Skip to main content

expressing gender

What exactly does “born in the wrong body” mean? And no this question is not meant to be the least bit facetious.

If expectation of gender expression is, to some extent, a social construct, what makes some people who don't fit the mold feel certain that they must physically transition into the other sex and why can’t they simply be happy expressing gender with their existing body?

First let me state that I am record on this blog as not being the least bit against the idea of transition but this question begs answering.

Imagine for a moment a world where people could express themselves in a way they desired and could dress and live openly as either male or female? Given this new set of rules would the desire for hormonal and surgical changes still be a desirable option for some? Are some people now opting to physically transition exclusively to enable them to more easily pass as the other gender?

Our inability to find (at least to date) a biological or genetic tracer for the presence of transsexualism is prompting my asking these questions.

I sometimes read stories about transsexuals where the family history is fraught with grief. For some there has been sexual molestation or a dysfunctional same sex parent relationship where the origin for the desire to change sex might possibly lie. I am not saying that every person who desires to transition has any such issues but that some do.

In truth the combination of family history, sexual preference and gender identity is a deeply complex cocktail that would require in-depth analysis to unravel and by the time an individual reaches a therapist with an expressed desire for transition the only way towards contentment is to follow through.

But by how much would the desire for transition be reduced by simply giving the child a freer control over his or her gender expression?

It’s clear that in many modern cases the will of the child is unfaltering and when they are allowed to follow their dream of changing sex they do. There are no regrets and much grief is avoided later in life when the prospect of such a change is far more daunting.

There are cases however, where things are not as black and white and this has led to wrong decisions; perhaps how we intervene or we do not can have dramatic consequences towards a final outcome.

Children certainly do not come with an instruction manual.

What I find positive about this era is that there is a willingness to address gender identity issues early on in the developmental history of the child. There need not be 40 years of suffering to discover a festering wound left untreated. Maybe society is overdosing on transgender awareness these days but at least in the process there are young kids out there feeling more open and positive in expressing their feelings.

The danger of course is that, in that delicate period of sexual and gender development, we don’t push the child towards any one option. Sometimes these questions sort themselves out on their own.

I remember thinking that one of my nephews was going to be gay or transgendered given his early and persistent penchant for wearing princess dresses. He is the same age as my son and looking at him now I would venture to say that it was just a phase. His mother did not panic and he was not overly chided by my brother.

We are indeed a complex species.


Franklin Roosevelt circa 1884

Comments

  1. Joanna, you are writing some very powerful posts. Thank you from all of us who continue questioning.

    ReplyDelete
  2. thanks so much Halle for your kind words...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Excellent post! Keep on writing...

    Mandy

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

my last post

This will be my last post.

When I wrote recently that this blog had another seven years of life in it I was trying to convince myself that it was true. It was in fact a little bit of self delusion.

With almost 3,000 posts to date I have accomplished what I set out to do which was to heal myself and in the process share some of the struggle I had been through with others on the chance they might find some value in my words. After seven years of writing, my life still isn't perfect; no one's is. But I have discovered a path forward completely free of the trappings which society would have had me adopt so I could fit in.

Over the last 25 years of my life I have turned over every stone I could find while exploring this topic and in the process realized that we haven't even begun to scratch the surface of this deeply complex subject. What I have ultimately learned is that my instincts have more value than what someone who isn't gender dysphoric writes about me. We are very …

epilogue

While this blog is most definitely over, I wanted to explain that part of the reason is that it was getting in the way of writing my next book called "Notes, Essays and Short Stories from the North" which will combine philosophy, trans issues, my observations on life, some short fiction and things that have happened to me over my life and continue to (both trans related and not).

When it is complete I will post the news here and will be happy to send you a free copy upon request in either PDF or eBook format. All I ask is that you provide me with some feedback once you're done reading it.

I'm only in the early stages so it will be a while.

Be well all of you....

sample pages...
















No, I don't mind

When Halle and I last got together the woman serving us said:

"I can't wait to get home and take off my bra you know what I mean ladies?"

Arguably the statement wasn't the most elegant thing to say to perfect strangers but it made me reflect.

The thing is I don't mind wearing a bra because it is one more reminder that I am trans. Feeling my breast forms pressed up against my skin and cupped within the confines of my bra makes me comfortable and is another piece which contributes towards soothing my gender dysphoria.

There are days when the combination of the feel of my bra and forms, the pull of my dangly earrings and the feel of my feet in heels is a powerful combination which feeds my soul. I used to think this was me fooling myself until I finally admitted that my identity is being affirmed through these accoutrements. They are like badges that allow me to be addressed and treated in the manner I want; like a woman.

The gender identity of cis people is fed in …