British taxpayers fund 81yo grandpa’s sex-change operation

British taxpayers fund 81yo grandpa’s sex-change operation
James Rose claims that from the age of nine he knew he was trapped inside the wrong body. Critics, however, say the NHS should not have paid for the oldest person in Britain to have a sex-change operation.

For many years, the divorced father of three and grandfather of four, who now goes by the name of Ruth, was living a lie.

“When I was married, I was living half as a man and half as a woman, dressing up to see friends but a man at home,” Rose told the Mirror. “I always knew I was in the wrong body.”

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James Rose’s transformation into a woman began four years ago when he began having female hormone injections, eventually opting for the removal of his male sexual organs altogether in July.

“A lot of people think it’s just a case of chopping it off, but it’s much more than that,” Rose said.

Rose says it was a doctor who suggested the operation, which cost the NHS 4,000 pounds (6,429 US dollars).

“My doctor had said I should have the gender transformation operation, but I thought I was too old,” she says. “I thought I had left it too late. But the surgeons wouldn’t have done it if they didn’t think I could go through with it. I am the oldest person to have it done.”

Ruth says the doctors she consulted claimed to have “saved hundreds of lives by stopping people from committing suicide” over the despair they were experiencing.

The former navigator in the Royal Air Force from Newhaven, East Sussex, who remained in his marriage for 42 years, now defends the decision to have the sex-change by comparing the condition to cosmetic procedures that are also paid for by the UK health provider.

The NHS “would operate on someone who had a great bulge on their cheek. It might not be malignant, but it could cause embarrassment. Well, a transgender operation is similar to that.”

Without divulging the details of the operation, Ruth said she did not have a full construction.

“It would have been ridiculous for me to ask for a vagina so I could go sleeping around. It would be inappropriate,” she admitted. “It’s not about having a sexual relationship. But…it’s nice to feel feminine.”

Critics of Ruth’s sex-change operation - which also goes by the more politically correct term, “gender-realignment surgery,” suggesting that the condition had been preexisting – say the National Health Service should not be spending taxpayer money on such services.

Roger Goss, co-director of Patient Concern, said there were more pressing priorities for the NHS.

“While we have huge empathy for people with gender problems, we have more sympathy for those in chronic pain for whom the NHS is not providing relief because it’s too expensive,” Goss told the Sunday People newspaper.

“With the NHS so short of money, there have to be priorities.”

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Meanwhile, one of Ruth’s biggest regrets following the operation is her bust size.

“I wish I could grow a bigger bust but I don’t think I will,” she said. “The surgeon told me I would end up with a bra cup size one down from my sister.”

Yet at the age of 81, Ruth is still healthy and active.

“Life is very nice to me at the moment. I stay fit and healthy. I swim in the sea every day of the year and go sailing.”