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Jan 4 16 8:59 AM

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There has been so much debate regarding crossdreaming desires being either a very complicated fetish or some form of sexual layer, which is the pressure valve hiding the real transgender person underneath. Perhaps such a person  who has this sexual pressure valve would benefit phychologically from gender transition? Most people reading this will have come here from doing their own research and finding out about the word 'autogynephilia'. In my view autogynephilia (AGP) is a very outdated word, initially an experimental word to test an idea by Dr Blanchard, to highlight those who have a sexual component to their crossdressing or desire to change sex. The full definition of AGP is full of holes and has caused so much controversy and hate amongst the community. So to me I only extract the very basic element from the word and that's the statement of sexual desire associated with the wish to change gender. 

Most of the serious discussions I have read on the internet regarding wether the crossdreaming phenomenon is simply a fetish or a symptom of a hidden full transgender identity are from those who are not in a position, due to personal circumstances, to actuall live and enact fully upon their crossdreaming desires. A little bit like comparing a loving sexual relationship with pornography, or eating a sweet with the wrapper still on. My own experiences have been exactly the same as those I have just described but I managed to take the wrapper off the sweet while I was eating it, at least for a few years.

I have called this posting 'The Feminization Project - Fetish or Being True', as for me it was a lifetime project, the grand experiment, something that I simply had to try. I had no choice, the need to do what I did was becoming overwhelming.

This posting has not been created to change the private opinion of each reader. I'm only sharing my experience and my own conclusion. Sadly many experiences as mine are not shared within the community for fear of a backlash. If I say the sky is blue, there will be a dedicated team of trolls out there to insist I changed my view to think that the sky is actually orange. So any such replies questioning the validity of my own understand of myself will be ignored. I have concluded with life we are who we say we are when it comes to gender, a person does not need proof. Another person does not know another's thoughts or feelings and can't tell that person who they really are or what they are experiencing. This is regardless of a persons gender presentation as they present day to day.

When I am discussing this subject I am only talking from the male to female expression, as I know very little about the female to male phycological expression.

Twenty five years ago within the gender scene the views of transgender persons was very different. There was a pecking order. The beautiful post op transsexual celebrity was clearly ALL woman. This was defined as she was i) beautiful and ii) fully acknowleded there had never been any transvestic history to her own identity, and iii) explained that men who dressed as women who were not convincing were sexual perverts. These three criteria were followed to the letter, why? The acceptance of others in society of her being female demanded it. This lead to a community which also jumped on the bandwaggon, preaching the above acceptance criteria. A good looking trans person undergoing hormones etc was accepted as trans by their looks alone in some cases.

Todays the trans world is a mixed bag with all variations on the theme. More is understood and people are willing to discuss the sexual associations with gender expression. We still have a society which values looks, partically womens appearance. Many feminists will tell you your place in society will be judged by your looks. Very sad, but this is even more truer if you are a male to female transsexual. I persoanlly don't think you can tell if a post op transsexual was driven by crossdreaming desires just from her appearance. There will be beautiful post ops who were driven initially by sexual response who i) love their new life or ii) totally regret it and are making the best of it. Likewise there will be less fortunate or convincing post op trans women whose drive to transition was not related to anything sexual at all, perhaps a more genuine regarded motivation.

So what do you do when you are a person experiencing intensely obsessional crossdreaming behaviour which has been going on since early childhood years in one form or another? For me I experienced all of the classic desires the average crossdreamer experiences. Crossdressing, sexual fantasies and a finely tuned radar which could pick out any trans related thing around me. My subconsious would easily pick out the 'T' word if I could hear others talking in a public place. I would easily see and spot trans ladies even the most convincing ones whilst out shopping. Crossdreaming for me was obsessional and I felt it was getting worse. The element for me which made things worse for me was that despite the sexual element I knew it run deep within me and it could not be classified as a fetish. Forums and discuson groups over the years always pointed me in the direction of you're just a fetishest. I knew what a fetish was as I had fetishes within my other fantasies which did not cause me any worries. This was different. The whole situation was making me very unhappy, everything else in life was fine but the crossdreaming was an intensely frustrating puzzle that needed a solution. I had seen a variety of professionals in the medical service but nothing seemed to help. I tried using hormones for very short times but always came off them promising I would sort myself out in other ways. During these years I also had my ears pierced and a feminizing nose job done as this feminization need was, as I said overwhelming.

