Boxing manager Kellie Maloney, formerly known as Frank, has said she sees herself as a woman and would love to have a debate with broadcaster Dame Jenni Murray after she suggested men who have undergone sex change operations are not “real women”.
The fight promoter, who announced in 2014 she was beginning gender reassignment, said she was “shocked” Dame Jenni questioned whether someone who has enjoyed the privileges of growing up as a man could really be a woman.
Maloney told the Press Association: “We have lived in a male privileged world, but not by our choice.
“Nobody has lived in a more male-dominated world than me, but I was fighting with me, I was battling with me. This wasn’t how I wanted to live.
“You can’t choose but you can correct it if you’re wrong. That’s what a trans male or female does.
“I see myself as a woman and I believe I’m a woman.
“I may not have gone through everything a woman has, like childbirth, but I’ve gone through other anxiety. I would have given anything to be born a woman.”
Writing for The Sunday Times Magazine, Dame Jenni, a Radio 4 Woman’s Hour host, told how “the first time I felt anger when a man claimed to have become a woman” was when she met the Rev Peter Stone in 2000, the first serving Church of England priest to undergo a sex change operation.
“I remember asking … what she owed those women who had struggled for so long to have their calling to the priesthood acted upon.
“His calling, as a man, had never been questioned. I had nothing but a blank look and more concerns about clothing,” Dame Jenni said.
Maloney said: “A journalist with her experience makes the basic mistake that you can’t change your sex. You are correcting a gender. I’m shocked someone of her intelligence makes a mistake like that.”
Maloney said her experiences in the boxing world have given her a sharp understanding of the different ways men and women are treated.
She said: “I don’t have the same privilege now. I’m not treated the same within the boxing world, but I’m the same person. I haven’t had a brain transplant.
“When I talk, I’m dismissed. I know women are put down. Women and trans women have to fight for our rights and this is unhelpful for someone in her position.
“As Frank, I was protecting a hidden identity. I would cry myself to sleep, I would drink myself to oblivion because I didn’t know how to deal with what was going on inside myself, so to read that someone dismisses me with the stroke of a pen, it doesn’t help when an established broadcaster does this.
“In the boxing world, I hear people sniggering, I hear the whispers behind people’s hands. I just think I’m in a happier place now so I don’t care what they think. If I wanted to go back into boxing, I would, but I don’t need to and I don’t want to.
“Frank hid from the world, but I’m not hiding. I would love to sit down with Jenni for a debate and discussion.”