September 19, 2010

A transgender life story

Sometimes I get emails from crossdreamers and transsexuals, letters that tell a life story in all its complexity. I want to share one such story with you today. I hope you can give both me and "Annie" your input.

The text has been shortened and anonymized.

Annie writes:

A regular guy?

'I am in my forties. I am a transgendered woman. I’ve been living full time for most of the past four years. Most of my life I regarded myself as a heterosexual male, albeit with an odd “kink”.

As you and others mentioned in your blog throughout primary school and high school I was frequently harassed and bullied. In hindsight I think this was basically because I did not know how to exhibit male traits in interactions with other boys. Many young boys are constantly playing at power struggles with each other. I never knew how to do this.

I've always had intense autogynephiliac fantasies. My fantasies were not exactly about becoming a girl but submissive aspects connected to this. I've always had "sub" fantasies. My fantasies were never sexual.

I've always enjoyed reading history. I read how in many cultures women were oppressed. This was always a big "turn on" for me, although I've long felt guilty about this. I'm a feminist and politically left wing. I hate all forms of oppression. ...

Sometime in primary school I read somewhere that in the 19th century women couldn't vote and had to wear long skirts all the time. Much of my fantasy was a fetish of long skirts. I wanted to be a girl so I could wear long skirts, as a girl.

Sometime later I saw the musical "The King and I", with Deborah Kerr. Later I saw "Gone With The Wind". The costumes the women wore intrigued me, mainly because they were bizarre. I developed a fetish around hoop-skirts.

Growing up versions of the above fantasies were my only sex fantasy. I "liked girls", I was attracted to women but more on an emotional level.

Image: Deborah Kerr - >

Sex with no sex

I was never interested in sex, although ironically I had a strong sex drive. My sexual fantasies, which were sometimes intense, did not impel me to have sex with a woman but rather to become a girl, wear certain clothes, or be in a submissive but non-sexual situation.

I never dated in high school or college. I went though a series of somewhat melodramatic crushes on girls, usually people I hardly actually ever talked to. I would go though long fantasy scenarios in my mind. I never had any interest in sex with these girls. ...

Growing up I gradually came to realize I was a lot different from most other guys. This especially became apparent in late high school and college. Guys would spend hours talking about their sexual experiences. I knew most of this was made up, its almost a male stereotype.I would join in and make up stories myself.
I had never had sexual relations with anyone and I really didn't want to either, even though I had a strong sex drive. I was never consciously puritanical and I'm not religious. I always thought sex was "gross" and disgusting. I still do to an extent. At some level I came to realize I was wired much differently from other guys.

Going crazy?

One summer, when I was in college but taking some time off, I tried to castrate myself. I was in a house my parents then owned and I had free time.

I started trying on my mother's long skirt collection. For a time I "went nuts". I became super horny. I was masturbating maybe 7 or 8 times a day. The only way to describe this would be to say that for a week or so I was "in heat". I'm not a heavy drinker but in the evenings I would help myself to my parent's wine collection.

One night I got into a frame of mind where I thought I "had to become a girl". I had a fantasy of sort of enforced feminization. I wanted to destroy my penis in a way that it would look like an accident. My parents would then take me to a doctor who would say that the only hope would be for me to have a sex change operation. Strangely I didn't care about having breasts or other aspects of being a girl. I just wanted to be a girl so I could wear long skirts, as a girl.

That night I found some carburator fluid. I knew from using it that it's acidic - it burns. I poured some on my penis.Of course I regretted this a minute later. I jumped in the shower and stayed there for an hour. It didn't do any permanent damage.

After this incident I thought I was going crazy. Why did I do something like that? Something was going wrong but I didn't know what. I thought my incident was the result of shyness and my inability to meet girls. At the time though I realized most other guys in that situation would have tried to find a girl or get a prostitute. Things didn't work that way for me.


Crossdressing

Late college and for a time after when I lived with my parents I crossdressed. I didn't try to look like a girl exactly. It was still a fetish/fantasy of wearing long skirts. I especially liked long denim jean skirts, because they looked androgynous. Sometimes I would dream about them.

Around this time I also went though a stage where I would call up plastic surgery clinics and ask them "if they performed sex change operations". At the time I knew nothing about transgenderism or TG theory. I was half serious about this, it was a sexual thrill. Most of these people I talked to thought I was crazy, I think.

