Friday, 1 April 2016

an important clarification

Most of the people whose blogs I frequent are transgender or transsexual. This means that the knowledge that something was different about them dates back to earliest memory and those who crossdress use it as a part of a strategy to manage their gender dysphoria. There is a section in Harry Benjamin's book where its proposed as a non-surgical treatment method for transsexualism.

When I was trying to find a solution for myself I would come upon websites that dealt with curing crossdressing desires. At the time I felt that I needed to heal from what I determined to be a curable abnormality. I sincerely believed that such sites could be helpful and provide inspiration. Ultimately they weren't and my understanding today that I am a borderline transsexual has completely changed my mindset on this issue.

I occasionally still come upon a site that proposes that one can be “cured” of the affliction of crossdressing which only gives me visions of some young transgender kid ending up there and not finding what they need. A sexual addiction is not the same thing as being transgender.

If one began to crossdress for the purposes of sexual gratification then its very likely one can stop because the dressing is not tied to identity. If it ultimately winds up causing distress then this is a significant sign that there might be a problem. However in general, transgender and transsexual people find relief by crossdressing.

I remember being very concerned about Catholic doctrine and so years ago I consulted a Monseigneur who told me it was at worst a morally neutral issue. But then he also reminded me that crossdressing is a verb and not a noun and that there was more to me as a person than whether I crossdressed or not. I never forgot that.

It is not uncommon for some transgender people to go through a phase where they identify as a crossdresser. This can sometimes help remove some stigma and avoid a potentially bigger question of whether there is something more to their desire to crossdress.

As for those who have successfully cured themselves from what they consider to be a sexual addiction? they are to be congratulated. But we are not all the same and we cannot be painted with the same brush.

This blog has always advocated the idea that transition should be a last resort and there are ways to cope with gender dysphoria. Crossdressing may just be one of those tools that works.

4 comments:

  1. Like you, I have no intention or desire to transition. As much as I would prefer to have been born female, transition at my age and situation would not be satisfying enough.
    Interestingly I prefer to think of myself as transgender, not a cross dresser. I also find relief in cross dressing but at least for now it's entirely at home and in private. I guess the reason I prefer the TG label is that then my cross dressing isn't really cross dressing. I'm just being more fully myself. It's not particularly erotic but I do experience a kind of endorphin charge at times.
    But this leads to a question that, given your volume of posts, perhaps you have already written about: do you see gender as a continuum between female and male? Or is it more bimodal with narrow distributions around the center of each curve?
    Several reasons to consider this. For example, am I truly a female gender but with male social conditioning? Or, as my therapist suggested recently, perhaps my uncertainties around my transgender-ness are a result of my brain's independently trying to protect myself by questioning my beliefs?
    I'd greatly appreciate your thoughts.

    Emma

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    1. Emma I definitely see gender identity as a continuum. This means that some will gravitate more towards the female or the male regardless of birth sex. The reasons someone would crossdress are varied but they range from entertainment to identity based. I wanted to make that distinction that we are not all the same and what works for one need not work for another.

      You are a combination of male and female and how you honour that is up to you. But it's expression need not be tied to a gender role transition unless you deem it's essential.

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  2. I tend to agree with the Monseigneur. Cross dressing is something I do. It gives me peace and purpose...pleasure and comfort. I do lots of other things in my life. I work, I eat and sleep. I drive a car. I ski and golf. I suppose to the same extent that at times I am a cross dresser I am also a worker, an eater, a sleeper, a driver a skier and and golfer. Some of these activities I do better than others.

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  3. We are all as different as the stars on the heavens Pat

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