Author Topic: Emma's Attic  (Read 1275 times)

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Offline RandiL

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Re: Emma's Attic
« Reply #20 on: May 23, 2021, 02:28:09 pm »
Emma, number 10 seems needlessly pessimistic. I know this (along with number 9) is at the heart of your fears.

But my children are probably my greatest accomplishment (to whatever extent I can take credit for what they have done with their lives). And my past life has not been without value. I like to think I've helped in some small ways to make the world a better place.

I hope you too can look back, and perhaps even forward, and see a lot of good in it all.

Hugs, Randi

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Offline Emma1017

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Re: Emma's Attic
« Reply #21 on: May 23, 2021, 03:33:17 pm »

I agree Randi.  I wrote this at the beginning of my transition so it had the negative bias that captured all of my fears.  Maybe it is time for an update :).
  The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

             My Transgender Manifesto

Offline Emma1017

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Re: Emma's Attic
« Reply #22 on: May 24, 2021, 09:23:21 am »

This one was in the back of the attic under a stack of other papers:

                                                                 The Woman Inside

One of the sad things about growing up male with a suppressed internal female gender is that, all my life I couldn’t say what was in my heart.  I was constantly hiding my thoughts.  In the society that raised me, my penis took away any right that I had to express what was clearly identified as female thoughts.

Let me make it perfectly clear that even now, we don’t live in an accepting world for people who are transgender.  We barely have the acceptance of some gays and lesbians.  Heck there are even gays and lesbians who despise transgender people.  So, when I say “female thoughts” I am painting my picture based on the binary world that raised me.
 
They made the rules.

For 61 years I hid my gender from the world and from myself.  It was buried under testosterone, socialization, fear, ignorance and shame.  It had a quiet voice that spoke to me and only me.  It was an inner voice that I could not share with others.

It was soft and loving and vulnerable.  It loved romance and beauty and the heart.  It despised cruelty and meanness and hurting others.  It truly just wanted to enjoy the world and the people that lived in it.

I was limited with whom I could share even a portion of this hidden world.  Cis gender men and woman wouldn’t accept a man who showed those weaknesses.  I had to be a man’s man for them all to accept me.

She was concealed inside a man’s body, a body that had to listen to offensive sexist jokes and comments and tolerated insultingly chauvinistic statements that I was forced to grow up with.  My male sexual privilege was at the cost of my female gender's soul.

As bad as that was, there were moments when I felt outrage at how women were treated and when I voiced my anger it was received with patient forbearance rather than a shared, common sense of insult by other women. Whenever I saw a dress, a pair of shoes, a makeup or hair style that I wanted to talk about, the woman I was with always thought I was checking out the other woman as if I was ogling her or simply changed the conversation because she was uncomfortable with my unusual interest in women’s fashion.

There were also times talking with a small group of women when I wanted to scream that I was trapped inside this guy.  To please get me out of there. To just share in the conversation and not be treated as an outsider.  There was a constant pain every time I waited for someone outside a dressing room, watching all the pretty clothes go by that I could never wear or walking past a cosmetic counter, knowing I was never going to be able sit down at the counter with the other women.

Each time I felt the rejection. Each time I cried inside.  Each time the pain was never visible but was felt deeply.  The bruising it caused took longer and longer to heal.

Until 3 years ago I never understood this personal pain, this sense of exclusion, the feeling of being an outside to both genders.

So now I finally understand gender dysphoria.  I now know that I am transgender.  I know I have always been wired female, that it is my gender, regardless of who wants to challenge me over my right to it.  It is my right pure and simple.  I am no longer asking for permission.

I am now listening to my internal voice and I finally feel the freedom of acceptance from, simply, me.
Someday I hope to share this person to the world without restraint.

She is worth knowing.

  The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

             My Transgender Manifesto

Offline Battle Goddess

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Re: Emma's Attic
« Reply #23 on: May 24, 2021, 03:00:54 pm »
Very nice. Captures the ongoing sense of otherness and alienation layered atop the understanding of connectedness and relief that comes with being us.
"It's not really a choice. Because we're not choosing to transition...we're choosing to be happy." -- SarahC

"Have a gentle manner ❤️" -- Chrissy Ryan
"Working on it" -- Battle Goddess


Introductory Post: https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,242617.msg2196235.html

Whiny HRT and Transition Blog: https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,244163.msg2217618.html

Spironolactone January 10 2019
Divigel January 20 2019
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Offline Emma1017

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Re: Emma's Attic
« Reply #24 on: May 25, 2021, 06:18:59 am »

BG there are just so many emotions and thoughts in motion, even without HRT :D.
  The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

             My Transgender Manifesto

Offline Emma1017

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Re: Emma's Attic
« Reply #25 on: May 25, 2021, 06:51:06 am »
Some this stuff has a lot of dust on it! 


