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straight jacketed

The way I would best describe the journey of older transgender people like me (ie. those who come to acceptance later in life) is as a type of unboxing or unwrapping. We have been conditioned and raised against instinct and then one day we ask questions as to how this happened. We then begin to search for authenticity by allowing those very same instincts to resurface.

There is nothing new to learn but rather it is about allowing behavior and mannerisms which had been allowed to atrophy to be exposed. Once I gave myself permission to be feminine it just sprang forth on its own and it was only the elimination of the shame which facilitated it.

Like many of you I wasn't older than 4 or 5 when those instincts surfaced only to be quashed by well meaning parents and as a good learner and obedient first born I did what was asked of me.

This is why I feel so unconstrained today because it is as if a straight jacket has been removed. I don't need to second guess or suppress anything.

Initially there is nervousness, apprehension and fear which must be dealt with if we are to explore the roots of who we are. So much work went into fabricating you that the person you really are may have gotten lost in the process.




Comments

  1. I couldn't have described it better. Shedding the masculine facade we were forced to adopt when our true selves were suppressed is liberating.

    At the same time, I keep thinking how unnecessary that suppression was: shaming femininity is a cultural choice by society to demonize women. If femininity was acceptable among all (including men), many of us (e.g., me) could have lived happier lives. Your mention of "shame" is significant. Shame is not a natural condition; it's cultural.

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    1. Ally spot on. Shaming the feminine and upholding the masculine is why so many of us were forced underground. It is of course entirely cultural and a chosen viewpoint that could easily be repaired...

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  2. I consider myself to have experienced two types of shame throughout my life. The initial shame came out of my confusion of wanting to even explore the world of femininity. This shame was reinforced by my mother's reactions to any feminine traits I would let be seen (much of them felt to be the natural way for me to behave). The secondary shame came with my efforts to hide what felt natural to me. I lied, cheated, and stole in my efforts to hide from everyone my desires and behavior. For having done these things, I still feel ashamed. It has been difficult for me to forgive myself for the things I've done; so much more difficult than it was to give up the initial shame. The vicious cycle of shame would not end until I finally reached the breaking point. I liken my past behavior to that of an addict, in that I purposely manipulated others (and myself, for that matter) in efforts to avoid the initial shame. I really did have to "hit bottom," as they say.

    I dislike hearing from people now that "You make a better woman than you did a man." I know that it's meant to be a compliment, but I never "made" myself a woman. If anything, I did make myself be a man for most of my life. I am "better" as a woman though - mainly because I am, plainly, a better person - the person, and woman, I was born to be. And, that's a wrap! :-)

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    1. This is a very important you make Connie. You did not have to convert yourself from man to woman you merely suppressed the woman. I can always read by your tone that are so liberated now..😁

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    2. Liberation and liberty, both come with a price. I could have paid less for the liberation, and maintaining my liberty is a constant negotiation. I could write a book, and call it "The Art of the Transgender Deal." :-)

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    3. I'd go for a different title 😉

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