October 8, 2013

Are all crossdreamers transsexual? Is Jack?

In a discussion over at Crossdressers.com the concept of crossdreaming has come up, and I see that there are some confusion about what my position is as regards the nature of men and women who get turned on by the idea of being "the opposite sex".
Photo: Erik Reis, photos.com

auto andrea writes:

"He [Jack Molay] propagates a theory that aims to positively accommodate gender-dysphoric autogynephiliacs, by basically reducing the condition to transsexualism. Those autogynephiliacs who have never experienced gender-dysphoria, he implies, are repressed transsexuals."

I can see why auto andrea has come to read me this way, but this is actually not what I say.

What I have said is that all crossdreamers most likely have something in common, and that this "something" most probably has a biological core.

This does not mean that all crossdreamers are transsexuals -- repressed or not repressed. The fact is that I think only a minority of crossdreamers are truly  transsexual, in the sense that they completely identify with their target sex.


Essentialism

I think the reason this may be confusing is that the debate is dominated by extreme essentalism, whether this is of the spiritual kind (there is a female "chip" in the brain somewhere that generates everything from a love of men to a fascination for Gucci handbags) or the physical ("The XX marks the spot, and who cares about what people feel!").

I find both approaches far too simplistic. Recent research draws a picture of wo/man where the personality is an ongoing end product of a wide variety of factors. To mention a few:
  • The genome.
  • The proteome (a single gene can code for over 1000 proteins, which all may have effects on body and mind).
  • Hormones.
  • General health, including exposure to toxins, different types of food, physical stress.
  • Life experience, including psychological trauma and conditioning.
  • Social, cultural and economic factors (poverty, war, unpredictability).
  • The belief system of the surrounding culture and the extent to which it allows for conceptualization of transgender identities.
All these factors -- and more -- interact through various feedback loops. 

For instance: We now know that how you feel may influence your gut flora. Your gut bacteria may determine how your body is able to handle toxins and nutrients, which again may influence your mood and personality. Wo/man is not a machine. Wo/man is a complex sociobiological system.

The slider model

I have discussed this more thoroughly in my blog posts on "the slider model"  the Thai sexologist Natalie helped me develop. The model is still a work in progress, but it does not in any way allow me to say that all crossdreamers are transsexual.

So what about me arguing that there is "a biologial core" to crossdreaming? 

I see that this phrase may be misinterpreted. This is me using shorthand in order not to have to explain it all every time I write a blog post on crossdreaming. 

The statement is based on the following sets of premises:

Ernest Hemingway as a child. When Ernest was a
child nearly all American boys were dressed as girls.
One reason was to avoid the sexualisation of kids.
Most of these boys grew up to be non-trans men.
Ernest, however, did become a crossdreamer!
1. You cannot explain the experience of transsexuals on the basis of psychological trauma or social construction alone. 

In most societies for a man to want to be a woman is an absolute "no no". This is one of the strongest taboos we have. 

For someone to violate this taboo requires an extremely strong drive or motivation. This motivation is not found in the language or belief systems of modern Western societies.

Moreover, the existence of trans people in different cultures and in different epochs tells me that transsexual men and women are not end products of a "patriarchal capitalist society".

Psychological trauma or abuse may provide parts of the explanation. We have stories of mothers deliberately humiliating their young sons by dressing them up as girls. 

But up til the 1930's whole generations of young boys were dressed up as girls, and not all of them became transsexual. 

Besides, in my correspondence with crossdreamers and transsexuals  from all over the world I am unable to find a pattern as to what kind of abuse produces trans people: A dominant mother? A weak mother? A violent father? A meek father?  This is like the quasi-Freudian explanations for homosexuality: Any explanation works. Such hypotheses may help the individual, but they cannot be used as a basis for a theory explaining trans conditions.

2. The use of Occam's Razor encourages us to choose the simplest explanation for something complex, and I am following this principle.

The hypothesis with the fewest assumptions is that all crossdreamers, transsexual or non-transsexual, have something in common, and if this factor or factors cannot be reduced to psychology and culture alone, we have to look at "the wiring" and "the hardware".

What these people have in common is the fact that they dream and fantasize about being the other sex. I have found it impossible to sort these fantasies into types that are exclusive to transsexuals and non-transsexuals respectively.

Some argue that this biological core can be reduced to a matter of the amount of hormones the fetus is exposed to in the womb. I doubt this. The research is inconclusive. But even if we do accept this premise, we see that we face an infinite number of combinations of hormones and dosages, all of which may lead to different outcomes, identity wise. 

If you, on top of this, add psychological and other factors, the gender diversity we see is exactly the one we would expect to see. The variation  in  temperament and personality we find among non-trans persons strengthens this argument.

I may be wrong in this, of course. It is certainly  possible to imagine a scenario were a similar fascination for TG captions, comics and short stories is caused by two completely different sets of circumstances. A fever may, after all, be caused by a wide variety of diseases. But it seems to me that crossdreaming is a slightly more complex phenomenon than fever.

Is Jack Molay transsexual?

It is not often I find my own identity discussed in a public fora, but at Crossdressers.com they did.

One participant writes:

"I'm not disputing Jack Molay's self-identity, but why does he use a male name and identify as a male? Unless I read an older blog and she has changed her identity and name since then? I don't have a good answer for that. You can ask at the crossdreamers blog. 'He' has often indicated that 'he' is probably TS but will not/can not transition."

In a world where so many people insist on putting us all into neat little boxes, this one is a bit harder to answer.

I have been very careful not to call myself transsexual. I have said that I suffer from gender dysphoria. I realize that it may be hard to keep the two terms apart, as they are often used interchangeably by both experts and non-experts.

For me gender dysphoria is a term that can be used to describe the pain of feeling a misalignment between an "inner" and "outer" sex, regardless of whether you decide to transition or not. 


"Gender dysphoria refers to the distress that may accompany the incongruence between one's experienced or expressed gender and one's assigned gender."

Note that the gender concept used in the DSM includes biology:

"...gender is used to denote the public (and usually legally recognized) lived role as a boy or a girl, man or woman, but, in contrast to certain social constructionist theories, biological factors are seen as contributing, in interaction with social and psychological factors, to gender development."

The DSM is actually pretty good at describing the diversity of gender variance. It makes it clear that not all transgender people feel gender incongruence. Nor are all who feel gender incongruence gender dysphoric. But some are, and the pain I feel from all of this can only be described as gender dysphoria.

Does that make me a transsexual?  Well, one of the reason the DSM distinguishes between gender dysphoria and being transsexual in the first place is that not all gender dysphoric persons decide to transition.

The DSM defines a transsexual as 

"an individual who seeks, or have undergone, a social transition from male to female or female to male, which in many, but not all, cases also involve somatic transition by cross-sex hormone treatment and genital surgery (sex reassignment surgery)"

Since I am living as a man, presenting as a man, and am not planning to transition, I do not consider myself transsexual.


157 comments:

  1. I think this is over complicating the subject. Most think gender and sex are one in the same, but they are separate (but most people match, at least on the surface). I am male as gender, but female as sexual. If someone could truly invent a device where I can swap bodies with a female, go have sex, then swap back, I would probably rarely want to have sex as a man ever again, but I wouldn't want to be stuck that way. This is probably why fictional stories are written this way (OMG, I'm stuck as a girl), because that implies I'm stuck in sex mode.

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  2. @tg_captioner,

    Do you mean you feel transgendered only because of wanting to take a female role in some sexual act? Do you hence imply that transgenderism is just a matter of how someone intends to have sex?

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  3. In the mind of a crossdreamer, yes.. Transgenderism in general, no

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  4. @tg_captioner

    Your description of yourself fits well with what some crossdreamers feel. Following what I wrote in the blog post, you feel neither incongruence nor dysphoria. In your case, this is also about sexual desire only.

    Fine.

    But there are also crossdreamers who feel a mismatch between mind and body, and others -- like me -- who suffer from it.

    Moreover, most trans women experience crossdreaming before transitioning. Some even after. And I can assure you that for most of them is much more than a desire for having sex as a woman. To use your terminology: Both their sex and their true gender is female.

    Following up on your scenario: If there was a device where I could swap bodies with a willing female, I would never give the body back, ethics be damned!

