What are we like?

Pat has been helping people to get leg-braces in the UK for many years. These are his observations on the sort of people he has met in doing so. What follows are Pat's words. I am grateful for his inputs. This was written in 2004.

    As some members of this community will know I have been helping people who have the desire to wear not just callipers but many other types of surgical appliance for a number of years now, but before I go on any more I feel must let you know where I stand on the matter.

    A little about myself, I am in my late forties, transgendered. And have had to wear a calliper (kafo) for over 27 years due to an accident, but before that I did have an interest in surgical appliances, mainly callipers, I could understand about my TG side but an interest in callipers, that was weird, and like most thought that they were the only one, it was only by getting on line about 7 years ago that I found that I was not so weird after all. I have not categorised people into devotee, pretender, wannabe, as most tend to blur into more than one category, I have just called it an Interest.

    Back to what are we like; I have met many people over the years, (and never a more diverse group of people have I met before) most of the people that I have met have been more than willing to tell me about there interest, for most I have been the first person that they have ever spoken with face to face about it. (I have no intention of reviling any names or e addresses so don’t ask) as far as I can rember to date I have met 39 people, out of those 37 male and 2 female, I did speak to another lady on the telephone, but for the purpose of this article I am only relaying what I know is fact, and not anything that I have not seen or been told first hand.

    Of the 37 men the age range was from the youngest 24 years to one gentleman who was 76 these were admitted ages, but I would say that the average age was 50 or just a little over.

    Sexual orientation
    Again I can only go by what I have been told, 9 admitted to being gay, 8 to either being transvestite or cross dressing to various degrees, 5 of the former to being both gay and CD, most of the rest said that they were straight or did not say, another interest that a few had in common was bondage.

    First realisation
    Virtually every one said that they first remember being interested in appliances be it callipers or spinal braces in early child hood most between the age of 4 and 7 and most after seeing of being in contact someone in who had to wear one, some times a friend or family member, but more often than not it was the sight of a complete stranger, and often this sighting is so deeply imprinted on that person that they can tell you precisely where and when this occurred what the appliance was, what they were wearing, who there were with, even down to what the weather was like at the time.

    Social class & Occupation
    I don’t like to put anyone into a social class but these days we seem to be put into groups A B C D and so on. I can only go by what I saw and I think that the only way I can get anyway near a social class is by what type of car they arrived in). And this ranges from the top of the range BMW to a beat up old Escort that was living on borrowed time, a couple of members have flown in, and a few by train.

    As I said earlier, a very diverse group of people, their occupations varied from the IT industry to commercial artist, and from builder to retired lecturer, so it certainly appears that an interest in surgical appliances has no bearing on class or occupation.

    The two ladies that I have met, one came along with her partner, as it was he that wanted her to wear callipers for him. (She seemed to be more than happy with this) the other lady wanted a calliper for herself, and at a later date acquired a spinal brace, both these ladies were aged about mid 40’s.

    So there you have it just a brief note about what I have found out about the subject, of Leg-brace Abasiophilia. If I can ever be of any help to anyone hear in the UK, either with any more information about the subject or help with obtaining a calliper or other surgical appliance please e-mail me at l.kafo@tesco.net .

    Pat Dec 2004