                                      Protecting My Wife from the Other Woman: Me

Three years ago, I started a battle against myself. After 60 years of peacefully living as the male my parents, my wife and the world expected me to be, a lifetime of quiet internal restlessness exploded into my life. What I thought was aberrant secret female desires, grew into a startling realization that I was a socialized biological male, testosterone flooded, female gendered, 64-year-old.

A lot to swallow and the result of crawling on a brutal path of tortured self-discovery filled with emotional broken glass. For the last 3 years I have tried every possible way to dismiss, disregard, disprove, ignore and simply close my eyes to the fact that I am transgender. In addition, I am desperately trying to reject the basic fact that in order to survive the rest of my life in any semblance of peace, I need to transition. This means that I will alter my body to get as close as possible to externalize my internal vision of the female I feel I am.

I have seen the full range of professionals frantically try to find a cure or at least a way out. I have been pretty thorough. There are none.

So now I have a situation that is clinically and medically defined with only three choices: death, a lifetime in increasing gender pain or transitioning and dealing with the consequences.

I am leaning towards the third choice.

That choice leads to the next painful consequence, hurting my spouse. We have spent an incredible life time together for over 40 years and now I have to hurt the greatest love of my life by taking away her husband, her life partner.

I am the other woman.

And I am the worst possible “other” woman. She can’t compete against me. I have already won. There is no way to make me leave. God knows I have tried everything.

She either has to learn to live with me or she has to make me leave. I despise myself for the pain that I will inflict. I hope I can make her see that I am not really stealing her husband but I am really trying to sharing the rest of my life with her as a much better person.

I am really not the other woman; I am just trying to be me.


  The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

             My Transgender Manifesto

Offline Emma1017

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Re: Emma's Attic
« Reply #26 on: May 26, 2021, 06:43:33 am »
Another from the back of the attic.

                                                      My Transgender Locked Box

Where do you hide yourself in the physical world when you are old enough to understand that you must hide? Somewhere around my 9 or 10 birthday the world, including my parents, made sure I knew with absolute certainty that I was a boy….but I knew the my secret in my heart, I wasn’t.

I wasn’t sure what I was. The 1950’s and 60’s was a rigid binary world. You were either a boy or a girl. Simple and easy to understand, but I couldn’t. I liked playing with my Mom’s makeup and her nylons but I was starting to desire my own. I realized that the makeup was too hard to hide and I needed hours of privacy that I never got but nylons were easy to hide. I had a small lock box and I had a small combination lock that fit. Since I had a job since I was 5 years old doing odd jobs like going running errands for neighbors or shoveling snow, I always had my own money and I bought my own nylons that I put in my locked box.

I am 64 years old and I still have my locked box. It is slightly larger than the original but is still provides the same haven. It is where I protected my secret female heart and while hiding my male gender shame all these years.
It was my deepest secret that I have kept to myself all these years, until my gender dysphoria exploded two years ago and I finally shared it with my therapist.

And now you know.

Why am I sharing my deepest secret with you now? Because I no longer have any shame of who I am nor how I feel and I have discovered that the beating of my heart needs to be free.

I also discovered that I am no longer alone. I am surrounded by thousands of others who also have hidden “locked boxes”, that hold their own gender secrets. The world is a better place than it was in the 1960’s but it still ignorantly punishes those who are not purely binary. What gives my hope is that there are just too many of us to be ignored and we are finding each other.

I still have my locked box. I still hide my secret from others, but at least I no longer use it to hide from me.

It is now my Hope Chest.


[
/i]
  The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

             My Transgender Manifesto

Offline Battle Goddess

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Re: Emma's Attic
« Reply #27 on: May 26, 2021, 01:06:46 pm »
Beauty
"It's not really a choice. Because we're not choosing to transition...we're choosing to be happy." -- SarahC

"Have a gentle manner ❤️" -- Chrissy Ryan
"Working on it" -- Battle Goddess


Introductory Post: https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,242617.msg2196235.html

Whiny HRT and Transition Blog: https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,244163.msg2217618.html

Spironolactone January 10 2019
Divigel January 20 2019
Estradiol Valerate March 14 2019

Offline Emma1017

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Re: Emma's Attic
« Reply #28 on: May 31, 2021, 05:37:13 pm »
I like the simplicity of this one and would like to share it with my more obstinate male friends:

                                 The Cisgender Test for Understanding


For the last two years I have tried to come up with an effective way to describe the incredibly over-powering force gender dysphoria is to someone who is cisgender and has no clue.

I think this works.

“How much money would you want to completely change your gender, including surgery, and live as the opposite gender for the rest of your life?”

“The money cannot be shared or given to anyone else.” This would prevent someone claiming they would sacrifice themselves for others.

The goal is to isolate how important your gender identification is using money as a measuring stick.
What is it truly worth to you?

Cisgender men seem to have the hardest time with MTF transitioning. Why would anyone want to give up male privileges and want to be a woman? I am not sure what precisely would be a valid test for a cisgender woman but the bluntest test for men would be to simply ask a how much money it would take for a cisgender guy to willingly cut of his genitalia.

The reaction would be totally predictable.

You have to appreciate the inherent humor in the fact that I am going to pay a surgeon a large amount of money to do exactly that.

Think they’ll get it?

  The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

             My Transgender Manifesto

Offline RandiL

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Re: Emma's Attic
« Reply #29 on: June 01, 2021, 03:53:08 pm »
It's sort of like the credit card commercial where the punch line is always "priceless." You don't really have to put a dollar figure on it. All the cis people will say "a lot" or else "no way!" It's actually sort of unimaginable for myself as well, too abstract at this point.

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Offline Sephirah

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Re: Emma's Attic
« Reply #30 on: June 01, 2021, 05:02:54 pm »
Cisgender men seem to have the hardest time with MTF transitioning.

Of course they do. They're not women. They see it as a defection. Like the gender Cold War. A lot of cis people see it this way. Gender is two sides of a war front. Moreso than ever nowadays. It's kind of silly but it is what it is.

If you're secure in who you are, then the idea that someone else might not be, is totally alien to you. It just doesn't compute. It's not something cis people have any frame of reference for, so we can't expect them to.

The better test is this: ask a cisgender guy how much they would pay to have their body back if they suddenly woke up the next morning as a woman. After the obligatory 4 hours of feeling themselves up and posing in the mirror, I mean. When they realise what they had and how important it is for them... ask what they'd be willing to give up to get it back.

Offline Liina

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Re: Emma's Attic
« Reply #31 on: June 04, 2021, 09:22:17 pm »
Greetings Emma,

It has been quite awhile since I have posted here on Susan's, but have read many posts in the last year. The year of Covid has certainly impacted my participation in many things here and elsewhere.
I just want say that your writing has been impressive and thoughtful for the many aspects of Trans related issues and feelings. You are so good with your writing and articulation of your journey and the tribulations which is in your journey.
I thank you and appreciate all that do for these posts as well as yourself.
As well, Sephirah, you are also just amazing with your articulation and points of view for Emma. Both of you bring much clarity in the Journey with gender issues.
I thank both of you and please continue with your posts.
PS I too am in the same age catagory and find my issues are very similar.

Regards, Liina

Offline Emma1017

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Re: Emma's Attic
« Reply #32 on: June 05, 2021, 07:24:35 pm »

Thank you Liina.  There are times that I doubt the value of posting my writing.  I feel like they are sometimes redundant and unresolved, sort of like my life right now.  I really appreciate you taking the time and sharing your thoughts.

Warm regards,

Emma   
  The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

             My Transgender Manifesto

Offline RandiL

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Re: Emma's Attic
« Reply #33 on: June 05, 2021, 07:58:27 pm »
Thank you Liina.  There are times that I doubt the value of posting my writing.  I feel like they are sometimes redundant and unresolved, sort of like my life right now.  I really appreciate you taking the time and sharing your thoughts.

Warm regards,

Emma
My entire life sometimes feels redundant and unresolved. This fits right in.

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Offline Emma1017

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Re: Emma's Attic
« Reply #34 on: June 07, 2021, 05:50:26 am »
Don't worry Randi, It's a big club ;D!
  The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

             My Transgender Manifesto

Offline Emma1017

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Re: Emma's Attic
« Reply #35 on: June 07, 2021, 05:54:26 am »
This one always resonates with me:

                                                                My Husband Wants to Be a Woman

“My Husband Wants to Be a Woman.”  We have read and heard this endlessly in the media. It makes a great headline for media desperate to exploit the circus created, currently, around being transgender.

