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some of what I have learnt thus far...

When I was trying to understand myself and where I fit into the gender spectrum I spent a lot of time researching and reading. My research included the work of Ray Blanchard and Anne Lawrence and their theories on autogynephilia which in turn led me eventually to Jack Molay’s wonderful Crossdreamers site where I found many interesting comments and stories from people very similar to myself..

One of the aspects that I learnt that I did not know before was that non crossdressing dysphorics and non dysphoric but AGP identifying posters mentioned that they read TG fiction and/or viewed imagery. Having never done this myself I could not relate but it made sense to me that a person desiring in some way to identify with or be the other sex (even temporarily) would need an outlet for their feelings.

I have come to conclude that the curiosity about what it might be like to be the opposite gender is not all that uncommon. I think many people flirt with the idea and go through phases in their lives. I have read so many stories now that I have come to realize that there are many permutations out there on this common theme which is actually borne out of human curiosity and playfulness. Many artists, poets and writers have imagined themselves as the opposite sex and many experimented with cross dressing and even with their sexuality.

The difference with the dysphoric is the feelings are much stronger and more persistent and they are not easily brushed or put aside. The stronger the feelings are the less the person is able to identity with their birth sex and the less they are able to function in their expected gender role.

But reading the many different postings on Crossdreamers made me realize the myriad of variations that existed were slightly different from my own and yet common in that they related to a wish to explore the other gender role more deeply; some people strongly dysphoric and being unhappy with their bodies and some not.

I also learnt that there were female dysphorics. They were ignored by Blanchard but they are there and I suspect because at the time that Blanchard was doing his work very few females were presenting for gender reassignment surgery. They exist and although not as numerous as MtF transsexuals they are very much a real phenomenon. One possible explanation for their reduced number could be that all foetuses initially start as females only to become male later in the gestation period. That could perhaps make for a less likely possibility that the individual might become gender dysphoric later on.

Regardless, what I had previously thought to be a more monolithic phenomenon,has turned out to be far more complex model than I ever imagined. It has opened my mind to the reality that the combination of gender and sexuality and nurture versus nature become uniquely combined in every individual. This makes for a highly unpredictable outcome as to what a person will do with their gender and sexuality later in life.

As we have seen in some people, this mixture even morphs over the course of the person’s lifetime.

I am very glad for the work that I have put into studying this topic over the last few years and am deeply impressed by the tenacity of both the human spirit and the bravery of people who defy societal taboos to be who they really are.

It really is quite inspiring.


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