2007年4月3日 星期二

幫助考慮您的性別身分的問題

如果您有機會讀這頁, 您大概是有一些與性別相關的問題。這頁是問題我彙集幫助您澄清您的感覺的名單和想法。頁解釋各種各樣的選擇不同於transitioning 和並且提供小心反對transitioning 。在您開始之前, 我會想做是基本上正義的幾闡明因此您不採取什麼我太嚴重說。在最後您將必須選擇為你自己任何道路是最佳為您。這些是唯一我的想法、感覺, 和看法。這些問題根據我的個人經驗以transitioning 。他們並且根據所有我看見了在人民中有transitioned 或考慮transitioning 。

闡明、定義, & 假定
這些是正義問題。這在不是一個被確認的心理措施!! 那是這不是一個' 測試' 為transsexuality 。沒有可能認為的心理合法的測試誰是並且不是transsexual 。

這些問題是正義的幫助您考慮許多transitioning 的不同的方面。您的反應不是正確或錯誤答復。我不給"答復鑰匙" "等級" 您的答復。沒有"完善的比分。" 當我給出個人例子和回答那只對幫助做得清楚什麼我意味由問題。我不意味我感到我的答復是' 正確的' 答復。

這是正義的一些想法從transsexual 對她"性別詢問的" 兄弟和姐妹。雖然一些我的問題從讀心理文學出來關於我們, 這不是療法! 我不是幫助行業心理學家。我是一位科學心理學家, 手段我設計實驗嘗試和瞭解怎麼人們是。我沒有特殊治療技能並且我不應該一定被重視作為"當局" 如果您如果轉折。實際上, 我甚而不感到治療師能繼續下去真實的當局如果您如果轉折。它是某事, 只您能是當局。

這些問題是為任何人對他們的性別身分表示懷疑。為了寫問題為大家, 我需要使用一些心理用語。二您應該知道是"生物性" 和"目標性。" 您的生物性根據您是出生與的性器官。您的目標性是您考慮您也許是的性。例如, 如果您也許是男性對女性transsexual 然後您的生物性是"男性" 並且您的目標性是"女性。"

我假設, 您花費大多數您的時間出席作為您的生物性。例如, 如果您也許是女性對男性transsexual, 多半時間您然後提出自己作為女性(既使您出席作為一名非常男性婦女) 。如果您已經度過多數您的生活作為您的目標性, 特別是如果您無法應付是您的生物性, 它已經是大概相當清楚您是transsexual!

問題
想像您能開始生活, 從您是出生的片刻。知道一切您現在知道, 您得到選擇性您是出生。您會做出什麼選擇? 為什麼您做出了那個選擇? 什麼也許是好關於您的生活如同您選擇的性? 什麼也許是壞關於您的生活如同您選擇的性?

現在嘗試輕微的轉彎在您假定: 想像您能開始生活, 從您是出生的片刻。知道一切您現在知道, 您得到選擇改變僅有二件事的當中一個。(1) 您能改變您和或(2) 您能改變您的感覺是出生的性因此您從未有所有性別身分問題。那是如果您也許是女性對馬律transsexual 您能選擇是男孩或出生因為一個女孩沒有曾經感覺您是或應該是男孩。

多數人民是性別概要。那是心理學期限使人的傾向劃分人成男孩和女孩。認為, 嘗試記住某人您的目標性認為的時期, "Oh 您正義think/feel 那樣因為您是man/woman 。" 您怎麼感覺關於被編組方式? 這導致了您任何疼的感覺嗎? 您怎麼反應了? 總之, 性別概要怎麼是您? 那是您經常說事如"男孩是?and 女孩是? 或您設法使分組減到最小其他人做由說事像, "可能男孩和女孩是不同的像您言但這不是一個非常大區別。"

您曾經故意穿戴了和或故意表現了像您的目標性嗎? 您做了這用' 大' 方式或' 小' 方式, 或兩個在不同的時刻嗎? 為例子作為我的個人' 小' 方式如我佩帶大poofy schrunchies 握我長的頭髮幾年在我曾經考慮transitioning 之前。' 大' 方式的例子是出去在天(或更長的) 提出作為您的目標性。您什麼有動機這些事? 如果您未做任何如此物, 為什麼不是?