I don’t know about you but I can’t adequately convey to you how much I despise that phase.  It literally causes pain to hear.  It feels like nails on the chalkboard of my soul.  My entire being winces at the sound of each word.  It conveys ignorance. It conveys judgment.  It conveys condemnation.  It conveys rejection.

“My Husband Wants to Be a Woman.” says to the listener that it is an impossibility, that the thought is absurd.

And they are right.

If medical and psychological science, relying on clinical facts, are right, as opposed to current antiquate social perceptions and bigoted religious beliefs, as a trans woman, I am not a man that wants to be a woman, I am a woman that was forced to be a man.

If you rely on the biological argument that there are only two sexes, that assumes the gender and sex are synonymous, which they are not.  So, let’s take a moment to get the facts right:

SEX: Biological attributes of humans and animals, including physical features, genitalia and chromosomes.

GENDER: Socially constructed roles, behaviors, expressions and identities of girls, women, boys, men, and gender-diverse people.

One additional important fact is human biological sex is not purely male and purely female.  It’s not that black and white.  Nature has created a whole series of human beings that fall in the gray area in between.
 
The one area ignorantly relied on by binary purists is the XX and XY chromosomal difference.  They believe that all people are simply divided into either female (XX) or male (XY).  It’s an easy argument and one that would appeal to someone looking for the easy way out of the sex versus gender argument.

But they don’t get off so easy.

According to geneticists, people can have XXY, XYY, X, XXX, or other combinations of chromosomes so that binary argument gets shot down in flames by indisputable scientific fact.

So, let’s forget the notion that Nature has created a pure binary system of sex.  Nature has a sense of humor and has clearly blurred the binary lines for our amusement.

Now throw in the human element.  There are numerous studies that have found that drug pharmaceuticals can impact gender, for example, DES (diethylstilbesterol) on pre-natal gender development. Many mothers, between 1938 and 1971, were given DES, an extremely powerful synthetic estrogen, that was administered to pregnant women to help maintain a healthy pregnancy.  It is believed that the prenatal exposure to DES has had an impact on gender association.  Exposed males fetuses appear to be feminized, and exposed female fetuses were masculinized.

There are theories that pollution can also be a hormone gender disruptor.   Research has shown that polluted ponds could turn male frogs into females.  Research is developing that humans may be vulnerable to hormone disruptors in ways that resemble the effects on frogs inhabiting polluted wetlands.

OK, enough scientific facts and theories.  The bottom line is that there is no pure binary system of either sex or gender so back to my original point….

Let’s kill the “My Husband Wants to Be a Woman.” headline forever.  It’s just stupid.

Your husband does want to be a woman, she is one.  She is a woman trying to be a man because the world forced her to in order to survive.  The world has finally given her a way out of the jail cell.  She never knew there was even a door.

She needs to finally be herself.  Don’t judge her if she is not the man you want her to be, accept her as the person that she is.

You may actually like her.   After all she is already your best friend.


  The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

             My Transgender Manifesto

Offline Emma1017

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Re: Emma's Attic
« Reply #36 on: June 13, 2021, 09:36:35 am »
More from the Attic:
                                        What No One Warned Me of Before I Started HRT

When I started HRT (hormone replacement therapy) as part of my MTF transition two years ago, I researched all of the possible effects. I was trying to find any possible reason to reject being transgender and my need to transition.

I was desperate.

I was looking for anyway out but my gender dysphoria was about to teach me, yet again, that defiance was futile. Obviously, I still had a lot to learn.

I did learn that estrogen-based HRT increased the risk of certain serious conditions, including:

-A blood clot in a deep vein (deep vein thrombosis) or in a lung (pulmonary embolism)
-High triglycerides, a type of fat (lipid) in your blood.
-Gallstones.
-Weight gain.
-Elevated liver function tests.
-Decreased libido.
-Erectile dysfunction.
-Infertility.

And, oh yeah, heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and cancer. What a packaged deal! Anyone who continues to doubt the power of gender dysphoria needs to reread that list again. We don’t have a choice! Doesn’t that deadly list prove the point. I started HRT two years ago even after reading that list at least a dozen times.

As part of the package, you will experience body fat redistribution (more fat on buttocks, hips, thighs, face), decreased libido, decreased spontaneous erections and a shrinking of the testes. In addition, those taking estrogen have reported:

-feeling more emotional and more in touch with their feelings
-crying more easily
-mood swings
-depression or sadness
And then there is what estrogen does not do:
-change a person’s bone structure
-change a person’s height
-stop the growth of facial hair or eliminate a beard
-cause male pattern balding on the scalp to grow back
- raise the pitch of the voice to a higher level

Or in other words, it doesn’t solve any of the major issues you need to resolve in order to pass.

So why did I do it?

Only someone who is cisgender would ask that question. We have to go back to gender dysphoria. It is a monster that grows inside your head. It consumes your thoughts 24/7. Why? Because you were born with an incongruence between your gender, which is wired in your brain, and your sex, defined by your physical genitalia. You were born transgender. The monster is fertilized by testosterone and the society we are raised in. Eventually, over time, that monster breaks free of all your attempts at restraining it and it drives you to transition in order to save your life or at the very least your sanity and peace. It is your brain screaming to fix the incongruence created at birth. It places that need over all other social obligations.

That’s why.

On the positive side, yes there are some positives, HRT helps:

-Make gender dysphoria less severe.
-Reduce psychological and emotional distress.
-Improve psychological and social functioning.
-Improve quality of life.

It also helps your breast grow, reduces body hair and makes your skin so much softer and smoother. The physical changes help you see and feel the reality of transitioning. It is so important to help you accept the reality of your transitioning.

BUT OH MY GOD!!! :o

One of the other side effects that is never, ever pointed out is that you develop this crushing need for chocolates. This one caught me totally by surprise! I don’t care if its Godiva, Lindt or M&Ms, I just need to have it. Don’t get me started on red wine! ::)

It is worth HRT just for that! I can almost justify gender dysphoria…ok that’s going a bit too far but where was my warning? How could the internet be so sloppy and miss that much needed information?

I am setting the record straight. Be prepared. I now have to set aside money in my transitioning budget to cover this new, all-consuming need.

So, I am warning you, if you start HRT, make sure you have a supply of chocolate. You may have to buy in bulk and don’t forget the right wine pairing. Your life will depend on it…. not really but it does add a wonderful dimension to transitioning doesn’t it?

You can even share with your cisgender friends…but only if they accept you. ;D


  The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

             My Transgender Manifesto

Offline Emma1017

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Re: Emma's Attic
« Reply #37 on: June 14, 2021, 12:33:05 pm »
This felt very special when I wrote it:

                                                An Open Letter to Parents of Transgender Children…
                                                                 From a parent who is transgender


I am 65 years of age. I lived with gender incongruence all my life. It took 60 years for my gender dysphoria to grow from a vague awareness to full-blown panic attacks and thoughts of suicide.

Ignorance made denial that I was transgender very easy.

I was ignorant and the world in which I was raised was ignorant. It was a pure binary world with no exceptions. Children are very perceptive and very adaptable, as you know. It is part of their survival instinct.

When I was a child, I quickly realized that my feminine instincts were, according to my parents, brother, family friends, church, and society that surrounded me, absolutely wrong and unacceptable. If I displayed my gender preference, I was even punished. I had a penis and the only doll I was allowed was a GI Joe.

So, I perceived, adapted and survived.

In my lifetime, gays and lesbians stopped being “criminals.” They then stopped being “mentally ill.” They earned equal rights. Finally, and joyfully, they were allowed to marry and adopt children.

I am seeing the same progression with being transgender but it does feel painfully slow. I am sorry that my life was not filled with sleep-overs, ballet and feeling pretty, but I have had a full life. My wife and I raised two excellent sons with tremendous hearts and generous spirits. I feel like I did my job as a parent. As all parents know, at times it is painful — even brutal — but the moments of parental joy wash all that pain away.

So, your child is transgender…

Your world is better than the one of my childhood, but it is still years away from being one in which transgender children are accepted and cherished by a community just like any other child.

My heart feels your pain.

You and your child deserve better but at least the efforts of other transgender individuals and advocates have made some progress. Unfortunately, there is so much more heavy lifting to be done.

I am truly sorry that you and your child will need to continue to battle against ignorance, but please never give up. The world of acceptance is growing with your child. In spite of set-backs and even steps backwards once in a while, we need to continue to make the two steps forward. At times it may not feel like it is happening, but it is still progress.
You know when you saw that special smile on your child’s face for the first time when they knew you accepted them for who they were? It must have been a special moment.

You are a special parent with a wonderful child. You will make sure that they never have to wait 60 years to finally accept themselves. They are already accepted by the most important person in their life, you.

I wish you both a life of happiness and continued hope. It also means a lot to me and many others to see that happiness, because it means progress.

