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transsexual versus transgender part 2

I was at a blog called “Transsexualism: A congenital disorder” and came upon this comment from an anonymous poster in agreement with the transsexual woman who authored the blog:

“What a 'spot on' blog. I suggest this should be 'required reading', for anybody and everybody looking for a clear and reasonable understanding of the clear and present distinction between a real yet treatable, medical malady and what is demonstrably a lifestyle choice”

This is an example of the kind of comment I was referring to where someone who is transsexual feels the need to disparage transgender people as exercising a lifestyle choice.

This is clearly an error in judgement and lack of knowledge about the other camp.

The transsexual has no choice but to transition however the transgender equally has no choice but to express who they are. There need not be any reason for these comments but there they are.

It seems ludicrous that these two separate groups should need to be in a battle at all. It’s as if the identity of one camp depends on the destruction of the other to remain intact and pure.

The explanation for this behaviour lies in the melding of both camps by people looking to unite all gender variant people into one pot and in so doing creating unnecessary tension.

Much like the inclusion of the T in the LGB camp is a bit of a stretch, it is sometimes preferable to leave the two camps of transsexual and transgender as separate and distinct.

The person who thinks I am practicing a lifestyle choice is clearly mistaken because my choice would have been not to have this condition in the first place. The fact that she equates my having a choice NOT to transition with choosing to be transgender makes absolutely no sense at all.

Why anyone in their right mind would choose to be transsexual or transgender is completely beyond me.

It’s something one comes to terms with and never ever chooses; an important difference.


  1. This is an interesting blog. I am unclear however, why you would pick one anonymous comment and misinterpret it's meaning, while ignoring the meaning of the entire blog.

    "Truly, there is nothing pathological about being gender-variant. How we express ourselves, whether it's as society expects or something quite different, is just part the spectrum of being human. Societal expectations can be very restrictive, and there have always been those who break convention.

    But that's gender. And gender is not sex. There have also always been those of us who knew we had been born the wrong anatomical sex. Since about the middle of the last century, medical science has been able to help us. We do all that we can to have what should have been ours from birth: the anatomical characteristics of the sex opposite the one we were labeled with when we were born. The principal medical interventions are hormone therapy and sex reassignment surgery. Once treated, we live whatever kind of life we want as the sex we always knew we should have been. Our gender expression is whatever feels right to us.

    The important thing is that we knew we needed all that was medically available in order to live a normal life. That's why we take hormones. That's why we undergo surgery. We were born with a medical condition, and we have it treated as well as possible. For those for whom the diagnosis was correct, the treatment is remarkably successful.

    Without medical intervention, we suffered. We could not embrace our condition. Many if not most of us tried, sometimes very hard. All the effort we made was to no avail. It wasn't weakness on our part. No one pathologized us. We followed no one's agenda. We simply recognized what we needed and had the matter taken care of.

    Those who are outside the norm for sex or gender or both and consider themselves to be happy and healthy the way they are, more power to you. Whatever is going on with you, if you don't feel that it's a medical condition that needs treating or fixing, then please just be happy.

    There is one question though. If your variance is not pathological, not a medical condition, then why do so many undergo hormone therapy? Seriously, if there's nothing wrong with you, then why are you treating this wellness with a very invasive medical procedure? Changing your sex hormones is not the same as undergoing a surgical procedure, but it's a major change"

    "It seems ludicrous that these two separate groups should need to be in a battle at all." --J--.

    I agree. However, you are mistaken to believe that, "It’s as if the identity of one camp depends on the destruction of the other to remain intact and pure" -J--

    That is not the issue. The issue is a group of people, mostly men in dresses, claiming to be "just the same as women" born with a peculiar congenital anomaly.

    Just because you believe that you too have some particular anomaly, that does not mean it is the same. And yes, you did have a choice. You chose to deny what you now seem to believe to be your "true" nature, live as a man, marry and father children. Sure you had your reasons, but nobody forced you. Nobody held a gun to your head.

    You did what you did because you believed that that was your best choice. You had other options. You chose the one you did.

  2. I agree and I don't and I will tell you why....the other choice was clearly never open to me because it was unthinkable to me and not even in the realm of possibility. It was also for me a sin. So no I did not have a choice because I was not able to guage both options without bias as I do now. There we don't agree.

    But I was more taking exception to that transsexual woman essentially stating that my being transgender is a lifestyle choice when nothing could be further from the truth. This was thrust upon me and I've learning to deal with it all my life. If I did not NEED to cross dress I simply would not. Its not a hobby therefore not a lifestyle choice as I'm using it to stay sane.

    I will always take exception to people who make those sorts of off hand comments.

    It's all a moot point now for me but it's about correcting people's misconceptions about transgender people just as you rightly do the same about transsexuals.

  3. And explaining your particular condition need not include the mention of transgender people at all now does it? That is just frustration because you feel lumped in with them and want to lash back.

    Makes no sense..

    1. huh??? Are you including me in that "lashing out"? How have I, "lashed out" at you?

    2. And no....I am not, "correcting people's misconceptions about transsexuals." I am simply pointing out that if a guy in a white coat comes up to be claiming to be a doctor, I will withhold judgment until I am sure of his credentials.

      If an angry and confused individual claims to be a woman, or a transsexual then the same applies. Just because you believe something does not make it true.

      Thinking, "was a sin", "was not possible", or "unthinkable" were your reasons for making the choices you did. The fact that you are still alive proves that the choice you made was one you could live with as obviously you have.

      I may be wrong, but in my experience, "true transsexuals", (Types V-VI), do not have that choice. This is why I have always considered the possibility the you most closely resemble what Benjamin described as a Type IV.

      I agree you had no choice being born how you were. But I would argue that you chose what you did about it. The difference between you and a type V or VI, is that you were able to live with your choice. It did not kill you. Be eternally thankful for that.

  4. "I agree you had no choicd being born how you were...". Thank you because that was the ONLY point of this entry. Some people would argue I am simply choosing a lifestyle.

  5. I never said YOU were lashing out by the way....

  6. And if were arguably a type IV then that is not a lifestyle choice but more of a conondrum. I've always understood and respected that you never had a choice to not transition.

  7. "And if were arguably a type IV then that is not a lifestyle choice but more of a conundrum." --J.--

    Yes it is indeed, a very cruel one at that. It offers that most difficult choice; attempt the unthinkable, or find another potentially equally painful and difficult alternative.

    As I commented earlier, your ability to struggle through this is truly remarkable and should serve as an inspiration to others.

  8. Joanna, I think this blog entry is "spot on". You hear the same "life style choice" argument made my the anti-gay/lesbian crowd.


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