There's a lot of buzz in Blogistan lately about "decisions."  Decisions to transition.  Decisions to have SRS.  Decisions to date men or women.  For me, none of these things were decisions per se.  The only true question I asked myself, in my first post, in fact, was "Am I a woman?"  It didn't take to long for me to know the answer to this question.  About three months.

But even that turned out to be less of an answer to a question and more of a realization.  My moment of clarity came when I received my hormone letter, just over a week after the first time I went somewhere in public "en femme," to borrow a term from the crossdressers.  It wasn't this long, drawn-out, torturous process of deciding what I wanted to do... going out, seeing what it was like, seeing how I "passed," making a decision based on a bunch of inputs.  It's interesting because typically, I am not one to do things based on my gut or my emotion.  I'm analytical and logical.  I make lists of pros and cons.  Not so here, in this, the most profound realization I've ever had.

I remember sitting on the couch in Martha's office and going over my hormone letter.  Reading the written word "she" in reference to me.  That was the moment I knew.  I just knew.  I knew I was going to transition and I knew I was going to have surgery.  Giddyup.  Let's do this.  Bring it.  When I realized who I was, I didn't talk about it or title it in terms of making a yes or no decision.  I wrote about it in terms of accepting who I was.  Once I accepted the fact that I was female, there weren't any subsequent decisions to be made about transitioning or having surgery.  It was one atomic thing for me.  I'm a woman, therefore I'm going to transition and have surgery.  It never would have even crossed my mind to retain the parts with which I was born.  Not an option.  I'm going to try to be careful not to wade into the trans wars here, but I don't understand how someone could decide that she's female and live the rest of her life as a female with a penis.  It doesn't compute.  Maybe it's possible.  It might work for others.  It doesn't work for me and that's really all that matters insofar as I ought to be concerned.

To be certain, since I've gone full-time, I have continually "sanity-checked" myself.  I have gone through my typical analytical exercise of playing devil's advocate... are you sure, Faline?  Are you sure about this?  You can't take this back.  Once it's done, it's done.  So make damn well certain that this is the right path for you.  Every time, of course, I end up at the same place... sitting there in my therapist's office, reading the word "she" in my hormone letter.  I'm not going to play devil's advocate anymore.  There's no point.  It's a waste of my time.  I'm sure.

Bring it!!!!!


Much of what you say resonates with me, great post.

It's funny, I made an arse of myself all last week over "Certainty" and I'm only just now (slow on the uptake huh?) realising what it is people have been saying. Certain of what you have to do. not certain of how it will work out. And THAT certainty I DO! understand.

Absolutely you can't decide this, it thrusts itself upon you.

Before what I write next I had better emphasise that it applies to my path only and is not preaching to anyone else: for me there was a definite decision, that of trying to not go forward with it to hang in there for Mrs. J.

But I knew, oh yes. No choice involved in being who I am.

This "buzz" as you call it Faline, is IMHO just the prattle of those trying to "resonate" with something that TOTALLY exceeds their experience.

It is like you or I saying that we can "really" relate to childbirth, and we "realy understand" what it feels like because we watched a National Geographic Special.

I could go on for weeks and weeks about what it actually "FEELS LIKE" to experience foot launched flight or free-fall and only a very VERY, TINY minority of those reading this would actually understand. Yet I have no doubt that there would be those that "know" what it is like, (despite NEVER having actually EXPERIENCED IT), and would be happy to tell ME how it is.

Your phrasing leaves me cold, to be honest.

It's okay by you if someone makes a decision you don't understand? We all make decisions about our lives; you made a decision about your life and I made a decision about mine. I don't ask for your forgiveness or forbearance; what I do ask is that you respect my decision as I respect yours. In other words: it's not for you to understand, because it's not your life, it's mine.

You use "en femme" and "full time"? Why acknowledge the origination of one and not the other? If you're "en femme", are you also not living the transgender experience? By definition?

I accepted who I am a wee while ago. While your words convey meanness, I'm quite sure none was intended. I don't care what others think of me; what matters is what I think of myself. That thought doesn't include being the horror show I would undoubtedly be if made the same decision as you. It's not that either decision is right or wrong - it's that the decisions we make about our lives are intensely personal, and not to be stupidly equated with free fall or being launched into outer space by foot power alone. (I'm quite sure I have a few experiences Anne has not experienced.) I would also say that my decision about my life is like your decision about your life: not for others to criticize, either in the particular or "in the large".