您曾經被指責了故意穿戴或故意表現像您的目標性即使您故意地沒有做□那? 並且, 某人曾經指出了怎麼您的行為的方面是像您的目標性即使您沒有意識到那? 那怎麼做了您感受? 您認為什麼? 您曾經採取步驟沒有特徵像您的目標性嗎? 例如, 我過去常保持我的手被摺疊在我的後面之後某人明確地曾經告訴我多麼少女我的手勢是。

在您早期的童年期間(在青春期之前) 什麼是您的朋友像? 描述您的最好的朋友。他們是男孩或女孩嗎? 什麼是您喜愛的類型戲劇? 何時您演奏了與玩具' 意味' 為您的生物性, 您演奏了與他們用典型的方式? 例如, 我過去常有我演奏以方法成他們典型作為朋友和家庭的火柴盒汽車(一個定形地男孩樣玩具) 。它在只在過去幾年之內當學習我發現幻想戲劇的發展心理學如這是特點女孩。什麼做您的朋友選擇和活動選擇從青年時期告訴您關於誰您是。有您被禁止做是的活動, 那您真正地想做? 為什麼您被禁止做那? 您怎麼反應了?

您對你自己說事像, 我真正地不是transsexual 因為我無法辨認以定義: "人被困住在婦女的身體" 或"婦女被困住在一個人的身體。" 如果您說, 您也許考慮可能性這些是正義流行文化鉛板, 不是定義。有確定地是transsexual 誰言事像那裡是某事"深深告訴他們的裡面" 他們他們是男孩或女孩。但有並且不感覺那樣的transsexuals 。您也許考慮發現在怎樣之外人民考慮或感覺他們的transsexuality 。一個地方開始是我內省的transsexual 鏈接頁。

您對你自己說事如, "是太晚為我對轉折", "我是太老的", 或"但願我能去回到(一些更加早期的點在我的生活中) 我然後會轉折。" 如果您說事如那您也許考慮可能性您犯一個經典推理錯誤稱"下沉的費用謬論。" 我寫了其它雜文在您能讀我的"居住的生活" 部分的這個題目。

大家有許多身分並且性別身分是只他們的當中一個。例如, 我有非常強烈的感覺關於是科學家。我感到有某事科學家份額共同興趣並且這是方式非科學家通常是的另外形式。"科學家" 是我的身分的當中一個。什麼是您的身分? 哪個是最重要對您。您是願意改變您的性肯定您的性別身分嗎? 性變動怎麼也許影響您的其它身分? 例如, 我是驚嚇我也許不能再成為科學家如果我transitioned 。

您真正地想要是相反性或您想要是' 幻想' 相反性嗎? 大家有幻想關於什麼他們的生活也許是像如果他們做出不同的決定但現實比我們想像經常結果更大量世俗。您現實地考慮了什麼您獲取和丟失將將由transitioning? 嘗試這鍛煉: 摺疊紙片入四個部分和標記他們"讚成男性", "精讀男性", "讚成女性", 和"精讀女性。" 現在寫許多件事如同您能認為為各個小組。例如, 在"精讀女性之下" 寫您能認為那也許是壞關於被重視作為女性的所有事。

您有"性別煩躁不安" (即您感到有真正地壞事關於您被察覺作為您的生物性) 或您有"性別幸福感" (即您感到有真正地偉大事關於您被察覺作為您的目標性) 。您也許有兩個。如果您誠實地沒有性別煩躁不安您也許是謹慎的關於您不是現實的關於您的幻想的可能性。

