The challenges of gender identities/transgender

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Joined: Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:14 am

The challenges of gender identities/transgender

Postby Milcor888 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:32 am

Good Morning All,

I am currently studying a Graphic Design degree and as part of this I am tasked with exploring the topic of gender identities. Having come across your page I was intrigued by your community and wondered if anybody would be willing to answer some questions which may help me to expand my research further by having questions answered directly by somebody/people within this community.

I would like to ask 5 questions and would appreciate responses from a personal perspective. I have also included a design which I completed recently which I would appreciate some feedback on. This would be very useful in helping me to understand more about your community and also share the feedback I get with other students and my tutor.

The questions are as follows;

1. What gender do you identify?

2. When did you first know that you wanted to identify as a gender which you were not born with?

3. What were some of the challenges with growing up transgender?

4. Are you happier since you revealed your true identity?

5. What would your advice be for anybody who is hesitant in revealing their true identity?

I have also attached a visual representational map of some of the challenges with gender identities which I made as one of the activities. Would it be possible to have some feedback on this? What is wrong? What could I add to this? Etc.


Thank you in advance for your feedback on the above questions. I look forward to any responses :-)

Kind regards

Corey Miller

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Re: The challenges of gender identities/transgender

Postby Steffi » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:13 pm

Hi, I'm Steffi, Moderator

Firstly......I see no image attached to your post - I don't know if you forgot or if it was rejected by the forum software either because it exceeded the acceptable file size or because you are a new member and as such not allowed to post pictures yet.
If you email the picture to me via the email address in my Signature, I will post it for you.

1) I identify as female. ( I am now just in my sixties and was born male. I transitioned at 52 and am post-op.)

2) I felt when I was four or five that I wished I was a girl. I used to try and sit with the girls, would rather have done so and played with them but they rejected me, told me I should be with the boys. It is difficult to read my childhood and ascribe causes though because there were other factors - my father earned exceptionally good wages when I was a small child, so e.g. we had the only car in the immediate area/street. I was an EXCEPTIONALLY intelligent child and that isolated me somewhat from my peers, a thing made even worse when my father sent me to a private school. There I did not really fit in, I was "the Council-House kid" and around my home I was "the kid who went to the snobby school" ........ so my childhood alienation due to gender issues is difficult to isolate from other more general factors.
I do remember though the first birthday party I ever attended at age 5 or at most 6. The girls were all in pretty dresses and had had their hair done, curled or in ribbons....... and I felt like crying....... I wanted to be with them, wanted to BE them....

3) I can only speak of my personal experience but parts of it will probably strike a chord with everyone else.
I was in denial. I KNEW from an early age that I wanted to be the opposite sex but I just accepted that it was not possible. At night, the sun went down, it got dark and playtime was over. I didn't like it but had to accept that was the way it was. In the same way, I accepted that I was a boy and that could not be changed.
But the pain of that knowledge and that inner yearning was poisonous and it devalued everything.
All people are seeking happiness, contentment, inner fulfillment, success and the feeling that they are making progress towards those goals.
My inner sadness made it impossible for me to decide and to choose a path in life. None of the options that were available to me - and there were many because as I said above, I was en extremely intelligent child - none of the options appealed and seemed likely to bring contentment.
So I finished up not planning a future in any way, simply living in the moment of Now ....... doing whatever was absorbing and distracting enough to keep me occupied and drown out my inner demons.
In summary, I entered Grammar School with very high scores as one of the most intelligent pupils they'd ever had and left with zero qualifications and the lowest record of achievement they'd ever had.

I was also subject to a crippling and confusing sex-drive. I desperately wanted to have sex with girls.......but at the same time, I desperately wanted to BE them. I had what were on the surface normal heterosexual drives and relationships. In actual fact, when I was having sex with a girl whilst fulfilling my part well enough what I was actually doing was imaging BEING her.
I was ashamed of my transness. It is not NORMAL to have these urges, to sometimes dress as a woman and pretend to be one and I desperately wanted to kill off that drive and just be "normal" in that way.
The guilt and shame of that completely undermined my confidence and self-worth. Whatever I achieved, I knew inside that I was a deeply flawed human being. Even close friendships were devalued. I knew that I was pretending to be someone I wasn't and the deeper the friendship the more I felt like a fraud.
I rode motor-cycles with the utmost recklessness - basically, I went everywhere at full throttle and people forecast a short life with a gory end, a prospect which did not in the least deter me or even particularly dismay me. Fortunately I did not pass my test and ever get a large and very fast motorcycle but only because I did not apply myself to the task of organising and taking my driving test. I drove down the high-street at 50 or 60mph because that was as fast as my motorcycle would go in the given distance. Had I owned a motorcycle that did 140mph, I'm sure that I would have tried to do that.
I began playing acoustic guitar at 12. At 17, I switched to electric guitar and heavy rock and started smoking dope. Being stoned made the whole thing of music so much more intense. I could just get so absorbed in it, completely lost. (.....again, I was living in the moment of Now! I wasn't giving a thought to the future, even the immediate future. At THIS moment I am HERE ......lost in the riffs I was playing)
For the next thirty-five years I was stoned 24/7 and obsessing around the clock about music and playing the guitar - I made only slow progress at improving because I spent most of my time simply enjoying what I could already do instead of an intense focus on a structured improvement. I did slowly improve, but it was a matter of stumbling across something new and incorporating it rather than setting out on a quest for new skills.
I did menial jobs, until Thatcher's mass unemployment excluded me. I ran a small recording studio for 12 years, had my own band for 13 years.
So my life was a matter of being numbed by smoking dope and distracted by being absorbed in the guitar, interspersed with outbreaks of transvestism.
Said like that it doesn't sound to good, but actually I was doing ok. There were even wage-slaves struggling along who envied me - and they were actually unaware of just how OK I was doing.
I had a car - though far from new - and a box-van too for all the band's gear. I owned a 2kW PA system - the microphones alone were worth £1,000.
I owned a light-show which I built (I taught myself electronics to approximately ONC level, but had no paper qualifications) and which was impressive in it's effect and about 20kW. I had zero debts and a steady reserve of about £4,000 in cash dotted around my home. I didn't spend it because I am not materialist, not "a consumer" After 1998 I had a very up to the date computer system and my wife had one of only slightly lower spec because she steadily inherited my discarded parts every time I upgraded something.
But inside, I was miserable and periodically was subject to crushing bouts of depression.
Eventually and for no practical reason I broke up the band with work still on the books.
After all these decades,I had lost interest, had in fact lost the simple will to live.

