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Old 29th Jan 2016, 09:04 PM   #1
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Torn

I've always been torn between my gender identity. First off, I don't 100% understand it. I definitely feel more male. My past girlfriends say I act more like a guy than anything. Growing up, I definitely acted more like a guy. I've always worn male clothes, been more interested in male oriented activities. Honestly, I just would not mind being male. It used to be that anytime anyone forced me to do anything female (ie dress femininely, be hit on by male, do ballet, etc) I'd feel super degraded. To the point of tears. Now that I'm older I don't freak out as much, but it makes me feel... humiliated. Embarrassed. I feel more confident acting male-like. I often get mistaken for male and it never really bothered me. So why not transition?

Because I believe a huge part of being male, really feeling male, is having a penis. A working, honest to God penis. I feel that if I transitioned I would never feel actually complete. Like I'm a liar anytime anyone thinks I'm male. I know there's an operation. It's just not the same. Having a two-inch, non-working penis will just make me feel worse. Maybe technology will advance to the point where this won't be an issue, but even then I'll never be able to reproduce. Never being fully who you want to be is just the most demoralizing thing. I feel as though if I identify as anything other than lesbian I will have no place.

28 years of internal hatred.
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Old 29th Jan 2016, 10:21 PM   #2
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Re: Torn

I really don't think there is any one simple answer to such a loaded topic. If there is, I doubt I would know it.

Here is what I always think when I see something like this. Being male or female is just a gender. It just describes chromosomes and genitalia and internal organs. It does not have to be an identity. I think the whole LGBT community, if that's what we are calling ourselves as a whole, gets really hung up on convincing ourselves and the rest of the world that we are this or that...

You feel like a male, but you have female genitalia. I don't think you absolutely have to change your body to prove to yourself, or to anyone else who you are. I believe that if you can find it in yourself to decide that you are happy with who you already are, that will be a lasting and satisfying kind of happiness.

I am not saying that you should not have any surgery. I am not trying to tell you who you are at all. I just truly believe that it is better to choose to be happy with yourself (if you can) then it is to try to change yourself into something you can be happy with. Sometimes you have to change, I get that. I'm only suggesting that you give yourself a chance as you are.
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Old 29th Jan 2016, 11:13 PM   #3
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Re: Torn

In my own view of things, there is no such thing as gender. It's just these slowly shifting stereotypes of what the two sexes are allowed to do depending on which card they draw. This sounds as ridiculous to me as dictating where you should work or who you should marry based on your zodiac sign. Crazy, right?

The only person who should get to dictate what you do is yourself. If people assume that you fit into only one of two boxes, male or female, then those people have a narrowed perception of the world. It isn't in any way your fault you don't fall in with their plans.

However, you will have to be prepared to get asked a lot of nosy, curious questions, and you may have to explain things to people a million times (or not if you choose). It all becomes a matter of how much cultural pressure you can deal with. Now that LGBT(QA...) issues are at the forefront of today's media, it is becoming more common and acceptable in many areas to be yourself.

On a separate note, don't feel that not having a penis doesn't make you male. There are various genetic problems that can render a man's penis small, nonexistent, inverted, etc. and he may also not have descended testicles and be infertile. Male just does not equal having a penis, regardless of what culture dictates a man's worth is tied to.

Many FtMs (female to male) transgenders find that having a packer or an STP (stand to pee) device to be enough without them having the full surgery. Although this may not fully satisfy you, it may ease your dysphoria. I also believe that there may be a way for you to freeze your eggs in case you ever want children.

Basically, you got dealt the wrong card for you in life. You don't have to keep it, however. Good luck no matter what happens.
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Old 30th Jan 2016, 05:17 AM   #4
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Re: Torn

Quote:
Originally Posted by Funn View Post
I really don't think there is any one simple answer to such a loaded topic. If there is, I doubt I would know it.

