May 28, 2010

letter to a friend

Below is a letter to a friend I just wrote, I suppose I could have written it to a number of people who follow me. I happened to stumble across a "Crossdreamers" blog that lead to a few other blogs, all of which enlightened me very much. I read them all and do see myself (characteristics) in some of the ideas listed. My goal here is not to offend, but to make you think about the biggest decision you will ever make, and make it with the most information, whether you want to hear it or not. This is going to stimulate some conversation, please (I so know you all will) keep it respectful, honest, and sincere.


I have stumbled across some interesting information and I am sure from the links of one you can see what some of the subject matter is. Now I am sure there is a potential there to take offense, and completely shut down and not read the autogynophelia one. I can say I have been reading it for the last 2 days and see so many similarities within myself, you know I have always held some reservation with transitioning fully, there has always been something in the back of my mind that is like "just hold on one second and lets rationalize this for just a moment" some of these blogs have so much information that rings so true in my life. It is those things that we only share with ourselves and do not share with others as they are our deepest darkest secrets. We can then manipulate others into seeing our views how we want them to see them and get the result we desire in the end. You have shared a great deal with me in the past, some really personal things, as I read through some of this information I see you and I also see myself. You mentioned once that your counselor accused you of having vagina envy, and was reluctant to push you forward, that is in there. You also recently asked what about masturbation makes you feel better afterward and ashamed of your transness, that's in there. You have also mentioned torrid fantasies and actions (I believe) with other men in the past, also in there. That information is all discussed within these blogs. There is also information on shyness and other personal information that I again see in you and myself. I can say one of my arguments is that I have had these feelings since I was very young, so it can't be sexual, as I was not a sexual being at 3 or 4, well that too is in there.

What I don't want you to do is transition if you shouldn't, if there is another reason for feeling the way you do, I want you to have the information. Now that is not to say that you wouldn't be happy if you did transition, but eventually that happiness would wear off, it would loose its specialness. It looses its specialness as anything that you get too much of does. It is like the over eater, at first you feel comfort from the food, then after awhile you feel sick about what you have done, yet you do it all over again later. I don't know all the ins and outs of your psyche as I am not your counselor, but your friend. I am also not some wishy washy fanatic who is scared to make a choice in one direction or another, or I am not some pesky fly that just won't go away either. I am trying to think how I would see myself if I were you...What I want, as always is what's best for you, I want you to make the best decisions based on all of the pertinent information. Our disease process does not have a lot of information out there, and for that we move through the darkness unaided and make decisions on feelings instead of facts. I am not providing any scientific facts here, but I am providing other alternatives for the feelings you have, I am trying to make sure that the biggest decision you are ever going to make in your life is a well thought out, and calculated one, that examines the facts from every angle. Maybe we don't hear from other trans people after transition because once they realize they have made a mistake they don't want to admit it, they don't want to hear the "I told you so's" so they become introverted and make the best of their lives and go on. They do not have the pain of the gender issues as the androgens have completely shut down there ability to be sexual, or have other types of feelings, I don't know. We are some secret society that does not share it ALL with each other, only what we want others to see. We only want others to see the good about ourselves, not the ugly inner thoughts that we are too afraid to share. I only know some of those things about you, as I have shared some personal secrets myself, our friendship is based on "there is no such thing as too much information!" That is good and bad, as I am sure you are thinking now. I get to argue with that voice inside your head that only you argue with. She is your id, who is very emotional and can be very irrational at times, and I know I hate to argue with my own id as she never shuts up some times, well there are times when she needs to be barraged by an outside voice, a voice of a friend or the voice of information from another source. Plus as she tires (and shuts up) information does get through, thus the reason I have yet to transition, also the reason I hit you with this type of information from time to time.

Autogynophelia has gotten a bad rap in our community, I believe it gets its bad wrap as our id has its feelings hurt because she has been discovered, and her secret is out, she is afraid she will not get what she wants as she will have to jump through yet another hoop to get to transition. Many say this term is bunk and will so very hard to discredit it, well those people you yell the loudest and speak the sharpest are the ones to fear the most. Its like a politician who speaks strongly and abusively about homosexuals, 9 times out of 10 he is one, and is just trying to put up a facade to make you believe he is not. Well those who condemn autogynophelia without listening are the same way, and I will bet an appendage that they too are autogynopheliac and just don't want others around them to question their motives. Well anyway I can say what I want and ramble forever, but I will let you read through these and decide for yourself, as it is a personal decision, but a decisions that should be made by examining all of the information. Sincerely your truest friend, B

Here are the links (read them all, there entire content):

friend response.....

