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Thread: The Transgender Thread

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    The Transgender Thread

    Yeah...our own thread to discuss stuff and not derail other topics. All three of us. ha ha.

    So...yeah. This thread is for the discussion of various issues that fall under the 'transgender' category. I specifically picked transgender because it's an umbrella term that kind of encompasses everyone, whether you're transgender, transvestite, gender queer, etc., etc. And, of course, people who aren't transgender are more than welcome to jump into the discussion (I'm sure that was obvious, though).

    I guess I'll start. The gender issues have become pretty damn intense lately. I would say worse than usual, but they've always been pretty bad. It has kind of ebbed and flowed at times, and right now it's really getting to me. I'm sure getting dangerously close to my 30s doesn't help, because I really feel that ticking clock in the back of my head. I've lost my 20s already, and I don't want to end up losing another decade if transition is indeed what I end up doing. What scares me almost as much is the idea that I'm not transsexual, that maybe it's some other sort of gender disorder, because this really, really hurts, and I'm very much leaning toward the idea of transitioning. But ultimately, I have to do what's best and if that means not doing it then I'll have to face it if and when it comes to that.

    In the meantime, I'm in limbo because I don't have insurance at the moment so I have to wait to start seeing a therapist again. And when I do, I want to make sure I see someone who specializes in gender this time. No more screwing around with people who don't know what they're doing.

    Anyway...that's enough venting from me. So...yeah. Talk away.


    Edit: Just saw this right after starting the thread. Man, I don't know whether to be angry at, or feel bad for, this kid. I'd like to blame this on youthful ignorance (which it very well might be), but unfortunately, I think most of this country (or at least a huge portion) probably agrees with her.
    Last edited by theruiner; 01-12-2012 at 06:06 PM.

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    This is awesome.


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    That was awesome! Thanks for sharing that.

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    Ruiner, you know I love you and I mean no offense by this, but why does it matter? Why does "gender" matter, to the point that it disturbs you and causes you discomfort to the point that it interrupts your life and hurts you? I'm genuinely curious. Because I don't give a rat's ass about my "gender" anymore than I care about my blood type or liver status.

    I am, physically, female. But I don't give a shit. I sometimes have dreams that I'm a guy. And it doesn't bother me. I'm physically attracted to male humans, but that's a different subject. I wear very little makeup, don't like to be bothered by stereotypical FEMALE gender bullshit like clothes and dresses (other than the fact that dresses are more comfortable and cause fewer yeast infections, from a practical purpose), hate shopping, and stereotypical females are NEVER my good friends and I generally hate them because they're vapid.

    I'm just trying to figure this out, here, as to these "issues" you always mention, and I'm trying to separate them out from stereotypes, OCD issues, transference, etc.

    What IS "gender" other than a social construct? Why can't you be mutable and fluid and just YOU?

    Signed,
    Genuinely Curious Because I'd Like To Mutilate Malibu Barbie
    Last edited by allegro; 01-14-2012 at 02:38 AM.

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    So... http://instagr.am/p/g2i1D/

    That just happened...

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    Quote Originally Posted by sick among the pure View Post
    So... http://instagr.am/p/g2i1D/

    That just happened...
    Boom! Welcome to facial hair and the sex drive of a teenage boy, sick among the pure. Congrats. That's huge.

    @allegro- I'm not offended in the least, and I think it's a perfectly understandable question. I will have to sit down in the next few days, when I have a few minutes and am in the right head space, and I will post a response. I'll try to keep it from being novel-sized (though I can't promise it won't be a novella).

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    Quote Originally Posted by sick among the pure View Post
    So... http://instagr.am/p/g2i1D/

    That just happened...
    LMAO, because when I was a teenager I was given a cream that did the exact OPPOSITE of that. Vaniqua.
    I sometimes wonder how much money I could make if I could work out how to extract my excess male hormones and swap them with FtM person.

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    I adore you for starting this thread, ruiner.

