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Archive for July, 2010

Tides

After a big flurry of activity last week, this week I’m not identifying much with my feminine side. I need to accept this as just part of who I am. I’m sure it’s partly just getting older … the whole arousal thing kind of ebbs away. It will be back later.

I need to remind myself not to get discouraged by this ebb and flow. I don’t want to just slam the closet door shut and walk away from it. That would put me back in a rigid posture that wouldn’t be any fun.

What’s the right balance? I don’t know. Right now I’m thinking, even though I’m not into it, I should go ahead and start electrolysis anyway. Because, you know, next month I’ll probably feel very different. Again.

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In Praise of Cis-

When you’re born, they look between your legs and instantly decide to put you in the pink basket or the blue basket. By the time you’re three or four, you start to internalize what that means. If you’re pink, you get to play with the dolls. If you’re blue, you get to play with the race cars and the toy soldiers. By the time you become an adult, quite a lot of your day-to-day behavior is coded pink or blue.

People who got put in the blue basket but like the pink stuff or vice-versa have a real hard time. We get gossiped about. We get pointed at. We get laughed at. Or worse.

Here’s the thing to remember, though: Transgender exists only because there is a “normal” binary cis-gender pattern, both in people’s brains and in their choice of shoes and hair styles. If a powerful cis-gender binary didn’t exist, and if it wasn’t constantly reinforced by your society and culture in a variety of ways, you couldn’t be transgender. There wouldn’t be any gender boundaries for you to cross over.

What this means, in strictly practical terms, is that discrimination against the transgendered is absolutely inevitable. Discrimination could only vanish in a world in which the cis-gender binary had dissolved. If that happened (and it never will), you’d be able to have a penis and play with dolls if you wanted to, but playing with dolls would not be coded pink, so it would feel no different from playing with race cars and toy soldiers.

Just for today, instead of feeling sorry for myself because I don’t fit in, I’m going to try being grateful to all of the people I run into who are upholding (quite unconsciously and effortlessly, for the most part) the cis-gender binary. Thank you for giving me two quite distinct options to enjoy!

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Glue & Glop

I’ve been away from cross-dressing for a shockingly long time. Not only are my makeup skills rusty, but I have a lot more … ah, facial details to compensate for now than I did 25 years ago. So I’m taking some time to practice and experiment. This is less about developing a Look than it is about avoiding gross and garish mistakes.

I always hated having glop on my chin. So I had electrolysis. In the intervening years, it gradually became apparent that the electrologist I employed didn’t do a very good job. Quite a lot of chin hair has grown back, so I have to use the glop again.

It doesn’t just look awful, it feels awful too. My face can’t breathe!

I think I can improve the look a little if I get exactly the right color of foundation, but that may be a problem too, as my natural complexion is (more…)

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Shrink-Wrap

When newcomers pop up on the forum at crossdressers.com (and they do, with fair frequency), it’s often suggested to them that they seek out a therapist. They’re especially likely to receive this suggestion if their post sounds torn, confused, conflicted, or agonized.

Up to a point, it’s excellent advice. How can we know how to create satisfying, meaningful lives if we don’t yet understand how we feel or what we want?

The danger in conventional psychotherapy … well, there are several dangers, but let’s assume you’ve found a competent therapist who is accepting of transgender feelings and somewhat knowledgeable when it comes to the unusual emotional and social situations t-girls face. At that point, the main danger is (more…)

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I’ve lived by myself for most of my adult life. I like the freedom, but that’s not why I live alone. The reason is because somebody slammed and locked the door of the intimacy vault, and forgot to tell me the combination. Oh, I’ve tried dating. I even stumbled into a marriage once (and stumbled out of it a year later). But at a basic level, I have never understood how people get into close relationships. I see them do it, and it makes my head spin. How do they do that?

I’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars, over the years, on therapy. It did no good whatever. I was always, I think, very clear on entering therapy. I explained to the new therapist that I didn’t know how to get into an intimate relationship, and that my goal was to do so.

A year or two would pass, during which money would change hands ($45 a week in the early days, then $60, then $75, then $95 … the going rate now seems to be about $125). At the end of that time, I would be in a better emotional state, because I had had someone to talk to every week, so the therapist and I would convince ourselves that something positive had been accomplished.

But that was rank bullshit. I was still alone. And I would note, in passing, that none of the therapists ever offered to refund my money. If you take your car into a garage and they can’t fix the engine, do you still have to pay them? I’ll have to look into that.

Be that as it may … my current theory is that I failed at establishing intimacy because, for one thing, I was never able to be (more…)

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