August 9, 2009

Autogynephilia: The Dark Side

In my previous blog post I presented the concept of autogynephilia and what it means to me.

In this blog post I will try to explain why it has become so controversial in trangender circles, and what I personally find most disturbing about it.

[Update: The original August 9 2009 version of this blog post is available here. I normally do not change blog post after publishing them, as this makes the comments harder to read, but my choice of terms in this one has clearly caused too many misreadings.



Why the term is so controversial

The controversial part is the idea that autogynephiliacs (male bodied persons who get aroused by the idea of being women) are driven by sexual desire.

To quote Lawrence again:

"In 1989, psychologist Ray Blanchard made the controversial proposal that the “atypical” male-to-female transsexuals described above, and the heterosexual cross-dressers with whom they seemed to have so much in common, both experienced a powerful sexual attraction to the idea of being or becoming women. This unusual sexual interest, or paraphilia, he theorized, was the driving force behind their behavior. Blanchard called this paraphilia autogynephilia, meaning 'love of oneself as a woman' (1989a).

"He formally defined autogynephilia as 'a male’s propensity to be sexually aroused by the thought of himself as a female' (1989b). According to Blanchard’s formulation, heterosexual cross-dressers were men who were sexually attracted to women and who had a paraphilic sexual interest that made them want to episodically impersonate the objects of their attraction. Autogynephilic transsexuals, he theorized, were men who were also sexually attracted to women, but whose paraphilic sexual interest made them want to go farther and permanently change their bodies to become the objects of their attraction, or the best possible facsimiles thereof."

This theory caused an uproar in transgender circles. Lawrence find this, for some reason, surprising. I do not.

The sexless transgendered

Now, if you read the debate, it might seem that the main issue is that Blanchard argued that the driving force for these male to female transgender people is sexual desire.

It is argued that many transgender persons found that this undermined their legitimacy vis-a-vis the doctors, and that they would not get surgery if they admitted they found feminization to be sexually arousing.

Because of this, the story goes, many transgender activists opposed Blanchard because it would damage the cause of transsexuals. Some of them argued strongly that they were not driven by sexual desire; others admitted that you needed to keep the erotic component hidden in order to get the surgery.

I find it hard to understand transgender conditions without the sex. To me the sexual drive and gender identification is strongly connected, and the fact that male to female transgender persons get sexually aroused by imagining themselves with a female body is pretty obvious. This does not mean that sexual desire is the only expression of gender variance, far from it! But it is one of them.

I mean, look at non-transgender women. Many of them spend hours shopping for clothes, dressing up, putting on make-up, looking at themselves in the mirror. Of course there is a sexual component in this behavior. Many of them like their own bodies and femininity. They are at peace with themselves. That is a good thing! Moreover, research indicate that non-transgender women experience "autogynephile" sexual fantasies!

Moreover, male assigned crossdreamers (called "autogynephiliacs" or "autogynephiles" by Blancahrd and his followers) are in a life situation where it is hard for them to have a normal sex life. They love women, but find themselves inadequate as men. This may lead to a lot of sexual frustration -- celibacy even. No wonder their sexual libido is channeled into fantasies of this kind.

So why the idea that male to female (MTF) transgender people fantasizing about being women get aroused should be offensive, I don't know. It is a sad fact, though, that the medical establishment used to frown upon these things, and that MTF transgender kept quiet about it. They often pretended to be sexless women trapped in a sexless man's body.

The real reason why Blanchard's and Lawrence's theory is problematic

The real reason I find Blanchard and Lawrence's theory so problematic is another one.

What this theory says is that these men (or transsexual women, if they identify as such) are suffering from "erotic target location errors”. They are supposed to feel desire for the women out there. Instead they internalize the object of desire. They want to become that woman.

The narrative here is that the "autogynephiliac" is really a heterosexual man that would -- under normal circumstances -- go out and find a woman to desire. But, because of some error (being that biochemical or psychological) he has "malfunctioned".

His sexual desire (or, as Lawrence expands: his erotic-romantic orientation, which also includes other forms of pair-bonding) is channeled inwards instead of outwards.

If we now for a moment drop the scientific jargon, what I read is the following message:

This man is not only a "freak" in the eyes of others. He is truly a dysfunctional person. Scientific words like dysphoria and paraphilia cannot hide this message. I am sure Blanchard and Lawrence do not feel this way, but unless you think this kind of self-obsession is a good thing the verdict is devastating.