Here is what I always think when I see something like this. Being male or female is just a gender. It just describes chromosomes and genitalia and internal organs. It does not have to be an identity. I think the whole LGBT community, if that's what we are calling ourselves as a whole, gets really hung up on convincing ourselves and the rest of the world that we are this or that...

You feel like a male, but you have female genitalia. I don't think you absolutely have to change your body to prove to yourself, or to anyone else who you are. I believe that if you can find it in yourself to decide that you are happy with who you already are, that will be a lasting and satisfying kind of happiness.

I am not saying that you should not have any surgery. I am not trying to tell you who you are at all. I just truly believe that it is better to choose to be happy with yourself (if you can) then it is to try to change yourself into something you can be happy with. Sometimes you have to change, I get that. I'm only suggesting that you give yourself a chance as you are.
Keep in mind that gender dysphoria has little to do with identity. A person can choose to lidentify as female, male or non binary but if they suffer from gender dysphoria, they can't just choose to accept their bodies for what they are and live happily ever after. You can find ways to cope outside of transitioning but as with any serious health problem it can be hellish at times. The accepting your body and living happily ever narrative does not actually work because this is not about acceptance or body image, for most of my life I accepted that this was my body and lived with it. However, the gender dysphoria was still there, eating at me from the inside, a festering tumor that brought with it pain and a sense of horrible wrongness that was always there in the background.

Remi, as someone who sees herself as female no matter how her body looks I can tell you that how you feel now was for me a stage in my journey. It was a part of the acceptance process and eventually, if you are like me you will eventually realize that your body is what it is but deep down, you have always been and will always be male. We were born in the wrong body and it is a part of our reality, it's a personal burden that we must cope with and all we can really do is change our bodies enough so that others will perceive us as who we really are and so that we will feel connected enough to our bodies, to live a relatively normal life.

Hugs,



Eveline
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Last edited by Eveline; 30th Jan 2016 at 05:23 AM..
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Old 30th Jan 2016, 11:47 AM   #5
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Re: Torn

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eveline View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Funn View Post
I really don't think there is any one simple answer to such a loaded topic. If there is, I doubt I would know it.

Here is what I always think when I see something like this. Being male or female is just a gender. It just describes chromosomes and genitalia and internal organs. It does not have to be an identity. I think the whole LGBT community, if that's what we are calling ourselves as a whole, gets really hung up on convincing ourselves and the rest of the world that we are this or that...

You feel like a male, but you have female genitalia. I don't think you absolutely have to change your body to prove to yourself, or to anyone else who you are. I believe that if you can find it in yourself to decide that you are happy with who you already are, that will be a lasting and satisfying kind of happiness.

I am not saying that you should not have any surgery. I am not trying to tell you who you are at all. I just truly believe that it is better to choose to be happy with yourself (if you can) then it is to try to change yourself into something you can be happy with. Sometimes you have to change, I get that. I'm only suggesting that you give yourself a chance as you are.
Keep in mind that gender dysphoria has little to do with identity. A person can choose to lidentify as female, male or non binary but if they suffer from gender dysphoria, they can't just choose to accept their bodies for what they are and live happily ever after. You can find ways to cope outside of transitioning but as with any serious health problem it can be hellish at times. The accepting your body and living happily ever narrative does not actually work because this is not about acceptance or body image, for most of my life I accepted that this was my body and lived with it. However, the gender dysphoria was still there, eating at me from the inside, a festering tumor that brought with it pain and a sense of horrible wrongness that was always there in the background.

Eveline

I do not believe in happily ever after, and I have not suggested that anyone make an attempt to live as though that were anything but a fairy tale. (Edit -Having read over this, I thought this part sounded a little more contradictory and aggressive than I meant it to. Eveline, it is a beautiful thing to see that you are willing to spend your time passing along knowledge and wisdom in an attempt to help people like Remi. Even if we don't completely see eye-to-eye, please believe that I respect and appreciate your input)


Remi,


I just worry that you will get so wrapped up in validating your feelings and emotions, that you may start losing sight of certain factual realities. I'm not saying that is your issue, I am saying it is important to never accept the first explanation that makes you feel a little better. It may sound good, but if it is not based on truth, it won't last.

