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A Step Beyond Don't Ask, Don't Tell....................................................... ....Sund


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....................................................... ....Sunday, April 29, 2001

 

BRITISH MILITARY FUNDS SOLDIERS' SEX CHANGES

 

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Ministry of Defense says it has paid for

sex-change operations for as many as five serving soldiers.

 

A spokesman said on Saturday that "a small number, no more than five"

soldiers had undergone gender reassignment operations funded by the

ministry.

 

"The MoD medical services provide similar services to the military that are

available to civilians on the National Health Service," he said.

 

"If the doctors treating a soldier think there is an appropriate and genuine

need, then surgery is considered.

 

"There have been a small number of operations carried out. We do not have

the surgical facilities for the surgery. It is carried out by the National Health

Service," he said.

 

"If a doctor says surgery is appropriate because of the genuine psychological

reasons it is considered...If the operation did not diminish the soldier's

relevant job skills there is no reason why we would not keep them in the army."

 

The spokesman would not reveal precisely how many soldiers had had the

operation, only saying it was "not more than five."

 

He also confirmed that "about 10" members of the armed forces had been

given free liposuction, to remove fat through a suction tube.

 

The Sunday Times said one soldier had had liposuction to his waist after he

put on weight and his uniform "started to chafe."

 

Last week the ministry acknowledged it had paid for breast enlargements for

four female soldiers since the start of last year.

 

A spokesman had defended the operations, saying: "This is not done on

purely cosmetic grounds, but as a last resort.

 

"A small number of soldiers may develop a recurring and chronic

psychological problem which may be debilitating."

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RE: A Step Beyond Don't Ask, Don't Tell....................................................... ....Sunday, April 29, 2001 BRITISH MILITARY FUNDS SOLDIERS' SEX CHANGES LONDON (Reuters) -

 

I love the idea of plastic surgery as a last resort for psychological problems. :) This is a bit like the episode of Absolutely Fabulous in which Adina has to have an "emergency lipo" before her old friend visits -- later she finds out that her friend has gone blind.

 

On a more serious note, I think it's quite admirable that Britain is paying for gender reassignment surgery, or whatever it's called these days. One of the saddest experiences of my life was picking up a kid in a bar in Dublin who desperately wanted a sex-change but had no money to pay for it. (This was more than ten years ago). He wasn't a hustler, nor was he cross-dressing, he was just a very messed up, angry and terrified young man. What he needed more than anything was counselling and some understanding and acceptance.

 

My advice then: buy a one-way ticket to Amsterdam and get out of this hell.

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