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Silly, bland and possibly offensive questions from someone who isn't "TG"

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EmbraceTheUnknown:
Hi there,

Let me tell you a bit about myself so you know where I'm coming from. I'm a hugely curious person. There is no subject that could really bore me. I could find a universe in a grain of sand and am perpetually fascinated by just about everything in life. I'm not <not allowed>, nor will I ever (for this life!) have the desire to be the opposite sex. That's not meant to be an offensive remark, by the way, just how I am - I'm sure you can relate to "just how I am". :)

Anyway, I love embracing the unknown, thus my username. If you watch Youtube, you might have seen the Calpernia Addams (who is also strikingly beautiful) video on Bad Questions. Seems to have gotten many different reactions - mine was laughing out loud. I loved it! Her style and wit had me rolling. While I realize she doesn't speak for all TG people everywhere, it made me insanely curious as to the motivations, desires, and general feeling in this lifestyle. It fascinates me.  :laugh:

So I guess I have some "dumb" questions, as Calpernia would put it. Understand that I'm not coming from a place of disdain or even judgment. My motivation is curiosity and fascination with something that is completely out of my realm of experience. I have absolutely no judgment for anyone here. In fact, total acceptance of your decisions.

Okay, my questions. Note that in most of my examples, I've used MTF dispositions. You can change it to FTM if it fits your situation, or whatever you need.

1) Is there any way to describe why you wanted to become the opposite sex or want to? I realize that some desires and motivations simply aren't explainable, they're just THERE, strong and insistent, like a monsoon breaking down a straw door. I have my own desires as a man that can't be explained logically, so I understand if my question is moot or can't be answered. But it's out there anyhow.

2) What is the difference between <not allowed>, transsexual, transvestite, and... all those other profile names I saw when I signed up here? lol - I think one was androgyne or something. I know FTM is female to male, and vice versa, I just don't know the difference between all the other stuff, if any.

3) Is "transsexual" a taboo word, and is "<not allowed>" better? Kind of like "negro" is a bad word in some contexts - African American is more acceptable.

4) This is a loaded question somewhat... actually had to re-write this several times in order to ask it in a way I wanted. Let's say you are MTF TGered. How do you react to someone who sees you as 98% woman, but has that lingering "resistance" to the 2% "historic man"? Meaning, he knows you were once a man and might have reservations about being with you because, well... you were a guy once and he may think he's "gay" if he is with you?

Don't read into that last question - I'm not asking how to overcome one of my own obstacles! LOL! Again, I'm only curious about how one feels in this lifestyle.

5) Are there any MTFs in a relationship with FTMs??  ??? :o This is starting to confuse me the more I think about it, LOL!

6) What about the word "Hermaphrodite"? I heard a while back that that word isn't used anymore, or that "unisex" was more appropriate. I guess they are the lucky ones, hehehe.

7) If you were male and attracted to men before you "switched", did you consider yourself gay then, and do you now consider yourself hetero?

All of these questions have challenged my curiosity. This entire thing blows my mind in an awesome way. I love learning new things and your answers, even if they are rude or impatient, are welcomed totally. I hope you see my questions are coming from my heart and not from ignorance.

Kate:

--- Quote from: EmbraceTheUnknown on May 16, 2008, 10:36:18 am ---it made me insanely curious as to the motivations, desires, and general feeling in this lifestyle.
--- End quote ---

LOL, I promise you there are another 20 posters about to object to the dreaded lifestyle word too as I type my own, lol...

It's not a LIFESTYLE!!!!!!!!!!! Ahem. Seriously. No more than your non-TS life is a "lifestyle." There's some lingering idea out there with a few people that TSs "do TS things," like get together in parks for sex or something. Ya gotta understand, saying I'm "transsexual" is like saying "I had chickenpox once." It's just a scientific label for someone who needs to, or has, changed sexes. I don't do "transsexual things." I live an ordinary life, about as plain vanilla as can be.

I'll admit that's not true for everyone. Some people claim "being a transsexual" as a form of identity. They're proud of it, and that's fine. But many of us just feel we're ordinary women and men post-transitioning, just with an unusual history in getting here. Transsexuality for me was a phase, a problem I overcame.