At the back of my mind the ultimate thing I could do would be to take hormones full time. I dreamed of feminizing myself. To what degree this was unknown but ultimately the idea that I could change myself was my highest and most secret thought. To become a female and just be accepted. It would be important for me to pass totally. Any male trace would have to be eliminated. The idea of being spotted or 'read' as a Tgirl was totally un acceptable and would I knew destroy me. So if I was to do this I knew I was setting my sights very high. Anything below the image I had within my head of my female self would have been a disaster.

I had crossdressed since early childhood and a mirror had become a close friend as when dressed the mirror was there to show me who I was. Away from the mirror dressed was good but I always needed to come back to seeing myself in the mirror. Vain I know.

So I decided to try hormones for a length of time. I would keep using them so I could finally say I have tried them for a period where I would have many ups and downs so I could come away with a sensible conclusion. 

Initially I used Estroderm MX25 patches for a period of six months, via the black market. Within a few days my obsessional thoughts and feelings became manageable. The volume control of the crossdreaming had been turned down. It was still there but I was able to function without the distress of intense crossdreaming thoughts all day long. Worried that I should be doing things with medical help I visited a private doctor, who wrote to my NHS GP for a normal prescription, but of a slightly higher dose Estroderm MX50. The private doctor told me that the MX25's would do very little for me, plus excited by the acceptance and drive for further effects I agreed. Just before I changed to the higher dose I noticed that the MX25 patches effects were not so phychologially effective as they were. Perhaps I was building up a tolerance? Looking back I often think that you can build up a tolerance to the hormone feel good effects, thus pushing you to take higher doses.

During the time I was on hormones I really did become very consumed by appearing as Cheryl. I was a kid in a chocolate factory. I was determined to experience the gender crossover in as much honest detail as I possibly could. This caused a shift in what was at the centre of my arrousal mechanism. I no longer felt that cross gender presentaton or the thought of it carried an associated sexual component any more. I was more sexually interested in the more mundane or normal. On trying to express the sexual side of crossdreaming I could not get to the top of the mountain any more and no longer understood the original attraction to those thoughts. Yet I still pursued the cross over of gender presentation, and was on the conveyor belt of transition in 5th gear. I was happy mentally and perhaps realised that this was as good as it gets. I encouraged myself to come off hormones which was rather difficult as they make you feel good. I realised fully that this was no fetish driving me but a forced deep within myself wanting to continue.

In my younger years I felt there was a desperate need to transition as I knew I did not want to be ageing as a male. However the solving of the gender puzzle has been very difficult and has taken me to the point I feared when younger which is I'm now aged as a male, 47 years old this year. I'm OK about it the fears ageing carried as a male were unfounded now I'm here.

How do I see myself today? Well I seem to now feel that it is OK simply being me. I no longer have a need to fit into a particular category. The femme side of me is not gong to go away and the only option is to accept and embrace it. I no longer think of the divisions of the gender continuum, and where I sit along it. I feel that If I made a concerted effort in my younger years to change gender I would have been OK, but I'm also glad I didn't. At the end of the day it's what works for you and what you're comfortable with.

There really is so much to life and to experience. The problem with crossdreaming is you can completely obsessed with your situation and you can waste so many years trying to figure things out.

I have been off hormones for a while now and I am in the same state as I have just described above but am quite pleased with the way my mind is these days. My mind has probably rewired somewhat due to estrogens.

In some ways I as far as my crossdreaming goes I still do enjoy presenting as Cheryl and I still experience the various triggers that encourage me to so so. Today the Cheryl presentation is simply something enjoyable to do and does not have the sexual association with it, well it still does but its very limited and more guided to the normal sexual interests. Perhaps I have achieved a semi post operative state, or the state that I wanted to achieve mentally at least. I have small breasts but I'm ok with having them and I like them. There have also been other changes that have not reverted back but I'm very happy keeping them.

Incidently I found taking 5HTP also helped me with my crossdreaming when off hormones. I seem to experience a limited calming effect similar to the estrogen which helps when needed. I know this does not work for other crossdreamers.

Another factor which i think influenced me was seeing my both my ageing parents sink into the deteriorated state they are in today. Both are now housebound, one has alzheimers the other can hardly walk. I'm their sole carer which is difficult, but this has made me realise just what is important in life.

