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Mybuttlost

the term "I identify as"

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Mybuttlost

Does anyone else have a issue with the term "I identify as"? i don't hate the term but i think it get thrown around a lot. Personally i say "I am" over "I identify as", mostly cuz so many people like trenders and such use it also it is kinda mocked and saying "I am" kinda cements it more.

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Violet

I've pondered the "as" myself. "As" implies, in my view, "in the role of". Thus, I'm (presently) going with "I'm a transgender woman" or "I'm a transwoman". I avoid "as" since I feel it's connoting "imposter" or  "disguise". It hit me the other day that in a way I'm 3: I'm a man, I'm a woman, I'm a transwoman. Each of those words referring to: Physical, Self (or, Soul, if you like), & Both Together. But for now? I'm happy with "I'm a transwoman!" I feel it's the best choice for me.

 

In reference to those who deploy "I identify as"? I kinda cringe, a touch. But, usually these are younger people, yes? I figure they'll work it out one way or the other, in the fullness of time. But, those 3 words do imply a kind of style aspect, it seems to me. And, naturally, my conviction that my true self is female is not a matter of style, but a matter of ontology (or: what is!). But, to each their own.

 

Btw: I confess, I've two degrees in Philosophy, & am "all but dissertation" for my Ph. D. Thus, conceptual mechanics &/or taxonomy (&, naturally, arguing about them!) is a bit of a passion! Cheers Mybuttlost & ANOHNI rules!!! : )

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MaryMary

warning : what I'm going to say I'm not saying it's the right way to think or anything. It's pretty bad in fact, lol I'm just being 100% honnest.

 

The main reason why I say "I identify as" honestly comes from the fact that the concept of transgender never existed in my own small city, circa 1980/1990. When I was expressing it people were saying I was crazy or mentally ill. If I had more physical symptoms (yes it happened) doctors were testing me for intersex condition. There's tons of thing I say that are a left over from those times. I have a hard time saying "I'm a woman" because I still think I'm just crazy and censor myself when I'm about to say it out loud. Because, let's face it, it was the source of a lot of pain and abuse. I censor myself from saying a lot of things that way.

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MaryMary

But I agree with you, I prefer "I am" for sure.

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ToniTone
On 9/10/2019 at 1:23 PM, Mybuttlost said:

Does anyone else have a issue with the term "I identify as"? i don't hate the term but i think it get thrown around a lot. Personally i say "I am" over "I identify as", mostly cuz so many people like trenders and such use it also it is kinda mocked and saying "I am" kinda cements it more.

 

Totally I agree! 

 

It's a personal choice. For me, earlier on in my transition I used "I identify as (transfeminine-androgynous)" because I didn't present as female, didn't know that I would, and wasn't sure of my identity label precisely (still not, but I'm embracing being trans and female and primarily use trans woman as my label). I felt more comfortable with it and how it can precede a dialogue about it. 

 

But now I use "I am (a trans woman)". I embrace being a trans woman and feel I present openly both those aspects of my gender identity. It doesn't imply that there is a dialogue to follow, it's a statement that can stand alone. I don't have to explain myself to others

 

~Toni

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Ellora

“I am.”

To me, saying “I identify as ( transgender),” sounds as strange as saying “I identify as human.” 

I prefer to say “ I am a woman, “ but sometimes say I am a trans woman, depending on the situation. 

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tracy_j

Personally I don't like it at all and just tend to go thinking 'I am me' but saying nothing and going with the flow. If you are female in mind, male in body what are you?  Getting philosophical and to Descartes - 'Cogito, ergo sum' - I think, therefore I am. Ok I am twisting his meaning here a bit but my philosophy is live with how you feel.

 

Tracy

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Krisvm

I tend to use I identify now as just when I am explaining for the first time that I am non-binary to people that knew me as male before hand for a long time just when I am explaining it. Afterwards or in any other situations I use I am. 