    Let's see... Genderqueer-identifying transmasculine is probably closest thing to a comfortable label for me. In short, I was born female, I I.D. as male and would like to transition physically at some point, but there are aspects of femininity that I still want to hold onto so at times it's easier to identify as cisfemale. My dysphoria's mostly physical—I haven't felt comfortable with my chest or what's between my legs in a long time, and things that would normally be considered undesirable in a girl (broad shoulders, narrow hips, plain facial features) have always been my favourite parts of my body. I do get social dysphoria from time to time in the sense that I feel a bit ill when people refer to me by female pronouns; worse than that is when friends who know about my gender issues make quips about me being 'such a girl' as though my behaviour is dictated by the fact that I have two X chromosomes. It's not so much about what's expected of me as a female, though; it's more about my body. Part of what's kept me from seeking medical transition is the knowledge that even if, after hormone treatment, people started to read me as a guy, I'd still physically be female for the most part. I prefer to pretend I'm gender-free in that respect.

    To touch upon what allegro asked theruiner: things did get a little easier for me once I started I.D.ing as gender fluid rather than exclusively FTM, but it didn't change the fact that I'm female-bodied or that looking at pictures of men makes me ache to be something I'm really not. I'm kind of back to square one now because the physical dysphoria has returned with a vengeance and I'm now working somewhere that it's probably never going to be okay for me to come out, so I have to put up with being called 'she' all day and face the fact that I honest-to-god cannot do the same manual labour that my cismale workmates can.

    Interesting side note—people seem to have an easier time accepting me as a transman than they do accepting me as a guy who acts/dresses in a girly way sometimes. That was the only real issue my friend (the first person I came out to) had with me being trans. Go figure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by icklekitty View Post
    LMAO, because when I was a teenager I was given a cream that did the exact OPPOSITE of that. Vaniqua.
    I sometimes wonder how much money I could make if I could work out how to extract my excess male hormones and swap them with FtM person.
    That would be lovely.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hula View Post
    I adore you for starting this thread, ruiner.
    No prob!
    To touch upon what allegro asked theruiner: things did get a little easier for me once I started I.D.ing as gender fluid rather than exclusively FTM, but it didn't change the fact that I'm female-bodied or that looking at pictures of men makes me ache to be something I'm really not.
    Oh God, TOTALLY absolutely right on. Almost every time I see a woman or even a picture of a woman it hits me like a ton of bricks. It's this incredibly depressing feeling that just washes over me. I've had it my entire life.

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    It's a bit of a relief to hear from post-transition trans folk that it is possible for the feeling to go away after hormones/surgery. I'm just terrified I'll feel still feel like half a person if I ever get to that point and don't feel like a 'real' guy. FUN FUN FUN.

    Also, this is an interesting link on terminology—specifically 'transgender' vs. 'transgendered'. I've always thought there was something iffy about saying 'transgendered' (and I assumed it to be a case of poor grammar) but it now makes sense when they compare it to the P.O.C. / coloured people idea.

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    Any of my fellow TGers (for complete lack of a better term) ever watch 'transition' videos on Youtube? I find them both incredibly depressing and incredibly inspiring. Some of them are just insane (ignore the awful music). *EXAGGERATED SIGH*
    Last edited by theruiner; 01-17-2012 at 06:52 AM.

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    I started typing up this big, rambling post in the 'Little Things That Piss You Off' thread only to realise it was turning into a trans* rant. In short:

    - my friend, who knows about my gender issues, seems to be going out of his way to point out that I am, in fact, female-bodied
    - apparently it's not possible for a gay man to be attracted to me and still be gay
    - I'LL WEAR DRESSES AND MAKE-UP IF I FUCKING WANT TO, IT DOESN'T MEAN I'M NOT TRANS AND IT CERTAINLY DOESN'T MEAN MY DICK ISN'T BIGGER THAN YOURS
    - fuck.

    I wonder sometimes if every day would still be such a struggle if I magically transformed into a guy overnight and erased everybody's memories of me as the girl they thought they knew, but I'm starting to think it's not the constant misgendering that bothers me but rather the ridiculously stubborn way in which people cling onto gender norms. It's like...they can wrap their head around being a tomboy or being a butch lesbian, but if you ask them to call you 'he' you're just inviting a shitstorm upon yourself.

    News flash: some boys wear dresses and some girls have cocks. If you don't morally object to the idea of being transgender then I don't see why you're having such a problem understanding it.

