Discovering Transgenderism

December 9, 2013

sex_and_the_brain

[–]pugderpants 2 points 18 hours ago

I was definitely not one of the “I knew since I could think” trans people, but then again, I have always had my head in the clouds. I didn’t even begin to question my gender until 23, but looking back it makes a lot of sense.

WALL OF TEXT!

So while I don’t remember asking my parents when I would grow a penis like my brother, I do remember the fits I pitched since kindergarten over wearing formal girl clothes (my only memories from going to the opera, and my grandfather’s funeral). I also roleplayed exclusively as male (or neutral), and all of my closest stuffed animals were male by default. If chick flicks are correct, I also may have been one of the only young girls to never daydream about my wedding, and I told my mom at 11 that I never wanted babies because pregnancy grossed me out. She said I would change my mind, but I never did.

Then when I hit puberty, I wrestled with the question of “am I a lesbian?” I wrestled because it didn’t make sense – I was definitely attracted to guys, and yet all of my heroes were male. Every character in book or movie, every musician, every real life friend, that I identified with most was male (I did have close female friends as well, but they were never of the ultra-girly persuasion; and even then I preferred mixed company above all). At 15, my parents made a rule that every other Sunday at our casual-dress church, I had to wear a skirt or dress. I still remember the day some of the girls passed me a note saying how pretty I looked in my dress; they meant to make me feel good, but it made me feel terrible.

College was a happy time of doing whatever I wanted and making friends with whoever I wanted. I didn’t think about gender much. But when I got my first serious boyfriend, I was mystified by a vague sense that my being female put a limit on the love I could give; it felt as though our relationship would simply “make more sense” if I were male. Interestingly enough, I’m pretty positive to this day that he is gay. I felt this way with my second serious SO as well, and even though I love(d) him and married him, I felt deeply uncomfortable with every formal situation, including (especially..) our marriage. I didn’t feel like myself, and it made me doubt our love. Everything felt fake and off.

Soon after being married, SO and I ditched gender roles and things seemed to improve. But strange things kept cropping up – I began a collection of thrift store leather shoes, but I just knew that I didn’t like them like a girl liked them – more like how a gay man likes shoes. We talked about how we didn’t want children, and yet even though the thought of being a mother makes me want to blow my brains out, I connected with the idea of being a dad. Then, we left our religion. The archaic gender roles I had been bucking against we’re no longer there, and yet, I was surprised to find that I connected even less with being female, even when I felt free to be whatever kind of female I could dream of. Then began the depression after sex – mostly if we did light, stereotypical roleplaying. Then I just got depressed after every time we had sex, no matter the kind.

Around this time, I discovered transgenderism. At first I thought it wasn’t legitimate. Then I thought it was. Then I knew it was. The respect and admiration I had for the whole slew of male role models I had collected over the years suddenly morphed into a deep jealousy of sorts. I threw out my lingerie. Stopped wearing makeup. Started binding. Stopped shaving. Starting thinking of myself as a man, not as a woman who didn’t quite fit in, even with herself. I told my SO. I told my brother, my mom, and my best friend. The depression after sex instantly disappeared. People (and dogs!!) started thinking I was a man as well, or at the very least a lesbian.

That’s where I am now. I’ll admit that I still go back and forth on whether or not this is “real” – sometimes even in the same day. But what I do know is that I feel prouder, taller, and healthier than ever before in my life.

 

 

[–]Kaitte 2 points 14 hours ago

I’ve known I wanted to be girl for my entire life. When I was a kid and even a teenager I spent a lot of time imagining ways that would transform me into a girl. I though of everything from magic spells, aliens performing experimental surgeries, mad scientists unleashes nanobots, pills, etc. I frequently found myself imagining myself as a girl in everyday situations such as watching TV or attending school.