Please do not misunderstand, I am not saying "You are this." or "You are that." Only you have all the facts, so no one can tell you who you are, or who you should be. What I am saying is this, you were born with a certain kind of body. Men (or women) may be born with certain anomalies and still be male (or female), sure. That does not mean that any man has ever been born with a vagina, breasts, ovaries, or all of the other female sexual organs combined. A person with all of that is, by definition, a woman. Simply denying the very existence of sex/gender, does not mean that there aren't two different groups of people, one with all the aforementioned organs, and one without. Call them what you will, but there is a distinct separation between the people born with Y or X chromosomes.

The whole point of gender dysphoria is that you feel (emotionally and psychologically) as though you are the opposite gender that you actually are (physically). Simply saying, "I don't think there is any such thing as gender" is just denying that you have a problem at all. We all have problems, denying them is easily the best way to make them linger forever.

You can change your body to suit your mind. That is possible and I am not even saying you shouldn't. What I am saying is, even if you do, you will not be happy unless you decide you are already deserving of happiness. Happiness is a choice that we make in our hearts and minds, it is not an external resource.


I understand that we will not all agree on the details, so I will throw one very important thing in here that I think we can all agree on.

Remi, as a fellow human being, I love you. I care about you. I hope you find happiness, in whatever way that may be. Even if you do not agree with my views on this, please give yourself a chance. You deserve happiness and love. It is more important to me that you love yourself, than it is that you agree with me.

Last edited by Funn; 30th Jan 2016 at 11:53 AM..
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Old 30th Jan 2016, 06:54 PM   #6
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Re: Torn

Funn, there is nothing factual about the idea that being born with certain sexual organs dictates whether we are men or women. Beyond the fact that there are people who are born with ambiguous sexual organs or both sets, there are also women who have XY chromosomes but are androgen insensitive. What happens in such cases is that the person is simply a woman that doesn't have a reproductive system, they never develop a penis and they do develop breasts because without testosterone, people develop into women. The Y and X chromosomes simply dictates the reproductive system a person is born with. What does heavily influence how babies develop is exposure to hormones during the prenatal period and it is theorized that innate gender is decided during that stage in the development of the baby. However, in the end, little is known for sure but it is widely accepted in the medical community that gender dysphoria is a medical condition that's only real treatment is to transition which is why doctors consider prescribing life long medication and conduct life threatening operations to be a first line treatment for people who are trans. It seems that it cannot be treated in any other way and all you can really do is reduce the severity of the symptoms using therapy and other techniques. In other words, saying that a trans man is a woman is really hurtful and doesn't take into consideration that person's inner sense of being.

Look at it this way, if you woke up tomorrow in the body of a man, would you be a man or a woman? Would you know how it feels like to be a man because you suddenly grew a penis, had body hair and started to go bald and grow a beard. These are aesthetic changes that would mostly leave you in a sense of perpetual discomfort because you know you are supposed to be a woman and your body is wrong. What makes it worse is that the people around you start treating you as a man and you simply have no idea how to behave like a man, you turn to television or visual aids to try and act like a man but it feels as if you are wearing a mask, hiding who you are inside. I lived for 35 years in the body of a man and have been perceived as a man by every single person that I have ever met. Despite this, I never felt like a man, I felt lost and confused and when I look in the mirror, I don't see myself, I see a stranger that no matter how hard I try, I can't see as myself. I am disconnected from my body because I was born win the wrong body. When I realized that I was actually a woman, the world for the first time since puberty filled with color, I felt that I could breath again and suddenly I started to feel more connected to my body. This was a passing feeling because opening myself up to the world meant taking away the barriers I set up to protect myself from gender dysphoria and it truly hurts. Gender dysphoria is a feeling of loss and mourning caused by being born in the wrong body. Think of how hard it can be for people to cope with the loss of a loved one, in our case, we suffer it for years, an endless chain of small traumatic shocks that leave us broken and our identities fragmented. It is one of the worst types of pain and as a cancer survivor I can tell you that this is often so much more painful. As a result, 40% of people who are trans attempt suicide compared to 4% in the general population.

