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In good company

I feel that it is very important that the transgender gynephilic person recognize and take ownership of the sexual component that has adhered itself to their gender dysphoria. Why you ask? Because without doing so you cannot resolve the anxiety you may have built up around it and get to the bottom of how you need to proceed.

The fact is that our sexuality has been impacted and there is no getting around it. Our earliest desire to be female piggy-backed onto our developing psychosexual identity during puberty and hence we cannot be conventional because simply put: 99% of males don't have gender dysphoria.

Now I don’t need to explain to my usual readers that Ray Blanchard spectacularly failed to conclusively prove his theory because to do that you would need to firmly establish a causal relationship. His intellectual dishonesty came in making a claim to science while not clearly acknowledging that the dysphoria could easily have preceded and have been the cause for the establishment of an erotic relationship which merged identity with orientation. In fact only Anne Lawrence makes this honest admission in her writings (see my previous post on this).

Regardless, coming to terms with my abnormal sexuality has helped me put away the idea of transition and accept that its now a permanent part of my psychosexual identity. Hence I now think of our situation in terms of statistics and know that we are in good if albeit small company.

Before I discovered the internet I languished in the certainty that I was an abomination. Comprehending the mechanisms that contributed to creating my particular situation has made for a world of difference because it allows for more dispassionate and lucid thinking. It allowed me to accept that your identity is fused by puberty it cannot be undone anymore than a person can change their sexual orientation in mid-life. You are who you are and accepting that fact makes dealing with gender dysphoria just a little more bearable.

Back when our outdated definitions strayed no further than the terms "transvestite" and "transsexual" many of us were petrified to be either but even more ashamed to be the former because it was associated with perversion and aberrant sexuality. Our prudish Western culture could not understand either strain but somehow the narrative of "woman trapped in a man's body" could be seen to be more palatable under the wrapping of a condition. In their writings Benjamin and even Blanchard mused about a possible common root origin for both but of course never had their answer.

This apparent clear cut distinction led many gender dysphorics to fear being abnormal males and to think of themselves more as women in waiting because it was a far better scenario than being a pervert. The word crossdresser was invented as an attempt to soften the terminology.

The truth is that the etiology of gender dysphoria completely eludes us and many decades after the publishing of the Transsexual Phenomenon (arguably the best book written on the subject) we are not much further ahead in knowledge. Therefore it is up to you to accept your reality and forge ahead with a plan that respects your identity with the goal of keeping you balanced and as content as you can. If that plan includes transition then only you can know but it is clear that for some it has been a good option.

Just remember that you are in good company.



Comments

  1. Good company indeed, Joanna, thank you for your writings.

    I agree so much with what you said, particularly the overall shame of my thoughts and feelings, but also the weight of being consumed by what I thought was such an abominable fetish. To this day I don't care at all for the term "transvestite." First, it sounds very clinical. More importantly it implies that it's all about the clothes.

    I've wrestled with labels recently. Am I a trans-woman? Or, as my wife asked, do I consider myself female in my brain? This is all complicated by my lack of desire to transition. But maybe I'm just fooling myself?

    In the end I decided okay, I am transgender. Nothing more, nothing less. Mentally somewhere on the male/female spectrum, navigating my way around the rocks and shoals of gender dysphoria. And that's perfectly okay and understandable. We are 100% normal people, maybe on the tail of some population distribution, but normal nonetheless.

    As far as where our sexuality is derived, speaking only for myself of course, I can well recall how much I envied girls, their lives and yes, their clothes long before puberty. I also was acutely aware of how ashamed I was of my feelings that I often nurtured while waiting for sleep in the privacy of my bed. It was exciting. It felt good, right, to dream of being a girl, a mermaid, a ballerina. I thus think it's natural that my sexual fantasies would be centered on these dreams. Sex feels good, and combined with female fantasies it feels great.

    I agree too that we're really not very far along in understanding where gender dysphoria originates or manifests. For the past couple of years I've been reading everything I could get my hands on about it, as if by being able to point a finger at the scientific truth I would justify myself. Now I feel that I have enough to know that GD is real and we're born with it. It would be nice to know more about it and I will keep up my research. Now, though, it's important to look forward, not back, to accomplish what you said, "accept your reality and forge ahead with a plan that respects your identity with the goal of keeping you balanced and as content as you can."

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    1. in truth this is a very complicated subject Emma and we don't understand what goes on inside our brains for the longest time. All we know is that our instincts seem to run counter to expectation and we are made aware that this is not to be tolerated. We spend years trying to sort things out and if we are lucky come to an equilibrium point where a path forward becomes clear. That path is likely going to be unique to each of us.

      What is clear is that gender dysphoria is not something one chooses to have.

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  2. I agree with both of you. I am at peace with myself that I am transgender....on good days I feel blessed that I have been able to see the world thru two windows which gives me better appreciation of life itself. There are bad days when I can feel depressed about it and feel that things aren't fair but that's life. There is no great answer. Even transitioning brings many new complexities and the unknown question of whether I would truly be happy. Being middle aged and with half a life already lived..... I feel I would be trading one bucket of unhappiness perhaps for another bucket of unhappiness.....Who knows?

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    1. I feel very much like you Liza well said...

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