Actually, no, it doesn't upset me at all. In fact, if I remember right, I started the autogynophelia conversation with you quite some time ago.

I actually respect Dr. Lawrence quite a bit. Her site and tsroadmap are the two sites I have referenced over the years.

I do not doubt that autogynophelia plays a role (despite the outcry in our community), but why shouldn't it play a role? If I'm a woman inside, shouldn't it makes sense that I have vagina/breast envy? Maybe my brain thinks about it differently than most, I'm just not ashamed of saying that when I imagine sex, it's sex as a woman with a man and part of that is the fantasy of him touching my female parts.

Sex as a man was largely very enjoyable for me... except when it wasn't. I have to admit it was much more enjoyable with Mary than with Shelly as she was much more interactive.

I've enjoyed sex with men too, particularly when I definitely am the "fem" one in the equation and my male parts don't get touched at all.

Look, honestly, I really don't know why people have different sexual attractions nor do I know why we have this gender confusion. What I absolutely know 100% is that since I have started coming out to people I feel better than I've ever felt. I know 100% how I felt after I filed the petition for the name change, and I know how I felt when I finally shed the wig, hat, fake breasts etc and how I felt when I got that hair off my arms (thank you again). I know how I feel right this second, and I know the sense of relief that has come over me now that I am heading towards transition openly.

I know how I feel about spending $7500 on a chin that I'll get soon, and how excited I am about it.

I know how confident I feel right this second even without the chin surgery. Here I sit, completely presenting as a female, with a tight white t-shirt on and jean shorts. I know how cute I look and feel.

I know how I feel when I feel my breasts move, how the femininity in me just kind of wells up.

I know how excited I am for my future. I really cannot understate what telling everyone did for my confidence. I was convinced I would be finding another, much lower paying job. I was convinced my family would turn their backs on me, and I was convinced I would be making new friendships (you excluded, I knew you'd be there).

So, I really can't speak to those blogs (and yes, I read them, and I've read Dr. Lawrences paper on autogynophelia)... I know how I feel, and a blog is them sharing how they feel. I have no idea how well they pass and I think that has a LOT to with happiness post transition (not being beautiful and passing, just passing... I think the ability to pass unquestionably is key to happiness post-transition). I really don't know how the people in their life took it or what they sacrificed to transition (if they did in fact transition).

I know unless a miracle occurs I will not have a vagina for at least a year and maybe longer. I just don't have the money for that, and my cash flow only allows me to save between $500 and $1000/month unless I want to have no life at all.

...and the thing is, I want a life. I want to go to Vegas and hang out with my two best friends from college in October... as their new female best friend. I want to go to Mexico for Michaels's wedding as Jenny, and I want to take the kids to Kansas City & Colorado this summer for vacation as "mama," not dad. I want all of that more than I want a vagina a few months sooner.

I lost a really great relationship with Mary... I really can't overstate how great of a girlfriend she was and how much fun we had together. Despite that relationship though, I wasn't happy. Right now, with painted nails, the right clothes, and the right hairstyle, and the right body (despite what's between my legs) I am content and happy to be me.

Sunday Tina and Chris are coming over for an early dinner and then we are going for a girls night out. Their idea and they insisted. I cannot even begin to describe how good that makes me feel.

So, starting last night and ending this coming Tuesday, I will be Jenny morning to night. I have to go grocery shopping and I need a few things for my place... I also plan on going to the park for a long walk in order to get a bit of a tan. I am not going to hide just because I am presenting as female.

So no, I'm not upset at you, and I appreciate the challenge... but I'm done hiding and living in misery. It's my time. Is it selfish? Absolutely, but every now and then you have to do something like that. Every single person I've told has basically said that all they want is for me to be happy, and how sad it makes them feel that I've been miserable this whole time and they had no idea. I'm paraphrasing there, but that's come out of everyone's mouth.

I've been very careful, I've planned for years, and this transition is off to a much better start because I am doing it, not trying to be part-time and call it full-time.

