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Did You Choose Your Gender?


Abigail Genevieve

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I, personally, did not.  I am stuck with the situation.

 

Often we hear people saying transgenders choose to be that way.  I would like to hear from two kinds of people: those who are stuck with the situation, and those, if there is anyone around here, who chose to be transgender freely.  The cultural myth is that for reasons that are never explained we chose this.  Why would anyone do so? Please explain that to the rest of us.   Thank you.

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I certainly didn't choose it.  I tried to be the way they told me to be.  They told me I was a boy, so that's what I tried to be.  I tried for more than 60 years, so no one can tell me that I didn't try hard enough.  But ultimately, it just didn't work.  I was forced to conclude that they told me wrong.  I was a girl all along.

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I have seen the assumption repeatedly made that transgender people choose their gender.  I do not know where they are getting this most unhelpful idea, but TG folk need to communicate they are stuck with a gender not in conformity with their body, and it is not a matter of choice to those who are teaching others how to view the 'transgender experience'.  It's not like deciding on a color choice, a car or even a career. 

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On 4/7/2024 at 4:08 PM, KathyLauren said:

I certainly didn't choose it.  I tried to be the way they told me to be.  They told me I was a boy, so that's what I tried to be.  I tried for more than 60 years, so no one can tell me that I didn't try hard enough.  But ultimately, it just didn't work.  I was forced to conclude that they told me wrong.  I was a girl all along.

This. Yes. 
 

As one whose egg cracked in my 60s, and who often feels like a Janey-come-lately, I think that the only choice I am making is to stop chasing the mirage. The idea that I could ever feel at home in the cishet male world is something I can no longer hope for. 
 

Sadly, I just don’t think that non-trans people can ever understand what it means to be trans. And I just keep having to tell myself that their ability to understand is not a requirement for my gender identity. 
 

-Timi

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An interesting question to ponder. I have made choices over the past 18 months or so to pursue the feminine side of me - buying more women's clothes, joining this group, starting HRT a few weeks ago (yay!). But the fact that there is a feminine side of me to explore, I don't believe I chose that per se ... It seems to have chased me down for nearly five decades and I finally let it catch me in my 50s...

 

And like someone else has said, why would anyone choose this - to swim completely upstream against family, friends, society, religion, etc if it is not necessary... 

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My outburst this morning, is WHAT IS WRONG WITH TRYING TO HAVE SOME PERSONAL INTEGRITY?

 

I look here and I am a girl, I look over there and I am a boy.  I am not making this up.  Some people resolve this by suppressing one or another, some people this burns so much they off themselves, some people learn to live with being both at the same time.

 

Crying.

 

We can try and explain, but it does not change the situation.  It is like showing up at the ER with a heart attack or broken leg and you are bleeding out and they tell you you are making that up, they don't treat those, and it is all in your head. Freak.

 

I cannot deny that there is a girl inside.  I cannot deny that there is (mostly) a boy outside.  In some ways it is unsolvable given the rest of my life and I need to deal with how to deal with dysphoria and not just do the quick and easy solution.  I appreciate this forum because I have not found the mantra favored years ago  that either you transition or you die.  Most of us need to find a way forward before God and man given what seems to be an impossible situation.

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My advice is don't worry too much about what ignorant people say. If it's your friends and family saying you chose to be trans, okay, you have a problem. In that case all you can do is slowly try to educate them. But if it's folks on the internet, forget it. Some of them say way far worse things than that. If you feel too vulnerable to handle it, just tune out. It's not your responsibility to correct them.

 

In good news, while I can't say I chose to be trans, I can say I'm enjoying it. I am almost two years into transitioning and loving life. Yes, there is sadness: I'm 50 and I'll never get those years back. But I'm me! It is so amazing. I never thought I'd live to see this.

 

Hang in there. It can happen. You can be who you want to be, who you should have been all along. It's just around the corner.

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20 hours ago, Abby Gen said:

TG folk need to communicate they are stuck with a gender not in conformity with their body, 

 

8 hours ago, Abby Gen said:

It is like showing up at the ER with a heart attack or broken leg and you are bleeding out and they tell you you are making that up, they don't treat those, and it is all in your head. Freak.