I'll put it another way: as you are undoubtedly aware, some things seem bigger than life. Often, what that "bigger than life" thing is, well, that's for the individual (I won't say "to either decide or know", because it varies for each person). What that thing is, is not for others to criticize or nitpick.

And yes, I did choose my words very carefully.

In my case, the thing that is bigger than me is not for you to criticize. Your "bigger than life" thing is not for me to criticize. I love that lass I married with a passion; her happiness is everything to me. Is that bad? Is that worth (your) condescension? I deem her worth giving up the dream of a youth. Is that above your harsh critique? Do I care what you think or understand about my decisions, considering that I don't know you, nor you me?

(I'll leave it to your imagination to guess what that dream was. A clue: I'm in the wrong gender.)

Be careful in what you critique, or give "understanding", approval to. It might not be what you thought it was.

Carolyn Ann

PS Anne: I'm quite sure I've had a few experiences you haven't had. Perhaps the person should be judged not on the experiences they've had, but in their conveyance of that experience? Tell me, what's it like to take a Ducati to 120MPH+ when the moon illuminates the fields? Perhaps we're not judged by our experiences, but in how much enthusiasm we have to learn of someone else's experiences? Ever fallen off a mountain? I have.

My apologies, Faline. That first sentence was supposed to be "Your phrasing leaves me cold, to be honest, Faline".

If I'm going to critique someone (especially on their blog!), I should at least have the courtesy to acknowledge them by name! My apologies.

May I also point out, because of experience, that my critique is of your ideas, and not you, yourself. I do hope you believe me when I say that I admire you.

Carolyn, we've got to be able to talk about ourselves without having to include some obligatory disclaimer which indicates that we're not judging others. I wonder if sometimes people look for things in posts that aren't there. Perhaps that happened here?

I tried to make certain that the impression wasn't given that I was talking about anyone other than myself.

"It doesn't work for me and that's really all that matters insofar as I ought to be concerned.

In fact, I have a good friend who is full-time, no one you'd ever think of as anything but a woman. She hasn't had surgery and doesn't have plans to. I think she's great. I have a lot of respect for her. I cannot understand her self-concept. It would never work for me. But it certainly doesn't mean I reject her.

P.S. Why would a full-timer ever use the term "en femme?" To me, it implies some sort of costume, something that is an expression of one side of the person using the phrase. Full-timers don't have a feminine "side," they're just women, all the time.

Faline it is never easy to put into words exactly how you feel. I enjoyed reading this. It makes me very happy for you. If ever I find a way to explain how I manage to stay alive with a hole in my soul I'll let you know. If I am brave enough to take all the criticism, I may even post it.

Faline, your "to borrow a term from the cross dressers", in particular, ticked me off. "The cross dressers"? What are these "cross dressers" - objects? I have no doubt you didn't mean to imply anything, but the sneer is almost palpable. Crossdressers are not objects, they are people. You would, I think, be rightly annoyed if I wrote "the transsexuals are at it, again!" Lumping people together like that turns them into objects; it's saying that "those" people are all the same, and who cares that they say are individuals? Much of the "transgender versus transsexual" stupidity is fueled by sweeping generalizations (with a decently large dose of "condescending superiority"), an "us versus them" attitude and a lack of empathy or consideration for others. Your "the cross dressers" comment reads as a sneered, sweeping generalization.

If I did read too much into your words, my apologies.

I suspect we're talking past each other with the "en femme"/"full-time" thing; both have origins in the transgender experience. It wasn't more than a couple or so years ago that the two could, and did, go together; some individuals would write that they are "going en femme, full time" (or some, more grammatical, version thereof). So you, effectively, borrowed both phrases from the transgender community. :-)

Transgender language is a minefield! (I kind of know that... :-) )

After reading Carolyn Ann's comments, I had to go back to reread what you wrote. And all I see in your post is you talking about your own experience. You set no mines. I sensed nothing from you post other than I what I think you intended -- that this is your path.

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Carolyn - I'm really not sure what you're taking offense to except that it seems that you are looking to take offense. A lot of sturm und drang over very little.

To me it sounds like your typical "victim" prattle. You "mean, elitist" TS's are just trying to feel superior by "realizing" that your are "better". Just the usual de-railing TRIPE.

That's interesting. While having a cup of coffee at Barnes & Noble, I wrote a reply. I thought it was posted, but it seems not to have been! Oh well. :-)

I'll not bother trying to reconstruct it. Not because the discussion isn't worth it! But merely because I don't want to take the time to do so. I did note that I didn't go looking to be offended. Why do people like that accusation so much? It's quite common and is often, always used to diminish! As in: "Why should you be offended, I'm not!"

