Change Your World-NOT your Body

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Trans Pill

Many trans minded folk argue that it is their brain that made them "trans", so that when they seek transition they are merely "aligning" their body with their brain. We've all seen the brutalizing unsuccessful effects of trying to "align" the body with the (trans) brain, my question to trans readers specifically is this: Were a pill created that would change the brains perception so that the brain and body become one, should that pill be given to those diagnosed with some form of GID?

My question to all readers, should that same pill be given to those already in some form of transition as it stands now? Especially since we see over and over and over again with trans after trans after trans person even well into transition still being unhappy, uncomfortable and even dysphoric in their trans bodies?

dirt
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46 comments:

  1. If such a pill was available, that had no other side effects, then it should be available to anyone who needed/wanted it.
    BUT
    Some might fear a brain altering pill. i know i would, im not sure i would want anything messing with my brain and changing my personality to that extream.
    assuming a pill like that could exhist means that anyone with body dysphoria could take the pill to be happy in themselves nomatter what the reason, and in some circumstances, that could be very dangerouse.

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  2. I would like to know how it works and whether its effects would be temporary or permanent.

    I would like to know how a non-trans alter ego of myself would feel.

    I would not like to change myself into someone else. I don't think there are any essential differences between males and females, but I had to struggle with how I was assigned at birth, and with how my body developed, and that struggle, and my transition, have helped make me who I am today.

    Something which would make me more comfortable without surgery *would* be nice, if it didn't make me uncomfortable with the rest of my body.

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  3. I wonder if the same pill should be given to lesbians and gay men so they would be straight if it were available.

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  4. Anon @ 6:24- Transsexualism is a man-made condition which requires a lifetime of medications and surgery to treat.

    Homosexuality is natural and seen across all species.
    It requires no treatment.
    Your comment, while homophobic, provides a poor analogy.

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  5. There is such a pill(s). It's called Hormone Replacement Therapy, and it actually works a lot better than you claim it does. Lots of people don't even need the treatments you demonize, because they're so happy with their HRT results. For some other people, they need other stuff TO LIVE.

    We asked the doctors to treat us, they didn't construct some bullshit condition. We literally, walked up to them, said HELP ME, and there. Stop trying to rewrite our history.

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  6. im just curious where you're getting your information that says transpeople continue being "unhappy, uncomfortable and even dysphoric in their trans bodies" after transition. i am especially curious because you've said "we see over and over and over again" but i've seen quite the opposite happen: people transition and start to feel at home in their bodies, begin to love the self physically.

    no one is saying that transition is a magic bullet; it will not cure all the troubles for the individual who chooses it, and it is not the right choice for every individual who considers it. but in the same thought, though, remember that most adults have some sort of baggage. the fact that trans people have emotional baggage even after transition proves only one thing to me: they're still regular old people.

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    ReplyDelete
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  10. I remember just before I decided to transition, after at least 10 years, wishing to god I could just be happy with what I had. I was scared of needles, surgery, reactions, the process.I realized if I could make my mind turn i would, if i could be comfortable I would, but i could not. Suicide was also a thing i considered, instead of going through the process of transition. It seemed easier.

    Now I have began and am through a majority of my transition, I am happier than i can ever remember being. Giving me a pill now would not lead to de-transition, but i would definitely kill myself. I love who i am now, and I dont want that to change. There is no need for a pill to cure me, just a bit of body modification. And I dont necessarily need that modification to be happy, i would go without, but i like the surgeon i want to go with and her chests afterward are great.

    It should be a choice, nothing should be forced.

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  12. Waaaaa, I wanna pill to make me feel bettttterrrrrr.

    How about if all these privileged whiners grow up and figure out that there is no human right to happiness, no human right to being comfortable, no human right to feeling good, no human right to special snowflake status.

    People the world over grow up and get on with the reality that life isn't a bowl of cherries, our mommy isn't waiting around every corner to wipe our butts, life is tough, and character is developed by what comes after that realization, not from taking a pill.

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  13. @anon 6:38 not all trans people decide to go through medical transition leaving your comment looking ignorant. Your comment, while transphobic, provides a poor analogy.

