Wednesday, 31 October 2012

my own version of stealth

At this point I am acquainted with a series of women who think that I am the soon to be divorced mother of 2 teens. They have asked me about my fictional husband, whether I breast fed my children, about my life as a working mom and many more things that have boosted my confidence and as a result my presentation as a woman. All of the previous work I had done on my voice, my laser treatments, my make up skills, etc have all paid off and I am reaping the benefits of that labour.

My dilemma is that I hate lying to these women. Some of these relationships were accidental in that in testing my ability to pass, I ended up caught in a web not realizing it would work better than expected. So while I have now proven to myself that my combination of genetics and hard work have produced a working version of Joanna, I now almost don't know what to do with her and how far to take her.

Certainly, I do very much value the relationships I have made and want to honour them as much as possible but I am concerned about slipping up one day and having one of them accuse me of malicious deceit. This would be maybe well deserved (I don't know) but I am hoping that at this point the frequency of overlap with these women will stay at a level to keep the status quo manageable.

What a tangled web and yet what a wonderful experience to be accepted as a woman by other women.

This evening a young woman talking on her cell phone opened the door for me as I entered the mall. Upon my thanking her and her replying don't mention it, the person she was speaking to prompted her to reply:"oh I was just talking to a lady". She made my day.

and time goes on...

In a few days I will have reached half a century. I have been through a lot of experiences in my life and have learnt much about myself and others and I am still learning. I also have a renewed sense of fascination with the world because I see it from a different perspective now. I see it more for what it is because I have gained some experience and hopefully some wisdom in the process. I have learnt to love myself more and to not feel like I am hopelessly flawed. Yes I have many things to repair in my character but I would like to think I am essentially a good and decent person and I am a child of God. I was made perfect and it was society that messed up that perfection we are all born with.

I suppose we all learn this lesson that society is full of hypocrisy, pretence, jealousy and intolerance and we learn that to fit we come abide by its rules. The consequences of not doing so are paid with rejection and scorn from people who are generally beneath you. And there lies the interesting part in that it is the masses of uneducated and unscrupulous people of the world that are allowed to run it at their own discretion.

So even as my body ages over time, I would not trade the experiences I have amassed for a chance to return to youth if it were offered. Those days were lived and the insecurity and anguish that came with them has also passed. It is because of this experience that I am able to tackle the disphoria I have with more philosophy and patience than I would have thought possible. I am also learning that being alone is not a bad thing and infinitely better than being accompanied by the wrong person.

I will not compromise who I am (even if that means living the rest of my days somewhere between man and woman) and will aim for a balance that allows me to keep my boat steady. Life will throw waves at us and if we know how to ride them we will weather the storm far better.

Life seems to be lived in phases and transitions and I feel like I am in one now. It is a remaking of myself that will permit to figure out what kind of person I will be over the remainder of my life. A lot of my sacred cows and social conventions have been burned at the stake and what is left now is a person who can more clearly see through the layers of baloney that we are forced to deal with as human beings. My father used to say that as he aged he felt better and better and now I really I understand what he meant. If only he were still here now to hear me say it.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

No Cakewalk

A Quiet Voice (a poster who has responded to a few of my blog entries) was kind enough to forward me a copy of a document titled “A Realistic Guide to the Transitional Journey”. It’s written by a transitioned transsexual woman who, aside from explaining in Chapter 1 the definitions of the types of transgender people (CD, TV, TS, etc), goes on to give detailed information regarding the pitfalls of transitioning. It is well written, frank and removes all of the glossy aspects of wanting to transition for those who might think it’s a cakewalk. Whether it be the realities of hormones, job challenges, loss of spouse etc., its all dealt with in a bluntness that should be required reading for anyone even contemplating making such a drastic change in their lives. Aside from some disagreements I have on the definition of transvestite and crossdresser (which seem to be reversed) I have no issue at all with the document.

Unfortunately, it does not make things any clearer for me. I am desperately trying to deal with a situation that is not going to go away and since I don’t dress for fetish reasons, have pictures of myself on the internet in 6” pumps and lingerie, sleep with strange men, masturbate in front of a mirror, etc. I am left with the same dilemma.