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    Tell them that gender isn't greyscale, it's technicolour. And if they still scoff, tell them I'll fuck them up and they'll have to deal with being beaten up by a ***gi-irl***

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    I think I might just do that.

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    I've been on T for one week starting tomorrow morning. I still haven't gotten the courage or words to tell my mom about being trans. Through an e-mail. :|

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    I told my mom through IM. And a lot of people tell their parents in e-mail or a letter, so you're in good company.

    Just make sure to do it before you have a full beard going.

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    Quote Originally Posted by allegro View Post
    Ruiner, you know I love you and I mean no offense by this, but why does it matter? Why does "gender" matter, to the point that it disturbs you and causes you discomfort to the point that it interrupts your life and hurts you? I'm genuinely curious. Because I don't give a rat's ass about my "gender" anymore than I care about my blood type or liver status.

    I am, physically, female. But I don't give a shit. I sometimes have dreams that I'm a guy. And it doesn't bother me. I'm physically attracted to male humans, but that's a different subject. I wear very little makeup, don't like to be bothered by stereotypical FEMALE gender bullshit like clothes and dresses (other than the fact that dresses are more comfortable and cause fewer yeast infections, from a practical purpose), hate shopping, and stereotypical females are NEVER my good friends and I generally hate them because they're vapid.

    I'm just trying to figure this out, here, as to these "issues" you always mention, and I'm trying to separate them out from stereotypes, OCD issues, transference, etc.

    What IS "gender" other than a social construct? Why can't you be mutable and fluid and just YOU?

    Signed,
    Genuinely Curious Because I'd Like To Mutilate Malibu Barbie
    Sorry for getting back to you so late on this.

    So, I want to make a disclaimer right up front that I'm only speaking for myself on this. I know that seems obvious, but I just don't want to make it seem like my case is typical for most transsexuals/transgender people. I'm not even sure I fit the textbook definition of transsexual, or that that's exactly what I have or not, so I might not be the best example.

    Anyway...

    Ok, so the thing is, it goes beyond just gender expression (though that is certainly part of it.) It's an actual dissatisfaction with ones body. For me (and I know this is different than a lot of transsexuals' experiences) I don't feel uncomfortable in my body as much as I feel like I should be female (my body, I mean). When I see women, just about every time I see a woman, I get an overwhelming feeling of longing and sadness, because that feels like who I really am, and who I need to actually physically be. It's like I was a woman and then woke up one day, inexplicably, in a male body, and I need to get back to who I was. It's felt that way since as far back as I can remember. So this goes way beyond socially constructed gender rules (which I don't believe in, anyway; I think everyone should be able to be who they are and act and dress how they like). This goes to feeling like one is in the actual wrong physical body.

    Now, the sort of textbook definition of transsexual is someone who is uncomfortable in ones own body in addition to what I described above. Like I said, I can't say I really fit that, as I don't feel uncomfortable in my own skin, but a lot of transsexuals do (one of the reasons I question if I'm really transsexual). For them, their bodies don't feel right at all. I've heard it described from people who have actually had the big surgery this way: they said they felt that after their surgery, everything felt right immediately, that it was almost like their brain was mapped to have a female body (in this example, obviously reversed for FTM) and it felt completely natural and normal afterward because their brain (or how it was wired, rather) was finally matched up with the body it was supposed to have all along. Which does go with the theory that the brain in transsexuals is wired incorrectly (female brain, male body or male brain, female body). There's evidence of this, as someone mentioned in another thread, I believe, where they're finding that there's a part of the brain that is smaller in females than in males, and they've done autopsies on male to female transsexuals and found that this part of the brain was smaller in them, i.e. that they had, essentially, a "female" brain, at least that part of the brain, anyway. Which seems to back up the consensus among the community for a long, long time, which is that transsexuals were wired for the opposite sex.

    Anyway, I don't know if I explained that properly, but I hope it helped to clarify things. Please let me know if that didn't make sense or there's something else you'd like to know about.

    And please correct me if I got anything else wrong there, fellow transgender peoples (God, I wish I could come up with a decent term for that.)

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    So the specific problem for you is one of dissatisfaction and not discomfort? That's a really interesting definition, and I sort of understand now why you're not sure if it's a gender or sex issue. Is there a particular kind of woman's body that makes you feel longing and sadness? A particular shape, size, etc? Or is it any female (as opposed to womanly/feminine) form?