So for the time being The Feminisation Project is on hold, or perhaps even suspended. My mission is to ensure that I maintain this happy equilibrium which has been so difficult to achieve. This is the longest period I have experienced so far maintaining this state, I accept that things may change again in the future but I hope they remain the same for my own well being and general acceptance within the mainstream community. 

Crossdreaming may be many things but it's not simply a fetish.
 

Last Edited By: Cheryl Sussex Jan 4 16 9:01 AM. Edited 1 time

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#1 [url]

Jan 4 16 12:55 PM

On The Other Hand --

Sounds like, body wise, there is some clear physical transition. And so my question would be, "Are you presenting as two people or one person?"

I have days when I present more one way than the other. Fluid presentation, but I'm always the same me, not two personalities. If I have any sort of "transitional objective" it's to integrate my gender identity so that it's not in conflict with itself. -- So that I'm not in conflict with myself.

As cis-M, it takes a lot of work to present "neutral" -- mostly shaving. I don't like male pattern body hair. I like earrings (6), and long hair -- both of which can be either "femme" or "Harley biker."  At 67, the testosterone has begun to recede and, like old farts generally, we all start to look a bit gender ambiguous. I don't present "clearly F" in most instances. If I do present clearly F, it's mostly a disguise.

I'd like the male pattern hair to go away. I'd like the testosterone to go away too. Male sexuality is constantly "charging up" to reproduce and it gets anxious/aggresive/obnoxious.

And so my "transitional objective" is contained in the banner on my blog:

"Appropriate & Subvert The Patriarchal Semiotic Hegemony of the Hetero-Normative Dyad."

-- Sex & gender are highly charged subjects in social dealings. Gender issues are heavily weighted to conform to the "hetero-normative." Thankfully, this social attitude is changing, becoming accepting of the more diverse.

Gender role stereotypes are oppressive and need to be subverted. Surgery and hormones is a pretty "macro" subversion. I'm comfortable with some "micro" subversion -- hair, jewelry, unisex clothing, ambiguous presentation, and active calling into question the gender stereotypes we encounter in our lives day to day.

Alias WunderDirt is Allison --
Allison Wunderland's Transcend Dance -- AllisonTranscend.blogspot.com


Last Edited By: Alias WunderDirt Jan 4 16 1:06 PM. Edited 2 times.

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#2 [url]

Jan 4 16 3:14 PM

Very insightful post.  You obviously put a lot of time and effort into writing it and your experience definitely puts a lot of my own thoughts and experiences into perspective.

To add to your post, I think, as this one therapist points out, the very fact that some of us even start to question if what we are experiencing is "just a fetish" is in and of itself strong evidence that there is more to our fantasies and dreams than just the erotic.  And even if that wasn't the case, our erotic self is a huge part of us, why should we discount it just because it is arousing?  This isn't to say that everyone who crossdreams is going to transition, but that if a crossdreamer feels that they might be trans it makes no sense to me to invalidate that just because the etiology of this belief is primarily based in the erotic as opposed to a predetermined narrative of "born in the wrong body."

That said, I completely agree with you when you say AGP is outdated, but I would like to take that further and say that it is so flawed that it should be scrapped altogether.  Even the part about sexual desire is flawed, in that sexual desire is not even a part of the equation.  I mean, according to AGP we are all sexually attracted to ourselves as the opposite sex; yet which of us if presented with an oppposite sex clone of ourselves would be sexually interested?  I don't think many if any of us would.  

I see that part of the AGP theory yet another distortion of the truth to smear crossdreamers as being narcissists.  Finding something arousing is not the same as being sexually attracted or having sexual desire.  Arousal and sexual desire often occur together which imho causes allosexual people to confuse the two.  But I think if we all think about it we have all experienced arousal without sexual desire, and I feel certain that the allosexuals here have probably experienced sexual desire without arousal.  The two feelings are separate and independent of each other.  But, again even researchers sometimes make this mistake and as a result come up with Ludicrous conclusions like heterosexual women not existing.  Which then forces others to point out why that is bad science and that straight women are real.

I think it best to just forget about AGP altogether and form a new lexicon like Julia Serano, Felix Conrad, and Jack have done.  One that does not confuse sexual desire with arousal and use that ambiguity against us.

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#4 [url]

Jan 5 16 4:01 AM

Cheryl, thanks for sharing :) Posts like this broaden horizons.  

There are two threads that came to my mind after I read Cheryl's and Lost247365's posts.