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  5. @Jack
    I think it is a continuum. As people trying to analyze and categorize things using terminologies and seeing things in black-and-white,we forget that humans cannot be divided into sheep versus goats. There are transgendered people who indeed feel a gender incongruence triggered only by sexual desire. This usually comprises the gay drag queens and heterosexual transvestites. And there are many other transgenders whose dysphoria is possibly of a different kind triggered not by sexuality but which extends to more areas of life.
    Just because one type experiences a phenomenon heightened by sexual desire or libido does not necessarily mean that it is a paraphilia. Sexual excitement or arousal can happen when something is sensually alluring or soothing and so,a partially feminine brain wiring in an otherwise masculine brain can be a factor behind such a kink observed in crossdressers.

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  6. @abhirup

    I very much agree with this type of thinking. My own disphoria ebbs and flows and often has me thinking different things at different times. The key is to be aware of it and embrace it instead of fighting. The idea of a dysphoria continuum makes a lot of sense and since we are all unique individuals even putting a descriptor on what you are experiencing is exceedlingly difficult. The problem with human beings is that we like to encapsulate things and tag them so we can feel comfortable but life is not that simple nor that tidy.

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  7. @joanna Santos,

    After thoroughly going through a large number of endless debates and discussions in numerous forums, I have found that the idea of a "dysphoria continuum" is the only truth out there. That is the only thing which makes absolute sense and also solves the riddle of why some "dysphorics" need a physical transition and some don't;why some experience sexual kinks and others don't;why some have different feelings are different times and some stay rigid. It is also perfectly normal to think different things at different times and have a flow and ebb,because that is exactly how nature intended things to be- fluid and free of any rigid boxes.
    That does not mean there are no humans with rigid identities (either gender or sexuality) though.But to believe that humans can ONLY stay in rigid zones and cannot oscillate is myopic. And that is exactly what these endless transgender debates do.

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  9. "The thing is you see what you want to see and you hear what you want to hear, dig?" the Pointed Man

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  11. Actually...it is much simpler than that.

    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/08/29/1300828110

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  12. The comment by theautogynephiliac has been deleted for violation of paragraph 4 of the code of conduct.

    People who want to reduce crossdreamers and crossdreaming trans women to masochistic emasculation fetishists are kindly asked to take their disparaging arguments elsewhere.

    Wyhxlup: You have already been banned from this forum for this very reason. Stay away!

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  13. @Innis Anity

    One of your comments have been deleted for the very same reason. Behave yourself or leave!

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  15. @theautogynephiliac

    Abusing me verbally is not helping, wyhxlup. If you had developed some ability to communicate in a polite, sensitive and constructive way, there would have been no need for banning you. But I realize now that you do not have that skill. And that is why you have to stay away.

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  17. Jack what I have noted about theautogynephiliac from this blog (and when he would occasionally post on mine) is that this is not a person interested in normal polite discourse but is instead interested in pushing a very particular emasculation fantasy fetish on to everyone else. Clearly this is what drives this individual but the insistence that it applies broadly to all people who experience even a modicum of eroticism at the idea of feminisation is beyond absurd. We have already proven that even full blown transsexuals "crossdream" prior to transtion but it does not make them any less women today. Best thing you can do is continue to delete the comments.

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  18. @abhirup

    Yes the idea of a dysphoria continuum is the only thing that makes any sense and in fact it represents the unifying theory if you will to explain all gender variance. Depending where you are on the scale is what will determine whether you require a transition in order to maintain a quality of life. Benjamin found it but did not sell it as a unifying theory in his book but his typologies very much alluded to it.

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  21. @theautogynephiliac:

    "but it exists in the most childish compartmentalization apart from your ideological dysphoric imperative."

    What's this suppose to mean? You really need to learn how to express yourself in a manner that most people can understand. I understand the words you're using here but the way they are used makes no sense.

    Aside from that, I think most people (even Jack?) agree with you that your fetish model applies to a lot of us. In some it may totally explain our crossdreaming. In some in may partially explain it and in others it seems to explain little of it. Do you honestly think that your model explains 100% of the crossdreaming in everyone here? It's ok if you do, but you're not swaying anyone to your argument with your current style. There is a lot of evidence that there is a biological component for a lot of us that you seem to sweep under the carpet with a lot of hand waving.

    We are all mammals not that far removed on the evolutionary tree from other mammals. Our basic drives are based on 100 million years of evolution. Our greater intelligence will be an influence but it starts out building on a platform based on biology.

    Lindsay

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  22. For new readers who would like to understand what the wyhxlup controversy is about, use the search field in the right margin of this page and search for "theautogynephiliac","wxhylup", "whyxlup" or "wyhxlup".

    You may also read wxhylup's deconstruction of me over at his blog.

    I am not trying to silence wxhylup. He has the right to express himself in the way he likes on his own blog or in any other forum that accepts this kind of dogmatic abuse. But I have had enough of this.

    I am going to follow up with new blog posts on male and female sexuality and the role of fetishes, but this endless repetition of the same statements over and over again derails any real discussion about sex, gender and transgender. People have stopped commenting at this because of the unrelenting aggressiveness of people like whyxlup and Senrub. I am not going to let the extremists destroy the good thing we have going here.


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  23. "but it exists in the most childish compartmentalization apart from your ideological dysphoric imperative."?????

    This is complete and utterly meaningless gibberish.

    But aside from that it makes no sense that an individual would try to push that their version of a phenomena be the ONLY possible explanation unless it were driven by a fear that alternate explanations would somehow harm that individual. Example: tranvestites who despise transsexuals because they are afraid they might be one. themselves. Harry Benjamin noted this in his book.

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  24. Jack,

    All you need do is go to Theautogynepheliac's blog page and refer to his links section. There you will find a plethera of links to sissification and femimization fantasy erotica. Need I say more?
    It's more than obvious that this individual fits the classic model of a fetishistist and does not belong in a discussion forum on gender dysphoria. In fact I might suggest to you Jack that you are really more interested in the concept of gender dysphoria rather than the concept of crossdreaming. You have been attracting the attention of pure fetishists but they do not belong in this discussion. People like me who are highly dysphoric want to understand ourselves but the eroticism inherent in that dysphoria is a bit of a blind alley in that it does not explain the original source of the desire to emulate or BE the other sex but is only a symptom.

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  26. @theautogynephiliac

    You need to understand that I see dysphoria as a continuum. People like you might be on one extreme where there is strictly sexual pleasure inherent in your dressing. At the other extreme you have type V and VI transsexuals who, before they transitioned, would have experienced eroticism at the idea of feminisation. This is not my conjecture but found in the studies conducted with post transition transsexuals. The point here is the presence of what Jack calls "crossdreaming" is not necessarily an indicator of where you are on that scale and indeed for many it is neither a barrier nor a reason for transition.

    As long as you are happy with your fetish and are not dysphoric then you have no dilemna. For those of us caught in the middle (such as types III and IV) who do not have fetishes but are actually dysphoric things get a but more complicated.

    Abhirup has it completely right - it is indeed a continuum or a spectrum of severity that we are dealing with.

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  27. that is how I reconcile everyone from pure fetishists to full blown transsexuals

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  28. @Joanna

    Jack is providing a wonderful and crucial service for crossdreamers. If he were to change the focus from crossdreaming to dysphoria it would be a great loss for many people.

    Please do not dismiss non-dysphoric crossdreamers in the way some Benjamin Level 5 and 6 people dismiss those such as you. It is not easy having such a disdained sexuality. Everyone has a right to a place where they can discuss their sexuality with earnestness and sensitivity. Their sexuality in its own right, not just as a symptom.

    And please be careful not to confuse annoyance with wxhluyp's personal style with annoyance at non-dysphoric crossdreamers in general.

    And note that wxhluyp's belief that one broad explanation accounts for all crossdreamers is applying the same Occam's Razor principle that Jack also employs. xx

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  29. @Deborah Kate

    I actually believe that all crossdreaming is based on dysphoria its just that for those of us types I through IV its milder and does not require the intervention of transition.

    In other words its not just rooted in sex unless you are a pure fetishist. Perhaps I have been wrong in assuming that Jack also agrees that what he calls "crossdreaming" may be partially rooted in biology which could mean that the individual has been endowed, at least in part, with a facet of the other gender.

    If it were all about kink this blog would not need to exist and indeed many crossdressers (and I count myself among them) consider themselves more than just fetishists but feel they embody something of a feminine spirit or nature.