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  14. @ Anon March 22, 2011 10:58 PM

    LOL... FAIL...

    also you dont need hrt or srs to live as oposite gender some so it because of society and people like you..

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  15. "How about if all these privileged whiners grow up and figure out that there is no human right to happiness, no human right to being comfortable, no human right to feeling good, no human right to special snowflake status."

    no, but in the USA (where I live, and thus speak about) there is the right to the pursuit of happiness. that IS a right. furthermore, no one claimed comfort, feeling good, or 'special snowflake status' was a right. don't make things up. also, while these things are not RIGHTS it does not mean they cannot or should not be pursued by everyone, trans or not (except 'special snowflake status,' which is ridiculous in even its suggestion).
    this timid and finite world is the only one we have to work with; these bodies are all we get to navigate with; tell me honestly WHY someone should not have the ability to construct their own identity and change their own body how they see fit?

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  16. I think transpeople would be given de choice if the would like to take a pill or have surgery and take hormons.

    I dont know how i would stand with that, but i'm intersex, so it's not really the same thing.

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  17. @Max
    "tell me honestly WHY someone should not have the ability to construct their own identity and change their own body how they see fit?"

    Does that hold true for anorexics? People who want to cut off their limbs?. Removing healthy tissue has always been frowned upon and the concept was enshrined in the hippocratic oath.

    Contructing your own identity? To pass as say black? White?...What of the social implications of women wanting to pass as men? Have you thought about why that would be?

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  18. @Canadian

    "Does that hold true for anorexics? People who want to cut off their limbs?. Removing healthy tissue has always been frowned upon and the concept was enshrined in the hippocratic oath."

    anorexia is not an analogous condition to being transgender. this is not a good comparison upon which to rest your argument. things that happen with anorexia (nearly 100% of the time if left untreated) which do not (typically) happen with transition: cardiac arrest caused by an imbalance of electrolytes; an all-consuming self-obsession which pushes away friends and family; loss of interest in love, family, friends, life. so really, the case being made for transition cannot be superimposed over the issue of anorexia and have everything work out nicely. sorry.

    as far as healthy tissue and the hippocratic oath go, the hippocratic oath was written in ancient greek and includes provisions about not cutting anyone (no surgery, ever!) and about not prescribing anything which may cause a woman to abort a child. clearly it is antiquated. the part i assume you are referring to is where it says that doctors will "cause no harm." considering the people who undergo medical transition do it for personal reasons, the likes of which i doubt include "harm self," i highly doubt the hypocratic oath has any beef with transitiong. also, removing healthy tissue in order to improve a patients mental OR physical health has NEVER been frowned upon. Healthy, vestigial limbs are routinely removed because they are not necessary; benign tumors are also removed, even though the tissue is perfectly "healthy."

    "Contructing your own identity? To pass as say black? White?...What of the social implications of women wanting to pass as men? Have you thought about why that would be?"

    EVERYONE constructs their own identity. You did it. I do it. That guy on the street does it. Anything you are in your life you are "passing" as. Even if you are woman-identified and born into a female body, you are "passing" as female. all passing means is "appearing in society as and being recognized as." so yes, white people pass as white, children pass as children, etc.
    i'll ask you the same question back: what OF the implication of some people sexed as female at birth wanting to change their bodies in order to relate to society in a new way? why does it matter? you say it's misogyny, and i get that your mind will never change, so spare me the speech, i already disagree. moreover, your question presupposes that there is one overarching "implication" to transition. there's not. there is not one universal motivating factor contributing toward transitioning, and pretending like every instance is a microcosm for society at large is only setting you up for a tenure-track position and a narrow world view.

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  19. i'm very confused. either you are a comment deleting ninja, dirt, or there's a glitch on your blog which is not allowing me to respond to canadian.

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  20. Maxie,

    Some comments go into the "spam" folder and have to be released manually.

    dirt

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  21. why do you keep deleting my comment, dirt? i know you're deleting it because i took a screen shot last time i posted it. it is a response to canadian which was requested by the poster herself, doesn't she deserve to decide what she does and does not read? it was a really good response, too. made her look silly. oh, i guess i answered my own question. THAT'S why you keep deleting it.

