Update: Vicki left a comment in the comment section of this diary:

Thank you Autumn for posting this. It is hard to believe that it has been more than 2 years since the surgery. It has been quite a 2 years.  Getting married, getting facial feminization surgery, an abdomonoplasty, hair transplants, and by breasts redone. As you know, this has been the happiest 2 years of my life in spite of some of the trials (ie, my sisters dis-owning me). But it has been all worth it. Autumn, you have been an incredible support and a great friend during my transition.  We all should have friends like you. I have received many mean and nasty emails on this documentary and it has not even aired yet.   There are some angry people out there and I do not understand why? How does my transition affect them? Just go to some of the links that Autumn mentioned and you can see some of those comments. (Autumn note: here and here.) Oh well.


A little over two years ago, my best friend Vicki filmed an episode for a documentary series called Sex Change Hospital, and I went with Vicki to San Francisco’s Frameline 31 Film Festival showcased the first episode of the documentary back in 2007. World Of Wonder, the producer of this series, describes the full series as follows:

SEX CHANGE HOSPITAL is a six part series based in Trinidad, Colorado, the sex change capital of the world. Each one hour episode is a self-contained journey following 2 people as they take the final step in their transition from one gender to another.

Dr. Marci Bowers performs the surgeries and calls upon her own experiences as a transgender woman to guide her patients as they go through the ultimate life changing procedure.

(By the way, World Of Wonder is the same production company that produced TransGeneration for Sundance TelevisionTransGeneration later being shown on Logo.)

Well, WeTV is showing the first episode of Sex Change Hospital tonight, from 8:00 PM Pacific/11:00 PM Eastern. For the five Tuesdays following that, they’ll be showing the other five episodes of the six-part documentary series. This is unlike any other series on genital reconstruction surgery that you may have seen in that there is no narrator, and in that the series focuses more on the experience of those getting the surgeries rather than explaining the whys, hows, and technical details of the surgeries. Let me give fair warning though — the series does show some fairly graphic images of the surgeries that are being accomplished.

My friends Vicki Estrada and Jim Howley are featured in the very first episode, and my friend Stephanie Battaglino is featured in the second. (There’s a blog on WeTV of some of the show participants here.)

'Party A' Bride Vicki Estrada and her Maid Of Honor Autumn SandeenFor those of you who don’t remember my recent diaries on my personal ties to California’s freedom to marry push, I was Vicki’s Maid Of Honor at her recent wedding.

Anywho, I really recommend the series to those of you who are interested in learning about the emotions involved with a dozen people who had genital reconstruction surgery, as well as the emotion of some of their friends, families, and significant others.


Further reading:

For those who aren’t aware of what goes into deciding to receive treatment and surgeries as a transsexual, I recommend browsing through the website of Madeline H. Wyndzen, Ph.D. — Doctor Wyndzen is a transgender professor of psychology who describes the experience of transition from both personal and professional perspectives.

I also recommend people who are interested in the process of sex transition read the Harry Benjamin Standard of Care for treating transgender people . This is the medical standard that most physicians use to treat people with Gender Identity Disorder (the medical diagnosis for transsexual people).

[Below the fold: YouTubes of Vicki’s Rebirthday Party, and related diaries.]~~~~~

Further viewing:

Vicki threw a Rebirthday Party after she had her surgery, and posted film of the party in four YouTube videos. Here’s part 1:

The other episodes are viewable on Vicki’s YouTube Channel.

Also, Entertainment Tonight has a video preview of tonight’s episode here.



* Taking A Short Break To Think About Freedom To Marry

* Writing A Toast; Being A Maid Of Honor

* Marriage Equality Beyond Just Gays And Lesbians

* Yank; California’s 2009 Transgender Leadership Summit, Etc.


Autumn Sandeen

Autumn Sandeen