Thursday, December 4, 2008

My Theory of Operation

When I do outreach, the other presenters almost always identify as transsexual. I only recall doing outreach on two occasions with others who did not identify as transsexual.

Listening to the transsexuals tell their life stories always causes me to consider my own identity. Tuesday's outreach was no different. Since then, I have done a lot of thinking about my identity and I believe I have had an epiphany.

I identify as a heterosexual male-to-female crossdresser, who crossdresses once or twice per month (in deference to my spouse). However, I readily admit that if I had the opportunity, I would crossdress 24/7 and live full-time as a female without surgery, hormones, or other body modifications. I likely would get electrolysis, but nothing more than that.

If I desire to live full-time as a woman, am I still a crossdresser? Or am I something else... something beyond a crossdresser, but not quite a transsexual mainly because I never felt that I was a woman trapped inside the body of a male.

I admit that I am not the most manly male, at least according to other people's opinions of me. When I was young, I was called a "sissy," "fairy," "twinky," "faggot," etc. because others perceived me as being effeminate. That perception may still exist, but as an adult, the people I encounter are polite enough to keep such opinions to themselves.

I did not (or do not) make any effort to be effeminate (or masculine, for that matter). I always acted in a way that was natural to me and my natural inclination was to act effeminately according to the "standards" set by our society.

I never felt I had a masculine or feminine side and I never felt that I was a woman trapped inside the body of a male like the typical transsexual, who hid or suppressed their femininity in boy mode.

I never felt that I was a woman trapped inside the body of a male because SHE WAS NEVER TRAPPED!

I never suppressed my femininity because I never realized I was acting effeminately, so as far as I was concerned, there was nothing to suppress.

Back in college, I attended a Halloween party in drag. One of my classmates who knew me well was impressed on how my normal persona was such a good fit for my costume. Until he saw me in drag, he never realized that my everyday persona was so feminine. That confirms what I always believed, i.e., "I" am the same person in boy mode or in girl mode except that "I" am a better fit in girl mode.

In conclusion, I am not a woman trapped in a male body, rather I am a woman with a male body and I’m OK with that. I realize that my body has nothing to with my gender and further that having a male body does not make me less of a woman.

(By the way, this is pretty heavy stuff for me and I would greatly appreciate any and all opinions on my theory of operation.)


  1. Hi,
    I've posted before here (most recent Oct 31), but nothing deep. I agree with expressing your areas of grey, people think that it must be black or white, from the simple you crossdress, must be gay to ok, you're not gay but you must want to be a woman - it's just not that simple! I don't go out dressed, and it means so much more to me when my SO encourages me to wear women's clothes underneath (kids make outerwear impossible, our choice).

    Much of how we act is influenced by our surroundings, peer pressure, societal norms, so the biggest challenge is allowing that underneath to surface, without fear of being ostracized by others, yet keeping a grip on reality (in your case, loss of job if others know?)

    I think what you're doing is great, and showing people that there are all kinds of different people. No easy box defines us.


  2. Hi Stacie,

    Try these on and see how they feel.

    I’m a person trapped in a a males body.
    (I’m a person ‘trapped’ in a woman’s body.’ - Paula Poundstone)

    I’m a person trapped in a society that can’t see past being bi-gendered (either you’re a male or female, end of story).

    Either you’re vanilla or chocolate. (Will you explain to me again, the soft serve twisty cone?)

    I had been trying to achieve womanhood; however what I seem to be achieving, despite my best efforts, is being more complete.

    Just thought I’d share.


  3. Mister sister, I know how you feel. This gender mess can really mess with head and heart...
    I tried to destroy my feminine energy and it came to an ugly head earlier this year. I don't know what to think half the I simply wanting to femulate, but it's so intoxicating I feel like I want to slip into it completely and never come back to maleness. Other times I'm cool with my firewood splitting, hairy self, whose secret power is drawn from a dress, and a skirt and a feminine pool of energy. Like you I don't change my behavior much, perhaps an exaggerated walk on occasion, or a softer voice, all of which appear in homme. My exaggerated walks leap from joy, not faux feminine drag, nor a conscious relearning of how to walk ala transitional energy. I don't's all a genderfuck. I love the idea of the native american two spirits, where gender is elusive and slippery and non definitional in some individuals.