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Charlize

I am a woman or sometimes i feel a trans woman.  I don't have an issue with the way others identify or how they describe themselves.  I'm not worried about "trenders".   When i dressed as a female years ago perhaps i was identifying as female.   I know it took me a long time to accept myself enough to say "i am".  

 

Hugs,

 

Charlize

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Maid In Bedlam

I identify as an attack helicopter.

 

That one always gets me smiling.

 

Im kind of in the same place a Charlize. However i have never really identified as a transwoman . Always just a woman who once had trans issues.

I persoanlly still dont get it. Im old school and have said in the past. Still in the belief there are only 2 genders

 

You can call yourself whatever you want. You do not have any bearing on my life so who am i to tell you what you can and cannot do? Its your choice. I dont have to accept your label but. I will not stop you from being what ever makes you happy. As long as you do not make someone sad or fearful in your actions. There are apprently 100+ genders you can identify as now according to the BBC.  Do you not think its reached the peak of overkill? I will leave a link at the bottom of the page (It has a trigger warning) Its a morning show here in the UK discussioning the diffrent gender identitys. Its Piers Morgan so dont expect rational points. I dislike PM but if you want to watch then do so at your own risk.

 

We have a cultural understanding of what gender is and looks like, and in the west we have a very binary view of it. As i said earlier i am perhaps old but thats the way i was brought up. That binary view is now changing and im sure in the next 50 years i will be looked on as a dinosaur.

 

Allways believed it was our job to fit into the binary roles and the not the roles to fit us. Hense i have always been  a woman. No need to identify as, I am a ..........

 

Sorry if that is upsetting to anyone but If someone could show me evidence to make me change my view on more than 2 then I am allways open to it.

 

 

Link to piers Morgan and the disccusion (I use the word Disscusion in a very loose context)

 

 

 

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tracy_j

A good laugh for the morning, and I loved the bit where she was a squirrel surrounded by nuts LOL. Seriously though I think some good points were given amongst the ridicule. To go to an extreme - From a technical point of view there would be thousands of definable sexualities from 100 genders. The mind boggles! Although he was just looking for entertainment value I do take some of Piers's points though. The obvious 'cis'. Outside of use in the forum and other similar areas I wouldn't expect it and unlikely use it in normal conversation. I agree with you quite a bit @Maid In Bedlam but from my perspective I do see how people can differ in their views. Personally it is a bit difficult though as I don't suffer body dysphoria as perhaps most. Mentally I am female and phisically male. I believe there is a spectrum rather than solid 100% male or 100% female as regards the mind, and to some extent the body too.

 

On looking at your post:

17 hours ago, Maid In Bedlam said:

Allways believed it was our job to fit into the binary roles and the not the roles to fit us. Hense i have always been  a woman. No need to identify as, I am a ..........

 

I agree with that. I tend to jump back and forth at times dependant on situation, but, as a woman, do dress and live that way of life. Legally though I am still male so, to society, I am sometimes male and sometimes female. I have found those two states can co-exist pretty well as society tends to be fragmented so, with rounded edges, it does work reasonably. I think, as androgyne which I think still fits me best, that it is difficult. I don't expect society to bend to that or even know the term, just respect who I am. There is who we are inside and how society views us. For some it is far more rigid than others.

 

Tracy

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Maid In Bedlam
On 9/13/2019 at 9:29 AM, tracy_j said:

. I believe there is a spectrum rather than solid 100% male or 100% female as regards the mind, and to some extent the body too.

 

 As in what they would call Tom Boys  as an example. But  you would paint the tomboy expression on a trans spectrum.

 

As i said previously I have absolutly no problem on what someone wants to call themselves. im happy they are living how they want to. Everyone has a right to do that. I like to think that everyone has the right to be given the opotunity to earn respect. Its not just given without doing things to aquire  it.

 

However if someone walks into my shop and they have a beard. Then im going to call them Sir or Mr. Regardless. If they present as female then its ma'am or Miss, Mrs whatever there age or status requires. You shouldnt need to ask someone what they identify as. It should be obvious.