You seem like a sweet person which is why I wrote this out for you to hopefully help you understand a bit better what it means when you insinuate that someone trans isn't really male or female because their bodies show otherwise. Most of us have to cope with endless doubts and many cope with family and social rejection while trying to go through one of the hardest processes a person can possibly go through. We risk everything for a chance to feel whole and to stop suffering. The journey is truly horrible and many people are taken to the edge as they try to tackle he endless obsticales that stand in our way. Those who complete the journey are nearly always happy that they chose to brave the journey. This is despite the fact that many don't pass, some lost their entire family and were left to fend for themselves, others suffered rape or other physical abuse and faced severe discrimination because of people's ignorance. They went through major operations and for the rest of their lives they will be reliant on expensive medication to stay alive. The financial burden can be extreme and many are fall into prostitution as a result of being fired from their jobs and being disowned by their families.

Anyone who chooses to transition does so for a reason and someone cisgender would hit a barrier really quickly as they wouldn't have the euphoric relief brought on by the lifting gender dysphoria to help them take steps forward. HRT also causes gender dysphoria in cisgender people and as such they quickly realize that they were wrong. In other words, there are safe guards in place to protect people from transitioning when they aren't trans. The thing is that when you instill doubts in someone trans you are doing nothing but hurting them and making the journey longer and harder. It can take years to come to terms with being trans if the world around us tries to persuade us that we are wrong. There is no test that can tell a person that they are trans and to transition you need to have complete conviction that you are right and you really are trans. Think about it, we were raised as the wrong gender, have always been perceived by everyone as the wrong gender and have been socially conditioned to respond as someone that we are not. The only thing that we have to guide our actions is that feeling that something is horribly wrong and the internal positive feedback that we feel when we start changing our bodies and behaving in ways that we connect with our internal sense of of self and being.

Sorry, this came out a bit longer than I originally planned. I hope this did help make things a tiny bit clearer...

Much hugs and love,



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Old 30th Jan 2016, 08:02 PM   #7
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Re: Torn

Remi, I do understand what you are saying, but you don't have to have a penis to be male. There are several natural things in the world that could happen for a man to lose his penis, but that doesn't make him any less of a man.

But really, the only one who can decide what you are is you. If you want you could find a therapist to talk it over with. If you want you could medically transition so that you can look as masculine as you possibly want, but still tell everyone that you are female. That way you are happy with your appearance and you won't have to feel like you are lying.

I also haven't read the other comments because there seems to be an argument and I've seen enough of those on this sight today.
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Old 30th Jan 2016, 10:38 PM   #8
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Re: Torn

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eveline View Post
Funn, there is nothing factual about the idea that being born with certain sexual organs dictates whether we are men or women. Beyond the fact that there are people who are born with ambiguous sexual organs or both sets, there are also women who have XY chromosomes but are androgen insensitive. What happens in such cases is that the person is simply a woman that doesn't have a reproductive system, they never develop a penis and they do develop breasts because without testosterone, people develop into women. The Y and X chromosomes simply dictates the reproductive system a person is born with. What does heavily influence how babies develop is exposure to hormones during the prenatal period and it is theorized that innate gender is decided during that stage in the development of the baby. However, in the end, little is known for sure but it is widely accepted in the medical community that gender dysphoria is a medical condition that's only real treatment is to transition which is why doctors consider prescribing life long medication and conduct life threatening operations to be a first line treatment for people who are trans. It seems that it cannot be treated in any other way and all you can really do is reduce the severity of the symptoms using therapy and other techniques. In other words, saying that a trans man is a woman is really hurtful and doesn't take into consideration that person's inner sense of being.

