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Showing posts from May, 2013

guilt as cancer

Guilt is a type of spiritual and emotional paralysis. I know because I lived with it all of my life.

First it was guilt about dressing then it was guilt about having orgasms and then it was guilt for overindulging once I had almost reached acceptance.

I have never truly been clear of it until quite recently and with its disappearence, things started to fall into place. If the guilt is not removed your entire thought process is filtered through it and you don't reason correctly.

When Pat sent me the link to the website lightinthecloset.org one of the things that stood out for me was that the site proposed strongly the elimination of guilt in order to move forward.

I have been in a guilt loop for the longest time and even when I thought I was free of it, I clearly was not. God cannot come and reach you in your guilt because it blocks all of the light trying to get in.

 Its a step process and its like unraveling a package with too much scotch tape. You need to keep working away at it…

better defining transition...

Even as I increasingly ponder the idea of transition in this blog, I will concentrate more on the idea of mental instead of physical transition.

There is good reason to resist physical change for the following reasons

- Despite not functioning normally as a male, I am heterosexual
- I don't despise my genitalia
- I currently pass relatively well as a woman
- There is too much risk involved in affecting my children adversely.

Living as a part time woman over the last year has been extremely pleasing. Perhaps I can extend that to full time living by retirement unless I decide that working as a consultant in my field is a viable option.

Physical transition is not off the table but it would require that my disphoria be so incapacitating that I must proceed accordingly. Since right now I don't foresee this ocurring I will continue along my aforementioned strategy.

I have come to terms with the science, the pseudo science and the religious road blocks are being rapidly removed. What…

A good place

It’s been a good period of late. I feel content and although I am uncertain about the future on the gender front, I am truly over my previous relationship with N and happy to be on my own.

It takes a while to regain your bearings and your self esteem after a tumultuous breakup like the one we had. I had 3 years full of ups and downs during which my previous understanding of what it meant to be with another person was tested. I came away exhausted and defeated but I learned some hard lessons.

For a time you get very down on yourself and think that no one will ever love you again but this is a temporary phase punctuated by the rejection you have just experienced. It so colors everything that it percolates its way into every aspect of your life. Shaking it off and moving on has taken me almost a full year.

Interestingly I have grown more as a person during this period than during any previous year of my life. I have become truly autonomous and any desire for codependence is gone. That li…

a return to innocence....

There has been so much progress for me that it’s hard to keep up. My psyche has been repairing itself ever so rapidly and I have removed a lot of “thou shall nots” from my vocabulary.

Last night I had a nice heart to heart with my mother about where I am these days and at one point she said that if I knew I would be happier as a woman then perhaps I should do what I needed to but then in the same breath she expressed trepidation. I know this is not easy for her but she also wants to see me happy. I made sure she knew last night that I loved her and that I had two great parents who made my life easier and not more difficult. Without them I would be in a far worse shape today.

Helene called me back around 5 pm and we set up an appointment for June 10th during which I am going to basically pour my heart out to her about how I’m feeling these days. I want to pose her a series of questions about my mind set and assumptions and see how she answers them. She has the measuring stick of exper…

Excerpt from Madeline Wyndzen's site on Autogynephilia

I wanted to paste a section from Madeline Wyndzen’s great site and how she treats autogynephilia and many fallacies engrained in it as a theory. In particular I like how she describes arousal as a symptom of the disphoria (which has always been my own personal feeling about my own arousal) which then causes one to transition or to seriously consider it. In other words Autogynephilia (or arousal to dressing or crossdreaming) does not cause the transition but is instead a symptom of something much deeper. Here is the full excerpt:

“Part of the problem with distinguishing autogynephilia-as-phenomenon and autogynephilia-as-theoretical-construct has been the word "autogynephilia" itself. This is because the word has the theory embedded into it. Consider how the Greek suffix "philia", meaning "affectionate regard for", has been used in the past within the fields of Psychology and Psychiatry: as a direction of sexual arousal. A "paraphilia" is a directi…

Time for a bit of guidance

Yesterday I went to genderpsychology.org where Madeline Wyndzen (not her real name) provides extremely valuable information for those questioning their gender. She herself transitioned I assume relatively young and because she is also a trained psychologist she provides a very thorough treatment of the subject on her site.

