Gifts that Give and Take

We are all of us, uncomfortable to varying degrees with the Gender Straight Jacket and everything which is anything, filtered through that dense narrow screen. With that in mind, what are some of the gifts you have received that have made you feel good/comfortable with relation to the GSJ and gifts that you found abhorrent to your nature?

dirt

Happy Turkey Day!

Hope everyone is having a Happy Thanksgiving and gives thanks where it is deserved.

I wanna give thanks to all those taking the hard road, who challenge the Gender Straight Jacket rather than conform or worse mimic. Authenticity is a beautiful thing, and well worth striving for despite its difficult path.

dirt

The End of Transition-Learning to Live and Love One's Self

This piece comes to you from a reader of this blog who wanted to share her story of dysphoria, self hatred, transition and detransition. Her hope is that her painful revealing story may help other girls/women suffering from similar issues. It is also my hope. While the piece is somewhat long, I didnt want to break it up in pieces as I think anyone interested will invest the time it takes to read through it.

dirt
 
My Story

I have very vivid memories of being four years old, and imagining what my life would be like when I was an adult. My favorite things to do were to make up stories and plays, play tug-of-war with my puppy, and watch The Power Rangers. In a lot of the stories that I made up for myself, I would imagine myself as one of the Power Rangers. I was pretty much always Tommy, the white/green Ranger and leader of the gang. When I was Tommy, I would save the world and get all the girls. It just seemed natural to me. I had a very strong sense of being attracted to females from a young age.

Sometimes I made up stories, where-in I was the fearless ninja that would save my baby sister from peril and seemingly insurmountable odds. I didn’t have the words for it then, but if you had asked me, I would’ve told you that my ninja character was a boy. Of course, all of the fictional characters I played and created for myself as a child were boys.

As I grew up, my closest friends and companions were boys, and I was the stereotypical tomboy. We played hockey, wrestled, got messy; when the girl from down the street played with us, I got real shy, right along with all of the other guys. Despite the fact that my parents kept my hair long and bought me a lot of pink clothes to wear, I blended well with the boys from my neighborhood. Nobody ever gave me guff about the activities I liked or the company I kept. It just wasn’t a big deal for a young girl to act like the young boys.

I knew things were changing when I began to hit puberty. Puberty hit hard and fast when I was still relatively young; my first menstrual cycle began when I was only 10 years old and in 5th grade. My chest began to develop at the same age. Around this time, my father stopped letting me play the rough and tumble games with the neighborhood boys—games I had enjoyed so much for years.

The boys in my neighborhood were all several years older than I was. Looking back, it probably wasn’t such a bad idea for me to stop playing with them. They were starting to get themselves into dangerous situations. By the beginning of high school, they all had police records. At the time, I was extremely angry with my father for disallowing me to play hockey and skateboard with the guys. I thought it was because he saw me as weaker and more vulnerable than they were. Now that I’ve grown and been able to speak with him about it, it’s become clear that he was simply looking out for me, trying to keep me out of trouble with the law.

After the disappointment of losing many of my childhood friends, I turned inward. I took up guitar, started learning to program computers and write code, and did anything I could do by myself. My discomfort with my body began to solidify, as did my understanding that I was sexually attracted to females and had never experienced sexual attraction to males. I don’t believe my parents intentionally kept knowledge of homosexuality out of our household; it seemed there just weren’t many positive representations of gay culture, homosexuality, gay men—much less lesbians—in the United States at the time. I don’t think I really thought two women could be in a relationship. Eventually, I had more control over my clothing choices, and when it was time to shop for new school clothes, my mother winced visibly every time I went straight to the boys’ section. My parents insisted on my keeping my hair long, so I always tied it up in a ponytail and tucked it under a hat. I fantasized about cutting it off but I never had the courage. Instead, I wore a baseball cap every day, along with my standard attire: baggy jeans and a t-shirt or sweatshirt. I refused to wear any variety of bra other than a sports bra, because when I wore sports bras my breasts became invisible under a few layers of t-shirts. That’s exactly how I liked it. I remember thinking about how other women’s breasts were perceived/objectified and feeling embarrassed, both for the women and for myself.

We got internet at home earlier than most, as my father worked with computers and programming. As early as 10 years old (1997), I was trolling around every Yahoo chat room I could find, looking for girls to talk to. When I was in middle school, my parents discovered my homosexuality through a very incriminating web history. By this point I had discovered homosexuality existed and understood there were other women who were attracted to women; I realized that’s who I must be. I was okay with this for a few years.