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  22. "Removing healthy tissue has always been frowned upon"
    Erm, no im pretty sure men have been getting circumcised for a good few thousend years now.
    *facepalms*

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  23. "what OF the implication of some people sexed as female at birth wanting to change their bodies in order to relate to society in a new way?"

    Max,
    I'm interested in hearing about this "new way" you relate to society, if you are willing to share some of your personal experiences. How has "passing" as a male changed the way you relate to society?

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  24. max,

    clearly you are a man! your comments really scream your overeducated, overindulged, ego centered privilege like i haven't heard in a long, long time. please tell us again how our opinions don't matter at all. your sooooooo right sir!

    love always,

    womankind

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  25. I think all of Maxie's posts should be deleted so he can stop making an ass out of himself by whining that you're deleting him.
    :-D

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  26. "EVERYONE constructs their own identity"

    That is true, but not everyone cuts off their limbs or takes a synthetic hormone to do that. That is the issue of contention here.

    "mental OR physical health has NEVER been frowned upon"

    Yes, healthy tissue is removed for physical reasons, I do not debate that. The removal of healthy tissue has always been seens a problematic at best with transition and BIID seen quite rightly at the extreme of this spectrum.

    "there is not one universal motivating factor contributing toward transitioning,"

    Evidence belies your contention. On this blog alone, it is appararent that the reasosn giving for transition are strikingly similar and lesbians and transitioners have very similar stories.

    "anorexia is not an analogous condition to being transgender. this is not a good comparison upon which to rest your argument. things that happen with anorexia (nearly 100% of the time if left untreated) which do not (typically) happen with transition:"

    Oh, according to your original posts anyone should be able to do what they want with their body. Do you now have exceptions to that?
    Does a procedure or practice have to have 100% mortality rate before you consider it questionable or dangerous? Based on that assumption most dangerous pharmaceuticals would not be pulled from the market because they killed say only 20% of their users.

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  27. I can't speak for others, and there are moral implications in changing "who" a person is which would be relevant to the question, but I can answer for myself.

    I am a trans man.
    If there was a pill that changed the wiring of my brain so that I was comfortable in my skin, so that the dysphoria would disappear and I could simply be a girl, I would have taken it.
    I would probably agonize over it for a while, but I'd probably still take it today, even if I have been on testosterone a couple months.

    You see, since I came out of the trans closet, even if I haven't changed at all as a person, my life has changed dramatically.
    My (now ex) partner left while I was out of the house. Took all their things, and our dog, and just left. They never took my call so that they could tell me why, or so that I could say goodbye. Even a year and a half later it hurts, I'm finding it hard to trust people enough to open up to them in that aspect.
    I've lost two jobs due to being trans as well. The current job I have is shit. The pay is shit, the hours are shit, and the work is shit. Won't specify exactly what it is, but it involves long hours in the company of a shovel and nothing else.
    My parents have disowned me.
    My sister keeps sending me letters urging me to seek help from a ministry that claims to cure homosexuality, since she's convinced I'm 'just' a lesbian.
    My brother, who used to ask me to babysit for him now doesn't want his children to even see me.
    I was sexually assaulted by someone who found out I was a trans man.

    All of this has made me quite paranoid.
    I only visit trans related internet sites on library computers because I'm terrified that my new roommate might see what I'm reading and decide to assault me, or worse. And I don't talk to people in the trans sites even. I just read.
    Obviously, I don't trust people enough to let them know that I'm dealing with this in any way.
    I lock my bedroom at all times, whether I'm home or not, and my trans related paperwork and my T are stored in a carefully hidden lock box in there.
    I sincerely doubt I'll ever be able to have sex with another human being ever again in my life. Masterbation is even too much sometimes.

    In other words, my life has been destroyed, completely.

    I am even terrified that publishing this will cause someone to figure out who I am and decide to assault me.
    But I want to answer this question.

    I would take the pill.
    Because, then, maybe my family will take me back, maybe my partner will at least let me see the dog that I've been raising since she was a tiny puppy, and maybe I won't be so afraid all the time.

    But since there is no pill.
    I will continue transition.
    Because the reason I sought it out was that I couldn't live with my body any more.
    I looked good before though. I was beautiful. But it wasn't me.

