Wednesday, December 7, 2022

It's a Marathon

 Perhaps you have heard the saying "It's a marathon, not a race." The saying really applies to transgender women and trans men. Recently on social media I have seen several posts from novice cross dressers or transgender women or more or less put on a dress and began to proclaim they were a woman. I was a little more than slightly amused until they started to threaten self harm. To which I replied be patient, your gender journey is a marathon not a race to see if you can be prettier than the next person with the heavily doctored and filtered pictures on social media. 

Photo from
the Jessie Hart
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Having gone through a long life time living with my own brand of gender dysphoria, I realize by some I am criticized for waiting so long to transition myself. But on the other hand, I took myself through very specific steps which happened to sometimes take a little longer than I thought the journey would or should take. As a matter of fact, there were a number of years when I didn't think I could reach my goal of living a feminine life at all. Along the way also destiny played a part in my hanging on to cross dressing as a man while my feminine soul was screaming to be released into the world. Had I not went into the military against my will, I would never had met the woman who birthed my only child. A very supportive daughter with a transgender child of her own. In addition, the military sent me around the world to two other continents to expand my social horizons. All in all my three years in the Army turned out to be time well spent.

When in reality, I have never been a long distance runner, something deep down within me was telling me to keep moving ahead with my transgender goals. Suddenly I realized I was going to have to transition more than once. There was the time I finally decided I needed to move away from being a cross dresser. I had had enough of trying to look like a woman and wanted to see if I could live as one also. This move led to all sorts of terrifying yet satisfying adventures in the real world as I sought to blend in and even play as an equal in the girl's sandbox. Following what I thought was a semi successful transition to being a transgender woman, the need to begin hormone replacement therapy set in. About that time during my marathon, the only real roadblock to transitioning came from my second wife. When she unexpectedly and tragically passed away at the age of fifty from a massive heart attack, my path to transitioning was suddenly wide open. I started HRT which began to feminize my male exterior and forced my hand in telling what family and friends I had left my deep dark gender secret. Another serious transgender transition had started. 

I even had it easier in my marathon because I didn't have to attempt to change my sexuality around when I found women friends to socialize with almost immediately. Men never seemed to trust me so I took advantage of the fact women seemed to. I ended up having a great time hanging out with and learning from my small group of cis women friends. 

Perhaps the biggest mountain I didn't have to climb in my marathon was I never desired any major surgeries desired by other transgender women. In other words I didn't need facial feminization surgery or even genital realignment surgery to allow me to feel more feminine. My gender was definitely between my ears. At this point it is important to me to say this is just my marathon and I feel each others transition is as different as they are. Plus I am quite envious of the younger transgender population who have understanding parents and wonderful medical care to begin their own marathons. Even with those advantages there will still be many challenges ahead as they face their lives.

It is indeed a gender marathon we run and no matter how you live it, you have to be strong to survive. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Maybe It is About You

Paula from https://paula-paulasplace.blogspot.com sent in this response on my recent post about gender transitions being selfish:

Photo Courtesy
Paula Godwin

" I am reminded of an occasion when my wife said to me "Not everything is about gender" I feel for very similar reasons. My whole world had become centred on my own gender identity ~ for me at that point everything was about gender, and how I could resolve my issues.

I had become very selfish and my need for resolution was all consuming. Although I loved my wife and wanted to preserve our marriage, I needed to sort myself out before I could try to do that, and by the time I had sorted myself out it was too late.

Of course transition is selfish, we do it for ourselves, it is our resolution to an existential problem, and there will be casualties along the way, casualties in the form of relationships, careers, status etc. Sometimes we have to be selfish just to survive."

