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a question of origin

I have reflected at great length on possible external social causes for my transsexualism and in that light have analyzed my own life for signs of how it could have originated. My father was a kind but distant intellectual and I had two sisters who were born after me. Hence, in my early years, I spent a lot of time in the company of women without an overly dominant masculine presence.

To the best of my memory my mother did nothing to encourage my behavior and in fact it was she whose severe verbal scolding I will always credit for my taking any crossdressing activity underground. I wasn’t older than 4 years old when she admonished me for wearing her shoes. I have asked her about this over the years and, besides the shoe episode, she saw no signs from me that I was anything but a normal boy. I did my best to fit in and show no signs of effeminacy which I would only permit myself to exhibit in the privacy of my room.

To what degree transsexualism is both a nature and nurture combination is hard to know and there are different stories out there which differ from transsexuals themselves. My own thinking is that nature is the bigger component which is then helped along by a social setting which feeds it. In other words, we are born with a disposition for gender identity which is to some degree shaped through socialization. There are many transsexuals like me who have not transitioned and most of us belong to that generation who did not know what was wrong with us. Young people today have the luxury of not only having the internet but an entire medical system replete with information on psychological help, hormone treatment and surgery options.

Those of us who are older invented lives ignoring our feelings and hoped they went away but they didn’t. We simply swept them under the rug until they came back with a vengeful force demanding our attention.
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Comments

  1. Honestly, Joanna, I'm as convinced as I can be that we're born this way. My parents are both gone and I have no others to ask about my childhood.

    I have many memories of my parents not allowing or being very reluctant about certain toys that I wished for. Nothing so girly as all that: I even wanted a GI Joe and they refused saying it was too much like a girl's plaything - which it certainly wasn't advertised as.

    I also know that for as long as I can remember wishing, dreaming, and fantasizing that I was dressed as a girl, did the things they did, and lived their lives. As I grew older into elementary school I constructed elaborate fantasies involving space travel where I'd play a female role but steered clear of crossing that gender barrier, as if that was a third rail that even in my mind I shouldn't touch. But, who knows.

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    1. Yes indeed Emma who knows but it fascinates me nonetheless even as I have completely come to terms...

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