I don’t want to transition because I don’t want to screw up my life so drastically. I would be one of those late transitioners that tries to remake their lives three quarters of the way through so instead I am opting to try and live part time as best I can. To borrow an expression from the text, my bell may be about to ring but I am trying to find a way to deaden the sound if I can. So call me a transvestite and I'll happily take up the term as my new moniker....

Monday, 29 October 2012

the disease model

Transgender as “disease model” has kept me captive for most of my adult life. The thought that something was deeply wrong with me permeated my existence and kept me from living a truly honest life. By necessity my life was a sham because I could not access any feelings I had that contravened the politically correct model of what I was supposed to be. As a result, I never learnt how to live without self imposed constraints borne out of Catholic guilt and societal pressure; it was like a form of psychological constipation that kept me from going where the mind sometimes wanted to go. A part of my natural self expression was smothered for the sake of fitting in and fulfilling expectation. From day one I learnt that I was flawed and needed to change or at least keep that part of myself that was not acceptable deep in the closet. I am not angry at my parents and blame no one for this as all were doing the best they could.

The problem with suppression is that it’s always only partly successful and eventually the soda bottle explodes (typically by the time you reach your mid-forties). The pressure can no longer continue to build lest you rupture an artery (which incidentally is what happened to me and quite literally). I had what is called a carotid artery dissection which in layman terms is a tear in the internal wall of the artery. The flow is diminished as the blood flow slows down and (in my case) a piece of clot went into my brain causing a stroke. Although the experts told me that this can happen to anyone at anytime, I choose to correlate it with my own life experience of suppression and an unhappy marriage (which I don’t blame her for as I married out of my own sense of life expectation).

So now with a renewed sense of self acceptance (although of what I am not exactly sure) I have attained an uneasy truce between the reality of my daily life, the life choices I have made in the past and the apparent desire for something that may really be a myth in disguise. However, knowing that Joanna is too far advanced now to suppress her demands, I won’t go backwards at this stage of my life; I understand only too well the consequences. So this feminine side of my nature will not stay hidden any longer (not even from my children who are aware) and I will forsake a relationship with a woman if need be just to be true to myself.

I will also try and cut myself some slack and stop analysing what I am and what I am not. For I have never felt so much relief in my entire life as I do now. That proverbial piano on the shoulders was a heavy burden to carry all those years and it was only in letting it drop that I was able to feel the immense relief.

being transgender...

Over time, I have come to appreciate and even embrace the term transgendered. Back when I was desperately trying to deny and disassociate myself from any traces that I might have this condition/disorder, I did not take its definition seriously and thought it to be a bit of a joke. I thought it an overly self important umbrella term for those who were trying to escape the reality of their birth gender; a moniker to hide behind. But as I have come to accept my own internal nature, I realize that there is a lot to this term and I find its inclusiveness comforting. I know I have been chided for saying that all of us under this umbrella are the same, but what I meant by this is that we are afflicted with a version of the same disphoria – a disconnect with our birth gender that compels us to be drawn to the other gender. Easy as it might be to simplify the behaviour of a transvestite as a man who gets kicks out of wearing women’s clothes, there is something beneath the surface that begs investigation. It is more than a sexual act and indeed over time the transvestite (or crossdresser) begins to learn that there was more than met the eye to their own behaviour – especially as one ages and is able to better analyze their own psyche. What was previously thought to be rooted in the erotic was found to be something else entirely. Indeed many people who once thought themselves to be simply crossdressers have gone on to realize that they needed to transition in order to be truly happy with themselves and their own bodies.

This has been much my own experience in ageing with this condition. It is morphing but ever present in my daily life. I think about it all throughout the day much like an obsession and I wonder sometimes whether transition would satiate that demand for my attention. I have read that once transsexuals move on with their new lives they no longer have to think about their disphoria. Instead, they now rightfully worry about social acceptance, job and family situation, etc but that nagging feeling that something needs repair in their own psyche has been dealt with. They have slaughtered their personal demons.