Lawrence's solution to this problem is (in some places, but not in others) to define autogynephilia as a sexual orientation in itself (on par with heterosexuality, I suppose).

She defends the rights of "autogynephiliacs" to have sexual reassignment surgery on this basis. She doesn't say as much, but I guess the underlying message is that since autogynephilia is a natural phenomenon the male to female crossdreamers should be allowed to live out their obsession.

The problem is, however, that as the phenomenon is described by Blanchard and Lawrence the male to female crossdreamer does come out as a kind of narcissist, a self-lover, a person who wants to become the object he loves, and therefore wants to make love to himself as a woman. That does not sound particularly good to me.

The potential male partners in this narrative become mere props: large human dildos the male to female crossdreamers can use to fulfil their fantasies.

Because of this is seems like Lawrence and Blanchard think that crossdreamers will be unable to enter into a normal love/sex relationship with another human being.

The controversy summarized

Here is a crystal clear summary of the Blanchard narrative made by Michael Bailey:

"Currently the predominant cultural understanding of male-to-female transsexualism is that all male-to-female (MtF) transsexuals are, essentially, women trapped in men's bodies. This understanding has little scientific basis, however, and is inconsistent with clinical observations. Ray Blanchard has shown that there are two distinct subtypes of MtF transsexuals. Members of one subtype, homosexual transsexuals, are best understood as a type of homosexual male. The other subtype, autogynephilic transsexuals, are motivated by the erotic desire to become women. The persistence of the predominant cultural understanding, while explicable, is damaging to science and to many transsexuals."

What this means is that M2F trangender men having undergone the transformations are not women at all. They are at best a category in themselves, or they remain men in spite of their appearances. There is no "feminine essence" that makes them women; they are an evolutionary blind alley.

The other transgender narrative

Now, compare this narrative to the one that is gaining acceptance in modern societies: A male to female transsexual is really a woman, truly a woman, a normal woman living "inside" her male body.

There is no denying that something is different in the lives of male to female transsexuals (also called trans women). There is after all a misalignment between her physical sex and her inner sex identity.  But she is not a freak. What's needed is a sex reassignment therapy that gives her the body she should have had all along.

Note that in this narrative it does not matter whether she is heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual. In the US and Europe at least, these sexualities are accepted as normal for both women and men.

So a male to female crossdreamer accepting this narrative can think of herself as a healthy woman that has become herself in body and soul.

A male to female crossdreamer accepting Blanchard's narrative in full will naturally think of himself as disturbed person even after having had the sexual reassignment surgery.

Is it possible to reconcile the concept of autogynephilia with a narrative we can live with, or do people like me just have to accept that we are perverts?

That will be the topic of my next post.

32 comments:

  1. Fascinating stuff. Thank you.

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  2. This is another great post. I surely hope you will cross-post it at sgb.

    -arvan

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  3. As with everything, there are varying levels. There are extreme cases where one can only truly make love to thyself, and there are people like me who are able to twist their imagination so that lovemaking with their wife is really about projecting themselves into her to get off, and I don't think this is living a lie. It is turning an impossible fantasy into something that's reasonable.

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  4. This is an alternative view point on this issue. I am a heterosexual man, with no feminine characteristics. I have been told variously that I look like a cop, a professional wrestler, or a teamster organizer. I was raised by an extremely abusive mother and older sister. I have been seeing a therapist for years After a number of years I finally told him that I fantasized about being a woman (usually cruel and always beautiful who treated men terribly). I thought I was a major league pervert, but he told me it was something called “identification with the aggressor”. This is a defense mechanism where someone actually identifies with the person, or group of people abusing them as a way of dealing with their fears. During WW2 some concentration camp prisoners would identify with their camp guards. Identification with the aggressor is only considered normal when it is innocuous --as in children's play. I identified with women, because I had been so badly abused by them as a child. The women were always cruel, because that is the only type of women I have ever known. They were beautiful, because as a heterosexual man that what “turns me on”. These things may make me “damaged”, but they do not make me bad. I do not know if this fits anyone else, and I would not presume to tell other people how they feel, but this might be part of the reason for someone, When I learned this it removed a great deal of quilt and shame from my mind.