Unapologeticly female,

May 17, 2010

Pandering for birthday wishes

Well tomorrow is my birthday, and I will be a a grand 41 yrs old or young which ever way you want to put it. I can say I am relatively satisfied with the way things are, and although I would have done some things different, I don't believe would have not chosen to marry and have kids as both bring me joy at least once or twice a day. I am truly grateful for what I have been given. I am healthy only broke one bone and the only surgery I have ever had is a gall bladder removal, which I sometimes even question if I could have prolonged that as it was relatively elective, although it would have had to come out eventually. I have a great job and although its pretty boring now, it does provide for a rather good life for my family and I. While at work, I am very much respected and although I am not in leadership, I dictate a lot of how leadership makes decisions on a 1000+ bed hospital. I drive a new car and live in a nice house. I can say that I buy what ever and when ever I want. I have traveled to many different countries and plan on making it to China next summer, and usually take one good vacation a year. I laugh and smile once a day. I can say that I am truly blessed in all I do, although I am not religious in anyway shape or form.

What is wrong with me? I have a gender disorder, of all things to have that by far is not the worse. Being a nurse I can tell you that there are many things others experience that are far worse that what I could ever imagine. I can say that I have a pretty strong willed and believe that I can hold out indefinitely. I ask my friend the other day, if she had no legs or were missing at least one or two appendages would she still transition, and she paused, and said "I think so" but I will say I heard a bit of hesitation. I have also asked others if tomorrow was you last day in this life would you still transition? SOme kick out a quick yes, some pause, some say no way! Well those who say no way, then they should pause a bit more before moving forward. So am I going to miss my youth if I were to transition late in life, maybe, but I will have gain so much more by waiting. I can say that I am a bit paranoid, when I hear others laugh or whisper, as I sometimes think they are talking about me, I can't imagine if I were to have transitioned what I would think.

So I suppose I am playing it very safe as I move forward, I can say I always have played it safe. As a child I did not know how to swim, and I took lessons and never was quite confident to head out on my own. It was a friend going to the deep end and leaving me alone that coaxed me into the deep end. I finally learned to swim and yes I had more fun in the water afterward. I can say that I had fun in the shallow end too, but it was only when I was alone that I needed to move forward. I have another similar story where I was traveling down a path while hiking, and the same friend and I came to a break in the path that was divided by a creak, he wanted to jump it, where I took a round about way to get on the other side, he jumped and missed, sprained an ankle and got really wet, I made it to the other side to collect him and help him back. In the end I made the right decision at that time, playing it safe got me the same place without being hurt or wet and my way was the best that time. I suppose we will never know what is the right decision to make, and it is only when we look back that we can determine what was the right decision. If it doesn't hurt anything along the way and you can take the path that is a bit more difficult then why not?

Anyway my birthday is another year gone, and another year I have not transitioned, I am grateful for all I have, I am grateful I have you reading this, I am grateful I can write this. Thanks in advance for the birthday wishes, and if you have to get me a present, then make it something girly as that is what I want for my birthday, but we all have to want for something huh?



May 01, 2010

wonderful interaction

Recently I was blessed by someone taking the time to compose me a letter about their experiences in relationship to mine. What they had to say did make me stop and think about things, and life in general. I did compose a response and sent it back after careful thought and consideration. I did not ask this person if I could post this so I hope they forgive me and continue to write. I will say that I have changed some of their email to me, to protect their identity, although the meaning is still there. I am very curious how everyone will respond to the interaction and what comments are generated. Once again I have put up a long post and I thank you for taking the time to stop by and read. In the real world though I can see you and I, sitting on the patio on a sunny day drinking a tall glass of tea, with a slice of lemon. There is a slight breeze from the west and the sky is clear with the sun directly overhead. Now that I have you hear you will hear our conversation as we sit back and enjoy the others company...


While surfing the Internet tonight, I landed on your website. I started reading your entries and I couldn't believe what I was reading. Entry after entry closely matched my own feelings and experiences. I was absolutely mesmerized by your words and I read your entire site. I guess I just want to say hello and tell you that there is another person in the world with similar experiences and feelings.

