March 31, 2011

On friendship and sorrow

Many crossdreamers (men and women who dream about being the opposite sex) are emotionally disturbed. Not because they are transgendered, mind you, but because being transgendered does something to you.

If we follow the stereotypes women cry on each other's shoulders. They talk in confidence about their disappointments, about love lost, about their loss of self confidence. They are not looking for solutions to their problems, but a place to vent, a place to be accepted and to find respect. Tears heal.

Men are conditioned by society not to cry, but they have their own ways of caring. My girl friend laughs when she sees movies and TV shows where men pat each other on the shoulder, sigh and stay silent. "Ah, that was a man hug!" she tells me. It was. And then the pals prove their love for each other by getting drunk.

This sharing of pain and love is mostly forbidden for crossdreamers. Heck, it must be hard for any transgender person, but confessing the idea that you get turned on by imagining yourself the opposite sex is -- let' say -- very risky.

I must admit this makes me feel very lonely sometimes, even among the best of friends. I had this absurd conversation the other day in a company dominated by gay men. They discussed freely their experiences as homosexuals, their attraction to men, their adventures and affairs and their struggle to adapt to heteronormative society.

Had I told them about my secret life, they would have understood. They would even have been sympathetic. But I could not tell them, because if I did, it would soon be known among many of my friends and colleagues.

If I had told my heterosexual friends I was gay, that would not matter. In my circles in sexually liberated Scandinavia being gay is not a big deal. Being a crossdreamer, however, is unheard of, and my fellow straight friends would have no place in their mind map to put me except for the perverted fetishist spot. Which is why I have to keep quiet about it.

When I read the many life stories published over at Crossdream Life, I see that crossdreamers find many ways of coping with this. Some tell their loved ones. Some of them lose their families that way, but others (as documented by blogs like My Husband is an Autogynephiliac and Yes, she is my husband) find acceptance.

Some find a good therapist. Again you may be unlucky and find a "professional" with a lack of empathy and understanding, but the psychologist, psychiatrist or sexologist does not necessarily have to know much about crossdreaming to be of help. What we need are someone with an open mind who is willing to listen.

March 27, 2011

Born this way

In other news:

Lady Gaga has attacked Malaysian raido station for censoring her song "Born this Way".

The following lyrics reportedly have been garbled for local listeners:

"No matter gay, straight or bi, lesbian, transgendered life, I'm on the right track, baby."

"What I would say is for all the young people in Malaysia that want those words to be played on the radio, it is your job and it is your duty as young people to have your voices heard. You must do everything that you can if you want to be liberated by your society. You must call, you must not stop, you must protest peaceably."

I definitely belong to another generation than Lady Gaga, but I must say I find this uplifting. She has clearly become a role model to a lot of young people all over the world. If she can spread doubts about orthodox stereotypes in the minds of the next generation, that might make a difference.

And no, Lady Gaga is not a transsexual!



Here are the section of the lyrics touching upon "freaks like us":

March 24, 2011

Isobelle's Story

One of the great things about the new crossdreamer discussion forum is that it helps crossdreamers understand that they are not alone. "There are others out there that fantasize about being the other sex!" That revelation can bring so much relief!

Even if I have published quite a few life stories here already, I am not going to make a habit out of republishing Cross Life stories at Crossdreamers.com. However, I had already made a deal with Isobelle on presenting her story before the launch of the forum.

Maybe it can serve as a gateway to Crossdream Life.

Jack

ISOBELLE'S STORY

Hello there. My name is Isobelle, well, at least that is the name I have chosen for my online female self. I was born male, still live day to day as one, but I have serious questions and concerns if that is what I’m supposed to be. I am transgendered and a crossdreamer as Jack so brilliantly puts it.

I also most likely fit the definition of a transsexual as well, in that I do wish to alter my body to that of the gender I feel I should be, but I’m not sure given circumstances and the current way of things in my life, if transitioning is in my future. But nonetheless, here is my story thus far.

Childhood

I don’t remember much of my childhood, only bits and pieces. I suppose you could classify it as an average boy’s childhood, but I know I was different from the start. I was born with a full head of dark curly hair, something that to this day my mother brags about. She loved it so much that I rarely got hair cuts as a kid. I never seemed to mind though. It even got long enough that people who did not know me seemed to mistake me for a girl quite often.

March 15, 2011

New transgender discussion forum launched

In my post Planning a crossdreamer forum and chat site I asked you for input regarding the establishment of a new online discussion forum for crossdreamers (AKA "autogynephiliacs" / "autoandrophiliacs").

I am glad to announce that the new site has now been officially launched. It is called Crossdream Life, and I would very much like you to take a visit and leave a comment or two.

I know there already are forums that cover transgender issues and where it is possible to discuss crossdreaming with other crossdreamers.

