“Respectfully with love” – really?
…can you think of a more patronizing way to say “I’m better than you, because I’m a sexist bigot”?
“Respectfully with love” – really?
…can you think of a more patronizing way to say “I’m better than you, because I’m a sexist bigot”?
You know, I still find that purple-haired avatar appealing.
I “figured it out” two years ago as of yesterday, I never do anything on time. Women are always supposed to be late, right?
I’m still here, I haven’t self-destructed – I’m still married – I’m still employed. Considering the emotional storms I’ve been through, I’m fairly happy with that. I’ve been in therapy almost two years, and I’m off of Anti-depressants.
When it became apparent to me I was a transsexual, I thought I’d simply acknowledge that, and move on with my life.
It’s just not that simple….. Gender asserts itself. It has – for all of my life – I simply wasn’t aware that was what it was. I don’t know just what it’s like with others, those that know from early in their lives. I was simply sort of ‘not attached’ to any of the activities that men did, that men were normally engaged in. I’d like to engage in hypnotherapy at some point to see if there was some punishment or event that kept me from seeing my female mindset early on – or if it’s simply something I didn’t have the ability to see in myself. Perhaps I simply had no example I was allowed to follow. It frankly bugs me a little – but I’m smart enough to know that I may never figure that out.
I find myself somewhat slowly being moved in a more feminine direction. I’ve experienced what we call ‘dysphoria’ since – well, probably a bit before I figured things out. It’s that anxiety that ‘broke’ me on the 3rd of March two years ago. I find my sexuality has shifted – not simply that I find some aspects of male masculinity attractive, but I actually feel the same ‘urges’ some women feel in response to those sexual clues. It’s primal, and is coming from a place deep inside me. I get what women want out of a man. I’m ‘hitting puberty’ in some ways.
I can’t believe how much I LOVE having long hair now, I haven’t had it cut for almost two years now. I simply like seeing myself as more feminine – it makes me happy in a way I can’t really understand – it simply IS….I’ve never been so happy that I felt like crying. I do at times now. My ’emotional range’ is something I try to allow to assert itself. I know now why I was a ‘crybaby’ as a boy – it was because I was a girl. That makes more sense than anything else I’ve tried to figure out.
I haven’t started any hormone replacement therapy. I hadn’t planned on it at first, I’d simply planned on dealing with what I (and many other trans* people) call “brain fog”. I started taking pregnenolone based on posts in the ‘Gender Research for all Genders’ group on Facebook to see if that helped – I not only feel sharper, I feel much less anxiety than I did, and my depression is only coming in ‘normal’ spurts and related to my dysphoria.
It seems – from the tests I’ve gotten my endocrinologist to run – that I’ve got oddball endocrinology – SHBG is tying up all my testosterone. I may have had low progesterone along with low available testosterone.
I no longer plan on NOT transitioning – but I have to ensure my family and I are in good shape financially. I think that I’ll be healthier emotionally and physically if I do transition. The reason for that is not simply the health advantages of ‘running on estrogen’, or my odd endocrinology. My Dad tells me that Mom ‘took all sorts of things’ while she was pregnant with me. I strongly suspect I was exposed to DES – and that ‘modified’ some things about me.
Matthew 19: …11But He said to them, “Not all men can accept this statement, but only those to whom it has been given. 12“For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it.”
On a Faceplant list I’m on, Someone posted a question….
“what age were you when you realized your body didn’t match your gender?”
“Where you a feminine child or did you hide it for a while?”
In retrospect, yes – got called sissy, fag, and queer a lot as a child – up to my Junior year of high
school. Didn’t understand why then.
I didn’t ‘hide’ it, as much as ‘didn’t realize’ it. Quite heavy religious repression as a child.
I really had no real sense of ‘gender’ as a child – or much of my adult life. Didn’t fit in with the
‘guys’, and wasn’t allowed/trained not to fit in with the ‘girls’ – didn’t like ‘guy’ things, still don’t.
As I go through therapy, it’s increasingly apparent I suppressed my female identity from a VERY young age.