您是感覺那裡任何錯誤以是一名同性戀者、女同性戀的婦女, 或cross-dresser 嗎? 如果您, 考慮如果您設法應付以您真正地是由相信您的您的恐懼也許是transsexual 。它是完全地好如果您有對任何的秘密恐懼這些小組。多數人民做由於社會stigmatize 這些小組的方式。我希望您將需要某個時候探索每個這些小組。您大概發現所有奇怪社區的部份包括您喜歡的人並且人們您不會將。您將找到人在她是難以相信地好和其他人是完全地討厭的每個這些小組。如果您花費足夠時間與任何這些小組, 您也許看多麼不同各個小組是並且怎麼他們是像大家。

就您的選擇而論
有您考慮較少' 極端' 步應付您的性別身分問題。以我所見, 有您能採取較不極端步驟的二種寬廣的方式。單程創造' 次要' 生活作為您的目標性。您也許週末cross-dress 或假期或其它場合。或您也許得到介入trans 、性別男同性戀者、阻力、bigender, 等社區作為您的生活的一個方面。

其它寬廣較少' 極端' 步應付您的性別身分問題將帶來您離您的目標性較近。您也許捲起, 束縛, 或包裝。您也許androgynously 穿戴。您也許得到任意手術像乳房亞當斯蘋果的減少或減少。您也許採取其它步驟為您的身體像激素或電析。如果您設法行動如您是生物性, 您也許停止!!!!! 您可能讓自己是一個少女男孩或一個男孩樣女孩因為您也許發現您能仍然有許多朋友和生活當仍然出席作為您的生物性。實際上, 您也許簡單地有好關係因為您非常不再將佔領您的時間設法是皮某事! 您也許甚而開始告訴您辨認更多以您的目標性比您的生物性的人。

您也許考慮療法因為它可能幫助以許多我們的生活的方面。我從未實際上有療法幫助我以性別問題因為我沒去療法直到在我出席之後當女性每大部份的時間和我去療法出席作為女性和請求幫助與HRT 和SRS 。但即使如此療法有價值為我與我的自尊問題打交道。您能讀更多關於我的經驗在療法在我的心理學部分。Transitioning 非常幫助了我以自尊和其它問題, 但療法也是非常幫助了我。記住您不需要去療法轉折; 您能去療法改進您的生活的質量。您甚而不需要專家在性別身分問題得到很多幫助從治療師。

小心注意事項
大家轉折不是愉快以他們的決定! 我甚而知道的幾位崗位操作transsexuals, 雖然他們說他們更加愉快, 那不那麼容易知道。我遇見了被填裝充滿憤怒和怨恨和從未行動通過它的幾位崗位操作transsexuals 。我遇見了居住在' transgender ' 亞文化群而不是是裡更大的世界的部份的幾位transsexuals 。我看見曾經有家庭和事業放棄一切的人們並且' 幸運地' 有巨大的離婚解決。我有看見放棄他們工作的人們(以一些合理化為什麼他們可能不能轉折當那裡) 並且搬入一棟小公寓。其他人被射擊。我看見人使用他們的畢生積蓄對逗留掩藏在' transgender ' 亞文化群幾年來只是能對轉折因為他們會花費他們的生活儲款。我要求安排金錢大量的transsexual 只是掩藏為什麼她沒有得到工作因此她能探索什麼它將像居住作為婦女。為什麼不得到工作作為女服務員與人民相處融洽誰不是transsexuals? 我擔心她因為她變得隱退並且她沒有行動任何像什麼多數婦女行動像。但是女服務員是"在她之下" 並且得到一個工作在她的領域是"明顯地" 不可能的因為婦女不能有她的簡歷。我看見說的人們I "有" 對轉折。他們"更加愉快: 現在但所有他們曾經談論是他們的過去。他們從未似乎有希望和夢想為他們的未來。他們居住在憤怒在宗教機關或前配偶、或將責備的家庭成員, 或他人。我甚而必須停止談與一些transsexuals 因為它是正義的太多使我多次聽見他們的同樣惱怒的故事。他們不能停止並且他們不能改變他們的故事因為他們的故事在所有關於過去。雖然怎麼能他們改變? 他們沒有生活除了他們的過去作為他們的生物性。

