Mon, Mar 08, 2004 - Page 4 News List

Chinese transsexuals gaining acceptance

`WOMAN WITH STORIES' Transsexuals such as Chen Lili, who hoped to compete in the Chinese Miss Universe contest, are making gains against social disapproval

AFP , SHANGHAI

Despite offers, she has never prostituted herself, she said.

Chen and the Jiangsu Sirrim clinic have also come to an agreement where she promises to do all media interviews at the clinic in exchange for free surgical procedures.

So far, plastic surgeon Lu Min has shaved Chen's cheekbones, narrowed her nose and lowered the ridge of Chen's brow -- a rather gruesome procedure where part of the scalp has to be cut and pulled back so the bone can be filed down.

"She's got very high standards and she doesn't want any imperfections," Lu said.

"She has entirely accepted her role of the woman that she is playing now and will be playing in the future."

The doctor who performed Chen's sex change, Wang Xirun, said that Chen was one of those who was irrevocably convinced of the need to become a woman.

"Usually our psychiatrists try to persuade people to give up the idea of going through with transsexual surgery," Wang said by telephone from the Shandong Qingdao Maternity and Child Care Hospital.

"We didn't try to dissuade Lili at all. She was determined and well prepared for the surgery psychologically," he said.

Despite the pain of the procedure Chen claimed it had all been worth it.

"All the bitter feelings that I went through were for one thing only and that is to be a woman," she said, fiddling with a makeup set.

"I hungered to be a woman, no matter whether ugly or short," she said.

"Every knife used in during the surgeries is paving the way for my future happiness."

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