After I would masturbate and have an orgasm I would lose the desire to "be a girl". I would feel guilty and ashamed by the fantasy. It would always start up again though.

Hallucinations of phalluses

Sometimes when I would fantasize or think intensely about "becoming a girl" I would have an odd hallucination. I would have an odd sort of ethereal feeling, as if I were a sexless angel.I would also have mild visual hallucinations of phalluses. I don't think this repressented a desire to have sex with a guy (people have suggested this) but rather that I was denying part of myself. I still have these hallucinations at times. I've thought about this a lot but I don't know what it means.

I'm not sure why but when I got a place of my own I stopped crossdressing, even though I could now do it as much as I wanted.

Transitioning?

I still had my fantasies, stronger than ever. I was gradually moving toward the idea of transistioning. I would spend time researching in a nearby medical library getting information. ...

One night I somehow ended up talking with some guy on the phone who said he was a psychologist who worked with transsexuals. He said, "I'm going to try to talk you out of this". He spent an hour telling me how difficult transistion was and that I wouldn't get referals for this anyway. I felt bad but I thought he was right.

Despite everything I didn't think I was actually a transsexual. I didn't think I had a problem with gender identity. I didn't trust my motives. My desire to become a woman was just a sexual fantasy, only an extremely intense sexual fantasy. Furthermore it was almost the only sexual fantasy I ever had, until recently. At the time I felt like everyone was telling what I can't do, well, what could I do sexually?...

Girl friend

I went to grad school .... Around that time I finally started dating women, much later than most people. In my second year, much to my surprise I actually got my first girlfriend, whom I'l call M. I was completly shocked. For years I felt women were avoiding me in droves. I had no idea how to date or get a girlfriend.

I was [in my twenties] when I had my first girlfriend. We slept together but I was never able to have sex. The "equipment worked", I could get an erection without a problem only I was not aroused by her, at all. I was only aroused by my own , somewhat unique, AG fantasies. I't hard to explain but I've always been deeply alienated from my penis. I seldom look at it. I masturbated but I've always done this by rubbing my groin against a mattress. When I knew I was about to get involved with someone I sensed I would have a problem with sex, and I did.

After a time I reluctantly told M. that "I've never done this before", that I was a virgin. She was shocked but was initially very patient with me. I could never get aroused enough to penetrate her though. One time I came close. I felt an intense feeling of free floating anger (not at her), I got scared and lost the erection. That's the closest I've ever come to sex with another person.

At the time I thought my problem was performance anxiety. M would keep me up most of the night trying to have sex when I desperately wanted to sleep. It was almost a form of torture for me. After she fell asleep I would often masturbate by myself.

M got very angry at my inability to have sex. We were together for about a year. It was a stormy, on and off relationship. After I graduated ... we lived together for a short time. One morning she kicked me out. I lived in my car for a week until I could find a place of my own. Apparently she kept trying to break up with me but I wouldn't let her go. I didn't have anything else. At that time she was my first and only girlfriend...

Sex therapy

[Some time] after we broke up I finally saw a sex therapist. I told him the whole story and my sexual history or rather lack thereof. He said he didn't think I was a transsexual. He thought my fantasy was a product of my family dynamics.

I've long had a complicated relationship with my Dad. He's a great guy in some ways but he's been very abusive at times (never physically). He's been over bearing and very controlling, although subtly. This therapist thought my fantasy was a product of this. My Dad is nicer to women than to men so it was a way of trying to please him. At that time I felt both dissapointed and relieved. This therapit said I should try to redirect the fantasy. He also had me do exercises to try to "make friends with my penis". At the time I agreed with him.

I've never been able to redirect the fantasy though and what I had was much deeper than he thought. ...

Fast forward a bit. When I graduated ... the job market in ... was horrible .I eventually went [abroad to work]. ... For the first time in my life I was very popular with women.... I had several girlfriends, not serious relationships. I slept with several women. Again my usual problem, I was never able to "do anything". One woman I slept with ... got very upset at me for this.

Reading

... I gradually started exploring TGism [transgender issues]. One time I bought some books on CDing [crossdressing] at an alternate bookstore in.... I went to a tranny pub in ... and gay bars in .... I was strictly a lurker.at that time. I gradually got a small library on transgenderism though Amazon or mail order. I thought each book I ordered would somehow "solve my problem".