I live in the Seattle area and I am in my mid 50’s, married almost 28 years, with four children in their mid 20’s. I am the person in your neighborhood or office that no one would suspect has been fighting a lifelong gender identity issue. I have been running from this issue and fighting hard to avoid it for a lifetime. I have reached the end of the Internet in my search for answers and I have seen more professionals that I would like to admit. I am an highly educated scientist with a graduate degree in business but I’m not quite smart enough to engineer a solution to my gender identity problem. I am big and tall and I have a competitive spirit that enabled me to win the National championship in sports three decades ago but it’s hard to feel like a winner today. I am the person that is reluctant to take a step forward for all the usual reasons…..fear, height, appearance, age, family, career, etc. No matter which path I decide to take, full time transition or not, my wife and best friend knows the real me and she wants to move on without me in her life----we will divorce later this year and sell our home. Last summer I broke out of my shell and I told my children and brothers all about me. To my surprise, everyone displayed a caring attitude and they want me to be happy. What I was unable to tell them with any certainty is where I am going from here. I’ve been taking hormones for years and I am halfway through electro and it might seem like I am well on my way to living an authentic life but I have been fighting hard to avoid traveling down the transition path. I am the person that believes that transition will never work for me. Slowly…….very slowly……..I am coming to terms with all of this. And I am beginning to accept that I can run but I can’t hide from this and life is passing quickly. It’s time to face my fears and live my truth, whatever that means for me. My intro might seem a bit dark but life is not unbearable……I keep myself extremely busy and my engineering career and hobbies (bike riding) bring a smile to my face.

You state that you are "40 something" and that's where we are different. I am a lot older than you and it seems as if I am looking back in time when I read your posts. I have been on and off hormones too and I have had similar conversations with my wife. My wife has told me that I am a narcissist but I think your explanation fits me too. My wife discovered my secret about 13 years ago and we agreed to stay together for the kids. Today all of my kids are in their twenties and they have graduated college. My wife decided that it is now time to divorce. A few months ago I literally begged and pleaded with her to stay with me and I promised to throw any my meds and cut my hair and try to be the best husband that I could be for the rest of my life. She turned toward me and calmly said, "Don’t do that to yourself. You will be back in the psychologist's office in 5 years and you will be on the verge of suicide." I walked away in a complete emotional meltdown……I knew she was right.

Imagine yourself writing your words all over again at 55 years of age-----still struggling to determine your path and still haunted by the gender issues. How does that thought make you feel? I have never read another web page that matches my story as closely as your story matches mine. Part of me wants to reach out and grab you and tell you that I know which path you are taking, because I have taken the same path years ago, and that you should STOP and find another path. But I know that I can't do that because I don't really know your full story. And I don't have a better path to recommend. I am the longest member of my psychologist's support group (9 years) and I am the only person that has not transitioned. My psychologist is an expert in trans issues and she has told me that I am her toughest case yet. She once told me that I am like the person that thinks they will cheat death. She added that the gender issues will catch up to me one day, I can't outrun it. Startling words from an expert but I keep running….but my energy is dwindling. Every one of my trans friends has moved forward and they are living the life that I have dreamed about. They all report that the gender anguish has completely disappeared but many have paid a tremendous price with their careers and families. The price of transition can be very high and that's why I keep weighing my options. Many friends told me that they thought transition would never work for them but they tried anyway and it worked. Those words haunt me daily. Each of us must find our answers and I call on quotes, like the quotes you have listed recently, to help find the strength to move forward one more day. I realize that I am rambling now and I'll end my note. I wish you much success in your search for your best path and I hope your relationship with your wife and kids grows stronger. I enjoyed reading your website and I hope you will continue to add your thoughts.

I didn't take long to respond, but put in some thought on what I said. As usual I am long winded so, anyway here was my response:

First, thank you very much for taking the time to read all of my blog, second I also want to thank you for the time that you took to compose this letter to me, as it seems you put thought and heart into your writing. I have heard from a few in “our” boat, those that really try to fight this and prolong it with all the strength that they have. I imagine that some are successful and some are not. You mention that I should choose another path, as the one I am taking is like watching your history repeat itself. I suppose my question to you, is in the last fifteen years did you have joy in your life? Did your family provide you with enough joy that it was worth it? Also if you consider repercussions of your actions on those around you, had you made your move 15 or 20 years ago, how might your family landscape have changed?

I look at my children of 13, 11, and 4 and try to imagine how their worlds would change if their father were taken from them. You might go one step further and say that they would not even have that luxury as there would be another person who replaced their father, but was different enough that it would cause many interactions around them to change. I am blessed with 3 children with above average intelligence (way above) who seem to be destined to make a significant contribution in the world. I don’t want to be the one who takes that from them. Now you may say that my actions would not, but I believe that it would as I would be taken out of their equation, and things would be made more difficult. How do I know that with that increased difficulty they would not succumb to some sort of external pressure and fail in their endeavors? I was raised by a single mother without a father, and I swore to myself throughout my life that my children would not live such a life. I carry a bit of a chip on my shoulder that I could have been more and done more had I had that support, I didn’t get to go to a choice school, I went to a junior college, and slowly worked my way up with degrees from schools with less than desirable names. Now I have learned quite a bit and have more street smarts than my children ever will, but I so want them to have just a bit more than I. Now if they chose whatever path that does not coincide with what I desire, I will still love and support whatever they choose, but I will know that it is on their own accord that this has happened and not because of the ramifications what their father chose earlier in their lives.