 Firstly, an acceptance of the society. It's a sad truth that our position in society depends on our appearance - I think it's common for our kind, regardless the time and place we lived - but it's getting even worse nowadays. There is a saying that there are no ugly people - there are only poor people, these, who can't afford to some kind of improvement of their appearance (it doesn't matter, I think, if it's a retainer or a serious plastic surgery). So, however, it's a generalization, of course, it naturally effects the transsexuals, but it also affects, for example,  the women who want to reduce the size of their breasts. This is simply a lack of acceptance how anyone can spend time, money and give him/her so much pain to look "worse".  

Secondly, "being me". There are many pillars of self-acceptance, some are independent enough, that it's a possible situation, that "a mirror had become a close friend" (I love this phrase, really! :) ). There can be the kernel of truth in the statement, that "part of the AGP theory yet another distortion of the truth to smear crossdreamers as being narcissists", but however it's a very unjust generalization, it's connected with some activity we can do ourselves - without external help - to feed our needs (I think the word "need" suits better than "desire", "fantasies" etc., because of its neutrality).  

Therefore, there are many pillars of self-acceptance that we can't fulfill without the others and being accepted as a woman in the society is one of these needs. If we really have such need (for me, the statement that every crossdreamer is a trans even if he/she denied it is a alike unjust generalization like most of AGP theory - however, I don't deny that many crossdreamers may be and are transsexual), we have to confront to the expectations of the society, which are undoubtedly unfair and unfriendly in general. Of course, the life is not a theory and there is a direct perspective, a few people whose opinion are important to us, but I think that what Cheryl said about the criteria of acceptance it's important to our awareness.  

I find quite interesting that in interviews with parents of MTF children there is always an argument, that quick transition is a priority because of their future good appearance. Of course, no one would argue, that is better to be a pretty woman than to be an ugly woman. But I think that a sense of acceptance because of "who I am" not "how I look" is more important. I don't judge anyone, I know, how many unconscious thoughts may determine our statements - the crossdreaming is somehow about it, isn't it? 

Last Edited By: Kircholm Jan 5 16 1:57 PM. Edited 1 time.

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#5 [url]

Jan 5 16 1:21 PM

certainly for many of us tg feelings have psychological power way beyond the ability to turn us on sexually. they would seem to be more powerful than one expects a fetish to be - do bondage fetishists get dysphoria when they're not tied up? 

if sexuality is fundamental to the etiology of our tg feelings, it is so in a subtle, profound, non-overt way that makes the negative judgments that usually accompany the sexual interpretation inappropriate. SarahC wrote well about this here. xx

 

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#6 [url]

Jan 6 16 12:45 AM

Clarity

Thank you for sharing your thoughts.  I discovered the Cross Dreaming concept a couple of years ago and it helped me come to terms with much of my inner thoughts.  I am now 50 and as an identity, Joanne, is now about 2 years old.

Posts and discussions such as yours ring so true with the constant dilemma and thoughts going around in my mind.

Like many i am sure, my path is twisted and confusing.  If there was a magic portal we could step through to another life then I am sure I would be in the queue right now.

In the meantime, crossdreaming is a comfort, as is trying to move forward slowly to present as the woman inside that I know I am.

Now I have accepted that Joanne is here to stay, she is not a dark and sordid fetish. I am able to share this side with my wife and I have built up a network of real friends and can go out and live in the real world from time to time.

Where this journey with end, I have no idea, what am I going to do next? Again no idea... There is no SatNav, I like to just get lost and find my own path, where ever it is taking me.  This does mean that I'm not going anywhere quickly or by the most direct route...

Thank you you once again for sharing


Joanne 

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#7 [url]

Jan 6 16 1:19 AM

Thank you for sharing this, Cheryl.

As you point out the old "paradigm" of the classic transsexual versus the perverted crossdresser has turned the lives of many male to female transgender people into living hells. For trans women there is the fear of not being able to pass, for the non-transitioning the fear of being caught and ridiculed.

Do we need a new language here? Do we need to start talking about 'non-transitioning trans women'? I have avoided that term, fearing -- as you apparently do -- a backlash from the militants, but by doing so I also undercommunicate the fact that some male to female crossdreamers are as gender dysphoric as transgender women who do transition. They often have a crossdreaming past in common, as well.

I am not blaming transgender activists for focusing on those that have or plan to transition. You have to choose your battles, and it makes sense to focus on those who do come out. But that does not mean that those who do not transition should be erased, or that we should contribute to making this group more visible.