My hometown, however, was a very small place where rumors spread fast and homosexuality was more than frowned upon, it was violently discouraged. When a gay man was beaten to death behind the bar on Main Street, my parents packed us  up (my siblings and me) and we moved to a much larger metropolitan area just in time for me to start high school. They didn’t tell me their reasoning at the time; they instead opted to tell me we were moving to be closer to our grandparents, which was true, but a secondary motivation. My parents were not exactly supportive of my being gay. I think deep down they hoped it would change, but knew it was unlikely. It would take seven years for me to feel comfortable telling them about my being in a relationship with a woman. By that time, I would already be identifying as male.

In high school I had my first girlfriend. She was a knockout. We were together for over two years, and she was really great and encouraging to me in every way. It looked like a stereotypical butch/femme relationship from the outside. I was quiet in high school, and much more interested in playing guitar and basketball than in social activities. I hated how, in social activities, there always seemed to be a divide between the guys and the girls. I was horribly uncomfortable in groups of girls, and even more so in groups of lesbians. Although there were many lesbians in my school and a strong GSA, I always felt as if I couldn’t relate. I had a couple of lesbian teachers who I liked very much, so I was not without strong, adult lesbian role models. Despite the fact that these were two adult, butch women, with loving partners and established households, I didn’t relate to this and didn’t see it as a possibility for my future.

With groups of guys, I was totally comfortable. I felt equal, like one of their peers. I was interested in the same things that interested them and related to the way they interacted with one other. There was a lot of music and video games, and not a lot of sitting around talking and gossiping. These were the ways that I interpreted “female-boding” and “male-bonding” back in those days. I got very involved in the local music scene, playing guitar and bass in a lot of hardcore, punk, and metal bands. I used Craigslist and other local sites to find bands and band mates. I quickly learned to leave the fact that I was female out of my ads and emails. Being female impugned my credibility as a hardcore musician, it seemed to me. At the time, I thought it lucky that my name was very androgynous. More often than not, I was perceived as male.

My discomfort with my body never left me. My jealousy for my male peers grew. I bound my chest for the first time when I was 15, with duct tape over a tank top that I wore over my sports bra. I tucked my hair up into my hat, as I had continued to do since grade school. I swiped a button-down flannel shirt and some baggy jeans from my dad’s closet, tucked a sock into my underwear, and then took my girlfriend out to a movie. The feeling that all of this gave me was indescribable. For months, my girlfriend referred to me as her “boyfriend”—this, as a kind of sweet talk. I really liked it. When she saw me that night, I remember her face, and the way she looked so happy. I don’t remember anyone’s treating us any differently than they had in the past. I wasn’t trying to pass, as I didn’t even know what that meant yet. All I knew was that I hated my breasts. I felt as if I would have been much happier had I been born male; this would’ve allowed me to do and be all of the things I wanted to do and be, without getting hassled, without constantly feeling like an outsider.

I also had a lot of discomfort with my vagina. I wasn’t interested in anyone touching it, and certainly did not want another person entering my body. I had read about stone lesbians, and I figured that was what I must be. I loved getting my partner off. When we had sex, I stayed fully clothed the vast majority of the time. She didn’t seem to mind and appeared happy to be on the receiving end of my sexual attention. Together we experimented with strap-ons, from which I got the sexual gratification I had been missing earlier in our relationship. I could easily close my eyes and pretend the strap-on was an extension of my body. It helped calm my nerves and tension where relating to my body sexually was concerned. It filled a void that existed, because I desired to penetrate my partner sexually with my genitals. I routinely imagined having a penis with which to make this happen. We broke up amicably at the end of my senior year—a mutual distaste for the trials of a long-distance relationship.

When I was 17, I entered college at a large, liberal state university. During my first semester, I found a class entitled “Gender Outlaws.” Part of the women’s study curriculum, it was intended for only upperclassmen. I, however, enrolled immediately. I didn’t have the pre-requisites, but I emailed the professor and she admitted me after a short correspondence. We read Halberstam and Feinberg. It was the first time I had ever heard of transsexual people. The professor talked about people who were born with bodies in which they were always uncomfortable, people who felt they would be more comfortable in their bodies had they only been born the opposite sex. We discussed the differences between sex and gender. It was explained to me that sex was your external appearance and genitalia, while gender was what existed in your brain. I latched on instantly!