I started to find that I was attracted to men in my teenage years, although I still had a physical reaction to women. I didn’t want to admit that I was “gay”, so I simply told myself that I was bi. I watched nothing but lesbian porn because I knew I’d have a reaction to watching anything with a man in it, and I was scared of that. I frequently found myself putting myself in the place of the women in these pornos, and those fantasies would often lead to imaginary sex with men with me as the woman. After all, it isn’t gay to have sex with men if you’re a woman.

I should probably mention that I spent my teenage years in Alberta, which is basically Texas Junior. It’s not a very progressive province. I was scared to admit that I was attracted to men because I was bullied enough growing up with having to deal with any potential homo/trans-phobia. This attitude lead me to repress any “non-manly” feelings and desires that I had. I figured that I might be able to “fix” myself if I could only be more of a man. I also bullied my two younger brothers a lot for showing any signs femininity at all.

Towards the end of my teenage years and the beginning of my 20’s I started experimenting with new types of porn because lesbian porn simply wasn’t doing it for me anymore. I eventually found furry porn (short lived) and that lead me to futanari and “shemale” (hate that word) porn which lead me to transformation and gender-bender porn. At the same time as I was doing this I started running into significant problems academically.

I had moved half way across the country to attend university in Ottawa. I completely bombed my second and third year and ended up failing out. I simply couldn’t deal with all the problems I was having alone. I had no friends, and I constantly lied to my family over my academic status. Without anyone to push me forwards I just sort of stalled. I eventually got some help and therapy to help with my social anxiety. I was eventually able to get special permission from the university to start taking classes again. I’m now half way through my 3rd year and I’m doing much better, although things are by no means going as well as I’d like academically.

During this time I hit some real lows. I started to consider that my issues might stretch beyond simply anxiety. I also started to learn about transgenderism by coming across the occasional article/story/post/etc on Reddit. It was like everything suddenly made sense to me. I came to the conclusion that I was trans and that I wanted to pursue transition.

This realization came about 1.5 years ago. Unfortunately I had sort of let myself go due to hating just about everything about my physical appearance. I spent the next year working on losing weight and generally improving how I treated my body. I was able to drop from 200 lbs all the way to 132 lbs, giving me a BMI of 18.5. I’ve been able to fix a lot of the problems I have had with my skin and hair, although years of neglect have done their damage (stretch marks huge pores, uneven skin tone, etc). There were times during this period where I flipped back and forth between deciding to transition or not, although these were mostly caused because I’d look at myself and think that there was no hope. At one point I actually shaved my head and lost about 4 inches of hair that I really wish I had right now.

I started hormones 5 months ago and things have been much better for me since then. I still have issues that I’m working on, but overall I’ve been doing better than I ever have. My biggest concern at the moment are some of my decidedly masculine facial features (nose, brow ridge, and facial hair mostly), but I know that all of those can be fixed with surgery. I’m saving for FFS and focussing on my studies. I know that deciding to transition was the best decision of my life. I don’t even regret my previous academic and social failures because they are what led my life in the direction of transition.

 

[From reddit.]

22 Responses to “Discovering Transgenderism”

  1. jo Says:

    Holy shit…the post from “pudgerpants” simply sound like a girl (and then young woman) reacting to sexism. There are so many others who felt uncomfortable in impractical frilly dresses as children, who only had male heroes when they grew up because there simply wasn’t any good female ones, who feel uncomfortable being a wife or girlfriend or mother because of what this means in a patriarchy.

    It could just as well been the story of how someone found feminism…”and then I realized the female gender role is sexist bullshit, stopped using makeup and stopped shaving and became a happy tomboy/butch woman”
    It’s not that easy though, especially if you’re straight and want to look normal instead of wearing female drag. But identifying as a man is not the answer to sexism against female people either.
    (What is “light, stereotypical roleplaying” by the way? )

    And the other one? Porn porn blah blah blah porn.