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  5. To tg-captioner: I like this pragmatic approach of yours. As a matter of fact, I don't think this only applies to people like us. People make use of all kinds of fantasies to get off. Trying to fight that is a futile measure that only can lead to more misery.

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  6. To Anonymous: If find your alternative and more psychological explanation very fascinating, and I would like to explore that more in depth further on.

    I grew up with a very strong willed mother that felt a deep contempt for men, while she at the same time could be thrilled by what she called "charming" men. My father had apparently been part of the latter category, but when real life struck them he was relabeled as a wuss. He wasn't, really. Unlike her, he was very intelligent, but too patient and kind to be married to a woman like her.

    I was drawn into her way of thinking as a kind, and adopted her view of men and my father. In many way I started to think like a 70's feminist man-hater, which is not a good thing when you are to establish a male identity.

    The messages I got was conflicting:

    1. Men are weaklings that fail women and think only of themselves.
    2. The only exceptions are "charming" men (who, of course, also fail women, but in a more attractive way).

    My mother's world was in no way ruled by logic, and I was in a lose-lose situation. I became the kind and understanding man, and won the love of my mother, but lost my self-respect as a man. Another sibling chose option 2, which probably helped his self-respect, but he is definitely also damaged goods.

    Could it be that some of the sissy-fantasies we see in TG erotica is caused by such trauma. The sissy is the weakling in a female form. The weakling as a man think he is sexually unattractive to real women. As a feminized sissy he will at least become a kind of sex toy for others.

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  8. jack molay: that's an interesting thought about men getting sissified by strong mothers. I myself am a child of divorced parents (age 12), and my mom could be an unreasonable psycho at times (complaining she was a housewife and couldn't work, complaining she actually had to clean the house). Since my dad worked, my mom was basically in control of me and my brother. While my brother defied her and stuck to his guns, I chose the non-conflicting (and more wussy) route. I think this could be just another tiny push into who I developed into. There were some minor (though would be more serious today) issues with my dad that pushed me into who I am too.

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  9. Your blog is a refreshing breath of fresh air.

    Basically what you are saying here is right on target. Scientists such as Blanchard do not consider the human impact of their theories. But then again, until the Internet it was quite difficult to get access to these writings.

    Then again, science requires objectivity. One separates the individual from the condition.

    I do look forward to reading your followup.

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  10. It seems to me that the term autogynephilia should only apply to non-transgendered males. If you are a "normal" male and the only only way you can get your rocks off is to imagine yourself as a female having sex then this term describes you.

    On the other hand it seems totally natural for any transgendered M2F to imagine themselves as the female. It surprises me to no end that there is any debate about this in the TG community.

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  11. What a great post, very interesting read :)

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  12. I was the second boy. My mom always wanted a girl. She went on to have two more children, the second being her daughter. It has always messed me up. I also did not match up with my older brother in terms of "maleness." To compound this, I also have very little body hair. I have fantasized being a woman. However, I do not want to upset the status quo, wife, two kids, male image. At night, I go to sleep and ask God to make me a woman. This leads to feelings of embarassment. I have shared some of these thoughts with my wife. She does not want any part of it. However, she does refer to me as "she" more often than not. To hide my feelings, I have grown a goatee. Pretty smart. However, my feelings are still there and are only relieved via masturbation or sex with my wife. Pretty messed up. These feelings are exasperated when I am not succeeding in my role as a provider. I wish that there were easy answers.

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  13. To Anonymous,

    Oh, I wish there were any easy answers as well. You say that your wife refers to you as "she". Is this a sign of disrespect? I mean: You have told you about your condition and now she mocks you for it? That would be very hard, indeed.

    Jack

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  14. What does autogynephilia say about the transgender person who wanted to be a girl/woman well before puberty? I remember wanting to be a girl as young as 4 or 5. I remember waliking home from school in second grade wishing I could be like the girls I was walking behind. I remember praying at night as early as kindergarten for God to make me a girl when I was sleeping.

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  15. I am working on a post on crossdreamers (autogynephiliacs) reporting childhood dreams of being a girl.

    The idea that crossdreamers (as opposed to androphilic transsexuals) only experience such dreams at puberty at the earliest is wrong. Many of them dream about this as kids.