I don’t connect well emotionally to being female, but the mannerisms, behaviors, sexual expression and
needs, emotional responses – ALL are more in the ‘feminine’ range than the male if looked at rationally.
I don’t connect AT ALL with being male, despite 50+ years of immersion in it.
That’s the best short answer I can give. Like any Trans* person, the answer is obviously more involved – but I think that’s the best summary to date.
I continue with therapy, and I’ve been off the antidepressants for months now. I take a number of over-the-counter supplements that seem – as a group – to help me stay on an even keel emotionally. The biggest boost has to be my recent addition of Pregnenolone. It’s a precursor to all the sex hormones. It seems, based on the symptoms and symptom improvement, that I’ve been suffering from a shortage of them for some time – I suspect progesterone was the worst of the shortages. I see my ‘insulin doctor’ in a few days, and
I need to lay out my reasoning on paper so I can explain it (in case dysphoria or anxiety kicks in while trying to explain it to him).
As the title implies, I’m attempting to put myself back together emotionally – to re-assemble something like a normal personality instead of the male mask that I constructed to satisfy other people. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to remember things in my occasional moments of clarity. It’s not so much that I don’t have much clarity – but that I’m realizing what a mess I am emotionally and cognitively. The pregnenolone boosts ALL my hormones, and I’m biologically male – so it’s probably boosting testosterone as well. I can
‘ride the wave’ and see that it limits me emotionally and intellectually – while boosting me physcially.
In looking back, I re-live things – trying to see where things went wrong and right. I try to re-discover things long stuffed into little cracks in the corners of my mind. I allow myself to experience emotions I was told weren’t ‘proper’ for little boys, and had suppressed habitually for decades. It’s like puberty in some ways, there’s an emotional roller-coaster that never *quite* stops. In observing other women – and yes, I identify slightly more as one now – that seems to be normal.
It’s scary and liberating at the same time.
It’s been a while, as I’ve frankly been too tired to post. I work some ODD shifts, and I just got back on my ‘usual’ shift.
Upon looking at blogs like those by my friend Zoe Brain ( http://aebrain.blogspot.com/ ) and Zinnia Jones ( with whom I have no relationship – http://freethoughtblogs.com/zinniajones/ ) – I tend to think of mine as rather amateurish. I am an amateur I suppose – I don’t even have a ‘tip jar’ set up. Hopefully, once I re-acclimatize to something like a normal workday and get used to writing more regularly, it will improve. I really do need to get in the habit of writing more, but at least I know WHY I have issues now. Recent events, insights, and Zinnia’s latest blog leads me to the conclusion that I’ve been dealing with ‘dysphoria’ for a VERY long time. Her latest post is here: http://freethoughtblogs.com/zinniajones/2013/09/that-was-dysphoria-8-signs-and-symptoms-of-indirect-gender-dysphoria/
I encourage you to go read her breakdown, which is more than the simple list I’ve ‘stolen’ here. She really does nail it for me, insofar as how I’ve felt for so long – since before PUBERTY, honestly. She breaks it down into the following issues:
1. Continual difficulty with simply getting through the day.
2. A sense of misalignment, disconnect, or estrangement from your own emotions.
3. A feeling of just going through the motions in everyday life, as if you’re always reading from a script.
4. A seeming pointlessness to your life, and no sense of any real meaning or ultimate purpose
5. Knowing you’re somehow different from everyone else, and wishing you could be normal like them.
6. A notable escalation in the severity of these symptoms during puberty.
7. Attempting to fix this on your own through various coping mechanisms.
8. Substantial resolution of these symptoms in a very obvious way upon transitioning, particularly upon initiating HRT.
Every one of these ring true except #8, because I’m still trying to find ‘coping mechanisms’. Nothing really helps. I’m *functional* but that’s about all.
My next ‘goalpost’ is the
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millon_Clinical_Multiaxial_Inventory ..mainly to insure that I don’t have MORE issues that don’t show up besides ‘Gender Dysphoria.
