Monday, October 10, 2016

October 10 - Michael Dillon

Michael Dillon

Laurence Michael Dillon was the first trans man to undergo phalloplasty. After graduating from Oxford University as Laura Maud Dillon, Michael began the process of transition from woman to man. He was possibly the first to use testosterone as a means of appearing male and became a target of gossip in Gloucestershire after his story broke (much like Christine Jorgensen). He fled to Bristol, where he passed as male, where he came to the attention of a plastic surgeon while recovering from a bout with hypoglycemia. The surgeon performed a double mastectomy and provided a note legally allowing Dillon to change his gender on his birth certificate to male. This doctor put Dillon in contact with Dr. Harold Gillies, now known as the father of plastic surgery, who agreed to perform the final transitional surgeries, most involving the construction of a penis, after the end of World War II. Meanwhile, Dillon became a physician; Gillies completed over a dozen surgeries on Dillon between 1946 and 1949, while Dillon was still a medical student. Also in 1946, Dillon published Self: A Study in Endocrinology and Ethics, a pioneering book in transsexual studies. Dillon was "outed" in 1958, after living as a man for nearly two decades, when his background was investigated as part of his family's aristocratic roots (with a male birth certificate, he would have been heir to a baronetcy), so he fled to India and joined a Buddhist community. He was later ordained a monk, publishing several works under his Buddhist name, Lobzang Jivaka, before dying in 1962.

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