Change Your World-NOT your Body

Friday, March 29, 2013

Why I HAVEN'T Transitioned by Iris

Dear "Dirt," 

As you should already know from my first email as well as some of my posts on your blog, I am a nearly 30-year-old, female Gemini, born in June of 1983, who recently moved from Texas to Louisiana. You really helped me find the words to describe why I didn't want testosterone or FtM surgeries despite being one of the most gender-non-conforming women in this town. I did a terrible job of conveying this message with the YouTube account I created in 2007, but your blog does such a good job of it that I no longer feel the need to have one and have had no contact what-so-ever with the YouTube FtM community since 2010. 

You see, once upon a time, I thought of myself as a perfect candidate for the FtM "transition," lying awake as a teen thinking of how wonderful it might be to rename myself "Cyrus Joseph" after the completion of everything except genital surgery. I mean, after all, I'd had short hair since I was 10, refusing to wear dresses from about that point on, and was (still am) a virgin with no interest in men. However, I began to take a disliking to such users when I heard them say misogynistic things like, "Men only go to the restroom to [urinate/defecate], whereas women go in there to strike-up conversations with random strangers," which I have not found to be the case! I mean, sure, I've heard the occasional mom talk to her kids, but never do they question me as to why I'm there, and I've never felt out-of-place in such settings. 

So I began to post "mean" but true comments for these trans females, and just as surely as I did, they posted even meaner replies and made videos about how I was "trans myself." Then I began to notice something even more disturbing. You see, before I met these trans females on YouTube, I'd always assumed they were all butch lesbians, refusing to wear dresses, heels, or long hair at every age. But to my surprise, many of them had been much more feminine that I ever was in my life just a few months before starting HRT in addition to binding their breasts and "packing" with prosthetic male genitals. It was almost as though they thought they had to "become a guy" just to give themselves permission to cut their hair!

I then began to realize that I'd never felt the need to have a penis, nor attempted to pee standing-up, nor would I ever consider phalloplasty were I the richest person in the world! So after getting in trouble with my mom, with whom I still live, for even associating myself with such a "sexual subject," I deleted my YouTube account, never again viewing or commenting on their disturbing videos. But then in December of 2012, I discovered your blog, which was music to my ears and the best Christmas present I could have ever received! Finally, I'd found another woman who didn't consider FtM's "men" (or MtF's "women") despite not being some dress-only, fundamental Baptist with ten kids or something!

So once again, I would like to thank you for shedding some light on the negative side of this community of female-bodied misogynist who call themselves "men." It really helps to balance-out all the pro-testosterone videos made by such living advertisements as these young, scar-faced, balding, bearded females with their "male midget voices" and their badly mutilated chests that cost them enough to buy a new car! You really saved me a lot of money, because it is sooooo much cheaper (and healthier) just to accept myself as the "butch" female that I am, rather than to try unsuccessfully to replicate the "male body" via surgery. 

These masculinized females also didn't seem any happier than the ones who were pre-testosterone. In fact, it seemed as though their obsession with maleness simply shifted from their need for a deep voice in order to "pass" for an adult male, to their need for "chest surgery" in order to go shirtless, to their need for a penis in order to pee standing-up every time, no matter how "disgusting" it really is to a lesbian (like myself) to even think of a biological male doing that, let alone someone born female! Hint: we're attracted to women for a reason, and that's just one of many. 

So I no longer watch their videos because I have enough of such disturbingly misogynistic speeches in my head to last me a lifetime, but thank you for doing so yourself and then reporting to us the extent of how widespread this trend has become. I'm glad my parents let me have short hair and pants, because it allowed me to see myself as simply a girl who wanted to be comfortable, rather than a "boy in a girl's body." And I would rather see myself as a whole woman than to "become" a small, weak, marginal, penis-needing, incomplete, pretend, or counterfeit "male" any day of the week! 

Sincerely, Iris "GoddESS of the Rainbow"
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12 comments:

  1. Iris, I want to thank you for your honest, direct, and candid personal story.

    "Then I began to notice something even more disturbing. You see, before I met these trans females on YouTube, I'd always assumed they were all butch lesbians, refusing to wear dresses, heels, or long hair at every age. But to my surprise, many of them had been much more feminine that I ever was in my life just a few months before starting HRT in addition to binding their breasts and "packing" with prosthetic male genitals. It was almost as though they thought they had to "become a guy" just to give themselves permission to cut their hair."

