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How do you stop from feeling false?

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Guest Sandy74

For me I try and not think too much into it. I know that I want to be a female and I know that if the only way that I can get close to feeling or being that way is slipping on a pair of panties and tights and a nightie then so be it and I tend to enjoy the feeling the entire time up until when I have to take them off. I love going to bed wearing panties and love how I feel when I am in bed. I shave my legs and even though they don't look like female legs I love the feeling from shaving and I love slipping on tights or pantyhose and feeling myself in them, especially sleeping in tights or stockings, such an incredible feeling to me. I used to be a long time ago where I was sexually aroused wearing female clothes and once I accomplished the goal I would undress and that would be it. Even though I still feel that way sometimes I just enjoy to hang out in female clothes and be womanly and just chat online or shopping online and just doing what I would do if i was in male clothes. Someday I am looking forward to the day that I can dress in public and even though I might not be an attractive woman I will be doing what I want and how I want and hopefully by then my confidence will be strong enough that worrying about what people think won't be an issue. I guess we all have to find our own ways of how we feel about being a woman, I sometimes I wish I had more feminine features than male ones.

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Guest devida

Is there a possibility Ky-Ki that that you might be happier if you just stop thinking of yourself as male? I understand that it is very difficult for you to think of yourself as female, although I agree with others on this thread that this is because of what your definition of what a female is. But it is your definition and right now you don't seem to be able to allow yourself to expand the definition. But you also do not seem to be happy being a man.

You're in luck. There is a third choice. As others have pointed out there are thought by some scientists to be six sexes, not just two and there are certainly more than two genders. In fact people who identify with neither male nor female genders are not that uncommon. Lots and lots of people are gender non conforming and more and more people, especially young people, are rejecting the binaries of male and female for something in between. So if you feel like a fake when you identify as a woman and I assume you're not happy being a man why not be Third Gender?

What that is really only you can determine. It's not as simple as being masculine or feminine and society doesn't give you quite as much support and help in defining your gender identity. But androgynous people, intersexed people, the nongendered, two spirited, gender non conforming transgender folk are certainly out there and in all probability in greater numbers than male to female and female to male transitioning transgender folk. They just aren't as vocal in many cases perhaps because it isn't for many as dramatic an issue for them (I should say us since I consider myself transgendered in just this way) as it is for people who are engaging in the difficult process of transitioning from one binary to another. And there is actually a fair amount of support for the non binary on the internet and on college campuses these days.

But perhaps you are already moving towards a Third Gender identification. After all you do define your gender as MT? which is as good an acronym for non binary folk as any!

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Guest Ky_Ki

It can't be just me that feels like "third gender" is just something invented by hippies who identify that way purely to buck the system can it? Talk about something that feels fake. At least as something you could actually call yourself.

Note as apparently there's been some confusion over my posts: not saying that's not a legitimate way of identifing nor that science doesn't suppoet it. But doesn't it FEEL like an invented concept?

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Guest LizMarie

Many cultures identified as many as six genders. Were those entire cultures fake?

Or is our own insistence on a simplistic binary system that we now know doesn't even begin to match to genetics - XXY, XXXX, XXXY, etc. - let alone how those genetics express (XXY can express either male or female) the one that is fake?

Why is our culture today right and all those other cultures wrong?

We've been wrong a lot in our past. Slavery, women as property, Jim Crow laws... our society certain has been blatantly horrendously wrong before. So why assume it's right now?

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Guest Ky_Ki

Liz you missed my point. I'm not saying that the idea is right or wrong. I'm well aware that different cultures acknowledge more than two genders. I'm saying it innately FEELS made up. It FEELS like a concept being used to justify one's feelings. Yes, that's due to the culture and society I was brought up in but that doesn't mean that the system I was brought up with still feels like the one that is correct

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Drea

But doesn't it FEEL like an invented concept?

I suspect that those for who identify that way don't feel it is invented.

I do tend to think that some of the other or in-between genders from other cultures that get held up by the community as examples of recognition and tolerance are done so without fully understanding the true context within the culture it originates.