I know that I am a gender variant person and not a transsexual and because of this transition is really not the best option for me. I do mull it over but if I can find better ways to manage it then I will do so.

Madeline basically says on her site that if you don’t need to transition you shouldn’t – which is very wise advice. Whether you are gender variant, gender queer, androgynous, etc; find your comfort zone within the gender spectrum and stay there.

This is what I am trying to do and sometimes I need to go to a site like this that confirms what I am thinking – that transition is not the best way to go for me. It is certainly an option if things get bad enough bu…

more thoughts on transition

I suppose that living the way I am can appear to be a little schizophrenic. It's becoming more and more of a double life which, in the long term,may not be sustainable or even desireable.

I am not going to stress about it mind you but my thought process goes towards the solution of transition as a way to achieve stability. I could be out to everyone and in every aspect of my life.

One thing that's clearer than ever is that I'm not a crossdresser and joanna is tied to my identity.

Pat and Marian have suggested I look at it as "girl time" but its starting to be more for me which is why I reflect on it daily.

But where I sit now it's not the time for me to do anything. Even if my kids were not in the picture the timing is still wrong.

One of the interesting things I am noticing is that my sense of confidence has taken a huge boost. Whether in male or female garb, the improvement has been markedly felt. This is because I have embraced who I am instead of shunning…

never is a long time.....

Even as I repeat to myself the mantra that I will not transition the truth is that I don't really know the answer.

 I have lived long enough to know that in life there is no certainty except for death of our physical body which in the end is only a vessel which contains our being. It appears that my vessel tends towards wanting more to be female than a male.

I am not trying to talk myself into anything but simply stating what I have experienced all my life.

There has been so much change already and my living part time is offering me the chance to see what life might be like full time. Truth be told I am happier when I am Joanna. But I need to make cetain that this is not just novelty talking. Of course I have now been living this way for almost a year and it feels liberating and right for me, I like it very much.

 So without preconceived notions I will continue to test my feelings and challenge myself. By nature I am a very methodical person when it comes to big life decisions and…

Rebuilding

In order to build a new house you need to demolish the old one. The demolition must be complete in order for your new project to be sound. But in demolishing you need to make sure that some essential elements you still want to retain are not swept up in the chaos.

I am now in the final stages of demolishing and getting ready to lay a new foundation which will support the remainder of my life. I am also trying to keep those parts of me that I value and want to retain. It has not been easy to identify everything up to now but I am getting ever closer to segregating the pieces.

It has been an incredible almost year of discovery thus far and I am looking forward to more growth and self discovery as I peel away the layers of the life I built for myself over all of those years. It has brought me closer to a place of personal internal peace than ever before. It's what has been required but I was afraid to let happen.

Tonight my son called me to talk about girls and how he felt about one …

our community

Our online community has saved me; there is no question about that.

Without the precious input from others who are like me, I never would have made it this far in my life journey without severe impairment. Those of you who have given me insight and the benefit of your own experiences have contributed immeasureably to my being able to put things in perspective.

I know what is was like in the dark pre internet days and I shudder to think what young trans kids today would do without this important tool.

I hope my own little blog helps in its own way to provide the benefit of my own experience. I want to contribute to the discourse and to help other questioning people to find their way towards internal peace with their gender issues.

If I have helped even a little, it will mean everything to me.

Joanna coming into her own...

Had my kids yesterday and will again tomorrow as its a holiday weekend here in Canada but today was a joanna day for yours truly. I was hoping to get together with Sabrina but she was really ill and she had to opt out.

I texted it her that it was an order from her alternate mother that she stay in bed. She roared at that.

So I spent a relaxing day as a woman and had a lovely time doing it. Its so natural and peaceful and sometimes beyond words. I am living my life in a way I never dreamed I could ever do. All the elements that I worked on are converging: makeup, voice, clothing, comportment, poise and femininity.