我不是唯一一個誰注意這。當我提及了它對我的治療師, 她說她看了同樣事物。她說有"而不是從壁櫥出來, 僅僅來入更大的壁櫥的transsexuals 。" 我不意味建議這是固有地壞。您也許真正地愛生活作為' transgender ' 亞文化群一部分。但那是非常與生活不同作為人或婦女。請是確切關於什麼您設法達到當您轉折。某些人民真正地是transgenderists 。總之我感到他們是相當涼快的即使我親自不辨認與他們。Transgenderists 真正地是愉快和自信以他們的選擇質詢一個二進制性別系統。但有並且他們真正的文化的活外部的人民因為他們是太被驚嚇或惱怒或缺乏信心加入世界。投擲在"反對之外二進制性別系統" 強有力的修辭意味□什麼如果它來自某人恨世界, 喪失他們的自信面對生活, 和不喜歡自己作為人。有時"transgenderism" 是大花梢詞為掩藏一個大差錯。

我不意味說您必須來一天和是完全地自信和愉快作為您的目標性。像, 在是以後全時經過一年我是緊張的關於第一次教我自己的課作為女孩。我教了在作為男孩之前。但是緊張的沒有意味我對教不抱希望。我喜愛教! 並且教那些課是令人敬畏的經驗! 我愛怎麼我得到與我的學生關係和我自己! 那給我更多信心面對所有生活的方面和是我自己! 每片刻我居住作為女孩, 既使當壞事發生, 幫助授權我居住和增長和愉快。我過去常整個地傾吐自己入學術材料。我變得隱退對世界和越□越社會上笨拙。並且我能合理化它對我自己用各種各樣的方式包括多少更加成功我比所有那些一般的人民浪廢他們的時間在社會事打算是。並且我在一些方面正確。我大概不是我能是的這位令人驚訝的科學家如果我投入了一切我的精神入那。但我恨人。我恨生活。我經常考慮了自殺從第三年級。但我甚而未考慮自殺一次從去全時。每天我學會更多關於我自己。我冒更多險。我顯示。我真正地居住。並且我愉快。

反語是, 我看見轉折用相反方式的某些人民。我知道是什麼它像恨世界和恨大家。並且我能感覺它在我遇見了在' transgender ' 社區的某些人民。他們有知識分子聽起來方式辯解恨手段□什麼對我因為恨不是幸福無論知識分子它聽起來。

一個最後的評論
因為您讀我的問題和評論幫助您澄清您的選擇, 您也許決定您真正地是transsexual 或您真正地不是transsexual 。但我希望您將考慮重新考慮關於您的決定用其它方式。它是真正地不事關如果您是或不是transsexual 。您是您! 並且人們能重新解釋transsexual 因此它意味關於任何東西! 有甚而單一地定義transsexual 作為某人轉折的許多心理學家。好了並且它是可能為人得到採用辯論如果他們"真正地是transsexual 。" 但真正的問題, 和唯一的問題, 您需要回答是這: 什麼道路為您的生活將讓您愉快?

最好祝願在您的個人旅途和發現您的個人幸福。

Madeline

我希望性別身分& Transgenderism 參觀的"心理學" 是有用和情報的為您。實際上, 我希望參觀能有是令人深思事情感移動和為您。它被採取很多為我對推測誰我是並且何處我適合世界。分開怎樣我現在看見自己是為什麼我與您分享這些經驗。它是由於我持續開發這個網站的您的參觀! 我很大地會讚賞如果您會考慮投入 鏈接 在您的站點對我的站點。

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Questions to Help Thinking about Your Gender Identity
Chances are, if you're reading this page, you probably have some kind of gender-related issue. This page is a list of questions and thoughts I have put together to help you clarify your feelings. The page also explains various options other than transitioning and offers a caution against transitioning. Before you begin, I just would like to make a few clarifications that are basically just so you don't take anything I say too seriously. In the end you will have to choose for yourself whatever path is best for you. These are only my thoughts, feelings, and opinions. These questions are based on my personal experiences with transitioning. They're also based on all I've seen among other people who have transitioned or have considered transitioning.