For example in India there are the hijra. I've seen it stated within the trans community that the hijra are recognized within society in India and even have an honored place in that society. There may be some truth in that but hijra are more likely to be at the margins of society and the word hijra even gets used in a epithetical manner. My point is that it is often connotations around a concept that get lost when it is extracted from its source culture. I can imagine some trans person in Iran thinking drag queens are well recognized and celebrated in western culture and an example of tolerance.

I feel the community latches onto these concepts from other cultures seeking legitimacy. I also can see it serving a purpose helping one feel better about themselves. After awhile such tends to become less important as one develops a stronger internal sense of self, confidence in oneself as well as hopefully improving their self esteem.

I guess the long and short of what I am saying is that it feeling made it or not has more to do with how one sees oneself and that there is lots of room for interpretation. It serves some people to believe certain things, for others it doesn't help.

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Guest LizMarie

This is actually interesting, Kira. You're appear to be admitting that external judgments of yourself are more important to you than your own internal judgment of yourself. (Correct me if that is incorrect but that is what I am seeing thus far.)

If I were you, I'd talk to my therapist about why I distrust myself so deeply and rely so heavily on externalities. And that's not in relationship to being trans at all, just in relationship to your own personal self-esteem and self-trust.

Perhaps your core issue isn't about whether you are trans at all but more about your own inability to trust your own judgment and thoughts? Again, that's not my judgment of you, but rather me simply asking the question.

Part of me wonders if you are obsessing over the wrong question - how do I stop feeling false? Part of me wonders if you've not found the right question, thus the right answer eludes you. And no, I am not sure what the right question is for you. I just throw that idea out as something to consider.

Finally, another question to which I cannot recall an answer from you (and if you've answered and I missed it, I apologize) - have you ever spent any extensive time allowing yourself to express yourself publicly as a woman? It took me two years to go full time and in that preceding two years there were lots and lots of small excursions in female mode. Then came an important week visiting friends in another city where I simply lived as Cara. That week was exhilarating and confirmed for me who I thought I was. From there it was even harder to go back to the occasional presentation as male and now I don't have to do that at all.

So I am asking how much have you allowed yourself to experience life as a woman because, for me at least, actually experiencing it became critical to furthering my self-acceptance. With therapy I had begun to accept myself but therapy alone and just talking about it was not going to seal the deal in my mind, because I, like you, fought this for years and years. But once I was across that line, once I was comfortable as Cara, I began to realize how hollow my life as him had been and how much more full and rich my new life suddenly was in comparison.

Again, we are all unique and I realize this might not help you but I am curious as to the extent you've even allowed your feminine side to express itself at all. Because for many of us, allowing that expression to occur was part of clearing our own mind of some of the doubts that gnaw at us.

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JJ

Historically gender has been much more fluidly defined and enforced. Just as it is in the rest of the animal kingdom. Examples of gender fluidity abound. And though with humans it is indeed within the context of that culture instances of cross gender behavior occur in every era as well as many cultures including our own. If you read real history and not the stuff in high school books you even find kings and queens and world leaders who actually lived partly or wholly cross gender roles. Our current rigid binary views are actually more rooted in Victoria values than anything else.

Much of what we identify as gender behavior-especially in regards to clothing and mannerisms-is socialization. We are taught from the cradle what we should or should not do and feel with millions of messages verbal and non-verbal. Some of us can overcome that socialization and conditioning because we never internalized it as really being us, or we internalized it as an alternative identity in a way. The person we were expected to be even when it felt wrong. It was necessary to function. With decades of deep conditioning sometimes being true to the inner person you have denied or surpresssed is bound to feel false sometimes. But for those with the strength and determination to move through transition the conditioning weakens as you move forward. Something can feel absolutely right on one level and yet false on another from our socialization.

I lived in the hippie generation- and the drive was not to create false constructs to justify one's feels but rather to tear down false societal constructs that were intended to manipulate and control people. The message was that feelings were valid and didn't need justification.

For myself, which is all I can really talk about with certainty, sometimes acting male and re-socializing was awkward. I don't know things someone my age should in that role. Many cultural aspects of gender roles don't come naturally and have to be learned which is uncomfortable and awkward - and as you try it out it feels almost like acting a part. Just as it did when we were adolescents. Which in a real way we are. Do you remember how you felt false sometimes as a teen trying to be cool and adult? Scared someone would realize you really were not as cool as you were pretending to be. And for many of us trying to live in the wrong gender role felt more false and made up than anything transition brings. In fact for me one of the greatest benefits of transition as I learn and grown as a man in the world is losing that feeling of never being real. Of living a role I created.

