Nov 26 15 7:24 AM

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There is this myth that on the female to male side of transgender, there are no crossdreamers, there are no trans men who want to be gay men in the same way there a trans women who are attracted to women.

This is pure nonsense. The founder of the American FTM movement called himself a transvestite at first, and yes, he was a gay man. 

He was also a crossdreamer. He once wrote:

"I dream of being a man since I can remember. I always felt aroused by the thought of me having a male body. I always wanted to have a penis. I always considered men are lucky for having that powerful and strong body, that ability to penetrate (with the amazing pleasure it implies) and be dominant."

That is definitely crossdreaming!

Zagria reports that Sullivan wrote to Ray Blanchard telling him about the existence of people like him. It didn't help. According to Blanchard and his friends, there are no "autoandrophiliacs". Blanchard perfectly well know that acknowledging Sullivan would make his whole sexist autogynephilia theory implode.

This short video gives you a quick glance into Sullivan's life and his struggles.

According to Rhys Ernst the video was commissioned by Visual AIDS as part of “Alternate Endings,” a video program launching December 1, 2014, to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of Day With(out) Art—a national day of action and mourning in response to the AIDS crisis.

See also my blogpost On Lou Sullivan and what female to male crossdreamers mean for our understanding of transgender
HT Uli
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#1 [url]

Dec 6 15 9:35 PM

For me, the body is insignificant. If I lean towards male interests or a male perspective, that's gender crossing already, and it's FtM enough for me. Although, I often think I'm more MtF than FtM. It's like, I'm not the female who is crossing over to the male side; I already am a male who is learning to look and act female (just a little - because I prefer the drag queen style). Hehehehe.....

I am the fulfilled transwoman.

lal2828 aka Jen Der Bendur on the old site

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#4 [url]

Dec 7 15 8:29 PM

Mr. Molay,

If you believe that there is no such thing as autogynephilia, then by the same token, there should not be autoandrophilia.  Lou Sullivan is just being her naturally cross-dreaming self; she would be erroneous in saying that she gets an arousal from the idea that she cross dreams.  Right?

Last Edited By: lal2828 Dec 7 15 8:35 PM. Edited 1 time.

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#6 [url]

Dec 22 15 8:52 AM


Annie Lennox says explicitly that I do not know how she feels, so I am in no way sure about this. But she is definitely a person that explores gender and gender expressions, so she might be a crossdreamer.

Lou Sullivan was definitely a crossdreamer. He even himself a female to male transvestite before transitioning (which was the closest term to "crossdreamer" in those days). Heck, he even tried to get Ray Blanchard to understand that there was such a thing as what Serano calls "male embodiment fantasies" among people assigned female at birth. Blanchard did not listen to him, of course, as this alone is enough to falsify his autogynephilia theory.

We have to distinguish between crossdreaming as a phenomenon and "autogynephilia"/"autogandrophilia" as a theory. When I say that there is no such thing as "autogynephilia" I refer to the explanation given in Blanchard's theory. There are clearly crossdreamers, both those assigned male and those assigned female.

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#7 [url]

Dec 22 15 9:07 AM


Is the reason that you ask this question here, in the FTM subforum, that you were assigned female at birth?

Someone has asked the same question over at Crossdreamers.com. I made the following response over there:

"I use the term transgender term in the way it has been used since the early 1990s, as a term for all types of gender variance. Following that definition most, if not all crossdreamers are transgender, in the sense that we do not follow the traditional rules of the binary.

But that is not what you are asking. You wonder whether you are transsexual. If you are assigned male at birth, you wonder if you are a woman at heart (or the other way round). 

You are the only one who knows -- or will know -- the answer to that question. 

But keep in mind that being a crossdreamer vs being a transsexual woman is not an either/or issue. Many transsexual women and men, before they transition, crossdream, in the sense of having fantasies of being their target sex. This also applies to erotic fantasies. How are they to imagine themselves having sex unless it is as their target sex.

Some say that the fact that you ask the question is proof enough of you being transgender. If you are truly cis (non-transgender) you won't have to question your gender identity. But there are many shades of gender, so being transgender does not necessarily mean that you are transsexual or that you should transition. You have to find out for yourself.