Reading your post, I am also struck by the fact that your health care treatment is something you have to come up with yourself. Yes, you have gotten help from an empathic doctor, which is good, but in my experience most doctors are pretty helpless when they meet male to female crossdreamers. If they start reading, they find a lot of crap about "autogynephilia", but no serious and comprehensive advice on how to help crossdreamers like ourselves. Maybe it is time we start a dialog with some from the trans-positive side of psychology and psychiatry and see if we can develop a set of recommendations that make sense to people like us.

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#8 [url]

Jan 6 16 1:22 AM

@Joanne1965

Welcome to the forum, Joanne. I am glad to see you here!

I would really like to hear more about how you developed your network of transpositive friends, and how you keep it alive. Could you possibly put up a post over in the Introduction section?

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#9 [url]

Jan 6 16 3:59 AM

I am also greatly appreciating this thread that Cheryl started. I wanted to add my voice but didn't have more to say except "yeah!" I agree so adamantly that what we are and feel is real. Maybe those who would or have transitioned are also confused by us because they cannot comprehend the space we live in. Fine, but that is no reason to deny my reality. I don't deny their's nor, for example, those whose who are bisexual.

Maybe bisexual is a good example and we should call ourselves bigender. It's just a word, a label. But maybe it's more immediately understsndable by people at the ends of the spectrum, cisgender or transsexual? I want to say that it doesn't matter but I guess it does. As human beings are social creatures we want acceptance and acknowledgement in society so that spurs discussions like these.

Jack, I prefer not to add more adjectives such as "non-transitioning" to trans woman. "Trans woman" is a shortened version of "transgender woman" (at least to me, but you wrote the book!) so if you feel so compelled I suggest just spelling it out. Here again it's unfortunate that "trans woman" may so easily be assumed to me "transsexual woman" which then might call for clarifying qualifiers.

The good news is that we (and many others) are having these discussions at all. As we do we will gradually gain confidence to be more forthright, public, and vocal.

Best wishes to all,

Emma

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#10 [url]

Jan 6 16 7:05 AM

jackmolay wrote:

Do we need a new language here? Do we need to start talking about 'non-transitioning trans women'? I have avoided that term, fearing -- as you apparently do -- a backlash from the militants, but by doing so I also undercommunicate the fact that some male to female crossdreamers are as gender dysphoric as transgender women who do transition. They often have a crossdreaming past in common, as well.
 


i think this would just shift the harmful divide from between 'classic transsexuals' and 'perverted fetishists' to between 'non-transitioning trans women' and 'perverted fetishists' (without really ending divisions between transitioners and non-transitioners). respectable, serious non-transitioning trans women would resent sexual crossdreamers for giving them a bad name. 

i do think that central to the concept of 'woman' is having a female body and having a female outer life experience. 

the ideal crossdreamers should be hoping for is for society not to judge any sexuality as 'perverted'*. crossdreaming should not require a license of transsexualism to be acceptable. if that were appreciated, sexual crossdreaming would not be held against any transgender person.  

we've already got the term 'transgender'. not to mention the term 'crossdreamer'. xx



*of course sexual activity that harms others should be prohibited. 

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#11 [url]

Jan 6 16 2:37 PM

Fetish by any other name --

Phenomenology considers consciousness, more or less, as the directed thought of the subject upon the object. The conscious direction of thought is termed "intentionality." Phenomenology, generally views the human conscious state as layer upon layer of directed (intentional) thought. Moreover, "thought" about phenomena includes all the consious baggage we take in about pleasure, pain, sights, smells, sounds, images, thoughts about these sensory imputs and thoughts about how those thoughts makes us feel -- and how we feel about those feelings.

Phenomena -- gender feelings for example -- are multifaceted, fluid, and subject to deconstruction, revision. We cannot put "gender" into a neat little categorical box: "If A then B," "If not A then C or D . . . " etc. Gender is more complex than the ramification of a diagnostic, taxonomic tree.

As regards "fetish" -- Let us appropriate and subvert this term. "Queer Theory" appropriated the epithet "queer" and subverted it yet again, from meaning "unusual" to "homosexual" to designation of a radical sex/gender enclave. Let's note too that "faggot" is originally a bundle of sticks (used to burn homosexuals at the stake), and that this "faggot" of sticks comes to name the object of the persecution.

