September 3, 2010

Interesting crossdreamer reading

I would like to draw your attention to what is happening on some of the other crossdreaming/autogynephilia blogs out there.

I am so glad that more and more crossdreamers have decided to share their lives through blogs and blog comments. It is of great help to all of us.

Imitations of Reality

I have had an lively and interesting discussion with the author of Imitations of Reality regarding what I call "the crossdreamer call for authenticity".

If you are a crossdreamer/crossdresser and live like a man in a relationship with a woman, what is the right thing to do?

"Imitations" argues that for crossdreamers who are able to live as men, should do so out of concern for their loved ones. In other words, he argues that there are many other ways of living a genuine life as a crossdreamer than transitioning:

"The point I was trying to make (albeit poorly articulated perhaps) – I think by focusing solely on one outcome or aspect of autogynephilia as many blogs and web sites do, i.e. 'transgenderism and transitioning,' it becomes the mistaken focal point of this syndrome rather than the broader spectrum found in the lives of many others who do not feel this way at all.

"In some ways it performs an injustice to the many others like me with wives, children and a varied network of people from all walks of life, which become marginalized by being ignored or shoved to the sidelines in finding no outlet to identify with save the life of the transsexual. As I am sure you are well aware Jack, there are many levels of Crossdreaming/Crossdressing/Transvestism that people wish to explore without assuming that they all wish to transition and become the 'female in the mirror.'"

I definitely believe there are other ways of living the life of a crossdreamer than transitioning.

Here is the series in the correct order: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

[Update  February 2016: the site seems to have been removed. Fortunately The Way Back machine has copies of the pages: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]

Note that he is not saying that no trangender person should transition, but that it is not the right course of action for many.


A call for the real life

I took stock of the various kinds of calls for an authentic life I have found in the transgender debate lately, and they come in a wide variety of shapes and colors:
  1. Accept your condition and include it in your life as a married man. Susanne over at My Husband is an Autogynephiliac is a good example.
  2. Accept your condition and find room for it outside your life as a couple, ref Alice Novic, who has a male lover at the side.
  3. If your gender incongruity is clear and severe, do transition, and try to find a new life as a same sex couple (ref Helen Boyd and her husband -- now wife -- Betty)
  4. If your gender incongruity is clear and severe, and your spouse/lover cannot live with your new life, both of you should start afresh, rather than suffer in silence.
Some religious fundamentalists and classical transsexuals argue that autogynephiliacs and crossdressers are fetishist and perverts who should go back into their closet and stop bothering decent folks. Needless to say, I find that position less than helpful.

My own call for a genuine life is simply the Delphian call of Know Thyself! Before we can learn to live with who we are, we have to know who we are.

It is impossible for me to make up a general rule for what you should do, as each life situation is unique. We can do our best to avoid making our loved ones suffer, but let's face it: some suffering is unavoidable, both for us and them, when you are transgender.

Lost in Transgender

Cheryl is opening the floor for a debate on two different approaches to the call for transitioning over at her blog:

"I'm a woman side, have always felt like a woman but I'm trapped inside a male body'"

and

"I accept that I'm male, I act the male role, but I would like to be a woman and have always been jealous of women".

"What of people who feel that the second statement is true for them?" Cheryl asks: "Are they in any way less suited for transition?"




A Crossdreamer's Journey

Jim's alter ego, Sarah, has written an excellent and easy to understand post on what it means to be a crossdreamer called It's in the Cards.

She is using playing cards as a metaphor for gender and sexual orientation.

Use her post when you try to explain crossdreaming/autogynephilia to others!


T-Central

I am glad to see that T-Central, an important portal for transgender news and discussions, has included several crossdreamer blogs in their list of transrelated blogs and sites, including this one.

Thank you, T-Central!



Follow me over at Twitter

Finally, note that I often link to such articles in my Twitter feed. You can find that feed in the right hand column of this page, or over at my Twitter page.

Discuss crossdreamer and transgender issues!