Saturday, 27 November 2010

Nobody in their right mind...

    It's not often I'm labeled as a transvestite. Shame really, I'd rather like to be one. If I could only replace my girl's brain with a blokey one the only thing I might hang on to from all this mess would be crossdressing, and I'd probably be gleefully exploring every avenue. Be afraid.
    This morning though a commenter on my "Why I'm out" post from a few days ago did just that. Mainly because in her view I couldn't possibly be anything else, I'm doing my best to avoid having surgery and my chances of living in stealth are not high. Fair enough, I answered her as best I could. But I've obviously not managed to get across my situation in 230 posts, so perhaps another way of putting it is in order.
    It's a phrase that trips easily off the tongue, "I want to be a woman". In my case as a basic desire, it's very true. I ache to be a woman. Yet in the terms that matter, I don't want to be a woman, I'm running as hard as I can in the other direction. I want to be a woman only when all possible alternatives have been exhausted and I have no other choices except suicide or insanity. If you've read this blog you'll know why, if you haven't then do some reading.
    I may be stepping out on a limb here, but if "I want to be a woman" is a patient's sole reason for wishing to embark on a course to transition then I'd hope a competent doctor would turn them away or refer them for alternative treatment.
    You don't just want to be a woman in this game. You have to be left with no possible alternatives having gone through hell on the way. I think I qualify on the final point but I'm not quite ready to concede on the first one.
    After all, nobody in their right mind born male would want to be a woman, isn't that what they say?


  1. Well.......I've always desperately wanted to be a woman, but circumstances have consistently conspired against me in that order. Something that some either don't, or refuse to understand.

    Jenny dear, you have my heart!

    Melissa XX

  2. I think the main problem for people who perhaps misunderstand things regarding gender and transsexuals in particular is that we don't choose to be the way we are, we just are! It is the wrong reason indeed to change one's physical appearance through surgery or to simply live out one's existence in the opposite gender just because one 'fancies' the idea. That would be absurd. You are either a man or a woman defacto. Whether then you wish to align your physical with your psyche (is that spelled right?)is up to you. Of course then it would be a matter of possibilities and effectiveness. For some this sadly isn't an option and they have to resign themselves to remaining as they are. The main problem is Society and how we are accepted, if indeed we are. I have a friend who identifies as a woman, expects people to call her by her fem name but spends her life outwardly as a guy. It works for her I'm glad to say.

    Shirley Anne xxx

  3. I read that comment. I too took it to heart Jenny. You have said it as well as it can be said. When others read our words, they can only take what is there so far and then their own experience kicks in, and the prejudices create the impression of who we are. I use the word prejudice in the nicest way - we pre-judge by the only thing we have to create judgment; our own truths and deepest beliefs.

    For some, who we are must be truly inconceivable.

    As much as I enjoy getting comments, people who tell me what label I need to wear don't really help me much.

    I need to stop there. You take care, and thanks for this post.

  4. A lot of people who truly do not understand our, (and I say this with much angst), 'choices' can not comprehend our own angst of gender and body mismatch. Those that have not questioned who and why they 'know' themselves to be the gender they are, have a very difficult time understanding and realizing that society might just be more than two genders boxes society has created.

    That those of us that identify ourself to be in gender subset "C" or "D" or "E" can be found within or outside gender sets "A" and "B"; depending on how we think of ourselves and how others must label us they have a very difficult time seeing beyond their first impressions.

    When we tell our story to college classes, there is always someone who asks Kay how she identifies herself. With her previous relationship being with men, and mine being with women; she tells them that she has come to love me for who I am, and will not label herself as a lesbian or straight, but rather throws it back on the person for them to assign a label according to what they know about us.

  5. The Chinese, I think it was, allegedly cursed foes to have "an interesting life". Meaning what is interesting for a historian is hell for the one who lives it. It's got to be one of the more "interesting" curses to be gender A, C or D and body B and be misgendered as a B.

    At least if you say to friends "by the way my gender is (insert the appropriate one) you free yourself from being misgendered by them and from feeling unnecessarily pressured to appear to be gender B. I think though it also shows them that you have a high enough opinion of them to share something of this magnitude with them.

  6. I think we all understand. My issue is that I try not to label others, but I resent people who frankly do not know me preaching, and forcing me to comply to their straightjacket of the gender binary. If it works for them, great, but it seems contrived. To me, you are Jenny and that is sufficient.

  7. Thanks everyone,

    What I suspect my commenter in the other piece didn't get is that I would be perfectly happy to be a bloke if I could only shut my brain up. Being a bloke is great, you can get away with all sorts of cool stuff! And being a big bloke married to a lovely girl is about as good as it gets, in bloke terms. Shame nobody thought to give me the brain to match.

    My commenter obviously hated everything about her male existence and because she wishes never to be reminded about him she has constructed a narrative for herself in which he never existed.

    By contrast while I would very happily leave the bloke behind for good I will never not be proud of what he's done for me.

  8. Well my take on this is simple (I think..!)

    Do I wish I'd been born female..? Yes. However I wasn't and I have to make the best of what I've got, which is a male body.

    I'm not interested in surgery or hormones, as I don't believe body modification will make me into what I want to be, which is to be accepted as female. I consider I can do that perfectly well with the right clothes and attitude/mannerisms (plus rather better make-up skills than I currently possess..!!)

    My aim at the present time is to eventually live full time as a female, in fact the only place I'm not currently 'out' is work, so I'm almost there :-) I work for a very large company and have told my area manager, he was very supportive and told me that as and when I'm ready, he will set up a meeting with the company HR department with a view to making it official. Once that's done (or maybe before, not sure) I can organise paperwork getting driving licence/passport etc. changed over, but that's a big step and is what is currently holding me back, I just can't decide if I really want to do it or not. Sometimes I'm convinced I do, other times I'm scared that there may be no way back, almost as much as if I went for surgery.

    Silly, isn't it, but there you have it, a potted life history :-)

    Much love,
    Ria xx

  9. Ria,
    Check with you state Department of Licensing as to how to change your drivers license, you should be able to change your name very easily, but to change the gender marker might require other measures. For instance, in Georgia to change my gender marker, I had to have a licensed doctor verify that I had irreversible surgery. If I hadn't then I would not have been able to change my marker.

  10. Ria's in the UK, so the rules are a little different. Our driving licences are not identity cards in the way yours are, they are licences to drive.

    Everyone has a different path through all this. Ria, I know I would find it difficult to follow yours. (Wouldn't have the balls to do it? :) ) But if that's what works for you then that's what matters.

  11. Ok that good to know that Ria is in the UK!

  12. I think I blogged once about all of the crossdressers I know and how they can turn it on and off, simply with the clothes they're wearing. I envy them for that.

    I'm not one of them. I wish I was...

  13. Looking at some of the crossdressing avenues I think my wallet is glad I'm not one of them!