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  16. @Jack – you seem to react quite strongly to the word “error” as used in a way that might be applicable to you. I appreciate that words can be very powerful, but I am not troubled by the use of the word “error” to describe whatever it is that leads me to experience autogynephilia. To me it is pretty obvious that autogynephilia is “abnormal” in the sense that it is different from the “norm.” But “abnormal” is neither bad not good – just different. Autogynephilia is not the only thing that is “abnormal” about me – I am abnormally tall, abnormally smart, abnormally shy (reserved) – neither good nor bad – just different. I understand the use of the word “error” as coming from the vantage point that “normal” is the result of “correct” wiring, while “abnormal” is suggestive of an “error.” So what? – it isn’t life threatening. That’s how I see it, but, again, I understand the sensitivity.

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  17. I am pretty sensitive about this. Not in the sense that I do not welcome comments like yours -- I do! -- but in the sense that I do believe words like these may have connotations beyond what you indicate.

    The word error (a deviation from accuracy or correctness; a mistake) indicates in this context a deviation from a healthy, natural or correct system. It is something negative, not neutral.

    In the case of "target location error", however, my beef is not with the word error, but with the whole explanation of autogynephilia. It says that we are self-absorbed narcissists unable to love someone else, and that is simply not true.

    As for the understanding of the word "abnormal", I think you may be right. The dictionary definition of "abnormal" is (dictionary.com):

    1. not normal, average, typical, or usual; deviating from a standard: abnormal powers of concentration; an abnormal amount of snow; abnormal behavior.
    2. extremely or excessively large: abnormal profit.

    The term seems neutral, but note that the Cambridge dictionary defines abnormal as "different from what is usual or average, especially in a way that is bad".

    But I don't think I used this term here.

    In any case, it is terms like "perversion" and "paraphilia" that really get me going!

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  18. "I am working on a post on crossdreamers (autogynephiliacs) reporting childhood dreams of being a girl. "

    Jack, did you ever end up writing this post? Where is it?

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  19. We're dangerous to the feminist narrative that women can do no wrong and that man is historically the aggressor when in fact men and women were always mutually in servitude to one another and that all actual research shows men to be victims of violence by women as often as women are by men. The average woman has become endoctrinated to many fallacies dissiminated by power hungry female preference advocacy groups financed by the top executive capital holding firms to shape and control humanity's future. We have been feminized in a lot of cases because the issue with the confusion towards our gender neutralizes us from being political threats towards the technological dictatorship that is being built around us. It is really frustrating for me to see heterosexual women and homosexual men get excused from their agency when I receive no sympathy even if I can logically explain how I have been impaired by women in my psycho-social development. Once again, this is because the prevailing ideology is that women cannot be held accountable for the damaging choices they make to become "strong and independent". In other words, her perceived "wellfare" or emancipation from male leadership becomes a priority over her male child's fundamental need of identifying to his biological gender. I argue that our ego refuses to forget that in general we have been attracted more often to the opposite sex than not and are willing to suffer (probably due to our developed resillience to callous emotional indifference) even more marginalization than average men in today's society to assert our specific identity. This does not go against genetic theory as genes only predispose individuals to certain behaviors and are not the final deciding factors of our choices. Most people who have the serial killer gene have no history of violence and live to have normal lives even if their entourage can discern they are mimmicking some emotions. It really takes a special kind of family environment to create either a crossdreamer (higher than average empathy- see stockholm syndrome) or a serial killer (dissociation between empathy and conscience). I believe we are in a very good position to end the war between the sexes if we become communicators and intermediaries to expose the truth about gender as we are the ones who became the most informed to make sense of who we are.
    Kastin