We should appropriate and subvert the term "fetish" --

Back to phenomenology: Subject consciousness intentionally directed at an object. What is a fetish? A fetish is the object toward which conscious thought is directed. Blanchard argues (thinks he argues) that subject thoughts directed at "being or becoming the object of sexual desire" is somehow "pathological." Blanchard terms this "erotic target error." In fact it's arguably "erotic target innovation."

Foucault asserts that sexual expression is infinititely diverse and infinititly expressible. And it is the "hetero-normative dyad" who inscribes sexuality with values such as "normal" and "anomalous," (pathological).

Blanchard proposes two sorts of gender dysphoria -- fundamentally heterosexual and homosexual, if we can distinguish between assigned genders and assumed genders. But gender expression is more complex than a simple, categorical division. Additionally, suggesting that these feelings -- while likely a minority view -- are only deemed "abnormal," "anomalous," "pathological" according to an arbitrary social construct is a social convention, not a teleological fact. Calling these sentiments "fetish" is an entirely arbitrary lexical choice. The perjorative connotations we attach to "fetish" are arbitrary too. 

I argue that most of the "femme" images we aspire to are social stereotypes. And accordingly I propose a bit of a field test here:

In the course of "dreaming" about the woman I'd like to be, I invariably pick objects (fetish) of what the social milieu deems "attractive." Continuing here . . . I'm 67, moderately overweight, and as a "woman" I'm a solid 1 or 2 on a scale of 10 -- 2 on a good day. Also I have come to realize that I dress day in, day out like most of the local cis-F here my age. We all wear the same clothing, and the women look female, the men look male. To be fair, let's add that this is a rural Pacific NW environment and most of what women wear locally is men's clothing, or clothing styled like men's clothing. This "style" has everything to do with the weather, climate, and rural setting. Men's work clothing is pragmatic -- for day wear, but not to facilitate "gender presentation."

If and when I "do drag" I invariably dress like a women in her mid-40's -- and sporting a lot of the "semes" of a female that age (jewelry, clothing style, hair, earrings, etc.) I expect I can pull off looking 67 yr old matron. I probably do pull off "67 yr. old matron, in sturdy casual wear -- who looks a lot like a guy."

I'm not seeing any avatars in these forums of less than ideal female stereotypes. SOME of the photos herein look like "normal everyday women" -- not particulary attractive. OTOH, a lot of photos herein look like old men attempting to look like young, attractive women. The stereotypical "fetish" is an attempt to present as an "attractive" woman, -- which is an external sort of affectation, seemingly having little to do with the radical feminist politics of gender and gender discrimination.

Of late I'm working to "un-gender" myself. Not comfortable with either end of the gender stereotypes, I'm really ensconced in the move toward freeing everyone from the hetero-normative dyad.

But then, and this is crucial, I don't take part in the search to find a sexual partner, and this is a crucial distinction. My presentation is not relative to a sexual partner, which makes the whole issue of "gender" and "sexual orientation" very much less complicated. I'm not directing my ID toward another person. Rather I direct my ID toward the integration and resolution of myself, who I am. Who I am is not a "fetish."
 

Alias WunderDirt is Allison --
Allison Wunderland's Transcend Dance -- AllisonTranscend.blogspot.com


Last Edited By: Alias WunderDirt Jan 6 16 2:52 PM. Edited 1 time.

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#13 [url]

Jan 7 16 1:06 AM

jackmolay wrote:
Thank you for sharing this, Cheryl.

As you point out the old "paradigm" of the classic transsexual versus the perverted crossdresser has turned the lives of many male to female transgender people into living hells. For trans women there is the fear of not being able to pass, for the non-transitioning the fear of being caught and ridiculed.

Do we need a new language here? Do we need to start talking about 'non-transitioning trans women'? I have avoided that term, fearing -- as you apparently do -- a backlash from the militants, but by doing so I also undercommunicate the fact that some male to female crossdreamers are as gender dysphoric as transgender women who do transition. They often have a crossdreaming past in common, as well.

I am not blaming transgender activists for focusing on those that have or plan to transition. You have to choose your battles, and it makes sense to focus on those who do come out. But that does not mean that those who do not transition should be erased, or that we should contribute to making this group more visible.