In a perfect world, I’d already be in the process of transition. I can’t really do that, as I have to make a living, I’m a father, and a husband. The best I think I can do until after I retire is low dose estradiol and androgen blockers. Once I’ve started that, hopefully I won’t have to worry about boobs – though I’d personally love to have them at this point – and (according to more than just Zinnia’s experience ) MOST if not all the ‘dysphoria’ will go away.
Another piece I’ve read is located here: http://avitale.com/developmentalreview.htm
Basically, I fit ‘type three’ to a large degree. I’m a classic ‘late bloomer’. There was simply no way I could have known because my feelings weren’t ‘gender specific’ at all until September of 2010, when I started looking on the Internet to find an answer to the issues that started to more and more come to the forefront of my mind.
I think that I’m emotional healthier now – a bit more stable – and my brain is ‘healing’. I’m not ‘there’ yet, but is anyone EVER ‘there’ in terms of being happy? I’m certainly better off, but the answer is that I’m a transexual, in all likelyhood – It “Tends to be progressive” as Zoe says….
This started out as many of my blog posts are apt to do) as a response on one of my (FAR TOO MANY) discussions on Facebook, it sorta evolved into a rant….ENJOY!
The things Fundamentalists have problems wrapping their head around are just amazing, how can one be rational and think like that? (oh, wait, you can’t – well that explains some things)
People are born gay. They *are*. The problem is that this means that God is NOT attendant to things that are outside His purpose. Fundamentalists think it all revolves around them and their agenda.
What – exactly – IS their agenda? I can’t see much of Christianity in it.
God allows free will – otherwise we’d basically be robots. Evil HAS to exist for free will to exist. Give that some thought – it implies we CAN’T have a ‘always attentive’ God.
We are spiritual beings held in a physical shell, this ‘life’ is temporary – something Atheists have problems with philosophically.
<shrug> Tough – You can’t bitch about all the evil – and then complain about no free will at the same time…
God only steps in when there are issues having to do with His mission for YOU – our HIS mission on Earth. No other time.
You don’t believe in Him? Hey…your choice (Free Will, remember?) he’s simply not going to be present in any form unless you are part of His purpose here.
If you’re part of His purpose, stand by – it gets BUMPY.
That Fundamentalists think God hinges on their every thought and the world revolves around their viewpoint – says things about their average level of maturity, and also their ability to read and absorb what the Bible means. Christ was MEEK – he was God incarnate – yet he set himself up as a servant for many.
You really think that He’s horribly worried about what your views on nonsense like ‘transubstantiation’ are?
I’d wager He’s FAR more concerned with how you treat you loved ones and strangers.
Sodom was about a people that were unkind to strangers and were not generous about helping others with their excess. It was NOT about buttsecks. Again, you have to wonder why they worry about the things they do.
(Hint – it’s RUDE to beat people to death with your holy book)
Your son is gay? – help him understand how that will play out in his life, don’t try to force him to hide it, that’s unhealthy and it’s not going to CHANGE anything. There’s nothing wrong with being gay, you people are READING IT WRONG.
Your Daughter is a Lesbian? Dance with BOTH brides at the wedding.
One of your kids is Bi? Help them to work out how that affects their relationships.
Transgender? Cry with them – Hug them – because that road is a tough one.
– Six Literal Days? Really? Even reading the text in English, that has to be wrong. Try ‘epochs’ – MUCH more appropriate word there.
I’m going to outline a few things I understand about why people like us ‘happen’. I’m not an expert, and someone may well correct me, but here goes….
During early development a fetus is ‘female’ as far as the ‘mechanics’ are concerned, Later developments during hormonal “baths” either shift the fetus to male or don’t. There are some things that happen along the way if things ‘work correctly’.
Genetics is part of the reason why some of us are transgender (or gay, lesbian, etc…). It’s not clear if ONLY genetics has a lot to do with it, but we know that ‘Epigenetics’ also comes into play.
Epigenetics has to do with how a chromosome ‘twists’ physically – like a hair, but it’s proportionately MUCH longer. The chromosome twists up into a ball – and if two adjacent genes responsible for ‘transness’ or ‘gayness’ must come close to each other AND be bathed in the wrong sex hormoes at the wrong time – the child’s orientation will differ from the norm in a number of ways. We can’t yet predict HOW – or even – this is going to happen.
