Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

This is not meant to be a troll post, but just sincere curiosity.

From the site "My full name is Micah Elizabeth Scott, but I used to be Micah Dowty prior to Fall 2010. My friends call me Beth."

How can a woman who used to be a man can have a vagina? is there some kind of surgery? do you keep your sensitivity to be able to use vibrators?

Yes; sexual reassignment surgery for male-to-female transsexuals exists (as does the other direction.)

The short version: They form a vagina in the pelvis and reuse the head of the penis to form a clitoris. The urethra is also rerouted. Caveat: I am nothing more than a layperson on the subject. My short version may be wrong, and there may be other surgeries available.

The longer version: Wikipedia [1] has quite a bit of information on the subject. Use incognito mode if you must; I've always found it to be a fascinating subject.

[1]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_reassignment_surgery (No images if you're worried about that.)

To quote a surgeon who does this operation: It is easier to dig a hole than build a pole.

Micah, though traditionally a male name, is sometimes given to females. There is no reason to assume there was a sex change, maybe she got married or just changed her name.

Frankly I find it rude to speculate. It's none of my business what someone has in their pants, or what they used to have in their pants.

When the article's all about a device that goes into their pants?

If we were talking about someone with a surgically reconstructed vagina I think that would be relevant in this particular story, just because physically it won't be identical and the effect of the vibrator could be different.

Neither is Stanley. We have the example of Stanley Ann Dunham, do we not?

I don't understand why a name change that doesn't alter the person's first name would make you think that there had to be a sex change involved.

"My friends call me Beth."

It's her middle name. Not uncommon to go by one's middle name.

I appreciate your stubborn loyalty, it's commendable and, in a way, cute. In this case you're wrong though:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/micahdowty/5150806818/in/photos... http://www.flickr.com/photos/micahdowty/4698425505/in/photos... http://www.flickr.com/photos/micahdowty/4371698700/in/photos...

(Just a few self-photos from Beth's public Flickr stream; all pics are work-safe. This is an extremely cool hacking article, btw, regardless of the author's gender history.)

Nothing to do with loyalty. I just legitimately don't see how one gets from that name change to deciding there must have been a sex change. Knowing that the conclusion was correct doesn't help with that, but it's still good to know, so thanks!

Few, if any, men go by the name Beth.

I'm afraid I don't understand the point of your comment.

You wouldn't go from a predominantly male first name to a typically female middle name as your preferred moniker without experiencing some sort of change.

A sex change is hardly the only explanation, but it's a very likely one. Be honest. Let's say my name is John Leslie Roberts and for my entire life up until 2010 I was referred to as John, then I told you to start calling me Leslie from now on. I seriously doubt you would just shrug that off.

If you're wondering how others drew the correct conclusion without additional information, this is how. It's extremely common for those who have had male to female sex change to choose a female root name buried within their current name or names. It's extremely uncommon to do that for any other reason. People associate names, gender and personal identity very closely.

You change one so drastically, there is a good chance you've changed the others too. There is a lot more to that sentence than just a name change.

I assumed the middle name was original and simply left out, and that the name change was exclusively of the last name, presumably due to a marriage.

> presumably due to a marriage

If it was a marriage that caused the name change, she would have just said that point-blank. No need to dance around it. From the lack of explanation it was pretty clear that it was a sex change.

I dunno, some women can be pretty hairy upper lip....

Is Micah a male name? I'd have thought female initially.

Sometimes names can be different genders in different countries. I'm in Ireland, and here Rory is a male name, but apparently in USA it's a female name. The world is big and weird.

(And yes, modern surgery can create vaginas)

is there some kind of surgery?

Yes it's call vaginoplasty http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaginoplasty . There's also one for penises, phalloplasty http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phalloplasty

do you keep your sensitivity to be able to use vibrators?

Some trans people who get genital (or "bottom") surgery report increased sensitivity, compared to before. Modern surgery is getting better all the time.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact