Most of us if we like it or not, are born into strict gender rules. Those of us who are transgender just happen to not fit into those gender norms. Of course, that is where our problems begin. If we are very lucky, we have accepting parents and we are able to communicate what the situation is. Unfortunately, the vast majority of us transgender women and trans men never had a chance for acceptance until we finally decided to seize the moment later in life. The internet and social media has helped to educate the population but of course serious transgender problems still exist on so many levels of society. Specifically within the trans women of color community with their extremely high and tragic murder rate. Plus I won't even get into employment issues.
In our own lives, we all decide to choose the path best suited to our needs. Two prime examples would be not being allowed to pursue hormone replacement therapy due to health concerns or deciding not to live a fulltime feminine existence because of a spouse or family.
Per norm, Connie came up with an expanded comment on the Cyrsti's Condo "Shake and Bake" post:
"Shake and Bake can mean so many different things. I like to play with words, and I like to play with you, too (word-wise, that is).
Actually, what I meant by "shake" was the acquired male persona that I needed to shake off to reveal my feminine-self. If you're familiar with baking - say, a cake - you know that using the right ingredients in their proper proportions is critical. Then, there is the temperature of the oven and the baking time.
Shaking the male facade was the difficult part for me. I had worked so hard to construct it: athlete, rock drummer, husband, father, grandfather. Over time, the athletic and rock drummer parts became less masculine-identified (although, both require a lot of sweating, which I'm not so fond of anymore). Changing from husband to spouse, and father and grandfather to parent and grandparent was still not without its own sweat.
I always possessed ingredients for a transition to womanhood. I can't say they were all "sugar and spice, and everything nice," but they have always been there. There was some experimentation necessary, in order to come up with the right recipe for me, but trial and error is how any of us must find ourselves. With the climate (temperature) just right, I was able to rise and "bake" into the woman I am today."
Although there are still some physical changes I'd like to see for myself, they would be but icing on the cake at this point.
Thanks for the comment! In our house though, "Shake and Bake" normally meant chicken. Not a cake. To add insult to injury, my Mom was a high school home economics teacher and she rarely baked.