    I know that my body won't ever be perfectly male, but what changes testosterone have brought already has resulted in making my live bearable, even with all the horrible things that coming out of the closet has done to me.
    Even with all that, my life was worse before.

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  28. I would take the pill in a heartbeat were it safe.

    I tried to self medicate with hallucinogens during my teens so perhaps I am more open to taking substances than most.

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  29. I am FTM i would take the pill, then, and now.

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  30. "I'm interested in hearing about this "new way" you relate to society"

    i'm glad you asked! the new way i relate to society is a cohesive, full way. before beginning to transition i was so conscious of my body in every situation that i could hardly function; i was obsessed with it, how it didn't feel right, how i could not control the things it was doing that i didn't like (such as menstruating and growing breasts). now that i've begun to correct my body, i move about with a little more ease. i don't gawk at my reflecting in every passing window. i smile. THAT's the new way i relate to society.

    @womankind, 1:04 PM

    over-educated? over-indulged? because i have a vocabulary that didn't come out of harry potter alone, can construct complex sentences, and am friends with grammar? sure. if you can't refute what i've said or offer anything new to the conversation, i suppose the next best thing is to shoot some pithy comment at me via an anonymous website.

    @canadian

    no one is cutting off any limbs here. if your breasts are as capable as limbs i want a refund cause i got cheated. i don't see you up in arms about people who whiten their teeth or take viagra or take lipitor or take steroids. the real point that should be made is it's nobody's business but the individual doing it what is done to one's body as long as the individual is of a sound mind and lucid at the time.

    "The removal of healthy tissue has always been seens a problematic at best with transition and BIID seen quite rightly at the extreme of this spectrum."

    cite something. anything, please. i'm tired of these blanket statements, "ALL trans people think this way," "things have ALWAYS been like this" "transmen are NEVER happy after transition." is that so, rambo? who gave you divine knowledge?
    BIID has some key differences from GID. most notably, the person with BIID is invested solely in the removal of their limb, not in the unification of mind and body. also, cutting off a limb is not equal to removing one's breasts. limbs, by virtue of design, have functionality. they help people navigate the world, and the world is constructed to appeal to a healthy, able body. breasts, on the other hand, while functional, are not essential body parts, especially if the individual to whom they belong never intends to use them. having or not having breasts does not greatly hinder my day to day navigation of the world. i am not making things significantly harder for myself by removing them; removing my leg, on the other hand (regardless if i felt like i wanted to) would make the duration of my life much more difficult.

    "Evidence belies your contention. On this blog alone, it is appararent that the reasosn giving for transition are strikingly similar and lesbians and transitioners have very similar stories."

    are you a republican? you argue just like one, it's amazing. "evidence" and "this blog" don't belong in the same sentence. this blog has an agenda and is CLEARLY biased so saying ANYTHING is proven by the information given here is just wrong.

    "Oh, according to your original posts anyone should be able to do what they want with their body. Do you now have exceptions to that?
    Does a procedure or practice have to have 100% mortality rate before you consider it questionable or dangerous?"

    are you going to play semantics or have a real, adult conversation? yes, anyone of sound mind should be able to do with their body as they please, provided they are not injuring themself or someone else. and OBVIOUSLY i am not saying something needs to have a 100% mortality rate before i consider it dangerous. i'm saying something needs to at least HAVE a mortality rate before i consider it even risky. transitioning does not kill people often. when it does, it's usually a medical anomaly such as an allergy or an existing condition.

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  31. I'm FTM and would not take the pill either.

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  32. If sexism and female self-hatred could be cured with a pill, not only would the transsexuals self image be shattered, but their entire worldview.

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  33. I think if trans people were given the option of taking a pill to "cure the brain" as opposed to "cure the body", I thinks lots would take it. I even had someone I knew that was trans say so. I'd also be very interested in knowing the percentage of trans people who would choose one over the other.

    becca

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  34. "i'm glad you asked! the new way i relate to society is a cohesive, full way. before beginning to transition i was so conscious of my body in every situation that i could hardly function; i was obsessed with it, how it didn't feel right, how i could not control the things it was doing that i didn't like (such as menstruating and growing breasts). now that i've begun to correct my body, i move about with a little more ease. i don't gawk at my reflecting in every passing window. i smile. THAT's the new way i relate to society."