    Do you therefore think any particular kinds of surgery could help you to be more satisfied? Are you able to pinpoint specific things for change?

    RE: hair, have you thought about buying a wig? I have a couple from here that I got when I was losing my hair, and I'd send them to you were they not the wrong colour.

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    Quote Originally Posted by icklekitty View Post
    So the specific problem for you is one of dissatisfaction and not discomfort? That's a really interesting definition, and I sort of understand now why you're not sure if it's a gender or sex issue. Is there a particular kind of woman's body that makes you feel longing and sadness? A particular shape, size, etc? Or is it any female (as opposed to womanly/feminine) form?
    Um...I don't know. Most women, I would say, of many different shapes and sizes.

    Do you therefore think any particular kinds of surgery could help you to be more satisfied? Are you able to pinpoint specific things for change?
    I honestly don't know that I would ever be happy unless I went all the way with it. I still feel like I'm in the wrong body, albeit in a slightly different way than the "textbook" definition (or maybe I'm not...part of the reason I want to talk to a psychologist who specializes in gender issues.)

    RE: hair, have you thought about buying a wig? I have a couple from here that I got when I was losing my hair, and I'd send them to you were they not the wrong colour.
    Thanks for the thought, anyway! Yeah, I mean, I actually really want to grow out my hair before I transition. After growing it out for over a year, I just had it cut a few days ago, and I still have mixed feelings about it. The only way I could do it was by telling myself that I can always get it back to that same length a year from now, if I decide to transition, and it'll probably take at least that long (probably longer) before I'd be ready to start living as a woman full time, if it ever comes to that. Like I said, I'm still not particularly happy about having to cut it, though.

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    You kinda lose me with the hair thing, since that's a stereotypical "gender" thing imposed TOTALLY by males. Flappers in the 20s bobbed their hair as a giant FUCK YOU to the MEN who all subscribed (and STILL subscribe) to the idea that "real" women have long hair. But we women are NOT our hair. (thanks, India.Arie) Sure, if we're going bald, it sucks, just like when men go bald, but men who define women by "long hair" are fucking living in the stone age. And if you're worried that people will define you by your hair, you got some other issues, there, my friend. You can be a SEXY attractive woman with shorter hair. Because hair is just HAIR. I know some really hot dudes with long hair (G had long hair for MANY years until only a few years ago, and he was a really really sexy dude with long hair).

    "Gender Identity" is just that. Gender is a social construct, and identity is which you choose. Or both. You don't have to pick one. You can be fluid and just be "you." Fuck society's "gender" identification, you know? Try to talk with me about frilly dresses or fashion, and you lose me (and may even offend me). Talk with me about cars and boats, I may be more interested. Talk with me about how I hate bras. Or about how I love my vagina although I wouldn't mind trading it for a dick for a few days, just so I could pee under a viaduct or write my name in the snow. But then I'd want my vagina back. Because I like it. I own it, I know how it works, it's mine, I wouldn't trade it, I don't hate it. Do I define myself by it? No. My brain and my intellect is what defines me. My body is just something that gets me to the store and back and gets me from one day to the next.

    I like Hula's idea about the whole thing: s/he seems to like aspects of both. And THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT. Hating parts of your own body is normal FOR ALL SEXES. Shit, I've hated my boobs since I was 13. I was gonna get a boob job until I realized that they're MY boobs and I wouldn't want some other boobs, so I kept them and I love them because they're mine and nobody else's.

    You mean, you haven't seen a specialist, yet, who specializes in gender issues?
    Last edited by allegro; 06-06-2015 at 10:59 AM.

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    ^^Whoa, slow down, allegro. I never said women were defined by long hair or that men couldn't have long hair or any of that. As I said in the 'Piss You Off' thread, that's just a personal preference of mine. To be mad at me for that, you would have to also get mad every woman OR man who has long hair and enjoys having long hair. It's just a personal preference, and I never said or even insinuated otherwise. Yes, as a guy, I think short hair looks better on me, and it's easier to manage. I'm not saying ALL men have to feel that way, I'm just saying what happens to look best on me. As a woman, I would like to have long hair because that's just the way I feel I'd like my hair.