Thank you Paula for such a thoughtful comment.  Sadly you are correct when you consider what a transgender person has to go through to complete a gender transition. We do normally have to undergo an almost complete interactive experience to follow our path to our authentic selves. We even take it to another level when we expect our spouses to come along in our journeys. Often to the point of wanting them to provide gender secrets they learned the hard way as they were progressing towards their own woman hood. My theory is no one is born a woman or a man, it is a socialization process. In nearly no one's case do they have any experience to start with with another transgender woman or trans man. So it takes extra time for spouses or friends to adjust and accept the new you. Too many don't stay around long enough to realize the improvement you realized with your transition. With the weight of the world lifted off our transgender shoulders we become better humans.

It is also true we have to be selfish to survive. The will to open the gender closet door and explore as our previously hidden true selves just becomes too much to live with. One reason for the extremely high number of suicides in the transgender community. In other words we find ourselves between a lifetime of living between a rock and a hard place. Often a beloved spouse is the rock and our gender dysphoria is the hard place. I found myself living that life for years and it nearly destroyed me. My old male self just didn't want to give up all the privileges I had accumulated and my second wife flat out refused to live with me as another woman. Similar to Paula I had to be selfish just to survive. I am of the opinion also you have to learn to love yourself before you can fully love another. 

Another of the hardest problems to explain to an non understanding person is we had absolutely no choice when we decided to complete our gender transition. Proving we are not going through a phase or some sort of fetish is often a long or even impossible process. This process proves once again we need realistic and/or sympathetic characters in the media or in the public eye to prove once again we transgender folk are not so different from anyone else. The only problem is at one point the gender process had to be all about ourselves for survival. 




Monday, December 5, 2022

Class Reunion?

 Have you ever attended a class reunion as your authentic self? Facing the daunting experience of facing your former school peers who knew you in the past. I admit for several reasons I never have. I do believe Stana of the Femulate blog has attended one of her reunions but that is it as far as any other transgender women or men I know. 

As far as I am concerned, I haven't attended  any of my high school class reunions. Even my fifty year class reunion which happened several years ago. I did attend one AFTN Radio and Television network reunion in New Orleans also which occurred years ago. But I attended it as my old male self and just brought a set of feminine clothes I could change into and explore the city after our get together was over. Ironically, there was another transgender woman at the reunion. I didn't know her from our years in the military in Thailand and was sadly unable to even say much of anything to her. She appeared to be quite early into her transition and unfortunately very ill at ease. I tried to get her attention to talk to me but never made it happen.

Photo Credit
Jessie Hart
There are many reasons I did not attend any of my high school class reunions. The main one being I knew very few of the other students in the school to begin with since I transferred in from another very small school. I was very shy and was able to develop just a small group of friends in the school. So I never felt a part of the overall fabric of the school to begin with. Leading me to feel a disconnect I have to this day. As far as my gender issues go, of course I experienced them in high school also. I dated very little but did manage to land a steady girl friend during my senior year. Due to circumstances out of my control I wouldn't have the opportunity to meet up with her and show off my new improved self anyhow because she went to another school and also ended up committing suicide when her second husband left her. Past that there were only a couple of other people I would be meeting up with after all these years anyhow. So I didn't bother on going. Plus I had it in my noggin thinking I would win some sort of insane most changed contest. None of the process appealed to me.

As far as college reunions went, I guess because I had never donated any money after I graduated that I never received an invite to any  reunion of any sort. Another function I didn't have to worry about. At my age also, just out living everyone else is a challenge. 

So no I haven't made it yet to one of my class reunions and at this point don't need the ego boost by proving to myself I could do it. Maybe if I live long enough, I will try to make it to one just to see how anyone who is left changed themselves. Especially the ultra popular girl who sat near me quite a few times in study hall and homeroom because our names were close together alphabetically. Out of pure curiosity it would be interesting to see how time has treated her. Of course back in those high school days I was driven by out of control hormones similar to everyone else. Not similar to everyone else was the fact I was in the middle of a testosterone fueled transition to my body I didn't want. It could be the reason I don't want to return to or reminded of a period of my life I hated. More than anything else going to a class reunion wouldn't help me. Not even a triumphant return from a life I didn't ask for would help me decide to attend an event where no one knew me before or after.