Look at it this way, if you woke up tomorrow in the body of a man, would you be a man or a woman? Would you know how it feels like to be a man because you suddenly grew a penis, had body hair and started to go bald and grow a beard. These are aesthetic changes that would mostly leave you in a sense of perpetual discomfort because you know you are supposed to be a woman and your body is wrong. What makes it worse is that the people around you start treating you as a man and you simply have no idea how to behave like a man, you turn to television or visual aids to try and act like a man but it feels as if you are wearing a mask, hiding who you are inside. I lived for 35 years in the body of a man and have been perceived as a man by every single person that I have ever met. Despite this, I never felt like a man, I felt lost and confused and when I look in the mirror, I don't see myself, I see a stranger that no matter how hard I try, I can't see as myself. I am disconnected from my body because I was born win the wrong body. When I realized that I was actually a woman, the world for the first time since puberty filled with color, I felt that I could breath again and suddenly I started to feel more connected to my body. This was a passing feeling because opening myself up to the world meant taking away the barriers I set up to protect myself from gender dysphoria and it truly hurts. Gender dysphoria is a feeling of loss and mourning caused by being born in the wrong body. Think of how hard it can be for people to cope with the loss of a loved one, in our case, we suffer it for years, an endless chain of small traumatic shocks that leave us broken and our identities fragmented. It is one of the worst types of pain and as a cancer survivor I can tell you that this is often so much more painful. As a result, 40% of people who are trans attempt suicide compared to 4% in the general population.

You seem like a sweet person which is why I wrote this out for you to hopefully help you understand a bit better what it means when you insinuate that someone trans isn't really male or female because their bodies show otherwise. Most of us have to cope with endless doubts and many cope with family and social rejection while trying to go through one of the hardest processes a person can possibly go through. We risk everything for a chance to feel whole and to stop suffering. The journey is truly horrible and many people are taken to the edge as they try to tackle he endless obsticales that stand in our way. Those who complete the journey are nearly always happy that they chose to brave the journey. This is despite the fact that many don't pass, some lost their entire family and were left to fend for themselves, others suffered rape or other physical abuse and faced severe discrimination because of people's ignorance. They went through major operations and for the rest of their lives they will be reliant on expensive medication to stay alive. The financial burden can be extreme and many are fall into prostitution as a result of being fired from their jobs and being disowned by their families.

Anyone who chooses to transition does so for a reason and someone cisgender would hit a barrier really quickly as they wouldn't have the euphoric relief brought on by the lifting gender dysphoria to help them take steps forward. HRT also causes gender dysphoria in cisgender people and as such they quickly realize that they were wrong. In other words, there are safe guards in place to protect people from transitioning when they aren't trans. The thing is that when you instill doubts in someone trans you are doing nothing but hurting them and making the journey longer and harder. It can take years to come to terms with being trans if the world around us tries to persuade us that we are wrong. There is no test that can tell a person that they are trans and to transition you need to have complete conviction that you are right and you really are trans. Think about it, we were raised as the wrong gender, have always been perceived by everyone as the wrong gender and have been socially conditioned to respond as someone that we are not. The only thing that we have to guide our actions is that feeling that something is horribly wrong and the internal positive feedback that we feel when we start changing our bodies and behaving in ways that we connect with our internal sense of of self and being.

Sorry, this came out a bit longer than I originally planned. I hope this did help make things a tiny bit clearer...

Much hugs and love,



Eveline
I do appreciate your patience and the explanation. It does help me to understand where you are coming from a little more.

Here is where I can't really see eye-to-eye with you. And I mean this speaking strictly physically. A penis, and a lack of female reproductive organs, is the exact definition of a male human being. I cannot see how that in any way diminishes your problem.