As for myself, I feel trapped in a twilight state to some degree and have accepted a dual gender role as my consolation wondering how long that definition will continue to suffice. I don’t want to push on with anything or convince myself of anything because self delusion can be a powerful thing. It can bring us to places where there is no going back and I won’t gamble my livelihood or my children’s well being with folly that I will regret later. I just need to allow for a slow gestation period to slow cook all of my brain confusion into something that I can grab a hold of. Once I feel I have come to an equilibrium will I stop over thinking things (one of my unfortunate traits).

But I am a relatively happy person and I have begun to emerge from the stupor of my breakup blues. With a more lucid mind I can better assess my situation and adjust accordingly; hopefully, in the right direction.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

that mythical "off" switch...

No I don't think being transgender is a gift. It's caused me grief, pain, embarrassment, stress, doubt and a marriage. I don't think it's a gift anymore than I think being handicapped is a gift. It's something one accepts and adapts to but if you had a chance to get that limb back you might take it. I know that I would have pushed the off button to make it go away today.

Yes I enjoy being Joanna but it feels like a trap. It feels like it's mandatory. If I don't dress I get edgy and the more I dress the more I want to dress. This behavior has me doubting that I am a true transsexual and more of an addicted crossdresser. True I'm not fetishistic but I still feel stuck somehow. I don't want to dress down when I go out; I want to wear a dress and heels. I want to be ultra feminine but also blend in. It works for me but what is my motivation and why does it feel like a drug.

When I first went for gender therapy I subscribed rather knievely thinking that a cure for my tranvestism was possible. Instead I achieved self acceptance but acceptance of what exactly? Of being a man who is addicted to wearing women's clothes? Because if that's what this is all about in the end then I'd just as soon have it all go away.

A few entries ago I wrote about certainty and how some kids just know early and are able to make an adjustment and go on to lead normal lives in their adopted gender roles. But for those of us swimming upstream like salmon, the fight gets really tiresome after the decades of denial and struggle. And all the while, the straightforward answers elude you because there are none. The uniqueness of your journey is your own.

I don't really want to be a transvestite, crossdresser or transsexual but I feel like I am doomed to choose one because there really is no cure. The limb is indeed missing and no such mythical "off" switch exists. Only in my own dreams.

I know this is a very bleak post but it just struck me today how debilitating this condition can make you when you don't have clear direction in your mind. May God allow me such clarity of mind so that I can find my way.

mistaken for a girl

I remember being mistaken for a girl on several occasions. There are 2 that most stand out in my mind. The first one was during the act of an amateur magician during his show in the basement of our neighborhood church. He had me come up as a volunteer to help him demonstrate the old separating/joining rings trick. This was the early seventies and most boys had longish hair to boot. Once he had completed his trick he looked at me and said "thank you for helping me. If you are a girl you could use these as earrings" and he proceeded to place one of the rings against my ear.

The second occasion was accompanying my mother to our local corner cafe. The lady was chatting with my mother and said "you have a beautiful daughter" and that instant I was mortified and secretly flattered all at the same time.

Aside from being scolded by my mother for wearing her clothes at a very early age, those two incidents have stayed with me all my life. In my attempts to distance myself from them and masculine myself up later in life they still remain markers for me as to the conflict that's always raged within me.

My soft feminine features have helped me to pass but have also reminded me that I was somehow not quite able to measure up as a man. During my university years for example I grew a beard and kept it for the full duration of my studies. I would not be able to grow that beard today but not just because of the laser treatments I have undergone but because I am that much more of a woman today and wouldn't be able to bring myself to do it.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

it's just clothes right??

These days I'm trying to really relax and reflect on how I feel when I'm out as Joanna. I've moved beyond the tension that was like a pall over everything; the incessant worry about passing and being detected. With the removal of this layer I can focus on the feelings and what it means to me to present as female. This is also being aided by my having made friends as a woman. The fact that I can be stealth with these women allows me to get a small taste of how it might be like to live full time.

