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one foot in front of the other...

This morning I went to the passport office very early as my son needs to have one if we are to enter the States for a few days in early August.

As I waited in line, a transsexual woman who I estimated to be roughly my age, walked past. She looked self assured and comfortable in her own skin and if it weren’t for slight vestiges of facial and corporal masculinity, she might have escaped my detection.

I admit to feeling a slight pang of jealousy as she walked by and I could not help but imagine that, as hard as getting there must have been, her demeanour showed a self assuredness that I found quite admirable. She had (at least on visual inspection) arrived at a place where I had not: complete internal peace with her gender identity.

It made me realize that there remains work to be done for me as the ebbs and flows of my disphoria continue to have me think different things on different days. This is why I know I am not yet there. I want desperately to settle into a permanent state where I no longer need to reflect on my gender. I, perhaps unrealistically, want the disphoria to stop.

But will the management technique of liberal gender expression only encourage me towards eventual transition?

One thing is for certain: suppression has never worked for me and it’s too late to go back. It’s too late to put the proverbial genie back into the bottle.

I am trying to understand now how I did it for all of those years before. How was I able to carry the load of suppression all the way through to my 40’s with only bi-yearly mini cross dressing binges? Was it the increased testosterone in my body or was it the distraction of raising 2 young children while repairing an older home?

I have no answer.

I can definitely now relate to the stories of older transgender people which I read about when I was younger. Their websites were candidly explaining to me how they waited so long to be themselves but could not or would not admit it until they had their own personal epiphany.

But here I am still reflecting on the idea that transsexuality at its core is a disorder. One is not born a woman and performs a correction but instead something happens to you (most likely in your mother’s womb) that leaves you with this imprinted condition upon your birth; this disconnect between body and mind which you are left to grapple with. I deeply wish that science had indeed found a genetic marker or some brain abnormality that could provide definitive proof that there is something measurably different about transsexuals. Having this type of proof would be far more reassuring than the exclusivity of trusting your own instinct. Because your feelings can be manipulated into thinking you are something you are not. At the same time I understand that my way of thinking could block my own self acknowledging that I myself could be a full blown transsexual.

I have no problem with the idea that type V and VI transsexuals are positive when they say that they are women. They believe it with all of their heart because it is only this type of conviction that would allow you to modify your body in such a radical and unthinkable way. Their continued mental health hinges on physical transition. At that point, the argument of whether you are or are not truly a woman is rendered irrelevant in light of radically improved life quality. The burden of proof having been met, they have done the right thing and have literally saved their own lives.

Are there mistakes made sometimes? Yes but they are usually screened out in within the confines of the formal screening programs that are put in place. Assuming you are dealing with a reputable therapist who works hand in hand with a hospital gender program, the chances of error are greatly diminished.

I sometimes feel that by virtue of my own personal road blocks, it will take me some time to uncover who I really am at the core. I just have to give myself a break while I am doing it and let God continue to work in my life to repair my damaged psyche.

Comments

  1. As you surmised, "transsexualism at its core, is a disorder": a congenital disorder most likely the result of androgen disruptive chemicals, or possibly even stress on the mother during pregnancy.

    The point is that something did affect the development of the fetus. Just like Agent Orange, diethylstilbestrol, or excessive levels of lead in drinking water, some chemicals are known to cause birth defects.

    You are also correct in understanding that properly diagnosed, transsexualism can be successfully treated and essentially "cured" by the proper use of HRT and SRS. When it is misdiagnosed, as a result of professional incompetence or outright fabrication on the part of the patient, results can be disappointing or even tragic.

    Your "stuck in the middle" situation typifies the trans-gender condition. You are trying to somehow "express" and reconcile, a cross gender "presentation", with a male body/sex. A difficult task indeed.

    As for who you are, you seem to be pretty convinced of that already. The difficulty is that the consequences of that realization are pretty dire.

    As always, you have my best wishes and hope for your future.

    AQV

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Correction: Endocrine Disruptive Chemicals, (EDC's).

      Delete
  2. They are indeed dire I am afraid....

    ReplyDelete
  3. Joanna -

    First, let's assume that the innate wiring in our brains indicates to us (internally) that we are women. If that is so, I'm not sure if it can be "corrected" - it is as much a part of our natures as hyper intelligence with low social skills is part of the nature of a child with Asperger's. We can learn to live with it. Or, we can alter our bodies and/or presentation to fit what is inside our heads.

    So - let go of the need to be either male or female. Take each day one at a time, and pay attention to your feelings. What scares you most (a need for transition) may be the least fearful thing once you let go....

    M

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  4. Marion. I address this comment to you with all due respect and no intention of offence. I understand that you have "an interest in dressing as a female". However, I do believe that the condition which causes Joanna such great angst is a cat of a totally different color.

    Life itself is a terminal condition. Managing gender dysphoria, at the level at which Joanna and others like her experience it, is like managing a terminal cancer with pain medication. It can be done, but it is no easy task, and is most certainly not a cure.

    Personally, I do not believe one can "let go of the need to be either male or female".

    ReplyDelete
  5. I agree with both of you or would like to. I am highly disphoric and am doing my very best to let go of the idea of being perfectly male or female. By trying to think along these lines I hope to avert transition. I do very much appreciate what you are both trying to say. I do also think that paying attention to my feelings is very important.....

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  6. Just for the sake of this discussion, let us posit that a "T-gene" is suddenly discovered. How would this change your situation today? Would you walk into your local SRS specialist, plunk down $15-$20k and get yourself a brand new shiny store bought V-Jay Jay?

    Would that "cure" your GID?

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think it would only provide me with some more certainty that I wasn't deluded after all. I am not certain it would change my way forward necessarily. It would take me off the fence a little and yes it would maybe lean me more towards the idea of transition without automatically sealing the deal.

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  8. Amazing! Despite all the downside which remains the same.

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  9. But essentially nothing changes.

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  10. I never said I would transition. My goal remains to avoid it at all cost. I am not convinced that the downside is so bad however, its just that its too late for me...

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  11. I'm sticking to my management approach until it no longer works....

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  12. It seems to me that you are still in the evaluation and contemplation phase. Sometimes it is easier to think of the upsides and sometimes the downsides of any decision tend to overwhelm.
    We make all sorts of decisions every day...some major...most minor. Sometimes you just have to keep taking things one day at a time.
    Good luck,
    Pat

    ReplyDelete
  13. "Life is what happens to us while making our plans for the future" --Unknown

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  14. Wiser words were never spoken....

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If you feel you are doing something wrong it shows. Your demeanor, body language and facial expression all conspire to betray you.

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Misinterpreted religion is a big culprit in all this. These negative images of yourself came from reinforcement of stereotypes by ignorant people interpreting what is right and moral by their own barometer. You simply ingested the message and bought it as the gospel truth. Self confidence and critical thinking is the way out of your dilemma. It can…