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The First Man-Made Man: The Story of Two Sex…

The First Man-Made Man: The Story of Two Sex Changes, One Love Affair, and…

by Pagan Kennedy

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The story of some truly remarkable people, starting of course from Michael Dillon himself. I also discovered a lot about the early history of plastic surgery, and I was surprised by some attitudes to Dillon's sex change, much more accepting than I would have guessed, especially given the period.
I am left with the impression that the author didn't do justice to Dillon/Jivaka's seriousness in his spiritual seeking and committment -- but even so, a book I would recommend, and definitely a story worth knowing about. ( )
  AnnaOok | Feb 17, 2013 |
Michael Dillon had an amazing life. I don't think I would have liked the guy, but his story was absorbing. I read this almost completely in one sitting. Good book. ( )
  SwitchKnitter | Jul 23, 2012 |
More than 50 years after the first sex-change operations, transexuals are still frequently seen a freaks. Pagan Kennedy takes the reader through the early history of sex-change surgery. Most of the book focuses on Laura/Michael Dillon, the first woman to become a man (shortly after WWII). Unfortunately, Michael's life post-surgery is not all that blissful, and his life ends under mysterious circumstances in Tibet, where he is futily studying to be a Buddhist monk ("third sex" people are forbidden from entering monastic life). Though Dillon's story is sad, Kennedy's discussion of early research into hormones and the psychology of gender is fascinating for someone interested in history of technology and medicine. ( )
  verbafacio | May 11, 2007 |
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In the 1920s when Laura Dillon felt like a man trapped in a womanʾs body, there were no words to describe her condition; ʺtranssexualsʺ had yet to enter common usage. And there was no known solution to being stuck between the sexes. Laura Dillon did all she could on her own: she cut her hair, dressed in menʾs clothing, bound her breasts with a belt. But in a desperate bid to feel comfortable in her own skin, she experimented with breakthrough technologies that ultimately transformed the human body and revolutionized medicine. From upper-class orphan girl to Oxford lesbian, from post-surgery romance with Roberta Cowell (an early male-to-female) to self-imposed exile in India, Michael Dillonʾs incredible story reveals the struggles of early transsexuals and challenges conventional notions of what gender really means. Also includes information on Roberta Cowell, Christine Jorgensen, Institute for Sexual Science (Berlin), estrogen, testosterone, etc.… (more)

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