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Aug 30 16 7:31 AM

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trans is our dilemma. there are lots of serious dilemmas which people have, and trans is our particular one.

our dilemma. that's my focus today, folks. it's a dilemma we share. of course, of course it manifests differently for each of us, but the more we have a sense of sharing the dilemma the stronger the spirit we have for dealing with it. it's a challenge - and maybe challenges can be good in life, at least with a little help from our friends.

society's general attitude to trans makes us defensive. this defensiveness can impede mutual support. we can be quick to say 'i'm not that sort of trans person, oh no, i'm not a freak like them!'. we can think that if we keep it to ourselves we don't really count as trans.

particularly for non-transitioners, and even more for non-crossdressers, the temptation is to deal with it alone. well then it's your dilemma and good luck. but i think a friendly community can benefit us all. by participating in a community, we not only give and receive support and friendship, we also confirm a very important part of ourselves. xx
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#1 [url]

Aug 30 16 11:08 AM

Deborah, I have come to see that a lot of trans people are very very conservative by nature, but because of their identity, they are forced to walk a path that labels them as being on the radical fringe of society (if they choose to come out). This could be particularly difficult for those of them who are in very conservative surroundings. They are caught between trying to placate their old and existing life and being true and honest to their internal feeling. But to paraphrase Jesus, it's pretty difficult to serve two masters. I tend to see that as being the trans dilemma to which you refer. For many, the answer is to invoke empathy, and even nobility in the trans condition. The whole idea of a woman trapped in a man's body is really all about that. The trans endured incredible suffering, and they had to do this because they had no choice.That is the standard narrative, but the emphasis here is always on escaping the pain of the past. It's not supposed to be about moving towards joy in the future. If you are transitioning, and you look like you are enjoying it too much, then something is seriously wrong. You are supposed to blend-in by not drawing any unnecessary attention to yourself. In other words, transition and become invisible. Anything else, is the wrong kind of trans to be, in our rather PC community.I have caught the intense anger of the trans PC purity police on more than one occasion. My therapist has said repeatedly to me, that she has never met a trans like me in more than 20 years as a gender therapist. In my direct observations of others, I tend to agree that is likely. I don't fit nicely into any of the usual categories, and that probably explains why my transition doesn't look like other late life transitioners. I tend to think that this is largely because I care great deal less about what others think about me. than almost every other trans person I know personally. I am not trying to keep anybody from my old life on my side. I am not trying to win public support. I am just going to be me, and let everybody decide if they want to come along or not. But I have always had a very rebellious nature and have been fiercely independent.

Last Edited By: April Aug 30 16 12:41 PM. Edited 2 times.

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#2 [url]

Aug 30 16 12:25 PM

thank you April!

our 2 paths are quite different, but like you i think i feel driven by something animal. as a liberal humanist i regard this drive, which in itself has no enemies, no malice, as healthy and positive. conservative disapproval is regrettable. xx

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#3 [url]

Aug 30 16 1:17 PM

being free

April wrote:
...If you are transitioning, and you look like you are enjoying it too much, then something is seriously wrong.
...I don't fit nicely into any of the usual categories, and that probably explains why my transition doesn't look like other late life transitioners. I tend to think that this is largely because I care great deal less about what others think about me. than almost every other trans person I know personally. I am not trying to keep anybody from my old life on my side. I am not trying to win public support. I am just going to be me, and let everybody decide if they want to come along or not. But I have always had a very rebellious nature and have been fiercely independent.



