Friday, July 29, 2022

Happiness Without Transitioning?

By Paula Gaikowski

As you may know, the transgender community is rife with politics and political correctness. 

Many years back, I was shopping at Vernon’s Boutique in Waltham, Massachusetts – truly a refuge for me at the time. For those who may not remember, Vernon’s was a store that accommodated the transgender community before Internet shopping. Here was a place you could buy wigs, size 12 shoes and women’s clothing without having to say it was a gift for your aunt. I was enamored by the selection of girly clothes. Anyway, I was looking at maid outfits and frilly sissy dresses, when a transgender woman I was chatting with started to criticize me for being a “fetishist crossdresser” and not a “true transexual” like herself. 

Another time I went to a transgender support group meeting in Denver. It was early in my going out and I was very fragile. I got all dressed up in my new business suit, nails, new shoes, good hair day and drove two hours through rush hour traffic to get there. 

It was a group therapy type set-up where we all sat in a circle and shared our thoughts and experiences. At one point I used the term transgendered instead of transgender and they condemned me calling me transphobic, and then criticizing me for the way I was dressed because I conformed to a patriarchal archetype of femininity. 

Both incidents hurt me, and I started to doubt that I was transgender and that my lifelong desire to be female and a woman was misplaced. If being transgender meant being like these persons maybe I wasn’t a “true transexual.”

A popular narrative in the transgender community is that “a transgender person must transition – that it is matter of life and death. If you don’t agree, then you are less than…”

So, if I am transgender, can I live a happy life if I don’t transition?

Being transgender is like having a pebble in your shoe. It takes away some of the joy, it causes some pain, however, there still is meaning and even happiness. 

For some, the pebble may cause too much pain, causes blisters and then an infection that becomes life-threatening. The pebble must be removed. In other words, the person must transition. Some of us just keep hiking with the pebble in our shoe, although we may opt for a cuter and prettier shoe.

Source: Joie
Wearing Joie

Just another beautiful Femulator
Just another beautiful Femulator


  1. "So, if I am transgender, can I live a happy life if I don’t transition?"

    If you take the term transgender to be an umbrella term, one which has a number of identities within its reach, yes, you can.

    There's enough folk in this world who'd love to see trans people hurt or vanish. Perhaps being kind to our own and not get bogged down in tribes would be a start.

  2. AnonymousJuly 29, 2022

    The overwhelming majority of trans people do not transition. That doesn't make them any less trans than those who do. In brief, among transitioners there is a significantly higher number of people with conditions such as autism, bipolar disorder and personality disorders than found in the general population and this largely accounts for the clumsy or aggressive way they interact with people, including other trans people.

  3. AnonymousJuly 29, 2022

    Go as far as you feel comfortable with
    Do Not under any circumstances let any one push you into going further
    You can always change your mind later
    It is not unusual for people who want to transition all the way to look down on people who don't

  4. AnonymousJuly 29, 2022

    Paula, this entry is spot on! The pebble in the shoe analogy is perfect! I think a lot of us are happy with being able to switch between male and female. I know I am!
    Hugs! Allison,

  5. You have touched on a subject which seems to be systemic in the more militant segments of the transgender community, whereby someone who appreciates having the opportunity to explore their feminine side, yet has no aspirations to transition is not "TRANS" enough. I personally find this offensive to those of us who truly enjoy our femininity, without feeling the need to alter our bodies. Having been severely beaten by a policeman in the late 1960's, merely for the crime of wearing women's clothes, I feel I have paid my dues to the transgender community in full!

  6. I guess I'm doing things a little differently. I have been on estrogen and spironolactone treatment for almost 12 years and have developed a feminine appearance, including the softening of the face and breast enlargement (DD cup).
    I have grown my hair beyond shoulder length. And I wear dresses when I go out, even to church and I wear makeup when I go to church.
    However, I speak and sing with a bass voice and I am the only true bass in my church's choir.
    And yet I consider myself as male, prefer masculine pronouns, and go with my masculine name John. I get along with other just fine.
    But if people ma'am me and use feminine pronouns with me it's no big deal. Just don't call me "Maggot".

  7. AnonymousJuly 29, 2022

    When I first started dressing, I remember attending early transgender group meetings and being told that the only true path was transitioning. Also, others told me that I wasn't experiencing the true joys of being a woman unless I had sex with men. I am a heterosexual crossdresser and have been for over 40 decades. I am glad I didn't take those pieces of advice seriously. The only true path is your own.

  8. Paula, this is an important topic and thanks for writing about it. I got angry reading it, feeling indignant on your behalf. I am so sorry you had those 2 incidents. I really dislike the gatekeeping that can arise in this community when it really should be a community of love, empathy and acceptance.