No child deserves to live a life with gender dysphoria.

Warmest regards,

Emma


  The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

             My Transgender Manifesto

Offline Emma1017

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Re: Emma's Attic
« Reply #38 on: June 21, 2021, 06:38:13 am »
Just another from the Attic:

                                                        The Complexity of Being Transgender

My life was simple BTA (Before Transgender Awareness).  I was in complete male alignment.  I knew where I fit in and everyone accepted my role in their lives.  Although It wasn’t perfect storybook life, it worked just fine for me.

Then somebody threw my character right out the script.

Suddenly I felt like Freddy Krueger in the middle of It’s a Wonderful Life.  I didn’t fit.

I was a 61-year-old male.  Except I wasn’t.

I was a husband, a father and an uncle.  Except that role wasn’t clear to me anymore.

I was the male spouse to my wife and to all of the couples that we socialized with, I was a male role model for my sons and my nephews, I was the rock that my wife, my Mom and my nieces could rely on and the guy that other people could count on in a pinch…until I suddenly felt like I was a stranger to them.

So, who am I to myself and to them?

Society has done a wonderful job isolating me from everyone.  How are they to relate to me and, me to them?  Does my gender presentation mean so much to normal social discourse that by changing it I have eliminated the single anchor that gives me substance in their lives?

All of us present different facets of our personality depending on the social circumstances that we find ourselves.  Being transgender has simply multiplied the facets.  We now have to reconsider who we are and what we show to the world. 

Unfortunately, many of those new aspects are not seen as attractive or are appreciated by the world.  They refuse to see the incredible beauty that we have added with those new facets.  If they would take a moment and simply look at the dazzling colors that we have added to our lives, they would, themselves, share in the marvelous new lights, dimensions and reflections that we can offer and we offer so much.

We are one of the rarest diamonds. To create our diamond, we have had to undergo so much pressure and pain to create this new beauty.  Through that experience we get to show so many glittering facets that are desperately needed by humanity such as compassion, understanding, sympathy, empathy, kindness and care. 

We added these facets to Society in one of the hardest ways possible, through their rejection.  Maybe someday they will see the light we throw off, not as a threat to Society, but as a celebration of what we add at no expense and at no additional cost.


  The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

             My Transgender Manifesto

Offline Emma1017

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Re: Emma's Attic
« Reply #39 on: June 28, 2021, 07:33:56 am »
I am still a transgender "tweener" 18 months later so this still appeals to me:

                                                                Breasts and Penises

To a medical student they are just another piece of anatomy. To a cisgender person, they are just another signpost of gender and sex. To anyone who is transgender, they are the cause of extreme anguish and pain or the Holy Grail of a life-long dream.

I am transgender and right now I have both.

I am a transgender tweener, sitting between two binary sign posts, waiting for the courage and the commitment to cross into the irreversible, my true gender wired before I was born.

I was born with a penis in the 1950s, the product of militantly binary society. For the next sixties years my penis, testosterone and deep male socialization dictated my gender…until my gender executed a Shawshank Redemption-like escape. Like the movie I have had to dig through a 25-foot-deep cement wall of denial, crawl through a mile of deep emotional sewerage to finally emerge in a raging river filled with conflict, fear and confusion but with a new determination to finally be me.

I have been on female hormones for over 18 months. My chest, according to the Victoria Secrets on-line bra calculator, is 40D. In disbelief I confirmed it on other sites. The funny thing is, no one has noticed. To the world I am still a gray-haired, 64-year-old white guy. No one ogles my breast. No one ever looks down. No one even cares.

I go into a men’s room and I still get to pee standing up. My penis is my right to entry. It’s a non-event.

It has been a strange journey to get here. I have the breast I have always wanted and a penis I can’t wait to get rid of. I am like the many trans people who have to tuck or bind something.

I know my status in the gender waiting room is temporary. I am transitioning so I will need to jump on the train I have been fearfully trying to stop. It seems to be unstoppable.

In that station I will pass transmen taking the opposite train, each of us jealous that the other has what they so desperately want. Mother Nature has a fabulous sense of humor. Too bad we all couldn’t meet at a swap meet.

So, for a while my male privilege will protect me from catcalls and unwanted advances and maybe my advanced age will protect me when I finally present as a woman. Regardless, once I am off the train, I will willingly surrender my penis and my male privilege card for a new membership in a club that I have waited a lifetime to join.


  The heart has reasons that reason can not understand.

             My Transgender Manifesto

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