It all feels organic and natural. With the added bonus of female friends to socialize with its becoming even more natural and a lot less lonely. I never liked outings solely on my own and always wished for company.

But I was insecure and less brave that I could be out there doing what I do now. It took me the last five years to take those last steps of presentation security t…

slow and steady

Allowing myself to feel and react in a way that's always been normal for me has been cathartic. One can only stiffle and suppress for so long. Has letting the genie out of the bottle produced an excess of feminine expression and freedom that i'll want to put back later?

That I cannot answer.

Like Marian who tries to balance an alternate persona in order to keep the male side somewhat unscathed, I am currently trying to figure out how to balance Joanna's existence and keep her in proportion.

The good thing is that thus far I have not lost control of my responsibilities when it comes to my job or parenting. I do spend a lot of time alone and so the frequency is not bothering me all that much. I won't allow it to because I spent too many years fretting and stressing.

I have come to a place of acceptance but don't yet know where the journey will take me going forward. I just want to tread lightly and evenly and hear myself breathing evenly and deeply as I go.

More on abominations...

Here is something I found on Bibleknowledge.com that shows what some so called christians are all about. What is interesting here of course is that none of the people writing this have any idea of what its like to have any sort of gender confusion. They just simply state to suck it up for God. Well I’ve been doing that all my life but still you need to read it to believe it.

My sister who is highly devout, originally thought that my condition was a choice. She tried everything to persuade me to change but that would involve changing the way I was made. She now understands that I have a cross to bear because of all the reading she has done.

Still the fundamentalist bible belt thumpers are even worse:

In addition to the increase of the gay population, there has also been a corresponding increase in the number of transvestites and transsexuals.

Transvestites are men who like to dress up in woman’s clothes, along with putting on all of the makeup that women will normally use. Transsexuals…

Diane Arbus

Recently online I discovered the photography of Diane Arbus and was struck by the frankness of her pictures. There is almost a grim mood to the photos and yet there is empathy in the way she captures her subjects.

She was known as a photographer who took photos of misfits and society’s outcasts which included transgender people as subjects.







Solitude

I feel that living alone is almost an imperative thing one should do at least once in their lives; if for no other reason than the growth it affords us.

I have never truly lived alone and I am now doing it at 50 years of age.

It has been illuminating and has forced me to learn much about myself. In the stillness and quiet that being in our own private space brings the issues I've had to face have been handled more deftly than if I had not had this time to myself.

God has interesting ways to work in our lives.

I have also discovered that I am getting used to the liberty of choosing what I do, when and what I eat and how I come and go. This has been a definite plus for me.

Also the instinct to want to pair up is dissipating. The openness to do so is there still but the need for company based solely on loneliness is gone. I think that this is important because in order to know what kind of person is good for us we first need to know and love ourselves. This was certainly a missing el…

a sin?

I definitely want to stabilize at where I am now. The only issue is that I seem to enjoy being Joanna every day. So coming home for me in the evening is a automatic change into my female clothing and step out for a bit. That want seems to have become a need and I do fret sometimes that it seems to be compulsory. Of course I do live alone and have no one to report to so it’s that much easier. However there have been many days when I have told myself I will not dress that evening only to find I will break that promise. Does it matter that much? Not really.

On another note, one of my well meaning sisters sent me a link to a website that talks about 12 steps to curing crossdressing. I took it well and it made me laugh a bit as I read it because this is the kind of site I would go to years back in that attempt to find that elusive “fix”.

I now know that I am not a crossdresser but use my cross gender expression to manage my disphoria. This is an important distinction because right now wit…

wondering aloud on a sunday morning...

As comfortable as I currently am in public dressed as a woman, I feel I still have a little ways to go. However the remaining shortfall has less to do with how others perceive me and more how I perceive myself. My internal comfort could be still better and I am working on removing the last vestiges of that of anxiety relating to the stigma in my history that says that what I'm doing is undesireable in the eyes of society and God.

I feel that going to a complete comfort will all the more entrench me in the idea of leaving things as they are (ie no transition). I want to be ok with permanently seeing myself as a transgendered woman who cross dresses as a man in order to retain her life stable and minimize the impact on others.

