Saturday, October 16, 2010

Should you come out?

I noticed the posts this week on many blogs that it was National Coming Out Day or Week or something like that. I find it quite interesting that those that are out want to encourage others to come out.  Are they lonely? Does misery want company? Is it very important that more transsexuals are out so regular people have more to gawk at or point out? If more transsexual/transgender people are out will it make it better for everyone?

I have more questions and no answers to most because I am not sure why anyone would come out if they don't have to and why anyone would ask someone to come out. Coming out was always related to coming out about one's sexual preference and if per chance I happened to like girls I would be open a about if asked but again I am always puzzled when someone asks about an individuals sexual preference.  Do gays and lesbians go around asking people if they are heterosexual? Can you imagine the outrage at that?

Could you imagine the outrage if a transsexual walked up to a genetic women and asked them if they were transsexual or why she wasn't out and proud of being transsexual. Now comes the crux of the entire concept of transsexuals coming out. It is valid to come out as a transsexual before surgery but I am sorry but I don't consider myself transsexual or transgendered or anything like that after surgery. I consider myself a woman that had the misfortune of being born transsexual that I corrected by having surgery.

At one time I was a transsexual or transgender or a tranny and I really could care less if anyone who knows my past asks me if I was once one of those terms. Those names mean something to my past but not my present. If someone uses those terms I am not getting upset because it is what it is as a famous coach says. In this case words cannot hurt me.

When I exited the recovery room and was taken to my room in a comfortable haze Harry was there and he didn't ask me how it felt to be a complete transsexual.  Harry asked the most simple of questions.

"How does it feel to finally be you?"

 Being the horny young girl I truly was I said. "It feels wonderful.  How soon can I have sex?"

Harry had a good laugh at that one but once surgery is done you were a girl because either the psycho-sexual inversion or born in the wrong body syndrome you were in is no longer viable.  It is over and now it is time to live your life. If you want to be known as a women who was born transsexual that is your right. That is a key distinction we need to be adamant about.

In my life from 13 1/2 on most people knew I wanted to be a girl right through to the day I moved to NYC. I had little choice because the endocrine gods played both a cruel trick on me yet in the long run a kindness but  when you are a kid you do not realize that. In fact my life was easier once people knew even in the 50s and 60's because it just sort of made sense as one boy said.

Living one's adult life out is another thing.  I guess it depends on what you want from life and nobody lives the same or wants the same but I wanted to be a normal girl. I could not be normal if I was out and I could not live back home if I wanted to be private so I chose to abandon home except for special occasions.

The permutation of issues involved with being out or not are beyond the scope of anything I could possibly argue in print because there is not enough paper or cloud storage available and I am not sure I have the time. In my life I prefer to consider myself private about my past but not stealth which has become an evil word which is weird. I have gay and lesbian friends that know nothing of my past but I have supported financially and walked to support issues relevant to their cause.

When mom was still alive and still lived in my childhood home I would still have people pissing me off with the same stupid questions because they were new to the neighborhood and new to me.

The direct slap in the face: "Were you once a guy?". Why ask since you obviously know because someone told you. Is this a verification process?

The backhanded slap in the face : "There is no way you were once a guy, were you?" You believe I was or there is no need for the question.

The  one from the neighbor you knew: "You make a nice girl." I guess this is better than you are uglier than dog shit but not by much. You are pretty is more complimentary dummy.

The one I found the best was: "Did the surgery hurt?" I always wanted to pull out the checkbook and ask them if they wanted to find out.

The best was: "I always knew you were a beautiful girl." Then why the heck did you beat the crap out of me? Do you beat other girls up? Got that one at my High School reunion from a guy that tormented me as a boy.

The issues for us are totally different and as far as I can personally tell the only reason to be out as transsexual is to be an activist which is another pet peeve of mine or to be a roll model for other transsexuals and I don't want to be anyone's roll model.

If you want to be out go for it but don't tell those that prefer a quieter existence they are betraying their sisters  if we are not out and besides I only have two brothers and I'll pick who my sisters are myself.  We are just being true to ourselves and what works best for us the same as you are to yourself.

17 comments:

Veronica said...

I agree with this post, top to bottom. I was transsexual when I lacked congruence between brain and body. I dealt with the problem. I am no longer transsexual. I am a woman. And although I am very willing to help others behind the scenes, I have no wish to wave a transsexual flag.

Some people, however, transition, even surgically, but somehow remain "trans" in some way. That's how they feel about themselves. I know people like that personally. They like being trans. They're proud, not of having been transsexual and having dealt with it (as I am), but of still being different. Sometimes they are activists, sometimes they like to push the gender envelope. Sometimes they like to make other people uncomfortable. And they seem to be the ones who want everyone to feel the same way as they do.

I don't.

Anne said...

Very well said, Elizabeth. My sentiments, exactly.