You will see the world through the filter of your needs. And interpret data through it as well. Just the way humans work unfortunately. You can chose to look for patterns and motivations and then question the truth of your interpretations and feelings- or not. Not everyone can overcome the fears and socialization. Not everyone can transition either for exactly that reason. And that is exactly why a gender therapist can be so vital to successful transitioning for some people.

No one else can answer your question really except yourself and perhaps a therapist because it deals with your perception and conflicts.

Johnny

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Guest devida

Ky-Ki asks whether identifying oneself as non binary feels like an invented concept. Putting to one side that I would be hard pressed to find a concept that wasn't invented, what always felt to me like an invented concept was the idea that what is between my legs determines my gender identity. It was a revelation to me that it wasn't a real requirement that I keep trying to smash who I felt myself to be into a handed down idea of masculinity. Really, the effort made me bitter, aggressive, mean and unhappy. The understanding that masculinity, for me, was an invented concept allowed me to relax and become someone happier and more authentic than I have ever been in my quite long life. What I also understood was that, again for me, attempting to become an idea of femininity would also be destructive. I m far better off living from day to day, being whoever I am and wherever I am on the gender spectrum from day to day. I do think gender identity is unique to the individual and needs to experienced in real life instead of just in the imagination or in the confusion of one's own thoughts. In other words we live being transgender, which does create conflict. But that conflict does not have to be internal. We don't have to internalize societal issues about what other people think is appropriate for us to wear, the mannerisms we are expected to have, the ways in which we present ourselves. We can be brave. We can have the courage of our own gender identities. We can act the way we feel, rather than act the way we think other people expect us to feel.

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Guest MaryGennaeAngelina

I would say to you that if I was in your shoes, I'd do what I did long ago in my shoes, which are currently spike heel boots I got yesterday: Buy some lingerie, the nicest you can get, nylons, heels, dresses, whatever. Shave well and get dressed. Think to yourself in a nice smooth voice that identifies with the you you want to be. I also sat down and visualized the person I had been born as flowing away and the other coming into the body I wore. It was remarkably affective. I got busy with other things and she replaced him. I have to say, it was the nicest thing, thinking differently, acting differently and all the sadness and self hate of him gone, now just he fun loving her. Very liberating. You are who you want to be, who you decide to be. Just my thoughts on the subject. :)

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Guest Sarah23510

Wow...what a fantastic discussion. Thank you all for being so open and honest. I have gotten a lot out of all these points (which I guess is one of the points of being here in the first place!). I have gone through much of what has been discussed. I will never transition or be "fulltime" presenting as female (subject for another board I guess), but I know inside what I need to be. I have looked at myself when "dressed" and thought "boy in a dress and lipstick." But, I don't think that anymore. I see Sarah, a woman. Frustrated sometimes by not being able to express it more and be more presentable, but still see the girl. And it feels good.

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Guest GinaInside

This is a very interesting thread, full of very thoughtful posts.

I understand the idea very well, that being trans somehow feels "made up". Perhaps for some people it is made up, as some kind of coping mechanism.

I have often wondered, if I had been "coached" on how to be "male", if I would have been different; really I doubt it. I am dealing with body issues that I really wish were "made up", because if they were, they could be made to go away.

Trans-people have been around since civilizations started keeping records, so our predicament is nothing new. In all likelihood, trans-people have been dealing with the very same issues we are discussing here, from the beginning. Imagine for a moment how it may have been for the first Transgender in an ancient tribe, it must have been terrifying and confusing. It probably didn't feel very "made up" for that person. The idea of binary gender may have been very important to ancient tribes because of such issues as infant mortality. It probably took a very long time before transgenders were recognized as just different. In many older cultures, they became shamans, or mediators.

Not a day, not even a few minutes actually, goes by, that I wish I could either make this stop, or make it work; haven't had any success either way.

There aren't any easy answers to this issue.

