Mar 3 17 5:55 PM

Tags : :

This topic may have been covered already somewhere else on the forum, but I figured that it'd be a good idea to ask anyway. In spite of not experiencing textbook body dysphoria, I've been experiencing a sort of "phantom" body effect. More specifically, when I see an attractive girl I start to get a sensation in my chest or my butt depending on what I'm looking at. It doesn't really happen so much with what's below the belt, but it still concerns me nonetheless.  Even in terms of my sexual fantasies, I seem to get aroused at the thought of me not only fulfilling the male position with a female, but also the female position with a male. Mind you I've never had sex before, but it kind of bothers me because all of this seems to suggest an underlying female psychology. Although there have been times in my questioning where I considered myself to be female, something keeps holding me back from embracing it. I'd like to think that it's the male part of me that's doing so, but many other transgender people that I've spoken to bring up fear as a possibility.  Although I've spoken to my mother and told her that I was questioning things, I think she's more or less under the impression that I'm using crossdreaming and transition as a means of avoiding coming out as gay or bisexual. And while I don't deny having some internalized phobias, I find it hard to believe that a closeted gay or bisexual person would question gender identity to the degree that I have. Especially weighing in the fact that I legitimately desired to be female prior to puberty (e.g. - Around 8 or 9 years old) and never really fit in with the guys or the girls in middle or high school, it all becomes very damning that transition isn't what I've wanted all this time. Dropping transition for a moment, I think the greater issue for me lies with my poor view of femininity and women in general. That view largely centers around the idea that femininity and feminine standards for not just beauty, but scholarly pursuits aren't valued. The ideal situation that I've been brought up to believe and can't seem to get out of my mind is this concept that women portray themselves as sexual objects for men to claim. In doing so, they advance their status only through the men that they interact with and not based on individual merit. Even if a woman does decide to cultivate a future for herself through scholarly means, she's still expected to eventually sacrifice her career and what she desires to do with her life for the sake of raising a family. And while sacrifice is a noble thing, putting yourself in a position to be objectified seems inherently wrong and contributes to a perceived lack of depth in personality. And there lies the contradiction! In my sexual fantasies where I'm female, I take pleasure in the ideology that I'm being objectified by the male that I'm with. In my sexual fantasies where I'm male, I take pleasure in objectify the female that I'm with. While the latter disturbs me in that I think of the woman I'm with as nothing more than a sexual object, the former disturbs me even more as it puts me in a position where I have no depth as an individual because I'm consenting to being that object. I would say that this above all other factors is what prevents me from considering transition to be an option. I know for a fact that it probably has some tie to my relationship with my mother, however, it's hard to say exactly what that tie is. 

Last Edited By: mjperry96 Mar 5 17 4:31 PM. Edited 2 times

Quote    Reply   

#1 [url]

Mar 4 17 2:06 PM

Wow, you touch on a lot of things. Seeing a therapist would be the best way to go through all of them, and I am not generally inclined to give advice, especially about such an important decision as transitioning. But I do have some comments on what you have said here:

You may or may not be repressing a gay orientation. But whether that is true or not, it is most likely to have absolutely nothing to do with your gender identity. Who you are has little to do with you want to be with.

In regards to objectifying women, almost all arousal is somewhat rooted in objectifying. We would cease to reproduce as a species unless there was some objectifying going on. But underneath that, there is a bigger issue here that must be considered. I have noted that whether trans people transition, and even how they transition, is deeply influenced by their view of the relationship between the sexes. If you believe that females are generally in a subservient / exploited role, that will be the box you transition into.

I tend to believe in avoiding boxes altogether. There are so many expectations that various segments of society try force on us. It seems to me far better let the soul guide our life’s journey. Look inside, find the things in the world fit with it, and forget what everybody else thinks. That is pretty much what I try to follow in my own life.

Quote    Reply   

#2 [url]

Mar 5 17 4:21 AM

Although I've spoken to my mother and told her that I was questioning things, I think she's more or less under the impression that I'm using crossdreaming and transition as a means of avoiding coming out as gay or bisexual. And while I don't deny having some internalized phobias, I find it hard to believe that a closeted gay or bisexual person would question gender identity to the degree that I have.

Given everything I have heard from MTF crossdreamers during the last ten years or so, I think I can safely say that I believe you are right and your mother is mistaken about this. Sexuality is clearly an integrated part of being a crossdreamer, but the crossdreaming is unlikely to end if you come out as gay or bisexual.