Basically, I'm sorry I don't seem to be able to communicate why Faline's phrasing was derogatory and offensive.

@Carolyn Ann

Rewrite time. :)

Original: Basically, I'm sorry I don't seem to be able to communicate why Faline's phrasing was derogatory and offensive.

Rewritten: Basically, I'm sorry I don't seem to be able to communicate why I found Faline's phrasing derogatory and offensive.

"Tripe" Def: Acting in an offensive manner by calling someone's personal observations derogatory and demeaning while condescendingly claiming that those thoughts are not worth responding to in an offensive manner.

Ariel, thanks for the rewrite. It seems that I am incapable of using the English language. Perhaps you'd like to edit my blog and ensure all my phrasing comports with your prejudices?

How could I not know that classifying some group of people as an object is perfectly acceptable? Goodness me, how could I neglect to consider that an entire group can be lumped together based on some perceived common attribute? I mean, it's not like the transsexuals need to be differentiated!

By the way, Ariel, if you would be so kind, could you let me know the semantic difference between your rewriting and "Oh stop whining, my words aren't prejudiced if I say they aren't!" After all, everyone knows that those cross dressers are bunch of whiney losers who take offense all too easily. Not like the transsexuals, no ma'am, not at all like the transsexuals.

(Do you get it now?)

Anne, with your habit of going out of your way to cause, and your enthusiastic leaping to take, offense I think you're the least credible person to lecture about a "victim". You absolutely seek that status for yourself. By the way, your attempts at taunting me are vaguely amusing. Please let me know when you manage to get through "Playground taunts for 5th graders".

@Carolyn Ann

(Do you get it now?)

I got it from the start, but perhaps not the way you think.

I was trying to come up with a way of describing the problem, and I think I might have it:

Would you say "all the Pakistani's are upset bin Laden is dead"? Wouldn't you think that some Pakistani individuals are quite happy the man is dead? To lump all Pakistani's together, to make them an object, to be derided - which is what Faline's "the crossdressers" does - is offensive. Not just because you shouldn't do it, but because people are not objects, they're not monolithic objects.

I'm quite sure one or two people in this discussion consider me to be one of "the crossdressers". How would you like to be lumped into a monolithic group, and have an opinion provided to you by someone who is disdainful of that group? (As I pointed out, the disdain is dripping from Faline's words; she wouldn't have used "the crossdressers", otherwise.)

In the spirit of Ariel's rewriting - but without her condescension - Faline would have been more accurate, and not at all offensive, by saying "to use a common phrase from the transgender community". (To be honest, I have no idea if that particular phrase is still in use; it seemed to me it was becoming quite passé, and pretentious, a few years ago.)

So what you are saying, Carolyn, is that you can be the arbiter of what is offensive. Good. Could you start a website and go there and write about all the things in the world that are offensive. Maybe you could write a book! After all, yours is the final word, apparently, in these matters. And rather than seeing that your opinion is yours and your feelings are yours, you take the responsibility to be offended for an entire group. A heavy burden to be sure.

The fact is, you are completely off here on both intent and execution. That you were put off by the phrasing which was a very small part of an entry that had nothing to do with you or cross dressers in general is no reason to try to bully Faline or anyone else into thinking that there was some great wrong done. But you choose to be combative. Heck, you brag about it on your blog. And I'm sure you were thrilled when Anne took the bait and started fighting. And it seems your level of offense escalates from post to post.

But I guess you'll probably think I'm belittling you by pointing these things out. And then you'll flame back some snarky reply at me. But I really think you've done a disservice to Faline in hijacking her lovely post and turning it into a battle over who gets the right to be a bigger victim. So you win. You're the biggest victim here.

@Carolyn Ann

Hey, stop lumping all transgender people together! It's derrogatory and offensive.

So you don't get that en femme is specifically a cross-dresser word? That no genderqueer or full-time non-op (members of the "transgender community"), at least none I know, has any use for the term? Or any FTMs for that matter?

Are you perhaps objecting to the definite article? I admit that seems a bit awkward to me, but hardly sinful.

As for my condescension, I'm afraid your comments are dripping with a need to be condescended to. You don't have to thank me.

(I truly have no idea why your knickers are in a knot over this.)

To borrow a term from the Buddhists,

"I have been insulted! I have been hurt! I have been beaten! I have been robbed! Anger does not cease in those who harbour this sort of thought."

Dhammapada 1:3

I sincerely apologize to any Buddhists for implying that they all use this phrase.


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