The idea that I could be transsexual made so many things in my life make sense. I hated my chest. I felt an extreme disconnect from my genitals. I had never seen myself reflected in any of the lesbians I had ever known. My interests and social inclinations had always seemed to fall directly in line with those of my male peers. I had always hated the word Butch and had consistently referred to myself as a Boi. Boi felt comfortable in a way that Butch never did. When I was in public and someone assumed I was a young man, I felt a sort of euphoria. All of this was well prior to my ever hearing that transsexuality existed. Realizing I might be a man in the wrong body brought me a sense of calm and peace that I had never felt before. If I knew what had caused my life-long discomfort, then I could do something to fix it.

Over the course of the next few years I began slowly coming out to people as transsexual. I never changed my name. I was fond of my given name and, as I said, it is very androgynous and usually defaulted to masculine. The more people referred to me as he or as someone’s boyfriend, the more comfortable I became. It became easier to blend into society, even though I was pre-T and pre-surgeries. I became concerned with passing, and started taking measures to ensure that I would be perceived as male. These measures included such things as binding my chest and becoming much more meticulous about my clothes and haircuts than I had ever been. My friends were all very accepting, and I never experienced rejection from my peers for my transsexuality. On the contrary, most of them said that it made perfect sense; one conveyed, “[I’ve always]kind of seen you as a guy, anyway.”

I joined a new band, told them I was a guy, and fit right in. There was none of the awkwardness that I had experienced in other bands with guys that just didn’t know how to act naturally and be themselves around a female. People stopped treating me in ways that I hated, and ways that I had come to associate with being treated like a female: holding doors, refraining from cursing, et al. Society at large felt as if it were more natural and comfortable with me. This, perhaps because I was feeling more natural and comfortable than ever with myself, now that I had identified the problem and knew how to fix it.

While it took years before I sought out counseling for medical transition, it was very easy for me where my social transition was concerned. I blended in well. As long as I took a few precautions before I walked out the door, I passed as male. Although I’ve always felt discomfort with my breasts and genitals, the rest of my body is built in such a way that it didn’t hinder my ability to pass. I have always been athletic. My build is slim through the hips but muscular in my legs and arms, which I’m sure contributes to my being perceived as male.

During this time, I told everyone that perceived me as female that I was actually a man. I informed those who had known me prior to my transition, that I, in fact, had always been a man. Owing to my fear of rejection, the only people I didn’t tell were my family members.

I graduated from university and attended counseling sessions with a gender therapist when I was 21. In our first meeting she informed me that she usually waits several months before seriously discussing medical transition with her clients. However, during this first meeting, she indicated she was comfortable discussing medical intervention and my feelings about it, because of my already extensive “real life experience” and the fact that she could “clearly see that I was a transsexual.” I informed her that I intended to medically transition as soon as I found the courage to tell my parents, and that I didn’t want to start without their at least being aware of my condition. She asked me to write down all of my earliest memories regarding gender and how I related to my body. She explained that we would use my writing as a starting point for our next meeting, during which we could begin discussing how I would come out to my parents.

Six meetings and three months later, I had my letter diagnosing me with “General Anxiety Disorder,” with a recommendation for hormone replacement as treatment. Still, I was no closer to actually telling my parents. She refrained from a “Gender Identity Disorder” diagnosis, because of my intention to live “stealth.” I saw my condition as purely medical and not something I wanted to acknowledge in the future. I had already drafted several letters and scrapped them all. I called the clinic and set up my first appointment for blood work.

My blood work checked out, and I had to wait three months for the next available appointment to actually get the testosterone treatment I wanted so badly. In the meantime, I worked out like crazy, putting all of my free time into playing music. I also finally mustered the courage to tell my parents. I wrote a letter explaining my dysphoria, the difference between sex and gender, and my intentions to fully medically transition from female to male. One night, after having borrowed my parents’ car to run errands, I left my letter in the front seat where my father would be sure to see it the following morning. I then biked back to my house.

My father was furious. My mother was heartbroken.