I posted recently that if you were to follow me around for a month with a camera to document "A Month In The Life of a Transsexual," you'd find it *incredibly* boring, lol. I'd just be doing the same things any woman does. You wouldn't notice anything "transsexual" about me or how I live my life.


--- Quote ---1) Is there any way to describe why you wanted to become the opposite sex or want to?
--- End quote ---

I really can't, not exactly. I'm fairly unique in the I resist the whole "I'm a woman inside!" argument. All I can say for sure is I've known I SHOULD have been born a girl from my earliest memories, from at least three or four.


--- Quote ---2) What is the difference between <not allowed>, transsexual, transvestite, and... all those other profile names I saw when I signed up here? lol - I think one was androgyne or something. I know FTM is female to male, and vice versa, I just don't know the difference between all the other stuff, if any.
--- End quote ---

Transsexuals are the only ones who identity as the sex opposite their birth. <not allowed> is an umbrella term that can encompass many people, but many transsexuals - including myself - don't feel we belong being included in it, as it mostly describes people who exhibit gender-variant behaviour (drag queens, crossdressing, gender queer, etc.).


--- Quote ---3) Is "transsexual" a taboo word, and is "<not allowed>" better? Kind of like "negro" is a bad word in some contexts - African American is more acceptable.
--- End quote ---

Transsexual isn't taboo, but again many transsexuals don't like being included in the term <not allowed>. And many transsexuals feel that even "transsexual" doesn't apply once they've transitioned.. they're just men and women after that.

The irony is that transsexuals mostly consider themselves to be PART of the "gender binary," not rebels against it. We're not trying to bend gender rules or roles, we're not trying to make waves or change society's concepts of male or female. We're just trying to seamlessly blend back into society as the men and women we feel we are.


--- Quote ---4) How do you react to someone who sees you as 98% woman, but has that lingering "resistance" to the 2% "historic man"?
--- End quote ---

Dunno yet. Haven't been intimate with a man. I can certainly understand that reluctance though.


--- Quote ---7) If you were male and attracted to men before you "switched", did you consider yourself gay then, and do you now consider yourself hetero?
--- End quote ---

I'm a bit odd here too. I wasn't really interested in men until I started transitioning. I wasn't really interested in women EITHER, so it's confusing, label-wise. Now that I've transitioned though, I label myself a straight woman.

~Kate~

EmbraceTheUnknown:

--- Quote from: Kate on May 16, 2008, 11:11:21 am ---
--- Quote from: EmbraceTheUnknown on May 16, 2008, 10:36:18 am ---it made me insanely curious as to the motivations, desires, and general feeling in this lifestyle.
--- End quote ---

LOL, I promise you there are another 20 posters about to object to the dreaded lifestyle word too as I type my own, lol...

It's not a LIFESTYLE!!!!!!!!!!! Ahem. Seriously. No more than your non-TS life is a "lifestyle." There's some lingering idea out there with a few people that TSs "do TS things," like get together in parks for sex or something. Ya gotta understand, saying I'm "transsexual" is like saying "I had chickenpox once." It's just a scientific label for someone who needs to, or has, changed sexes. I don't do "transsexual things." I live an ordinary life, about as plain vanilla as can be.
--- End quote ---

Okay, it's not a lifestyle. It's your life. I was coming more from the place of overall activity. I guess "mindset" or "life path" would be more appropriate. At the same time, I adopted proper diet and exercise years ago and I consider them a part of my new identity. I call that my "lifestyle." But I see what you mean. It's not like an activity you put into a box or hang up on your coat rack.


--- Quote from: Kate on May 16, 2008, 11:11:21 am ---I really can't, not exactly. I'm fairly unique in the I resist the whole "I'm a woman inside!" argument.
--- End quote ---

I don't know this argument. What is it?


--- Quote from: Kate on May 16, 2008, 11:11:21 am ---The irony is that transsexuals mostly consider themselves to be PART of the "gender binary," not rebels against it.
--- End quote ---

I don't know what this is either - gender binary.

