I recently read a blog posted by an online friend which included another post-op trans woman’s regrets of transitioning and having GRS. She had described how her feelings to transition and being a woman were more sexually motivated, and that after surgery she could not have that satisfaction. She mentioned that she misunderstood the drop-off of sexual desire due to hormones as a sign that she was doing the right thing.
My first reaction and thought was how it was a good example of why the real life test or real life experience is important. I assume the person lived as the gender she wanted to be before having the surgery, based on the comment of her “following the rules”. If she had, then I wondered if she truly did the necessary soul searching — the second-guessing and what-ifs playing in her mind over and over. When it comes down to it, the physical aspects of transition are not as important as the emotional aspects. Being emotionally ready for the changes is very critical to anyone’s successful transition.
I started my transition almost two years ago, and if I had had the money, was single, and could have had the operation sooner, I probably would have jumped in head first and had GRS. But with my therapist’s guidance, I slowed down, following her suggestions to explore my femininity and get out in society presenting as a female. I also wanted to do the changes in steps, where I could evaluate each step to see if it was enough for me. First, I had facial and body hair removal, as it was one thing that always seemed to bother me (and guys have it done, so no harm there). Then I attended several transgender conferences to “live” as a woman 24×7 for one full week. I went out to public places in the daylight, such as a shopping mall and busy restaurants. I wanted to get a feel for how I would be treated and how any negative reactions would make me feel. Would I feel more like a “man in a dress”, or would I feel like a woman, regardless of how people treated me? These exercises are very important, as they can let us know that if we are uncomfortable as a part-time woman, then we’re not ready to be full-time.
My soul searching has been going on now for quite awhile. There are days when I think I just need to stop stalling and move forward with it all. But I am very cautious, as there is much at risk. I question myself over and over about what is right. Am I that uncomfortable living as a man? Can I just keep hiding this for the rest of my life? Would cross-dressing periodically be enough, especially since my wife would be accepting of it (as long as I do it discretely)? Would being on hormones but continuing to live as a man with no surgery be good enough? Twenty years from now, would I be happier living as an older man or as an older woman? These are just some of the questions I have asked myself over and over. For me, I need to be as sure as I can that the distress and discomfort I experience is impacting my life enough to move forward with transition to full-time and eventual surgeries.
In my honest opinion, I think that gender is fluid and NOT binary. I think there are many who are on one end of the spectrum, where the difference between body sex and gender identity are so polar that they absolutely know that they are “in the wrong body”. Then there are others who are somewhere close to the middle, with just enough feminine-mindedness that they experience some discomfort and have a notion that something is out of whack, but can otherwise function in society as a man. There are days when I think I fall into that category. I had an acquaintance recently tell me that you should know you are a woman inside if you are truly transsexual. I have to disagree with that, as that may be true with some but not all. I think we all have within us, both natal male and female, a degree of masculine and feminine nature (and when I say nature, I mean born with it and not learned). Those balances are different in each of us, and could even change based on how much we suppress or allow those natural tendencies. It comes down to really understanding ourselves, to find the “true self”. Once that is done, then the surgeries and other aspects become window dressing.
I hope we all take the time to fully understand ourselves, as that is the true journey.
Filed under: Life Experiences, Transgender | Tagged: crossdress, fluid gender, gender binary, GRS, hair removal, real life experience, real life test, regret, srs, transexual, Transgender, transition, transsexual | 1 Comment »