Coming home

I started crossdresssing at a gay club in .... The first time I did this I got, not really horny exactly but unihibited. I started blatantly hitting on everyone I saw. This is vastly different than the way I usually act. At the time I wasn' even attracted to men anyway. Other times when I "went out" I was much calmer. This was the first time I had CDed since I was younger. I had an odd soothing feeling of "coming home",when I did this, it's hard to explain.

... I started "surfing" transgender websites of people who transistioned and actually became women. This was very compelling for me . I would go to my office at 9PM and websurf till 1 or 2 AM. This wasn't a sexual interest. Connected to this I started going though a complicated period of emotional turmoil. I had a feeling there was a monster was inside of me, devouring my personality from within. For obvious reasons I kept this hidden from my co-workers, I was in a very macho environment. Often I would go into one of the "one man latrines" and start crying to myself. I thought I was "losing it".

I came back to ... to try to figure out what was happening. I moved back in with my parents again and I got a ... job at .... After a time I started going though the same emotional turmoil as I did in .... A monster was eating me from inside. I reconnected with a therapist I had seen much earlier after I left college (not the sex therapist, he was useless). This therapist helped me out a lot.

I developed an intense crush on a ... CD .... This person was very pretty and was the center of attention.... One time another ... "set this person up" with a genetic girlfriend. I was upset by this. For a time I completely lost it and acted irrationally. I had a series of anxiety attacks, I'd call up my therapist at 4 AM and tell her I wanted to die, I'd send angry emails to members of the CD group. Several times I was seriously suicidal. The therapist I was seeing was a big help and was very patient with me. The CD I had a crush on turned out to be a TS. She had surgery and is now married to a straight guy.
New job, new life

Eventually I made the decision to transistion. I moved to a nearby city. ... I got a job .... I was there for three years but I hated it. The company was very lgbt friendly. After I was there about 8 months I legally changed my name and I "officially" became a girl. Most of my co-workers were okay with this, at least on the surface although there was always some low level harassment.

I told my parents. Surprisingly they seemed okay with this. They said they suspected something for a while.My Dad was a bit grumpy about it at times but generally very supportie. He was worried about my career and life.

TG community

For a while I was heavily involved in the transgender community. I would go to a lot of events, meetings, gay clubs, and social get togethers. I met some wonderful, interesting people but overall I got a very bad impression of most TG people. There's a huge amount of factionalism, back biting, cliqueness, narcissism, snobbery, and all around drama. It was worse than high school....

There was also a large politically right wing element in the trans community.The campiness associated with the lgbt world never appealed to me. Instead of clubbing I often prefered to stay at home and read history... or .... I gradually dropped out of the TG community and I found myself becoming somewhat anti-transgender.

At times, depending on how I looked, I was harassed a lot. I lived in the... area. ... must be one of the most intolerant cities in the ... or even the world.

Several times I had to call the police because of harasment near my workplace or near where I lived. I saw a transgender therapist (different from the shrinks I mentioned earlier). She would give me a lot of reassurance about being a woman, that I look okay and that I was passable. At the same time I would still get harassed, on and off. Often I would get called "sir" at restaurants. I was pretty upset by this.

At times I felt TGism wasn't working for me, that is I couldn't function in society as a woman and I'd be stuck in a small and (what seemed to me) a highly neurotic subculture. I'm not sure why I felt this way but towards the end of this time I became somewhat anti-trans, even though I was still a girl. I was also depressed about being single. I hadn't had a date or any attempt at intimacy with anyone since I'd been in .....


Not passing

... With savings I had I got what I thought was a good hair replacement system. I thought I had finally "arrived" and now would be passable. It turned out to be very high maintenence and most of the time I ended up looking like a feminine guy with long hair. I still got called "sir" a lot....

I felt embarrassed and humiliated by all this. I was very angry at my therapist in the States who gave me reassurance that I'm passable. I obviously wasn't. I became very anti-trans and seriously thought about de-transistioning, going back to being a guy. One day at the end of the year as an experiment I spent part of a day wondering around .... as a guy. (I made sure no one I knew saw me). It was odd and I found I much preferred being a girl, even with the tremendous self consciousness that I had about being passable.