    Secondly, yes, I do think having long hair would probably help people transition better, because yes, we are living in the stone age, unfortunately, at least as far as transsexuals go. I can't speak for anyone else, but I would guess that there probably are transsexuals out there who feel having long hair will help them differentiate themselves from their male self, and you know what? I'm not going to knock them if they feel that way. I've lived my entire life feeling I've been the wrong gender, and I know the pain of having people constantly address me as a male when inside I'm not sure that's how I really feel. So if long hair were something that I felt I wanted to do to help curb that issue, it wouldn't be a statement about how women should have long hair, it would be a personal preference, and maybe help me look a little less like my male self, since everyone has known me my entire life with short hair. And if you don't like that, frankly, I don't really give a crap. You haven't been in my situation and you haven't felt what I've been feeling for the past 29 years and you don't know what it's like to have to transition from one sex to another and to begrudge someone that is just ridiculous.


    "Gender Identity" is just that. Gender is a social construct, and identity is which you choose. Or both. You don't have to pick one. You can be fluid and just be "you." Fuck society's "gender" identification, you know? Try to talk with me about frilly dresses or fashion, and you lose me (and may even offend me). Talk with me about cars and boats, I may be more interested. Talk with me about how I hate bras. Or about how I love my vagina although I wouldn't mind trading it for a dick for a few days, just so I could pee under a viaduct or write my name in the snow. But then I'd want my vagina back. Because I like it. I own it, I know how it works, it's mine, I wouldn't trade it, I don't hate it. Do I define myself by it? No. My brain and my intellect is what defines me. My body is just something that gets me to the store and back and gets me from one day to the next.
    And no one's arguing that gender isn't a social construct. But I feel the way I feel. Yes, I like feminine things, and yes, I do feel that my body is probably wrong. I tried explaining this the best I could. Maybe I failed to explain it correctly, I don't know, but I'm not going to explain it any further. I'm honestly not sure what your point is with this, but, like I said, I did the best I could to explain what it was like. I never, ever, ever said that women couldn't like cars and boats or that men couldn't like frilly dresses. But this goes way, way deeper than just being able to wear a dress. If you think that's what being a transsexual is, or that somehow just being able to do things or wear clothes that are traditionally assigned to women in this society would solve the problem or should solve the problem for a transsexual, then you really, really don't get it, and frankly, I'm too upset right now to explain further. In fact, I don't know that I even want to. I've said what I had to say.

    Quote Originally Posted by allegro
    I like Hula's idea about the whole thing: s/he seems to like aspects of both. And THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT. Hating parts of your own body is normal FOR ALL SEXES. Shit, I've hated my boobs since I was 13. I was gonna get a boob job until I realized that they're MY boobs and I wouldn't want some other boobs, so I kept them and I love them because they're mine and nobody else's.
    I never said anything was wrong with the way Hula felt. And no, hating parts of your body to the point that you want to have a sex change operation is not "normal" for both sexes. It's a very real and very painful condition, and one which you obviously do not understand. I will not sit here listen to you second guess the way I feel about things and try to minimize what I'm feeling or argue about what I should or shouldn't do with it. I'm done with this conversation. You can keep adding to your post if you want to, I'm not responding to it any more.
    Last edited by theruiner; 01-22-2012 at 04:43 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by theruiner View Post
    and one which you obviously do not understand
    I understand it a lot better than you know.

    This whole issue is something that nobody totally "understands." And obviously you don't, either. And that's okay, too.

    Quote Originally Posted by theruiner View Post
    I'm honestly not sure what your point is with this
    My point is that sometimes I think you use gender stereotypes when it comes to females. You say you "feel" like you're a female, but your definition of "female" seems to be based on gender stereotypes. I'm not going to go into private PMs we've had in the past. I'm supportive of you, but I am not supportive of gender stereotypes.

    I used to have REALLY short hair. We're talking buzz cut. One time, at the office, an older male attorney came up to me and said, "Your husband must like BOYS." Wtf.

    I wasn't "offended" so much as, um, I dunno, amused? Look, we can't change the world, we can only be who we are, and fuck the world.

    It just seems like feeling your sex is "probably" wrong vs. "I really really know it's wrong" are two separate things, you know? This is why I wondered if you've talked to a professional who specializes in these things.

