The homosexual transsexual is angry because they insist that they are women based solely on gender identity with no eroticism involved.
The heterosexual transsexuals are angry because they are virtually painted as paraphilic wankers who are essentially men with a sexual abnormality.
Firstly let me say that I agree with the basic findings of Blanchard that namely:
• There is not that much difference between transsexuals other than original orientation
• There is fantasy and eroticism present in both groups (whether admitted or not)
Some in the TS community claiming to be “true” transsexuals have little basis for their gender identification since their only proof lies in their insistence that they are actually women. The problem with this claim is that there is not a single shred of proof in either the DNA or in brain studies (size of the Bsc region may be tied to female hormone ingestion over time) that proves that in absence of HRT or SRS they would be anything other than normal males.
But let us bring GID into the picture for a minute. If gender disphoria is the common thread that ties all transsexuals together things start to make more sense. I don’t have an explanation for what causes GID but it can be used to explain things.
Let’s take a fictitious case study of 2 sets of boys; one group with gender disphoria and one group without. Each group consisting of one boy headed for heterosexual orientation and the other boy headed towards homosexuality.
The group without GID would produce one heterosexual male and one homosexual male.
The group with GID would produce what we normally find with transsexuals:
• The homosexual would be typically more feminine and more likely to be identified as girly. This type would today be identified as a trans kid and, given the right family circumstance and support structure, would be allowed to transition relatively early. This would eliminate the disphoria and produce (in the ideal case) a normal well adjusted woman instead of a disphoric gay male.
• The heterosexual would be more likely to find dissonance between what society tells him and his internal GID struggle. This boy would be more likely to ignore or battle against his gender issues in order to conform to societal expectation until everything explodes in his face; usually decades later.
It’s obvious why the former group wants to distance itself from the latter in the Blanchard model. By association with the second group, homosexual transsexuals feel that they are being treated as being less legitimate than they are. After all, who wants to be associated with paraphilic perverted men right?
But here is the problem. All transsexuals routinely downplay or lie about their erotic and fantasy aspects in their desire to be women; this is irrespective of original sexual orientation. The work of Blanchard and Lawrence and other studies routinely show this. In order to appear more legitimate most transsexuals will omit any sexualisation present in their desire for transition.
So do gender identity and sexuality exist in complete isolation? I firmly believe the answer is no. This is where I think Blanchard has it right.
Where I believe he has it wrong is that in an attempt to explain his theories at all levels, Blanchard stretches out the model of paraphilia to an absurd level. He argues that it’s possible for children as 3 or 4 years old to experience sexual eroticism related to their gender exploration. This completely runs counter to my personal experience and is counter intuitive given that sexualisation normally begins at or just after puberty.
Interestingly, Anne Lawrence states in her new book that she is not opposed to autogynephlic transsexuals transitioning solely on the basis of their sexual abnormality as long as the end result is a well adjusted woman. She has done that herself. Even if the person can delude themselves with other reasons for the transition, the result is what matters.
Anne Vitale has a more elegant approach in her work. She sees no distinction between transsexuals and only sees individuals who suffer from gender disphoria. The severity of the disphoria will determine how likely the person will require a process of partial or complete transition.
This model makes sense to me because not only does it make all transsexuals completely legitimate but it deals exclusively with GID and not how early or late an individual transitions or even whether eroticism was present or not. In the end sexualisation does not matter and does not make the claim for transition less worthy.
Do we know where GID originates? No we do not. What matters is that it exists and it must be dealt with. The milder the disphoria, the more likely you are to a cross dresser or gender variant person. The more severe the disphoria, the more likely you will transition.
I have a contact over at Pinkessence who is an archetype of the early transitioning homosexual transsexual that Blanchard describes. She has read Michal Bailey’s “The Man who would be Queen” and she found it rings true for her; including her experiences with eroticism and fantasy in feminization. I must admit that I have found much solace in our email exchanges given my own struggles.
In the end none of this will have an impact on how I live my life but I needed to come to some conclusions in order to feel comfortable about myself and my identity as a gender disphoric. I needed to understand myself through the literature.
I believe that I have now done this to my satisfaction.