 

For instance if Angela Rippon walked into my shop. Im going to say  Miss or ma'am as the case may be. However if it was Brain Bleesed with a predominatly male primary charicteristic such as a beard it would be Sir.  I shouldnt need to ask you what you presented or identified as it should be blatent.  Even if a trans person who has only just began Transition and still has quite manly features but has tried there hardest to look female then it would still be ma'am or Miss out of respect for there effort and what they would like and are trying to achieve. If they have female attire on and have tried there best then. Awesome. If they knew i knew i would perhaps even smile and wish them well. But wouldnt ask What do you identify as. As they have already provided me with the visual tools i need to make that assumption

 

However if I did call someone Miss and they corrected me to sir. Then i would do my upmost to call them sir from then on in. However i am human and i would perhaps make a mistake until it sank it that you wanted to be a sir and not ma'am

 

I quite like Primary charicteristics as does society who understands them more. Gender is very socially constucted when it comes to primary and secondery  sex charictaristics Rules we have been brought up to believe are male and female pointers As I said previously in about 50 years time people like me will not be around and im sure everything will be much more relaxed. In fact perhaps they will deconstuct it all and build it up again so there is no sex or gender. Just people. That would eliminate people who transition. As there will not be anything to transition to.

 

 

.I just come from the say what i see culture. If it looks like a duck  walks like a duck and quacks like a duck im going to call it a duck. Not a flamingo

 

 

 

 

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Maid In Bedlam

Just noticed Tracy. I said you would in the the first line what i meant was "Would you"

 

What it read to me sounded a bit confrontational and it was just a typo.

 

My bad.  Must try harder to read before i submit.

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SaraAW

As mentioned above, gender is a social construct. It was arbitrarily created. I would love to see a day where we do not need to create labels for others, but allow the others to let us know who they are. 

 

I fear that is likely to never come about. As I posted on another thread, our resources are limited. We need to label everything to identify resources and our competition for them.  If we don’t, how will we defend those resources?  As the resources are finite, if we do not protect them, we will run out and perish. 

 

Allowing individuals to self label, helps to make them part of a larger group, with more access to resources and the increased likelihood of survival.  As social creatures, we have an inherent critical need for belonging to groups. In my mind, using I identify as vs I am, have a little distinction, but not a lot. With either one, you placing yourself into a group. I am, IMO, has a stronger connotation of conviction of belief and adherence to the groups core beliefs. 

 

We need to remember, becoming part of a group also cuts the other way; by placing yourself in one group, you may exclude yourself from other groups. 

 

There red is one group I am definitely proud to be a member of, this great community. 

 

I am ME. 

 

*hugs*

 

Sara

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tracy_j
On 9/14/2019 at 2:01 PM, Maid In Bedlam said:

 As in what they would call Tom Boys  as an example. But  you would paint the tomboy expression on a trans spectrum.

 

An interesting example. On a point of grammar maybe a question mark at the end of the sentance? 😕 No problem anyway 😊

 

But to meaning - tomboy is often a complication on the FTM side of things. I think it is a general term meaning different things in different situations. My feeling is that it may have transexual connotations but may be transitory. People's feelings about gender and the way they live do vary over time. I think some girls reject the idea of being girly. It does not have to mean they reject their gender. The same occurs with boys but peer pressure is much stronger there so most would not dare admit it.

 

I agree with what you say about people walking into your shop. I did momentarily wonder as for a woman it gets complicated with miss, mrs, ms and various other forms.  I think the best I had was ms when I bought white spirit in a tool shop. Maybe not the usual haunt of a woman LOL so they used a good term. Reading your example I just had visions of Brian Blessed raising his voice and blasting you through the back wall 😅 You wouldn't get it wrong twice.