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  31. @theautogynephiliac

    You assume I dress for sexual pleasure which is not the case. I dress as a female because it is an intrinsic part of who I am and in this way I am closer to a transsexual. This is also why I don't share your sissification and emasculation fantasies but instead blend in as a normal woman in the world. I just happen to sometimes experience eroticism at the idea of feminisation from time to time much like other transsexuals. This is why I have always repeated that the mere presence of eroticism is not always a significant indicator and its up to the individual to figure out where they are on the spectrum. I identify as a woman and not as a fetish male.

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  33. @wyhxlup/theautogynephiliac

    You have been banned from this blog. That should not be too hard to understand. So don't bother posting.

    @Deborah:

    "And please be careful not to confuse annoyance with wxhluyp's personal style with annoyance at non-dysphoric crossdreamers in general. "

    Exactly!

    whyxlup is not banned for being a non-dysphoric crossdreamers. Most of my readers and most of the people commenting on this blog are.

    He is banned because he is aan Internet troll.

    I am not the only one getting exhausted by his lack of civility. Lately he has also gotten strong warnings over at the crossdreamer reddit forum







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  34. @Joanna

    "In fact I might suggest to you Jack that you are really more interested in the concept of gender dysphoria rather than the concept of crossdreaming. You have been attracting the attention of pure fetishists but they do not belong in this discussion."

    Before whyxlup and Senrub/A Quiet Voice showed up and demanded Tea Party obedience to their different creeds, the discussions on this blog tended to be much more open, including both gender dysphoric and non-dysphoric crossdreamers.

    The two of them dragged us into endless, repetitive, discussions where the only objective was to divide the just from the unjust, and I am afraid this has stopped many from taking part in the discussion on this blog.

    This development also forced me into become increasingly clear about my own understanding of crossdreaming, which pissed them both off, for the simple reason that I consider them opposite ends of a complex continuum of genetic, epi-genetic, hormonal, psychological and cultural traits.

    I know that also others was disappointed when I started to define my position more clearly.

    The fact that I was forced to write more about gender dysphoria made these readers fear that this was no longer a place for the non-dysphoric.

    I have tried to make it absolutely clear that this is not the case, but you know how it is. Transgender people are more vulnerable than most people, and we seek strength and comfort from those who are like us.

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  35. @Joanna

    Joanna, you try to sole the dilemma by distinguishing between pure, non-dysphoric, fetishist and gender dysphoric crossdreamers.

    This is definitely a more helpful way of approaching the problem, but I am not sure you are 100 percent right. Or maybe we are both unclear about the terminology.

    I coined the term "crossdreamer" as a non-toxic alternative to the term "autogynephilia".

    It can be used for any transgender person who gets turned on by the idea of being his or her target sex. I use the word "transgender" here as a broad umbrella term, that cover both crossdressers, gender queer and transsexuals.

    Neither the term "crossdreamer" or the term "transgender" say anything about the cause of the phenomenon.

    whyxlup gets turned on by imagining himself as a woman. This makes him a crossdreamer. But he is not gender dysphoric. (Unless he makes all this noise to drown out the crying voice of his inner woman. We have no way of knowing.)

    Where you and I differ, I think, is in our understanding of the term "fetish".

    As I understanding all human being are to a certain extent "fetishists". A man's preference for redheads is not genetically determined. Something in his life has made him feel this affinity to women with red hair.

    whyxlup's fetishes are much more elaborate and unusual, but in principle a fancy for latex and rubber is not fundamentally different from an imprint on small Irish lasses with cute accents.

    What I have been saying is that I find it highly unlikely that a deep desire to have the body of your target sex can be understood as a fetish and a fetish only. In this I actually agree with Ray Blanchard. This is something else, something much more fundamental.

    However, it makes perfect sense to me that this "something" can express itself through a fetish, in the same way it can express itself through a fascination for anything considered feminine.

    This is why some truly gender dysphoric trans women start out as fetishistic sissy-enthusiast before discovering that this is a superficial symptom of something more fundamental.

    whyxlup believes that this argument means that all MTF crossdreamers are trans women. He fails to see that whatever it is that causes crossdreaming, it is most likely a mix of a large number of factors, which may vary in composition and intensity.

    Some (most?) sissy-enthusiasts are therefore probably not gender dysphoric. When they say that they feel at home in their male bodies, I believe them.

    Could there be crossdreamers who are exclusively driven by a fetish, that is a psychological conditioning or imprint only? As I noted in the blog post, this is certainly not impossible. Maybe. I am not sure.

    But if you use Occam's Razor, the most likely outcome is that there is something more to whyxlup's desire than a fetish only.

    It is me saying this he finds so offensive, so offensive in fact, that he is willing to reduce us all to masochistic fetishists suffering from castration anxiety in order to avoid the mere suspicion of him being trans. Now, that is truly offensive!

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  36. I know exactly what you are saying Jack and in fact I actually think that theautogynephiliac's objections come from a fear on his part that his "fetish" may be about more than just fetish which can be a scary thought for many.

    At one time I thought I might be a fetish transsvestite myself until I started examining my own behaviour and researched the studies done on transsexuals as well as Benjamin's book. This is where I began to form my ideas about a "dysphoria scale" which Benjamin was actually alluding to but never actually named outright.

    I take the position that all gender variant people vary to lesser or greater degrees from an abnormality which makes them associate entirely or in part with the other gender. The origin of this phenomenon is not yet understood and in fact no conclusive evidence exists.

    Separatists like HBS transsexual extremists and fetish afficionados on both polar ends protest because neither wants anything to do with the middle group but in fact it would make sense that there be a unifying theory which will help explain much of the gender variance that has always been with us and always will.

    As I have said before, if all this were so simple and only about a sexual turn on, this blog would not need to exist. Human sexuality and gender behaviour is exceedingly complext and it cannot be easily branded or categorized but the important lesson I have learned is that we need to embrace and accept the differences that are inherent in human nature and that the variations we observe are just part of the human mosaic.

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  37. I meant to say suffer not vary - apologies....

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  38. Jack

    For me a fetish is a repetitive acitivy that is used solely for the purposes of elliciting a sexual response. Since I dress with a sense of identity and comfort in mind I dont consider myself a fetishist. I agree with you that many trans people have gone through a embryonic phase where they considered themselves just crossdressers only to discover that there was a lot more going on inside. This can be a very long process as there are many internal biases and prejudices to remove. In my case it took 50 years to fully realize who I was. Because this process can be so confusing and because humans are inherently afraid of the unknown, denial can cause anger and confusion - I know it did in my case.

    I am now at peace with who I am and very happy but there is still an interest in helping others as well as an intellectual yearning to understand the nature of gender variance that is inherent in a person. By this I mean that no one gets up one day and decides to be gender variant for no reason. it typically rears its head very early in childhood and much time is spent later on trying to graple with the feelings. My brother for example was dressed up by my sisters on many occasions as a female but he has'nt the slightest interest in crossdressing and has no dysphoria to speak of. Why am I dysphric and he is not is a great mystery to me as we were raised by the same parents. He knows about me but he does not understand because he cannot but yet he knows that I am telling the truth.

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  39. I simply cannot fathom why people have such a huge fear of being seen or thought of as transgendered that they have to go all the way to tarnish other people and misrepresent things all the way to somehw prove that they are anything but trans. And this in a highly developed society like the west. What is it really other than just a natural manifestation? Have we "civilized" beings really gone so far away from nature that we tend to fear anything natural that is not always socially desirable. What education are we getting? What are we really learning?

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  40. @abhirup

    well said indeed. I have come to a point where I hide it from no one - most especially from myself.

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  41. "Before whyxlup and Senrub/A Quiet Voice showed up and demanded Tea Party obedience to their different creeds, the discussions on this blog tended to be much more open, including both gender dysphoric and non-dysphoric crossdreamers"

    Jack this has been happening because the discussions here have made many feel uncomfortable. If you were not scoring some very good points with this blog you would not be drawing any attention but in fact that it's well written and offers intelligent discourse it's prone to be a magnet for those with their own agenda.

    My experience with most trans people is that they are very ignorant of the writings available out there and indeed most have never even read Benjamin or Blanchard for that matter. They just go with what they feel and perhaps they are better off since so much of this is about life quality and what is in your heart and soul. In my own case I needed to understand myself through feelings AND the science that was availble because that is how my engineer's brain works. My research helped me but not everyone needs it to find themselves.