Do you get offended by the questions outlined in Calpernia's 20 Dumb Questions video?

lacitychick21:
First, I'd like to say thank you for having such an open mind. I speak for myself, and I'm sure many others here, that the genuine curiosity to understand and sympathize (maybe even to try and empathize) is greatly appreciated. Second, I preface all this with my right to edit my answers, for brevity, grammatical errors, clarity, or facts.... I know my community, but I'm capable of error. :)

1) Is there any way to describe why you wanted to become the opposite sex or want to?
I've been asked this often and to be honest, for me anyway, it's just inexplicable. I can only answer the question with another question--how do you know? How do you know you are a man? How do you know you're happy? Its something you probably haven't previously asked yourself. It's an almost comical question, isn't it? Now, imagine you kept your mind, nothing else changes except tomorrow, you're in a woman's body. You have your years of life prior to tell you something is definately wrong--but what if you didn't? How would you respond? Confusion? Denial? Resistance? Would you just try to forget such a silly incongruence and live your life? But if the "womanly" things didn't come natural, would you conform or resist the '"norm?" That's what I dealt with...

2) What is the difference...
Know there's some overlap, and there's no solid black and white, so for conversation's sake:
Transgender --The "umbrella" term for all things trans (nontypical gender polarized)
Transsexual -- Taking steps to transition from one gender to another (hormones/surgery/etc)
Transvestite/CD-- Typically one gender (more often heterosexual in their born gender) dressing as the other
Gender Queer/Andro -- For one reason or another don't strongly associate with one gender or the other, instead of trying to "be" one gender, their don't relate to either

3) Is "transsexual" a taboo word, and is "<not allowed>" better?
It's subjective. I know some that hate the word "transsexual", but as a general rule, as I understand it (I'm a journalist, we're supposed to scrutinize these things, but even I can get mixed up), one can be transgender and you are a transgender male or transgender female. You're not a "<not allowed> female" or "<not allowed> male," and you cannot be be "a transgender." It's a noun modifier and not a noun. Kind of like, you can be gay, or a gay male, but not a "gaied (LoL) male" or "a gay".

Wow, sorry...had to step away so I did this as two parts...these are quite the questions you have here! LoL

4) How do you react to someone who sees you as 98% woman, but has that lingering "resistance" to the 2% "historic man"?
What can I do? I have to respect his wishes! I've met guys, after disclosure who have said: "Good luck, but I'm not comfortable with it." I bid him farewell and we went our ways. I've met guys who, after a bit of a struggle, genuinely saw the person they fell in love with and stuck around (difficult to conceptualize, but it has happened). I don't have the time nor the patience to twist someone's arm to stick around. :) The truth is, I WAS once a physical boy... I've always believed in disclosure. You win some and you lose some. I couldn't go on keeping such a fundamental "secret." In the end, I think there was a certain respect for the courage/honesty to disclose in my relationships.

5) Are there any MTFs in a relationship with FTMs??
Yes. LoL. Any combination of gender/transgender you can come up with. It's been done.

6) What about the word "Hermaphrodite"?
Hermaphrodite was used as a term for someone who was born with both physical sex organs. You can use your own imagination as the condition came in many combinations... it has fallen out of favor for the term intersex.

7) If you were male and attracted to men before you [transitioned, LoL], did you consider yourself gay then, and do you now consider yourself hetero?
Actually, I used used the term "gay" when I first came out as a way of easing the transition of a concept inherently difficult for most people to begin to comprehend. As they saw me change, people were more inclined to be OK with it. It's easier to understand. "Oh, that's just [boy name], he's gay." Easier for them, it was. Those very close to me knew I considered myself "straight." Not because I didn't like the gay moniker, nor did I mean to marginalize it, but because, for some reason, it didn't really reflect me (see answer 1). I wouldn't mind accepting the moniker... I don't think it's a horrible, dirty word I had to avoid... but it just wasn't "right" (see answer 1, LoL).

