Skip to main content

It's all in our hands

For me, no one has defined gender dysphoria better than Anne Vitale. Describing it as "gender expression deprivation anxiety" is brilliant because that is exactly what it feels like. But in its definition also lies the solution; ie the reducing or eliminating of its power which, according to the WPATH standards, can take on a variety of forms up to and including a full medical gender role transition.

I feel that our aim should be to attack that discomfort by whatever methods work using a measured approach. This means that less is better at the outset until we have figured out what we really need. If a medical transition is what we require then that is exactly what we should do. However, many of us are already embroiled in lives we have built and, treating our dysphoria the way we would ultimately want to, may not be possible. This is where deft baby steps are called for.

Some wait until a dear spouse is deceased or children are grown while others find ways within the context of their existing lives to deal with their feelings. If any of this were easy there would be a handbook, but unfortunately none exists. The only thing I know for certain does not work is ignoring your dysphoria; don't do what I did.

It is also very true that dysphoria is not of the same intensity for everyone and I am all but certain that Harry Benjamin was absolutely correct in this. It means that at its highest levels, it is virtually intolerable and must be addressed with transition lest mental health be severely impacted.

Expressing gender differently causes no one else any harm and we can confuse our desire to do this with a clarion call to transition. This is where we need to be extremely careful because there is no shame in lying somewhere between male and female on the gender spectrum. All that matters is that it works for you and society be damned.

For those looking for flexible solutions within a marriage, some spouses are understanding but if not, it may come down to a choice between your mental health and staying with them. You can explain this by asking them what it would feel like to suddenly be prohibited from expressing their gender identity. For this is what it feels like for us.

When you find a balance point you will know it because your happiness will return. No, things won't be perfect because real life isn't, but at least that awful disconnect will be partly or fully curbed.

I am not against getting professional help but in the end we are the ultimate deciders of our path here and no therapist, priest or doctor can tell you what is right for you. Thus, after many years of reading and personal reflection, it turns out that medical transition is not for me although for a time that wasn't an obvious decision.

This is why that soul searching is so pivotal especially since, the further along the spectrum one is from their birth sex, the more challenging that decision becomes.


Comments

  1. The best explanation I have ever read. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you so much, This has explained so much for me, I've been transitioning for sebveral years HRT also, and holding back due to souse and children. And I can feel it building up everyday, my anxiety and anger. Alesha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Take a deep breath and reflect Alesha. There are lots of options

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

One transgender woman's take on AGP

This entry from the transhealth website dates back to 2001 and it offers a very nice dissection of the now mostly debunked but still controversial AGP theory and how this transgender woman could care two cents about it. People who have been trying to marginalize the experience of gynephilic transwomen have pushed for the stigmatizing idea that they are actually perverted men. Well this soul, who couldn't give a hoot either way, isn't buying any of it and her frankness at times had me chuckling to myself as I read her posting. If we ever met I would give her a hug for seeing through the BS but mostly for being herself: "About a year ago I was reading on Dr. Anne Lawrence’s site about a new theory of the origin of trans called “autogynephilia.” This theory asserts that many trans women—and transsexual women in particular—desire reassignment surgery because they are eroticizing the feminization of their bodies. The first thing that struck me about it, of course, was t

Never Say Never....

 I was certain that I would never post here again and yet, here I am. It’s been several years, and life has changed me yet again. I have burrowed further into my psyche to discover more internal truths about myself all in the silence of a life lived with more periods of reflective solitude than ever before. After attempting for many years to be a problem solver for others, I needed to dig deeply to discover who I was, which should be a necessity for all people and an absolute imperative for those of us who dare rub against the grain of conventional society. The most important thing we can do for ourselves is honor the internal voice which has driven us since childhood. That whisper which we were compelled to ignore through our initial indoctrination must be listened to again for guidance. I knew I had spent too long heeding messaging that wasn’t working for me as a trans person, and it was time to stop. For the world gleefully basks in a level ignorance and hypocrisy we are not abl

my last post

This will be my last blog post. When I wrote recently that this blog had another seven years of life in it I was trying to convince myself that it was true. It was in fact a little bit of self delusion. With almost 3,000 posts to date I have accomplished what I set out to do which was to heal myself and in the process share some of the struggle I had been through with others on the chance they might find some value in my words. After seven years of writing, my life still isn't perfect; no one's is. But I have discovered a path forward completely free of the trappings which society would have had me adopt so I could fit in. Over the last 25 years of my life I have turned over every stone I could find while exploring this topic and in the process realized that we haven't even begun to scratch the surface of this deeply complex subject. What I have ultimately learned is that my instincts have more value than what someone who isn't gender dysphoric writes about me. We