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more experimentation and work required

I am in an interesting place these days. Now plainly aware that I never really was much of a crossdresser, if I add up all my time spent in a dress over my fifty years of life it would all amount to less than a year which is 2% of my time on this planet.

Over the last 9 months that frequency has increased to 30 to 40% of my waking hours. So the exploration of my gender has truly begun.

Through my formative years I repressed and tried to think of other things besides my disphoria. I tried to be as male as possible and never conceded much to my natural pull toward the feminine which was present from the very beginning. Much like other disphorics, I manned up as much as I could and to a great degree succeeded.

I remember a few years ago telling the priest who married my ex wife and I that I was transgendered and he revealed to me that he thought I might be gay. This was surprising to me at the time but in retrospect I suppose he was picking up on a vibe that I was unconsciously communicating.

Last night I was out and about and having no trouble communicating with people and enjoying my time.

I ask myself more and more these days one question:

“Is this really being myself or is this an elaborate exercise in part time pretend?”

In truth I don’t know what being myself actually is at least not in the context of gender and its natural expression. I spent so many decades elaborately conforming to an expectation that somewhere in that process I lost myself. So I need to find out who I am and the only way I can answer that is to continue to do what I am doing; continue to push the envelope of time spent as Joanna to discover the answer. In the absence of any shame or guilt, I can now analyse my thought process much more cleanly. My self esteem has gained a huge boost and for the first time in my life I don’t feel like I’m repressing. The enormous weight has been steadily lifting.

I also increasingly don’t care if I am discovered while I am out in the world.

I am out to my HR manager at work, to my children and to my family and close friends. They have not all met Joanna in person but they have seen pictures or know she exists.

When I come home and remove the makeup and the wig I am still her and she is me. I am the same person and, aside from my voice and more feminine mannerisms when I am Joanna in front of others, there is no difference between when I present as male or female.
If I had breasts, grew out my hair and had 3 more sessions of laser I would look like a woman all the time to everyone. There would be no huge makeup effort or elaborate outfit required. I don’t need much window dressing to be presentable as a woman.

Yet I know I have a personal objection to my own potential transsexualism. Even as I strongly support the rights of others to undertake this process if they need to, I don’t allow myself to think about that possibility for myself.

Perhaps it is that engrained idea in my head that says “God made you a boy so now deal with it!”

It’s almost as if I think that by caving in I would be losing a fight that I have been embroiled in all my life and defeat would mean failure. My kids would be sad to lose a father and my family would need to grudgingly accept a sister that they don’t think I should become. I know this because I have been told as much even if I know they would still love me and accept me if they had to.

But ultimately the question I ask myself is: Is my mental health being compromised at present by not embarking on a transition?

At the moment the answer is no due to my ability to live and present as Joanna and hopefully it will remain this way for the foreseeable future.

Comments

  1. Hi, Joanna. I just found your blog and am starting at the top so I might say or ask something you've already covered in a previous post. I do have some thoughts and questions for you. You have been doing some self-introspection and maybe these will help in your journey.

    You ask yourself, “Is this really being myself or is this an elaborate exercise in part time pretend?” Maybe it is both... You answer this question later saying "When I come home and remove the makeup and the wig I am still her and she is me... ...there is no difference between when I present as male or female." So... if there is no difference then why are you going through all the trouble to present yourself as a woman?

    You say, “God made you a boy so now deal with it!” But in reality, your parents made you and your father specifically provided his Y chromosome. God infused your soul as part of the process. And I think that one of our issues is that we should have "dealt" with being a boy as a child and as a teenager. But but for one or more reasons we didn't and now as adults still trying to figure out who we are...

    You ask, "Is my mental health being compromised at present by not embarking on a transition?" What you are really asking is, "Who am I?" or "Do I know who I am and how do I find out?" And who you are is tied into why you are who you are. What is the purpose and meaning to who I am? Many people don't care who they are or why they are what they are. They just "are"... But some of us are still searching for answers.

    Robyn


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