8) I don't know what this is either - gender binary.
It's the belief that gender is either Male or Female with no inbetween... I say...there's ALWAYS a gray.

I hope this helped a little.  :)

MeghanAndrews:
Hi Embrace,
First of all, I applaud you and the way you've asked these questions. You come across as someone who is genuinely interested in learning about people. Please understand, and sure if you read through even a tiny portion of the comments in Calpernia's video you get what I'm talking about, that we, as a community, face a lot of hatred and bigotry. So, for you to come in and ask genuine questions with the purpose of learning, hats off to you  :)

In case anyone didn't see it, it's here:



Ok, so, here goes. Realize everyone's answers will vary. If you read many of the postings and blogs on this site, you will answer most of your questions, but I'm sure you'll get many responses in here.


--- Quote from: EmbraceTheUnknown on May 16, 2008, 10:36:18 am ---
1) Is there any way to describe why you wanted to become the opposite sex or want to? I realize that some desires and motivations simply aren't explainable, they're just THERE, strong and insistent, like a monsoon breaking down a straw door. I have my own desires as a man that can't be explained logically, so I understand if my question is moot or can't be answered. But it's out there anyhow.

--- End quote ---

From age 5 I have known that on the inside, my brain was female. THAT'S the part I can't explain to you. I don't know why it is. My brother is 11 months younger than me, he's married with a kid and he's much, much different than me. Same parents, same household, etc. As I grew older, especially pre and a little post puberty, I realized that this was going to be a really tough thing to deal with and that it probably wasn't going to go away.

It's the way I perceive myself, the way that I relate to others, the way I communicate with them, the thoughts that I have, etc. They've never, from as far back as I can remember, ever been male. But, in the end, like you can't explain why you see yourself as "male," I have a hard time explaining why I see myself as "female." It's not the sex organ that defines male/female, it's the mind and then you do what you need to do with the body you have. Imagine if you can what it would be like to drop your significant other's (assuming you are a heterosexual person with no gender issues) brain into your body. That's the best I can do to tell you how this feels. How would she go about her day (or he), how would that feel?


--- Quote from: EmbraceTheUnknown on May 16, 2008, 10:36:18 am ---2) What is the difference between <not allowed>, transsexual, transvestite, and... all those other profile names I saw when I signed up here? lol - I think one was androgyne or something. I know FTM is female to male, and vice versa, I just don't know the difference between all the other stuff, if any.

--- End quote ---

You should visit our Wiki for this. It's located at: http://susans.org/wiki/Main_Page


--- Quote from: EmbraceTheUnknown on May 16, 2008, 10:36:18 am ---3) Is "transsexual" a taboo word, and is "<not allowed>" better? Kind of like "negro" is a bad word in some contexts - African American is more acceptable.

--- End quote ---

No, it's not taboo at all. Transgender is an umbrella terms encompassing many different gender designations. I don't really see a lot that TS have in common with the other categories under TG, but I'm sure people will talk about that. I will tell you that the word that is basically like the "N" word or other words that denote negative sterotypes would be "<not allowed>." I use the term <not allowed> when I'm talking to my closest trans friends, much in the way that certain ethnic groups might refer to themselves, but only in their group or clique. If someone outside of my group of friends called my a "<not allowed>" I would be HIGHLY insulted. Many of us are that way, but many others HATE that words. I fall in the first category.


--- Quote from: EmbraceTheUnknown on May 16, 2008, 10:36:18 am ---4) This is a loaded question somewhat... actually had to re-write this several times in order to ask it in a way I wanted. Let's say you are MTF TGered. How do you react to someone who sees you as 98% woman, but has that lingering "resistance" to the 2% "historic man"? Meaning, he knows you were once a man and might have reservations about being with you because, well... you were a guy once and he may think he's "gay" if he is with you?