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  20. My name is Mike Groves and I came looking for a site like this so I can get some support for my condition (a subset of a DSM-IV disorder). What happened is I have bipolar disorder and have been in psychotherapy for over ten years and it became time to address my "blurred sexual identity." I am a cross dresser, but i'm not the type of a guy that gets dolled up and goes walking around the mall, my cross dressing is almost exclusively given to woman's lingerie, and the bottom line is entirely sexual and involves masturbation. I am 58 and have been doing it since age seven (a big complication is that my therapy includes the fact we know I was sexually abused by my mother at a very young age, I just can't see or remember the details. How much of my autogynephilia is the result of this. I think most of it is biological, and being exposed to Mom's abuse pushed a button)
    I am a white male and was married for thirteen years during which I was able to put the cross dressing away, though I had lesbian fantasies while making love with my wife. After my divorce I lived with a young girl who encouraged my cross dressing.
    It's late and i'm getting tired, so i'm going to wrap it up. How I stumbled on autogynephilia, I was doing some research on my sexual identity (Am I a cross dresser? A transvestite? We talked about my potentially being gay or bisexual--I haven't had sex with a man, but I would in a second if he came along, but only if he would allow me to dress as woman.So i'm researching this stuff and I stumble across the word 'autogynephilia' in where else but Wikipedia. After reading that and Dr Blanchard's, Wikipedia should have a picture of me next to the word 'autogynephila', the description of my disorder so thourghly me . So, my intention is to converse with men with the same disorder. I told my therapist about and said,OK, I've come to accept this verbatim.Then I said, "What can I do about (ostensible make it go away) and she said " Why do anything about just accept I and go with it, which i'm doing. There is still some anxiety (some guilt?) associated with the the dual nature of my sexuality (I love women.)
    Please let me know how you deal with it Mike Grove, Frederick, Maryland
    My email me frz
    Thanks kafka@gmail.com

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  21. I got my long letter published, but something caused the email address to split.
    My email is FRZKAFKA@GMAIL.COM
    You are welcome to email me on these subjects.

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  22. @Michael

    You have certainly come to the right place. I am not to fund of the term "autogynephilia" and Ray Blanchard's bogus explanation for it, but your story echoes many storys told on this blog.

    Besides asking for email contacts, in the way you have, I suggest that you post your text in the introduction section of our CrossdreamLife forum. You may get some direct responses there as well.

    It seems to me your therapist gave ypu the most sensible advice anyone can give to a crossdreamer: Accept this side of your life and try to integrate it into your life in a sensible manner. The only thing that does not work is deliberate repression, which I understand you have found out the hard way.

    I my opinion (and there are crossdreamers that disagree with me here) crossdreaming appears in the intersection between some kind of inborn gender variance and sexual desire, both of which are very powerful forces in a human life.

    You cannot get rid of any of these two factors, which is why it is important to give them room in some kind of controlled setting.

    You seem to have found crossdressing to be a useful outlet. Others, like me, write and share stories, trying to grasp our own inner selves that way.

    Beyond that, talking about crossdreaming helps- heck, knowing that you are not alone often helps.

    And you are not alone. There are millions of us out there, both male bodied and female bodied crossdreamers.

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  23. Jack, thanks for responding to my letter. Finding all of this information and your blogs is a big step for me. Only a few weeks ago I hadn't even heard the word "autogynephilia". I think back to my young years when I thought I was the only one in the world who felt this way.
    It's a complex issue though, isn't it? Especially when mixed up with my mental health and abuse issues. It comes from deep inside. I'm glad you agree with my therapist and just accept it and manifest it in safe ways, especially since I talked to my psychiatrist about a transition to female and she flatly refused to consider it. So as long as i'm stuck with it I need to deal with it. It will help to surround myself with a feminine atmosphere.
    I want to congratulate you on having the guts to generate these blogs, it's apparent from this i'm not the only one out there, and you are providing a valuable service. Mike

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  24. to michael p groves

    " I talked to my psychiatrist about a transition to female and she flatly refused to consider it."

    I've never supported that view because how on earth can they possibly understand? I've always held the view that if your are over 21 then you alone make that decision as long as you agree to a disclaimer and understand there is no going back.

    In my view and my view alone is that the actual reasoning for all this 'psychiatry stuff' is because it's a paternalistic society and a profession that cannot understand in any way shape or form why on earth, in their way of thinking, anyone would want to transition into a second class human being.
    Again, I want to reiterate that I'm the only one with who thinks this way.

    Deepest apologies for posting anonymously but with Google+ this would end up who knows where!

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  25. Hello, I am a woman who is worried about the current narrative in the trans community which says that MTF's are really women trapped in men's bodies and we have to accept them as such. This worries me because it reconfirms ideas about women only having value in terms of their femininity, sex appeal, and ability to perform traditional feminine roles to society's standard. Just as hyper masculinity harms many men, hyper femininity drove many women who were not endowed by nature with ideal looks, or who were temperamentally ill-suited for domestic seclusion into maniacs of one kind or another. I have seen some posts about abusive mothers, etc... I was also psychologically abused by my mother who was ill-suited for domestic life, plus she had been sexually abused by her father, grandfather, and older brother, so I empathize with your experiences of a horrible mother. But I still feel that she was a product of abuse by society and the men in her life.