I mean, if there really is no such thing as gender at all. If anyone, with any physical features, really can be any gender at all (physically), then how does gender dysphoria even exist? Wouldn't you have to be the opposite gender than what you feel you are? In which case, gender must exist and be absolute (in some cases, and again only physically) in order for anyone to have a psychological issue with it... right?
That is a sincere question, not an argument.

Because, I was certainly not arguing that people absolutely have to consider themselves any one gender. Psychologically, I have no problem believing that people struggle with that.

I really hope that no one thinks I am trying to deny or diminish your struggles. I believe you, 100%, about the struggles you are going through. And I don't mean to make it seem as though anyone needs my validation.

Basically, my only point at all was that any problem that involves your physical state of being making you unhappy will always take more than a physical change to give you true happiness.

I was in a wheelchair for 12 years. I always thought that as soon as I got back on my feet, I would be happy. After a lot of surgery and physical therapy, I can now walk (with crutches), but as it turned out, it took a conscious decision to be happy with myself as I am. Changing my body helped, but it was not the actual solution to the problem. That is why I usually advise caution when people start talking about surgery like this. It isn't because I don't want them to do it. It is because I want them to be prepared for the possibility that they will not get any permanent satisfaction until they make a decision to love themselves regardless of their physical condition.

I hope that it not too argumentative. I don't mean to imply that you are wrong, Eveline. I actually got so much out of what you wrote. I just think there is another whole side to being happy, other than just changing things externally.


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Old 31st Jan 2016, 09:47 PM   #9
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Re: Torn

Ren, I'm sorry, I didn't take into account how new you are to the subject of gender identity. What you are thinking about is the term biological/birth sex which refers to the anatomy with which a person is born with. With regards to biological sex, you are assigned male if you have a penis, female, a vagina and if it is ambiguous you are usually considered intersex. When people write AFAB or AMAB it means that the person was assigned female at birth or male at birth. However, there is more to being female or male than a person's anatomy and to encompass these differences a second term was coined which is called gender. In a sense our bodies are nothing more than external indicators that help us differentiate between men and women. They are symbols of who we are inside and as such when you see certain external features you connect certain schematic views with the visual feedback. However, this is a flawed system as any schematic representation tends to be. If you view someone with glasses or wearing certain clothes, you might assign certain stereotypical attributes to that person. Biological sex works in the same way, we make assumptions based on generalizations about people without considering the possibility that that person might be different. What does it mean to be female or male, think of how complicated the concepts really are, how many assumptions we make when we assign a gender to a person. When you see a man, you react in a completely different way than when you see a woman and this is based on nothing more than visual and sometimes auditory feedback. You see body shape, clothes, length of hair and facial hair and assume that these signifiers give you a huge amount of information about the person you are talking to. The problem is that there are always exceptions because people are complicated constructs that depend on an endless amount of internal cellular interactions based on genetically encoded information. For most people gender and biological sex are one and the same, however, this is not true for everyone and for those that pulled the short straw, the endless misgendering leads to a painful and tormented existence because gender can be seen as a person's soul, our internal sense of self and being. It is who we are inside and every word that we say or action that we take is heavily influenced by this integral part of ourselves.

Think of how you would feel if you saw a cute baby and asked their mother how old he is and she responds by saying that the baby is a girl. Think of the amount of distress you would feel as a result of this unintentional misgendering of the baby. Why would something as seemingly meaningless as using he instead of she lead to such an uncomfortable situation. The problem is that within that pronoun lies a huge amount of signification. By gendering the baby wrongly, in your eyes, you opened a gap between yourself and that baby and accordingly the mother, it might seem absurd but people depend on shared knowledge and schemata for intimacy and gender serves a huge role in establishing connections between people. That's why when you see a baby girl, you will try to establish a connection with the mother by saying things like "She is so pretty" or pick up a doll and hug her. If it was a baby boy, you might pick up a car and go vroom or some other action that communicates that you acknowledge that the baby is a boy or a girl. You will do this no matter how you feel about gender roles or stereotypes because you want to establish a sense of intimacy with the parent. When the child grows a bit older and develops social conscious we risk alienating the child by misgendering them. The huge amount of importance that gender and pronouns hold in interpersonal relationships and intimacy means that people who are transgender often struggle to form strong intimate connections with the people around them because of being constantly misgendered. That's why pronouns serve such an important role in social transitioning. People who refuse to use the correct pronouns are in fact transgressing against one of the fundamental rules of establishing social connections and over time they will distance the transgender person.