Clarifications, Definitions, & Assumptions
These are just questions. This in not a validated psychological measure!! That is, this is not a 'test' for transsexuality. There is no psychological valid test which can say who is and who is not a transsexual.

These questions are just to help you consider many different aspects of transitioning. Your responses are not right or wrong answers. I'm not giving an "answer key" to "grade" your answers. There is no "perfect score." When I give personal examples as answers that only to help make clear what I mean by the question. I don't mean I feel my answers are the 'right' answers.

This is just some thoughts from a transsexual to her "gender-questioning" brothers and sisters. Though some of my questions come out of reading the psychological literature about us, this is NOT therapy! I'm not even a helping-profession psychologist. I'm a scientific psychologist, which means I design experiments to try and understand how people are. I have no particular therapeutic skills and I certainly should not be thought of as an "authority" on if you should transition. Actually, I don't even feel a therapist can be a true authority on if you should transition. It's something that only you can be the authority about.

These questions are for anybody who is questioning their gender identity. In order to write the questions for everybody, I need to use some psychological terms. Two that you should know are "biological sex" and "target sex." Your biological sex is based on the sex organs you were born with. Your target sex is the sex you are considering you might be. For example, if you might be a male to female transsexual then your biological sex is "male" and your target sex is "female."

I'm assuming that you spend most of your time presenting as your biological sex. For example, if you might be a female to male transsexual, then most of the time you present yourself as female (even if you present as a very masculine woman). If you already spend the majority of your life as your target sex, especially if you can't deal with being your biological sex, it's already probably pretty clear that you're a transsexual!

Questions
Imagine you could start life over, right from the moment you were born. Knowing everything you know now, you get to choose which sex you are born. What choice would you make? Why did you make that choice? What might be better about your life as the sex you chose? What might be worse about your life as the sex you chose?

Now try a slight twist on your hypothetical: Imagine you could start life over, right from the moment you were born. Knowing everything you know now, you get to choose to change one and only one of two things. (1) you can change the sex you're born as or (2) you can change your feelings so you never have any gender identity issues. That is, if you might be a Female-to-Male transsexual you can choose to be been boy or be born as a girl without ever feeling you are or should be a boy.

Most people are gender-schematic. That's a psychology term for people's tendency to divide people into boys and girls. Thinking back, try to remember a time where somebody of your target sex said, "Oh you just think/feel that way because you're a man/woman." How do you feel about being grouped that way? Did this cause you any hurt feelings? How did you respond? In general, how gender schematic are you? That is, do you often say things like "boys are ?and girls are ? or do you try to minimize the groupings others make by saying things like, "maybe boys and girls are different like you say but it's not a very big difference."

Have you ever purposely dressed as or purposely behaved like your target sex? Did you do this in a 'big' way or a 'small' way, or both at different times? For an example take on of my personal 'small' ways like I wore big poofy schrunchies to hold back my long hair for several years before I ever considered transitioning. An example of a 'big' way is to go out for the day (or longer) presenting as your target sex. What motivated you to do these things? If you haven't done anything like this, why not?

Have you ever been accused of purposely dressing or purposely behaving like your target sex even though you weren't intentionally doing that? Also, has somebody ever pointed out how an aspect of your behavior is like your target sex even though you weren't aware of that? How did that make you feel? What did you think? Have you ever taken steps not to have traits like your target sex? For example, I used to keep my hands folded behind my back once somebody explicitly told me how girlish my hand gestures are.

During your early childhood (before puberty) what were your friends like? Describe your best friends. Were they boys or girls? What were you favorite types of play? When you played with toys 'meant' for your biological sex, did you play with them in the typical way? For example, I used to have matchbox cars (a stereotypically boyish toy) which I played with in a way that personified them as friends and family. It was only in the last few years when studying developmental psychology that I found out fantasy play like this is more typical of girls. What do your friend choices and activity choices from youth tell you about whom you are. Were there activities you were forbidden to do, that you really wanted to do? Why were you forbidden to do that? How did you respond?

