separatism in 2018

I still catch some older transgender people doing this: they want to make sure they separate themselves from the pack. For example, transgender woman Paula Williams who was once married to a woman and had children before transitioning writes on her webpage:

“Crossdressing is a paraphilia, what we used to call a sexual perversion. It is sexual arousal generated by wearing women’s clothing. It is not typically considered gender dysphoria and does not have a high suicide rate. If you give estradiol to a crossdresser, when his male sexuality disappears he will likely not be happy. On the other hand, when you give estradiol to a transgender person, they will feel like their body and brain are finally in sync.

Drag queens are men, often gay, who enjoy dressing outlandishly as women, not for sexual gratification or because they want to transition to live as women. They just enjoy the drag scene”

I know that she is being disingenuous here not only because most crossdressers tend not to be perverted men but also the likelihood is very high that Ms. Williams experienced arousal to the idea of feminisation before deciding to transition which makes this kind of statement particularly astonishing as well as hypocritical.

In a way I can understand because she is a person of faith and likely experienced the same gut wrenching process I had to go through before coming to self acceptance. What is wholly unnecessary is to justify your transition by disparaging others. This does not invalidate your gender dysphoria in the least but by some people are still traumatised to the point they must deny that it happened to them and she may even have fallen prey to writings on the highly flawed AGP theory.

Ms. Williams is close to my generation (she is 10 years older) which explains a lot and we were scandalized by what happened to us but the new generation is free of these hang-ups.

What a shame that in 2018 some people within our own community still don't get it.


  1. "Holier than thou"? That is such a human trap that people fall into in all aspects of life. I have wondered where it comes from and assume it is based in insecurity - a way to bolster one's threatened self-judgment if you will.

    While I'm not very religious at times like these the Serenity Prayer helps me: accept the things I cannot change.

    As I ponder it further I would however offer that it might help if we show some compassion to people such as Ms. Williams. Help her manage her insecurities while also being clear about our position. Maybe that opens doors to constructive communication. If not, repeat the Serenity Prayer!

  2. I'm not defending what she has written, but, to be fair, these excerpts from Paula Williams' web site come under the title of, "What Gender Dysphoria is Not." There are many reasons for cross dressing, and some of them legitimately fall under what gender dysphoria can be. I think that she would even admit that she cross dressed at some point, if only as an expression of her femininity that came from out of her dysphoria. Overall, Ms Williams seems to be quite well-informed on the subject, and I believe she does a disservice to all of us under the "Transgender Umbrella" by not sharing more of her knowledge here. It does come across as more of a "What I am Not," though.

    If nothing else, Paula Williams paints a rather simplistic explanation, especially considering it comes under the title, "Everything You Wanted to Know About Being Transgender....But Were Afraid to Ask."

    1. many of her generation were petrified to be seen as perverted TVs and so she offers a simplistic and dismissive explanation which does not do this subject justice. If you want to be brief simply state that there are many reasons people crossdress and in fact most transsexuals start doing just that. Not impressed.

    2. We are in agreement, for the most part, Joanna. I don't know that she was petrified to be seen as perverted, but I'm sure that she was concerned about it. So was I, and, like the gender dysphoria itself, there will always be a little place in the back of my mind that will hold on to it. Maybe I can call that "pervertrified." :-)

      When I came out, fully, a few years ago, I had the opportunity to attend a bridal shower where the wife of an old friend was also a guest. She had known of the "new me" ahead of time, and whatever trepidation she may have felt had come from her husband. He had no desire to ever see me again, because his only exposure to a transgender woman had been with, what he described as, "a freak in short-shorts with his dick hanging out." When the funeral for my mother-in-law came some months later, this couple, along with another who had known me from before, came to pay their respects. We all had a pleasant conversation at the reception, but I still was not sure how my friend really felt about me. Now, he's dying from cancer, and I have fallen back into my "protection" mode of not wanting to cause anyone to be upset over my gender identity - specifically how another may be affected by their own take on it. I know that I'm internalizing the transphobia by doing this, and I get so pissed at myself for doing so. In this case, however, I just learned this past weekend that his reaction to meeting me was summed up with the statement, "Well, that was certainly anticlimactic."

      I'm so happy to have disappointed my old friend. As difficult as it will be to see him in his current condition, I will be doing so very soon. I don't want to wait for another funeral to see him again. In the meantime (and forever, I hope) I will live my life trying to remember that it's who I am that counts so much more than what I am not - or how I may be perceived. I would hope that Ms Williams can come to know that, as well. After all, I have heard her repeat the line: "If you've met one transgender [person]'ve met one transgender [person].

    3. Very well said Connie and you once again proved that we don't have three heads and breathe fire. Your outreach was positive and showed one more person our humanity. Good on you...

    4. Thanks, Joanna. I do think it would be kinda cool to be able to breath fire sometimes, though, :-)

      I actually shown myself to more than one person at the funeral Mass, as it was held at the church where I'd been very active in the past. I did say hello to a few whom I called by name. Some of them gave me a confused look, wondering how we might know each other. I really had thought that the rumor mill had done its work, but I learned that people don't care nearly as much as I do about my gender identity and expression. A couple of the women, who have been longtime friends with my wife, gave a raised eyebrow upon seeing me, but I understand that they are under the impression that I've ruined my wife's life. Bless my wife for not caring what they think. I've learned a lot about myself by paying attention to her.


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