...I still had many awkward situations where people didn't know what gender I was. Sometimes people would just ask me if I was a man or a woman. Around the area I stayed at were a lot of South Asian and Middle Eastern men. These guys apparently were attracted to me. They would aggressively flirt with me. This was very arousing to me. At this time I was very conflicted. One day (if guys flirted with me) I'd think I should have surgery, the next day I would hate TGism and decide I should go back to being a guy.

... After this I moved back in with my parents for a while. My parents seemed okay w/me being TG. I felt more awkward about thist then they did. I gradually "de-transistioned", dressed less feminine and eventually I got rid of the hairpiece I got. My Mom once briefly asked me about this but I felt very awkward even talking about TG stuff.

At the same I still am a girl. I've been working with an image consultant and a voice trainer. Its expensive but worth it. If I am going to be a girl (which I feel I am) I have to look better
Therapist

... A few weeks ago I saw my old therapist, the one I saw years ago when I first started dealing with this. I told her about my experiences in ...., etc. She thought I was on the edge of a cliff, just barely holding on, not going one way or another. She said I should make a commitment. If I was comfortable the way I am now, that's okay, but she didn't think I was. Basically she thought I should have surgery, although she said that was only a decision I could make. It is good to improve my appearance but I shouldn't care so much about being passable. Being trans is who I am and I have a right to be here.

I'm a small person and if I work on my appearance I think I'm good looking, I might even say I'm "hot".

I cry a lot thinking about how transgender people are oppressed.

I still have mild hallucinations of phalluses. That's been one thing holding me back from SRS. I don't think the hallucinations repressent a desire to have sex with a guy, but I'm not really sure what it means.

That's my whole unique story. I seem to be different from most TG people I know.

9 comments:

bubblepopmei said...

Reading this was like taking a trip down memory lane for me.

Teased by boys in school, I share that lack of understanding into how they are behaving with each other.

My first girlfriend was when I was mid twenties, and while initially I was grateful for someone to try all the kama sutra info I had learned on, eventually our sex life degraded. I decided to try again, and now I'm in a pickle with a pregnant girlfriend living with me, but we haven't had sex since the baby's conception. I was soft.

I also feel the free floating anger, and I think it is a reaction to being forced to take the opposite role than I yearn for in sex.

I have been exploring transition, just at the surface since the organizations do not appear to move in a timely fashion. It seems like a waiting game.

I am terrified of the tg community, and largely believe I will steer clear. If you see my blog, perhaps you can understand why I feel it would be best for me to simply focus on my own ambitions, and keep myself clear of political nit pickers and cliques.

Of course I also fear not being passable. I am currently not. I will need work, and so I will acquire money in creative ways, some of which may displease the community.

I thank you for sharing your story.

Kathryn Martin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kathryn Martin said...

I deleted my prior post because I wanted to edit but apparently that is not possible. Sorry

Annie

While overall my experience has been quite different there are moments in your story that have raised memories for me some of them pleasant and some of them very unpleasant.

The incessant bullying at school and being made fun of, the life long confusion over who I am, the desire to somehow arrive at a point where my penis was non-functional. For me the end of the procreation phase in my life brought nothing but relief. There was no further need to function in this way. I have had dreams of carrying a child of my own to term.
One particular aspect really stood out for me regarding the experience of difference to other males who would boast about their sexual adventures and prowess. I was mortified that I did have nothing to report. I tried several times to make up a story but felt I somehow violated every time the female in my story even if she was not a person per se. I found reference to girls in my school who were characters in the boasts particularly distatsteful and felt personally hurt when the guys in my class spoke about them in this way. In fact I asked some if what was being told was true, which cause a huge ruckus essentially embarrassing the boys who told the stories which further alienated me from the rest of them.

In the end it turned out with two exceptions that none of the boys belonging to the "I'm the man club" were virgins. The boys thought of me as the enemy and I was naive enough to not understand that truth does not trump make believe.

On some visceral deep level your story has touched me. The fear of the TG community, the politics of it all and the unbearable sadness and pain so many of us have to endure.

There is two facedness that sees the kind of drama and politics in the face of all this suffering.

I am very suspicious about the TG community as a result.

Thank you for your very open telling of your story.