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  42. "Before whyxlup and Senrub/A Quiet Voice showed up and demanded Tea Party obedience to their different creeds, the discussions on this blog tended to be much more open, including both gender dysphoric and non-dysphoric crossdreamers"

    Jack this has been happening because the discussions here have made many feel uncomfortable. If you were not scoring some very good points with this blog you would not be drawing any attention but in fact that it's well written and offers intelligent discourse it's prone to be a magnet for those with their own agenda.

    My experience with most trans people is that they are very ignorant of the writings available out there and indeed most have never even read Benjamin or Blanchard for that matter. They just go with what they feel and perhaps they are better off since so much of this is about life quality and what is in your heart and soul. In my own case I needed to understand myself through feelings AND the science that was availble because that is how my engineer's brain works. My research helped me but not everyone needs it to find themselves.

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  44. nice to see you back AQV with the usual politeness and usual drivel. You are always welcome here because it gives me such pleasure to put you quickly in your place.

    To think I actually believed you were trying to help me at one time. No wonder you are banned from this blog.

    You are still the same twisted individual with some big issues to boot.

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  45. you might want to learn to spell AQV. Its spelled "Reality check" and please don't presume that you referred me to Benjamin. I read the entire book years ago.

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  46. your use of the word coward gives you away and shows that we are hitting a nerve. Not sure you should have transitoned? oh well too late is'nt it...

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  47. "So for 50 years, you dressed for the sexual excitement that it provided and then reveled in the subsequent self loathing"

    You are either a frightfully stupid person or willfully ignorant and I am having difficulty figuring out which one. Did you actually read my blog?

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  48. Jack

    As I have said the fact that this blog touches a nerve with both fetishists and HBS transsexual extremists proves you are onto something.

    Apologies as I do not want to air out laundry with others on your blog. I wont be commenting on this thread any longer...

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  49. Actually I would indeed encourage Jack to write more blogs and spread more of his message across the net. It seems his objective analysis and accurate approach to this long degraded and misrepresented subject is indeed hitting a nerve with several people of different groups (both trans and non-trans) with agendas.

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  50. @aqv

    "interesting how you accuse those that disagree with you for being to blame for a "one sided conversation, while it is your cowardly refusal to answers those inconsistencies pointed out by your critics and instead simply silence and muzzle them by banning them."

    It seems to me that we keep answering your criticisms. You keep pointing them out over and over again, I guess hoping that someday we will give you an answer you agree with.

    Jack's agenda is very open, you're at one extreme and hate it that someone is willing to address all angles including ones that you disagree with. The autogynephiliac is at the other extreme. He seems to have a similar problem with Jack's openness. Jack has presented a plethora of information that seems to cover the whole spectrum so people can draw their own conclusions.

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  53. The fact that you keep coming here AQV only reinforces what you and I already know. You've read everything as I have so you know the truth as well as I do. You give yourself away by coming here to correct us all and evidently you are a very frustrated person and we both know why.

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  54. AQV the language and the tone you use makes it all the more obvious. If you were secure in your position you would'nt need to keep coming here now would you?

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  55. Jack actually supports everyone and rightfully so. The problem with people like you is that once you associate yourself with poor lesser disphorics you fear losing your cherished "womanhood" status which we both know is tenuous at best. You and other HBSers repeat the same mantra: "You're either a woman or you ain't" which you will find nowhere in the serious research or studies. By denegrating others here you only make it even more obvious that you're entirely convinced yourself.

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  56. @Reality Check AKA A Voice AKA Senrub

    "What I find so revealing about your behavior is that you consistently try to tar me with the same brush that you use you demonize and intimidate others..."

    Ah, good. You admit that you are Senrub. That saves us a lot of trouble.

    To new readers: Senrub is a so-called Harry Benjamin Syndrome transsexual women who spend a lot of time on the Internet persecuting trans people who do not live up to their old fashioned idea about what it means to be a real woman.

    Read this blog post for more information.

    She has been banned from this forum three times already, so there is no need to ban her again.

    Bye, Senrub! This place is not for you.

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  57. @Joanna

    "As I have said the fact that this blog touches a nerve with both fetishists and HBS transsexual extremists proves you are onto something."

    That is a comforting thought. There is actually quite a few people who read this blog. That makes me glad.

    (And thanks for helping me!)

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  58. I really don't think there is a community of fetishists who are hostile to dysphoric crossdreamers.xx

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  61. I am confused I must say. Is this AQV a crossdreamer who is afraid of his being a transsexual or is (s)he a transsexual woman with a radical agenda who wants to identify herself as a real biological woman and hence wants to tarnish the lesser dysphorics? @Joanna,@Jack

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  62. @Abhirup

    aqv is a bitter old transsexual who demands to be called a biological woman. She's easily baited into saying some really nasty things. She thinks she's getting us upset and doesn't realize that she's being used. You can go to Joanna's blog to read some of the outrageous things she says. She starts off trying to sound like a nice grandmotherly figure but when someone confronts her she starts throwing out vile insults.

    Lindsay

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  64. If I am not wrong, AQV used to post in this very blog by the name of "Gender Questioning" some years back. At that time, she was not such harsh in tone.

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  65. @Lindsay,
    So it means that this AQV and that senrub/whyxlup are one and the same person posing as different individuals?

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  67. @Reality Check,
    What is the actual difference between "autogynephilic men" and "cross-dreaming" men? For me, these words like "autogynpehilia" are culturally defined and have no relevance to the natural truth underneath. All of these kinds of males have a spectrum of gender variance with some more,some less,some in-between and some others extreme.
    It is not that there is any fixed monolithic entity called "female" or "biological woman" so that only a very extreme transsexual can possess biological femaleness and others who don't desire to transition don't.
    It is not that your questions have not been answered before by others here. It is just that you don't really seem to want a logical discussion and you just want to push forward your own views so that the society only sees you as a biological woman and the others as "men". But the world is not divided between " biological men" and "biological women" in such a sharply polarized way and if you don't like that, nature does not care!

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  68. @Abhirup

    A Lindsay points out, a common tactic among HBS trolls is to fake sympathy at first. In this way they lure you into a discussion where they hope you will reveal your true fetishistisc/autogynephilic nature.

    They will then start misquoting Harry Benjamin and recent brain research, add links to pictures of masculine looking crossdressers, and use the autogyephilia-theory to dismiss any alternative sex identity the crossdreamer might have.

    When we do not play along with this game and do not confirm their moral superiority, their true nature appears and it gets very ugly indeed.

    For several years I tried discussing transgender issues with people like Reality Check/Senrub. I have given this one the benefit of doubt several times, letting her make her argument and hoping that we all -- including her -- could get something useful out of it. The result has been that she has managed to scare decent people away from our discussions.

    I am now implementing a zero tolerance policy towards this kind of evil. I would therefore also ask the rest of you not to respond to her taunts.

    "So it means that this AQV and that senrub/whyxlup are one and the same person posing as different individuals?"

    AQV, Senrub, Gender Questioning, and Reality Check are one and the same.

    She is not the same as whyxlup/theautogynephiliac, however.

    While she is a "right wing" extremist embracing the 1960s view of chaste and decent women, you can think of him as a left wing extremist who is embracing the autogynephilia concept and who thinks of all transgender people as fetishists.

    The two of them are a match made in hell, as they confirm each other's prejudices. To whyxlup Senrub is an autogynephiliac running away from her true male self, while for Senrub whyxlup represents everything that is wrong with the hated "transgender" movement.

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  69. @Jack,
    This typical dispute is parallel to the one that exists in the gay male community of western societies- between the masculine identified gay and the effeminate gay male (drag-queen/crossdresser) referred to as "tranny".
    To the effeminate gay male, the masculine"straight-acting" butch is just "unable to accept his sexual identity" (some illogical argument) running away from his true self, and to the masculine male, the effeminate queen represents everything that is wrong with the gay male community.

    These kinds of arguments only prove that each side is not willing to come to the main objective conclusion which is that gender and sexual orientations lie in a spectrum and are extremely diverse. It also shows the intolerant "I am the genuine everyone else is fake and insignificant" attitude displayed by individuals like.

    It is good that you have banned such people as AQV if such taunts are scaring away the real people who want to have more awareness with an objective bent of mind.

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  70. @Abhirup

    Yes, this is a very relevant parallel, indeed. You have seen the same in some lesbian communities, where femmes are scorned while butches are praised. All of this is pretty ironic, as the so-called radical butches are the ones who live up to the gender stereotype of lesbians being "inverts".

    If you read Serano's new book, you can see that this is extended to transgender people, as radfems are inviting trans men to their camps, but not trans women, arguing -- I guess -- that trans men are women.