I know its a nuance and it changes nothing for me but it helps me to frame things mentally.

But my exploration as Joanna is a daily experience and since I am now in a happy place with a distinct view of living life one day at a time, I will simply stay the …

affirmation

I took the day off yesterday because it was really quiet at work and I wanted to reduce my overhead. Since I pick up my kids only on Saturday morning, I got to spend the entire day as myself.

I started off downtown at the cafe depot where the kind and lovely Mexican girls know me as Juanita. We chatted a bit and during the conversation they asked me if my kids were going to take me out for mother's day on Sunday. It reinforced my female identity but also reminded me I need to do something special for my mother.

Since there are so many of us in my family, I will try and set something up for Saturday with her and my kids.

I also took Denise's cell number because the three of us may get together for a drink during the summer. Would be my first real girls outing since all my others to date were just me and one other lady.

Later in the morning I met my friend Leticia who is a lovely person. We had a very nice time together for about an hour before her shift at Sears began. We left…

what now?

I now know that my cross gender behaviour has always been about internal identity instead of arousal. This is all the more apparent as I age. As any elements of eroticism wane, the identity gains increasingly in strength. The identity was strong in the early years then became confused during the turbulent middle years but of late it is back with a clear focus. That identity, in fact, never left me but I merely decided to ignore and suppress its existence in order to try and “fix” myself.

In fact it was never about eroticism but I allowed its mere presence to justify killing my natural instincts towards the feminine and I allowed the guilt and shame of a teen boy’s inadvertent orgasms to stifle everything. Suppression came at a high price however.

With a clearer vision about my past I can see why it was always about emulating my mother and wanted to dress in her clothes. I wanted to be like her from earliest memory and to this day favour the shoes and earrings that I remember her weari…

combine sexual desire with gender variance and....

I really like Jack Molay's latest posting over at crossdreams

http://www.crossdreamers.com/2013/05/misfits-gender-swap.html?showComment=1367954550235#c5733321056872502512

He essentially encapsulates an idea that I have in a very long form and roundabout way been proposing. Namely that:

SEXUAL DESIRE + GENDER VARIANCE = CROSSDREAMING

I used to think that transsexuals never exhibited eroticism of any sort and that I must suffer from some sort of sexual deviation. If you were to believe Blanchard that might just be the case for disphorics like me.

However studies clearly show that both gender disphorics and pre transition transsexuals crossdream. So in a way its almost a universal theme.

Thanks for the great post Jack and kudos to British television for pushing the envelope once again.

calming things down....

While it may not the end of my blog, that’s really it for me with the research because the literature has finally given me a big headache. The search that started slowly back in 1995 with my personal explorations into the web pages of transsexuals, transgender and gender variant people and finally culminating in technical articles and books has now come to an end. It does not mean I’ll never read another article mind you just that it won’t be associated with a massive search for self understanding.

The theories of Blanchard and Lawrence are wrong. There was an attempt at trying to categorize transsexuals in order to explain both early and late transitions. But the fact that heterosexual transgendered men end up as paraphilic perverts clearly shows a complete lack of understanding of the condition people like me face.

What remains now is to look inside myself to find for balance in living with my gender disphoria.

Interestingly, I took the COGLIATI test yesterday and came in with a sc…

can't leave well enough alone...

I'm probably just stubborn and a glutton for punishment but there's something that does not fit in this little scientific head of mine.

If I am to believe transsexual exceptionalists like AQV, I now have to explain not one but two types of transitions. One valid and early and man loving; one invalid, late and woman loving. Apparently there is no connection between them. Scientifically this makes no sense.

Firstly, transitions like AQV's have no actual scientific explaination. There is no genetic marker, brain difference or DNA evidence to support the idea their claim that they are actually women. They are women because every fiber of their being tells them but that is hardly proof of anything. Where does this compulsion come from? We do not currently know.

It should be noted that what i have just stated, applies to both ETs and LTs.

But let's follow this through. Should there in theory be any difference between gender disphorics in prepubescence? I don't believe…

the next and hopefully last phase....