I am with April here. Definitely.
And there lies the contradiction! In my sexual fantasies where I'm female, I take pleasure in the ideology that I'm being objectified by the male that I'm with.

There is a tendency in the transgender debate to use such fantasies to invalidate our identities (whether we are indentifying as our target sex, something in between or our assigned gender). It is taken as proof of us being sexual perverts. It is not.

I actually spent some time going through the litterature on non-transgender women's fantasies and found that they share most of the same fantasies as MTF crossdreamers do, the main exeption being (obviously enough) the transformation fantasy, which they do not need. You will find some of this litterature in our library.

To give one example: As many as 50 percent of women report having had rape fantasies. This does not mean that they are perverts or that they want to be raped in real life. It simply means that in their case a submissive side to their sexuality is responding to their particular life situation and is being colored by the sexual stereotypes of their time. You will, for instance, find more of these fantasies among women who are raised in an oppressive sexual environment and who feel shame about being sexually proactive. These fantasies relieve them of their guilt.

I also found that such fantasies are part of many romance novels and female erotica. And yes, also in lesbian erotica.

I have come to the conclusion that we are to condemn people because of incorrect fantasies, nearly all people will have to be condemned.

But you are also questioning your own views of women, indicating that this could be more than a fantasy, and that women are naturally manipulative and submissive.
The ideal situation that I've been brought up to believe and can't seem to get out of my mind is this concept that women portray themselves as sexual objects for men to claim. In doing so, they advance their status only through the men that they interact with and not based on individual merit.

The fact that you are asking that questions clearly tells me that you think this is wrong. And it is. Not that women cannot use their sexuality to get what they want. So do men, by the way. But most of them succeed in life because of their skills, their intelligence, their ability to love and their courage. Just like men.


Quote    Reply   

#3 [url]

Mar 6 17 10:03 AM

"There are two paths you can go on, but in the long run . . . There's still time to change the road you're on." -- Led Zepp

Fetal sexual development, sexual differentiation --


This article in the blog and then the related articles relating to testosterone, androgens and sex trait development,

When I see posts like this I suggest that one let go of the rigid dyad of gender presentation and sex orientation. Rather than "if not male, then female" we should consider "If not entirely male, then not necessarily female either."

Blanchard, Lawrence, et al would like to propose (assert) a neat dyad based upon sexual orientation. For many there exists a nicely defined "hetero-normative dyad" males and females, But there is more in one's metaphysics than black/white, male/female.

Testosterone exposure in natal development "goes wrong" (developmental anomoly) and gender expression becomes problematic. Personally, me as a single case, I am characterized by a provisionally "cis-M" body which is gender-mapped as being ambivalently male -- somewhere in between, with lots of testosterone alienation. If that makes any sense.

Just because you don't feel entirely "A" in your identity, that doesn't mean "therefore you must by default be 'B' in your identity."

Nope! There are more than two options.


Quote    Reply   

#4 [url]

Mar 7 17 4:46 PM

AllisonWunderland, I love the Led Zeppelin refference! I've certainly thought about possibly being somewhere inbetween the two, but the dyad of male and female is so heavily ingrained in me that it's hard to break free and gain some perspective. I actually think it'd be cool to be somewhere in the center, but I'm afraid that my sexual self pulls me so far to the female side that there's no hope of me even remotely landing near the center. I'm so torn over this issue I feel like I'm going to fall apart. Going back to the model of femininity that I put forward in my opening post for this thread, if I wanted to satisfy my sexual desire to be female, I'm afraid that I would have to not just change my physical body, but my personality to be accepted in society. I'd have to give up my male manerisms and privalage and ultimately find myself in a lower societal position from where I started. When it comes to things like my taste in clothes, music, etc., I'm extremely masculine. But no matter how much Led Zeppelin I listen to, no matter how many car shows that I go to, no matter how masculine my job is, this desire will always be there. And in not transitioning, I feel that I'd be denying that part of myself.   

Quote    Reply   

#5 [url]

Mar 23 17 1:39 PM

As someone who went through decades of denial, guilt, self loathing, endless melancholy, attempted 'self curing' and all the rest before finally transitioning I empathise a lot. There are only two things I can suggest: The first is go to a WPATH gender therapist, that has to be your number #1 priority as you need to talk to an expert about this. The second is that there are more options now, even as temporary ones to help work yourself out. I’d recommend trying to get in touch with some of the non-binary community, people who (like yourself) are trying to find a balance and combination in their maleness and femaleness.