 

April! thank you SO much for this contribution... i am so inspired by these thoughts. i have been "growing out" or "coming in" or whatever you call it now for about a year... before that i was a closet cross dresser, hiding, sneaking, stealing, lying... guilty of all that... so rightfully ashamed... and confusing all that shame for the actual wrong i was doing with shame for why i was doing the wrong, which was just... to dress, and be a me that needs to be.

in my profile i describe some of how the recent past has changed me... i no longer steal clothes, i have no one to lie to about my dressing (except when it comes to work, where casual conversation so often forces me to keep a "poker face")

the last couple of weekends i've taken another step, which is to go out... there is a great LGBTQ scene near where i live (60 miles away) and three times i've spent the evening at the Bars, dressed, in makeup, heels... it's been WONDERFUL and i've met several Drag Queens... but something is a little off, and what you wrote is enlightening. i am SO happy to be free! to be birdy... but i can see that many folks seem to be keeping me at arm's length, somehow reticent to accept me... maybe it's what you say. i don't seem unhappy or tragic enough.

i don't think that i am a woman in a man's body, i don't even accept the dominant culture's concept of "man" and "woman" actually. the way i feel is integrated, whole... i feel like a male... males are not necessarily men... biology tells me that in fact, males and females are differentiated forms of the same archetypical form, which is female. two "X" chromosones is female, one "X" and one "Y" is a male. What is a "Y" but an "X" with one leg missing? this is what i mean. we are not the "same" but we are different versions of the same thing. we are DEFINITELY not opposite sexes. my maleness is an expression of a deeply female essence. they had to invent new words to hide that from us, to divide us up, to own us, to make us do what we would never otherwise do to and with each other (kill, exploit, injure, own, control, etc.) one of those new words was "Man" and the other was "Woman". "Man" to me is a social identity that conforms to the dominant culture's limits of dominance and submission... odious concepts to me. i eshew hierarchy and struggle to find a way to live that is free from that. the dominant culture demands that we identify as either/or and i refuse to give my allegiance to that paradigm. i have a wooden statue of Don Quijote on my desk LOL.

free. that is what i mean to be, free as a bird. sailing through April's skies :-) and sharing the view through Deborah's eyes :-)

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#4 [url]

Aug 30 16 4:20 PM

I completely agree Deborah!

I would be "Lost" without this community.  Knowing and being able to talk with people who are experiencing the same thing has been a god send to me.  Thank you all for sharing your stories and I look forward to each new "sister" or "brother" who joins our merry crew!


-Vay




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#5 [url]

Aug 30 16 4:50 PM

Me too, Deborah, Lost, and all: being trans is a dilemma. But there's something wonderful about it, too. Sure been painful and concerning over the years. Sites such as CDL and friends here have helped me immeasurably. We're very fortunate to live in this day and age. Imagine how it was only a few decades ago!

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#7 [url]

Aug 31 16 12:31 AM

Glad to see you here, Birdy!

CDL is short for Crossdream Life, and you have already found it!

By the way: I wrote your introduction over at your account page with great interest. Could you share the same text as a post over in the Introductions forum? That will make more members see it. I know many of them will find help in what you are saying.

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#8 [url]

Aug 31 16 12:59 AM

a little joy...

thanks for the welcome jackmolay!!! what a wonderful thing it is to have found this community... i've just begun to read and experience the beautiful people who have written here... i am so pleased to be able to share with such intelligent, passionate, imaginative, brave, tragic, lost and found, one but not the same, lovers, dreamers... as i've already found here, it is a joy. kisses! *-: birdy ps - thanks, sure i'll put my intro where you say jackmolay...

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#9 [url]

Sep 1 16 5:47 AM

thanks Ems and Vay! thanks and welcome Birdy!

Vay writes:
'I would be "Lost" without this community. Knowing and being able to talk with people who are experiencing the same thing has been a god send to me. Thank you all for sharing your stories and I look forward to each new "sister" or "brother" who joins our merry crew!'

it's great that CDL has helped you so, Vay!

i hope that those of us who want to can use CDL to feel our transness more deeply, in a safe, fun, friendly environment. the more active we are, the more potential for this there is. i would like CDL to be a place where we can be trans, not just discuss trans, where mtfs can really feel f, ftms really feel m. at the same time, there should be absolutely no coercion - only feel your transness more deeply if you want to. xx

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#10 [url]

Sep 1 16 8:52 AM

"i would like CDL to be a place where we can be trans, not just discuss trans, where mtfs can really feel f, ftms really feel m."

hear hear Deborah Kate... exactly what i'm here to be.. me... which i know can only be realized completely in relation to you... and you, and you...

isolation is part of the process of growth but ultimately sad and unrealized... a community that simply engages in discussions about never really escapes the isolation because it keeps us separate from the directness and spontaneity of being...

so in that spirit, as a person whose birth into this society was immediately burdened with definitions and limits unknown to my heart and self... a person who lives to find freedom and self-fulfillment... allow me to say... i love you all.