  2. nereidafilomena Says:

    A woman oppressed by gender and a very self hating gay male. It always seem to be men who need to be ‘pushed’ or they will fail. They feed on women’s energy (gynergy). I don’t believe Alberta is anywhere close to Texas though. My friend’s sister got her tonsils out in 3 months there while in NS it would have taken a yr just to see a specialist. There is also a lot of good paying jobs there, especially Edmonton and a lot of people from the east move there to start a better life.

  3. moira Says:

    “People (and dogs!!) started thinking I was a man as well, or at the very least a lesbian.” Oh yes, that awkward moment when dogs begin thinking you are a lesbian. Also, that awkward moment when being a lesbian is the “at very least” position on a gradation that ends in maleness. I’m sorry, I have to laugh to keep from crying.

  4. huffysnappy Says:

    Another WALL OF TEXT

    Pudgerpant’s experience down to the sentence ‘I connected with the idea of being a Dad’ resonates with mine – there is a great deal of similarity in those first 3.5 paragraphs, to my own life experience. Except that I’ve never married, and when I was still in kindergarden, I’d already figured out that I didn’t think that there was anything inherently wrong with being a girl, it was just the stupid expectations that other people had of girls and women and mothers that I didn’t like.

    I’ve seen my life experience through that lens ever since. Any hint of male identification I had I’ve instinctively linked to my experience that all around me, men were presented as human and interesting, and women, well…
    I’ve always had an awareness of the influence of culture and society on my forming sense of self. I haven’t been able to completely prevent that influence from shaping me feminine in some ways (more in terms of my self esteem and the way I relate to people – I’m still largely gender non-conforming in my appearance), but I’ve been able to detect this influence on me since a young age.

    And so effectively although some of this gender bullshit has become part of me, it is not innately who I am, and it is not my destiny, to the extent that I can try to fight it. Doesn’t mean I am ‘really’ male, or need to become a trans man, although in all likelihood that would be a professional boost given my training and aptitude for STEM work. I’ll admit it has been hard to think about how people would react more favourably to my abilities and personality type if they came in a masculine package, having seen how men and women are treated vastly differently in the STEM workplace from graduation.

    I don’t intend intend to be self congratulatory, but I think the difficulty is that for many persons, messages about gender and appropriate sex roles infiltrate the consciousness well prior to the ability to analyse and critique these notions. Hence the sense of ‘having always been a man’ in a female body etc. I think that would be a hard notion to fight, once it took root. I am sure it feels very, very real and genuine. But I believe in these notions like I believe in God, as someone brough up a fundamentalist christian who is now an atheist.

    I feel about trans people like I do about Christians. I think they are misguided and at risk as a result of their faulty interpretation of reality. And that it is a big problem that some individuals in these groups want to force other people to live their lives in accordance with these delusions. Which I guess makes me a Christianophobe or somesuch.

  5. lestoille Says:

    “Then began the depression after sex – mostly if we did light, stereotypical roleplaying.”

    i’m guessing “stereotypical roleplaying” means her husband took on the active jackhammer role and she took on the passive fuckhole role? No wonder it was making her depressed. Depression / emotional discomfort after sex is common to many heterosexual women, and I wonder how much of a factor that is generally in the case of hetero women who transition. It’s too bad pugderpants didn’t discover piv criticism instead of transgenderism around the time she started feeling a lot of depression after sex.

    it’s also interesting but not at all surprising how porn was such an important element in kaitte’s transition. It’s always porn with these male transgenders!


  6. “I began a collection of thrift store leather shoes, but I just knew that I didn’t like them like a girl liked them – more like how a gay man likes shoes.”
    —————–
    “How a gay man likes shoes”, seriously?
    How does a gay man like shoes? How does a girl like shoes? What?

    I’m a girl and I like shoes. I like shoes because they are in STANDARD sizing which means I always know what I’m getting when I buy them. Unlike clothes where I vary in size from one brand to the next.

    I have a kick arse Doc Marten/Converse Chucks collection. I know blokes who get giddy over their shoe collections. Plenty of men like shoes/clothes/fashion. It’s about being proud of your appearance and having nice things. Not something everyone one cares about though, and definitely not a girls only thing.