  4. Personally, I really have never seriously considered SRS, as I think I find the entire idea extremely horrifying. I certainly wouldn't actively discourage someone who truly felt they couldn't go on with life without SRS, but for myself, I think living in the body I was given is a better option, even though I'm pretty sure that my identification with the feminine was obvious to me at a very young age. Still, I've never felt particularly "trapped", though I will admit that I have in later years either repressed quite a lot of the feminine aspects of my personality, or perhaps merely neglected them.

    A lot of that was simple stress over making my way in life without the benefit of the college degree I missed because I couldn't afford to stay four years. Other responsibilities then took over, blah, blah, blah. But, I've also never been particularly afraid to express my femininity. That said, sometimes it's a little difficult to make the boys understand that femininity doesn't necessarily equate with weakness.

    Now that Gemma is getting freer rein (or is that reign? heh.), I'm finding that a lot of attitudes that I've acquired over the years are being stripped away, and I feel younger than I have in ages. For one thing, I'm becoming *much* more interested in cleaning the house. It's quite amazing how much less tolerance I have for mess. Too bad my wife is no longer around to appreciate it!

    On the other hand, I hesitate to self-apply any particular T* label, because I don't want to be anything other than what I am. Sure, like many of us here, I'd love to find that magic wand and give it a wave, and I sometimes *really* miss those days of my youth with tmy waist-length hair when I would get mistaken for a co-ed on the way to class (with the requisite whistles even following me down the street--given that I was 6'1" and about 130 lbs at the time, this isn't much of a surprise), but life goes on, and you can't let it get you too down, because sometimes life can be pretty awesome, as well.

    I'll tell you want, though, I can say with a great amount of assurance that as I age, I become more masculine in ways that never expressed themselves when I was younger. In fact, that's probably one of the main reasons why my wife left me. I think she was much happier when we were younger and she didn't feel as threatened by my masculine side.

    Maybe she just got tired of butting heads with "the other woman of the house" on issues where most husbands would be more than happy to cede control to their spouses. Like decorating the house, or planning the wedding, or child care, or cooking, or fashions, or...well, you get the idea. I can be a right bastard, and a raging bitch, all at the same time!

    Not that *she* ever cut the lawn, though, or changed the oil in the cars...but still expected me to treat her like a princess, do more half of the housework, *and* bring home the majority of the bacon. Of course, these are common problems in society today, because until we get finished redefining the role of the modern woman, we're never going to get to redefining the role of the modern man, let alone those of us who are caught somewhere between.

    I also don't really identify myself as a "cross-dresser", per se, because I don't really feel like I'm playing dress-up, just getting dressed. I've never understood why people can get so bent out of shape over a piece of cloth cut, or worn, in a way they don't expect. Women get all the good clothes, and men's clothes are only nice when they're *really* expensive.

    All I know is, I'm me, and I like me. I like wearing women's clothes, but I also like wearing men's clothes. I cry at love stories, and I love action movies, and usually identify far more with the female characters than the male characters. When I write songs, a lot of times (most?), they end up being written from a female narrative perspective.

    Actually, one of my best songs is an expression of my feminine desires that's cleverly disguised as a rant against women who seem to get away with everything. One of these days, if I ever become less concerned about my public image, I'll let you hear it.

    What does all of this make me? The same thing you get when you cross an elephant and a rhino. Hellifino. But at least I'm relatively content with that. However, Gemma is coming on pretty strong these days, and who knows where she'll lead us?

  5. You are a transgenderist ...
    Transgenderists are persons who consistently live as members of the opposite gender either on a part or full-time basis. Some maintain their original identity in the work place or during formal occasions. Others appear in their new identity during all aspects of daily life. Transgenderists are unique because maintaining both masculine and feminine characteristics is integral to having a sense of balance. However, the outward presentation of these characteristics varies subtly depending on the individual's needs and sense of connection to each gender. Like transsexuals, many are interested in obtaining electrolysis, hormones and even cosmetic surgery to bring their outward presentation in line with their inner sense of self. However, like crossdressers, transgenderists are not interested in Genital Reassignment Surgery.
    E. Israel

    It is a term that was originally coined (I believe) by Virginia Prince back in the sixties.

  6. I think you are a transvestite. That's ok.
    But true transexuals wants the operation, and it's all.