    I've noticed this too, and I don’t quite understand what is going on, but I have my own theories and ideas. When I was growing up, I was more of a tomboy than Chaz Bono ever was. My mother could rarely get me to put on a dress. I can see, and even sense what Iris is trying to say in many of the youtube videos of teenage girls.

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  2. But to my surprise, many of them had been much more feminine than I ever was in my life just a few months before starting HRT...

    This is what I think is going on, and how I view this issue. There is tremendous amount of pressure put on girls to be hyper-feminine, and some girls want to rebel against this. Girls are literally saturated with a barrage of media images that all say they are supposed to look like a teenage model similar to one of the models at
    http://www.barbizon.tv/?gclid=CLfr0KePo7YCFSRxQgodf2EAyg. Because these girls don't buy into stereotypical feminine roles for whatever reason, then this must mean they are actually boys.

    These are the two options available:

    Option A:

    Teen Vogue http://www.teenvogue.com/,

    Or, looking like a model in Seventeen Fashion
    http://www.seventeen.com/fashion/

    Or, being a teen beauty queen,

    http://www.google.com/search?q=teenage+beauty+queen&hl=en&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=-hZWUc3CA6PniwKA84DwBQ&sqi=2&ved=0CHEQsAQ&biw=1524&bih=716

    Option B:

    If they aren’t into Vogue teen fashion, dresses, or Barbie Dolls, then girls must really be boys. There is no in between because girls think, act, and dress one way, and boys, think, act, and dress another way.

    Both A and B require the alteration of the natural female anatomy because, as we all know, females can never be complete unless their bodies are altered in one form or another. Option A requires a great deal of money and time spent on makeup, the coolest and most expensive clothes, and often involves a trip to the plastic surgeon. Option B requires costly hormones and surgery. Girls and women are never allowed to feel completely secure and comfortable in their own bodies because there simply isn’t any profit in it.

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  3. In some of the youtube videos of teenage girls who say they are "pre-everything" FTMs (testosterone, "top surgery"), some of these girls have long hair and don't look at all that masculine to me.

    Nate, the girl with the lovely, long black hair, sitting on the bed with pink pajamas is a guy now. She says she feels like a guy, but doesn’t look like one now. If we were to ask her what “feeling like a guy” really means, what would she say?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i61-mxxYdl8

    When I see Nate sitting on her bed in what could be any teenage girl’s bedroom, I sense a lost girl. Girls who don’t buy into the pretty princess role must be boys because there is no other alternative for them. The girl calling herself Nate, who wants everyone to use male pronouns when being addressed or acknowledged says is giving up her female identity because being a girl is so oppressive. I don't think they are boys so much, or are "feeling like a guy" inside, whatever this means. I sense as if they are trying to run away, or avoid forced femininity and all that it entails.

    By "transitioning", Nate gives up her female identity. In a world in which 163 million girls are missing from India and ChinaIn some of the youtube videos of teenage girls who say they are "pre-everything" FTMs (testosterone, "top surgery"), some of these girls have long hair and don't look at all masculine to me.

    Nate, the girl with the lovely, long black hair, sitting on the bed with pink pajamas is a guy now. She says she feels like a guy, but doesn’t look like one now. If we were to ask her what “feeling like a guy” really means, what would she say?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i61-mxxYdl8

    When I see Nate sitting on her bed in what could be any teenage girl’s bedroom, I sense a lost girl. Girls who don’t buy into the pretty princess role must be boys because there is no other alternative for them. The girl calling herself Nate, who wants everyone to use male pronouns when being addressed or acknowledged says is giving up her female identity because being a girl is so oppressive. I don't think they are boys so much, or are "feeling like a guy" inside, whatever this means. I sense as if they trying to run away, or avoid forced femininity and all that it entails.

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  4. Anonymous X...why I haven't transitioned...

    I've thought about the question, "Why I HAVEN'T Transitioned" for some time. I could sit down at my laptop and write a long list of reasons why I never "transitioned". I could look deep into my soul and type several paragraphs, but I would still believe that what I would have to say would somehow be inadequate.

    In a world in which there are 163 million missing girls from India and China (Hvistendahl), female identity should be considered a very precious gift.