It's not like I'm pushing to live full time as much as I want to test the envelope. I am after all just me under the clothes. Admittedly I feminize my way of speaking and using my hands for example but in a non overly exaggerated manner. I just naturally move into that mode and it feels comfortable.

My dilemma is that I want to stop crossdressing. I want it to stop and go on being a normal male or become a woman which is also no longer crossdressing. Being in the middle in this limbo feels wrong. My compulsion to dress as a woman can only be driven by 2 things:

1) a desire to be a normal woman
2) a desire to emulate a normal woman

Number 2 worries me because if I stay in that mode then I'm just a compulsive crossdresser. I don't want to be that because it takes you away from living normally. To complicate things further, I don't dress for sexual pleasure but instead because it feels right. I don't want to go clubbing in a short dress, I derive instead more pleasure out of grocery shopping as Joanna.

I am hoping that time and reflection will provide me with conclusions.

Friday, 26 October 2012

certainty

When I read the stories of small children sticking to their guns about what gender they feel they are inside I am fascinated. At their age I was expressing little signs like quietly role playing in my room using my bath robe as a skirt and enjoying some private femininity. But these children go beyond and bravely confront convention and in spite of their parents's insistence to the contrary maintain that they are really girls instead of boys or vice versa.

I ingested the negative messages I was getting and tried to conform as best I could. My parents were highly religious and from a very conservative European stock. They would not have been receptive back in the late sixties regarding trans issues. There was no internet, no media attention. Even homosexuals were only beginning to scratch the surface of social tolerance. I in my private world was a freak that needed curing so I suppressed as much as I could and with the first signs of puberty and accidental sexual release in the clothes that made me so happy, I began training myself to deny everything. I was hell bent on thinking that I would eventually outgrow it all and become "normal".

Are these kids today like this because of media savyness? I know that many transsexuals only deal with their feelings later in adulthood but not these kids. So why are some on a ticking time bomb mode and others on a mission of certainty? Beats the heck out of me.

I know that the piles of shame, guilt and social brainwashing sometimes take years to sort through but I guess I envy those who are able to navigate that obstacle course with such vigour. It must make the struggle of life that much less difficult.

But I must say that regardless where you are on the journey, today is a better time to be trans than when I was a child. May society become increasingly aware and tolerant. As for me, I will try and not look back with any regret. Life is to be looked at in a forward way and there are reasons for everything.

PS: I would hope that none of you shy away from commenting on my posts (agree with me or not). I will only edit or remove offensive posts or those meant exclusively to bait.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

my children

I love my children dearly. They did not ask to come into this world and I have a responsibility towards them that will not waiver. And yet I am concerned that this process I am going through will result in my discovering that I am a latent transsexual. This is something that is keeping me grounded and away from needing to want to be a transsexual. Right now things are manageable as I try to unearth who I really am after decades of denial. Things are buried so deep that I suspect it will take some time before I have an answer. So I stick to the line that I am trans and can tow the line between both genders. Maybe if I repeat it enough it will stick and avoid a mess.

My children know I crossdress but have never been exposed to it. It was not my intent to tell them but my ex gf went ahead and spilled the beans. I don't necessarily think that was a bad thing mind you because it has opened up the lines of communication between us on that front. I have been able to explain a bit about my struggles to them and it has lifted a huge burden from my shoulders. Still I worry that this knowledge will encourage me to travel further down that path. It's easy to convince ourselves that kids are buoyant and can roll with the punches. While that can be true I know that the divorce they witnessed did have an impact and they have literally come out and told me that they would be distraught if I became a woman.

I pray about all this and will give myself gestation time. Maybe circumstances will fall into place and help me develop some certainty either way. Lord give me strength.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

in the end we're all the same

Having read, seen and witnessed so many personal stories of transgender people, I now realize we're so similar; in fact more similar than different. We've all heard the cliche that being trans is a journey and not a destination but I think it is very true for this particular saying. People realize early or late that they're transgender or think they're something else but eventually get to the same destination. That destination being acceptance and not necessarily full blown transition or surgery. We all have different life circumstances and choices we've made and some choose to respect those commitments and make due with their current status, while others risk everything to achieve their goal. Everyone's goal being unique.