    (By the way, Serano presents a theory that is very close to yours).

    All this suffering, and these people are only trying to make it worse.

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  71. @Deborah

    "I really don't think there is a community of fetishists who are hostile to dysphoric crossdreamers.xx"

    You maybe right. Or the community consists of one or two persons ;)

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  72. @jack
    "By the way, Serano presents a theory that is very close to yours"

    Which theory? Are you referring to the "spectrum" one?

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  73. I am trying to get the new book of Julia Serano. Sounds like she has come to the same conclusions about the politics of exclusions in various queer communities as I have. Do you have a pdf version of that book with you?

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  75. @ Abhirup

    If you haven't read Serano's earlier book "Whipping Girl" you should. You can get Kindle versions of both at Amazon or iBooks.

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  76. Jack's agenda is very open, you're @Lindsay

    "at one extreme and hate it that someone is willing to address all angles including ones that you disagree with. The autogynephiliac is at the other extreme. He seems to have a similar problem with Jack's openness"

    The problem you find with extremist like AQV and theautogynephiliac is that they are not interested in discussion. They have very firm beliefs - one is a confirmed fetishist and the other a scared HBS transsexual. Once they admit that there are other possible scenarios/explanations to what they understand to be THEIR truth they become very scared and lash out. They would'nt need to be banned if they remained civil in their discourse but this is alas not possible for them - hence the banishment.

    Again, if there was no fear inherent in them they would'nt come here to spew venom. its entirely fear based since the possibility that they might be wrong scares them to their core.

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  77. @abhirup

    "Actually I would indeed encourage Jack to write more blogs and spread more of his message across the net. It seems his objective analysis and accurate approach to this long degraded and misrepresented subject is indeed hitting a nerve with several people of different groups (both trans and non-trans) with agendas"

    This would be a very good thing because very little good analysis exists on the net on this very complicated issue. The bottom line for me is that there really should not be any issue because all of this behaviour is just a normal part of the variability we find in nature. Human sexuality and gender are not static things and we should expect to see large differences and variations from the norm.

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  78. @Deborah Kate

    "I really don't think there is a community of fetishists who are hostile to dysphoric crossdreamers.xx"

    You are absolutely right about this Deborah Kate the HBS'ers are much worse. Fortunately they are tiny and getting smaller every day

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  79. @Joanna,Yes it should not be an issue at all in an ideal society. However, the thing is that we are living in a world full of human made oppressions of different kinds.
    Also, if you have noticed it clearly, much of the entire politics around gender and sexuality exists solely on account of that one thing- reproduction and family.

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  83. @Reality Check

    If possible please provide your mail id so that we can discuss your concerns in private and leave this blog alone.

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  84. The proof my dear AQV is that we have ALWAYS existed. I don't for the life of me understand why this concept is so confusing to you. I am a person who exists between 2 genders and whether you like it or not we exist. Just ask Harry Benjamin. If you read the book you wouldnt need to ask that question. Ever hear of a type IV transsexual?

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  85. Only bigots won't want to understand that there exists more than one gender or that, people can exist between genders.
    And the radical transsexuals are the biggest bigots because they want to be seen as biological women by society, something that they fear will be lost if the concept of non-binary gender is acknowledged.

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  86. @abhirup

    "And the radical transsexuals are the biggest bigots because they want to be seen as biological women by society, something that they fear will be lost if the concept of non-binary gender is acknowledged"

    This is unfortunately very true. The fear is that by acknowledging us their legitimacy is watered down. It's entirely fear based of course but I can't say I understand the logic since we should all be able to peacefully co exist without conflict. Just read th awful stuff written by Rose White to get an idea of the absolute lunacy and hatefulness that can spew out of HBS'ers. Strangely enough Rose is herself a late transitioner. The mind boggles!!

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  87. @AQV

    "Do you really believe that men like yourself dressing/masquerading as a woman, "is just a normal part of the variability we find in nature"?

    Masquerading?? I have given you credit in the past for being intelligent when clearly you are bordering on being a very stupid person.

    You think I am masquerading? I have to the very beginning of my life always had gender dysphoria (which is the closest description that I can find for what I have). I did not ask for it and I am managing it the best way I know without transitioning.

    The jury is still out about whether you are a woman. I asked my gender therapist point blank whether she thought that the people she was helping transition were actually women and she would not answer. it does not matter one whit anyway since if you transition its because you have to so its a moot point.

    Jack you will get nowhere by letting her post here since she is a repetitive drone who will stop at nothing to repeat her hateful drivel. It does not bother me in the least as I am used to her antics by now...

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  89. @AQV

    As you have noted you are a very happy woman who has lived a very fulfilling life and yet here you are coming to this site to convince a bunch of crossdreamers. You sure you need to convince us?

    Jack is right about you inital approach to try and pretend to cozy up to gender dysphorics to get them to admit that they are paraphilic so you can feel good about your own "womanhood".

    My happiness and very much here to stay and I am all the happier if I can contribute to this great website and contribute to this discussion.

    You might want to try and preach your HBS gospel somewhere else because we have you all figured out here.

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  90. My gender therapy is over but before it ended up finding out that very few therapists will admit that the people they are treating are women. Instead they go with the gender dysphoric label. You will find no serious research anywhere fronm anyone that states that transsexuals are actually women. That is your own invention to justify your own transition justified as it may be.

    As far as bigotry and anger goes you will note that it is not I who is banished from this site but instead you for precisely that very thing. Did you never notice that?

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  92. @Reality Check,
    I told you to provide your contact so that we can discuss your concerns outside this blog. But you ignored it. I am once again requesting you to do the same but it seems like you really don't want to discuss. You simply want to keep ranting in this blog of what you call "crossdreaming men".

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  93. @Reality Check,

    What I have concluded is not based on very parochial views such as those of Lawrence or Blanchard. It is indeed a reality. There are many transsexuals in facebook and other such related forums who feel that they are between men and women or in both worlds. You can visit the lesbian transwomen forum in facebook and check for yourself.I have had some transsexuals in my own country (including those with severe dysphoria)also acknowledge to me that they don't believe in a sex-change operation though they are very much having an inner feminine spirit. And surprisingly, some effeminate gays are also very much there within this fluid zone.
    If you don't want to consider the fluid gender theory, then that is upto you.However, we all have a duty to report out observations and you cannot just abuse us for that.

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  94. @Joanna,
    It should not be a problem to call an extreme transsexual as a biological female. However, that should not deny the innate femaleness of those in the fluid zone or in various other shades. People are used to seeing "men" and "women" as monolithic entities separated apart rather than as a spectrum and this is what leads to this confusion.
    And I was just now reading Lynn Conway's story in her website. You would see that even a very extreme transsexual like her also had sexual fantasies/feelings which she herself has mentioned explicitly in her site. But none of those sexual feelings negate her innate femaleness-they are a part of it. It was surprisng that she mentioned her sexuality in slight detail considering extreme stigma around sexuality among "HBS" transwomen. That should totally shatter the myth that radical transsexuals don't have any inner sex-drives.

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  95. David/Davida has asked me post this comment:

    I strongly support Jack's position that there is a wide range of outcomes in human sexuality. In a piece posted on this site a while back (A Proposed Classification System for Sexual Variation), I argued that there are probably four independently varying components to human sexuality (bodily sex, sex identity, sexual orientation and gender identity). Each of these components has a range of possible outcomes.

    Thus, when all the possible combinations are accounted for the potential diversity is very broad. I consider the first three components listed to be strongly influenced if not entirely dependent on biology.

    The fourth is to some degree supported by the other three but is largely defined by social-cultural influences. All of the variations are natural outcomes of processes that define us all.

    David/Davida

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  96. @abhirup

    "I am once again requesting you to do the same but it seems like you really don't want to discuss. You simply want to keep ranting in this blog of what you call "crossdreaming men".

    "It should not be a problem to call an extreme transsexual as a biological female. However, that should not deny the innate femaleness of those in the fluid zone or in various other shades"

    On your first point I would not suggest you do that because you will get absoluteley nowhere and take that from my personal experience LOL.

    On your second point I would not agree more except that this individual seeks to bolster her position through demeaning others here which is not correct. But do pleased understand that there is no proof that we are dealing with women here but instead with a condition which for lack of a better term we call dysphoria. The fact that it is severe enough for people to require transition speaks to its intensity and I have no issue with referring to type 6 transsexuals as women because they are living as such. Dysphoria varies across a band of intensity and is felt by people who transition as well as those who do not. I have made a decision not to transition for personal reasons but that does not make me less of a sufferer.