Reading your post, I am also struck by the fact that your health care treatment is something you have to come up with yourself. Yes, you have gotten help from an empathic doctor, which is good, but in my experience most doctors are pretty helpless when they meet male to female crossdreamers. If they start reading, they find a lot of crap about "autogynephilia", but no serious and comprehensive advice on how to help crossdreamers like ourselves. Maybe it is time we start a dialog with some from the trans-positive side of psychology and psychiatry and see if we can develop a set of recommendations that make sense to people like us.

'Non transitioning trans women' are just as valid as those who decide to transition. After all when you conclude that you are a trans woman you have the choice to either live with it (very difficult) or transition (very difficult or impossible). It's what you're comfortable doing. I have never really understood the militant attitude that if you don't transition then you're not genuine and some form of wanabee. We should also encourage the alternative of not transitioning as a positive option, as in many cases this really is the best option. The risk of loss of income, career, social status, friends etc etc is too great a fear to face and we must respect the decision of those who don't transition as valid and not think of such people in any way less genuine about their inner soul.

The health care treatment was my own plan yes. I have spoken to many who go on at some length regarding the medical side of their transition in the early stages, via the NHS. The 'waiting for my first appointment at the gender clinic syndrome'. I refer to the UK public NHS service. The waiting for the appointment will take some considerable time and even when you get it nothing much happens and you then wait for another appointment getting no where. People waste years using this method, but in some ways I feel this is 'all part of it' for them. They are getting some form of attention but getting no where, which may be what they want? I probably spent about £600 getting what I wanted before treatment was moved over to the NHS for free. This was private consultations and private counseling. People always say they can't afford private treatment, but £600 is nothing compared to other things in life and considering such a treatment would mark the MOST important decision in your life. I always advise if you can't save up the funds to get the ball rolling then transition is not for you. If you find saving up a small sum like that difficult, imagine the difficulty in managing the other obstacles that come later in transition.

The private doctor and counselor  I used were fully aware of my crossdreaming and AGP. They felt that the crossdreaming syndrome was very, very common in a great number of their patients.

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#14 [url]

Jan 7 16 1:28 AM

Alias WunderDirt wrote:
Sounds like, body wise, there is some clear physical transition. And so my question would be, "Are you presenting as two people or one person?"


 

Well this has shifted around a bit. I always felt I was presenting as one person. Others seeing me often saw something different to what I was presenting. It got rather confusing and made me really question everything. Today I feel I am just me, presenting with long hair tied back, sometimes womens jeans etc etc. I don't feel as pressured about gender role presentation. In some ways I feel I have gone back to a rather child like outlook about the differnce between the sexes having the ideal that male and female are the same only in a differnt wrapper. I feel safe (at this current time) that there are other options besides transition.

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#15 [url]

Jan 7 16 1:30 AM

Lost247365 wrote:


To add to your post, I think, ?t=45" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">as this one therapist points out, the very fact that some of us even start to question if what we are experiencing is "just a fetish" is in and of itself strong evidence that there is more to our fantasies and dreams than just the erotic.  And even if that wasn't the case, our erotic self is a huge part of us, why should we discount it just because it is arousing?  This isn't to say that everyone who crossdreams is going to transition, but that if a crossdreamer feels that they might be trans it makes no sense to me to invalidate that just because the etiology of this belief is primarily based in the erotic as opposed to a predetermined narrative of "born in the wrong body."

 

You're raised a very good point with that statement. Thank you.

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#16 [url]

Jan 7 16 1:33 AM

Orlanda wrote:
Thanks a lot for sharing. Seems you got some peace of mind, did you?

Yes these days I do feel more content within myself to the point that perhaps the outside wrapper of gender presenation does not matter, and that gender is far more fuid than I ever realised.

All of my current thoughts are subject to change perhaps in the future but at this time I am happy with where I currently am. I aim to try to maintain my current mindset for my own well being.

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#19 [url]

Jan 26 16 1:01 AM

The way I see it is that I was trans kid, carefully hiding myself (because of the era) dressing whenever I could, praying this 'thing' would go away and I would grow out of it..

Then I hit puberty and got sexual desires...so what fantasies was I going to have? Not being a big burly hairy bloke rogering a pretty little woman.
Of course I fantasied about having sex as a woman with different partners (male and female) ..duh...

As I grew older and, having a hefty dose of interalised homophobia (era again) and attracted to women I learned to 'function' sexually. But always had sexual fantasies involving me as a woman and others, it was a mental escape for me. Much later. after I transitioned I finally came to terms with being bi-sexual (that was actually harder than accepting myself as transgender, shows you the power of prejudices) .