 

8 hours ago, Betty K said:

I'm enjoying it...I'm me! It is so amazing.

 

I just wanted to juxtapose these outlooks. Stuck, comparing to disease, freak versus love and amazement. Your point of view CAN transition. It takes work as I'm sure Betty can attest. I can also affirm that miraculous changes in perspective can occur with persistent effort. I used to hate myself. I now find myself rather delightful. And it's not necessarily about transition, but more so about self-acceptance. And that starts with a serious deep dive into examining your expectations of yourself, others, and the world and letting that all go. It is not easy, but it is not only possible, but inevitable because your true nature is freedom. Keep questioning. Be curious about your choice of words when you describe yourself and your situation. And really ask yourself it it truly matters what others think. Your happiness is your own business and no one else's. That's your gift to yourself.

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32 minutes ago, Vidanjali said:

 

 

 

I just wanted to juxtapose these outlooks. ...That's your gift to yourself.

Excellent insight.  Thank you.

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1 hour ago, Vidanjali said:

And it's not necessarily about transition, but more so about self-acceptance.


I agree that self-acceptance is key, but in my case social transition was necessary to really achieve this. The medical part was secondary, but still very helpful. And no, it wasn’t easy, and it still isn’t easy in some ways, but my joy makes the struggle worth it. I love myself now. That makes all the difference.

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13 hours ago, Abby Gen said:

Excellent insight.  Thank you.

 

My pleasure.

 

12 hours ago, Betty K said:


I agree that self-acceptance is key, but in my case social transition was necessary to really achieve this. 

 

For me too. To me, it seemed to be a component of self-acceptance - letting go of painful masks I wore and allowing myself to express as felt natural to me while letting go of fear of external judgement. 

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23 minutes ago, Vidanjali said:

For me too. To me, it seemed to be a component of self-acceptance - letting go of painful masks I wore and allowing myself to express as felt natural to me while letting go of fear of external judgement. 

 

Imagine my surprise when, presumably because of my newfound self-confidence, that external judgement was completely drowned out by positive reactions. I make friends more easily now, I'm more outgoing, I'm more confident professionally, I feel welcomed by humans in a way I never felt before. Yes, there are some negative responses, but very few. It has amazed me.

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23 minutes ago, Betty K said:

 

Imagine my surprise when, presumably because of my newfound self-confidence, that external judgement was completely drowned out by positive reactions. I make friends more easily now, I'm more outgoing, I'm more confident professionally, I feel welcomed by humans in a way I never felt before. Yes, there are some negative responses, but very few. It has amazed me.

 

Yes! I've found people are generally attracted to genuine-ness. I know it's true speaking for myself. So I even find myself more lovable the more genuine and free I am able to be. And others see that and love it too.

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I've been operating under the question of what is the least damage I can do in this situation.  I know see a corollary: what is the greatest good I can do in a situation.

 

Many moons ago now I did an online transition in a forum concerning religious questions where people were like here, their real names and identities mostly if not fully masked.  I participated in in for about five years before I said I was going to try this, and I announced to people who knew me that I was a woman, and from then on I posted that way.  Most people didn't care, one person PM'd me that he had known all along, and one person was "confused because she had thought I was a guy all this time."  I found myself more expressive, sociable, funny, and able to engage socially with others - nosy, if you will, in a manner that I had not been.

 

A lot of what I did, then, is already in me, and I can do it, socially transition, if you will, without transitioning, being a more expressive person.and get rid of that fear that they will find me out.  They probably already know or don't care. In many ways I act like a woman anyway. 

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9 minutes ago, Abby Gen said:

A lot of what I did, then, is already in me, and I can do it, socially transition, if you will, without transitioning, being a more expressive person.and get rid of that fear that they will find me out.  They probably already know or don't care. In many ways I act like a woman anyway. 