Some transition in their sixties or seventies and that has the same validity to me as someone who does it in their twenties. Both groups may have felt the same inside but one had the method, circumstance or courage to make it happen. And that assuming you see transition as the ultimate goal. Because the way I see it the ultimate goal needs to be coming to terms with the disphoria and finding a balance you can live with. That in itself is a big challenge.

We in the trans community should be mindful of each other's circumstances and respect each other's choices. Only we know why we have made them and what makes them work for each of us.

It took me years to learn to be a man and I imagine it will take a few to learn to be a woman (if that is indeed where I end up). Regardless all the work of trying to become a good and whole human being will have not been for naught. I would like to think that counts for more in this world.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

more randomness

I know I repeat myself a lot in this blog. It's like annotation for my psyche and I jot things down when they occur to me. In fact most of this blog is written on a smart phone. I'll be in a coffee house and things will occur to me and I'll need to formalize them in writing. It's my therapy.

So to again recapitulate:

1) I feel increasingly like a woman
2) I am not a fetishistic transvestite
3) I can pass for a woman in public and could work as one if I desired
4) surgery won't make me more of a woman

These 4 points are the main discoveries I have made over the last months. The last one being the most recent discovery and the one which will allow me the flexibility of not requiring a major life overhaul as well as sparing my children much pain. In other words I can live happily as a woman without surgery. Might there be hormones in my future? Possibly but in the short run no. I still need to function as a male in society and I don't want to make that increasingly impossible.

So there - she repeats herself once again.

more of an extrovert as a woman

When I'm out and about as joanna I notice myself being more outgoing and sociable. I don't know if that's because I'm happier as joanna or I'm just trying extra hard to fit into the role and thus over compensating. Regardless, I seem to really relish my time out as a woman and my "passing" has taken a huge boost. I never understood what people meant when they said you have to know you're a woman inside in order to have a chance to fit in as a woman in society but now I understand it fully. I am Joanna and I feel comfortable in my own skin. That self realization radiates outwards and you are perceived as what you understand yourself to be. Powerful stuff that.

I had a great day yesterday as a result. Both meetups went great and we will keep in touch as always. M is getting older and needs to move towards assisted living. She is an amazing woman and has lived fully and intelligently all her life. E is only a few years older than myself and she's looking for work right now. She'll probably end up back in retail which is where I met her oin the first place. Both appreciate me in their lives and I appreciate them in return in mine.

Friday, 19 October 2012

I've made a choice

I have (for better or worse) made a choice; and that choice is to be myself. In the past I made compromises for the sake of society, religion, friends and family which led me to stiffle my different way of being to my own detriment. I am not suggesting that anyone forced me into this situation; quite the opposite - I did what I thought I should be doing in order to measure up to expectation. My own shyness and insecurity likely also linked to needing to keep this part of myself an absolute secret, created a shell around me which kept my natural personality stiffled. Too much for a young person to bear I fear and I hope my own children never suffer in silence the way I did. I would like to think that they would come to me with something like this and I would be there to help them. I've been there.

So this choice to be myself will limit my chances to find someone to share my life with but in return I will have a peace of mind and spirit that will hopefully compensate. In the end we need to be true to ourselves no matter what the consequences because the burden on the psyche is simply too much to bear.

Today I will meet both M and E for a little female bonding. I do need that these days.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

some pictures....

As I had promised some recent pics to share...only marginally doctored (he he)


Monday, 15 October 2012

all in all I'm pretty fortunate

I have a lot to be thankful for. I have my health, a good job, two great kids, a curious mind and I had a great upbringing from two amazing parents. I don't have any right to feel sorry for myself. I need to remember that next time I get into the doldrums....

I also need to look on my condition as more of a gift than a curse. There is always something to be learnt from being different.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

all her things are gone

While I was out today my ex gf came to get the last of her things which were still stored here. I felt another pang of pain and regret about ending this relationship but I know in the end it's all for the best. I know after being with someone for 3 years it's going to take more than 3 months to recover.