Transexuality and all the related conditions – the entire LBGTQI spectrum – all work the same way – they interrelate, you can be a mix.
Epigenetics, Stress on the mother, environmental conditions during the pregnancy….these are the things that lead to a fetus later becoming something ‘outside the norm’ of human binary sexual behavior.
Stress on the mother can change the nature of the hormone bath. It’s not yet clear HOW and WHAT all these stresses can be.
All this appears to be a ‘vulnerability’ whose execution is dependent on the conditions of the pregnancy.
There’s a theory that population stress is ONE of those stress-ors – as well as a variety of others – and that evolution brought it about as a positive adaptation to RELIEVE that stress.
Gay Individuals (and most of the LGBTQI spectrum) rarely have children. This helps alleviate population pressure relatively benignly.
Transgender persons are also generally more capable of dealing with stress, as well as being (on average) more intelligent. The entire LGBTQI spectrum tends to be – on average – more intelligent.
The rate of transgender persons in the Special Forces across the globe is FOUR TIMES that in the general population. It’s believed to be a desire on their part to ‘prove their manhood’. While that may be true – there is theorized to be an evolutionary impetus to create ‘soldier ants’ to be guardians of the species as a whole.
It’s also worth nothing that ‘two spirit’ individuals are historically honored for their wisdom in some societies.
I have to wonder if the societal rejection is not also some sort of evolutionary countermeasure to prevent ‘sports’ like this from becoming the norm. I’d like to see actual percentage a from a variety of historical societies – but THAT would require a time machine.
I’m very much FOR allowing individuals to act privately as they desire, so long as they don’t harm others in the process. I see no harm at all in allowing individuals of the same sex to marry – and a great deal of harm in forbidding it.
If you can be prejudiced against ONE harmless group of people, you can justify it in ANY case. It’s a bad precedent to set.
There is no Biblical issue with Gay Couples despite the nonsense that bigots behind pulpits claim – using the Greek of their own Bible to prove it.
Ever since I figured out the issue I have, crossdressing has appealed to me. I couldn’t say WHY, simply that it did. A facebook friend of mine has thought about this issue (she is a bit further along the path than I am) and has a theory as to why some of us do….
I don’t believe that you’re either “this type” or “that type” of Transsexual person, which is the paradigm they hold. Like everything else in our species, gender identity exists within a spectrum, and while it is probably not changeable, it can certainly be expanded upon.
When I took the SAGE test ( http://www.hemingways.org/GIDinfo/sage/test.htm ), it showed I was an Autogynephillic Cross-dresser among other things. I didn’t react well to that – it struck at my heart deeply – I knew it was true… once I found out what it meant. Thing is – the term Autogynephillic Crossdresser – isn’t a widely accepted concept among transexuals. There’s an old joke…
“How much difference is there between a Crossdresser and a Transexual?”
“About 2-3 years”
It’s seen as – and likely very much IS – a ‘trolley stop’ on the way to realising one’s true internal gender. Some stay there, because they do not experience dysphoria as badly – some for other reasons (Wive’s, Family, Religion).
As for erotic cross-dressing, I believe it probably happens a lot more than the Trans community is willing to admit. I also suspect that some people engage in it intensely, while for others it doesn’t really do much, and I’ll explain why. But first, let’s look at the difference between male and female sexual arousal.
A heterosexual male will, almost invariably, feel sexual desire towards a female he considers attractive. Given the opportunity, within a few seconds, he is ready to perform and impregnate a her. It doesn’t really matter to him if she is particularly attracted to him, or interested in him as a person. In some respects, his “thinking” mind shuts off for the duration of the encounter. Sex for a male is very much an “on and off” process. His body seeks the rush of endorphins and dopamine supplied by an orgasm, because this is how nature ensures the perpetuation of our species (and most others.)