Do you say things to yourself like, I'm not really a transsexual because I can't identify with the definition: "man trapped in a woman's body" or "woman trapped in a man's body." If you're saying that, you might consider the possibility that these are just pop-culture cliches, not definitions. There definitely are transsexual who say things like there's something "deep inside" them that tells them that they are a boy or girl. But there are also transsexuals who don't feel that way. You might consider finding out how other people think or feel about their transsexuality. One place to start is my introspective transsexual links page.

Do you say things to yourself like, "It's too late for me to transition", "I'm too old", or "If only I could go back to (some earlier point in my life) then I would transition." If you say things like that you might consider the possibility that you're making a classic reasoning error called "the fallacy of sunk cost." I wrote another essay on this topic which you can read in my "living life" section.

Everybody has lots of identities and gender identity is only one of them. For example, I have very strong feelings about being a scientist. I feel there's something scientists share in common and it's different form the way non-scientists usually are. "Scientist" is one of my identities. What are your identities? Which ones are most important to you. Are you willing to change your sex to affirm your gender identity? How might a sex change influence your other identities? For example, I was scared I might not be able to become a scientist anymore if I transitioned.

Do you really want to be the opposite sex or do you want to be a 'fantasy' of the opposite sex? Everybody has fantasies about what their life might be like if they make different decisions but often reality turns out to be a lot more mundane than we imagine. Have you considered realistically what you'll gain and lose by transitioning? Try this exercise: fold a sheet of paper into four sections and label them "pro-male", "con-male", "pro-female", and "con-female." Now write as many things as you can think of for each group. For example, under "con-female" write all the things you can think of that might be bad about being thought of as female.

Do you have "gender dysphoria" (i.e. you feel there's something really bad about you being perceived as your biological sex) or do you have "gender euphoria" (i.e. you feel there's something really great about you being perceived as your target sex). You might have both. If you don't honestly have gender dysphoria you might be a bit more cautious about the possibility you're not being realistic about your fantasies.

Do you feel there's anything wrong with being a gay man, lesbian woman, or a cross-dresser? If you do, consider if you're trying to cope with your fears about which you really are by believing you might be a transsexual. It's completely okay if you have secret fears of any of these groups. Most people do because of the way societies stigmatize these groups. I just hope you'll take some time to explore each of these groups. You'll probably find that all parts of the queer community include people you'll like and people you won't. You'll find people in each of these groups her are unbelievably nice and others who are completely obnoxious. If you spend enough time with any of these groups, you might see how diverse each group is and how they're just like everybody else.

Considering Your Options
Have you considered a less 'extreme' steps to deal with your gender identity issues. In my opinion, there are two broad ways you can take less extreme steps. One way is creating a 'secondary' life as your target sex. You might cross-dress on weekends or vacations or other occasions. Or you might get more involved in the trans, gender queers, drag, bigender, etc communities as just one aspect of your life.

Another broad less 'extreme' step to deal with your gender identity issues is to bring you closer to your target sex. You might tuck, bind, or pack. You might dress more androgynously. You might get optional surgeries like breast reduction or reductions of the adams apple. You might take other steps for your body like hormones or electrolysis. If you've been trying to act like you're biological sex, you might stop!!!!! You might just let yourself be a girlish boy or a boyish girl because you might discover that you could still have lots of friends and a life while still presenting as your biological sex. In fact, you might have much better relationships simply because you will no longer occupy so much of your time trying to be hide something! You might even start telling people you identify far more with your target sex than your biological sex.

You might consider therapy because it can help with many aspects of our life. I never actually had therapy to help me with gender issues because I didn't go to therapy until after I was presenting as female a large part of the time and I went to therapy presenting as female and requesting help with HRT and SRS. But even so therapy has been very valuable for me in dealing with my self-esteem issues. You can read more about my experiences in therapy in my psychology section. Transitioning helped me a great deal with self-esteem and other issues, but therapy helped me a great deal too. Remember you don't need to go to therapy to transition; you can go to therapy just to improve the quality of your life. You don't even need a specialist in gender identity issues to get a lot of help from a therapist.