Next is my wife, who accuses me of staying with her and the kids because of the kids. Some days that is, true and some days it is not, as some days I am with her because of her. For all of our challenges, she is there to support me. We compliment each other so very well, it is amazing. I feel as if there is nothing we can’t accomplish together. I have offered her at times to completely walk away, she knows I would support her, and be a bystander for the most part in her and the kid’s life. She (at this moment) wants me to stay. I don’t know what it would be like for either of us to come home to an empty house without the knowledge of knowing the other would be there soon. I can truly not imagine not spending the rest of my life with her, not that I haven’t thought about it, I have, I know that where I am now is where I want/need to be.

I consider every day a gift, every year I make it, is another year that we are all in each others lives, and enriching each others lives. It would be one thing to have some dysfunctional type of dynamic going on, but I can say in my house it is pretty much the model or exceptional family. Now my intermittent depression from time to time will cause me to withdraw or be crabby, but I try quickly to get a handle on it, and as my therapist says, “there is better living through pharmacology.” I can’t say I see my therapist as much as I should, she thinks I should transition and has even said I won’t make it past 5 yrs (about 3 yrs ago) as this will eat me up. I believe I can, yes I believe I can cheat death although at times I do pray for it to come early in my life as I do believe it would be much easier on all involved. Yes I do believe it would even be much easier on my children, although I am sure many would argue. I can say that if I put myself into your shoes, I would have found my life much harder without some of the pharmacology in my life as I know I can’t do without it. I also see a psychiatrist who also believes like every other professional that I should transition, she is a bit more supportive of my decisions not too, she give no time frame, and is honest that there is not much information out there. I am comforted by the fact I am not alone in my desire/quest to stay, and I know there are others out in the cyber world fighting the same fight as I, I bet many have made it. Morbidly I look at it as a race to the death, to see who can cross that finish line and not succumb to these desires. Using the ever interesting analogies of Radio Lab, they discussed “Limits” recently on what the body is able to accomplish. In one of the segments was a story about a bike race across the United States, where individuals will bike from one coast to another and only sleep about 12 hours, and how their body responds. Well this is our race, and some chose to not start, some chose to drop out early, some have accidents along the way, and some chose to drop out late, and even some make it. Well I want to make it, and I will do what ever means to make it, even if I have to fool my body in believing whatever it is it needs to make it. Yes I was on hormones for a little over 3 yrs and they did a number on me, and I would in a heart beat go back on them, although at the moment I really don’t need to as it seems my body is not producing testosterone, or if it is it is very little. Oh yes, I know what my body wants and it makes no ifs ands or buts about it. When I am on them my mood is better than at any other time in my life, when I was on them I could not believe how good I could feel. Well as good as it was, I will pass that up, and take one for the team, and even fake it if I have too, but I will make it.

It makes me smile when you say that your wife wants you to cut your hair, as that is one of our biggest contentions in our marriage, not to mention my eyebrows that are plucked pseudo thinly. Yes too look at me, you know that there is something different, many think I am gay, which I am OK with. That gets challenged by others who know my wife and family; many just think I am creative and different as I am that way. I am blessed with great ideas and solutions to everyday problems that consume others lives, that is one of my gifts. I am sure it is from my gender issues, so the gender issues do have one plus. I can say I wish you would not have told your family, it is my belief that unless your are transition ‘tomorrow’ you should not tell anyone as it damages your credibility and once that fact is out of the bottle it cannot be put back in. I am interested in where you are going with your life, I do feel a bit of a connection, although you have told me so little.
I too have gone on a bit long and look forward to future correspondence, feel free to reach out at any time.

Anyway for those that read it all the way through, thanks I appreciate your time and feedback. I am grateful for the time and correspondence this person gave me. I love it when someone provides me with a personal note. I am guilty though of not providing others with this gift, although I do provide a well thought out response and try to provide the same amount if not more time in my response. Anyway, thanks again for reading.