    The desire to emulate a female or for that matter transition to one is entirely abnormal behavior but fits within the expected variability that we find in nature which produces all kinds of abnormalities entirely on its own.

    I have no issue with doing anything that improves your quality of life and I suppport all people here dysphoric or not. As long as the discussion remains civil and constructive I am happy to contribute here and look forward to reading what others have to say.

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  97. @abhirup

    Apologies I was referring to your first point being the following:

    "I told you to provide your contact so that we can discuss your concerns outside this blog. But you ignored it. I am once again requesting you to do the same but it seems like you really don't want to discuss"

    No truer words were ever spoken LOL

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  98. @abhirup

    "And I was just now reading Lynn Conway's story in her website. You would see that even a very extreme transsexual like her also had sexual fantasies/feelings which she herself has mentioned explicitly in her site. But none of those sexual feelings negate her innate femaleness-they are a part of it."

    Lynn Conway is an honest broker who has admitted that she also experienced pre transition eroticism (or autogynephelia). She is not the first nor the last homosexual transsexual who has experienced it and only bolsters what Jack and others here are saying. Thanks for sharing this..

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  99. I also think the terminologies are inverted. Shouldn't the HBS be actually heterosexual transsexual and most of the ones here attracted to women be the homosexual transsexuals?
    :D

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  100. @Joanna,
    "On your first point I would not suggest you do that because you will get absoluteley nowhere and take that from my personal experience LOL"

    I requested her twice to contact in private. However, she does not seem to even respond.I was not aware you have already had an experience.

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  101. @abhirup

    "I also think the terminologies are inverted. Shouldn't the HBS be actually heterosexual transsexual and most of the ones here attracted to women be the homosexual transsexuals?"

    HBS stands for Harry Benamin Syndrome and is not related to the issue of orientation at all. Most that claim to be HBS'ers would claim to be attracted to men exclusively

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  102. @Joanna,
    I am not saying HBS is related to orientation.Yes since the majority of HBSs claim to be attracted to men, I said they should be rather the heterosexual transsexuals rather than "homosexual" transsexuals as they are frequently known as.

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  107. @Reality Check,
    If you want my questions answered, you need to give me your private contact mail or link to your blog.

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  108. "In response to your self-serving assumptions which are entirely false with NO foundation in fact, I will only say that I will not engage in private correspondence with unknown cyber-entities because I while I respect the privacy of those communications, I have no idea if the other party does"

    And that hardly means you are revealing your true identity? I simply wanted a discussion with you outside this blog because this is something Jack does not like.

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  109. @AQV

    ""And just FYI, I am not at all bitter. I have lived a long and happy life as the simple woman that I have always been, and I am happily married to a wonderful man with grand children.

    Perhaps the greatest difference between us, besides the obvious anatomical ones, is that I had the courage to confront my demons while all that JJ&L and friends have done is deny, deny, dream-on and deny some more."

    And yet here you are posting here which clearly shows that statement to be utterly false. If you were in fact at ease with who you are you would not be posting on a crossdreamer website. I don't see any other women doing this.

    Calling me a liar is a statement of agression which proves my point again.

    prove to us that you are indeed happy and secure and simply vanish and live your life. The reason you cannot is because much of is being said here deeply disturbs you and is an affront to your basic belief system.

    Why this is the case is a mystery to us all.

    @abhirup

    You must be beginning to form an idea as to why Jack has banished her by now.

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  112. @Reality Check,
    That is not a valid reason. I have never asked you to disclose your real world identity, neither have I asked you to share your personal life. I have simply requested you to discuss something outside this blog, not even necessarily through mail. If possible just somewhere else, wherever it be with your hidden anonymous identity, just NOT here.

    @Joanna,
    It should not be a mystery as to why many transwomen have their identity shattered when they look at non-transsexual dysphorics. It invalidates their deeply chosen identity as biological women that they want to be known as. They feel that others will refer to them as something other than women if they are included in the broader transgender category.

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  113. AQV claims that I said I was a woman when I never said any such thing, I am a dysphoric male and always have been. That makes her a complete liar or the brain cells are no longer functioning since she used to haunt my blog.

    This is too funny.

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  114. To be more precise here is how the HBS crowd views all this. In order to do something as radical as to modify your body you need to espouse the idea that "you're either a woman or you ain't". They firmly believe that they suffer from a complete pyscho sexual inversion which can only be corrected through hormones and surgery.

    The disphoria scale proposed by Benjamin does not work for them. It leaves too much room for ambiguity and for error and by giving credence and validity to "pretenders" it puts their own reasoning more into jeopardy. Hence you will often hear from them the terms "men in dresses" or crossdreaming men etc.

    It should be noted that most transsexuals are not like this and in fact most are not even educated in gender theory but are just going by feel; which is probably the right approach. The issue of pre transition eroticism often used to denigrate "pretenders" falls away as we learn that both types of transsexuals have experienced it. So that can no longer be used as leverage against lesser dysphorics.

    Its hard to pin point where the anger of HBSers originates but its safe to say that its a declining problem as their numbers dwindle.

    Most transgender people today have no issue with each other and support their mutual cause for rights and recognition. Anger and resentment are always sourced in human insecurity.

    Psychology 101.

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  115. @Joanna,
    "It should be noted that most transsexuals are not like this and in fact most are not even educated in gender theory but are just going by feel; which is probably the right approach."

    Exactly! And more often than not, if you confront any of them who have never been educated in such gender theories and have never imagined a possibility of transitioning,you wouldn't see them uttering such disparaging remarks against other transgenders.Infact, more often than not they consider everyone in the same league. Things are a bit different here in Asia and this thing is visible and obviousin countries like Thailand. There is no such kind of sharp distinction ever made among lesser or greater dysphorics and extreme transsexuals readily accomodate the lesser ones in their league without resorting to any such harsh rants.

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  118. @Joanna and @abhirup

    You really need to quit feeding the troll. He'll keep twisting your words and quoting snippets out of context. He's just trying to confuse the issue to the point that we give up. Ignore him and he'll eventually dry up and blow away.

    Lindsay

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  120. @aqv

    Just because you cut your penis off doesn't make you any more a woman than any of the other mtf TG people here. I'll call you she when you start being respectful of the other people here. I'm sick and tired of you. Shut up and go away.

    Lindsay

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  121. @lindsay

    She is a troll of the worst kind but I must admit that I'm having fun because its just easy pickings. I promise to stop out of respect to Jack's site..

    She is just oozing with frustration.

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  123. I think we definitely should get one concept out of the world: that as transitioning being the inevitable and only solution for a transgender person. Telling the patient that reassignement is inevitable gives the person desperation that makes them take the leap. The most common reason stated, is that otherwize the person may commit suicide, and while it might be true that many do commit suicide, it doesn't mean that the process is the only process that is adequate.

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  126. @Lindsay,
    I really wanted to stop the discussion with the "troll" here so I requested her to provide me some contact so that we can discuss outside this blog. But she ignored even that, giving all sorts of excuses.

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  127. @Reaity Check AKA AQV AKA Senrumb AKA...

    This should not be to difficult to grasp: You are not welcome here, so stop posting.

    You had your chance to take part in an open discussion on transgender and transsexual issues.

    I did give you room to make your case in a constructive manner. You were met with empathy and respect. You did get constructive responses from me and others. All of this material remains on this blog.

    Then you blew it, gradually becoming more an more venomous, abusing me and others in the process.

    I sense some kind of gap in your soul. Some lack of empathy. Some inability to understand that people are not out to get you, even if they disagree with you.

    Moreover, you seem incapable of understanding when enough is enough. This is my blog. I decide who stays. You don't!

    @Lindsay

    I understand your anger. God knows I feel it to. But please do not use the male pronoun for people who clearly identify as women.

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  128. @X Padescu

    "I think we definitely should get one concept out of the world: that as transitioning being the inevitable and only solution for a transgender person. "

    I agree, and I am glad to say that the new edition of the American psychiatric manual, the DSM-5, recognizes this. Nor is surgery any longer a litmus test of sex identity.

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  129. @Jack

    "I agree, and I am glad to say that the new edition of the American psychiatric manual, the DSM-5, recognizes this. Nor is surgery any longer a litmus test of sex identity"

    This is a crucially important point that as the visibility and acceptability of gender variance increases you will inevitably have less people feeling they must opt for transition.

