PolyU Motto
Centre for Independent Language Learning

A - Z Index
Search CILL
What's New
ELC Home


A. Pre-viewing

Before watching a short video which talks about transgender marriage, familiarize yourself with the following entries.

  1. Transgender - an umbrella term that includes different types of gender variant people (including transsexual people) who may or may not have the desire to undergo sex change surgery.
  2. Transsexual people - people who do not identify with the sex they are born into and have a desire to undergo physical changes to align their body with their gender identity.
  3. Transition - the process during which something changes from one stage to another. In the video, it refers to the process of changing one's gender so that one’s new sex is "opposite" of his or her birth sex.
  4. Trans-woman - male-to-female transgender person.
  5. heal off - get on extremely well together.
  6. testosterone - principal male sex hormone.
  7. orgasm - sexual climax, sexual pleasure.
  8. erectile (inducement) device – a device which treats erection problem/ impotence by helping men to get or maintain erection.
  9. implant - a medical device manufactured to replace a missing biological part, support a damaged biological part, or enhance an existing biological structure. Medical implants are man-made devices.
  10. scrotum, testacies – parts of a penis (male sex organ).
  11. vaginal lining, vaginal wall, labia – parts of a vagina (female sex organ).
  12. nipple - the part of the skin which sticks out from the breast of a mammal and through which milk is supplied to the young.
  13. brow - eyebrow, an area of thick, delicate hairs above the eye.
  14. beard - the collection of hair that grows on the chin, upper lip, cheeks and neck.

B. Comprehension
Now watch the video and answer the following questions:
Click here to watch the video

Video ©National Geographic
1.Who took the transition surgery first, Don (Ashley) or Tony?
  Don (Ashley) Incorrect
  Tony Incorrect
  Not given Correct
2. According to Don (Ashley), a lot of transsexual people were beaten in
  bathroom. Correct
  school. Incorrect
  war. Incorrect
3. A lot of trans- women are perceived by the society as…
  terrifying creatures. Incorrect
  men who dress like women. Correct
  bad comedians. Incorrect
4. “Until this point, Ashley and Tony had lived parallel lives. Then, in 2003, at a transgender support group, they meet.”

What do the above sentences mean?

  Ashley and Tony’s did not know each other before 2003.
  Ashley and Tony’s lives were balanced in some way before 2003.
  Ashley and Tony never met any other transgendered people before 2003.
5. When did Tony begin his hormone therapy?
  Jan 6, 1994 Incorrect
  Jan 8, 1994 Incorrect
  Jan 6, 2004 Correct
  Jan 8, 2004 Incorrect
6. When did Ashley and Tony take the third stage of transition?
  after they were married Correct
  before they were married Incorrect
  after their first full sex change surgery Incorrect
7. What happened to Tony’s female reproductive organs?
  They were used to construct new sex organs. Incorrect
  They were augmented. Incorrect
  They were all removed. Correct
8. How did Ashley feel about her new sex organ when it was first constructed?
  odd. Correct
  worthless. Incorrect
  painful. Incorrect
9. Which parts of Ashley’s face are restructured? (you may select more than one option)
  brow Incorrect
  brow bone Correct
  chin Correct
  cheek Incorrect
10.How does Ashley feel after the sex change surgery?
  She feels that she is in the right body. Correct
  She feels odd looking at her mirror reflection. Incorrect
  She feels like another person. Incorrect
11. Ashley doesn’t want to be a…
  beaded lady. Incorrect
  bearded lady. Correct
  hairy lady. Incorrect
12. According to the psychologist, it has been unsuccessful trying to
  change a person’s body to suit the psyche through surgery. Incorrect
  alter a person’s psyche to suit the body through therapy. Correct
  keep a person’s body to suit the psyche through therapy. Incorrect

Transcription - National Geographic - Transgender Marriage

  Narrator: After 37 years of living as a male, Don takes the first step in the transition process. He dresses as a woman in public, and changes his name to Ashley.  
  Ashley: Transitioning process was actually quite terrifying. If someone could imagine going into the other sex bathroom, in the other sex clothing for the first time, it seems like everyone is looking at you. Also they are perhaps, could be killed or beaten, as to happen to a lot of transsexual people. You know, I’ve been to war and it wasn’t that terrifying.  
  Medical Director: The society is not tolerant of men who are dressed like woman, which is how a lot of trans-women are perceived. The society is not tolerant of it, and furthermore we make it the bases of a lot of really bad and painful comedy.  
  Narrator: Until this point, Ashley and Tony had lived parallel lives. Then, in 2003, at a transgender support group, they meet.  
  Ashley: Tony came into my life and we just seem to have healed off. We really click together. And it’s hard for me to say how amazing that really is.  
  Narrator: With Ashley by his side, Tony began the second step in his transition, hormone therapy.  
  Tony: Ashley actually gave me my first injection of testosterone; I believe it was January 6 of 04.  
  Narrator: The third stage will reshape their life forever, full sex change surgery, together, as a married couple.  
  Tony: Well the first thing they did is they took out all the female reproductive organs. First they have to form the penis. With mine, it was constructed from the skin on the side of my right side. And it’s a normal male size penis, you can still orgasm, you can still have that sexual pleasure. I would like to eventually get the erectile device. The scrotum is already built, but I haven’t put the implant for it. So those were the two main surgeries that I’m wanting.  
  Ashley: The genital reassignment surgery is… what they do is they use the skin from the outside of the penis as the new vaginal lining, and then they invert what used to be the penis and make a new vaginal wall. And the testacies, they cut that away and just basically make new labia. At first it felt like I have a penis tied in a knot. You know, it was just a really odd feeling, but you know, at the same time it works.  
  Narrator: While Ashley had her breasts augmented, Tony had his removed.
  Tony: They actually will take the nipples and cut them down to male’s size nipples, cos’ generally a male nipples are a lot smaller than a female’s.  
  Narrator: Ashley has her brow bone and chin restructured to give her a more feminine look.  
  Ashley: For me it was part of feeling that I was in the correct body and that I could look into the mirror and see the person that I felt inside.   
  Narrator: The transition from man to woman is ongoing for Ashley. Hair removal is a constant reminder of her old life.  
  Ashley: A woman would have to ask herself, you know how comfortable she would be walking around with beard. And you know, I just don’t want to be the bearded lady, so I think it’s quite worth it for me.  
  Psychologist: In the past, therapy tried to change the psyche to suit the body. It was fabulously unsuccessful. People are tormented by years of useless therapy. Now we realize the psyche stays, the body can be changed.  
Copyright© 2012-2013 UGC ICOSA Project, Hong Kong. All rights reserved.