Important Note of Caution
Everybody who transitions is not happy with their decision! I even know several post-op transsexuals who, though they say they're happier, that's not so easy to tell. I have met several post-op transsexuals who are filled with anger and hate and never move passed it. I have met several transsexuals who live in a 'transgender' sub-culture rather than being a part of the larger world. I've seen people who once had families and careers that give up everything and 'fortunately' have a huge divorce settlement. I've seen people who quit their jobs (with some rationalization about why they couldn't possibly transition while there) and move into a small apartment. Others are fired. I've seen people use their life savings to stay hidden in the 'transgender' sub-culture for years but be able to transition because they would spend their life-savings. I've asked a transsexual who had plenty of money but hid why she didn't get a job so she could explore what it's like to live as a woman. Why not get a job as a waitress to interact with other people who aren't transsexuals? I was worried about her because she became reclusive and she didn't act anything like what most women act like. But being a waitress was "beneath her" and getting a job in her field was "obviously" not possible because no women could have her resume. I've seen people who say I just "had" to transition. They're "happier: now but all they ever talk about is their past. They never seem to have hopes and dreams for their future. They dwell in anger at religious institutions or ex-spouses, or family members, or somebody else who's to blame. I've even had to stop talking to some transsexuals because it was just too much for me to hear their same angry stories over and over again. They couldn't stop and they couldn't change their stories because their stories were all about the past. Though how could they change? They had no life except their past as their biological sex.

I'm not the only one who notices this. When I mentioned it to my therapist, she said she saw the same thing. She said there are transsexuals who "rather than coming out of the closet, merely come out into a bigger closet." I don't mean to suggest that this is inherently bad. You might really love a life as part of a 'transgender' subculture. But that's very different from a life as a man or woman. Please be clear about what you're trying to achieve when you transition. Some people really are transgenderists. Overall I feel they're pretty cool even though I don't personally identify with them. Transgenderists really are happy and self-confident with their choice to challenge a binary gender system. But there are also other people who live outside of their real culture because they're too scared or angry or lack the confidence to join the world. Throwing out powerful rhetoric of "thwarting the binary gender system" means nothing if it comes from somebody who hates the world, loses his or her confidence to face life, and doesn't like himself or herself as a person. Sometimes "transgenderism" is just big fancy words for hiding a big mistake.

I don't mean to say you have to come-out one day and be completely self-confident and happy as your target sex. Like, even after being full-time over a year I was nervous about teaching my own class for the first time as a girl. I taught before as a boy. But being nervous didn't mean I gave up on teaching. I love teaching! And teaching those classes was an awesome experience! I love how I got to relate to my students as myself! That just gives me more confidence to face all aspects of life and be myself! Every moment I live as a girl, even when bad things happen, helps empower me to live and grow and be happy. I used to pour myself entirely into academic stuff. I became reclusive to the world and more and more socially awkward. And I could rationalize it to myself in all sorts of ways including how much more successful I was going to be than all those average people wasting their time in social things are. And in some ways I was right. I'm probably not going to be this amazing scientist I could be if I put everything of my spirit into that. But I hated people. I hated life. I considered suicide constantly since third grade. But I haven't even considered committing suicide once since going full-time. Every day I learn more about myself. I take more risks. I assert myself. I really live. And I'm happy.

The irony is that I see some people whom transition in the opposite way. I know what it's like to hate the world and hate everybody. And I can feel it in some people I've met in the 'transgender' community. That they have intellectual sounding ways to justify hating themselves means nothing to me because hating yourself isn't happiness no matter how intellectual it sounds.

A Final Comment
As you've read my questions and comments to help you clarify your choices, you may have decided you really are a transsexual or you really aren't a transsexual. But I hope you'll consider rethinking about your decision in another way. It's doesn't really matter if you are or aren't a transsexual. You are you! And people can redefine transsexual so it means just about anything! There are even many psychologists who define transsexual solely as somebody who transitions. That's it. And it's possible for people to get caught up in debates about if they "really are a transsexual." But the real question, and the only question, you need to answer is this: what path for your life will let you be happy?

Best wishes in your personal journey and finding your personal happiness.

Madeline

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