    There will of course be those type V and VI who feel they must but for others the reassurance that they are accepted as they currently are by society will remove the stigma and increase their quality of life.

    This has certainly worked for me.

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  130. @abhirup

    "It should not be a mystery as to why many transwomen have their identity shattered when they look at non-transsexual dysphorics. It invalidates their deeply chosen identity as biological women that they want to be known as. They feel that others will refer to them as something other than women if they are included in the broader transgender category"

    I dont think that inclusion into the larger group necessitates non recongnition and in fact many great strides have been made by transgender people over the last decade.

    But even if you don't desire to be recognized under the transgender umbrella that need not mean you denigrate those who have not transitioned.

    Validation need not come at the expense of others and in fact we should entirely support each other as human beings no matter what our status.

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  131. Thank you Jack for your comments and for this site. I stumbled across this site Monday before therapy and has done so much for how I approach my life. I see the arguments but in my own experience want to believe we are not all inevitably going all the way. I strive to look for a balance and to look deep into all the things that I have done and do.

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  132. @Joanna,
    You will be happy to know that in the non-western traditional world, this kind of politics does not exist among the various groups of transgenders. I find this to be a characteristic mostly of the western and westernized parts of the world.

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  133. "I dont think that inclusion into the larger group necessitates non recongnition and in fact many great strides have been made by transgender people over the last decade."

    Agreed. But this is something that the self-labelled biological women won't understand easily. Probably driven by a lot of internal loathing and self-denial.

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  134. @Thomas

    "I strive to look for a balance and to look deep into all the things that I have done and do"

    We all need balance and support and you will find that this site seriously strives to delve into the deeper questions relating to gender identity and sexuality more than any other I have found on the net. Kudos to Jack indeed.

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  135. @Joanna, @Jack
    I have found many transsexuals, including those who have transitioned who eagerly identify as a variant of genderqueer,third-gender, bigendered or even nothing at all. This happens with both MTFs and FTMs and I have confirmed this thing again and again and again. As the internet forums are expanding worldwide, I am observing a proliferation of such individuals in several places.
    Goes a great length in showing that the idea proposed by these radical transsexuals is totally wrong and that the spectrum theory is what is indeed accurate.

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  136. @Thomas

    Thanks for your kind words!

    "I see the arguments but in my own experience want to believe we are not all inevitably going all the way."

    Actually, what becomes more and more apparent, the longer I look into this, is the amazing diversity. This diversity is created in the meeting between an inner drive and the surrounding society. No one can walk our walk for us, but there are always others out there that are on a journey similar to ours.

    @Abhirup

    "I have found many transsexuals, including those who have transitioned who eagerly identify as a variant of genderqueer,third-gender, bigendered or even nothing at all. "

    Indeed! And that makes perfect sense to me, given all the possible permutations og the factors underlying gender variance.

    But we must also keep in mind that many transgender identify completely with one sex and one sex only.

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  137. It makes sense that many would have no issue with identifying as one sex but freely express all sides of their gender variance. I live and work primarily as a male but have found that presenting as Joanna on a very regular baais helps dramatically curb my dysphoria while bringing me happiness. All permutations are possible and you need to find one that works for you.

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  138. @abhirup

    "I have found many transsexuals, including those who have transitioned who eagerly identify as a variant of genderqueer,third-gender, bigendered or even nothing at all. This happens with both MTFs and FTMs and I have confirmed this thing again and again and again. As the internet forums are expanding worldwide, I am observing a proliferation of such individuals in several places.
    Goes a great length in showing that the idea proposed by these radical transsexuals is totally wrong and that the spectrum theory is what is indeed accurate"

    I have found that the initial work done by benjmin most eloquently shows that variance across a wide spectrum. His work in dealing with over 2000 patients has been confirmed over and over and we are now entering a phase of societal evoluation where tolerance is at least increasing if not perfect.

    Like Quentin Crisp, who lived as an openly effeminate in openly gay hostile Britain of his time, was known to have said:

    "Be yourself no matter what they say"

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  139. I don't like this obsession with biology... I'd like to see less conversation about it. It is just like every other nature vs nurture debate surrounding deviants. The implication being that if it is natural than it isn't my fault, it was meant to be, or I'm otherwise blameless. If it is nurture, then I am, or someone is to blame for why I turned out all fucked up.

    I don't need to justify a damn thing. If I take an interest in the biology, or origin of the phenomena, it would be out of curiosity, and ought to have exactly zero relevance over the advancement, acceptance, or position a trans (as complicated as this term apparently is).

    It needs to be shown to have adverse consequences great enough to justify opposition, not an objection that it isn't natural -- which is easily refuted with an eye roll and a shrug.

    No one proved homosexuality to have a biological core (lots of theories, and talk of gay genes and whatnot, but nothing substantial), but that didn't stop their social and political advancement.

    What does it even matter? If tomorrow you were persuaded that there was no biological core (Both sexuality and gender identity are cultural constructs or some such), would you then be all like "oh well, guess I won't feel ways about things anymore..." or decide that you must be evil and wrong, and need fixing?

    Natural doesn't mean good, the natural things that are good for us are only coincidentally good -- only artificial things are designed specifically to benefit us (and not even they are good by definition).

    Just like the idea that one is supposed to, or meant to be a certain way. We are what we are, we were not supposed to be anything, as people aren't plans that went wrong.

    I'll tell you one thing though, no ciswoman spends that much time wondering if she really is a woman, and deconstructing the properties of the gender. If it is at all in question then something is up. It isn't as if you can make it into any group you want by some loophole in the wording, or classification or something. Based on the political disposition of the group they can freely change definitions and categories to exclude and include however they like.

    The rampant logical positivism has people believing that they can force people into believing things by finding the right physical evidence! This is of course, almost adorably naive.

    Categories are formed by linking things based on how they're the same, and ignoring difference -- but in comparing things we make judgments about which similarities and differences are important -- which matter. As long as there are differences between trans and cis then it will take a judgment call to say whether those differences matter. No biological point is going to change everyone's mind about that. It takes a political change, a more accepted public image.

    Similarly to racism, no biological point is going to convince people (nor did) that the differences of other races and cultures don't make any real difference. The biology of the time supported large differences between the races are were invented -- and in modern times biologists are afraid to say there are any differences beyond completely superficial ones between the races at all. The political climate effects the ways in which we view those sorts of things, and the kinds of conclusions we wish to draw about other groups.

    Just annoyed about how this entirely irrelevant thing dominates the discussion... anyhow, rant over, continue debating two controversial yet irrelevant positions, neither of which will be reasonably demonstrated any time soon, that the conclusion of the debate will only serve to either make me feel better, or feel worse about myself, based on my perception of fault and responsibility.

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  140. @Mitchell

    "Just annoyed about how this entirely irrelevant thing dominates the discussion... anyhow, rant over, continue debating two controversial yet irrelevant positions, neither of which will be reasonably demonstrated any time soon, that the conclusion of the debate will only serve to either make me feel better, or feel worse about myself, based on my perception of fault and responsibility"

    This is a very important point because guilt does play a huge role in the lives of many trans people and many blame themselves for their inability to change and be "normal". But regardless of whether there is a biological core or not, what matters at the end of the day is how you manage your life with this.

    No one wakes up one day and decides to be this way and the origins (for most)sem to lie early in childhood so the likelyhood of at least a certain predisposition is not very far fetched notion.

    But I very much agree with your point that the origins need not affect the way we deal with this issue politically or practically in our lives.

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  141. "Only you can decide what your heart and body are telling you to do, what behaviors you should explore, and what detailed gender trajectory you should follow. In doing so, you should consider the widest range of options and possibilities. Do not jump to the conclusion that you are a "CD", or are a "TS", and then mimic stereotypes of "what a CD should do or not do", or what "a TS should or should not do". As you go along, be sure to allow your gender trajectory to veer off in possibly unexpected directions from your originally predicted path, as your body and heart learn to feel new things along the way.

    In a similar way, many young people nowadays are also moving beyond the labels "straight" vs "gay" or "lesbian" when thinking of love-partnering options, because those labels are also too confining and limit one's options for finding real love in life. For many older people in the gay community those labels have great personal meaning and play an important role in self-defining who they are. The labels thus become tightly coupled with their identity as people, and there is considerable "gay political-correctness" pressure to stick with those labels and to apply them to everyone. However, such labels simply do not work for the many people who are bisexual, and whose love-life trajectories depend upon who they happen to fall in love with" - Lynn Conway

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  142. @Mitchell Gilks
    "I don't like this obsession with biology..."

