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She also wants to reply to veteran broadcaster Jenni Murray who recently opened a hornet’s nest of controversy by asking if transgenders can ever be ‘real’ women.Writing in the Sunday Times, the Radio 4 presenter asked: ‘Can someone who has lived as a man, with all the privilege that entails, really lay claim to womanhood by taking hormones, maybe having surgery, and simply choosing to become a woman? Born in Iraq, Sam Hashimi, who studied engineering after he left school, moved to Britain as a young man in the Seventies.’But Sam counters: ‘Not only am I a real woman; I would go even further to say that a transgender woman has more claim to womanhood that a “biological” woman.‘A transgender woman has reached womanhood by the arduous path of achievement rather than by accident of nature. Back then, he was the very study of a successful alpha male.
So, in 2004, Sam spent thousands more to reverse the sex change operation, having decided she had made a terrible mistake and life was better as man. But in truth, the journey has been tortuous.‘I feel as if I made a trip to Venus, but was unable to return to Mars again, and landed on a nearby planet, as neither man nor woman,’ she says.‘The reversal operation did not return me to the man I once was, just an approximation.‘With the exception of Victoria, I was rejected by both men and women. You can’t turn back into a man because whatever defines the male has been completely removed, so how can you bring it back?
Breast implants were removed, male genitalia re-created by surgeons, testosterone gel replaced oestrogen patches, and a new male identity — this time as Charles Kane — was born. At the time engaged to a beautiful 28-year-old woman called Victoria, Charles insisted he’d been ‘deluded’ to ever think he was a woman trapped in a man’s body. ‘I discovered to my detriment that there is only so far medical science can go.‘As Charles, I still sometimes wanted to wear a blouse or a pretty ring, and wear my hair long.‘Having become Samantha, I should have stayed Samantha.
When I told Victoria how I was feeling, it effectively ended the relationship.‘She said she preferred men and did not want to live with a woman, but we are still friends.’Last month, Sam registered her new name — Sam Kane — with the Bar Council. She is not sure she needs it.‘I don’t need another operation to feel that I am a woman,’ she says. ” What’s in your head, heart and soul only matters.’Believing her astonishing story deserves an update, Sam has invited me to meet her.
As a 30-something interior designer she was into glamour, high heels, cocktails, shopping, long gossipy lunches, partying with the jet-set in Monaco and handsome boyfriends.‘I’m not the old Samantha who spent all day in Harrods and piled into a taxi loaded with shopping bags,’ says Sam.
Sam married Trudi (left) in 1984 and they had a son and a daughter.
Samantha, pictured after her original operation‘The fiancé went long ago,’ she says, adding with a slightly wicked smile, ‘but I kept the ring.’ Aged 57, she is happy to be single.