Sometimes you just have to try thing. Read Julia Serano’s Whipping Girl and her description of her own journey shows the stages she went through as a part timer, androgynous, gender queer then she finally transitioned. But the key thing was her exploration of different options, in the end the right answer for her was transitioning, but someone else could easily have chosen a different route.

So there are far more options than just the binary these days.

Again a good (but make sure they follow WPATH Standards of Care) therapist will help you explore those.

And don't put it off, I did and I regret it so much. And good luck, there is an answer for you, just might take a bit of time and experimentation to discover what that is..

Quote    Reply   

#6 [url]

May 26 17 3:40 PM

Yeah But Transition Is NOT Right For Me

Reading list -- some heavy wading, but informative.

Julia Serano -- Whipping Girl A useful discussion about gender identity from the point of view of someone who has transitioned surgically and hormonally.

Anne Vitale -- The Gendered Self. -- This and Serano both useful with the caveat that these authors have "transistioned" with hormones and surgery. I am militantly anti-both, no surgery, no hormones. I am not broken, and the culture needs to get their head around my not neatly fitting into one slot or another, not male, not female. The word used these days is "queer" and there's a monumental political ideology behind the choice of this term.

Kate Bornstein -- Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women & The Rest of Us

Judith (Jack) Halberstam -- Female Masculinity  -- This work reveals to me that women have the same sorts of gender feelings as do men. Substitute "female" for "male" and vice versa. It's like looking in a mirror where everything is perfect, only reversed.

Susan Stryker and Stephen Whittle eds. The Transgender Studies Reader Vol. 1 and 2 -- Sandy Stone out of U Texas, uses these texts for a course called "Dangerous Borders" I have the syllabus for this course on my blog (linked below).

Susan Stryker -- Transgender History

Transition is NOT right for me -- I am not broken. I am a variation of the infinitely variable aspects of human sexuality (Foucault), and do not neatly slot into F or M. What I have figured out, and it only took me 69 years, is that I have the option of identification as both or neither, something somewhere between F and M. My body says male. My sexuality says male hetero sexual. My ontological essence (personal identity) appreciates both male and female gender roles and is not rigidly fixed into either one. The term in use these days is "queer" -- that we "queer gender" (verb) and upset the apple cart that offers only two kinds of apples.

There are more than two kinds of apples.

The best "transition" I ever underwent was the realization that I need not conform to one or the other. I can gender queer both, become a sort of uniquely gendered being, unbridled by the restrictions (oppressions) of one or the other. No need to pick one or the other. My body says male. My head says "none of the above." And I am correct in this narrative, correct and wholly me.

The medical establishment has an agenda. The agenda is that gender needs to conform to one or the other, M or F. "Inversion is a pathology." This dyad may make life more simple for those who identify as one or the other, but there are those of us who don't fit into neat sex dyads. If my gender presentation is "unintelligible" to you, that is YOUR mis-reading of me, not my mis-presentation.

I am male, I like women, would like to be one. Until "transition" means having XX chromosomes, periods, menstrual cramps, ovulation, menopause, a wider pelvis, longer arms/legs, softer skin, less body/facial hair, endocrine system that doesn't need to add HRT, a body not needing major, risky, complicated, expensive surgery . . . until then I'll stick with being me and politely tell the hetero-fascist medical establishment dyadic agenda to leave me out of their protocol for making me Franken-Gendered.

If transition works for you, more power. It works for a lot of people. I know more than a few it works for.

Transition does NOT work for me, and I am inclined to side with the TERFS who insist that "trans women are not women."

Last time I brought up the TERF issue, I got banned from this forum. Seems like discussions of gender should accomodate queer views. I have them and am willing to share/discuss.We are free to be who we need to be. Let's not let a rigid, fixed, dogmatic view of gender get in the way of presentation, Let's not let it get in the way of our discussion about gender presentation and what it all "means."

The blog covers al this and more --

Allison Wudnerland's Transcend Dance

Allison Wunderland's Transcend Dance

Last Edited By: AllisonWunderland May 26 17 4:02 PM. Edited 3 times.

Quote    Reply   

#7 [url]

May 28 17 5:29 AM

As my wife and I struggled the past three years with my realization that I am trans I really didn't want to even consider transitioning. Now, living on my own in an RV and having experienced myself much more while also being able to try the idea on without guilt or whatever I'm very seriously considering it, and my gut feeling is that I will.