    I used to think to be "trans" meant that you HAD to "transition." That is not the case. I have concluded I am Trans over a long time of self analysis. BUT, I will not be transitioning. There are many people in this same case. I have a wife and I am her spouse. So for me, I live as a Trans person that presents male when need be but feminine otherwise. There are no rules. Just do what makes you happy and what fits within your life circle.

  9. I cannot understand how, in a community where others are constantly telling us we are less than "normal", we can be telling each other that they are less than "normal". I am a MTF Hetero Crossdresser. No desire to transition, yet I am CONSTANTLY told (by my "Sisters") that I am not being true to myself. How do THEY know who I am?
    As a result, I refuse to label myself with the identifier "Transgender" because all the negative comments I get are FROM the Trans community - you know, the people who SHOULD be supporting me. (sigh) It makes me very sad that the only true support I get is from my cis gender girl friends.

    1. AnonymousJuly 30, 2022

      I agree. It is nobodies business what is between your legs versus what gender you present. It is probably going to take the younger folks to teach us old timers that fact.
      Angel Amore

  10. AnonymousJuly 30, 2022

    if you really are objective and want to learn how bad the whole woke, politically correct (trans), world is, read The Madness of Crowds by Douglass Murray. Great book, sense of logic and a perspective worth considering.

  11. AnonymousJuly 30, 2022

    Great post! Courageous and true…

  12. AnonymousJuly 30, 2022

    See The Wisdom of Crowds for a modern complementing perspective. Crowds present the best and worst of us

  13. This just underscores what I have experienced from significant personal involvement in the LGBTQ+ community. It is not a community. It is a collective of different types of people thrown under one big umbrella. We all know sexual preference and gender identity are two totally different things. And we also know gender identity is a whole bunch of different things, with different means of expression and we all have different life circumstances. Why are they all lumped together? For support, one can seek to find those of a similar mindset through places like this, my blog and others and from there you can develop friendship and support relationships. My two cents anyway...

  14. When I moved to Baltimore, where I didn't know anyone and they didn't know me, I found a very welcoming organization called Trans*Quility. Our leader, Tacy Renta, made everyone feel welcome and wanted. But after she was the victim of a brutal murder, a new leadership took us in a more focused direction. We became all about transitioning. If one (or more) of us weren't looking to change our names, get our beards removed or find the best doc for GRS we became invisible. All of us left and I found a Tri-Ess group that was incredibly supportive.

    If you find yourself in an uncomfortable transition situation, don't put up with it. There are plenty of other support groups. And if one doesn't magically appear, hook up with a TG/CD Meetup group and you'll find lots of referrals. I think a flexible group is ideal. Our Tri-Ess group came under fire from "corporate headquarters" for not giving the immediate boot to one of our ladies who determined she was truly a trans woman and proceeded with HRT. Tri-Ess is just for crossdressers! But our she was our long-time friend and we weren't about to kick her out. Our group stayed together but drifted from Tri-Ess.

    I think it's all about individual comfort zones. Over the years I've known a number of transitioned women, most of whom were very different from one another. Most of them had the surgery, but lots of them did not. I knew two co-workers from my last employer who transitioned with FFS, breast enhancement -- one of them had "Dr. Toby" fix her up with a killer hourglass figure -- but they didn't have the bottom surgery. They stayed married and had "just enough" HRT that they could still "perform" with their wives. But they had all their identification and markers changed to female and lived undetected (except to those of us who "knew them when"). If that isn't transitioning, I don't know what is.

    Forget the Trans fundamentalists and do what's right for you. We know who we are and if that persona needs "work", we know when the "work" is done. Just think about the song "Morales" sings in "A Chorus Line", "Nothing". "If you want something go find another class....." You'll find what you're looking for.

  15. I really feel for you for that terrible experience at that so called support group. I had a similar experience way back before I’d even dressed in public or spoken to anyone about it. I called a support line in my local area run by some trans people. I was told straight away that I wasn’t serious and that I was pranking them and not to call again. I’d barely introduced myself. I phoned back in tears telling them I thought they were unfair hung up. A few years later I saw their number in that photocopied magazine that was usually handed out at places like Transmission club in London. I passed on the message to the person that handed them out that i think they should look at removing them. I think it got forgotten though. I dread to think of someone more frail getting the same response. This was pre-2000s, so they’re probably long gone.

  16. Gender fluid meAugust 02, 2022

    This is a huge topic which people don't understand yet. Gender is I think more of a sliding bar or a color selector where one end is masculinity and one end is feminity and people can be anywhere on that bar. And people also often confuse sex with gender: sex is binary because of biology but gender isn't, gender is more about expressing ourselves.