    I'm not sure there is a obsession with biology here. The people who insist that it's all psychology have forced some of us to counter that biology may be an important factor, at least for some. The important thing is that it is probably some combination of both. And it's not a binary issue but a continuum. Some may be all psychological and some all biological, but most are somewhere in the middle.

    In the end, you're probably right that we should be focusing on solutions to our issues and not on the causes. We need to recognize that all sides make legitimate points and not to disparage them if they differ from our own.

    Lindsay

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  143. But if someone disagrees with you, Just demonize, insult and then, just ban them and erase their comments.

    Simple really. Works well for extremists of any persuasion and wanna-be oligarchs everywhere.

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  144. @Lindsay

    I suppose that I am mostly annoyed because I perceive the nature vs nurture debate to be about fault and responsibility, as I alluded to. Ideas about being "born this way" just means "I have no control, and can't change", whereas if it were taught it could be untaught, or prevented.

    To which my inner voice just says "fuck you" over and over again, which somehow comes out marginally more eloquent, and in point form -- but all mean, at their root "fuck you". To anyone telling me that unless I have no control, and can't change, then I have to. Or paint it as some disease, that I have to prove nothing can be done about before they're willing to live with it? Fuck you, and the horse your rode in on.

    I don't have to justify my existence to anyone. I won't live that way. I refuse.

    I won't be given a pardon because I can't help but not be white, straight, blonde haired blue eyed (although I'm like totally already most of those things... so feeling foolish, but the point stands!) walk the right way, talk the right way, or am otherwise inexcusably different than the fine folks judging me, if not for the fact that my disease is uncurable...

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  145. @joanna Santos

    Thank you for your replies to my post, I think we're in agreement, and I thank you again for your positive reception of my comment, written with frustrated hostility.

    What part of my post reminded you of the quote you give from Lynn Conway? Was it the young people part? Because I imagined that it was, and then took the imaginary compliment and felt flattered. Feel free, even encouraged to lay claim to the credit. :D

    Interesting looking blog you have, looks like I arrived as you're ending it however. I checked out your profile looking for more pictures, but I see from that last blog post that you do not wish to add photos. That's too bad, I like your hair. was hoping to get a better view.

    Hope you're in good health, and such pleasantries. Sorry about the weird reply, couldn't think of much to say, but wanted to reply.

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  146. I share Mitchell's sentiments.

    Insisting on it being biological can seem like saying that it's only justified because it's biological. xx

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  147. @Mitchell

    "What part of my post reminded you of the quote you give from Lynn Conway? Was it the young people part? Because I imagined that it was..."

    You are correct that I was referring to young people today being less traumatized by expectation and being more true to themselves. I was not fortunate in that regard when I was young and very much liked what I read on Lynn's site. What she writes is extremely insightful

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  148. @Mitchell, @Deborah Kate

    Regardless of a biological core or not you are who you are. I am an example of a person who tried everything possible to change myself and was miserable in the process. Now having accepted who I am and having others love me just as I am (including a very understanding and lovely woman) I can be true to myself without apologizing to anyone. The key is to free yourself from all guilt and culpability and then you will be free.

    I have never been happier than I am now but it took some doing.

    One thing is certain: I did not choose to be this way and knew I was different from a tender age but that does not mean you owe anyone an apology. This is irrespective of where the origins of all this lie.

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  149. @Mitchell

    "I don't have to justify my existence to anyone. I won't live that way. I refuse. "

    I whole heartedly agree with this!

    But I see myself in the same boat as Joanna. I've had a female brain for as long as I can remember (~ age 2 onward) and trying to suppress it just caused misery. Only by accepting it have I found peace. I know other people are different and I respect that.

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  150. @Lindsay

    " I've had a female brain for as long as I can remember..."

    Lindsay in my own case, I am not sure I would refer to it as a female brain but more as the propensity for expressing my feminine side in a rather peculiar way. The brain studies are completely inconclusive anyway.

    I know I think and behave like a male in many many ways but also like a female. That side of me needs to express itself in a form that makes me happy and if I am not able to, my peace of mind and happiness suffers.

    I need to not require an explanation to simply know that it works for me and that it always worked from a very young age. My problem was that I tried to suppress it to conform to what others expected which is the lesson for me in all of this.

    For many millions on this planet, gender expression and orientation don't follow a standard norm and there is nothing inherently wrong wih that.

    You can call me a crossdresser, tranvestite, gender dysphoric it does not matter one whit as I am just being myself.

    This is what Lynn Conway was refering to on her website. For her it happened to involve transition but she encourages people to find their own way and not copy someone else's model.

    Renee Richards transitioned and is now repentant and Walter Hayer (who detransitioned)now runs a website warning people to think long and hard before having GRS. So there is a lesson that for many of us that transition may not always a cure all. We should instead find our own formula that allows us to deal with and manage the feelings we have.

    The mangement of those feelings is independent of their origins which will, most likely, remain a mystery anyway.

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  151. -Robert

    I've been reading on here for a little while and it has me thinking. Since I was a little boy I dreamt of being a girl. When I had the opportunity I would sneak into my sister's room and where her dresses. I realized quickly that I didn't look too good and started fantasizing about being a girl. I would try to use mindpower to bring about physical changes as I would lay down to sleep.

    Now that I've gotten older it seems to be more of a fetish, but I would still take the body of a women any day and never look back. Or even a passable mtf body. I honestly don't know what I want, the fantasies distract from my sex life. I don't really know if I could change if I'd prefer girls still.. Since I feel my attraction to females is almost a feeling of envy.

    Transition is scary, but even scarier because I'm manly. I'm not sure I'd ever blent into society as a female. If anyone has any advice I'd be stoked.. I'd just like to know if this is typical to crossdreaming, or maybe something more or less. Since I've been reading about this I'm more confused that ever. It fits, but it's rocking the boat. Thanks.

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  152. @robert

    Yepp, confusion is definitely a part of the crossdreamer journey, whenever it may end.

    //"Transition is scary, but even scarier because I'm manly."//

    I am not sure if you are referring to looks, interests or personality traits here. I keep reminding myself that we are all a mix of the masculine and the feminine, and that this also applies to non-transgender people. If cis women can have "masculine" interests and traits, an MTF crossdreamer and a trans woman can have them too.

    Have you talked about this to any of your friends? Seen a therapist maybe?

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  153. Omg.. Just wrote a novel and had it deleted. I will try to get back to this. But no I haven't been to therapy or talked to anyone. I'm ready for that step I think. Still not sure if transexual is a path I want to choose. I have a good life now and I'm not sure I experience dysphoria. I would choose to be a woman tomorrow if I could, but being a man isn't devastating to me. I still enjoy sex, but throughout I generally fantasize of myself as a girl. I don't imagine myself postop very often though. Don't know if that's typical.

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  154. The goal must be to find out what is right for you. If you are comfortable with the life you live now and are able to integrate your crossdreaming into your regular life, transitioning is most likely not necessary. Heck, there are even quite a few of us who are severely dysphoric and who nevertheless decide to present as our assigned gender.

    But if the "dissonance" becomes painful, it makes sense to find someone to talk to. It rarely disappears.

    By the way, I see that it becomes more and more common to transition without "bottom surgery", both among MTF and FTM transgender. There is more openess towards different solutions now. I believe that is very helpful for many.

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  155. Hi Robert,

    I relate to so much of what you said. I have been a crossdreamer my whole life, although I only recently learned the term. I deal with mine mostly through dressing up and presentation. Several years ago I grew to be very distressed and seriously considered some sort of transition (like Jack said there are different ways to do it). But I did not go through with it, and I have settled into a comfortable like as a man (mostly), and a part time woman (if that makes any sense.) I dress up and express myself as Cindy for a few hours each day, and that seems to be enough for me. As long as I can do that, I can also be comfortable and happy in the male role for the majority of each day. I think we each need to find a solution that works for us. I think we all need some sort of way to express this feminine side and let it out some times. Some people need more than others. And of course, some need to go all the way with a transition. In my opinion, if a solution can be found short of transition, that may be preferable, since transition is a very big step usually with various consequences and costs. Yet it is still the best solution for some people.

    I hope you can find the right solution for yourself. Talking with others who have similar concerns can be most helpful. I am here to listen and help any way I can. All the best to you!

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