A Note of Support for Jan Hamilton / Capt Ian Hamilton

I am aware that this message may not be the most welcomely received here - but I have just watched (albeit belatedly) the Channel 4 documentary detailing Jan's transformation from Ian to Jan.

Two things have prompted me to write this: the first point is the unfortunate way in which ARRSE was portrayed on the programme with the only visible comment being about 'skull fucking' Jan. I was embarrassed to think that the perception of the site is that we are all dribbling low-life pandering to the lowest common denominator ... but more embarrassed that that perception is based around some very real and acutely hurtful comments. I am aware of the NAAFI rules, and I too laugh at most things however socially inappropriate - I am not here to criticise what was written there, but simply to put another viewpoint onto the site. The second point was that I actually felt a real empathy for Jan, what she went through was harder than anything I have ever faced or done - and I believe that deserves fair recognition.

Throughout his military services Ian appears to have done very well - perhaps no more or no less than anyone else, but as far as I am concerned - military service is an admirable thing. To have continued to work and achieve in his career whilst suffering such anguish in his personal life must be commended. I now work in education (after 5 years Army service) where unfortunately people seem to commonly succeed in exploiting the system for months (even years) by claiming sick leave, whilst on a very good wage, for ailments that are frankly disturbingly minor. Jan has apparently led a life of anguish, stress, confusion and anger - at least she has had the courage to carry on ... how many scrotes are simply screwing the system we all contribute to?

I watched the whole programme with no real pre-opinion, and was interested to see the realities that Jan faced. I am not Jan, nor do I know her, and so I cannot guess or assume how she feels, or how her life has been ... i cannot justify what she says, or what she wants ... but I was impressed all the way through with what she faced and what she did.

I hate hospitals - I can only imagine the terror I would feel being wheeled lying-down through a hospital on my way to have major surgery. Jan elected, she chose, to do this in pursuit of what she believed in. Well done her. To choose to undergo that pain, suffering and fright in order to gain what you want and need is a tremendous example. If only more people took on what was difficult and unpleasant, instead of sitting back and simply anaethetising themselves with TV, alcohol and drugs.

I really enjoyed the whole programme and (whether it was cleverly made, whether Jan has a real attraction, or I am just a softy) I felt a real empathy, sadness and hope for her by the end.

There are many things that are difficult to face in life - and I appreciate the concerted effort that Jan has made to follow what is right for her. It was particularly striking to me because I was unwell this week and the enduring feeling that i had for 5 days was the lonliness of being poorly in the house on my own. Everyone feels lonely at some time in their lives - i certainly felt for Jan as she travelled to the other side of the world for surgery on her own. No family, no lover, few friends. How poignant it seemed when she came around after an operation, with bandages all around her head and face, and called out for Jane the documentary reporter. If Jane had not been with her would Jan have had anyone to face the journey with or would she have been alone? We can all operate alone, but not indefinitely ... credit to Jan for the strength she had.

At the end of the programme Jan spoke a soliloquy to the camera and mentioned that all she wants is to be accepted for being herself, and to be loved.

Jan - throughout the whole programme, even as you tucked your penis between your legs as you dressed, i saw you as a girl. I teach my college students about your case as a case study and, although I am aware that you were obviously born Ian, I have always seen you as the woman you are now. Perhaps it is more difficult for people who knew you before the transformation, but I have already accepted you in my mind for what you are - I was genuinely sorry to see that other people have such issues.

I am sure you do not need friendship from me - but please know, with no sexual connotations at all - I feel for you, I was moved by your story and I would be happy to be take you for dinner and to learn more about you.

I wish Jan every happiness and success in the future - and I hope that people can at least respect her, if not gain a little inspiration from her.

P.S. - can anyone tell me the link between 'Legs' and Jan? I am aware that Legs has gone through a similar experience
onfire said:
P.S. - can anyone tell me the link between 'Legs' and Jan? I am aware that Legs has gone through a similar experience
Don't quote me but I believe they have struck up a more than platonic relationship. Not sure whether this passes the Service test though.
Onfire, I have sent you a PM, which gives some information, but you'll need to search through it.
I didn't see the program and couldn't give a monkeys chuff about him/her and their life choices, get on with it and stop dripping.

Quoting a comment from the NAAFI bar and ascribing it to all squaddies rather re-enforces how good the program was, if that was bollox whats to say the rest wasn't another distortion of the truth, so I'll give it a miss.

For a more accurate idea of the informed and intelligent thoughts on the subject by 'stupid intollerant squaddies' try searching the blogs on here.

Other than that stop whining, we don't care.
Does rather reinforce my comment elsewhere about attention seeking.

"Look at me! Look at me! I'm a woman! Look at me!"
Why do people feel they have to be defined by their gender or their sexual practices FFS? I couldn't give a stuff how much skin is on your body or where you hide cylindrical fleshy things...just get on with being polite, pleasant and decent. Oh and dry your eyes...
Onfire...I think this was adequately covered at the time and although there was the usual amount of good humoured banter I think if you searched through the thread replies you would find that the majority fully supported Jan Hamilton. It's traditional that the way the Armed Forces deal with the 'out of the ordinary' is through humour, albeit sometimes rather barbed!


Book Reviewer
Personally, I've got nothing against Jan/Ian making these choices - after all, it's his/her life. That he/she has struggled through it, and still managed to do a constructive job in the Armed Forces is very commendable.

However, and Jan will be acutely aware of this - the banter in the Armed Forces is on a par with the darkest of Medical, Police, Fire Service and Undertaker's humour - it's called 'gallows humour' in case the documentary makers are reading this.

It's a tough job- someone's got to do it, and the dark humour makes it easier.

So, firstly, concur - dry yer fecking eyes, and secondly, Jan, have you put yer c0ck on Ebay yet - or will it not fetch that much?
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onfire said:
I feel for you, I was moved by your story and I would be happy to be take you for dinner and to learn more about you.
All that in a cheap shot to try and get a shag!

His decision to have the op, her decision to go on telly about it, why should we be upset if he/she/it was upset by what was written on here? He/she is/was a squaddie, surely Jan should know what the banter is like in the forces, amazing how you forget that when theres a couple of quid in it. How much did Channel 4 pay towards the travel and the op to get this gripping exclusive?

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