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  5. Wow, thank you for publishing my story! I wasn't sure it was worded perfectly enough, but I did my best. It's kind of hard to articulate such thoughts when dealing with such people on YouTube, who seem to have an answer for everything I believe. But I will NEVER change my mind about the fact that I am 100% female because of my ability to get pregnant, even if I (hopefully) never do, nor will I EVER accept the bogus lie that an MtF could be "more of a woman than me," which I was told on YouTube. (Because "a man would rather sleep with one of them than someone like me?!?" Like, 1. YEAH RIGHT, and 2. that has nothing to do with what sex your are.) I also got to thinking about this: see, marriage erases a woman's LAST name like as if it has no importance, whereas transition usually requires a change of her FIRST name (unless it was already unisex to begin with). Either way, a woman is expected to give-up part of her identity by either marrying a man or "becomong" one. So no wonder I'm such a thorn in the side of both the FtM and the Evangelical Christian community despite them being so different in most ways. In simply being proud of who I am (Iris, rather than "Cyrus" or "Mrs. Lastname" or "Mommy"), I am a threat to the idea that EVERYONE needs a penis in their life, be it their own or their significant other's. No wonder I'm hated by both misogynistic groups of head-shaving, hyper-masculine-dressing people! (Never got the reason until I found this blog, though.)

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  6. Edit: I meant "becoming."

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  7. To some extent, I do agree with the hyper-femininity pressure placed on girls. However, this does not mean transgender individuals do not exist (there are some exceptions). Note, some transgender individuals do chose not to medically transition (HRT, surgeries, etc). It may be true that some of these "gender questioning" young people are just lost or pressured to transition due to society pressure. This is not true for every single case.

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  8. Trans doesnt exist without drugs. So no drugs, no trans.

    dirt

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  9. Thanks for sharing your story Iris :)

    I seriously thought I was trans until a few months ago when I started questioning the whole thing. After all that questioning, I realised I'm a woman, and I should be proud to be one. I also now seriously question the authenticity of transsexualism/transgenderism as I was so so convinced before that I was 'in the wrong body' and had terrible dysphoria.

    Anyway thanks to 'ex-trans' women like Iris and proud butch women like Dirt for helping to show me that womanhood may be tough, but that I should never ever be ashamed of being a woman, especially not to the point of mutilating my body.

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  10. Thank you Iris for your awesome and touching story. Being comfortable with yourself and telling your story will help more young, non-gender conforming people than all the doctors, pills and surgeries ever could.

    And thank you Dirt for caring enough to talk about these things and providing the forum to do so.

    -B.G.

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  11. Thank you Iris for telling your story. I'm glad you found your way.
    As a tomboy/butch/lesbian/whatever myself, I know what you're talking about. I wish you all the luck you can handle. :)

    Big

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  12. Thank you Iris for your wonderful story. I too was so confused as a young girl, in the '60's, I rejected dolls, dresses, and feminine roles, much to the consternation of my family who never approved(and still don't). I didn't come out until '81, and meeting other Butch Dykes helped me to finally find a self-acceptance I never had. The roles that young girls and boys have, especially these days are so very limiting, much of it do to media and department stores.

    Back in the late '60's and '70's many of these roles were being questioned by the newly active feminist and gay movements. Men wore more colorful and soft clothing, longer hair, and women began to break into trades they were often barred from. There was even a 'unisex' movement where both could buy and find clothes that either sex could wear fashionably and attractively.

    We've gone back in many ways to more polarized sexualized roles, and it's no wonder with the lack of a strong feminist movement that so many young girls are rejecting hypersexualized feminine roles or BEING hypersexualized, as girls' clothing has gotten more and more sexualized at younger and younger ages.

    While there seems to be more opportunity for women on one hand, the media machine, the conformity, the expectations have gotten higher and higher, and still those who don't conform are now given a new option to conform to: transition, and you'll 'fit in'. I see so many of these young girls and women(and those countless youtube videos) as so much self hate and wanting to walk away from the oppressed FEMALE condition, without the role models of those RESISTING femininity and stereotypical role playing. Also so many of those who DO transition end up going after gay and bisexual men, not like the former FTM's who really felt outside all female roles, and were very Butch Lesbians who transitioned and then lived a quiet heterosexual life with a feminine woman.

    The fact that so many think they are a 'boy' but are in fact feminine speaks to how disempowering femininity is to so many females, and how they feel they have no place, like you say to not be either hypermasculine or hyperfeminine. You have to be ONE or the OTHER, and there's a whole series of doctors and psychiatrists ready to accomodate you and take your money, banking on ALL Females hating their bodies to make money off of them!

    -Here's the Butch Dyke Sisterhood! -M.A.

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