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Are you a type G3?

I wanted to add another excerpt from Anne Vitale’s essay called “The Gender Variant Phenomenon--A Developmental Review”:

“...people who present for treatment routinely fall into three distinct groups: Two groups of female-identified males( Group One and Group Three in this paper) and one group of male-identified females (Group Two).

Group One (G1) is best described as those natal males who have a high degree of cross-sexed gender identity. In these individuals, we can hypothesize that the prenatal androgenization process--if there was any at all--was minimal, leaving the default female identity intact. Furthermore, the expression of female identity of those individuals appears impossible or very difficult for them to conceal.

Group Two (G2) is composed of natal females who almost universally report a life- long history of rejecting female dress conventions along with, girls' toys and activities, and have a strong distaste for their female secondary sex characteristics. These individuals typically take full advantage of the social permissiveness allowed women in many societies to wear their hair short and dress in loose, gender-neutral clothing. These individuals rarely marry, preferring instead to partner with women who may or may not identify as lesbian. Group Two is the mirror image of Group One.

Group Three (G3) is composed of natal males who identify as female but who act and appear normally male. We can hypothesize that prenatal androgenization was sufficient to allow these individuals to appear and act normally as males but insufficient to establish a firm male gender identity. For these female-identified males, the result is a more complicated and insidious sex/gender discontinuity. Typically, from earliest childhood these individuals suffer increasingly painful and chronic gender dysphoria. They tend to live secretive lives, often making increasingly stronger attempts to convince themselves and others that they are male.

As a psychotherapist I have found female identified males (G1) to be clinically similar to male-identified females (G2). That is, individuals in both groups have little or no compunction against openly presenting themselves as the other sex. Further, they make little or no effort to engage in what they feel for them would be wrong gendered social practices (i.e., the gender role assigned at birth as the basis of authority). Although I have seen some notable exceptions, especially in male-identified females, these individuals--at the time of presentation for treatment--are rarely married or have children, are rarely involved in the corporate or academic culture and are typically involved in the service industry at a blue- or pink-collar level. With little investment in trying to live as their assigned birth sex and with a lot of practice in living as closely as possible to their desired sex, these individuals report relatively low levels of anxiety about their dilemma. For those who decide transition is in their best interest, they accomplish the change with relatively little difficulty, particularly compared to G3, female-identified males.

The story is very different for Group Three. In the hope of ridding themselves of their dysphoria they tend to invest heavily in typical male activities. Being largely heterosexual, they marry and have children, hold advanced educational degrees and are involved at high levels of corporate and academic cultures. These are the invisible or cloistered gender dysphorics. They develop an aura of deep secrecy based on shame and risk of ridicule and their secret desire to be female is protected at all costs. The risk of being found out adds to the psychological and physiological pressures they experience. Transitioning from this deeply entrenched defensive position is very difficult. The irony here is that gender dysphoric symptoms appear to worsen in direct proportion to their self-enforced entrenchment in the male world. The further an individual gets from believing he can ever live as a female, the more acute and disruptive his dysphoria becomes”

I am a type G3 myself and this group of dysphorics needs to find an outlet and their own answer. Most of us fall into a group III or IV on the Harry Benjamin scale and our dysphoria is not cureable. It is however treatable.

What I have concluded for my own life is that my only answer was to accept myself, embrace my feminine nature and openly express it.

It has saved my life.

Transition may or may not be for you and it’s a big gamble because there is no guarantee that you will be happier afterwards.

If in embracing your feminine side, you find you have reached equilibrium then maybe you should be happy there. I think the danger comes when people go from nothing to all in one step. Why not try cross dressing or cross living for a while and see what that brings?

Denying who we are is no way to live and, for better or worse, we were created a little different than most people.

My dysphoria was becoming unmanageable for a period and I was headed into serious reflection about transition but in becoming truly comfortable with who I am, I realized I did not need to transition to be whole.

I am a person who happens to have gender traits from both sides and there is nothing wrong with that.

While I am not discouraging the idea of transition, I am saying that this approach might be all you need.


  1. I appreciate this post joanna Santos. It is exactly what I needed to read this afternoon. I am a bonafide member of group three. At just a week into my sixtysecond year of life ,I have, for the past five, begun to undo the fiftyseven years of repression of my true feelings.

    1. I didn't doubt it for a moment Pat. Being in that odd predicament is not easy but we figure our way through in time. Glad I could brighten your day!


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