On a different note, after having 3 laser treatments back in 2009, I had my 4th one yesterday. It was done using an IPL laser and it hurt considerably less than the initial treatments. I will do one last one in December and call it quits for now. If I need more in the future I will return. I don't mind still shaving occasionally but wanted to not need so much foundation to hide the facial hair. I am essentially already there but these next 2 treatments will only improve things.

not all gloom and doom!

I know I write a lot of entries in this blog and they tend to be very introspective. I don't mean to be all gloom and doom as my life is on the whole pretty good. I guess for one thing I began this blog just after a painful breakup and so it's tainted with a certain outlook but also because I know I do tend to be a bit of a professor when it comes to this subject of one's transgender nature. It probably stems from my technical background.

Contrast this with Stana's femulate site and I guess I do come out looking like a "gloomy gus". Stana's site does what it does so well and it presents the picture of a woman who has made her situation work for her; so she concentrates on the more fun and trivial aspects of presenting as a woman. I know I go to her site daily if nothing else to witness the degree of comfort and confidence she displays. I have found that aspect particularly inspiring. In addition her way of working within the boundaries of her real life situation is quite exemplary. I suppose it's because she's arrived at being herself which is a place I do not yet know; I have been working so hard at doing what is expected that maybe I forgot or never learnt how.

Those of you kind enough to follow my ramblings will hopefully read an increasingly cheery Joanna in the future.

more thoughts on being a woman

I used to work on my physical presentation as a woman because the goal was to get my outing to go well and not need to worry about being read ( as much as is possible given my 6' 1" frame). But the mental aspect was not worked on because I was denying any transgender feelings I was having. I was just a man putting on a dress and at some point a few days later, dropping my female clothes in a dumpster (a practice commonly called purging for those not familiar).

Once everything blew out in my mid 40's and I went to therapy to examine why I couldn't beat this "vice" did I realize there was more to my crossdressing than meets the eye. I was able to explore the early feelings I had as a child through a prism devoid of shame and guilt and more adequately begin to decipher the source of my desire to explore my femininity within the practice of crossdressing. What I had mistaken as fetishistic transvestism was actually more steeped in a deep desire to connect with something in my psyche.

So having this new found ability to analyze without judgement, I am left with the task of determining just how female I feel I am inside after I have spent decades learning to be a man and denying all possible avenues for my feminine side. I recall in high school saying to a colleague that you couldn't pay me enough money to dress up as a woman when deep down I knew the exact opposite was true and would have gladly done it for nothing. That kind of cover up requires practice and effort but in the process the real "you "gets left behind. What would I have done without the social and religious pressure I had to conform to an expected role? I am now in the process of finding out.

It's like unraveling the bandages of a long dead mummy and waiting to see what the corpse looks like underneath. It takes years to get where you are and hopefully not as many to unravel the mystery of your own core. There is still a lot of stigma to remove before I can visualize everything clearly.

Friday, 12 October 2012

the hybrid approach works for now...

So far living part time is working ok. My disphoria is not severe enough to feel I must transition and my outings work because I pass well as a woman. So while it may not be the ideal solution, it will suffice for now. In fact if I never need to transition it would be a great thing as I'm not really looking forward to starting my career over at this point as a woman. Ideally, if I did need to transition, I could do it when I begin to retire which is in about 10 years.

Plus if I can spare my children some unnecessary pain that would be a bonus.

I suppose I'm fortunate in that I don't need FFS to pass and that allows me more comfort and freedom to move between genders. I know some would find this arrangement like a cop out but if it works and avoids the chaos of a full blown life explosion I'm happy to keep going with it.

transsexual vs transsexual

I find it hard to understand why some transsexual women seem to rank themselves above everyone else because they knew early on they were girls and because they were helped along by their families. The website of one such women was full of derogatory remarks against those late transitioning and autogynephelic transsexuals that she refers to as men in dresses. But even if she were right in her analysis (and I will explain why I don't think she is) I find the ranking disturbing and unnecessary and at worst just plain mean spirited. Anne Lawrence and company would label her a homosexual transsexual who transitions early.

