Skip to main content

one body; two genders

There is something we suffer more from in the west compared to other cultures.

Here we harbor the idea that we must become the other gender in order to allow ourselves to embody the characteristics and behavior pattern of the other. While in eastern cultures you see people taking on opposite gender roles and being accepted for that while not needing to alter their bodies.

100 years ago no one transitioned. What did these people do? Well they lived their lives the best way they could and within the constraints set up for them culturally. This was either very difficult or very easy depending on the society you were born in. If you were born to a culture that accepted and even celebrated a third gender then you were fine. However if you were born to a strict Judeo-Christian modelled society where any variance from the norm was frowned upon, you were out of luck.

With the possibilities for body modification being introduced in the 20th century suddenly you had people presenting for such surgeries. But is body modification a requirement to be happy with ourselves? Perhaps for some it is.

Some might not admit that a surgery has made their life worse and for some it might be a draw with the advantage of eliminating their dysphoria levelled with new challenges being introduced which did not exist when they presenting as their birth gender. One thing is certain: if one is going to transition the earlier one does it the easier it’s going to be.

As we begin to reshape our ideas in the west, we might want to rethink the narrative of a gender role transition and instead become more flexible with the rules governing what it means to be a man or a woman.

After all what is gender dysphoria but a feeling that something is not quite right with our gender. But is that because of our plumbing or simply as a result of some restrictions being placed on how we conduct ourselves in life?

What if we abandon the idea of needing to go through a medical approval board to gain access to a body modification procedure as a first course and instead focus on shedding ourselves of all the vestiges of social constraint?

Maybe we will find that once we are free from all inhibition and fear we can become our true selves and embody the best of the particular gender blend that resides within each of our vessels.


Popular posts from this blog

another coming out

Recently I had lunch with one of the young estimators who occasionally works with me here in Toronto. We were chatting about work and our respective lives when she queried about my love life:

“So how is it going on that front. Meet anyone interesting lately?”

I reflected for a moment and then said:

“My situation is a little particular and if you don’t mind I can share something about myself”

She leaned in a bit and told me to please go ahead.

“I am trans” I said matter of factly.

She looked at me and smiled and said:

“Really? That’s so neat”

She is 35 years old and a lovely person which is why I knew I could confide in her. I then added that I had been reflecting on whether I would switch companies and begin working as Joanna and although she is totally open she also knows how conservative our business can be. So I told her that if I did decide to it would definitely be under a different umbrella.

Then yesterday I was coming back to my place and the lady who rents it to me, who is abo…

feeling sexy

Here are the results of a recent survey of genetic women:

“A new hairdo, walking in heels and a glowing tan are among the things that make a woman feel sexy. Freshly applied lipstick, newly-shaved legs and a little black dress also have a positive effect on the psyche”

Are you surprised? I’m not because it is exactly the same list that makes transgender women feel sexy.

For a long time the idea was pandered about that transsexualism was rooted exclusively in aberrant sexuality. But of course you cannot separate the sexuality from the individual because that forms part of their overall makeup and the fact that genetic and transsexual women overlap here surprises no one.

We should also add here that women aren't always thinking about sex and neither are transgender women.

Pre transition transsexuals would not readily admit they found these things sexy because they were afraid to be seen as perverted men in front of gatekeepers who understood nothing about their condition.

Today we kn…

the risks of downplaying dysphoria

Kati’s comment on my post called “Doubting you are trans” got me thinking about the validity of our feelings and the importance of not downplaying them.

Make no mistake: gender dysphoria is real and you are not delusional and by trying to downplay our emotional need to express ourselves we are making a mistake.

At the same time, I am very realistic about what I am doing to treat my dysphoria and understand that I was not born physically female. However, the idea that gender identity is established exclusively through birth genitalia has been pretty convincingly debunked which means that gender and its expression should be left up to the individual and not to society. But unfortunately, we live in a world where disobeying the rules leads to suffering through persecution.

Transition is one way to treat your “gender expression deprivation anxiety” (thank you Anne Vitale for that wonderful term) but it is not the sole method. However, denying that the feelings are real is a recipe for dep…