Talking to others about this will normally help. Find an open-minded therapist if you struggle with gender dysphoria. Write, draw, or find some other way to give shape to what you feel."

There is also a similar discussion over at reddit that you might find interesting.


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#9 [url]

Dec 23 15 8:38 AM

A good therapist does not even have to know the right way for you, if he or she is a good listener and very good at asking the right questions. In my experience just having a compassionate person to talk to is enough. You will sort out what you need to do.

I wish you the best of luck. And please: Do not hesitate to use this forum as a kind of sounding board as well.

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#10 [url]

Dec 24 15 10:10 PM

This also applies to erotic fantasies. How are they to imagine themselves having sex unless it is as their target sex.

I am a female, as assigned, in my fantasies.  Am I still a cross-dreamer?

*Update: Thinking that I am a MtF now and approaching middle-age, I've been quite content with a celibate asexual life.  The irony is that now I have more young males approach me than before I became obsessed with cross-dreaming.  And as I approach old age, my female system seems to be always reminding me that I'm female (female illnesses more than before).  It is as though my body is trying to make sure my male-oriented mind doesn't go too far.  image

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#11 [url]

Dec 25 15 7:56 AM

//I am a female, as assigned, in my fantasies. Am I still a cross-dreamer?//

Originally, I defined the term as "getting aroused by the idea of having the body of your target sex". According to that definition, I guess the answer is no. But since then, people have expanded on the use of the word, to include "those that experience crossgender fantasies (sexual, social, identity or otherwise)" to quote the founders of the crossdreaming reddit, so I am not sure.

This reminds me of the dividing line between butch women (who identify as women) and FTM men who prefer to express masculinity. Everyone seems so eager to define a clear boundary between the two, but I am not sure there is one.

What do you think?

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#12 [url]

Dec 25 15 9:10 PM

Ah.......I don't know.  I'm new to all of this.  All I know is that from the moment I wake up, I am your celibate Knight Templar, second in command.  The fantasy of being a female would be if I am captured in battle and is treated as a woman.  (Much like Joan of Arc's story.)

P.S. The message in my avatar (with my real hand) is from the recent biolography of Joan of Arc, A Life Transfigured by Kathryn Harrison. 

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#13 [url]

Dec 25 15 9:32 PM

@Jack, IMHO a butch woman is a woman, who may be lesbian or not. Regardless, she is a woman, and she expresses herself as butch, by which I mean to say that she is expressly not feminine. I think that expression is her choice and for her to decide. A transman is an FTM man, who is a man again irrespective of his sexual attractions. If in doubt, ask. It might be an awkward moment but in the end probably appreciated.

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#14 [url]

Dec 26 15 9:57 AM

//IMHO a butch woman is a woman, who may be lesbian or not.//

I agree! But there is a struggle in the lesbian community that should not be underestimated. Some people who identify as butch lesbian women, later come out/find out that they are masculine trans men. Their wish to express masculinity is obviously the same throughout this journey.

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#15 [url]

Jan 14 16 6:25 PM

I think one important distinction between butch women and trans men could be that not all trans men identify with being butch. I'm a transsexual ftm crossdreamer, and I don't have very much interest in performing masculinity. I want a different body, but in a lot of ways my trans identity begins and ends there, and does not extend to how I see my social identity. For a long time I assumed I couldn't possibly be trans because even though I idenitifed as a lesbian I wasn't anything like the butch women or butch trans men that I had encountered. I can't be sure, since I'm not butch myself, but I get the sense that when we use the term butch we're referring in part to a form of gender expression. Butch is so much more than just gender expression, but I guess my point is that while butch women by definition have masculine gender expressions, we can't expect the same of trans men.

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#16 [url]

Jan 15 16 1:16 AM

@ velvetears
Well, as an FTM you are certainly more of an expert than I on butch, trans men, and I appreciate your adding to this thread. I will say I had a little trouble following you perhaps because I am trying to consider what would be similar to a butch woman in a trans woman (MTF). 

I guess where I was coming from is this: a butch woman is (to me, and from personal observation) a woman. Maybe she is trans, which may very well also mean she is a crossdreamer. Although expressing herself in a masculine manner she is a woman. Maybe straight, maybe lesbian. Do you agree?