This is just one of the struggles that we face as a result of the incompatibility between our bodies and minds. Gender is simply everywhere and the fact that our external presentation doesn't match our internal gender is constantly reinforced. For many this manifests as an ever growing internal sense of unease and loss as the wrongness of our situation shrouds a dark mask over our lives. As young children things aren't so bad as our understanding of gender is really limited and we can often use our imagination to fill in the gaps in our life but once we reach puberty and our body starts changing, things usually take a turn for the worse. Part of our internal sense of gender seems to be connected with an instinctual understanding of how our body should develop and when it doesn't develop as expected, we unconsciously or consciously realize that something is going awfully wrong. Personally, at that point in my life I started praying daily that I would wake up as a woman but every child responds differently. In general, the world becomes darker and you start feeling a growing gap between you and the people around you. While our friends start developing stronger intimate connections as they establish themselves as boys and girls and adopt stereotypical predictable behavior, we often lag behind and feel lost and confused in the rapidly changing social dynamics of middle school and high school. This is the point when many transgender children start to question their gender and tr to get the world around them to see them for who they really are. Some like myself, disconnect and start living through others, changing their behavior to fit within the boundaries of what we perceive as acceptable. However, this is nothing but a mask and everyday that passes we feel more and more empty and alone, no matter how many friends we might have. Each of us has our own way to deal with this situation but in general, it is nothing more than using coping mechanisms to cope with a very serious condition. Something that will haunt us for the rest of our lives and leave deep scars that often never really heal.

Just to be clear, people don't transition to become happy, if you were depressed before transitioning, you will often remain depressed after. The reason why we transition is to relieve our suffering and sense of unease; we transition to feel the world in color and feel alive again; gender dysphoria can physically hurt; it feels to me as if something is strangling me from the inside, as if my soul is being torn apart. It is a deep and truly awful sense of unease that is always there, waiting to burst in a flash of agony that makes me want to find a deep dark hole and hide away in it until that feeling subsides.

I'm also physically disabled and like you I was in a wheel chair and crutches for years and with all honesty, gender dysphoria and the experience of being trans is a whole different beast to cope with. It is something that is always there festering inside of you and the pain never really goes away and often just gets worse as the years go by. You never stop being misgendered and every time it happens it leaves a tiny cut that over time becomes a huge gashing wound. The trauma of having cancer lasted for 8 or so years but as time went by I was able to move on, I learned to accept the disability and made it a part of who I am. This way of coping doesn't really work in the case of gender dysphoria because the trauma isn't a one time event. We can't piece together the fragments of the past and build a new life for ourselves because it will quickly become destabilized and we will go back to stage one.