    I've seen statistics that said something about how the vast majority of cross-dressers are het males. But stereotypes say otherwise.

    Maybe you should go on a vacation for a few weeks and BE an anonymous female? Live as one? See if it fits?
    Last edited by allegro; 01-22-2012 at 12:19 AM.

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    I'm sorry, but I don't think you understand. You have not demonstrated that you understand. And no, I absolutely do not support gender stereotypes in any way shape or form. But I do feel the way I feel. And if that's supporting gender stereotypes, then there are a HELL of a lot of transsexuals who feel the same, because I've met and talked with them and been on message boards and read books and blogs and websites and have been researching this for years and years and years, and I can tell you that the vast majority of the MTF transsexuals I've met and read about and seen and interacted with grew their hair out and acted feminine and liked feminine things (as well as a lot of masculine things, I'm sure, as most women and men don't fall strictly into either category, nor should they) and they were excited to wear women's clothes. And a lot of the FTM transsexuals wanted to have short hair and wear men's clothes and liked men's things and, I'm sure, some female things to. That doesn't mean they believe in gender stereotypes, that just means they felt the way they felt and liked what they liked, just like a lot of women and men in our society who didn't feel they were born into the wrong sex have hair and clothes and behavior and likes and dislikes that fall very much into what is traditionally considered masculine and feminine and then there are people who fall every where on the spectrum. I won't apologize for the way I feel, and I won't let someone tell me that the way I'm living my life is somehow wrong, or that because I would like to transition to the opposite sex and I would like to have long hair and wear dresses somehow means I'm fitting into "gender stereotypes." If I took hormones and had a sex change and kept my hair short, hated dresses and only wore men's clothes, would I then be acceptable to you?

    I don't like being portrayed the way you're trying to portray me because you are, flat out, wrong. And I do not think you understand. What you've said during the course of this conversation makes me think you don't. Maybe I'm wrong. But it definitely seems like you're getting mad at me when maybe you should be getting mad at a LOT of people, like, most of society who oftentimes fall into their traditional gender roles and are ok with that. My whole thing has always been, if you feel more comfortable being in a "traditional" gender role, if you're a woman and you want to have long hair and wear dresses and your interests, hobbies, behavior, whatever, falls into what society terms the "female" category, then fine. I have no problem with that. I have no problem with guys who are the same way on the opposite side, and I have no problem with anyone who falls in between. I do have a problem with people that tell anyone they're wrong for how they feel or what they like or, in the case of transsexuals, that they're wrong for wanting to be in the typical societal gender role. If that's the way they feel and that's what they want, more power to them.

    I don't know if that made any sense. Sorry if it didn't. I don't feel like going back to re-read that and edit like I normally would. So forgive me for any redundancies or typos or anything else.


    Edit: As far as the way I feel, I never claimed to "know" it's wrong, the way a lot of transsexuals do. There are a lot of people like me, who have these feelings but haven't quite nailed down if we are, in fact, transsexuals or if it's something else and if we are, what we want to do about it. I can only tell you what I've already said. And I've always identified as 'transgender' for that very reason, because that label I know fits, since it's an umbrella term, but 'transsexual' may or may not at the end of the day. Hopefully some day I'll know for sure.
    Last edited by theruiner; 01-22-2012 at 12:28 AM.

  25. #25
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    I am not "portraying" you in any way. I'm having a serious, intellectual discussion, here. When I talked about my not liking to talk about dresses or stereotypical "girl" stuff, I was talking about ME, not you. But you automatically thought I was discussing you. I'm just describing what it's like, for me, to be a female. You are a female, right? So, we're both females. So we can talk as females. And be different kinds of females. But you're having issues with that? Okay.

    p.s. I'm not "mad" at all; no part of anything I've said in this entire thread was typed in anger, or anything even vaguely resembling anger. That's totally something coming from your end of the screen, not me. Truthfully, the only thing I've felt is bad for you because you seem to struggle so much with this, and you haven't gotten any professional help. It's obviously a big struggle for you, often. Big enough that maybe somebody could help you talk about it, who specializes in this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hula View Post
    News flash: some boys wear dresses and some girls have cocks. If you don't morally object to the idea of being transgender then I don't see why you're having such a problem understanding it.
    Bravo to this. It seems like it shouldn't really MATTER.
    Last edited by allegro; 06-06-2015 at 11:00 AM.