 

Tracy

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Maid In Bedlam
On 9/15/2019 at 5:40 AM, Ricki Ashlynn Kara W. said:

 

I believe you may be overestimating the timeframe by 49 years, 364 days, 23 hours and 58 minutes.  Your thoughts could be construed as discounting all of the Enby's and Ace's (that's "Non binary" or NB or Enby) and Asexual (Ace) in case you are lacking terminology outside the binary. 

 

As long as we are throwing opinions around, I thought I would toss mine in there too.

 

Ricki

 

Hi Ricki.

Thank you for you opinion.

 

I would be very happy to be enlightened in how you formed this opnion and where the conclusion for it manifested themselves from

 

I am not lacking Terminology. I would be more inclined to believe as i stated.

 

On 9/14/2019 at 2:01 PM, Maid In Bedlam said:

 

 Primary charicteristics as does society who understands them more. Gender is very socially constucted when it comes to primary and secondery  sex charictaristics. Rules we have been brought up to believe are male and female pointers.

 

 

Just a walk or a voice can be part of this constuction. Subcoinsouly we make up our minds who is male and who is female before we ever get to asking pronouns or indeed even talking to them. Preemptive if you like.

 

 

I am talking about society in general and not  minority groups. If those you mentioned were accepted broadly then there would not be the need for parts of this forum and there would not be storys of people who believe this is there gender or sexuality being ridiculed or put down for it as it would just be as normal as male and female are and have been seen since we came out of the caves. At least in western culture anyway. ( I am also talking outside the confines of the internet)

 

I am all for people being what they want to be in there minds. But the trick is to proactivly be accepted by all. Which as i said may happen in the next Fifty years. But at this time i feel is not and will not be while the stigma remains attached to it in the view of it not being part of the social constuct. I do hope there will be scenitific evidence that there being neither gender is part of biology and is a proven fact.

 

As i have concluded anyone can say they are or can be whatever they want. Me for instance could expect Lady before my name as under  scottish law this would be my bistowed title as i own  land  therefore have a title. But I dont expect or demand anyone to call me by my title and i do not expect people to know it on there first glimpse of me. I do not announce it.  Hense if someone wants to correct me on pronouns then fine. As I said Im not judge or jury. I can only go by what sceince teaches us.  Transexuality is a proven medical and biological condition. Unlike Enby's and Ace's which is at this time to my knowledge not. I have spent many years working towald being called by a female pronoun. To fit into the socail constuction of what it is to be female.

 

If im wrong then as i have said in many posts on many occasions. Show me my error and i will accept with open arms. (Well being honest i already do) on the basis people are entitled to live and be who they want. My condition gives me a very open mind to others. But facts convince me completly. But it is not me that needs convincing. Its the human race.

 

16 hours ago, tracy_j said:

 

An interesting example. On a point of grammar maybe a question mark at the end of the sentance? 😕 No problem anyway 😊

 

 

Thanks Tracy. It was just a typo and  it was never my intention to sound like i know your mind. 😊

 

 

16 hours ago, tracy_j said:

I agree with what you say about people walking into your shop. I did momentarily wonder as for a woman it gets complicated with miss, mrs, ms and various other forms.  I think the best I had was ms when I bought white spirit in a tool shop. Maybe not the usual haunt of a woman LOL so they used a good term. Reading your example I just had visions of Brian Blessed raising his voice and blasting you through the back wall 😅 You wouldn't get it wrong twice.

 

Tracy

 

 

I would definatly try to get him to say "GORDONS ALIVE" and perhaps tell the gorilla story to 🤣

 

However i will say this if you came to my shop then on the basis of your picture It would be Ma'am or Miss. You may call yourself Androygne but I would aire on the side of female pronouns on your presentation.  Then see if you corrected me. Which i wouldnt expect as you present as you do.

 

just a point to note. british  driving licences. If its a male one in general it will never have a title where a Female driving licence will have a title Such as Miss or Mrs. As womens titles change were mens do not regardless of there status. This also includes the numbers on it. Well in female and male driving licences but thats an obvious one. Mine now has Miss were my old one had no title. Just straaight into a name. Some people say its sexist. I  was actually was quite euphoric about having a title 😉 and the female id number.  A bit of a milestone so to speak

 

 

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Beverly

I just am. I don't have to say I'm anything. I guess it's whatever someone is comfortable with.

