Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 25th 2017 Contents tobagotoday.co.tt January 25 - 2017
I have a secret. A secret that can literally
destroy my pending marriage to who I believe
is the man of my dreams. You see, several
years ago I was born in the USA as a man,
however, my mind, body and soul felt like
that of a woman.
When I was a teenager the desire to be a
woman was so strong and so real that I
convinced my parents that I could not con-
tinue to live as a "John" and that a trans-
gender surgery was the only way I could be
Fast forward 10 years in my new body,
our family relocated to Tobago as my parents
originated from here. I quickly got a job and
by the 2nd week saw the man that I intend
to marry. Thankfully he felt the same way
and our 6-month courtship led to us setting
a date for our wedding. We are to wed in
less than one month.
Janelle, I love him and I know he loves
me. I have been trying to convince myself
that love will overcome all as he is not in
love with my body (we have been celibate)
but with my personality and intellect.
What should I do? The invitations are out
and the hall has been booked. We are both
looking forward to our big day. Should I
come clean and risk it being over? Worse,
what if he tells others? Tobago is so small I
am worried that the truth will be set free
and I will be ostracised in society.
John to Jane
Dear John to Jane,
Congratulations on your upcoming nup-
Living the life of a transsexual can be
extremely difficult especially in a third world
country where persons are at times myopic
with regards to certain issues. While the
day-to-day living can be difficult, dating
can be even harder, which is why I am thrilled
that you have found someone. However, no
relationship built on an unstable foundation
can survive the test of time. There is no grey
area with regard to this issue. The truth
should be told and there is simply no other
way around it.
Give your partner the benefit of the doubt
by being upfront and allowing him to choose
Every individual is different and while I
certainly don't know how he will react he
deserves the truth. It should have come ear-
lier since your partner may now feel that he
is unable to trust you. Unfortunately, it is
important to bear in mind that the odds are
not in your favour. Your partner might not
react well, and it could end, but that shouldn't
keep you from being honest with him.
I would strongly suggest that you use a
scientific explanation. Tell them that you
have gender dysphoria, and explain what it
is and why you needed to take the steps to
feel right in your body. Stay calm, and get
ready to answer a lot of questions. Do not
get defensive and try to respect the fact that
he might have some tough questions and
could become confused or angry. Just be
positive and open.
I sincerely wish you all the best. Janelle.
...Born a man, should I tell my husband?
1 in 4 US men have cancer-linked HPV genital infections
CHICAGO---The first national estimate
suggests that nearly half of U.S. men have
genital infections caused by a sexually
transmitted virus and that 1 in 4 has strains
linked with several cancers.
Most human papillomavirus infections
cause no symptoms and most disappear
without treatment. And most adults will
get an HPV infection at some point in their
lives. But high-risk HPV can cause cancer
in the mouth and upper throat, cervical
cancer in women and other cancers. Less
harmful strains can cause genital warts.
Vaccines can prevent infections but experts
say vaccination rates in pre-teens and young
adults are too low. High-risk HPV poses
cancer risks to people who are infected and
to their sexual partners, who can catch HPV
even when the infections are silent.
The study "just underscores that you need
to vaccinate boys as well as girls," said Deb-
bie Saslow, an HPV specialist at the Amer-
ican Cancer Society.
The new estimate comes from an analy-
sis of a 2013-14 national health survey;
nearly 2,000 men aged 18 to 59 were test-
ed for HPV. Results were published Thurs-
day in the journal JAMA Oncology. The
researchers say it's the first published esti-
mate for genital HPV infections in men. The
45 percent rate is higher than previously
reported rates for women, said Dr. Jasmine
Han, the lead author and a cancer special-
ist at Womack Army Medical Center at Fort
Bragg, North Carolina.
HPV virus can also be found in the mouth
at much lower rates in men and women.
The new study involved only genital HPV.
The new estimate provides a good baseline
for measuring the effectiveness of HPV vac-
cinations in boys and young men, said Saslow.
Routine vaccination was recommended for
pre-teen boys and young men in 2011, five
years after approval for girls. Few men in the
new study had been vaccinated.
Before the government eased recommen-
dations last October, fewer than one-third
of 13-year-old girls and boys were fully
vaccinated. Now they need only two doses
instead of three.
HPV, the leading cause of cervical cancer,
can be detected in women during routine
Pap tests, which have led to a decline in
cervical cancers and deaths. HPV-related
mouth and throat cancers are becoming
more common, especially among men, who
are not routinely screened for the virus.
Dr. Tanguy Seiwert, a head and neck can-
cer specialist at the University of Chicago,
said the results show that doctors and par-
ents need to step up efforts to vaccinate
boys and young men and get over concerns
that the HPV vaccine will lead to risky sex-
ual behaviour. "Our society keeps talking
about finding 'the cure for cancer.' Frankly,
this is as close as it gets - it prevents cancer,"
Seiwert said. (AP)
My gender secret
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