I still remember his calling me that night and telling me he loved me dearly and that his love for me would never change. However, he also told me he thought I was dead wrong about the decisions I was making. The next night I went to their house to talk about it in person. We had one of the longest conversations of my life. For about four hours, we picked apart the way I felt, why I felt that way, and what it meant. My father infuriated me when he told me that he actually thought I was pretty stereotypically female, in that I have a large amount of compassion and tend to be very sensitive. He asked me what I thought was different between myself and my mother—who is a very strong, driven person, and who embodies many of the qualities I strive to embody. I remember trying to explain to him that it all comes down to what people identify with in their brains, how they relate to their own bodies. I tried to tell him that it has nothing to do with characteristics like intelligence, compassion, athletic interests, or familial roles (e.g., “the breadwinner”). At every step he refuted me. He asked me if it were okay for women to want and think the things that I wanted and thought. I repeated over and over that it was, of course, okay. I asserted that it didn’t make such a woman any more of a man than my compassion made me a woman. At the time, I didn’t understand that he was bringing up all of these socially structured gendered expectations in order to encourage me to think critically about my identification and why I felt that way. All I felt was angry and trapped and disrespected. I left that night without feeling we had resolved anything. I was glad I had told them, glad I knew I still had their love. I was still so, so angry that they couldn’t just accept what I was telling them at face value.

I remember asking my father if he would still feel like a man if he woke up the next morning, inexplicably, with a vagina and breasts. He told me that he “wouldn’t give a fuck” and would go about life as normal. He told me the only thing that would change would be the way society reacted to him, but that it wouldn’t change who he was on the inside. I asked him if “who he was on the inside” was male. He told me that who he was on the inside had absolutely nothing to do with his reproductive ability or his genitals. I thought he was absolutely out of touch with the reality of the world, and of course he must have some internal sense of himself as a man, or as male. I’ve since come to realize that he meant exactly what he said.

We had a few more intensely strained conversations over the next few weeks on the subject, and eventually came around to agreeing that my parents love me and support me no matter what, but they did not believe in “gender identity.” They agreed to do whatever would make me comfortable, including refraining from using female terms regarding me, but neither of them thought they would come around to calling me “he” or their “son.” I took this as consolation enough, and resolved to move forward with my appointment to get testosterone.
In the interim between my blood work and my appointment to get my prescription, I turned 22. I began working two jobs with the intention of saving money toward reconstructive surgery for my chest. I got very single minded regarding my transition. My girlfriend began to pull away from me, although I didn’t pay much attention at the time. My testosterone appointment arrived the morning of February 22nd. By 3 pm, I was home with my 10 cc vial of 100 mg/ml testosterone cypionate, needles, syringes, a sharps container, and instructions to inject 0.5 cc weekly into alternating thighs. To calm my nerves before I administered my first shot that evening, my girlfriend and I decided to get dressed up and go to our favorite restaurant for dinner.

That night I gave myself my first injection of testosterone. The time from me prepping to finishing was less than ten minutes. I didn’t experience any hesitation or fear before plunging the needle into my right thigh. Afterward, I was so happy that I couldn’t stop smiling. My girlfriend stayed by my side for my first injection, then left to comfort a young man she had been spending a lot of time with, while I was too self-obsessed to notice. He had broken up with his girlfriend. When my girlfriend returned home, she promptly broke up with me. We had been together for a little over a year— lived together, had a dog together—and I thought I loved her very much. I shed a few tears and retired to the futon with my dog. Digging up all of my personal resolve, I told myself that my life was just beginning!

A week and a half later I moved back to my parents’ house while I searched for a new apartment. My dog and I stayed there for three months. I worked and saved money and searched, but things were very tense, and I was having difficulty finding apartments in my price range. My voice began cracking and changing, and I started inventing colds to cover up for it. My parents knew I was going to do what I wanted to do, but for some reason I didn’t want them to see me changing right before their eyes. It felt as if I were doing something disrespectful by being under their roof as I continued with my weekly injections and strength training. My father told me that it had always seemed to him as if I were “trying too hard” to be a guy, and that this made him uncomfortable. This really hurt me. For the remainder of my stay with my parents, I kept out of their way as much as possible, making sure to buy and cook my own meals—my appetite was absolutely out of control from the testosterone and my second puberty. If I borrowed their car, I made sure to return it with a full tank of gas. I didn’t want them to feel as if I were taking advantage of them. I also had a deep desire to not be where I felt I had to hide myself, my truth. I decided to move to a very large city where I had a friend with whom I could live, where I was sure I could find employment, and where I could begin living stealth.