Kathryn

September 19, 2010 4:40 PM

Kathryn Martin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I'm "Annie". The comments are interesting, thanks. Guys in their teens and 20s spend hours bragging about how they got laid.90% of this is made up, my Dad set me straight on this. I came to realize though that I was a lot different from other guys. I've always been deeply afraid of sex.Sex to me was "gross" and somehow "lower" or more "primal". I'd think about girls a lot but it was purely emotional. Ironically I've generally had a strong sex drive, only it was almost exclusively channeled into my non-sexual AGY fantasies.

I'm not a "primary transsexual", I didn't think I should have been a girl since I was 5 or whatever (admittedly I've had elements of this)

I'm still a "work in progress" here. Its like the Hegelian dialectic, thesis-antithesis but so far no synthesis. I've never thought of myself as desperate for SRS but I'm beginning to think this is the best option. Its what I am, although I've been fighting it for years.

Kathryn Martin said...

Annie

I hope you don't mind being engaged in conversation and I hope Jack will tell us if I step over the line.

In another place, I wrote this recently in part inspired by your story and the images it lifted from some place inside me:

"I seek the feminine expression to suppress the phallic demands of my body which, unfortunately continues to produce detest-osterone. I have always found that these very basement level urges (this is not a value judgment but a descriptive term meaning so deeply part of my human foundation that they are beyond fine subtle control) lay waste to any subtle, discriminating, and differentiating emotions or thoughts. In fact it's somewhat like the call "squirrel" for the dogs in the movie UP.

This phallocentrism that we get handed as boys with our first dose of T (around the age of 9) takes much away from us and with respect gives very little in return. I have not ever found a woman who could satisfy the demands of any males phallus (at least after the first honeymoon is over) so that a combination of masturbation and sex life usually tries to keep the some control of the thing. However, I have always found sex is like good theater(usually some form of comic opera), to be satisfactory you must set the stage, evolve the characters and give a great performance. Well, guess what, usually the phallus just stands there like a stage hand without hands and does plenty of nothing. It can't even hit the right spot without being aided. So then you masturbate, which means to defile yourself by hand, or sometimes "to stir up by hand". It can't even do that on it's own either. Essentially at the end of the day it's real value for me at least lies in ignoring it. And when I dress I can ignore it and sublimate the basement into an emotional flower gardens of sometimes spectacular beauty. "

While my sexual experiences are quite different to yours, in some ways I feel we experience similar things. I find that this activity of sublimation of the crudity of physiological demands built into our bodies and transforming or transcending them to something much more ethereal is not autogynephilia, which assigns a sexual deviancy value to something that is in my view far from it.

In the Hegelian sense, in working with the tension between crudity and sublimation possibly lies the synthesis for the likes of us.

I am also one of those who never hated his body, but would love hers more.

Kathryn

tg_captioner said...

I love stories like this, it's so raw and real. Granted I'm nowhere near this extent, everyone can relate to parts of it.

Rebecca Cordova said...

I enjoyed reading this due to the ability to relate to quite a bit of this individual's story. I'm in my early twenties and have yet to have a girlfriend. I can't even imagine how I'd be able to have sex and for the longest time being AG was what got me off in my fantasies. Also, like the individual, bubblepopmei and 'Annie', i too have wondered about transitioning. Reading the guest post posted by Jack after this remind me that AG, TS, TG, et cetera, lead to create a lot of tension with myself (and other individuals) with the world.

Also, I do enjoy history too. And referring to Hegel's dialectic made me smile.

Anonymous said...

Halluscination = sign of mental illness

You may be psychotic or may be a heavy bordeline.

Bordeline often change their goals and have identity and sexual troubles.

Did you shrink talk about that ?

Advising someone like you to have a surgery is a CRIME as obviousy you don't know who you are.

Shrinks advice surgery because society oblige people to fit in one of the 2 gender that the society accepts.

There is my advice = if you feel better in a women's life but are upset because you don't pass,find out WHY you don't pass.

Probably because of a masculine face.

So the best way to pass is to have a plastic surgery of the face.

You could live like a women if your face is convincing.

The problem will be then to find love. Who would want to have a relationship with a woman with a penis who doesn't like sex ? May be a dyke but not a straight or gay man. May be a TS ?

Having fcial feminization would allow you to go back in a male's life if you enf up not loving to live all time like a girl (seems like that once you ejaculated, you don't want to be a woman anymore)


What do you think of my opinion ?