    Thanks for your response Max. I'm sure most people born female would share that feeling of not liking menstruating and wishing the damn thing could be controlled!

    I can't assume to know your experience, however, though your case may indeed be different, it should be recognised that this sort of intense disgust with and fixation on the body is experienced by many (f not all) females and is mostly a result of the impossible body standards society places on them. For example, you only have to look at the phrase "women's sanitary products" to see that, from adolescence, we are duped into believing menstruating is dirty and shameful, among the countless other falsities launched at women every day. Though I assume (and hope) it's not necessary to lecture you on those things.

    Unlike Dirt, I am not ready to postulate that transgenderism is a "lie", however I am concerned that there are a growing number of females who are (If you'll forgive the metaphor) imitating the misogynist bounds of society by literally binding themSELVES.

    I''m keen to hear how you believe your desire to, in your words, "appear in society as and be recognised as" a male is separable from the negative body feelings all females accrue (to a greater or lesser extent) as a result of societal pressures. Also i'm interested to hear if you considered these external factors in your decision to transition.

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  35. The shame I felt was not about my body or its functions, but about my mind. Female shame is endemic, for sure, but shame over mental problems/mental illness is pervasive too. Trans people often describe a split between mind and body; most of them have the negative feelings about their body and believe their body is wrong. I went the other way - I almost idolised the body as being natural and perfect and hated my mind for being so deviant and wrong.

    I never wanted to be perceived as a male, in fact the opposite - any time I was mistaken for a boy I was mortified in case someone guessed my shameful mental problem.

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  36. @ max

    "i'm glad you asked! the new way i relate to society is a cohesive, full way. before beginning to transition i was so conscious of my body in every situation that i could hardly function; i was obsessed with it, how it didn't feel right, how i could not control the things it was doing that i didn't like (such as menstruating and growing breasts). now that i've begun to correct my body, i move about with a little more ease. i don't gawk at my reflecting in every passing window. i smile. THAT's the new way i relate to society."

    I don't understand how this statement above has any connection with society and how society views you. I see this statement as how you now view yourself.

    Again- I too have and still many times do have these exact feelings of disgust with my own body. I hate my monthly reminder, etc. Breasts typically stop growing after puberty, unless one is pregnant, so I'm not sure what you mean by growing breasts, unless you mean that you were obsessed with your body and its changes during puberty. Which really who isn't obsessed with their body during puberty what with all the changes? And what with how suddenly girls become sexual objects to men.

    You say that you've begun to correct your body. When in actuality you have begun to alter your body which was not incorrect, as I'm assuming that you are/were healthy physically- although possibly not altogether 'correct' in the mind/mental part of body dsyphoria.

    I think everyone moves a bit more at ease in their body after several key factors- 1 surpassing puberty and 2 getting older and more comfortable in ones body/skin and just generally being more at ease with oneself.

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  37. People have entirely too much time on their hands to sit and focus/obsess/dwell on ME, ME, ME. If I just focused on me all the time, I would be really unhappy too. If I was so focused on just the negative things about my body all the time, I might be pushed to do something drastic about it as well. Here in lies the problem. So much focus on self and not much else, is really not that healthy.

    My body isn't perfect, I'm not treated by society how I want, etc.
    In my opinion this trans issue for MOST, especially in people so young, is a total mental illness of excess, of privilege. As I see them as overwhelming white, upper and upper-middle class, and college educated. Funny how you don't see this trans trend happening much outside of these demographics. (And no i'm not gonna go find some study to back this up- it's my opinion based on living in this world for 35 years)

    Life is a struggle. Especially when born female in this world as it is. We live in a thing called reality. When things aren't perfect we can't make people do what we want them to do or treat us the way we want to be treated all the time. To think that we can have control over those things is just crazy- much less pompass.

    If theres one thing in life that is true- is that true happiness comes from thinking and helping people who are NOT us. Focusing on outside of our little selves.

