Friday, February 02, 2007

Renee Richards -- Changing Her Mind?

The NYTimes has a combative and somewhat tacky profile of Dr. Renee Richards, who made headlines around the world when she had a sex change and competed professionally in women's tennis. It's headlined "The Lady Regrets" (fair enough, since she ends her new autobiography listing a series of regrets), says talking to her you get the feeling "of that impatient male surgeon trapped in her body trying to get out" and so on. That's pretty amazing to say, since her entire life has been struggling with the fact that Richards had a FEMALE surgeon trapped in her body trying to get out. It twists an old comment into suggesting her sex change was a mistake. Richards has said very clearly she wishes she HADN'T been a woman trapped in a man's body that needed a sex change. She was practically the first person in the US to do so, it was an extremely difficult battle to win and took many years and she was vilified and treated like a freak by the media for years. She says clearly and repeatedly that she has never regretted getting the sex change -- she just says she wishes it hadn't been necessary in the first place. But because it WAS necessary, she's never wished she hadn't done it. Not for a moment. I have a profile of Richards in an upcoming issue of The Advocate, so maybe I'm just jealous: I got a cookie but the NYTimes got an entire lunch.

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