideal biological specimen in fact ... When I wore a skirt I looked slinky and attractive and male attention was aplenty." She even earned pin money as "a sexy stripagram" in her home town of Reading. But deep inside she knew something wasn't right. Finally, in desperation, she blurted out her confused feelings to a nurse friend - "So you think you're transsexual?" came the reply. Martine was gobsmacked: "I looked blankly at her white face part-hidden by wide glasses ... Transsexual sounded like something sinister and deviant." And thus begins the emotional and physical rollercoaster from woman to man, from Martine to Paul: the trips to Top Man to buy the first tie, the agonising over which penis to get and then the regret over ordering an extra large, the battles with the doctors and psychiatrists, the final victory after "leaving the boobs on the operating table", and, toughest of all, trying to get British Telecom to change "his" account name. Co-author Jane Warren is a features writer on the Daily Express, which no doubt helps explain the exclamatory mid- market style. Perhaps it also explains the rather tortuous moral tone which seems to run through the book - Paul is horrified when a gay man tries to pick him up in London's Earls Court and his previous lesbianism is best forgotten, but becoming a "man" is a return to "normality". For a more insightful memoir, turn to last year's transgendering hit, Gender Outlaw by the feisty Kate Bornstein (Routledge, pounds 19.99). Bornstein lived as a heterosexual male for 37 years, before having the op in 1986. Since then "she" has lived as a lesbian and now "her" current partner is switching sex from woman to "man". Now that is worthy of a Daily Express features writer.
game of thrones reviewWarning: spoilers
North London meets The Exorcist in eerie suburban drama
Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Oxygen-starved 'dead zones' with no marine life up to 100-miles long discovered in the Atlantic Ocean
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 3 Indonesia executions: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford will refuse to wear a blindfold when she faces firing squad
- 4 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 5 Tory activist asked to step down after Labour candidate Rupa Huq is 'manhandled' while questioning Boris Johnson on the campaign trail
The C-Word - review: Sheridan Smith shines in a warm, honest adaptation of Lisa Lynch's book about living with cancer
X-Men Apocalypse: First look at Jubilee and Jean Grey played by Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner
American Horror Story: Hotel Angela Bassett set to make 'lots of trouble' with Lady Gaga in season 5
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 4 - review: Sansa is in danger of becoming another footnote in Westeros' bloody history
Adam Sandler's The Ridiculous Six: Make-up 'used to darken skin of actors to make them look Native American'
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils