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Nov 4 16 7:40 AM

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The current American election campaign has triggered some really bad childhood memories for me, and I am afraid that has also intensified my gender dysphoria. 

I am not saying that this is something all male to female crossdreamers have in common, but it would be interesting to know how many of you have had similar experiences.

The harassment continued for some nine years of schooling. It was not until high school I came to the point where I actually looked forward to going to school.

My crimes were plenty:

1. I was pretty good at the reading and writing part or education.  I loved books, which made me a loser in the eyes of my tormentors. 
2. I hated sports and was copletely useless in the gym. I was the kind of kid that was chosen last in any line for any game.
3. I was an introvert, and at the time very shy. (I am an intovert still, but the shyness disappeared as soon as I got out of the hands of the bullies)
4. I was sensitive.
5. I liked to draw and make stories.
6. I hated fighting and believed conflicst should be solved by talking.

Yeah, I do see the pattern. If I had been born a girl all of these traits and interest would have made me a social winner. The bullies recognized this, of course, which is why one of the call names they made for me was -- would you believe it -- "girl". (Oh, the irony of it all!)

I guess this is why I have come to acknowledge the role socializing play in crossdreamer repression and suffering.

I learned something else from my tormentors. You do not have to bully someone every single day for it to work. The very threat of bullying is enough. The very knowledge that today they may come at you again is enough.  

I rember three of standing, in every break, up against the playground fence, at the look out for violence: the overweight kid, the thin one and me.

As is often the case, us nerds/geeks/losers win in the end. None of my tormentors has made much progress in life. One even killed himself. I have had a successful and meaningful career. But I still struggle with what those nine years has done to me. 

Again: Not all MTF crossdreamers have had this kind of life experience. Caitlyn Jenner, for instance, had a completey different trajectory, being the popular sports star. Crossdreamers are as unique as regards personality, abilities and interests as cis people. But I know that for some of us, the female side definitely reinforces the perception people has of us, and in a hypermasculine setting that can be devastating.
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#1 [url]

Nov 4 16 8:54 AM

Jack, I can relate to so much of what you said.

I was bullied, picked on, ignored, and looked down on as a kid. I was intellectual, a little bit nerdy, liked to sit at my desk and draw. I was small, skinny, introverted, sensitive, would rather talk things out than fight...all of those things. I was never accepted by the cool kids. My friends were other kids who didn't fit in with the cool crowd. I didn't hate sports, but I never played sports. I wasn't good at them. I was also the kid who was picked last to play the game. I didn't fit in with alpha guys. I couldn't relate to them and didn't belong in their world. I had no desire to lift weights. I didn't want to be some muscle-bound meathead. Consequently I couldn't get girls to give me the time of day either. All I could do was admire them from afar.

I remember taking a gender psychology class in college. I remember the professor going through what was recognized as typical differences in behavior and mental processes in males vs. females. What I quickly realized was that I identified with many more of the traits she was assigning to the female side than the male side. Alarm bells were going off in my head. For the rest of the semester I found myself finding comfort in quietly identifying with what was discussed in class as psychologically feminine. I wasn't trying to understand how the "other side" thinks as much as it was a self-discovery process for me. I had already been having my crossdreaming fantasies that I thought were just a fetish. This was the first time that I started to ask myself, "Am I really a girl? Am I physically male but internally female?" It was kind of a big turning point for me to start to at least asking these questions instead of hiding from how I felt. All of the sudden when I looked back on how I was as a kid, the reasons why I got bullied, and had a hard time relating to people as a male, it started to connect the dots. 

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#2 [url]

Nov 4 16 9:09 AM

Hi Jack and Josie,

Your posts are really resonating with me. I was also bullied (tormented) as a youngster. I was sensitive, tentative to get physical (sports, roughhousing), and all too aware that on a level that I could not really admit to others or myself, that I envied the girls and had to be continually on guard for more bullying. I cried a lot instead of fighting. Their taunts cut me to the core. And all I wanted was to be friends.

Josie, I can't imagine attending a gender psychology class in college, I would have been so afraid of letting my guard down and allowing people to see/hear what was inside of me. I accidentally did this about ten years ago when I wrote a short story for a fiction writing class I was taking. A friend commented that he was surprised at the depth of understanding and feeling I had for the female protagonist in my story. Wow, I sure shut down on that one, vowing to never write like that again!

It's a shame that we had to endure and wait for so long to discover that we're all okay, normal, and wonderful in our own skins - just as we are. I also saw how the bullies didn't succeed. I went much farther than them in life and still have more to go!

Emma

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#3 [url]

Nov 4 16 10:51 AM

Emmasweet wrote:
Hi Jack and Josie,

Josie, I can't imagine attending a gender psychology class in college, I would have been so afraid of letting my guard down and allowing people to see/hear what was inside of me. I accidentally did this about ten years ago when I wrote a short story for a fiction writing class I was taking. A friend commented that he was surprised at the depth of understanding and feeling I had for the female protagonist in my story. Wow, I sure shut down on that one, vowing to never write like that again!


 

Actually I saw it as great opportunity for to me to explore all that under the umbrella of the excuse that it was "for the class" when in reality I was indulging myself. It was mostly girls in the class, and the kind of guys that would elect to take a class like that would not be phobic about understanding femininity. However, because I was in a gender state of mind, I chose gender as a topic for a paper I was writing for another class. The professor in that class openly criticized me for choosing that topic. I felt embarrassed about it and never chose gender as a topic for any class after that.

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#4 [url]

Nov 4 16 4:00 PM

I also have been bullied at school a lot, and can relate to Jack, Josie and Emmasweet.
My story looks like typical story of victim of bullying, and I do not want to share details, this memories are not pleasant at all.

But worst was attitude of most teachers and my mother, "You should not complain. It's your own business, you must deal with it. You will become a man, and you must not cry like a girl". This kind of "support" was not unusual is USSR. One thing is bullies, they are immature and with time most of them lost any interest in bullying, but adults who failed to see any wrong in bullying is completely different.

I'm sure that bullying also leaves scars in souls of bullies, and they have a lot of struggles with their dak side. Here I wish them success.
 

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#5 [url]

Nov 4 16 8:09 PM

It's really sad to see that everyone posting so far has had this experience, and I have too. :(

I was bullied throughout most of my school years. I would bottle it up and sometimes it would come to blows between me and the bullies. Most of the time, this would actually cause them to back off and not mess with me again. Sometimes I ended up having to scrape myself off the asphalt with a spatula. Most of them were cowards, but I hated being violent even if it worked. Teachers and administrators never listened. It was the worst when I was in middle school, and it definitely put my crossdreaming in overdrive at some points. I had already been crossdreaming since 1st or 2nd grade, but it intensified with puberty. On top of that, I felt that if I was a girl, I wouldn't have to deal with the bullying. It got better in high school when I played for the baseball team. People laid off because I had this weird position in the jock club, where I was still an eccentric nerd but also a solid member of a sports team. It was like the perfect cover for me.

The hardest kind of bullying for me actually came from a clique of girls when I was in middle school. I had a massive crush on one of them, but I didn't care for her friends in the clique. We rode the same bus home and they would often tease me when I was just trying to read my book. There were rumors being spread that I was gay, and I was very sexually naive because I didn't have a big brother or anything. They would tease me by asking me very sexual questions that I didn't completely understand. They would giggle at me when I gave a silly answer or refused to answer. It was pretty benign in comparison to getting the shit beat out of me by the boys, and it made me very confused and ambivalent. I had been having submissive humiliation fantasies (especially public humiliation) since I was 6 or 7, but I still didn't understand that they were sexual/romantic at that point. I hated it and loved it at the same time -- I knew they were making fun of me, but having my crush giggle at me along with a group of girls made me feel good at the same time. Nevertheless, looking back, I see that this was very unhealthy for me. That's one reason I think we really need to understand ourselves as crossdreamers and/or submissives. Now I know I should have not played into this.

Last Edited By: Sofie Nov 4 16 8:55 PM. Edited 1 time.

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#6 [url]

Nov 5 16 9:46 AM

Jack, I would say everything enumerated in your list characterizes my own childhood. My way of coping was to become rather studious and somewhat socially withdrawn. I had a couple of close male friends, but I didn't do well with larger groups of males. But this all worked fairly well until I hit puberty. At that point, I became subject to some bullying, and I also sensed considerable disapproval from my parents (especially my dad) that I wasn't boy enough for them. I took on various personas in an attempt to deal with all of that. This varied over time, but the one constant theme was me trying to appear more masculine than I felt inside. It is interesting to me now, that this was also the period of my life where my crossdreaming really kicked in. In my day to day life, I overcompensated in appearing masculine, but in my fantasies I was all girl.

Last Edited By: April Nov 5 16 9:57 AM. Edited 1 time.

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#7 [url]

Nov 6 16 2:46 AM

Thank you, my good friends, for sharing your own experiences with bullying.

I have also heard the refrain "kids will be kids, bullying is a part of life", and it is true that kids explore every side of their psyche if they are allowed to, including the mean and aggressive. If there are adults to guide them and stop the bullying from becoming permanent, that might even be OK. But it becomes a huge problem when the bullying never stops. The teachers play a very important role here. They can stop this kind of behavior from causing permanent damage in the victims.

I guess that in my case the teachers seemed completely incapable to stop such beavior. Indeed, some of the teachers were themselves bullied by the young bullies. Seeing a teacher run through the corridors in fear of her life does something to you.

I believe that in my life, it was the fact that I had skills and abilities that could be used to create spaces in my life where I did manage to express myself (although not my transgender nature) was what saved me. Not only did writing and storytelling give me some relief, it also gave me the skills needed to do well later in life. 

Having seen quite a few American high school movies, I know that in the US high school may be a place of torment and social exclusion. And it is in high school you find the cliques of mean girls Sofie is talking about. I selected the kind of curriculum that brought me into a class dominated by girls. They were not mean, and I was given room to breathe. I cannot even begin to describe the feeling of not having to fear going to school every day. 

The problem is, however, that nine years in the "Gulag" does something to you. Even if I managed to establish areas where I could excel, sex and gender are probably the most essential arena for identity formation for all. Everyone teenager struggle when it comes to developing the self confidence needed to unfold themselves sexually and romantically, and people like us often end up in a kind of double loop invalidation:

1. We do not fit the expected pattern, because we are -- in one way or the other -- not the men they expect us to be.
2. And the bullying undermines the attempts we are making to develop an alternative identity (genderqueer or as a woman).

I am not blaming the bullies for the first one, and that dimension will have to be adressed regardless of how people treat you. But the second makes it so much harder to cope, because we are pressured into trying to live up to the hypermasculinity of these crooks. If we manage to do so, we sell our souls. If we no not manage to do so, we lose the self confidence and pride needed to go out and find love and happiness.

I am glad to say that I get a lot of reports now that things have changed in many schools in my own coutry (as well as in others). The combination of wise parenting and good teaching leave more room for gender variant kids to explore their identity. If they are supported at home, they will also be able to stand up against bullying at school, and if they sense that the teachers are on their side, that might also compensate for the lack of respect from some mean kids.

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#8 [url]

Nov 18 16 8:43 PM

In regards to myself, I myself was also unfortunately bullied at certain points during my childhood. Similarly, I myself likewise didn't identify with hyper-masculine things such as sports, weight-lifting, et cetera. Indeed, I myself wanted to wear women's clothes ever since I began puberty at age 9 or 10 (back when I was in either fourth or fifth grade); heck, my first experiences in regards to sexual arousal were completely focused on wearing women's clothes--indeed, my first experience getting sexually aroused by naked and semi-naked female bodies occurred when I was already almost 16 years old! Heck, even right now, I derive almost as much sexual pleasure from imagining myself cross-dressing as I do from imagining myself (after my planned orchiectomy, of course) having penis-in-vagina sex with women. :)

Also, for the record, I myself was also a very emotional boy and cried a lot during my childhood; indeed, even right now, I suspect that I am more emotional than the average male is (in spite of all of the testosterone in my body). In addition to this, in regards to my own cross-dressing inclinations, I would like to point out that I strongly envied girls and women for wearing certain clothes but that this envy of mine didn't really extend to the point that I actually wanted to become these girls/women; rather, I would have certainly been content being transformed into a girly, feminine, cross-dressing boy. :)

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#9 [url]

Nov 18 16 8:44 PM

In addition to this, if this makes any difference here, I would like to point out that I certainly extremely strongly liked the Teletubbies during the childhood and still have an extremely soft spot for the Teletubbies even today. :)

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#10 [url]

Nov 21 16 3:25 PM

At least someone loves them, I guess. :))

I was bullied in a school but not as much as it could've been because of my detached attitude most of the time.

Being extremely socially unaware, I was casted aside during a middle school. It did helped me, that I learned coping mechanisms fast and figured things about the world on a fly. I didn't become socially adept, even today I can't admit to wear that mantle - I often find myself confused with my psyche and behavior as well, as other's.