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Guest otter-girl

Hi,

After a lifetime of looking inwards and comparing with the outwards. I work on looking inwards to be inwards and looking outwards to be outwards. Dropping the comparing bit.

Rachel

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Guest Sarah Faith

I have to say that I can definitely relate Ky_Ki, when I was growing up and before I transitioned I absolutely hated crossdressing it just made me feel more depressed. Like you have stated it felt really fake, just putting on pretty clothing didn't change anything and it made me hate my body more than I already did. I really thought the community in general was a joke too, all of the information was depressing and there was little I could relate to as a teenager. Transitioning fairly young wasn't even all that common and almost unheard of, and the idea of transitioning later in life and dealing with a life time of masculinization from testosterone was just not something that I was even remotely willing to do.

Again like you mentioned before I didn't have any desire to just kind of sort of pass. If I was going to transition I wanted to be recognized as a woman even if I was just wearing jeans and a t-shirt. Yet most sources made me feel like that was just unrealistic. I'm not going to lie, I can be an extremely vain and stubborn person. I refused to transition because I believed fully that I'd basically be stuck living what I perceived as a poor pantomime of anything really authentic. For a long time I wasn't even going to attempt transitioning if I didn't feel like I couldn't achieve the appearance or voice that I felt would be needed to be as real as possible. I even decided when I started transitioning at 24 that if I wasn't able to seemlessly live as a woman by 30 that I would end it.

Which I know is a fairly self destructive and definitive way to approach transition, but for me there was no middle ground. I can't do realistic expectations, I haven't ever been able to just accept things the way they are. Is that a healthy way to approach life? Maybe not but its who I am, it's allowed me to do way more in short periods of time than most people expect me to. I set those deadlines for my self because I refused to accept anything less, if I was going to attempt transition and let that cat out of the bag I had to be able to live as a woman completely no in-between, no grinning and bear it if it didn't work out. I have always struggled with the trans-woman identity that we are suppose to embrace, the identity that says we just accept the flaws that are inherent to transition. Not because I suffer from anything as inane as "internalized transphobia" but because as a kid and a teen I was never curled up in the fetal position in the shower sobbing because I wanted to be a trans-woman. I wanted to be a girl, to live my life as seemlessly as my peers.

The result of all of this is that transition was an all or nothing prospect for me to get over the feeling of it all being fake and arbitrary. Would I advocate anyone else approach transition the way I did? No. However I know that there are others that feel the way I did about it, and no amount of platitudes and pretty clothing will change that feeling.. You asked how do you know you're a girl or that you're trans or that you're whatever... I don't know I couldn't even begin to tell you how to sort out need from desire, as human beings need and desire are so intertwined that often times it is impossible to tell the difference. How did I overcome the feeling of it being fake and arbitrary? Because my desire to be a girl overcame my needs for survival, my depression with how much I hated my body and who I was outweighed my instinct for self preservation..

You bring up a difficult topic because most people in the community simply cannot relate to it.

(Everything I have said here is based on my own feelings and experiences of my own transition, and is not meant as an attack of any form towards others in the community.)

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Drea

I have to say that I can definitely relate Ky_Ki, when I was growing up and before I transitioned I absolutely hated crossdressing it just made me feel more depressed. Like you have stated it felt really fake, just putting on pretty clothing didn't change anything and it made me hate my body more than I already did.

I am glad you jumped in here Sarah to relate your similar experience. Many in the community don't relate and don't get that the dressing/presenting aspect that helps so many does make others depressed. It is important for all of us to recognize the differences and not expect others to conform to just one experience. Failure to recognize these differences just leads to the who is more trans than who, who is really trans and not, and all sorts of judgments that cause people to get labeled as phony and other negatives.

(Everything I have said here is based on my own feelings and experiences of my own transition, and is not meant as an attack of any form towards others in the community.)

This should be a given that such is from your experience and that your experiences doesn't invalidate or deny someone else's experience. It is unfortunate that such a disclaimer is needed when expressing what is a personal experience that is only shared by a minority of the community.

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Carolyn Marie

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Sarah. I appreciate your honesty, and I believe it will help many who feel the same way.

HUGS

Carolyn Marie

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