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#11 [url]

Sep 1 16 10:12 AM

Birdy, Philosophically, I think we have a lot in common. I see the gender binary as the biggest issue here.To me, society's devotion to the gender binary is what marginalizes all gender non conforming people. Yet somehow in the process of trying to escape the tyranny of the gender binary, much of the trans community has jumped right back into the same box with their enemies. The emphasis is not in breaking down the gender binary, but emulating it within a transitioned trans life. To accomplish that, they have a tendency to borrow from rather outdated social constructs. The model is not just to be a modern woman - with all the choices that implies - but rather to be a housewife from a 1950s sitcom, or something similar.

Last Edited By: April Sep 1 16 11:44 AM. Edited 1 time.

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#12 [url]

Sep 1 16 11:48 AM

April, thank you because your insight nudges me to explore a contradiction i detect in my own experience being birdy... so... what exactly do i think i am when i put on lipstick and panties etc...? i mean what is it that guides me and lets me know when i'm "pretty" or "sexy"? what image do i refer to as the ideal... you are so insightful mentioning the way that the fact of our experiences, which are the site of real spontaneity and invention, somehow becomes a group of "alternative subcultures"... which envelops our experience in a binary construct, tying the "new" to the old in perpetual dependence. i want more... i want freedom...

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#13 [url]

Sep 1 16 12:03 PM

Birdy, I have approached my transition from the standpoint of going from the inside to the out. My focus has always been on taking careful inventory of who I really am and what I feel. My goal is then to let that all show on the onside, so I can be seen by others in the way I really feel. I then acquire the social constructs I need to make that all happen. They are like colors in an artist's palette to paint the story of my soul. The big revelation for me was that I don't need to select those colors wholesale. I believe too many trans basically try to fit into somebody's else's vision of who they are, whether that fits what they feel inside or not. This journey should be about liberation, and not jumping from one prison to another.

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#14 [url]

Sep 1 16 12:13 PM

"This journey should be about liberation, and not jumping from one prison to another."

i'm called birdy because my dad used to call me t-bird when i was a boy... but i keep thinking how apt it is, since i see myself as you do, seeking freedom, like a bird on the wind. april's a name like that too, full of spring green and deep sky blue and life...

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#15 [url]

Mar 1 17 2:49 PM

The dilemma is not something I do. The dilemma is who I am.

Up until about a week ago I felt that it was mostly something I was compelled to do, a sort of compensatory behavior that afforded some sort of adaptation to having been sexually abused.

Anne Vitale -- linked from CDL -- addresses natal development, hormone signals and "gender mapping." http://www.avitale.com/Essaylist.htm

My blog picks up on this, links, more links. But I also link to a lot of radical feminist gender theory per Judith Butler.

Allison Wunderland's Transcend Dance
http://allisontranscend.blogspot.com/

Anne Vitale also discusses "Category 3" trans individuals, cis-M who seem more schizophrenic about their gender orientation -- not integrated, in denial. This is something she addresses in the Essay link here.

"Dilemma" suggests by definition a sort of bifurcation, as in "On the horns of a dilemma." The dilemma I address is to strive for integrity, to consolidate the gender ambiguity and to reify one consistent, unambiguous gender presentation. It's somewhere in the middle, between cis-M and cis-F.

Wu's Harvard essay offers a nice discussion regarding how the polarity of gender designation doesn't apply to us.

http://allisontranscend.blogspot.com/2017/02/harvardedu-gender-science-biology.html

The rest of the blog is worth taking in too --

Allison Wunderland's Transcend Dance
http://allisontranscend.blogspot.com/

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