    Or is it only a “girly like” if you have heaps of heels?
    ——————————————————————————————–

    “Then, we left our religion. The archaic gender roles I had been bucking against we’re no longer there, and yet, I was surprised to find that I connected even less with being female, even when I felt free to be whatever kind of female I could dream of.”
    ……………………………………..
    “I threw out my lingerie. Stopped wearing makeup. Started binding. Stopped shaving.”

    ——————

    So, free to be any female she wanted but still held onto gendered things? I am so confused. She decided she hated all the feminine bullshit but when free to be her own person she held onto it? Why?
    Plenty of women DO NOT GIVE A FUCK about shaving or lingerie or makeup.
    I don’t even give a fuck about lingerie. I’m 24, feminine and I don’t even own any lingerie. That shit is the most pointless underwear ever.

    No depression after sex any more either. No more PIV or…? Or could the testosterone increase the sex drive? Depression after sex could be just garden variety depression or lack of sexual chemistry.

    Being free of feminine bullshit may have even increased her confidence which led to a better sex life. Can’t say for sure though. Not enough information.
    ————————————————————————————

    As for Kaitte, dude seems to hate being a homosexual male.
    And what is it with dudes and porn?

    I will never understand how people find porn erotic. It’s naked people having sex. And sometimes it’s just naked people doing gross shit. Where is the appeal?

    • jo Says:

      “Naked people having sex” sounds potentionally appealing, but that’s not really what porn is, is it. It’s mostly men filming other men penetrating some prostituted female or feminine person who has to pretend they like whatever unsexy or cruel thing they do – all for the sake of male viewer’s ego and boners. I can’t understand how anyone can keep watching porn without questioning how the people in it feel, and not stopping, if they have any empathy.
      I also don’t understand how someone could keep looking at misogynist/homophobic/actually transphobic shemale drawn porn without questioning the content and asking themselves if these are their own actual values and actual turn-ons. Seems like the guy was using various porn to try to brainwashing himself into not being gay though…!

      Yes, I also want to know what is means to love shoes like a gay man instead of like a woman. I like some fashion blogs, where the female bloggers get excited over well-crafted traditional leather brogues and similar styles. They aren’t male or butch even, they just like well-made beautiful items and shoes you can actually walk in. Is that sort of thing she was talking about, I wonder? It’s marketed so hard to us women, that we must like impractical heels and buy new fashion crap all the time with our often more limited money to improve our looks.
      -that doesnt mean we are naturally like that. Just sayin’, in case someone reading here feel less like a woman because she doesn’t like heels or lingerie and such things.
      Imagine a woman living in the stone age, or on the arctic thundra, or in a rainforest. Do you think she has an intense inner desire to buy heels?


      • I do not understand porn at all. I don’t get the appeal or the need to watch it.

        Especially if you read some of the stuff about how the people in porn films are treated. It’s like reading about slavery and then watching some slaves. It is completely devoid of empathy. And they (men) usually find ways of justifying porn to themselves

        It reminded me of this ex-pat British woman who lived in U.A.E with her husband (who was a Forensic expert who taught over there). She was telling me about her house-keepers and how grateful her housekeepers were about being employed by Westerners. She told me horror stories about how Arab men treated their housekeepers (Usually Thai, Filipino or Vietnamese women). Stories of sexual abuse and being treated worse than animals.

        I was still upset and I kept saying to her “Why have a housekeeper at all? Why do you need to have one? It’s not a common thing to do for the societies that we come from”
        And she just kept saying about how they’re desperate and needed work (but she still paid them a pittance) and that basically she was doing them a favour by employing them.

