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repatriating the feminine

Somewhere along the way in my childhood I picked up the idea that displaying feminine behaviour was a bad thing. I can’t remember how it was passed on to me but understanding European culture of the 1960’s it’s not hard to figure out how it could have happened.

I had a wonderful father who had lost his own father when he was young and wasn’t perhaps able to be the male role model I needed. He was kind, patient, bookish, reed thin and wore glasses; all of which set him somewhat against the male ideal of the period. Enter my vociferous mother followed by two sisters and you have a perfect recipe for feminine imprinting which subsequently took on erotic overtones.

I now had this permanent stamp on my psyche which I had to learn to eliminate or hide as much as I could and spent the better part of 40 years doing just that.

As I repatriate the feminine back into my life, I have a new appreciation for all the qualities that reside within me. I believe that I am a good combination of male and female and aside from my crossdressing I don’t think people would see me as possessing too much of the traits of either gender. We are all a combination of both in varying proportions and the idea is to find a recipe that works for you. The problem comes when our particular chosen concoction rubs against the grain of the society we live in or our family's sensibilities.

If you have the fortitude to ignore those messages, then you will have no trouble being true to your own nature; one that perhaps need not reject the masculine in order to espouse the feminine. I am not convinced that a transition should be based on a hatred of one's male anima.

Non-dysphoric people in the world balance their feminine and masculine sides without a desire for transition and many do not fit stereotypical gender roles in the least. Early imprinting or not, perhaps we should be able to do the same.

I think women are wonderful and have admirable qualities that I wish to emulate more. Removing my obligation to appear macho as compensation for hiding a gender issue has made it easier for me to do just that.


  1. I have long since come to peace with myself and have adopted the concept that being a cross dresser with both male and female components to my basic nature provides me and all that know me with the best of both worlds.

  2. I see you as being completely as peace with this Pat and you are as sensible as they come. Good for you!

  3. Joanna, I have just seen the Ying Yang sign!
    In my comment to your post "him or her?" I wanted to go on and on and bring up the duality aspect fundamental to Taoism. I found that I can relate to and apply Taoist principles to/in my “belief structure” and this has helped me in placing the male/female duality part of me, along with the other dualities I have, safely within me. The symbolic behind the Ying Yang sign is well known (and I believe misused in recent times) but how many of us apply this simplistic principle to our lives? Everyone says we need a balance in life and that extremes are dangerous. Some people unfortunately relate balance with being static - unmoveable - and therefore safe. The only way to feel and live this balance is through a continuous change / shift back and fourth between the components of our dualities at different times and at different intensities. Isn’t it a shame that some people out there are hanging on for dear life to one extreme weighted down by self inflicted social and/or family conventions, not realising that at least a little bit of the other end would do them a world of good! Pats words are so true; we have the best of both worlds.
    Haven’t we, dare I say it, in some way an advantage here?

  4. Abigale I do now see this way of being as an advantage where I used to feel it was not. The reason it was not was because I felt trapped by what I felt I was supposed to do in order to make other people happy. We are all endowed with a duality of gender but we are confined to expressing it within the confines of the strict guidelines we are taught as children. Who made up the rules? beats me.....thank you for your very heartfelt comments!

    1. Yes Joanna, I can understand, and we have talked about this before, social convention and pressures imprint the rules of the do’s and don’t’s at an early age. But when we get to a ripe “young” age, we come to realise that these rules should not always apply and struggle (quoting Freddy) to break free. But also at the same time we come to realise that we have also compassion and feelings towards our immediate and long standing circle of friends / colleagues and take into consideration what they would go through if “all is revealed”, not only their relationship to us but among each other as well. It’s a dilemma not easy, if ever, answerable.
      Oh yes. You asked who made the rules? Well there is a simple answer to that. You don’t have to look any further than our “selfish genes”. The little buggers (excuse my French) are the cause of everything. ;-)

    2. Abigale I have been surprised by the level of tolerance I have experienced from people once I have come out to them. They may not understand anything about the way I am but they know I am a good person and not insane and accept me at face value

  5. Joanna this to be expected, you are a truly gentle and genuine person and this is what shines through!
    If you show a genuine interest and respect (a rare attribute to be found these days) for people, they will if also genuine and respectful, reflect this back... xx
    PS. Please don’t use the word “tolerance” I know everyone does, but it has for me a negative connotation, you are a positive person, use “acceptance” instead. :-)
    Also keep being surprised it’s a wonderful human quality..

  6. thanks Abigale! I will try and stick to tolerance....


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