I’ve done what???

“So you transitioned on the job?”  That was the question I was asked by one of the transgender panelists after the meeting the other night.

I wrote about this about three years ago.  I have a rather narrow definition of transition as it applies to transgender people.  It is a definition, really, of transsexual transition – one with surgery and legal name changes and the like.  It implies things about me – about my identity and my intentions – that I don’t know are correct.  And because of this, it do my best to avoid using the term in reference to myself.

But it doesn’t stop others from using it.  It seems that idea of ‘transition’ has broadened some – and I likely fall into the group of people who have transitioned ‘socially’.  Back when I started to deal with all of this, I friend of mine lived her life as a woman with no desire for surgery: she called it ‘crossliving’.  Some called her a non-op transsexual, some called her a crossdresser, and some called her a fraud.  But she was living a life true to how she identified.

It would be hard for me to say she had not ‘transitioned’.  Twelve years later, I look at myself and find I am doing something similar.  No, I have not changed my name or made any ‘body mods’ – but my presentation is clearly more feminine.  As I made my way to the discussion the other night, three times I was addressed as ‘Miss’.  It happens a lot and I cannot deny that I like it and that it is what I want people to see.

But still, that word…  There is a ring of finality to it.  There is a sense that one has passed the point of no return and that all one can do is to soldier onward.  It’s a frightening thought to me – I don’t exactly know why, but it is.  I know I could not go back to the way I used to be, but still…

Even the bravest of us rarely has the courage for what he Really Knows. – Nietzsche

So very true…

Even the bravest of us rarely has the courage for what he Really Knows. – Nietzsche


  1. ameniewen
    Posted November 13, 2009 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    Hello Donna,

    I’m happy that you’re alright and have risen from a depressive mood. I’ve sent you a letter half a year ago but you haven’t got back.

    I believe there is a way out from all of this. A REAL solution. It has worked for me and after 15 years of suffering and misery very similar to yours I’m finally free. I’m so happy now that I was cautious and did not choose the transition. I can make no promises but if it was possible for one man it might be possible for another. Or at least I could share a good story.

    What if I presented some evidence that the feeling you have might not be true after all? What if that little voice in your head preventing you from transitioning is actually right? And I’m not talking about sacrificing any of who you are but actually embracing it with full force. Becoming more of who you are and have always been, strengthening the important connections around you. It’s possible.

  2. Posted November 13, 2009 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    I have never really doubted my reasons for not transitioning. It’s simple really – I like my family and want to keep them. And what I have done for the last twelve or so years has been to embrace who I am and live a more authentic life with respect to how I identify.

    I never claim to have it all worked out. If you have insights you would like to share, then please do. 🙂

  3. ameniewen
    Posted November 14, 2009 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    As I have said this topic have had a deep impact on my personal life. Transgender feelings have some positive effects as we can see the world in quite an unusual and deeper kind of way but it’s also a source of the biggest frustration when we feel that we do not express who we truly are. Often I have wished for it to just go away and leave me in peace but it never did.

    Traditional therapy was not effective for me when dealing with transgender feelings. And from what I have been reading it’s largely the case among the community. So I began researching gender psychology on my own – with some vague hope to understand those feelings. The only other alternative was to succumb to my desires and that was not the future I wanted because I would also would like to have a family. And during the last few years I have finally found some things that really explained how I felt and have actually worked to reverse that.

    Here are some starting clues:

    – It appears that there are two kinds of transgender according to age it starts: some realize it early on at the age of 4-5 and some during puberty. It’s an important observation as it hints that the second group might be influenced by the development of sexual drive. Mine had started during that later period as well as yours (you have mentioned it on this site). Most males from this group are heterosexual (attracted to women). It’s very uncommon for transgender feelings to emerge during later stages in life.

    – There was a period in your life when those feelings subsided – at the start of your marriage. It’s the same case for me: when I fell in love I wanted to be a man, but later I slowly drifted to my “natural” state. What this shows is that there is capacity somewhere in us to enjoy our original gender but it’s hidden and cannot be accessed most of the time. My latest focus of research had been how to recall that state of mind willfully and how to sustain it.

    – There is something special in a way you communicate, express yourself and organize your thoughts. You’ve noticed it yourself here: https://wanderingaloud.wordpress.com/2007/12/03/no-beach-to-walk-on/ I’ve noticed that pattern in myself and in some other transgendered individuals whom I met online and who shared the previous two criteria. Do you know your MBTI type? (if not you can discover it here http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp or here ) I’ll tell you later why it can be important. I’m also interested if you qualify as HSP (can take the test here http://www.hsperson.com/pages/test.htm)

  4. Posted November 14, 2009 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Actually, TG can manifest itself at any time. At one point, transsexuals were categorized as ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ depending on whether things manifest earlier or later in life.

    Yes, being married made me feel better, but it never eliminated the feelings. I cross-dressed while dating and after marriage, albeit to a lesser extent. Getting married was never about wanting to be a man, it was about being in love with someone. I never wanted to be a man – neither as an adolescent nor as an adult. I learned how to be one, but it is not something I have ever embraced.

    What I enjoy(ed) has nothing to do with gender. In fact gender tends to just make it all that much more difficult. My love for my wife is not a ‘man loving a woman’ thing – it’s an individual loving another individual. I don’t feel ‘manly’ being married – nor do I feel ‘womanly’. Like I said, gender just mucks up the works in general.

    It sounds like your idea is more of a sustained distraction than a solution. One has to wonder how long you can maintain said distraction before it all come crashing in on you. Nonetheless, I am curious to hear what has ‘worked’ for you. 🙂

    My MBTI is ‘INFP’, weighted 75 25 50 33. As for the other ‘high sensitivity’ thing, I selected eight of the choices. I’ll admit to finding that one far too subjective to lend it much credence.

  5. ameniewen
    Posted November 15, 2009 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    I’ve sent you an email with further development since it’s too lengthy to explain in comments section 🙂

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