But let us be honest about this: It is hard to be fully open about crossdreaming, even in a TG forum, given that there are quite a few transgender and transsexual men and women who do not know what this is. Moreover, some of them get all defensive when they find out.

Forums for TG erotica, like Rachel's Haven, are open, tolerant, and welcoming. Bless them! But their main focus is on the sharing of captions and stories. I guess there will also be crossdreamers who find the content of such sites ...eh, well... distracting.

Another reason for putting up such a site is actually found on this blog. I notice that there are many that have stories to tell, but who do not necessarily find a blog post that fit. Some discussions taking place at this blog therefore have no relevance to the topic of the post. I do not mind, but it seems to me that many of you deserve a place to start a discussion, without having to set up a blog of your own.

I would very much like to thank Jason Ikeda for establishing, setting up, designing, administering and editing the blog. He is the boss over at Crossdream Life!

March 14, 2011

Are all autogynephiliacs transwomen?

Rene has a great post on "What you need to do if you have autogynephilia" over at her "Living with autogynephilia" blog.

Renee goes straight to the point. Why are we crossdreamers?

Her answer:

"The reason you have autogynephilia is because you lack any other ability to express your femininity. It's the outlet that your 'inner girl' uses to relieve pressure. You may then ask yourself, 'Well Renee, then why don't all guys have autogynephilia? Don't all guys have a feminine side?' The answer to this is probably going to be hard to swallow, but: Not quite like you do. The fact is, that deep at your core you may desire to actually live as a woman."

Renee is actually arguing that many -- if not most -- male to female crossdreamers are transwomen.

I have previously pointed to studies of M"F crossdressers who indicate that only a quarter of them consider transitioning. Others have pointed out, however, that these answers may reflect the respondents' more realistic judgment of whether transitioning is possible given their life situation. Their hearts may be of a different opinion.

Renee writes:

"In the past few months, I'm yet to speak to any crossdreamer that is entirely confident in their portreyed gender identity. I've asked many of them the same question: 'If everything you knew and loved was destroyed in an earthquake tomorrow, would you pass up the opportunity to live as female if given the chance.' (I might further explain that it would be as a natural, attractive female so they don't confuse the intent of the message with something like living as a transexual.) In every case the answer is yes."

Renee argues that many crossdreamers only live as men because of how impossible it feels to become women, even the ones that initially claim that the buck stops at AGP ("autogynephilia" or crossdreaming).


Renee is telling me that she will discontinue this blog and start another one where she covers her own transition process. She will also be active in the upcoming new discussion forum for crossdreamers. Stay tuned!

March 11, 2011

From "transgenderist" to "transgender" - on Virginia Prince and crossdresser separatism

In my post When four tribes go to war I argued that transgender separatist -- i.e. groups that try to define themselves as substantially different from other transgender people -- become separatists in order to be recognized as normal people.

They want to fit into society as it is, to the best of their ability. In order to do so they have built a wall between themselves and those that do not, in their opinion, pass as normal women or men.

I believe this is why some trans women refuse to be associated with transpeople who do not follow the rules of traditional behavior, being those male to female crossdressers or transsexual women who work as prostitutes. The first group may be defined as fetishistic or paraphilic men; the other may be explained to be sex crazed feminine gay men. The operative term is "men". The very existence of these groups is seen as a threat, as they may undermine the trans women's possibility of being respected as ordinary women.

Classic transsexuals (CTs) define and redefine their definitions in order to keep out trans women associated with the "unclean". The androphilic transkids use science to keep the much coveted natural femininity for themselves. And, as I will show you in this post, crossdresser activists have been feeding this dragon of antagonism as well.

Controlling language

It seems to me this is partly a struggle for control over language.

To give one example:

The classic transsexuals are trying to take control over core terms in order to avoid any suspicion of them being the same as crossdressers and effeminate gay men. They do this by limiting the definition of the word "transgender" to their own taste and by associating it with the groups they despise and want to avoid.

Then they start attacking people who use the term "transgender" in the all encompassing way, arguing that they being included in such a group is insulting. By establishing that the term "transgender" is offensive, they manage to offend the other party while at the same time appearing as the victim.

It is a brilliant ploy, I must admit.

The enemy of my enemy

It can get really bad.

In 2009 one of the CT blogs, Enough Nonsense, revealed the strategy in an amazing post called Allies and a recent skirmish. The post tells the story about the establishment of an Internet group that is to challenge the TG "at every opportunity":

"We are coordinated. We act. We respond. And, we do so consistently, persistently, and reasonably. Our group is growing and we've succeeded in shutting down threads spouting TG [transgender] non-sense... To us, rewriting GLBT [gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender] as GLBT/TS is just a further manifestation of transgender…and is no revision whatsoever.

Any type of political association to transgender…is transgender.

Any defense of transgender strategy…is transgender.

Discuss crossdreamer and transgender issues!