If it helps me to resolve things in my head I will downgrade my self description to cross dresser. This has a less meancing connotation to it and helps to settle things into an area of certainty. It puts me in a safer zone.

Yes I have gender confusion but it need not go beyond where I am now. I'm getting my ya yas out now and tackling all of my pent up frustration. I'm crossdressing with reckless abandon and, maybe just maybe, arrive at an equilibrium where there is not the slightest doubt as to my status.

Do I envisage this hapenning? Yes I think I do.

I may be turning a page because one cannot live in utter constipation for decades without the cork popping out and all of the contents spilling out over God's green earth. My contents are spilled and I'm gathering them up slowly.

The thought processes have ended up as confused blog entries and desperate self questioning. But when all is said and done, I may be able to say: I figured out how to encapsulate my alternate…

no surgery ever for me...

Just to be clear on my previous post, I will jot down my feelings and inclinatons but won't act on them necessarily. There will never be an operation for me. No matter how tempting it might appear at times it just isn't going to happen period.

happy but of course work remains...

Why does it appear that happiness equals femininity for me? and if it's not a natural state for me why does my brain go there. Why is that a personal endorphin and not for other males or at least a more significant portion of males.

Intetestingly, the more comfortable I am in my skin as Joanna, the more the idea of transition appeals to me. But of course that would require a full transformation because when I come home I don't change back anymore. I want to just slip into comfortable jeans and a t shirt but I'll still be Joanna and that would necessarily involve having a female body.

As I age I am also less interested in intercourse. My sexual driver in bed with a woman is seeing myself as a woman and in this way I am cagegorized as autogynephilic by Blanchard. I am increasingly less caring about having a relationship and more and more about being internally at peace.

So even as I am now happier than I have ever been and will concentrate on remaining so, something is stil…

final acceptance

Even though I read and participate in the transgender community through the internet I have deliberately avoided actual physical contact with others in recent years. The reason is that, other than our trans connection, I have tended to find very little in common with the people I have met in the past.


So I have remained in the regular world befriending people who either know or don’t know that I am biologically male.

With regards to the gender therapy it has been the same. As soon as it was proposed to me that I re enter the hospital gender program (which includes 1 hour of group therapy a week) I realized that I needed to opt out; my fear being that I might feel coerced into the idea of transitioning.

I have no mental problems to speak of. There is no depression present and other than the challenges that being transgender brings, I think I can make it on my own through the use of cross dressing. I won’t stress about frequency any longer as I have no one to report to but myself.

I tri…

Life Choices...

By posting my thoughts on all of the literature I have read I do not mean to make value judgement on anyone. It was my attempt to understand how the variables of sexualisation and orientation play their roles in people with gender disphoria. This is very much what researchers like Blanchard and others are doing (whether you agree with them or not). It’s almost like finding the unifying theory of the universe.


I needed to try and understand myself within whatever science we have.

While I know that early transitioners have had a very different experience than people like me, that does not invalidate the experiences of late transitioners.

Late transitioners are sometimes painted as men with a choice because we are not given credit for the suffering we go through on the grounds that we took on male privilege and married and fathered children. The fact of the matter is that this task is often monumentally difficult and we often feel like frauds. We play roles that we are expected to fulfil…

my final thoughts on the literature

It’s easy to see why Blanchard, Bailey and Lawrence have angered many in the transgender community. They had the audacity to suggest that gender identity and sexuality are not that distinctly separate and that there is more similarity between the two types of transsexuals that they propose, namely started out homosexual and started out heterosexual.

The homosexual transsexual is angry because they insist that they are women based solely on gender identity with no eroticism involved.

The heterosexual transsexuals are angry because they are virtually painted as paraphilic wankers who are essentially men with a sexual abnormality.
Firstly let me say that I agree with the basic findings of Blanchard that namely:
• There is not that much difference between transsexuals other than original orientation
• There is fantasy and eroticism present in both groups (whether admitted or not)
Some in the TS community claiming to be “true” transsexuals have little basis for their gender identification …