Skip to main content


For some of us settling into some sort of normalcy takes time.

First come the early forays into our mother’s closets (which was the subject of a recent post) where things feel right and normal until we are discovered and perhaps scolded. Then comes the phase where we are certain that there is something wrong with us and do our best to suppress but intermittently fail. Here we might experience those first tentative steps out the door or perhaps only dressing at home intermingled with purges where we swear we will never do it again.

One day we think we have found the right person and completely suppress everything and do our best to be “normal”. But eventually we realize that doesn’t work and we either dress surreptitiously or perhaps suppress until the pressure mounts to an intolerable level.

Finally comes the last period of acceptance where we can no longer hide from who we are and we either transition fully, partially or find some sort of formula that honors our identity.

This sequence is almost universal for those of us who tried following the script that we thought we were supposed to and, those of you over 45, will almost certainly recognize yourselves in it.

I am in that final stage and can now look back with 20/20 hindsight and even laugh a little at how terrifying everything was but didn’t need to be. I have learnt what to discard and what to accept but that it is easier for someone in their 50’s who has gained that perspective; but I might add: not without much toil and sweat. It is often said that what doesn't kill us makes us stronger and there is a strong current of truth in this. However I might have preferred that the struggle not have lasted as long as it did.

Whatever it means to be me was revealed over the last decade because I finally permitted it to happen and, the less I worried about what was expected of me, the more I became grounded in who I am.

It turns out that the best gift we can receive in this life is being true to oneself and you are in the unique position to bestow that.


  1. Your summary is so concise and accurate. I have always contended that we can we all tell the same story of hiding, exhilaration and self-loathing and finally acceptance. Like you, my only regret is that it took so long to achieve self-understanding and self acceptance.

    Thank you Joanna for today's post. So well written and thought out.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

prejudice disguised as objective rectitude

So here is Professor Jordan Peterson perhaps justly calling out the excesses of political correctness gone mad. But then he extends it to not indulging transgender people the basic dignity of being addressed in their preferred pronoun. To do so for him would cost nothing and to stand on literal principle seems to serve little use other than to send a message of disdain.

If you have transitioned or even live as the opposite gender is costs me nothing to address you in your preferred pronouns. What difference does it make to me and what am I trying to tell you when I don't?

Peterson wants to stand on his rights to call reality what it is except that in this case the exact objective escapes me. But of course the right wing Federalist is in love with him because he calls a spade a spade.

If I see a rock I can call it that but then the rock doesn’t have any feelings. To address a transgender woman "her" and "she" is not undermining my rights as a person in any way b…

"Oh please its 2016!"

I have mentioned before that I have a lovely young couple living above the unit next to mine. Well the other day as I was getting in the door, she and I overlapped for the first time with me dressed as a woman.

We had a nice conversation and at some point I mentioned the obvious which was that I had told her future husband that they might see me in a different guise from time to time so they wouldn't wonder about who the strange woman was. She just looked at me almost rolling her eyes while smiling from ear to ear and said:

"Oh Please it's 2016!"

For the record she was also very complementary regarding my choice of attire.

I could care less at this point in my life what people think but it is still lovely to see the millennial generation's freedom of spirit and acceptance so lacking in previous generations. Yes they have their own foibles, as does every generation, but this area certainly isn't one of them.

the pseudoscience behind gender dysphoria

The real science as to what causes gender dysphoria still awaits.

Harry Benjamin was on to something except he didn’t have the scientific evidence to back up his suspicions hence, like a true scientist, he negated to draw conclusions. His hunch, based on treating so many patients over his lifetime, was that one is born with a predisposition to be gender dysphoric.

However, with inconclusive brain scans and no DNA marker (as of yet) we are left with believing the word of people who need help and only want to lead happy and productive lives.

The best we have been able to muster since Benjamin's death in 1986 was to amass statistics on who gets a boner imagining themselves as a woman which is in equal parts pathetic and disappointing. For this is not really science at all but is instead playing with interview data that doesn't point to anything definitive or conclusive. I have dealt with this problem at great length in my blog.

The whole thing started with Kurt Freund's obses…