I'm no expert but for me (and clearly I can only speak for myself) when I experience myself as a woman I just feel good. Like I'm at home in the world. I love that feeling and I want more.

Next week I will see a gender therapist in Seattle, and learn the process for her evaluation. I would like to start "low dose" HRT (whatever the means) and see how it goes.

I guess this path might take three years for me which means I'd be about 64 when it's all said and done although I'm told it isn't really ever over. Well, I can be 64 and be myself or not, and I choose to be myself.

I would like to emphasize here that I have no disdain for anyone who doesn't transition. I suspect we all have the same goals, to just be happy and content in our own skins. Nothing wrong with that.

Quote    Reply   

#8 [url]

May 28 17 10:39 AM

"Will You Still Need Me, Will You Still Feed Me When I'm 64 ??? "

"Will You Still Need Me, Will You Still Feed Me When I'm 64 ??? " -- Sgt. Pepper, 1967

"Low Dose HRT -- whatever that means."

Finasteride is typically the first line hormone regimen. Finasteride is a 5a Reductase Inhibitor. An anti-androgen, Finasteride prevents testosterone uptake. Finasteride is often Rx for BPH -- benign prostate hyperplasia (which has one peeing all night). I was prescribed Finasteride, 5mg daily, the standard dose. 60 days on Finasteride and I was hospitalized for atrial fibrillation, irregular heart rhythm. Finasteride has been implicated in cardio arrythmias -- I have a post in this forum about Finasteride and cardio issues. Tweaking your endocrine system -- this from an Endocrinologist, MD -- upsets a delicate balance. Two outcomes of transitional HRT are cardo issues and loss of bone density, for starters.

Let me suggest reading Susan Stryker, trans-F, "My Words To Victor Frankenstein above the Village of Chamonix: Performing Trans-Gender Rage."
Donna Haraway, "A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century."

You should have a serious look at my blog, linked in the signature. "Allison Wunderland's Transcend Dance."

Hetero-fascist, masculinist hegemonic medical establishment has the agenda of "normalizing" your gender presentation. Make you appear either cis-M or cis-F and have you fit into the hetero-normative gender dyad as a "normal person." I have serious concerns regarding trans-surgical presumptions. Ethically we're removing healthy, non-pathological organs. The procedure is fraught with complication and medical risk. Outcome is too often problematic and mediocre. (Google the surgical procedure, have a look at the pix and the discussions amongst surgeons.)

WE ARE NOT 'NORMAL PEOPLE." --  I very much would like to have wings and be able to fly. I'll be damned if I can find a surgeon who can give me wings. No surgeons out there can make me female either.

Have a look into "Queer Theory" . . .  Queer Theory asserts that we need not conform to the gender dyad that is deemed "normal" in this hetero-fascist culture.

Let me assert that as a cis-M, you cannot experience the "Other" that is the ontological perspective of cis-F. The notion of the "Other" is from Jacques Lacan. We discuss this in my blog too.

I'm not comfortably cis-M. I'm not comfortably cis-F, or even trans-F. What I've come to discover and resolve is that my gender ID is unique -- "queer" . . . What I've come to resolve, through a great deal of theoretical reading, research, publication, is that I need not buy into the hetero-normative dyad.

We are not normal people. My radical feminist agenda is to assert my unique identity, not buy into someone else's prescription for "normal."


Allison Wunderland's Transcend Dance

Quote    Reply   

#9 [url]

May 28 17 1:29 PM


I'm not buying into anyone else's prescription of normal. I just want to be me. I recognize that hormones and other treatments have their risks. However I would prefer to be on my deathbed some time sooner as a result of those things, having discovered and lived my truth than to maybe live longer having forsaken my chance.

I do appreciate your reference to your blog and I will follow up. I have done a tremendous amount of research, reading, and study. Sure, I probably suffer from my own confirmation bias. In the end, though, I also put confidence in gender therapists and physicians that they will do their best for me while I'm also fully responsible for my decisions.

I want to repeat that I'm only speaking for myself here. Your experience, beliefs, and needs are yours. As I would also say to a transitioned trans woman who insists that if one doesn't transition that they aren't 'really' trans I would say the same to you: we are all different people with different needs. Love, live, and let live.

Quote    Reply   
Add Reply

Quick Reply

bbcode help