    What can we do about the long chain of abuse and our unrealistic cultural norms that will release all of us from this horrible merry go round? Would freeing up fashion for men help MtFs or is it absolutely necessary that there be a feminine and masculine ideal? The hyper- sexualized feminine ideal causes women so much anguish. My mom was very beautiful and was always struggling with guilt over men's attraction to her, as if it was her fault that she was sexually abused. She was an extreme yoyo dieter, with many other OCD tendencies. I was anorexic in high school and then bulimic when I couldn't starve myself any longer. I would alternate between extremely submissive and overbearing. My sexuality was all over the place, but I never enjoyed it. I did a lot of things that I did not want to do and left me feeling empty. I was miserable and confused.I went to psychologists, psychiatrists, dieticians, you name it. They thought I was a narcissist or had borderline personality disorder.

    Luckily, I met a really excellent man who helped me find a way out of the self hatred. He realized that the disorder was a control issue. My mother was so full of unpredictable rage and so controlling, that I was essentially trying to find a way to wrest some control over my own life, so I put myself on a hunger strike. He told me that there was no one to tell me what to do, I was free to eat or not, be honest about my opinions or not, dress as I liked, and say no to anything I did not want to do, and he would still love me, but he couldn't live with me if I was going to torture myself. It was like a switch was flipped and I have never had a problem since, sexually or with body dysmorphic disorder. I do believe there are ways out of the madness of dysphoria and dysmorphia. I hope you all can find a way to find peace and acceptance for yourselves.

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  27. Thank you for sharing this. I think you are onto something extremely important that applies to most people cis and trans.

    The combination of celebrity worship, fashion, cosmetic surgery, porn, and what can only be considered some kind of health hysteria in some parts of society, has led to the creation of impossible ideals for looks and body types, ideals that only a few can live up to (and the ones that do manage to do so suffer tremendously trying). Anorexia and bulimia are only two of many effects of this pressure.

    I am so glad your man helped you out of it, and was able to show you that the complete person that is you cannot be measured by the models on the covers of Vogue.

    Trans women tell similar stories about having to make peace with themselves, as they face the same standards. Indeed, they have to live up to even stricter standards, as their very "womanhood" may be questioned if they do not "pass" -- and not all of them are able to do that after years on testosterone. So yes, I think there is a parallell here.

    Some trans women (and trans men) do report, however, that they do go through periods of hyper femininity (or hyper masculinity) when transitioning. Some call it a "second puberty", where they try out more extreme gender stereotypes in clothing and behavior. It is like making up for lost time, apparently, and in a very short time they must try out roles that non-transgender women use years to explore. And yes, this is clearly a search for affirmation. Like cis women, they want to be affirmed as women, and the surrounding culture tells them that this is what it takes.

    Since transgender people -- before transitioning -- are forced to suppress their true gender, I also suspect that femininity and masculinity may take on an additional meaning: The gender stereotypes becomes positive symbols of the lives they are denied. This leads many of them to explore these ideals both before and after transitioning.

    There are also very positive sides to clothing and other ways of expressing pride in your gender and your identity. The creative side of fashion should not be denied.

    For non-transitioning transgender people (and I am one of them), this plays out a bit differently. I must admit that one of the hardest things in my life is that I can neither be affirmed as my target sex (a woman), since I do not present as one, nor as the gender I present as (a man). I might be affirmed as a man, but since I find myself alienated from that role, that kind of affirmation actually makes things feel worse.

    Basically I have given up living up to any gender stereotype, and in this case that is not necessarily a good thing, because we need to be affirmed as who we are, whether that is men, women or some other shade of gender. But like you, I am very glad to have a partner that accepts me for who I am, confusing at that might be, and that helps me a lot.

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  28. aaaaa:

    So let me get this straight:

    You don't want to accept trans women for who they are, yet still got over your own self hatred by the love of another?

    What right do you have to be accepted for whatever mental issues you have and then project your own self hatred towards trans people and make us deny this part just because of yout insecurities and prejudices?

    You and everyone like you are a part of a problem that still exists.

    You ask why you should have to accept people for who they are and still comes with your tear jerk tale here as if your case is somewhat unique to be placed on a pedestal.