4) I was a lot happier from the moment I transitioned and began living in the female role. Again, this is complicated by the fact that I had become mentally unstable just at this time. I have been bipolar all my life, but never did anything drastic enough during the elevated mood periods to attract the attention of authority. I made the decision to transition in an upswing ( - of course.....had I been depressed I would have been sat in a corner somewhere doing little ) and with the sheer joy of the relief of transitioning the situation ran away with itself resulting in an escalating upswing that finally did cause behaviour erratic enough to attract attention.
I have been much happier since transition and on reflection should have done it decades ago. Although my situation in general life is more difficult as I am a lot poorer these days and am not a great Pass, internally I am at peace and that is far more important.
It is far better to be at peace with oneself and dealing with more difficulties in external Life than to be getting along ok in life-in-general but crippled by internal angst.
I have no regrets and there is no bribe or inducement that would persuade me to go back if it was even possible to do so. There is nothing that has more value than inner peace.

5) It is a matter of balance. A great many of us finally come out and deal with their gender issues later in life when their inner despair finally overwhelms them. Unfortunately, the consequences of so much time passing can be very significant. The older you are the less effective hormones are at causing feminisation. You have spent longer learning and practising behaviours and attitudes that make you fit into the male world and the process of masculinisation of your body has continued - e.g. you might be balding, your body hair and facial hair in particular has had longer to gain in size and strength. Obviously, the ideal time to start hormone treatment is just before the onset of puberty - the further away you get from that, the further your body has diverged from what you are wishing for and the less hormone treatments will be able to counter it.
Also you risk losing many of the things you have gained on your journey through life. You may have a wife and children who will certainly be impacted by you deciding to transition. Friends you have gathered along the way might well not accept you. You might have made progress in your career and then find it very difficult to continue or even to find employment of any kind.
That entire scenario arises because a person does try their best to just supress their feelings and inner unhappiness and just get on with making progress in the gender role derived from the sex assigned at birth. Some people apparently do seem to manage, perhaps by functioning in a dual role and just dressing as female sometimes.
I am just pointing out that on the journey though life we all acquire Baggage, some of which is treasured and some merely a burden. When we transition we either lose it or else have to find a way to continue to carry it however inconsistent or inconvenient it is with our new role. The longer we wait, the more Baggage there inevitably is to deal with.

The sad truth is that if you do have a gender issue, it is never going to just go away. Transvestites well know the cycle of trying to suppress it, buying clothes and expressing it, feeling overcome by guilt and self hatred, throwing the clothes away and suppressing the urge .......only for the whole cycle to repeat again and again.
For Transvestites to have peace they need to accept their needs and organise their life in a way which enables them to dual-role wholeheartedly. Understandably, that can be very difficult in itself and presents many practical problems of which the need for secrecy is often the worst.
They might wistfully wish that they could live full-time in the other gender role, but they manage to get by and are reasonably happy as they are as long as they accept that it is just part of what they genuinely need in life and are not crippled by internal guilt.

For the transsexuals however, the need to assume the other gender role becomes overwhelming. Eventually it becomes more important than even life itself. This was where I had got to when I transitioned - I had been extremely depressed and was in fact organising my suicide in a fairly calm and methodical manner. Along the way that got diverted into Transition at which point my despair quickly evaporated and made me realise that to live, what I needed was simply to transition - although there was inevitably little about that course that was actually "simple"!

If you do have gender issues, they will never leave you and one way or another you WILL yield to them and express the other gender to a level which allows you to continue in life.
If you are in fact transsexual, then it is almost certain that it will eventually overwhelm you and bring on Transition - regardless of the social and economic cost. This is why you periodically see a man "who has everything" apparently throw it all away, a man who has a lovely wife and children and a successful business or career suddenly changes sex late in life and is often left with very little. The price of inner peace is high and usually gets higher the longer it is delayed.

If you ARE a transsexual then the earlier in life you make the change the better it is, the less problematic it is and the more successful it is likely to be.
- But It is a very difficult call to make, and it is only you who can make it.
Contact me privately via "steffi AT transgenderzone DOT com" Click to see Who I am

To those who understand, I extend my hand
To the doubtful I demand, take me as I am
Not under your command, I know where I stand
I won't change to fix your plan, Take me as I am (Dreamtheatre - As I Am)

I have about twenty tracks of me in my prior life as a guitarist up on You-Tube, if anyone wants to check them out ... zkA/videos

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