I made my move. After having been on hormones for approximately 3.5 months, I was feeling fantastic, physically and emotionally. I loved the way I could actually see my muscles growing from my intense strength training. I loved the way my voice had dropped itself to the point where people over the phone assumed I was male, sight un-seen. I had experienced the growth of my clitoris to an extent that allowed me to masturbate comfortably for the first time. It seemed to me like a very small penis. I loved it. I loved that I was being perceived as female less and less every week. Tiny, blonde hairs had already begun creeping up along my upper lip, jawline, and down from my belly button. I was getting encouragement and validation from all sides, apart from my family. But I was content to wait and let them see how much happier I was having begun my medical transition. I was convinced they would eventually see I knew myself better than they did, that I was on the right path. I called my physician to check in and let her know how things were going and how I was feeling. She ordered my second vial of testosterone.

Around the seven-month mark, things began to feel, for lack of a better word, weird. I still loved all of the changes that were happening to my body, but I was beginning to question the way that I viewed gender and sex. I was lonely in this new city, and it gave me ample time to think. I was also stealth, meaning that absolutely no one knew of my female past other than my roommate. I trusted him to hold my secret, as he had the same secret. I began rethinking what it meant to be male and what it meant to be female. I started reading internet forums where young transmen gathered to discuss different suggestions for passing and to talk about what “being a man” meant to them. It seemed to me that many of their reasons sounded superficial, which made me dig deep within myself to confirm that I wasn’t transitioning for superficial reasons. Certainly, I thought, the deep discomfort I felt with my body wasn’t superficial. I loved women and knew women could be anything they wanted to be. My transition, I maintained, certainly wasn’t a product of patriarchy or misogyny the way it seemed some of these other people’s transitions appeared to be. Most of all, I reasoned, “Testosterone is giving me things that make me happy. It must be the right thing.”

This reflection and self-questioning went on for a couple of months. While I continued to greatly enjoy and look forward to the changes testosterone was affording me, I was experiencing an ongoing internal battle. My second vial was used up within ten months. I made the decision to forgo ordering another vial. I wanted to give myself time to think and process before continuing.

When I had been off of testosterone for a month, my menstrual cycle returned, along with all of the extreme pain and cramping which kept me in bed, throwing up once a month for years in my youth. My muscles stayed strong, but I stopped getting the consistent growth I had been enjoying while on testosterone. The hairs on my face and belly continued, although I shaved my face weekly to avoid the pubescent-appearing fuzz that was beginning to cover it. I was still battling on the inside.

I wanted to re-confirm for myself why I was on testosterone. I figured that if I could re-explain and re-validate it, then I could feel good about ordering a third vial and continuing on my intended path. I considered all of the changes I had loved and enjoyed, but there was something nagging at me. The question, “Why?” I began thinking about my future, about being medically dependent on a substance for the rest of my life. It started to sound less and less appealing. I remembered asking my dad to explain what was so wrong with my being on testosterone if it made me happy and physically affected only me. My dad asserted that giving drugs to drug addicts makes them happy and that they usually think it affects only them as well. Clearly my dad wasn’t comparing transmen to drug addicts, but he was trying to bring to light a logical fallacy in my argument that I might take into consideration. I began wondering about the price of this happiness. At what price to my body, what price to my sense of personal integrity did this change come? These were only the beginnings of my truly questioning gender in a meaningful way, but they were immensely influential.

Today, three years later, I’m about to turn 25. I never ordered that third vial. I didn’t talk myself out of it so much as I couldn’t talk myself into it—regardless of how hard I tried. The logic of medical transition stopped adding up for me. I determined there was a lack of reputable research into what exactly forms our “gender identities” and senses of self.

When I stopped testosterone I began researching the basis of gender identity very seriously, much more so than I did at 17 or 20. I am still researching. I still feel immense amounts of disconnect from and discomfort with my body, but I am no longer able to convince myself that it has a purely biological basis. For me, in order to justify physical transition, I would have to be able to prove to myself that there is such a thing as a “male brain” and a “female brain,” and that I, personally, possess the former. There are some studies that claim this to be the case, but when I looked at the full library of medical and scientific research, I found that the notion that male and female brains are categorically different in some functional sense fell apart.

