On December 4, 1969, Robert Dayton became Barbara Dayton. The surgery did not go well and Barb had to endure several more surgeries during the next year and a half. It had always been Barbara’s hobby to plan the perfect heist, even though she never intended to execute any of the plans. While she was recuperating from the many surgeries, she began planning the skyjacking.
Life as a female was difficult in the beginning. She couldn't find a job, and she felt isolated from her family and friends. By November of 1971 she had reached rock bottom. She had always been able to survive without relying on help from anyone and now she was on welfare. Barb felt that she didn't fit into any world. Before the surgery she felt she didn't fit in as a man. After the surgery she didn't feel like she fit in as a female either. She decided to execute the skyjacking plan she had devised.
She wrote a letter to her kids, explaining why she had disappeared from their lives and sent it to her mother, telling her to "give it to the kids someday".
PSYCHOLOGICAL EVALUATIONS BEFORE AND AFTER THE JUMP
Patient came in for follow up at my request. She looks well but is quite discouraged at being (un)able to find employment. She graduated from the U.W. Keypunch training program, has a good recommendation but jobs are scarce and no one has been willing to hire her in any capacity. She would take any kind of job but those which require short sleeve clothing are out because of her many tattoos. It seems clear that she has run into much employer prejudice in many instances. She literally has no source of income and is ineligible for welfare because she is single, under 50, and has no handicap. She has felt distressed at times and even considered suicide but "not seriously". She thinks of returning to living as a male but has cut her contacts in the male job market - and also, "that would cause more conflict than it would solve."
"The medical records contain notes from follow-up visits. Eight days before the hijacking, November 16, 1971, doctors noted that Barb was depressed. She considered suicide again."
Skyjack by Geoffrey Gray pg 202
PSYCHOLOGICAL EVALUATIONS AFTER THE JUMP
Followup interview to Gender Committee: Patient doing well, not depressed. Lives a rather socially empty life but is content with it. Is on welfare but is strangely unworried despite inability to get work - welfare expires in 3 months. Has many excuses why she can't work - tattoos on arms, lack of skills, age, etc. Indeed one has a sense that Barbara is quite content to be looked after indefinitely by the welfare system. For all that, however, one has to allow that she seems reasonably happy and adapted to circumstances.
John Hampson, MD
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