But for many,. as it was for me, those sexual fantasies were my only escape for a long time, the only way I could feel female during my long years of acting as a male.
I could, to a certain extent, suppress (more realistically tun away from) my gender feelings, but they would pop up now and then and sometimes (but not always by any means) there was sexual fantasies involved..

But the proof of the pudding was when I started HRT, which incorporates a testosterone blocker*, my libido dropped but my gender feelings did not change one little bit. In fact after my sex drive dropped I could let myself acknowledge my gender feelings much more fully without any associated guilt that I was some sort of 'pervert' or 'gay man' (that damn era again)7

So I see the Blanchard topology (part of which is AGP ‘theory’) as more an ideology, used to oppress trans women. That ‘cohort’ of sexologists (Blanchard, Bailey, Zucker, Bradley, etc) saw their life’s work as ‘stopping transsexualism’ and they used every dirty trick in the book to do that. Blanchard himself in his original work ignored lots of his own data to come up with it.
I mean he lumped heterosexuals, bisexuals and asexuals together...how can an asexual have a paraphilia...oxymoron?

They all came from a eugenics and misogynist background, and hence from that came this idea that non reproductive sex was a ‘failed male sex drive target’, females (of course) had no sex drive at all until aroused by a male, being just passive receptors and breeders (of course). Some are strongly suspected to be closet gay men in denial (or hiding).
This is actually stated on the DSM V …. Where a (male only) paraphilia is sex not involving an (implied) opposite sex partner…yep if you have a wank you are a pervert…. All that wasted sperm not used for breeding (que Monty Python and ‘every sperm is sacred’) .

All their anti-trans stuff came from their original ant-homosexual male stuff, even Zucker’s reparative therapy approach was originally developed to make ‘pre homosexuals’ straight. Their obsession with ‘effeminate boys’ all started with that, with the idea that if you made them ’masculine’ then they would become ‘straight’.
None have been in a gay bar…where ‘effeminate’ gay men are almost non existent and most are a lot more ‘masculine’ than Blanchard/Bailey/Zucker/ etc are.

After they could not torment gay males (and hence get funding and keep their jobs) they went for trans children and trans adults with the full force they could, ‘perverts’, ‘80% desist’, ‘extreme gay men;’ and all the rest. And in doing so they threw away any science if it conflicted with their ideology.

The amount of trans people they have killed by forcing them to suicide (I was nearly one) by making them think they were just 'perverts' is incalculable , but would run into many thousands...not that they ever cared. "Better dead than trans;' was their motto. True.

Read their 'bible' Bailey’s The Man Who Would Be Queen' that final nail in our coffins they hoped. Suicide is never mention for trans people, mentioned for gay men, even Somoans, but not once for trans people. Amazing…Not. Because they genuinely do not care. Do you think Zucker has ever missed ones hours sleep over the trans kids he drove to suicide?

I’ve gone though his papers and he has never mentioned suicide once as a risk for their reparative 'therapy', "throw away the Barbies' and if they kill themselves..so what.


* Testosterone (T) blockers are for safety. Back in the past people had to take massive doses of estrogen to lower T to normal female levels, This had serious health risks and quite a few trans women in the past got very ill or even died because of that. Now with T blockers you can get your T levels down quickly and thus only need much lower (and hence safer) doses of estrogen. Nowadays the risk of HRT are the same as for cis women....not a lot basically.

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#20 [url]

Jan 26 16 5:45 AM

I ended up in a "discussion" with Blanchard-supporter James Cantor not so long ago, and it was very illuminating. He argued, in essence, that I, as a crossdreamer, had to know less about crossdreaming than him, because I was not a scientist. The example he used was midwifery. The midwife knew more about childbirth than the mother, so you would not ask a mother about childbirth.

I argued that mother would probably know more about how it feels to give birth to a child than he or I ever will. That had no effect.

It is fascinating to see how most of them add "PhD" to their twitter handle.

This also explains why Blanchard's supporters over and over again try to present transgender activists as non-scientists, in spite of the fact that most of the prominent trans women who have criticized them have a doctorate.

So, we are facing intellectual arrogance here, coupled with a stunted empathic ability, as Lisa points out.

I would argue that they violate some of the most obvious ethical guidelines for research, but somehow their peers are unwilling to call them out for it.

More about autogynephilia and ethics here: http://crossdreamers.blogspot.no/2015/09/the-autogynephilia-theory-is-in.html

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