    I'm sorry, but your post was borderline offensive right from the get go as a circle jerk comment from Gender Trender.

    Ever heard the pun "I'm fat, you're ugly! I can lose weight!"...?

    This certainly applies to a large amount of humanity. And I have seen some of that ugliness in humanity in my lifetime.

    Ugliness comes in many forms. Not only from the outside. Some of the uginess lasts a lifetime. (Nower days there's plastic surgery - but true ugliness can never really be hidden for a longer period of time. Just as being transgender can only be supressed for a certain amount of time before the bubble bursts.)

    I recommend you read Herman Hesse and Steppenwolf. You could learn something from that. Both about yourself, and what transgender people have gone through their entire lives.... Self denial, self rejection due to pressure and less than a knowledgable and tolerant society and family that surruonds them.

    "Accept yourselves and your fate, but don't expect me to accept you or your fate because I had an eating disorder and mentally abusive mother"....

    What I don't understand is the ghastly fashion taste most women have. I also have a very low tolerance twowards stupidity.

    All the best

    Marion

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  29. //You don't want to accept trans women for who they are, yet still got over your own self hatred by the love of another?//

    I think you should take a deep breath and study this blog some more. I suspect you haven't really understood what my message is.

    I have always accepted transgender women for who they are: women, regardless of how they look or behave. And those who have followed this blog for a while will know that I have always defended their rights to be accepted and embraced as women by society, because they are women, plain and simple.

    I have spent years fighting against the sexist and dehumanizing theory of autogynephilia for this reason: It reduces the identity of transgender women to a mental illness.

    This is also why a find the following comment of your extremely offensive:

    //What right do you have to be accepted for whatever mental issues you have and then project your own self hatred towards trans people and make us deny this part just because of yout insecurities and prejudices?//

    I do not hate transgender people. I am transgender. I work together with transgender and queer people of all shades and colors in order to combat transphobia. I fight with them and I fight for them.

    You are now reducing my sense of self to a mental illness. That is not acceptable.

    I responded to your comment in good faith and with respect. I suggest do the same to me.

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  30. I am not sure why you feel that I hate transgender people. I do not. I empathize with the terrible feeling of hating one's own body and wanting to change it, even if that means destroying it with surgery or starvation.

    I do not believe you have a mental illness. I believe society has a mental illness. Human beings are more than our clothes and our preferences. We are complex, emotional, social, physical, and sexual beings. We cannot be reduced to genders, even if there are hundreds of them to choose from. We can hardly understand ourselves let alone others. What makes society think it can create boxes to put us in? We will only be free when we free ourselves from the ideas in our heads about how we ought to be.

    Our costumes and makeup, our adornments and surgical enhancements are not truly "us." We are not our clothes, our hair, our fake eyelashes, or our boobs. Our bodies may not be perfectly attuned to our ideal vision of ourselves, but that does not mean that there is something wrong with our bodies. If we have unrealistic images of what our bodies ought to be (in my case, unnaturally thin), and we harm ourselves, then there is something wrong with our thinking, not with our bodies. We can work to find a way out of our mind traps, some of which were laid by society, some by ourselves. That is what I learned from my very sensitive and lovely man.

    I think that Grayson Perry, an artist and a transsexual. He doesn't claim to be a woman, but for sexual reasons and emotional reasons, he felt compelled to dress like a woman. He has a lot of interesting things to say about identity in his interviews and his work. He has created some amazing artwork depicting his journey exploring what gender means and his own identity and found that when he really looked deep into his psyche, he found that much of what he thought was his identity, was an accumulation of experiences, culture, fashion, brands, ideology, emotions, and genetics. He concludes that there may not actually be such a thing as an essential identity that we can define and categorize. We are the sum of our experiences including our bodily experiences. Instead of presenting his feminine persona as his one true unalterable and essential identity, he understands the character he has created as an authentic alter ego; part of his very real personality. I think he can say it better than I can:

    https://youtu.be/oym9gw_u_L8

    I respect an honor your point of view. We are all on the journey of becoming and understanding, and we will not always communicate well because we are not looking at the thing from the same vantage point, but we can try. I hope, with that in mind, you will treat my opinion with respect as well.

    ReplyDelete
  31. *I admire Grayson Perry as an artist and a human being is what I meant to write.

    ReplyDelete

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