It did helped me to realise, that while bullies weren't exactly unpopular, I couldn't call them exactly happy. Manic-depressive and torn at best and active aggressive and unstable at their worst.

Those, bullies weren't as bad, as people equipped with rapier equivalent of psychic weapons - girls with mean things at tge tip of their tongues (who they were protecting themselves from) and people, who genuinely had fun at other's misfortune and didn't know any better. It with bullies I have feared, but the 'normal' teenagers bystenders I really hated for that laughter...

What I had to tolerate most of my childhood was the lack of respect. Unpopularity. A 'reputation'. I was simply 'tolerated' and held at the distance. Isolation turned into contempt. And contempt turnrd into indifference. Whether I was getting socially better, smarter or funnier, was not on the table. I just was... in the background, and it proved to be best position in the last two years of school, as it turned out. I had my books, my drawings and occasional conversation with a couple of interesting teachers. Not very interested in learning, just things, that interested me...

I have no available tool at my disposal to say how various bullies and other aggressive forces changed or harmed me. Maybe signficantly. Maybe not.

Adults were always incapable. My theory is that as of now... system is not attuned to help bullied kids at all. More importantly, adults can't fix bullying in the current system of education.

The need to protect their weakest members needs to grow from within a community of children and they should be peoperly motivated to participate in that protection.

And current school systems except few around the world know nothing about motivating children. Nothing.

If you were bullied it's sad and unfortunate, but no mattwr how much pain you went through important part is that you survived it, didn't just let depression sunk you in self pity. You're scarred, but not broken.

Not broken until you choose to be.

That means, you can overcome anything to achieve your happiness and great mental health. You are as strong, as you allow yourself to be.

Your mind is software. Program it.

Your body is a shell. Change it.
Death is a disease. Cure it.
Extinction is approaching. Fight it!

© "Eclipse Phase" by Posthuman Studios

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#11 [url]

Nov 21 16 11:45 PM

Hey me too.

I have pretty much experienced many of the above examples of bullying in one form or another whilst at school. Probably caused by my interests and personality type. I also had very buck teeth, apparently the worst case seen by the orthodontic care within the SE of the UK. This generated teasing from both boys and girls, all I had to do was open my mouth to provide the in-school entertainment. I remember when I was about 15 I walked into a lift in a department store with two teenage girls, asked them what floor they wanted and they just pissed themselves laughing at my teeth. "Look at his teeth", one said as the pair had to control themselves from wetting their panties. The lift doors closed and I was trapped for the journey to the top floor. This memory has always stayed with me. The buck teeth were fixed with a 6 hour jaw operation when I was 18 so I could look socially normal.

This created an air of severe self consciousness about my nature. I was very much a timid sparrow. This lasted well into my twenties. Even today my self consciousness continues but not to the same extent. I have toughened up quite a bit over the last 20 years, but I do feel I have a fair bit of hate inside of me for people in general. People are guilty until proven innocent. Even today I am shocked when I find a person who is sincere, genuine and kind. This humbles me, and I realize that people are not all bad. I have experienced this a fair bit lately with dealing with home careers who have been looking after my elderly parents.

I also hated gym. I never fitted in with any of that stuff and also hated the gym teachers who seemed to think they were the Drill Instructor form Full Metal Jacket.

So can any of us on here say that they were the popular kid in class, or the alpha boy growing up?

The photo below of R. Lee Ermy best illustrates my memories of gym class:
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Last Edited By: Cheryl Sussex Nov 21 16 11:48 PM. Edited 1 time.

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#13 [url]

Nov 22 16 4:39 AM

You know, I seem to be so far 'over the line' as it were, that had I actually grown up as a girl I might just have been a queen bee myself.
I mean, I'm not sure I'd have been outright mean to other people, but I very easily fall into being cutting and passive aggressive.
So if I'd got a head start on makeup and so forth at age 10 or so when I first started to notice those things, and actually played up the worst of my personality instead of playing it down, who knows where I'd have been by 16.
image
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Hmm, just found out that Alexis Arquette was actually in 'She's All That', when she was still a boy, go figure..

Instead I grew up at the bottom of the heap in a single sex school, and just tried to stay out of everyone's way as much as possible.

Like maybe I was a bit like this on the outside, but secretly wishing I was more like Britney Spears on the inside..
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Britney Spears Guide To Semiconductor Physics ;-)
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Last Edited By: Xora Nov 22 16 4:47 AM. Edited 1 time.

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