    I can read all these stories and feelings that these people had and continue to have and can easily say that I did and do experience these same feelings throughout my life. However, what I can tell you is that when I say to myself "Ok I'm a bit too self focused and ego-centered right now"- and step back and outside of myself, I feel a lot better. I also feel a lot better about my body when I exercise, especially outside which combats depression in a major way.

    When I go and volunteer with people or animals that need assistance, it takes me out of all the me, me, me stuff- and I walk away feeling quite happy with myself and somehow have way less time on my hands to feel all me focused, and body dsyphoric.

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  38. Question to FTM's-

    Why is it we don't see the vast numbers of younger MTF's transitioning, that we see in FTM's? What's your opinions on that?

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  39. Anon 2:02 PM

    In comparison, the demographic for MtF is stereotyped as working class/non college educated, which is the opposite of what you reckon for FtM.

    Possibly ties in with Anon 2:15 question about why FtM transition younger on avg. as they have the means to?

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  40. @Anon 2:15: It has to do with the different coping mechanisms MTFs and FTMs use.

    FTMs can find a relatively acceptable position in society as "masculine females" through adolescence and young adulthood, which leaves most of us in a reasonably good position to start transition whenever our bodies start to become more intolerable than our fears of what would happen if we transitioned. Only a few of us marry early and even fewer have kids.

    Most MTFs, on the other hand, either transition *very* early (at/before puberty), kill themselves or destroy themselves with drugs, or force themselves into a life of overcompensating through extreme performances of masculinity. The latter course tends to leave them married with children fairly early on, and so most of these put off transition until middle age.

    We're seeing more late teen/young adult MTF transitioners since the increase in social acceptability of "feminine males." With any luck, in 20 years or so, we'll see far fewer MTFs transitioning in their 50s and 60s.

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  41. "Question to FTM's-

    Why is it we don't see the vast numbers of younger MTF's transitioning, that we see in FTM's? What's your opinions on that?
    "

    Lets hear your answer first, because I believe you already have it. This is just to test the waters and hear what we have to say.

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  42. "Why is it we don't see the vast numbers of younger MTF's transitioning, that we see in FTM's? What's your opinions on that?"

    prob the same reason we see so many more girls with eating disorders over boys. and all other types of body dysphoric issues with girls.

    it's societal pressure. it's that girls don't want to be treated like sex objects.

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  43. No, I would not take a pill that relieved me of transsexualism. I fought so hard to not feel trans. I battered myself with every single kind of hatefulness disguised as an "argument" against transness that I see here. They are all so intimately familiar to me. I got so depressed. I tried four kinds of kinds of antidepressants. For me, those are the pills that make you happy despite your earthly vessel. Despite anything, really. But they did not work, as I was just avoiding the deep truths. I was comfortable, but only temporally. I went off those medications and finally transitioned. 8 years later, I am happy, healthy, in love, and glad I faced the hard facts about what I wanted.

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  44. Never.

    Being male is very much a part of me, as a person. My body is just a shell, but my brain is what gives me a unique identity and make me ME. I see nothing wrong with changing my body as that change would be purely superficial. Letting someone or something change my mind, however, is like letting it change ME, and I'd never accept that.

    I'd rather die than use such a pill.

    I'd also rather live as female for the rest of my life, but the prospect of being female for ever would lead me to suicide anyhow...

    And btw if you were given a magic pill that would make you straight, would you take it?

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  45. I think GID is a stupid way of putting it. I don't think it should be called a disorder to begin with but that's because I see it more as a body defect since most trans guys and trans women I see actually look like how they mentally identify themselves as, but I also understand that the face is unisex in most cases. It can be seen as either sex and be mistaken for either sex depending on what u do with hair, make-up ect. I think a pill wouldn't be necessary because I don't see it as a disorder to begin with though I think a pill that would change the brain would be more dangerous than hormones because the brain is needed for living and functioning. Anyway I don't think many trans people would, though there are the occasional trans people that would much rather be bio male or bio female and identify as one of those rather than being trans. Most won't though because in a way it's kind of contradicting because before they take the pill they don't want to be female or male so they may not take the pill just because they don't feel like that even though the pill could promise comfort in ones own body.

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  46. If there was a pill that "cured" your butch lesbianism would you take it?

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