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thoughts on transition

I am not against the idea of transition; far from it. For many it is a lifesaving operation and allows them to live as they were meant to all along.

Those of us who have varying degrees of gender dysphoria, it may not necessarily be the right decision and could turn out to be the biggest mistake we could ever make. Remember that you don’t need to surgically alter your sexual organs to express gender so why go through the surgery at all?

We are starting to see the beginnings of a gender revolution that I have never seen before in my lifetime. People of my generation had little to no outlets to manage their gender dysphoria and our ability to express our gender variance was limited. Sure you could join a secret crossdressing club but this was not for everyone and there was something almost seedy about having to do this in absolute secrecy.

In many parts of the United States in the 1950’s you could be arrested for dressing in women’s clothes in public.

Today, as I go about my business in the world as a woman, I realize I am not always passing and yet I have noticed a marked shift in the way people perceive and relate to a crossdressed male. If they see a secure and friendly person, they will treat you as such. Confidence, dignity and poise are huge factors which come into play here.

The sartorial freedom that once belonged exclusively to women is beginning to slowly apply to males as well. Not everyone will take advantage of this latitude but it’s nice to know that it’s there for those of us that do.

The young are not the least bit shocked by a male in a dress. They know what it means to be gay and transgender and have grown up in a world where these are known conditions. This is a far cry from when I surreptitiously looked up the word transvestite in my 1973 Encyclopaedia Britannica and fretted about how this applied to me.

The world has changed and so have I.

I sometimes read the blogs of those who have gone into transition and don’t always see a happy result there. Perhaps there wasn’t enough mental preparation made, the right job conditions did not exist or the family rejected them outright. It’s hard to make a wholesale life change of this magnitude without massive turmoil but if you have lived more than 40 years of your life as a male, I am not certain that transition is going to go the way you have envisioned it in your mind.
You have invested so much of your life in another role and perhaps you have children and a spouse that you depend on the person you are today.

Transition is no doubt best for the young. Those who are just beginning their lives can invest their energy in becoming the people they were meant to be and if that includes a change of gender then so be it. Your entire life is ahead of you.

Those of us in our forties and fifties are in a more dangerous territory and the outcome is far from certain and there is much investment made in what we have built. My only warning would be that you be absolutely certain of what you are doing and that you try and find alternate methods to deal with your gender confusion before committing to a full transition.

I consider my dysphoria to be very strong and there have been times when I have seriously considered that gender transition could be a wise choice for me but then I realize that at its root this is an illness. It is an abnormality that I was born with which I must manage. The management of my dysphoria need not automatically lead to transition.

Better a happy abnormal male than an unhappy normal female - this is what I have decided that will apply to myself.

I remember my last session with Helene (my last gender therapist) during which I told her that I considered what I had was an illness. She couldn’t really argue with me and she has seen many, many people through transition and GRS. She asked me to join her group in order to be able to speak to others about my point as she thought it could be useful for some of them.

I declined then for fear of exposing myself to a group of transitioning transsexuals and feeling encouraged to go for it myself. Perhaps I should have gone anyway.

Being a secure, mentally healthy people should be our ultimate objective. Expressing your internal sense of gender could and should form part of that mission.

There is nothing wrong with that at all.


  1. As we seek to define ourselves we often look for terms that will help explain things that are hard to explain. The term 'transgender' has become so broad as to often require the modifier 'spectrum'. It may be that the term 'transition' will suffer the same fate as being over broad.
    In large measure the term has been used to apply to those T folks who have undergone SRS, GRS or some type of surgery. It now would seem to include folks with no surgery but who have had treatment with hormones.
    Virginia Prince lived the last several decades of her life entirely in female mode but never had any surgery or hormone treatment. I would say that the past tense term 'transitioned' would apply.
    When you come home from work and shed your slacks for a skirt and then head out to market or a movie I would see that as a transition of sort.
    I am a CD who likes to dress nicely with a neat outfit, proper subdued makeup, heels and hose and get out of the house. I suppose when I am entirely in femme mode and attire that I could consider that a transition.
    I find that seeking terminology is a frustrating and never ending losing battle. I find it easier to describe my activities by what I am doing.
    Now I am commenting on a blog. I am also working. Later I will be driving in my car. With any luck I may get a chance to crossdress this evening. Over the weekend, weather permintting I will try to golf. At best I am a sorry excuse for a golfer.
    Good luck trying to find a box that fits who you are. I have tossed in the towel and am now comfortable being whatever I may be doing at any given time.

    1. Pat I have certainly undergone a major mental transition and that is more than good enough for me. I wonder sometimes how many others of us would benefit from that and that alone. As usual thank you for your input....Joanna

  2. "Better a happy abnormal male than an unhappy normal female - this is what I have decided that will apply to myself."

    I don't really like the word abnormal. People aren't binary. What some people consider abnormal, others consider normal. I think all anyone can really say is "What I am is normal for me" and not really care if others consider it normal or abnormal. It's really none of their business.

    1. You are correct in saying this Lindsay but I was speaking in relative terns. Society at large considers all forms of gender variance (including transsexuality) to be abnormal. It is also statistically an aberration because our numbers are so small.

      I don't mean that to sound in the least bit negative by the way. A person born with a physical deformity is also technically abnormal. That does not make that person in any way inferior...

  3. Also true that people are not perfectly binary but the vast majority fit well within the accepted behavioral range for their birth sex. Gender vatiant people do not fit this mould at all and push the envelope to a point that confuses most people.

    Again no harm in that at all...


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