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doubting you are trans

Cross gender arousal confuses things because you may be going along thinking you might be ready for transition and the feeling after an orgasm sends a wave through you making you sure you should forget such a thing.

Over time this has been disappearing and my identification as a female has been slowly increasing.

I knew very early there was something amiss with my gender but I did my best to ignore it. Before puberty I didn't need to worry about the arousal and it befuddled me for many years since and had me doubt that I was trans. I am still meticulously sifting through my thought patterns to make sure there is no deluding myself because I don't do things based on emotion alone.

Our brains are wired differently than cisgender people but I have never at any point thought I was crazy. Hence, the only possibility left was that I was suffering from a perversion. But over the last few years even that possibility disappeared as I began to settle into a more holistic and mature vision of what being trans means.

After many years of research and reflection the solution became obvious: our sexuality cannot be straightforward and remain untouched by an anomaly of identity. The wiring will and must necessarily be impacted.

The hard part then becomes figuring out where you lie on the spectrum and the minimum level of intervention you require to be happy.

And that my friends, is no easy task.


  1. So well said, Joanna. Before puberty I knew that something was off about me. I felt like I needed to somehow figure out a way to stop wishing I was a girl or fantasizing about living the life of a girl. I kept my feelings entirely hidden and secret. I think I know why I felt such shame but no one (especially my mother) is alive to ask now. And after puberty it all got distorted even more and I assumed I had a shameful fetish.

    I too never thought I was crazy. Depressed, yes. Anxious, yes. Afraid of rejection, you bet. But here's what was "crazy" in hindsight: I went to several therapists for years but didn't disclose my female needs and desires. I was too ashamed and didn't see the (now obvious) connections between being trans, shame, depression and rigidly in the closet.

    I also agree that determining where one is on the spectrum is a challenge, scary at times, and no easy task. I recommend what my friend Dara Hoffman-Fox recommends and I follow: consider where you are right now in your explorations. If you're unsatisfied determine what the next small step might be and set up an experiment(s) to give it a try. Run the experiment(s) and see how you feel. Did you feel better in your skin, pleased with yourself? If so stick with it, live in that step for a while to give it a solid try. If you feel you need to go further that's fine, go back to determining what next step you might take. Wash, rinse, repeat.

    1. this is more than excellent advice you got Emma. It is like you must become used to each stage before moving to the next one. If you are satisfied where you are then stay there. This is where I am myself in trying to decide whether I move on to work and live full time or not. Thanks for this very insightful comment!

    2. Good advise, arrange for a week or so when you can live full time female, then see how you feel about going back. I had a weeks holiday "without a safety net" and when I got home I couldn't stand going back to him. That helped me to know I needed to go full time.

  2. I'm not sure if moving from a mere reader to one who offers an occasional comment is a good move or not. Perhaps individuals like me should neither be seen or heard.

    The springboard for my comment was the following sentence, "I am still meticulously sifting through my thought patterns to make sure there is no deluding myself because I don't do things based on emotion alone." In the past few months I have been giving my TG life considerable thought. (This is very much a personal, inward directed examination and not aimed at anyone else.) I have almost come to the conclusion that from beginning to end my gender issues are a delusion. Admittedly a potent, powerful, often all-consuming delusion, but a delusion nonetheless. One can mask, cover, cloth, and pad yourself to create an image, but in the end it is merely a mirage. It isn't real. Living a lie isn't really living at all. Being a pseudo-person sucks all the vitality out of life. It is hard to think about retracing years of living on this delusional path on which I have traveling and to try to find the fork in the road where I went wrong, but that is what I think I should do. At the moment contentment or dare I mention it, happiness, seem like a distant shore.

    I apologize for being so obtuse.

    1. Instead of suffering from a delusion I would propose a better description: a desire to escape from the societal imposed definition of gender expression or what Anne Vitale so eloquently describes as “gender expression deprivation anxiety”. This is not located in the genitals but in the mind and we don’t comprehend it entirely. It doesn’t make sense to me that gender identity is exclusively tied to your genitals at birth.

      There is no doubt a strong influence coming from the brain and you will recall that all fetuses start off as females. The point is that we do not understand this process of how a gender identity is established.

      In that sense, your discomfort is real and not a delusion and the mismatch between birth sex and identity confuses us. One way to mitigate it is to change your expression to match your feelings. This is irrespective of surgery or not.

      You might be referring more to the idea of whether you are a woman or not which we can debate as being your ultimate solution to your dysphoria which is very much a real thing.

      Being happy while dealing with dysphoria is extremely difficult but ignoring it and assuming it is rooted in delusion is not the right way. Instead I propose embracing it to the point you are comfortable altering your gender expression as a method of treatment.

      I have these philosophical discussions with myself all the time but decided to stop downplaying the reality of my feelings because that was only making things worse.

      Please feel free to comment or to contact me directly at any time!

    2. Kati, you’re not being obtuse at all. I’d say you’re going through normal reflection and doubts. Your mind is trying to rationalize your feelings which is scary and depressing.

      Here’s a couple of ideas that helped me:
      1. Buy and read “You and Your Gender Identity: A Guide to Discovery” by Dara Hoffman-Fox and go through the exercises. She just recently released the second edition so it’s improved but it was already excellent. I found it liberating to really consider my history, my feelings, and write it all down.
      2. What helped me after was to create a list of experiences, wishes, and dreams that relate to my being TG. I grouped them by age ranges. My therapist observed that it’s very doubtful that one who isn’t TG would have a list anything like that.

      I’m sorry you’re feeling this way. I do too at times. For me I remind myself that like it or not it’s my journey. I’ve lived far too long trying to avoid or dismiss it. So now I’m living it with all of its ups and yes, its downs.

      Best wishes, Emma

    3. You are also hardly a pseudo person just one who sticks out among the masses. Remember that we are only 0.6% of the population and that is not an easy thing to live with sometimes.


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