      • BadDyke Says:

        “Imagine a woman living in the stone age, or on the arctic thundra, or in a rainforest. Do you think she has an intense inner desire to buy heels?”
        But given most things you see/read about prehistoric MAN, she must have been doing something whilst he was out hunting, or flint knaping, or making cave paintings. Cooking, sewing, looking after baby and probably thinking about personal adornment seem to be all she was good for………………..Oh, and of course, the minor bit of gathering that she did (despite evidence it would have provided MOST of the calories!) was just preparation for shopping……………..

        After all, the default human is male, and even I find myself thinking of a MALE stone age human as the default, because a female seems too specific and ‘unrepresentative’! Even those supposedly genderless, neuter figures come across AS the default male, because without breasts, what else can they be? The training goes deep!

    • Loup-loup garou Says:

      Stone-age women probably had an intense desire to rotate three-dimensional objects in their minds, because that’s the only way you can create the tools you need to gather more efficiently while Fred and Barney are out hunting woolly mammoths.

  7. Siobhan Says:

    pudgerpants simply sounds depressed. But rather than getting help for her very real depression, she’s embracing a fantasy role, and probably getting a short term thrill out of it.

    I suspect that a lot of people who transition suffer from severe depression, but their problems are simply dismissed as part of their gender discomfort and they never receive the care they really need. Transition becomes a form of suicide, a way to remake themselves as a fantasy person of their own creation. What happens when the thrill of the new wears off? I suspect that this is the story behind some well-publicized trans suicides.

  8. JDaniel Says:

    “I just knew that I didn’t like them like a girl liked them – more like how a gay man likes shoes.”

    Sick sick sick. As a human being and as a gay man, this whole story makes me absolutely fucking sick. Hey you; sad, misguided, sexist, homophobe! Whatever “way” that you like shoes (WTF??!) is BY DEFINITION the way a woman likes shoes! Because at least one woman is doing it! And that woman is YOU!

    • Loup-loup garou Says:

      Bingo. What she probably means is that she can appreciate shoes in an artistic way, but doesn’t really care for the posture-distorting, T&A-exaggerating, and plantar-fasciitis-causing effects of most women’s shoes, particularly high heels.

      Women are supposed to be thrilled to strap something on to their feet that causes them to wobble around with their hips and breasts thrust out. Therefore, if a woman thinks there’s something cool about the design elements of a pair of 4-inch spikes, no one notices. Her appreciation for them is supposed to be a direct result of her desire to be attractive to men (that is, to comply with the beauty and f***ability mandates). Unless that woman’s name is Anna Wintour, anything intellectual or artistic about her interest in said shoes goes unnoticed by 99% of the world. She is seen as a normal woman doing what comes naturally to her; moreover, if she thinks, as some of us do, that high heels are monstrosities, she’s considered a frump, or a feminazi, or asexual, or an ugly duckling in need of a makeover, or a dowdy dyke.

      When a gay man is interested in women’s shoes, or interior decorating, people assume it’s because he’s some sort of design genius. At least two sitcoms I know of (Cheers and King of the Hill) have had episodes where a straight man discovers that he has a talent for interior decorating or hairdressing, and has to pretend to be gay in order not to lose all his customers. It’s an old, old joke.

      What gets talked about less is that a lot of women know in their guts that they would get more recognition for certain talents and interests that are stereotypically considered feminine if only they were gay men.

      Btw, I do not buy into the notion that gay men are innately better at those kinds of things than anyone else, or innately worse at conventionally masculine things. I think it’s a rough world, and people find their opportunities where they can.

      • JDaniel Says:

        That’s an insightful comment. “I can appreciate shoes as works of art, but only a man can do that!”

    • Adrian Says:

      “Whatever “way” that you like shoes (WTF??!) is BY DEFINITION the way a woman likes shoes! “

      EXACTLY this. Whatever I do, as a woman, however “off” from whatever bell curve averages people are supposedly measuring with the fMRI this month, is by definition woman behavior because I am a woman. Period. Whatever my brain is doing, it’s a valid example of a woman brain.