This turned out a bit more melodramatic than I intended it to. My description here is fairly extreme and is based on my own experiences. I wanted to paint a picture of how serious gender dysphoria can really be, so you will be aware of the how complicated it can be to try to cope with it. In my case, the combination of having a serious childhood trauma and suffering from severe gender dysphoria took a huge toll on me and at 35 I am still trying to build up some sort of stable life for myself. However, here is the real problem, because of how misunderstood the condition is, we not only have to find ways to cope with the tough process of transitioning, we also have to cope with severe discrimination and prejudice. My story took a turn for the worse when I came out to my family and was rejected, despite everything I went through, nothing could prepare me to how hard it was to cope with the extreme sense of despair that you are left with when you find yourself all alone and everyone that you loved and cared for turned their back on you and did so in one of the cruelest ways possible. It left me with such a profound sense of hopelessness, as there was simply no way out, transitioning meant that I might lose everyone that I loved and I had no idea if I would even make it without their support, the journey ahead terrified me and I didn't know how I would ever cope, I still don't. On the other hand, not transitioning meant to live the rest of my life hiding behind a mask and never truly being alive. When those are your only two options, suddenly suicide becomes a very real solution. I am not unique and there are so many stories of people who find themselves in the same situation, that somehow find the strength to live on, to walk a path full of peril, they find themselves on the streets alone but they still survive. I do know that I will never give up, that I will find a way to survive and I will eventually transition. These are the cards that I was dealt and many others were given similar cards.

I wrote this post to try and help you to understand how problematic it is to say that a man needs to have a penis to really be a man. We suffer immensely both because of the fact that we were born in the wrong body and because to fix it, we need to go through one of the toughest experiences a person can possibly go through. We walk this path because we know without any doubt who we are inside. In the same way that you know that you are a woman, we also know that we are women and men, it's a feeling of familiarity and of being at home that we don't feel in context of our birth sex and our body. It is easy recognize that part of ourselves because of the discrepancy that exists between our biological sex and internal gender.

Truthfully, it was sad for me to read your reply to me, hopefully this post will be a bit more helpful.



Eveline
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Old 1st Feb 2016, 12:06 AM   #10
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Re: Torn

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eveline View Post
Just to be clear, people don't transition to become happy, if you were depressed before transitioning, you will often remain depressed after. The reason why we transition is to relieve our suffering and sense of unease; we transition to feel the world in color and feel alive again; gender dysphoria can physically hurt; it feels to me as if something is strangling me from the inside, as if my soul is being torn apart. It is a deep and truly awful sense of unease that is always there, waiting to burst in a flash of agony that makes me want to find a deep dark hole and hide away in it until that feeling subsides.

As someone who has had more surgeries than I can remember, I can certainly understand that we often need to fix our bodies to get any sense of relief at all. I mean, I may not be able to relate to the exact same feeling, but the general idea of feeling like your own body is your enemy, I get that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eveline View Post
I'm also physically disabled and like you I was in a wheel chair and crutches for years...
I was run over by a drunk driver when I was four. My whole body was basically crushed. Besides having legs and knees with almost no feeling, and bones too weak and unstable to hold my weight, I had many many other health issues as well. I live in constant pain, and (this is the worst part for me) I can never have children. I had to have a partial hysterectomy when I was 14. Please do not misunderstand though, I have a beautiful life. I am very happy, overall.
If you are at all comfortable sharing, I am curious to know what form your disability takes and how it happened? Please do not feel any pressure if it is too personal though...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Eveline View Post
Truthfully, it was sad for me to read your reply to me, hopefully this post will be a bit more helpful.
I'm sorry, I don't understand. What was sad?

And yes, it did help. I hope you understand that most of what I said was meant to be an inquiry, and anything I said that sounded otherwise, was just me speaking from my own experience with trauma and pain. Although, I stand by what I said about people having to be willing to love themselves. That being said, I also understand how that can be nearly impossible without first addressing certain external issues. Thank you for helping me understand how that applies to people that suffer from gender dysphoria.

You seem like a lovely person Eveline. I hope we can continue to speak often. Oh and by the way, my middle name is Evelyn and most people know me as either Evelyn or Eevee. So... yeah I like your name. <3 I like the unique and pretty way you spell it.



Remi, I hope you do not feel like we hijacked your thread here. I truly would like to hear in the future that you made some sort of peace in all of this.


---------- Post added 1st Feb 2016 at 03:07 AM ----------

Oh and Eveline, I loved to see your "mood" set to better! How lovely! <3 That made me feel good to see that.
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