And a trans man is, like a trans woman, one who was born on the opposite sex to whom they feel they are. There is a wide range of degrees of trans-ness if you will, from crossdreamer to transsexual. Here again, may be straight, gay, or both. 

Anyway its it's great to hear from you and I hope to see you around here more.


Last Edited By: Emmasweet Jan 15 16 6:07 AM. Edited 1 time.

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#17 [url]

Jan 15 16 10:22 AM


Oh yes I absolutely agree! I was actually planning to add that I agreed with your statement that butch women are women who express themselves in a masculine manner, but at the end of the day very much women (if I read you correctly). I just got tired and decided to stop typing ;)

I think maybe I should clarify my own position here a little...my personal experiences of crossdreaming have centered around having male anatomy. I fantasize much less about taking on male roles, which I think is why I always had an affinity for yaoi and slash fan fiction - I was seeing representations of people who identified as men but didn't always act the way I was taught men should behave. After all, most of the people who were writing these stories had been raised to act in feminine ways, like me. From what I understand this is not the experience of all crossdreamers. I imagine that a butch woman for instance might fantasize about taking on male social roles but wouldn't necessarily be interested in having male anatomy (though some certainly are) or being seen by the world as men.

So if I understand you correctly I think we definitely agree. Sometimes I think about this issue in terms of framing. We can act masculine or feminine, no matter our gender identity, but it's our gender identity that lends context to our gendered behavior. What I want to say to the world is: "Hey! Men can be like me - they can have a soft voice and be gentle and cry so much that it's practically a hobby. A man can be feminine and still be a man." I imagine that butch women similarly want to show the world that identifying as a woman doesn't preclude them from acting in masculine ways. This sort of "mismatch" between gender identity and gender expression doesn't mean that butch women are really trans men who haven't yet gotten the courage to transition - it just means that these women have an affinity for masculine things but still want the world to see them as women.

As for your thought about what would be similar to a butch woman in a trans woman, I guess that depends on what kind of similarity you mean? I used to date a trans woman who identified as a butch lesbian. She wanted the world to see a woman when they saw her, but she wanted to express herself in a masculine way, just like cis butch women. If you mean on the other hand if there's some kind of similar process for trans women...that kind of makes me think about feminine gay men and drag queens who don't identify as trans. Again their gender expression doesn't always match their gender identity, but it doesn't have to. Of course the big difference here is that male bodied individuals are penalized much more often for having feminine gender expressions than women are for expressing themselves in masculine ways. I just know that, just as we can't assume all drag queens are secretly trans women who haven't accepted it yet, we also can't assume that butch women are secretly trans men who haven't yet "taken the plunge."

And thanks for the welcome! I've been pretty fascinated by my personal experience of cross dreaming and I'm excited to share notes with folks!

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#18 [url]

Jan 15 16 10:36 AM

I should probably add that, as a trans man who kinda assumed he was a lesbian at first because being a trans man was just too scary, I definitely see what Jack meant about trans men who come up through the butch community (just as some trans women come up through the drag community). The thing is though that we just can't assume that because this is the process for some people that it's the process for everyone. I think it has more to do with the fact that the butch community and the drag community can be safe landing places for trans people who are beginning to explore their identity. It's not so much that butch women are on their way to becoming men than it is that masculine trans men feel safe being with butch women since the express themselves in similar ways. In this was a masculine trans man can build a community around his masculine identity before he has accepted that he identifies as a man. This is something that really perturbes a lot of cis butch women, and that makes me p sad...that's another subject entirely tho lol

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#19 [url]

Jan 18 16 5:59 AM

 //I want a different body, but in a lot of ways my trans identity begins and ends there, and does not extend to how I see my social identity//

I love the transgender umbrella and is going to defend it with my life, but there are times it makes it harder to communicate. Trans people who focus on gender expression may come to conclude that this is only about gender expression for everyone. It is not. It is certainly not for me. For me too this is mostly about being alienated from my body.

For others again it is both. They use gendered expressions to express a more fundamental bodily dysphoria, and that is why some (but by no means all) trans men may try out being a butch lesbian, to see if that "solves the problem", or -- as you point out -- trans women may journey through the drag or crossdresser communities.

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