BTW...Your reaction to Harry's question, really got a great laugh out of me as it was much the same as mine.

I find it so amazing that those that know so little of what it was REALLY like, say sex had little to do with it.

God Speed, Elizabeth and...
Thank you.

Your friend,

Anne

Elizabeth said...

@Veronica

I told one friend I did my time "out" and had no choice because it was necessary. If it isn't necessary to hell with it. Besides what kind of guys would I get to date if I walked around with transsexual stamped on my boobs?

@Anne

Well Harry knew. Every Type VI I have ever know wanted sex with men badly. It is part of the total psycho-sexual inversion process and the thing that makes the Type VI so intense.

I was crazy about boys and Harry heard it every time we talked or met. It was important to me.

Veronica said...

Elizabeth, since among non-transsexuals most are heterosexual and some are homosexual, it only makes sense to me that the same would be true of transsexuals -- of whatever type.

Melissa said...

@ Anne

Re: I find it so amazing that those that know so little of what it was REALLY like, say sex had little to do with it.

Have you ever thought, that might be because you were sexually attracted to males before you transitioned? It has been my experience, that the majority of MtF transsexuals I have know and read about, mirror the general population, in that they are attracted to women, prior to transition, so when they say it is not about sex, they mean exactly that. For them it is about being one of the girls, and being lesbian, not about having sex with straight guys. In fact for me, it was this very point that convinced my psychiatrist that I was indeed transsexual, and not a gay man who simply couldn't accept his homosexuality.

Could it be that we have two types of genuine transsexuals? One that is basically gender oriented, and one that is both gender and sexually oriented. I think so, and I think this is crux of your problem with accepting those that you see as simply transgender (although they are in reality transsexuals too), as being equal to you. The fact is, there are many transsexuals who always have been, and remain sexually attracted to females. So for them it is not, and has never been about sex. Saying that they know so little of what it is really like, and referring to them by the pejorative term of autogynophiles, is not at all a humble opinion as you so often like to put it. It is unveiled condescension. Now, I know that you don't see that way, but that is how we who were always sexually attracted to women do see it. I'm afraid you have made the fatal intellectual error, of equating us with transvestites, who by the way deserve their own respect, and who as Elizabeth so kindly pointed out, were considered to be a mild form of transsexual as well, by Dr. Harry Benjamin.

We are indeed a diverse and equal culture, so please, in the name of peace and humility, let's not concentrate on our differences, but instead on our similarities. Doing so will in no way be a denigration of your status as a genuine woman. In fact in my opinion, it will raise your status.

All of this by the way, has nothing whatsoever to do with coming out, so I apologize to Elizabeth for digressing from the main topic of her post. I completely understand and accept her position, but I would also like to point out that many who transition later in life, have gone through a much longer period of torment, than those who transitioned in their teen or early adult years, and consequently may have a different perspective.

Melissa XX

Elizabeth said...

@Melissa

There are two distinct types of transsexuals that want surgery in the world of Harry Benjamin. Type VI were kids with total psycho-sexual inversion who were attracted to boys because they identified totally female and Type V which is the trapped in a man's body, asexual possibly, etc.. Neither condition or Type is much fun.

I will disagree with you on one point. I believe in differences but that does not mean I do not believe we have some similarities. Why is it the transsexuals and transgenders cannot recognize that there are differences between transsexuals and people who identify as transgender?

Type VI is different from Type V but there is some gray area. There are certainly differences between transsexuals, cross-dressers, drag queens, and others under the transgender banner as their are common ground and some common goals.

I am going to post something non this because celebrating difference is what the GLB community started initially but now those transgender are only supposed to celebrate similarities? That is basically wrong as long as one is not trying to us the differences to set up a hierarchy or elitist position that says I am a better person than you.

Different does not mean better it just means people have different needs, desires, wants, wishes, and problems none of which cross all boundaries.

Jenny said...

I have to find myself in the Melissa camp on this one. I'm certain vaginal sex with a bloke must be very enjoyable and all that, but I'm more interested in finding a way to put my brain's four decades of gender turmoil to rest than thinking about who I'm going to leap into bed with. I'm pretty sure that goes for most of the other trans people I've met too.

As to coming out, with your background and chronology who can blame you for stealth. My decision in this matter is to be out to all who know me because (a)why should this be some Dark Secret to be ashamed of? and (b)the more ignorant people who find someone who they know is transgendered, the more ignorant people who become no longer ignorant and thus more accepting. I live and work in an environment in which I can do this without personal risk. Plus the stress removal of no longer having to keep a secret that huge is therapy in itself. I'm never going to be a natural-passing girl and as a bloke nobody's going to give me hassle for it because of my size, so it's the way that makes most sense for me.

Elizabeth said...

@Jenny

In your case you had no choice and that is simply a fact but if you did pass what would you have done?

