I'll hit you with my purse!

Man going through a sex change loses his/her temper.

Published March 31, 2000 5:00PM (EST)

People who go through a sex-change procedure often have to wrestle with the hormonal changes inside their body.

For a burly, muscular 37-year-old Army intelligence officer named John White, this shift in hormonal balance apparently landed him in court this week on charges of assaulting police officers. Only it wasn't exactly John White who appeared before the judge, according to the Scottish Daily Record. It was not the John White who had served 13 years in the armed forces, building up an exemplary record with the SAS and SBS secret units during the Gulf War. It was now Joanna White, a burly, muscular woman who wore a purple silk dress, red hat and carried a satchel filled with teddy bears.

Policemen testified to their version of events regarding the assault. Last April, officers were called to a bar in Maidstone, Kent, where a man had been reported standing next to a fruit machine, acting suspicious and carrying a claw hammer. One officer asked White to step outside, and during a body search, White's demeanor appeared "extremely unnerving." Just before White was to be handcuffed, he started struggling with the officer.

"His reaction was lightning quick and I was taken aback by how strong he was," Sgt. Conrad Gerrard told the court. "I had hold of his right arm but he swung it and it was like being thrown aside like I was not there."

Another male and two female officers joined the fight, striking White several times with a baton, but without results. "It did not appear to have any effect. We were tossed around like rag dolls," said Gerrard.

Still more police officers jumped on White, and he was finally subdued.

Apparently White had quit the service a month before, and was estranged from his wife and their adopted son. He pleaded not guilty to four counts of assaulting police.

Outside the courtroom, White told reporters that he liked to be called Joanna, and that he is going through the early stages of a sex change. He gave the names of his teddy bears, and showed photos of himself in SAS uniform. White declined to explain fully his situation, saying only that "There were many factors which led to me leaving the Army but I'm not going to discuss those now."

By Jack Boulware

Jack Boulware is a writer in San Francisco and author of "San Francisco Bizarro" and "Sex American Style."

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