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Alex C

 

Two for two Beverly..I think I have found my better have..Yep. I can't stand it when people ask me; " So what do you want be called  you or refer to you as?"   My response is always..Alex..It's  been that way for 55yrs  expect now I have breast and a booty..lol..My therapist keeps telling I am Non B..but I  didn't start this transition to be labeled . I started it because I was tried of being something I am not..maybe that dose not make sense but it's my journey and good like that..

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tracy_j
21 hours ago, Maid In Bedlam said:

 

 

However i will say this if you came to my shop then on the basis of your picture It would be Ma'am or Miss. You may call yourself Androygne but I would aire on the side of female pronouns on your presentation.  Then see if you corrected me. Which i wouldnt expect as you present as you do.

 

just a point to note. british  driving licences. If its a male one in general it will never have a title where a Female driving licence will have a title Such as Miss or Mrs. As womens titles change were mens do not regardless of there status. This also includes the numbers on it. Well in female and male driving licences but thats an obvious one. Mine now has Miss were my old one had no title. Just straaight into a name. Some people say its sexist. I  was actually was quite euphoric about having a title 😉 and the female id number.  A bit of a milestone so to speak

 

 

I mostly get 'love' around here, sometimes 'madam' or 'Ms'

and occasionally 'sweetie' or 'darling' (workmen with that one LOL). From a woman 'love' is indeterminate but obviously a man would not call another man that so they are getting it right. My androgyne status is a bit here and there and perhaps partly down to living two identities. Not particularly having body dysphoria and with male body but female brain makes that possible but I do get confused so am probably transitioning but at a snails pace. I don't tend to correct people. They usually realise and correct themselves for the next visit. There are some who know me of old and don't but I ignore it. I think even they avoid using pronouns at all when they think. Living in a small place means some live and let live which does generally help, even if it hurts a bit sometimes. No I wouldn't correct you, or even think that 😊

 

I have never noticed that with driving licenses. I seldom look at mine. It is one of the old ones anyway so has no photo. I suspect they are getting rare now.

 

Tracy

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Maid In Bedlam
5 hours ago, tracy_j said:

 

I mostly get 'love' around here, sometimes 'madam' or 'Ms'

and occasionally 'sweetie' or 'darling'

 

 

 

When i first moved to Bonnie Scotland. I took me ages to get use to being called "Pal"

Where i came from it was a very male oreintated acknowledgement.

But here all genders it can be associated with the term.  I was right upset for a while being called "pal" as i was thinking i was being outed everywhere.

A very strange phemominan for me as it just doesnt happen. Well not for at least six years and then i was just finding my feet so to speak until i quizzed my partner about it who is native. I didnt feel so bad then.

 

Also "Hen" is used  between woman but men use it a lot when addressing a Female but not knowing there name. Isnt it funny how little regional things can be so diffrent?

 

A bit like how you would call someone darling down south if your a man talking to a woman in passing by  "Thanks darling" They say "Thanks Pal" or "Thanks Hen"

 

They do not really use sweetie. At least i have never heard it. Maybe im  just not sweet enough? 😉

 

 

5 hours ago, tracy_j said:

I have never noticed that with driving licenses. I seldom look at mine. It is one of the old ones anyway so has no photo. I suspect they are getting rare now.

 

 

Wow that is old school.  I have not seen one of those in years. I use to have the attachment if you had points but even they went out of use a few years ago.

 

Just a plastic one now for me im afraid.

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Ellora
On 9/16/2019 at 7:32 PM, Beverly said:

I just am. I don't have to say I'm anything

I feel this way most of the time. 

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Maid In Bedlam
3 hours ago, Ricki Ashlynn Kara W. said:

 

Well, I responded to your post, but it seems to have been deleted without a notification as to why. as I am apparently not allowed to tell you, just take it on faith that at least one person thinks you overestimated when you would be perceived in the manor you guessed it would take 50 years.