She has many entries where she describes her life and how she transitioned at 25 after knowing for many years she was a girl. She had support from her family and even looked feminine. So there were clear advantages to transitioning especially since she was being bullied for being so girly and really had a rough time of it at school. I know her life has not been easy and there was some heartbreak in there as well.

Nevertheless, I find her tone and vitriol particularly disturbing. She invalidates everyone who transitions late especially if they married a woman and had children without understanding what these other transsexuals went through. I mean it's not like people are lining up to get sex changes. God knows it's my last resort in my battle against this disphoria of mine and yes I have children that I desperately don't want to hurt but the truth is that many of us type 2 transsexuals don't want to go where we end up because we are desperately trying to meet the demands of normalcy in our society so we macho up and try and make it work. We may not all be wispy and effeminate boys who are attracted to other boys either so that makes it more likely we will ignore our disphoria and try to fight it. Fight as hard as we can because we're not as fortunate as her to have known from day one that we were true transsexuals .If I thought for one moment I would be where I am today, I never would have married but then I would not have the prize of my 2 beautiful children from a flawed marriage. I tried to stay married for the sake of my kids but my ex would have nothing of it as she said "I don't want to be married to a woman".

So I would suggest that we all try and get along because as one of those autogynepheliic late bloomers that my aforementined friend likes to criticize, I would not wish my struggle on my worst enemy. In fact I'd be happy if it all just went away anI never needed to dress again.

I'll make her a deal, I won't criticize her if she doesn't criticize me. Now there's a thought.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

how does one just stop crossdressing?

I recall frequenting the site of a crossdresser named Yvonne. She was a very "Out" dresser who was also fortunate enough to be partnered to an accepting woman. Yvonne would go out several times a week and she also wrote some fascinating entries and observations on her website. It was a site I enjoyed visiting and found common ground with Yvonne as she fit the profile of the classic heterosexual CD.

Then one day out of the blue she announced that she was done with dressing at the age of 53. She wrote an explanation that amounted to saying that she had explored all of the facets that this activity had to offer. She decided she would work on her male side and make that her priority. She would just go cold turkey and never dress again. Not long after the website was gone and as far as I know Yvonne the crossdresser no longer exists today.

From where I sit I find this hard to contemplate as for me crossdressing represents a reflection of what I have inside of me; something which I don't expect will disappear anytime soon. When I first read her last web entry I first thought: "great someone who has got this beat" but now I am left doubting the authenticity of her internal gender feelings. Is it possible that the dressing was just a "for kicks" activity for Yvonne? I suppose that it's possible but it's left me scratching my head a bit because from where I sit right now I can scarcely imagine this happening to me; as if crossdressing were only a pastime. I know I tried to fight off my crossdressing desires as much as I could but eventually it all caught up to me in my forties. Maybe there is a difference between those of us who get into mom's closet at age 12 and then get hooked on the eroticism of it all. Maybe that's the difference between Yvonne and myself. I was a jubilant little girl at 4 and then I was shocked away from it, guilted and shamed but my nature is to be a girl.

Anyway I will likely never have a perfect answer and the cautionary tales such as those of Renee Richards and others who have opted to transition and have regretted their decision keeps me on my toes and away from getting ahead of myself.

Another internet friend of mine would dress up and have her pictures taken at transformation places. As soon as she met a woman she dropped crossdressing altogether. It boggles my mind. And so the confusion continues....

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

understanding my own pathology

Although there are, in my opinion, major flaws with the autogynephelia theory there is still some pathology in my crossdressing behavior that continues to bother me. The way I seem to want to end my outings with an orgasm is something that keeps me giving at least partial credence to the theory. I can be out for an entire day with not so much as an erection but this aspect continues to be a practice for me. If the orgasms were absent I would remain in the intoxication of the moment but it's arrival brings me back down to earth again and reminds me of my innate maleness. So while it does no longer prompt incredible guilt and immediate purging, there is something in the act of orgasm that grounds me from my flights of feminine fancy.

