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how a friend helped me clarify things further

Having online chats with my friend Sherry is not only cathartic but also just plain fun. Some people would describe her as the archetype of the early transitioning androphilic but I just think of her as the sweet and lovely lady that she is. Sherry and I met online about 10 years ago and she helped me with my struggles before we lost touch except that now we have re-established contact.

Sherry is aware of her sexuality, how it makes her feel and how it impacts her partner and men in general. She also knows what types of clothing and shoes suit her body and that women possess more sexual power than men.

Many transgender people, myself included, worried about cross gender arousal and what it meant. Did it disqualify our transgender feelings somehow? was it a sign of perversion?

The answer is none of the above.

I wrestled with this issue in this blog for a long time but finally concluded that the set of circumstances that create a transgender person also help create a unique sexuality that once understood one needs to look past to find self-acceptance. This is why introducing estrogen into the picture is a good way to test whether you are transgender since the cooling of the libido would not impact the cross-gender identification.

Clare Fluorish reminded of this in her recent post as she describes her crossdressing friend who tired of wearing female clothing once his need for excitement was over. Clare, like my friend Sherry, wears both pragmatic clothing and more sexual fare because that is what women do.

Understanding my cross-gender arousal (which has mellowed greatly with age) has made me feel much better about my identity as a transgender person (which is as strong as ever by the way) and I understand much of it has to do with dealing with feelings inside a male vessel which operates on a different set of criteria.

I didn’t need my friend Sherry to help me understand all this and I knew it before but she just helped me confirm it. In fact you could say she proved herself to be the "Sherry" on the sundae

(yes I can hear you groan from here Sherry)


  1. The best friends are those who make us flourish. They do not tell us who we are; they simply accept us, and their presence is itself a warm, clarifying lens on the parts of our minds that are blurry from our first person perspective.

    My best friend mentions all the time how I have helped her find herself, steady herself, accept herself and thrive. I repay her every compliment with the same phrase: Backatcha!

    1. Couldn't agree more, Caryn. Yesterday a good friend sent this quote to me:

      “Maybe the journey isn’t so much about becoming anything. Maybe it’s about unbecoming everything that isn’t really you, so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place.”

  2. I've also wondered about my cross-gender arousal, where it came from, what it means. I've come my conclusion that it's really a manifestation of the pleasure I felt as I fantasized about being a girl and later, a woman.

    I've experienced my gender envies and dysphoria since my earliest memories in nursery school - obviously long before puberty. As I went to sleep each night I often fantasized and wished that my mother would buy some girls' clothing for me, that I'd be whisked away in a space ship to be a girl, or that I'd wake up magically transformed. To me it makes sense to experience sexual arousal later.

    I will say that these days as I've come to accept myself as transgender and to often present publicly as a woman those feelings remain but are subdued. It's such a pleasure to finally be myself and okay with that. It will be interesting to see how and if my arousals will change as I slowly take transitional steps.

  3. thanks Caryn and Emma for the great comments!


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