This is my journey as a transgender female, just trying to figure myself out and bring you along on the trip…
I must admit I have mixed feelings about seeing a new doctor. On one side I know he can provide me with more support than I have received to this point especially dealing with my depression and anxiety. On the other I am uncertain how he will view me being trans… (gender, sexual, or whatever.) Also, I have been seeing my therapist for more than six years now. She has been there almost from the beginning and I think she knows me fairly well at this point. Seeing someone new will mean starting over from square one and I don’t know if I will be able to express the largest part of what I have lived through in those years. I doubt he would take the time needed to read through this blog for answers, if there are any. After all I wouldn’t be the only person he sees.
It shouldn’t be surprising I am afraid doing this is going to send me back into a cycle of doubts, questions, and fears… To be honest they have already started.
Whenever I try to explain what is going on in my head out loud, I can only think I sound completely crazy and looking back at the things I have written here, it doesn’t sound much better.
Maybe I’m worrying over nothing but I don’t know what I will do if I’m told I don’t meet the criteria to be diagnosed with gender dysphoria.
From American Psychiatric Association’s website:
In adolescents and adults gender dysphoria diagnosis involves a difference between one’s experienced/expressed gender and assigned gender, and significant distress or problems functioning. It lasts at least six months and is shown by at least two of the following:
A marked incongruence between one’s experienced/expressed gender and primary and/or secondary sex characteristics
A strong desire to be rid of one’s primary and/or secondary sex characteristics
A strong desire for the primary and/or secondary sex characteristics of the other gender
A strong desire to be of the other gender
A strong desire to be treated as the other gender
A strong conviction that one has the typical feelings and reactions of the other gender
I think I meet all of the above, but what do I really know?
Listen to your heart before you tell him goodbye…
“The discovery of a genetic variation in male to female transsexuals adds weight to the view that transsexualism has a biological basis, the Australian researchers behind the find say.
Their study shows male to female transsexuals are more likely than non-transsexual males to have a longer version of a receptor gene for the sex hormone androgen or testosterone.
The findings from the largest-yet genetic study of male to female transsexualism are published online today in Biological Psychiatry.”
I sat down to begin this post and I thought; “So many words, so little said.” Not the most positive way to begin but it sums up how I have been feeling.
I have wanted to write on a personal level, just as I did in the beginning when I didn’t know what I was doing. Seriously, I was living in a maelstrom I could barely contain, never mind control. There were times when words poured out of my wounded soul and I couldn’t have stopped them if I wanted to.
Now there are times when I struggle to find something, anything so I can maintain my personal goal of a post a day and it is important to me to be able to do so as it is the only anchor I have.
I’m not sure what I doing. I feel disconnected, mentally adrift. There was a time when I would have sold my soul to make the noise in my head to stop, now I might do the same for it to return.
It is amazing what can be normal. Accepted. Not understood but as familiar as the beating of your heart.
So, what happens when it is gone? Never mind the people telling you things are better this way. I mean no one tells you how your suppose to cope with being ‘cured.’
Now I find so many times when I feel nothing, think of nothing. There is a terrible silence which settles onto my soul and I feel as if I am going to suffocate.
It isn’t just the mental and emotional emptiness which I find disturbing; for the majority of the past several years there was the struggle with my identity, not only in regards to gender but also who I was as a person. Even though I often doubted myself, my motives and conclusions I was slowly beginning to find a comfort zone with who I was seeing when I looked into my heart. Now I find myself standing on an endless barren plain where there seems to be no difference between myself and Him. Am I male, female, or nothing at all beyond a collection of biological systems which determine a destiny I can neither control nor change?
From an internal perspective there is little difference between my self image regardless of how I am presenting. The only issue is when I go to a store frequently and the staff has seen my both ways. I can imagine how confusing it must be and it makes me uncomfortable knowing I am not consistent.
Again I ask, am I still Him playing head games or am I Her dealing with the legacy of a lifetime of confusion and lies?
Of course there remains the chance I am simply insane…
“Lately, I have stopped using the t-word with respect to people who are transgender. The t-word I have stopped using is not the pejorative that might come to mind. It is the word transition. For much of my eight years of teaching about what it means to be transgender, I was inadvertently teaching something I have come to understand creates a different understanding than the one I was trying to create. I talked about my transition. It made sense to me at the time. Today, I have come to know that I did not transition. I certainly did not go from being male to being female. I simply began to uncover the female who had been there all the time.
Many times, I have spoken about the need for protections for people who are transgender. I have spoken in front of school boards, city commissions, and state legislators. I have listened to the opposition express concerns about the safety of women and children if people who are transgender are not stopped from presenting themselves authentically in public spaces. I have seen article after article, and a myriad of comments on those articles, lamenting the same misperceptions.
Without doubt, the most significant barrier to transgender protections and acceptance is the idea that transgender women transition from male to female; that transgender women were once men. Somewhere along the way, I finally made the connection between the objections and the use of the word transition when teaching about being transgender.”
Sometimes the answers you seek are found in unexpected places…
“Much of this information applies to all transsexuals, but this site is specifically about passing and about being able to exercise the option of “stealth.” While I am open about my transsexual status when it comes up, I am glad to be able to work and have relationships with people who don’t necessarily know or think of me as transsexual, even if they do know. Having worked with and dated people who knew and didn’t know, I can assure you there is a big difference in the way you are treated if they don’t know you are transsexual.”