For the record, I have no agenda nor do I have any interest in supporting people who expose themselves in women’s locker rooms or want to use their showers if they are biologically male. That is a tangent that I won’t follow because no one would defend that.
I am also not a spokesperson for the transgender umbrella. Whether people call themselves crossdressers, transvestites, transsexuals, gender variant matters not one bit to me as everyone has a right to live in a way that is true to their nature.
But when someone comes here repeatedly with the same axe to grind for a reason that is not entirely clear to me, it breaks down the civility of the discourse.
This blog was started for one reason only: to try and understand myself and hopefully draw feedback from others who have had the same experience; namely the desire from a very young age to express and comport myself in a way that diverged from my birth gender.
Having tried everything at my disposal to eradicate this desire and eventually culminating in gender therapy, I eventually had to simply admit that this is part of my intrinsic wiring.
However, coming to terms with it has not eliminated my interest in understanding the origin of what makes a tiny fraction of the population gender disphoric and this has been spurred on by the wide range of conjecture that exists on the web and elsewhere as to what causes this condition.
What irks me is the proposition by some that people like me are simply fetishists. Well this may be a convenient explanation for some and may fit in with their own agenda but it does not adequately explain my own behaviour.
What I do know is that I am a repeatable experiment. In other words, I have read my own almost exact story in the personal web pages of other people over the years. So I know I am simply part of the human condition. Harry Benjamin would have simply interviewed me and likely categorised me as a type III or type IV gender variant person; incidentally without calling me a fetishist. Benjamin very wisely stayed away from making conclusions about validity of transition or making moral judgements about what he observed which is why his work is soscientific and so well put together.
What has happened since the original writing of the transsexual phenomenon in 1966 is that the vacuum left behind Benjamin’s work has been filled with sexual politics.
So called “true transsexuals” (HBS type V and VI) wanting to distance themselves from crossdressers, transvestites or midler disphorics were happy to have the rest of us be fetishists and perverts except that Ray Blanchard was not necessarily kinder to them since by categorizing transsexuals by orientation he also implied that one was really a homosexual male while the other a paraphilic male. In fact this caustic theory basically pleased no one and angered almost everyone. Interestingly, Blanchard’s work was based on a sample of less than 250 patients he saw in his gender clinic.
Blanchard’s theory focused on the eroticism he observed from his patients to the idea of feminization. The sexual excitement that was brought on by this idea he termed Autogynephilia which essentially boiled down to the translation “love of self as a woman”.
The problem was however that while he accused all of his “non-homosexual transsexuals” (his term) of being essentially perverts, he negated to focus on the fact that a significant percentage of “homosexual transsexuals” also exhibited eroticism before transitioning. I can attest to receiving a long email I from a young homosexual transsexual who reported to me that she had also experienced what Blanchard called Autogynephilia and she was fine with it. It did not stop her from transitioning but just observd it to be something she experienced. She had always liked men and was very feminine looking in her picture.
Other studies have pointed to this phenomenon and there are plenty of testaments from many transsexuals including oddly enough the website of Anne Lawrence, Blanchard’s main disciple.
Decades ago transsexuals would omit or simply deny the presence of any eroticism for fear that it would disqualify them from being accepted for surgery so a proper picture was not assembled of what was actually going on.
In any event it appears that the presence of eroticism is not the big deciding factor in whether people transition or not so then what is it? Why are some people transitioning early and some doing it late and some happy living in between genders?
We don’t know.
We honestly and truly do not know and anyone who tells you different is either a liar or a charlatan. The lead of the Montreal Gender clinic who has been working with transsexuals for over 30 years could not tell me what causes this and most of what I read on the web or in books is contradictory and inconsistent.
What we have is inconclusive evidence on brain chemistry, no DNA anomalies to speak of and no genetic markers that would distinguish a transsexual from anyone else.
So what is the source of gender disphoria that drives the desire? We don’t know.
But just because some people transition and others do not does not automatically create a pecking order of validity. Having now transitioned does not make you a woman but then everyone else a pretender or a paraphilic; that is simply being disingenuous.
I have always stated here that I respect everyone. Whether you transition or not, I do not make value judgements on your life status or your choicees so long as the discourse here is civil and constructive.
However if you think that you can make value judgements based on your own conjecture perhaps as a way to alleviate some of your own issues by putting down others, you will not be permitted to comment on this blog.
I very much appreciate the feedback that most of you have given me and continue to provide and the continuing effort in this blog is mostly due to that positive reinforcement.
I strongly believe that gender variance is just part of the human condition even if the reasons for it are not entirely understood.
It’s as simple as that.