This behavior also keeps me thinking that it's at least partially rooted in the sexual. I know that it's not the origin of my desire to be feminine because of the innocent feelings I experienced as a young child but is the trap the eroticism of dreaming one is a female? A love of the illusion that can never come to fruition?

I wonder how happy I really would be if I transitioned only to realize I had made an error because my biggest fascination is rooted in the pretend fantasy of being a woman. Once faced with reality would the true payoff disappear and leave me living in remorse?

Monday, 8 October 2012

some days I SO feel like a woman

Lately I've been pondering how life might be if I truly went full time. Right now I've been living as a woman when not at work and when my kids are not here, but it wouldn't take a huge push to work as a woman as I am marketable in my field and could change companies in order to make the switch.

The key right now is sorting through my feelings and continue to live more and more as Joanna in order to see if I am truly happier in the role of a female. I will take some vacation trips as a woman and test the waters that way as well. It is clear however that I am getting an enormous buzz out of presenting as Joanna and wonder if that isn't just the novelty of the newness of it all. This is why I need to exercise caution before leaping into anything.

I suppose one scenario could be to start on low dosage hormones and see where that goes. I could still present as a male to my kids and strap my breasts down if needed. Again this is pure speculation at this point, but my mind has been going there of late; painting little scenarios.

I have seen big changes even in the last 3 months so even as I use caution, there is a path being carved out for me. I am praying about it as well and asking God to show me the way forward.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

It's starting to feel less like crossdressing....

I suppose it's not crossdressing so much anymore. I am going out as myself and I happen to be wearing a dress while I am out. So while the superb thrill of being out in full view as a woman is gone, it's been replaced by a calm and comfortable "it just feels right" sensation. I am at ease, happy and enjoying my femininity.

I suppose this is where I've always wanted to be with this: rid of the guilt and shame and able to celebrate it as part of MY normal. Even if society frowns upon this behavior, I can't allow it's judgement to strangle my free expression and natural inclination to be myself.

Gender outlaw? You bet!!

My friend called me tonight to see how I'm doing. We may hook up tomorrow if he's not doing something for thanksgiving. We've been friends for over 25 years and he's also divorced. Oldest of a big clan like myself so we have loads in common.

feeling better and thanksgiving

I am doing better after having gone through a rough spell the last two weeks. It's all part of the adjustment that is taking place in my life these days. But just starting to get a glimpse at the light at the end of the tunnel is very good. The timing couldn't be better as it's thanksgiving weekend and I have a lot to be thankful for. I am going to be ok on my own and perhaps even better than ok; someone like me is probably better off on their own anyway. Joanna can live more comfortably and she and I can share a space together. She is now the only woman in my life.

I have been enjoying my time as Joanna more than ever these days and it appears that I am on a natural progression towards some sort of equilibrium. Exactly what that balance point is remains to be seen but I suspect it will involve a continued hybrid lifestyle between my male and female personna. Honestly, if I felt that I absolutely had to transition I would but right now I think I can make this ying and yang deal work. There are too many potential pitfalls in switching over to being a woman full time anyway.

Keep meaning to get some new pics on here and definitely will soon.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

eventually my luck's gotta turn..

Over the last 16 years I have seen my father die of lung cancer, married the wrong person and divorced, had a stroke which almost killed me and had a 3 year relationship now fail. Thank God for my 2 kids and career. But I figure my run of unfortunate incidents should eventually come to an end.

In addition to all this my life long struggle with gender has always been there. The oldest of a large family plagued with problems while my younger siblings enjoy relatively easy lives. But this is the way the universe seems to work. I am not complaining mind you because if I compare myself with truly tragic stories I have fared pretty well but still you like to think that at some point you arrive at some sort of equilibrium. I would really like to think that it's possible.

I continue to ride the roller coaster of mild depression but I can feel that the magnitude of the ups and downs getting better slowly. I hope to continue going in the right direction and see where the river takes me.

I met E for tea last night. She got confused about our meeting place and ended up needing to hop back into the subway in order to have us meet up. It was a short overlap but I'm really glad we were able to do it.