Monday, October 12, 2009

gender on my mind

Most people do not think much about their gender. They go about their lives, day-to-day, interacting with their world without considering their gender. They are acclimated to the role that meets society's expectations for their gender and their lives go on with few, if any any issues related to gender.

On the other hand, some people think about their gender all the time. Thoughts about their gender fill their waking hours. They are not acclimated to the gender role that meets society's expectations. Everywhere they turn, issues arise that cause conflicts in their mind related to gender.

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you probably are in the latter group of people rather than the former. I know I am.

Gender is on my mind most of the time. When I get dressed in the morning, I often think about how I would prefer donning a female wardrobe rather than a male wardrobe. When I interact with society during my day, I often ask myself, "what would 'she' do?" in certain situations and how would society react to "she," rather than 'he." Even when I am asleep, I cannot get away from it because most of my dreams concern gender issues.

Sometimes, when I find myself thinking about gender, I berate myself because I feel I should be doing something more constructive than thinking about gender. And I wonder how my life would be if I resolved my gender issues, that is, if I lived as a woman 24/7, would all my thoughts and concerns about gender go away? Then would I be able to accomplish more than I am accomplishing now?

I fear that the answer is "no." Gender would still be on my mind. Some new gender issues would occupy my time and some old gender issues would haunt me.

Such is the lot of a transgender.


  1. Staci, in a way I agree and in another I don't. This subject is confusing for many and I think more so for us who are 'caught' in it.

    Like you I do think about my gender, especially when I get up in the morning. I should be getting dressing in skirts and heels to go to work ... always. Not the drabs I do dress in daily.

    Then again, I know I am a woman but for my accident at birth. My mind, heart and soul know who I am, and no thinking needed. The woman I am does my thinking and guides my actions. When I'm asleep, in my dreams, I am always a woman. It's just my body is out of sync.

    So, yes I think about my gender and then again I don't cause I know who I am. Confusing. But then again, that's my life.

    Gender and sex have become so intertwined in society's thinking and it is wrong. My mind knows who I am, I don't have to check what's between my legs whenever I am asked to come up with the answer.

    Confusion abounds ... in many ways and most people.

    Luv your blog Staci. Thanks for being here to read and enjoy.


  2. Staci and Josie: The terrible thing is that when you have no choice but to think about gender, as we do, and try to drive those thoughts underground,they cause pain that most people simply can't understand, much less empathise with.

    The thing is that those thoughts will never, ever go away--even after you get a body that's more in sync with your mind and soul. I am far happier now than I ever was when I was living as male. But even the surgery, which I recently had, doesn't extract the residue of having performed as a male for however long you did (in my case, 40+ years). It also doesn't erase the pain you may have suffered at the hands of those who committed violence--whether physical or spiritual--against you simply for being who you are.

    At least now I don't have to ask myself WWJD (What would Justine do?). I wake up as Justine, not in my former identity, and everyone with whom I now work and socialize knows that I am indeed her. But I also cannot forget that I am, at least to some degree, the woman I am now because of all those years I had to live as a man.

  3. Wow, I was going to congradulate Staci for her mind reading skills. However, after rading the powerful comment from Justine,I need to say "how well worded" your comment is. you versed the mental dilemmas that many of us experience. It is impossible not to be somewhat shaped by your past. But, all of life shapes us all and makes us who we are. Generally, that is a good thing or we would all be clones. May you cherish the reat of your journey with love and peace.


  4. Staci,
    When I get up in the morning and am able to put on my makeup and female garb I just feel whole. following your lead, I do go out in the daytime, lately to the bank and Beauty one and Sally's Beauty Shop. I love to shop en femme and have had no bad experiences yet other than one young sales girl at K-mart calling me sir when I was fully dressed. That was a bummer.

  5. I referenced this entry on my blog:

    Thanks, Staci, for this great entry--and blog. And thanks, Ellen, for the kind words!

  6. For What It's Worth...

    I ask myself many of the same questions, and with enough of the same answers that I am inclined to go no farther than I already have in coming out to those around me. I like to think of it as though I was a child raised by wolves: I've been socialized as a man in our culture, even though I'm more equipped for the feminine role. This leaves me with a persistent feeling of "gender outlawry" I think I will never escape - and to be fair, I'm not sure I want to. I think our society has got it's head on backwards w/rt gender, and perhaps *not* transitioning is my best way to strike a blow against the empire (cue Paul Kantner).

    I'd *strongly* suggest reading _My Gender Workbook_ by Kate Bornstein. I hope I haven;t run on about it before, but it is an excellent exploration of the various issues of gender in our society that takes you along for a ride deep into your own attitudes as well. It was totally worth the price of admission. (and no I'm not on retainer for Kate, either :)

  7. Thank you for all for the thoughtful comments.

    I just wanted to say that when I wrote that when I interact with society during my day, I often ask myself, "what would 'she' do?" in certain situations, I should have added that usually I listen to "her" and do as "she" would do.

  8. I'm at that stage now, Staci: re-wiring the mind-processes to be more appropriate for a female than male. It may seem pointless - I'll never fully transition despite years of hormones because of that long soak in androgens - but it *is* fulfilling. Small decisions change the direction of a life. And day-by-day resolves firm those decisions into a changed person. In this way, every day is precious and every experience an opportunity to find your feminine side and help it grow.