In Russia, hundreds of thousands of people feel themselves out of their bodies. But the happiness of having a sex change operation smiles at very few. American photographer Liz Sarfati back in the 90s captured how Russian men become women.There is nothing ordinary in the desire to change sex – about 0.3% of the population (regardless of the country or era) are born with a sense of belonging to another sex. In the age of scientific and technological progress, the conversion of a man into a woman and a woman into a man has become commonplace. The first sex change operation took place in Denmark in 1953, in the USSR (in Riga) in 1970. Since then, there have been hundreds of thousands of such operations around the world.Several years ago, the British urological journal BJU International conducted a survey of more than 200 people who changed their sex from male to female. They all underwent surgical removal of the penis, movement of the urethra and the formation of the labia. In addition, 93% became owners of the clitoris, created from a section of the head of the penis, and the vagina was formed in 91% of operations. The average age of the interviewed patients averaged 43 years (from 19 to 76 years), most of them changed their sex 3 years before the study. 91% had an artificial clitoris, 89% had a vagina. As a result of the study, it turned out that: 23% of transsexuals have regular sex life, 61% are satisfied with the depth of the vagina; 98% of the clitoris is sensitive, 48% are able to experience an orgasm, 14% of the sensitivity of the clitoris is excessive, but no one wanted to remove this organ.
In the left Latin American countries – Venezuela, Brazil, in Cuba – the sex change operation is completely free. And the example of these countries shows how many people are willing to go for this procedure. Thus, in Brazil, about 300 thousand people (220 thousand men and 80 thousand women) are in line for an operation. This is 0.2-0.3% of the population. Based on this proportion, in Russia there should also be 300-400 thousand people who feel themselves out of their bodies. But annually we have only 1300-1600 such operations. Formally, the sex change procedure is free, but in practice it costs about 10 thousand dollars, also after the operation you need to undergo a long hormonal course, and it can cost up to 30 thousand dollars for 5-6 years (although in the West such operations are even more expensive – up to 100 thousand dollars). Those Russians, who are lucky to be reborn, usually prefer not to advertise their change – in a patriarchal society it is no good. But few of them are trying to declare themselves in full voice, reminding the Russians that such people cannot be ignored. So, several months ago, a resident of the Perm region, Alexander Selyaninova, tried to register as a presidential candidate. Previously, Alexander Selyaninova was Alexander Selyaninov, who served in the army, graduated from a vocational school with a machinist degree in a sixth-level mine combine, worked in a mine, and then entered the criminal investigation department, where he served for 16 years. The villagers were married twice, but always felt their belonging to the other sex. In the end, after learning from a newspaper article that Moscow had sex reassignment operations, he changed sex and received a new birth certificate.
(The face of a Russian transsexual politician – Alexander Selyaninov)
In 2006 and 2010, Selyaninova tried to run for the post of head of Berezniki, but her attempts were unsuccessful. Interestingly, a transsexual candidate for presidency of the Russian Federation was nominated by the Permian regional committee represented by the communist Alexei Bessonov (he was previously known for challenging the former head of the FSB Patrushev to a duel). But, alas, at the stage of collecting signatures, Seljaninov was raided by local bureaucrats. But not everyone is so lucky, as a former Perm policeman. Poverty does not allow to change the sex of hundreds of thousands of Russians. And then the unfulfilled desire to change sex leads to tragedy. A terrible incident happened a few years ago – a 39-year-old village mechanic did a sex change operation with his own hands. After school, Igor graduated from college with a degree in bulldozer. As a boy, he was unusual from the very beginning: he did not drink, did not smoke, did not use bad language. Igor served in the army in Chechnya, was captured by the local natsdems. When no one was at home, Igor put on purchased dresses, painted his lips and nails. Mother accidentally caught him doing this. Scared: – Son, what are you? Igor tried to explain that he wanted to be a woman, that from childhood he had never felt like a man. And that there are already ways to change sex. – Marry you urgently! – Mother did not want to hear her son. – Marry, and the whole whim will pass. Mother urgently began to look after the bride. And then Igor finally decided: not to marry – to become a woman. I bought a scalpel, lidocaine, and chose a day when no one was at home. In the living room, Igor put a chair in front of the pierum to see everything, laid the oilcloth on it, made an injection and, when he stopped feeling pain, he decisively slashed himself around the genital organ. Igor managed in an hour. Cut off put in the bag, and then he threw himself in the trash. “My mother and I came home from work,” says brother Vyacheslav. – I look – brother barely walks. What is with him, does not speak. I called an ambulance … And in the hospital I learned that I now have a sister. “We just had to stop the bleeding and remove the urethra,” says the Novosibirsk urologist Igor Onishchuk. – And when we asked whether to identify him in the men’s or women’s ward, he said that he would lie in the corridor. At the hospital, Igor underwent an ultrasound three times: the doctors could not believe that he had a female organ in his stomach – an underdeveloped uterus. Now Igor calls himself Ira. Irina has a small chest, a female voice. Having become a woman, he grew by 4 cm. Through the court, he made a change of documents. “Then mom, brother and I moved so that I could start a new life.” I would like to get married, – Irina is experiencing. – But I have no money for a full plastic surgery. But I believe that everything can still turn out. Doctors confirm, I can have children. Indeed, besides the uterus, I even have one female ovary. I would be a good mother and wife. I can do everything. Cook, sew, the house itself built. +++ Back in the 1990s, American photographer Liz Sarfati made a photo essay about how Russian men change their sex in one Moscow clinic, and then in their new body go to their small homeland (in the Novosibirsk region): 1