I started thinking a lot about words, such as male and female, versus man and woman. The first word pair is biologically relevant and has specific connotations regarding the gonads and genetic makeup of an individual. The second word pair is laden with cultural and social significance that goes far beyond biological relevance. I started wondering why I felt comfortable with my understanding that I was, for all medical purposes, female, but was so insistent that I was a man. I also questioned why I could rationalize that I was attracted to only females, but that those females also had to be “women.” I wondered why I could recognize myself as medically female, but couldn’t accept the word lesbian being applied to me. Thinking about these semantic and philosophical questions, continuums, and contradictions kept me up at night—superficially corresponding words, similar definitions, shades of meaning, distinctive medical/biological connotations versus social/cultural connotations.

I thought about different medical diseases and how we, in developed Western society, treat them. In general, the biological relevance of a disease pathway must be established before treatment is begun. When I’ve brought this up before, I’ve been met with arguments regarding different diagnosable conditions such as clinical depression. (Note: I come from a biological/clinical background in my education and career.) My understanding is that although not every individual who shows symptoms of depression is tested for the incongruity of their serotonin uptake, we can prove, in general, that a condition does exist in humans wherein certain cells lack the receptor for serotonin, and so the individual therefore becomes depressed. It is not necessarily relevant, therefore, whether the individual being treated lacks these receptors or not, but it is relevant that the condition exists in the human sphere, in order to justify beginning treatment. Treatment for transsexuality seems to work in the opposite way, however. There are no medically reliable tests to clinically differentiate transsexuals from non-transsexuals, prior to hormone therapy, without information regarding personal identification. However, the treatment does usually seem to confer comfort onto the individual being treated, at least in the short term (within the span of a few years or a decade). This brought me to reiterate to myself the question my dad had asked me so many years ago regarding whether a drug addict would be happy if given drugs. There is no way to prove there is something biologically different within the individual drug addict that causes them to need drugs, but giving them the drugs can make them happy and in the case of some drugs, taken in moderate doses, individuals could remain happy and healthy for decades or possibly even the remainder of their lives. I began to struggle with whether this made the administration of these drugs ethical. I came to the personal conclusion that I cannot justify the ethics of this drug administration. Further, I cannot personally justify the administration of hormone treatment to transsexual patients without a method of biologically and clinically reliable diagnoses outside of individual transsexual self-identification.

This includes myself. I cannot justify the administration of testosterone therapy to myself, given these conditions, regardless of how I feel “on the inside.” I resolved, therefore, to put much time and energy into working through “how I feel on the inside,” rather than relying on medical intervention, in the form of what is essentially a drug, to fix it for me. I do not dispute an individual’s right to do with her or his body as she or he sees fit, but I do dispute the biological relevance of such conclusions, and the biological necessity of such drug administration.

The past three years have not been easy, by any stretch of the imagination. I have worked hard. I have suffered. I have lost the vast majority of my friends. I find this to be an interesting contrast to the fact that, when I came out as transsexual, I didn’t lose a single friend. Beginning to talk to people about not being transsexual, however, caused the swift end of more than a few friendships that I had previously thought were solid. The struggle has not ended, but it does tend to get easier with the passing months. Nothing about my external “presentation” has changed. I still wear the same “guys’” jeans. I still prefer “men’s” button-ups as my day-to-day wear. I still wear sports bras, because I am still uncomfortable with anyone other than my partner noticing my chest. Ironically, I probably get perceived as male more often now than I did pre-testosterone, which I attribute largely to the self-confidence that I’ve gained in the past year or so. I still prefer to have sex with my partner wherein I am not penetrated, but rather receive sexual gratification through strap-on use or  the sensation of my given genitalia against/on her genitalia. My interests have not changed, my political leanings have not changed, and the kindness and consideration that I try to show my fellow human beings has not changed. I am essentially the same person, except that I no longer insist on being referred to as male. Also, though I do still get the urge to do so regularly, I no longer wear a chest binder, nor do I “pack.” I am still largely uncomfortable in situations where I am surrounded by other females, especially so by other lesbians. Now though, I realize while I may not relate easily to the majority of females I meet, this does not make me any less female. I realize there are females out there to whom I can relate. I will find them some day.

It makes me so, so sad to think that the females to whom I might be able to relate are likely transitioning and calling themselves male. It worries me that I may never have a female friend to whom I can relate on the same level that I relate to many of my male friends. This is something I want very, very much. This is why I am telling my story.