Don't read into that last question - I'm not asking how to overcome one of my own obstacles! LOL! Again, I'm only curious about how one feels in this lifestyle.
--- End quote ---

Ok, first, it's not a "lifestyle," it's our life. It's at the core of who we are and for most of us, it's been there forever. Speaking from a transsexual standpoint, I've always been this way. There isn't a situation where I look at myself and say "oh, that's Meghan" and "oh, that's my boy self" really. The appearance might be a little different, but I'm the same person with the same thoughts. Crossdressers, and hopefully some will answer, I think could be considered a lifestyle, but I don't know. Just speaking for me and my relationship with my life.

Ok, so the 2%. Honestly Embrace (what's your name???), I worry about this. I worry that I may end up living the rest of my life alone for this reason. Any guy that would take the time to get to know me, spend time talking to me, getting to know me, he'll know there's nothing at all "male" about me. To be viewed as "male" because of a body part or DNA instead of for me, my mind, who I am other than a physical body part or DNA...it's just sad. Now, I TOTALLY understand that to most straight guys, the thought of dating TS does not even compute.

We have to watch out for guys who have their own gender issues, guys who view us as a "fetish" and guys who just generally don't love us OTHER than the fact that we are TS. In a way, they love us for what we are, not who we are, if that makes sense. I hope that some day I can meet a nice guy who loves me for who I am, doesn't feel "weird" or "freaked out" when I tell him that I was born male, because I WILL tell him, I don't believe in keeping that from a partner (people vary on that as you'll see) guy. So, keep your fingers crossed for me  ;D


--- Quote from: EmbraceTheUnknown on May 16, 2008, 10:36:18 am ---5) Are there any MTFs in a relationship with FTMs??  ??? :o This is starting to confuse me the more I think about it, LOL!

--- End quote ---

There are, even on this board. TS are generally very, very understanding about the issues we face. It's a heterosexual relationship, man and woman. Don't think in terms of what people were born with as far as body parts, think of how they live their life. That should help clarify it. A MTF TS who likes women is hetero. A MTF TS who likes women is lesbian. And of course there are a million differences in there, lol.

It's very, very important to remember that gender and sexual preference are two totally different things. Very, very different.


--- Quote from: EmbraceTheUnknown on May 16, 2008, 10:36:18 am ---6) What about the word "Hermaphrodite"? I heard a while back that that word isn't used anymore, or that "unisex" was more appropriate. I guess they are the lucky ones, hehehe.

--- End quote ---

Typically, the word used is "intersexual," again, the wiki has a lot of informative articles to guide your understanding of these terms.


--- Quote from: EmbraceTheUnknown on May 16, 2008, 10:36:18 am ---7) If you were male and attracted to men before you "switched", did you consider yourself gay then, and do you now consider yourself hetero?

--- End quote ---

I was when I was right at puberty, I had boy crushes and kissed a boy, he was my first kiss ever. [Ask her to tell you about the JD and Nicole story! It's a good one! - Cali] I saw a few kids who we knew were gay getting beat up and teased every day so I did what I had to do to survive. I went along and pretended to be into girls. I love girls so much. As friends. I was married twice, obviously divorced due to gender issues. It's tough to stay married when you don't view your "husband" as more than a best friend, a girlfriend basically, and on top of that, he never has sex with you. I'd look at girls and think "I want to BE her" not "I want her." Lol, I wouldn't know what to do if I had her, as proven by my past.

I was not gay and I'm not gay now. Gay to me means a guy attracted to another guy. I'm not a guy. It would be impossible for me to be in a relationship with a gay guy. Why? Because guys like guys, not girls. I am everything a gay guy doesn't like. I need a regular, heterosexual guy with no gender issues to be in a relationship with. I don't want to help someone through transition, I want to be done with this and move on with my life.


--- Quote from: EmbraceTheUnknown on May 16, 2008, 10:36:18 am ---All of these questions have challenged my curiosity. This entire thing blows my mind in an awesome way. I love learning new things and your answers, even if they are rude or impatient, are welcomed totally. I hope you see my questions are coming from my heart and not from ignorance.

--- End quote ---

Again Embrace, and sorry to write a book here, I figured I'd be as descriptive as possible for you. If you ever want to talk about any of this further, just let me know. I'm always up for helping someone understand gender stuff a little better when I can. Take care, thanks for being you  ;) Meghan

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