This is the second time I have had a post deleted without explanation. Thank you all for sharing your thoughts with me for a time.

 

Goodbye.

 

 

Hi Ricki

 

Im sorry you have had posts deleted. The reasons behind it I cannot speculate. But please do not leave us.

 

But Ricki one observation. You are preaching to the converted. I did say.

 

On 9/14/2019 at 2:01 PM, Maid In Bedlam said:

As i said previously I have absolutly no problem on what someone wants to call themselves. im happy they are living how they want to. Everyone has a right to do that. I like to think that everyone has the right to be given the opotunity to earn respect. Its not just given without doing things to aquire  it.

 

 

However it does take more than my good intentions.

 

If you would give me the time to demostate one reason why this is difficult for the general public to understand or comprehend.

 

On 9/12/2019 at 2:40 PM, Maid In Bedlam said:

 There are apprently 100+ genders you can identify as now according to the BBC. 

 

 

I looked further into this. The Internet of course and found the list. Or a list of the current gender spectrum.

 

Link here should require confirmation

 

Im not saying this is approved list but is a list that is avaliable to anyone wishing to explore there gender identity.

 

This list contains 111 genders.

 

You think 111 is enough to confuse the most academic of persons.

 

However it doesnt stop there where you address some genders on the list.

 

To demostate this let me take some of these genders.

 

Egogender: a gender that is so personal to your experience that it can only be described as “you”

 

Bare in mind there is about 7.4 Billion people on the planet. So there could potentially be that many genders putting this into perspective.

 

Colorgender: a gender associated with one or more colors and the feelings, hues, emotions, and/or objects associated with that color; may be used like pinkgender, bluegender, yellowgender

 

This one means you can potentially idnentify as a colour. To my knowledge there is around 7 million colours in the visible spectrum. 10 Million ultraviolets and the colours we cannot actually see.

 

Venngender: when two genders overlap creating an entirely new gender; like a venn diagram

 

This i guess this would mean that a combination of any 2 genders can create a new gender

 

 

So the story so far.

 

There is 7.4 Billion people on the planet that Ego gender could be applied to. (Working on the assumption that no one else will be born for the next few minutes while i work this out)

 

Then lets add Colour gender. As i said lets work with 10 Million colours at last estimate. (This could be wrong as some sites differ in findings. But it is somewhere up there)

 

Not forgetting the 111 Genders already on the list.

 

This equals 7.410.000.111 Genders.

 

Now if we take venn gender as we see it that any gender can be a combination of 2 other genders. Then that would give us a total of:

 

So therefore the maths is

 

( r + n - 1 ) !

-------------------

! r ( n - 1 ) !

 

n = 7.410.000.111 original  total of genders

r = 2  venn gender theory creating a new gender from 2 other genders

 

Venngender: when two genders overlap creating an entirely new gender; like a venn diagram

 

Which equals 1.392.245.379.452.739.361 Potential genders.

 

Can you see why its so confusing to the average person in the street?

 

Even i stuggled with the math (But it was nice to give my old brain a bit of exercise)

 

3 hours ago, Ellora said:
On 9/17/2019 at 3:32 AM, Beverly said:

I just am. I don't have to say I'm anything. I guess it's whatever someone is comfortable with.

I feel this way most of the time. 

 

 

I think i will also go with that. So less complicated. Doesnt hurt my brain either.

 

I am more than happy to take it all on face value. As i said you can be whatever you want but if you put it into perspective the mind just cannot see the concept.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by tracy_j
Changed name letter

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Maid In Bedlam

And pardon me Ricki The top of the post i used the wrong name I used a Y instead of an I.

 

It was not my intention and i send out an apology for this. It was not my intention.

 

If a Mod could catch and edit this it would be appreciated. Thank you

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TammyAnne

Since I sometimes awaken in the the morning feeling very confused about what I am and who I'm supposed to be (as a gender role), I guess I would come down on the side of not being concerned what someone calls themselves.

