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Life Choices...

By posting my thoughts on all of the literature I have read I do not mean to make value judgement on anyone. It was my attempt to understand how the variables of sexualisation and orientation play their roles in people with gender disphoria. This is very much what researchers like Blanchard and others are doing (whether you agree with them or not). It’s almost like finding the unifying theory of the universe.


I needed to try and understand myself within whatever science we have.

While I know that early transitioners have had a very different experience than people like me, that does not invalidate the experiences of late transitioners.

Late transitioners are sometimes painted as men with a choice because we are not given credit for the suffering we go through on the grounds that we took on male privilege and married and fathered children. The fact of the matter is that this task is often monumentally difficult and we often feel like frauds. We play roles that we are expected to fulfill and we learn to play them well. Keeping everything bottled up explodes gloriously in our faces in our forties and beyond is not the least bit surprising to me. Less than 3% of the male heterosexual population cross dresses regularly and an even smaller percentage suffers from gender disphoria. Some of us are putting ourselves through transition and risking losing families and jobs and friends. This makes no sense but then whatever causes these feelings is compellingly strong and it’s not a sexual whim that causes it -believe me.

From our beginnings we do not want to be different so we play along. Then when puberty comes we find we like girls and we think: “Yes I am a boy and I can do this, I can forget about these feelings”

They never go away. They are just parked in the garage out back. Sometimes, as in my case, it takes a stroke to bring them all out.

They get progressively stronger as we age and bubble up to the surface when you can no longer hold them back. I fought as hard as I possibly could and I am a person with incredible resolve and self discipline. The oldest of 6 children and the dutiful son who did what he was told. I was part of a devout Catholic family for whom homosexuality and transsexuality were considered life style choices.

But I paid the price in living my life in a state of mental constipation.

I still fight today against the idea of transition because the plight of the late transitioner is that he has already built up a life as a father, husband and employee. There is a history there that cannot be undone. So as the pressure mounts you find ways to deal with your internal struggle.

My way is to live part time as a woman in order to relieve the pressure.

This will have to suffice and, until such time as my disphoria gets to a fever pitch and I can no longer stem the tide, I will continue the status quo.

I am highly functional and intelligent. I have two university degrees and I practice in engineering. I am also well read and highly analytical. But I cannot solve the riddle that is my GID.

But I have come to accept that this is the way I am and, instead of fighting upstream like a salmon, I will focus on the positive as best I can.

Would I be happier if I transitioned? Maybe yes but it’s not always about your own happiness its sometimes about doing the right thing; the right thing for my children and my ability to put them through school and holding on to my career in order to do so. Transition is also brutally hard and likely all the more so later in life.

When I was young I kept silent and did not know I had any choices. That was then and this is now.

Comments

  1. Joanna. I do hope that you understand that I very much appreciate and sympathize with your extremely heartfelt struggles. I also hope that my efforts in trying to help you are understood to be offered in good faith.

    I honestly have no dog in this fight and could not be farther removed from trans issues or politics. What I am trying to do is to provide an alternative sounding board to your thoughts, offering some critical analysis of what appears to be your immersion in a single minded group think.

    In other words, I am trying to get you to think outside the "trans" box of "support and acceptance". While support and acceptance are critical to personal survival and good mental health, it is not universal by any means. This is the "real world" that you make reference, to: your kids, your job and your future.

    You sound like a down to earth kind of guy. Keep your feet on the ground. You will find your way through this.

    Some random thoughts:

    "finding the unifying theory of the universe." ...
    Not likely in this lifetime.

    " does not invalidate the experiences of late transitioners"...
    Not relevant.. Everyone's personal experience is extremely valid and real.

    "live part time as a woman in order to relieve the pressure"....
    Difficult, dangerous, but doable. Probably not a bad idea.

    "Some of us are putting ourselves through transition and risking losing families and jobs and friends. This makes no sense'...
    Agreed

    "But I have come to accept that this is the way I am and, instead of fighting upstream like a salmon, I will focus on the positive as best I can."
    Agreed

    "Transition is also brutally hard and likely all the more so later in life."
    Agreed

    You have my email. Use it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. "we took on male privilege and married and fathered children. The fact of the matter is that this task is often monumentally difficult and we often feel like frauds"

    Understood, but this is not about "extra credit". This is not about meeting some 'goal' or hierarchy.

    The very fact that you did what you did means that you had a choice. Life is not easy for anybody. Everybody has issues. It is the human condition to just do our best an struggle through.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I do appreciate your offer for counsel but as you yourself say the experience of the early transitioner is so radically different to late transitioners you pethaps not well placed to relate. Plus we disagree on one key aspect; namely that the same gender disphoria that drove you also drives me. Whatever causes people to do radical things like remove body parts cannot be so completely and radically different even if the life journey is. Late transitioners are still a tiny sliver of the male population and people don't invent things in their head for fun. Whatever is the source of my gender confusion I did not create it as it's there from earliest memory. Even blanchard himself now says that what he termed autogynephilia is likely biological in origin.

    ReplyDelete

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