 

Now you're talking! And yes, that fear of being found out is a mind-killer. I didn't even wear a pink t-shirt in daylight for about 20 years for fear of someone seeing through my disguise, meanwhile I'd sneak out at night dressed my most glamorous and interact with strangers. That kind of double life is truly soul-destroying. The relief at not having to hide anymore is intense.

 

45 minutes ago, Vidanjali said:

Yes! I've found people are generally attracted to genuine-ness. I know it's true speaking for myself. So I even find myself more lovable the more genuine and free I am able to be. And others see that and love it too.

 

That's great to hear, Vidanjali. And yes, love is the word. I feel loved, like never before. I feel blessed.

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5 hours ago, Abby Gen said:

I've been operating under the question of what is the least damage I can do in this situation.  I know see a corollary: what is the greatest good I can do in a situation.

 

Well done!!

 

5 hours ago, Betty K said:

I feel loved, like never before. I feel blessed.

 

Indeed, you are!

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11 hours ago, Betty K said:

That kind of double life is truly soul-destroying. The relief at not having to hide anymore is intense.

Truth ... alas I am still in the mostly double life stage... slowly slowly ... 

 

maybe it's because I don't know quite yet the end result is what holds me back from fully expressing myself ... like, am I sure I am this person or is this just a mid-life crisis or something... 

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23 minutes ago, EasyE said:

am I sure I am this person or is this just a mid-life crisis or something... 

 

In 2012, at the age of 39, I convinced myself I was “just” a crossdresser and ended up postponing my transition for another nine years. I was deeply resistant to the truth and brushed off all the clues that had been accumulating since I was six years old. When people I met as my femme self would tell me how great it was that I was living my truth I would brush them off and say, “Oh no, this isn’t the real me, it’s just something I do for fun.” In my case, I had very little contact with the trans community, lacked a support network, did not have a gender therapist, and had no money for transition. I am confident that, since you are here on TransPulse, your decision will be more informed than mine was. Mine stemmed from fear as much as ignorance. 

 

 

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On 4/7/2024 at 6:08 PM, KathyLauren said:

I certainly didn't choose it.  I tried to be the way they told me to be.  They told me I was a boy, so that's what I tried to be.  I tried for more than 60 years, so no one can tell me that I didn't try hard enough.  But ultimately, it just didn't work.  I was forced to conclude that they told me wrong.  I was a girl all along.

Those that know my story know I attend a religious oriented daycare facility for the elderly or disabled. Whilst attending their facility I am required to "dress my gender". Androgynous attire seems to fly under the radar. 

 

Yesterday a CNA that started several months ago admitted that during her orientation she thought I was cis female. Staff then told her I was male and she assumed I was trans-masculine. They apparently don't inform the CNA's if a patient is intersex. 

 

I was forced by family to live as a male for 45 years and failed miserably at it. Even with bib overalls, layers, and baggy shirts I couldn't hide who I was. I even had a coworker years ago offer me $40.00 if he could see me naked. I was constantly ridiculed over my wide hips and chest. 

 

The delivery room doctor chose my gender pretty much on a coin toss, and they got it wrong. 

 

So no, I'm not who I am by choice. I am who I am because I was born this way. 

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For me being transgender was not a choice.  It just explained what I had been hiding (and fighting) all my life.

Coming out however was a choice, and the right one.

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I believe that a three-year-old child has no agenda with gender and of how to act when faced with the gender the world provides. If you beat the feminine out of the child, there is no choice involved, just abuse and coercion. And they may continue to beat themselves up about it until the truth sets them free. Who would choose to remain in that sort of slavery? All genders are equal

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 I've read things that state that if you have a y chromosome, infallibly, you are a male.  And that whatever the doctor says when you are born is infallibly your sex. 

 

Neither is true.   Yet both are held as the gold standard among many people. 

 

I LIKE being a girl.  However, I am struggling with the fact that I LIKE being a girl.  Not supposed to do that if you are AMAB and you have that y chromosome.

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People running around saying they choose their gender are doing a lot of damage.  "I think I will be a boy today" or "this afternoon I will be a girl". These are the people most of the heavy fire against TG folk is directed at, and the rest of us get caught in it.

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