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Susan aka Buck Angel and the Violence Against Women


In continuing with my Violence Against Het Women series of posts and how Het female transition is informed by that violence, I received this picture of a young Susan Lee, whom most would know as the trans female pornography victim Buck Angel.

This picture comes from a 1993 music video called Cursed Female by Porno for Pyros (a sign of things to come for her obviously). Clearly this image of Susan predates her use of steroids and later testosterone and steroid use combined. While a video, yes, I think it safe to assume Susan is not merely just playing an insecure young woman uncomfortable (ashamed?) with herself, this video reflects Susan's own self hatred. From the clothes that are clearly wearing her, to her trying to cover her breast ashamedly. Something we see frequently from today's Trans Trenders in similar garb. Garb that isnt worn simply for comfort and fit, but garb that in the mind of the wearer is worn to reflect gender. In Susan's case, a male gender. When clothing is sported for the purpose of gender deception, the malaise of the person becomes magnified, as we see in the above picture. This malaise (a woman in male clothing) can also point, if not outright lead one, to the road to transition. A road that has been paved by far too many female victims of sexual violence, just as Susan has been.

This picture of Susan, which seems to be a later picture of when she was modeling:

I dont know how long Susan modeled or whether she had any great success at it. But it is through modeling that Susan first sold herself (for a price). Her prostituting herself via modeling didnt nearly have the debasing quality she so desperately desired. That came later, post transition. It was there Susan played straight into her current role as a Het female victim of pornography for profit. One thing for sure, if we picture her without the make up, without the model clothes and pose, there once existed a sad lonely damaged woman who deserved much more than to have been turned into this:

This is Susan today, unrecognizable as Susan, but clearly still very much a Het woman. A woman lost, a woman in pain and a woman who epitomizes the story so many Het females of sexual abuse wind up living. What Susan and her community of self haters would have you believe though is that Buck is well adjusted now. No longer using drugs and alcohol to ease/erase her wounded STRAIGHTBIAN soul, but out, proud and not afraid to explore her sexuality and make a nice buck for doing so. But there is a HUGE difference between what she portrays and what Susan is and knows she is. Addicted to testosterone and steroids instead of coke/heroin/booze isnt exactly the same as being drug free and healthy any more than having her pussy violated by men for money is possessing a healthy sexuality.

Statistically most females who wind up in pornography were victims of some form/forms of sexual abuse. Pornography is a way to punish the Het female body that let them down, rather than punish their abuser (Het females fear their own agency). Pornography is the TOTAL externalization of the internalization of the sexual violence done to the Het female victim! Susan isnt special because she is trans, she is merely another STRAIGHTBIAN victim of sex abuse; what separates her from other female victims of sexual abuse is her utilizing transition and pornography to apply further sexual abuse to her body.

dirt

Post Questions for Dirt here

My apologies for intermittent postings, due to relocating for work I've been quite busy and will likely not have permanent internet access till later next week. As such if there are any specific questions you have posed for me in the last few weeks of comments, please repost them here and I will do my best to answer them in the next few days.

thank you for reading/thinking outside the Gender Straight Jacket

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Transmen-Testosterone use and Smelly Vagina's and Urine

I just wanted to make a brief post about the issue trans females have with two of the many negative effects of testosterone use; vaginal odor and urine odor. It is no exaggeration that I receive a hundred plus hits a week to this blog from trans females seeking answers as to whether it is "normal" for their vagina's to begin smelling after T use and for their urine to become strongly foul-smelling. The short answer to both is, Yes.

Vagina's (when healthy) are your basic perfect self cleaning ovens, despite patriarchy's misogynistic portrayal of all vagina's as reeking. Do vagina's have a natural (appealing) smell? Yes! But when hormone levels are off, vagina's can become foul-smelling. And testosterone use is going to obviously throw the vagina's natural workings out of whack, causing the vagina to at least be malodorous, and at worst yeast infected.

While there is little a trans female can do to alter the negative way testosterone use affects urine scent, there are things that trans females can do to help the negative ways testosterone affects their vagina's. There are several vaginal soaps on the market that are designed to work with your vagina's PH levels and safe to use in the shower daily. And as bad as douching is for females not taking testosterone, for trans females this too can help with your vagina's odor issues. Because dysphoria and female shame remains after testosterone use, trans females, if embarrassed or ashamed to purchase these kinds of products can have close (trust worthy) female lovers/friends/family purchase these products for them.

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