It's truly no skin off my hide.

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Ellora
4 hours ago, Maid In Bedlam said:

So less complicated

Yup, plus it gives me more time to enjoy my Journey. 

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    • Jani
      IMO you may be over analyzing this.  Is this fetish/porn thing just a vehicle to abate the dysphoria you feel?  As Vicky suggests don't let the erotic stuff cloud the thought process about your identity.  The dysphoria you felt in younger years may have returned after periods of dormancy for any number of reasons.  Many of us older transitioners somehow survived through this until it got too hard to hold back/bear/deny (fill in your own reason).   
    • Steph1982
      Lots of good info here and thank you for taking the time to respond.    I guess my biggest struggle right now is fetish vs who I am because there was a middle period in my life where I did not have dysphoria so why is it raging now? I'm wondering if maybe by introducing the pornography I've somehow created a gateway for the dysphoria I had in childhood to return or maybe I've just developed a weird kink at this point.    Thanks for not being judgy and sharing your experiences and offering advice. I appreciate this information a lot from all of you. 
    • Jani
    • VickySGV
      There are three tests that point to it being Gender Dysphoria: Do you keep coming back to the question of if you are Trans or NOT?  (Persistent) Has this question been with you over the years and you have not clearly accepted your birth gender? (Consistent) Each time you think about it, does the question become more urgent and nagging toward change in your life? (Insistent)   If you can answer yes to those questions in all honesty, get yourself in to a Therapist that deals with gender identity patients.  The erotic responses are a whole trawler load of red herrings that confuse the whole thing but people think anything weird is a sexual turn on, and if it is, then it is bad, when it really is not.  I have friends who are fetishists and it is not living life as the opposite gender, it is strictly being their birth gender doing weird things and getting a pseudo sexual response from their bods. Miss a session this weekend and next will be fine for them.  For us there will be the comfort of the entire image that we need each day to our own levels and is not always "sexy."
    • Cyndee
      @Josie Beth - very nice track !   50 years ago, this track was spot on, it still sounds great today....   "Because you know, the darkest hour is always, always  just before the dawn...."
    • Jackie C.
      Pretty sure it was just me being careless. I'm almost sure I would have noticed if anyone was lurking in my cramped little study with me. At least the cat would have looked up. I am humbled by my ineptitude but raised up again by your understanding and, hopefully, forgiveness.   Hugs!
    • Jani
      Ah the spelling thieves caught you again, substituting unwanted letters!! 
    • Jackie C.
      THINK. That was totally supposed to be think. "Pretty eyebrows are more important than people think."   You still look fantastic.   Hugs!
    • NB Adult
      I can totally relate Sandra and I concur with Jackie's comment!
    • Jani
      Hello Steph.     Sorry to hear you're going through all this but it seems it is the path we take to happiness.  Charlize is spot on that no one here will find anything you've written to be odd.  I am also still married (40+ years).  Life is different but good.  I have no interest in guys.  Remember that Gender and Sexuality are two different things.    Jackie's post is honest and that is what we need to be with ourselves.  I also suggest finding a gender therapist to speak with.  While I never considered this to be something of value, I was wrong.  It did wonders for me.  She also wrote about a new approach to her health.  This is something many find to be important as we live the life we truly want.  No more destructive behaviors!   Is this a fetish?  I wouldn't say so.  Its part of the struggle your identity goes through to get to the top.  Are you cis or transgender?  Cis-gender people don't question their gender, ever.  Is this hard (admitting you need to do something)?  And actually taking steps?  Yes it is but it gets easier as you progress along and things seem to fall into place.  You are much younger than I so you have many years to enjoy living honestly as YOU!   Set a goal to look into help.  The end result is whatever you deem necessary.  There is no firm prescription for success.  And join in the conversation here as I believe you will find many likeminded souls on this journey.   Cheers, Jani     
    • Jackie C.