A heterosexual female may see a male she considers attractive, but ordinarily, she will not seek to engage in sex unless the male behaves in a manner that makes her feel “desirable.” This feeling of being desired is part of the female arousal process, and without it, sex can feel perfunctory and provide no pleasure. For a female to experience an orgasm, typically she needs for the male to make her feel a certain way… cherished, protected, desired or what we called “loved.” Nature has programmed her to “test” the male’s commitment to her before she commits to 9 months of pregnancy, since she will be vulnerable during and immediately after this period. Having a male around, and being assured he will stick around assures her that she will be safe.
As the old adage goes, women give sex to get love, and men give love to get sex.
I *NEVER* went on ‘autopilot’, got lost in the moment, or whatever – I enjoyed sex, but it wasn’t the massive passion-dump she’s describing here, nor has it been that pleasurable in the past – 15 years or so. It was pleasant – but not THAT pleasant. I sometimes wonder how things would go if I had a male companion that was interested in me. I’m married, so that option isn’t on the table right now.
Now, take a Transsexual female who has just reached puberty, and finds herself attracted to females. The part of her brain responsible for sexual attraction becomes very confused. The masculine part of her brain feels the intense desire to have sex with a female she finds attractive, but the feminine part says, “I want her to want me.” She doesn’t want to “take” sex from the object of her desire because that’s not what females do, but she very much would like it to be given to her, so she feels desired, cherished and so on. Basically, her sex drive is like a male’s, but her need to feel desired is like a females. So when the Transsexual female seeks to “bond” with a female she finds attractive, they both want the same thing from each other, which neither of them feel comfortable giving. The end result is the attraction devolves into a “friendship”, which is fine for the cisfemale, but leaves the Transsexual female feeling frustrated and rejected.
That’s pretty much how I feel – and felt very depressed when I first realized the issue – but was unable to express it this way.
She is still deeply aroused by the concept of possessing a female, so she thinks, “how can I get closer to the object of my desire?” “How can I indulge myself in a sexual encounter without a female present?” Perhaps there is a substitute… something that can make me feel both desired as a female (like a woman does), while at the same time possessing a female (like a man does.)” And thus a *coping strategy* is devised. Like most adolescent girls, a Transsexual female wants to express her femininity, see herself as others see her… pretty, feminine, sexy, alluring, desirable. This is completely natural, so the idea that a Transsexual female would want to dress as, and appear as, a woman is completely understandable. Expected even. I’ve never spoken to a single Trans woman who did not cross-dress at some point, even if it was only once.
Yet she also has this extreme, testosterone-fueled urge to have sex. Ordinary adolescent boys relieve this, obviously, through masturbation – usually to the thought or idea of a female (usually naked.) A Trans woman feels this same feeling, but her brain gender tells her she IS female. How can she avoid the inevitable conflagration of the two? Her brain is telling her, “I’m attracted to females, I am a female, but since I can’t express my female sexuality in public, I must do it in private. To fulfill my female need to feel desired sexually, I will make myself both the target and object of desire, thus fulfilling both the male and female needs at once.
So there you have it. Erotic cross-dressing is a COPING STRATEGY that non-homosexual Transsexual females use to basically keep from going insane. It is a SYMPTOM of Transsexualism… an attempt to relieve the intense gender dysphoria brought on by massive levels of pubertal testosterone acting on her female brain.
At least this is my theory.
Certainly, this fits MY experience…
Now, think about what happens to male bodies as they get into their forties and fifties. Testosterone DROPS. The coping strategy is needed less and less because less testosterone equals lower libido, but the DYSPHORIA is as strong as ever. Take away the testosterone and you’re left with a female gender identity and a brain starved for hormones. Introduce ESTROGEN, and magic happens. All of a sudden, your shoes are no longer on the wrong feet. You feel “right” and “correct” for the first time in your life. The feeling of correctness confirms beyond a shadow of a doubt who you are – and what you need to do. Hello second puberty.
My guess is, if all Trans females received estrogen and testosterone suppression, and went through a normal female puberty, erotic cross-dressing would be almost as rare as it is in cisfemales.