Let’s talk about the man with 2 sex changes

Charles Kane now with his fiance

I may be part of the sensationalizing media for even mentioning the story of the man who had sex reassignment surgery once to become a woman and then again to regain his manhood, but I can’t help but comment on his assertion that they should be banned because those who want a sex change are “completely deluded.” Unfortunately, I think it is Mr. Kane (formerly Ms. Kane and Mr. Hashimi) who is misguided.

In the 1980s a one Sam Hashimi, a powerful investment fund type, had a sex-change procedure to become “glamorous interior designer Samantha Kane,” a woman so convincing he says he had no problem attracting men.

From the DailyMail:

He spent £100,000 on cosmetic operations and tooth veneers to create the ‘ultimate male ­fantasy’ and was so convincing as a woman he had no trouble attracting men, and was briefly engaged to a wealthy landowner.

Initially thrilled by his transformation, life as a woman quickly paled despite a jetset lifestyle in Monaco.

He hated the way female hormones made him moody and emotional. Shopping bored him and sex was a disappointment.

No matter how feminine he looked, he felt he was merely playing a role.

So, five years ago, Charles spent a further £25,000 on three operations at the gender clinic at London’s Charing Cross Hospital to turn him back into a male.

Oh my but this has much more to say about not only Kane himself but the perception of what it means to be a woman far more than actually being a woman, whether that is cis or trans. Charles Kane/Sam Hashimi did not intrinsically feel female, but rather wanted to be his idea of the perfect woman. He wanted to be an image, not a real human being, so of course he was unfulfilled by his transition. In this way he deluded himself.

He also based his relationships on his sex. When he was a woman he dated men, and while a man he dated women and is engaged to one now. By following a hetersexual paradigm Kane was unable to explore the breadth and depth of his sexuality and gender as both independent and interlocking identities. He blames the medical profession, saying:

Based on my own experiences, I believe sex-change operations should not be allowed, and certainly not on the NHS [Britain’s National Heath Service]. People who think they are a woman trapped in a male body are, in my opinion, completely deluded. I certainly was. I needed counseling, not a sex-change operation. In many ways I see myself a victim of the medical profession. Even with the glamour of Samantha Kane and the £100,000 I spent on myself, I had people shouting abuse at me and builders throwing stones at me from rooftops. I became a woman. It didn’t work for me. I changed my mind.

Sam Hashimi became Samantha Kane in 1987

He is right about one thing here. He did need counseling. And perhaps there is a tiny amount of culpability in the hands of psychologists who didn’t recognize a person with an extremely skewed view of women. But he was a grown person even then, and should have been able to check himself.

What’s even more disturbing is that he expected life to be easier after his sex change. And while many trans narratives speak of relief after a sex change I’ve never heard one that says it was easy. Indeed, being a woman, or feminine, or perceived as someone on the female end of the spectrum, is never easy. Money and glamour do not shield one from sexism or transphobia and once he realized this Kane couldn’t take it.

I’m sorry that it took two (or more) major operations to express to him the hardships of not being a mainstream heterosexual male in this culture, but I’m more sorry that he still doesn’t understand.

PS I know a lot of it is about money and autobiographical book deals but I don’t know if that’s more or less cynical…

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