      I get so tired of reading around the internet people saying “oh I like this [stereotypically masculine thing] so I must really be a boy!!” or worse yet some M2T person saying “I make a better woman than you do because I actually care enough to keep up my appearance!!!” as if women “naturally” are supposed to “care” or as if I am not perfectly happy with my appearance the way it is.

      I mean what, “I don’t want a big Cinderella wedding so I must be a man!” just… lolwut? People need to read less trashy magazines and quit buying into stereotypes is what they need to do!

  9. Amy Says:

    That whole first comment could’ve been me in my youth. I hated dresses, threw fits, never wanted to get married… Does she think romantic comedies are real life? Those girls who threw her the note, I bet if she had actually spoken to them, instead of relegated them to “girls – not friends” at least one of them would’ve said she hates wearing dresses to church, too. But no, girls were never human beings to her. They were “other.” Girls giggle and love shaving and having babies and also like shoes in a non-gay man way? God, how awful.

  10. Siobhan Says:

    “I just knew that I didn’t like them like a girl liked them – more like how a gay man likes shoes.”

    How this girl likes shoes: 1: they keep my feet dry. 2: they fit — wide width because I have really high arches that require wide widths 3: they don’t pinch or hurt my feet. 4. I can run or walk or move however I need to move in them. 5. they aren’t so ugly that wearing them makes me a pariah.

    I do own this one pair of shoes — made in Israel, soft black leather, low heels, very comfortable but also beautiful in a simple, well-crafted, way. They cost a lot of money but I felt good buying them because they were so handsome and comfortable and they were actually my (unusual) size.

    Is that supposed to be masculine-gay or something? I never thought of my shoe neutrality as having anything to do with, well, anything besides foot contentment.

  11. BadDyke Says:

    “Is that supposed to be masculine-gay or something? I never thought of my shoe neutrality as having anything to do with, well, anything besides foot contentment.”

    Ah, THAT’S the male thing there, thinking that you are entitled to have happy and comfy toes, rather than sacrificing any lower-extremity contentment on the altar of consumerism and sexual fetishes…………..

    • Adrian Says:

      Speaking of body modification, apparently it’s a thing among certain people to get the little toe removed so as to better fit into some of the more pointy-toed expensive high-heels.

      I guess they’re “transtoed” or something.

  12. Adrian Says:

    Count me in with the group who finds some resonance in the first woman’s entry. She sounds a lot like I did, as far as the hating “feminine” dress, having all male role models (or as I would think of them, neutral role models, because they get to do what they want without the constant “but someone can rape you!” “you will be the chattel in the story about the end of the world because let’s face it you’re weak” bullshit), no girly-girl friends, no shaving/heels/makeup/etc.

    I just said “no” earlier on and without thinking I need to be a man. I will not lie though, plenty of doors at the time were effectively closed to me and yes that made me furious. I did not, however, think I needed to be a man. Would things have been a HELL of a lot more convenient if I were born a man, at the time? Absolutely. But didn’t work out that way.

    Wanting a big wedding? Ha, I got married in the park after work. It was more than enough, paper’s legal!

  13. cerulean blue Says:

    I love the graphic for this post, as it so clearly shows the perceived differences between male and female brains. Men have fewer thoughts, but when they do have them, they are big, bold and RED. They are not confined to one area of the brain and obviously these thoughts are important. Women, on the other hand, have a zillion competing thoughts, all small and sparkly and pastel, competing for attention, but of little important, clearly meant to be the background noise of conversations. And localized to one area of the brain, presumably the verbal parts.

    They did draw the female brain bigger, though, so I guess that’s something.

  14. Sam Says:

    “There are a number of women with Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome, sometimes giving them an XY set of chromosomes, which, typically, would be associated with men. Are they not women?”

    They are intersex women. I wish these people would stop appropriating intersex issues for their own interests.

    This just infuriates me.

    Is there no end to this?

    http://www.bustle.com/articles/7727-im-a-transgender-woman-and-this-is-what-its-like


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