      Lovely! Pretty eyebrows are more important than people thing. Congratulations!   Hugs!
    • Jackie C.
      Dysphoria can be hard to grasp if you've never had to deal with it yourself. Give her some time. It sounds like she loves you and in the end, that's enough.   Hugs!
    • Jackie C.
      Hi, trans-lesbian here. I totally understand what you're going through. Let's see...   Until I got big enough to wear mom's things, I'd turn my underwear around and use my imagination. I have an excellent imagination. Tucking was easier then too.   The rush of hormones into the teen years (plus extra steroids because mother didn't want to deal with my OTHER health problems) kept the dysphoria down to a dull roar, so check. I'm still attracted to women so it wasn't all bad, but I still give off a certain something and cis-women pick up on it. I had a lot of female friends, but I couldn't buy a real, romantic date.   Then I spiraled into a self-destructive cyclone of depression so you don't have that working against you. Good news! Don't try that by the way. I do not recommend the spiral of depression. I was miserable and made everybody around me miserable. During the spiral there was very much a porn phase. I'd dream that I was like the trans women (I tend to prefer cartoons/artwork, anything can happen in a cartoon) or that I'd become a woman to achieve release. I'll be honest. Those were intense and got me through the day, but they didn't really make the dysphoria go away. The refrain for my life was, "Gosh, I'd have made an excellent woman." So yeah, depression, slow march towards death. I didn't pay any attention to my health (also a terrible idea, but I was committing suicide in slow motion) and didn't pay any attention to my appearance. I didn't follow any of my passions. I didn't follow up on any of my projects. Life for me was just waiting for it to be over. I was miserable. I made the people around me pretty miserable too. Don't do that part. That was a terrible, awful, no good part of my life and I'm glad to be past it.   So what did I do? The first thing was embrace who I am. I was pretty sure I knew what the problem was, so I waited until my wife was out of town for a while, got some prosthetic help and dressed (Badly. There are pictures.I attached one because life is a journey or something. ) the way that felt right. It was amazing. It's still amazing. I greet myself every morning with a smile. So yeah, that used to be me. About two years ago for reference.   Let's see, after that I got a therapist. I recommend this very strongly. You want someone to talk to when you're dealing with this. Then I got into shape. Well, I'm still getting into shape but I completely changed my diet, I watch my calories and I go to the gym five times a week for about two and a half hours per session. (I started with an hour a day, if I'd done my routine now when I started, my heart would have exploded. Consult a doctor if you're not sure.)   Then was coming out to people. My wife was first. I've told this story before, but it was important to me that she know. My wife is awesome. She accepted me as I am. I'm still the person she married and she still loves me. I rushed into this part because I was so happy and I wanted to share my happiness with her. My friends were next and they were easier than I would have thought. They basically said, "Well duh," and we moved past it. I did give them ample warning before I sprung anything new on them (For example: Hey, I'm dressing as Robyn this week. Let me know if that makes you uncomfortable.) Family was harder. Mom cut me out of her life. My appearance "is disturbing." Dad's fine with it, but he has to live with mom so there's that. Fortunately, my mother is an incredibly toxic individual so it's not much of a loss. Work is a non-issue for me. I work from home. Nobody cares. Your profile doesn't list a state, so I can't say if you have any trans protections where you're from. I talk to TLDEF (Trans Legal Defense) and the pro-bono lawyer they set me up with when I have questions along those lines. I completely get being nervous about coming out to people. You never know how they'll react. It was probably the most nerve-wracking thing I've ever done, but I needed to do it to get where I wanted to be. I got through it and I'm better for the experience.   So my advice would be to find a therapist and work out what makes you happy. If you want to transition, figure out what you need to pursue it. If you don't, that's fine too. I have a friend who is only "Jenny" on the weekends and for special events and she's perfectly happy that way. Find the balance that's right for you. Live your best life.   I hope some of that helped. I ramble. I blame the estrogen.   Hugs!  
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