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    This is the last part I'll address tonight, not out of anger at all, but just to clarify something.

    There's a REASON why you have to go through YEARS of therapy before you can transition, surgically. A lot of it has to do with whether or not you aren't transferring or avoiding other issues.
    I'm not trying to nitpick, but you actually don't. At least in the states, my understanding is you have to see a shrink for...I believe it's three months before you can start on hormones. Then you have to live for a year full time as the opposite sex. Then, as long as a psychologist and a psychiatrist sign off on it, you can have surgery. It can take as little as about a year and a half. Some people do take years, sure. Everyone's situation is different, but some people do go through the process pretty quickly.


    Edit: It's been a long time since I've read the actual specifics though, so I might be a bit off on the details. Plus, I know the Harry Benjamin Standards are updated occasionally, so something might have changed in that time.

    Again, though, I wasn't trying to nitpick, nor am I upset about that. I just wanted to clarify.
    Last edited by theruiner; 01-22-2012 at 03:52 AM.

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    First of all, theruiner, thank you for trying to explain what it's like for you. I've been reading a lot of testemonial type articles about this, but it's always streamlined to convey a point of view. And it can't be easy to try and explain something to someone else that's not entirely clear to yourself, so again (and very genuinly) thank you very much for making that effort.

    As for the whole academic car crash with allegro, I think I get her point - though as usual, babe, you phrased it in the worst possible way
    Personally, I think fewer people would struggle with being transgender or intersex if we weren't such an incredibly binary culture.
    If I look at myself, for example, for as long as I can remember I've been queer. I never really had a word for it, so I usually referred to myself as not-straight or lesbian, even though neither are particularly correct. But I was raised by my parents in the most liberal, gender neutral way. I have a younger sister and a younger brother: we all played with Lego and Barbie, we all watched Pinocchio and Cinderella, we all dressed up as pirates and princesses. Our parents were never too bothered by that. My sister was always a girlier girl, but my brother (although very masculine in his physique) has a lot of traits that people associate with women.
    I have the lowest of low libidos, bordering on asexual, and when I fall in love it can be a woman or a man but it's usually about brains, not beauty. I don't see mess, I have no patience for 'Venus talk' (you know: women talk in layers, mean one thing but say another, blah blah) and I'm pretty macho when it comes to dealing with other people (I'll offer to carry bags, open doors, make compliments etc...).
    Even though I've always banged up against society's walls and restrictions, I've never felt bad or weirded out about myself where my gender or sexuality is concerned, and I'm convinced it's because of the incredible way my parents raised me.
    And I can imagine that if I had been raised differently, I might actually be more torn up about my gender, because a large part of me acts and reacts in ways that society defines as typically male.

    And I think that might be the point allegro was trying to make: if we as a society would not lay such incredible stereotypical expectations on people about their gender, then maybe being intersex or being genderqueer wouldn't be such a strange thing, and choice wouldn't be forced upon people. And I guess both allegro and I find that preferable, mostly because of who we are.

    On the other hand, I'm sure there are people who's body is forcing a choice upon them. Where it's not so much about adhering to internalized societal expectations, but about chemicals and chromosomes. But again, that shouldn't be as difficult to communicate to others as it seems to be now.

    I guess it's just sad to see someone struggle with something that really isn't so difficult to understand (not in terms of how it feels, obviously, but in terms of what it is and what needs to be done to help this person) because of retarded societal norms.

    allegro, I've been sort of speaking for you, so correct me if I'm wrong.

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    No no, Elke, thank you, I appreciate it, you said exactly what I was thinking (but a lot better than I did or could).

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    Or I had the benifit of hindsight in this discussion Glad I could clear that up a little, though. I do share your frustration, though. I just saw The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and on the way out ran into some friends of mine who'd also just seen it. They felt Mara hadn't portrayed Salander's fierceness well enough, but chose to phrase it as 'She was too feminine'. And I thought: well, she's a woman, how else had you expected her to be?

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    Do you specifically mean woman there and not female? (Just checking)

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