It is a choice for many people and they have the right to make that choice without people telling them they are cowards, are ashamed of a dark secret, or not willing to be an example and it is so much better than having to keep a secret. I support that choice either way.

I have a question for you Jenny. How would you know what any of that is about unless you had a choice? It is easy to say that when there is no choice to be made.

As for sexual orientation Benjamin Type VI transsexuals follow almost identically the normal distribution of women when it comes to sexual preference. Almost all early transitioners are Type VI.

The later the transitioner the more the sexual preference veers from the distribution norm for women. The last study I saw with Google had it basically 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 between lesbian, bisexual, and heterosexual as women. I have no idea why it strays so far from the norm and actually do not care.

Jenny said...

"In your case you had no choice and that is simply a fact but if you did pass what would you have done?"

I do pass, and perfectly. Unquestioningly. Day-to-day in public I have the ultimate stealth, that of a larger than average happily married bloke. The world is structured around people who look like me and have lifestyles and relationships like mine so if I kept my mouth shut nobody would ever wonder anything, they have no idea that between my ears I'm fighting like crazy to stay that way for my wife.

So in answer to your question, yes I did have a choice, to stay in the suffocating anonymity of the closet or to stop lying. Telling your long time best mate with whom you have drunk a thousand pints or won and lost a thousand motor races that you are seeing a psychiatrist for gender dysphoria and that you spend your free evenings and weekends in girl mode is not something you do lightly.

To be out was my choice. Other people's choices are for them. My apologies if my previous comment came over as saying anything different. As I said, it made most sense for me but need not necessarily do the same for others.

Melissa said...

@Anne

Please, I never once deleted a single word you ever said on my blog, and I never would. I have too much respect for those who leave their opinions on my blog to do such a thing. If there is one thing I believe in, it's honest debate. I am not the least bit afraid of what you or anyone has to say. Please feel perfectly free to voice your response to anything I write.

Melissa XX

Elizabeth said...

OOOOH Liz you got an uproar with this one.

I think the whole coming out thing is really directed to gay people in my understanding.

It may sound crazy to you guys but I consider my being born transgender as a blessing (not because I like being different tho). All of the girls in my family are messed up. They got pregnant young. They go after the most low of lowlife men. They are totally screwed up and I am afraid that if I was born a genetic female I might have ended up the same as them. Being Trans has helped me to understand the world and to not be naive to the closed minded people and be able to spot them a mile away.

If I could go back and be reborn as a genetic woman I wouldn't. It may sound crazy but I feel like I am a stronger woman because of the experiences that I have had in my life. It isn't that I "like" being transgender, but I do love the person that being trans has made me.

Coming out is a personal choice and no one has any right to tell another that they should or should not "come out". I am a woman. I come out everyday as one. LOL

I guess what I am trying to say is that because we are all so different individually, we can't all be expected to have the same comfort or discomfort when people find out.
I tell friends sometimes if I feel that they are close enough to me. If I feel it will help them to understand why I view the world the way that I do and I have NEVER has any bad reactions. I live my life as if everyone already knows and accepts it. I would be a paranoid crazy person if I didn't, wondering who knows and who is clocking me etc. So if people find out I really don't care because when I look in the mirror, now more than ever after SRS, I see a woman inside and out and what I see is really the only thing that matters. I didn't do this for society. I did it for me.

Lots of love for you!!!
xoxoxoxoxoxox
The other Liz
www.omgitsatranny.blogspot.com

PS...is it weird that sex was not that important to me regarding my SRS? I mean...I kind of prepared myself for sex to be bad just in case I lost feeling or had minimal depth. Also hormones have ruined my sex drive so when I asked myself before srs "What if sex sucks or you can't have it with your new petunia?" I said well....oh well...I can still do it the way I always have (I call it "booty time" lol). My main concern was that I wouldn't have any urinary problems or be super deformed. The only reason I really thought of sex during my srs was in regards to my husband. He seems to be quite content =).

This is the longest comment I have ever made LOL.

PSS It is really rude to put pronouns in quotations girls. You don't really know anyone here in reality to judge their reasons for transitioning or what makes them who they are.

Elizabeth said...

Argue here all you want everyone. Doesn't bother me one bit and I will delete nothing.

@Melissa

I would just like someone, someday, somehow to please give me a list of similarities between those identified as transgender. Other than the fact we are all from the human species what are the similarities?

I can identify the differences and I know a few similarities but I need or would like an answer from someone. In most cases with a class or category of people that should build a group that celebrates those differences and find some common ground where necessary.

@Jenny

I have conjectured many times it is in some ways easier for those of us that went this path as kids or young adults than it is for those that were unable to get this over with until later in life.

Being "out" as you are now is brave but it is not the same as being out after transition or after corrective surgery. You like women so you were able to satisfy your desires with your wife or girls as you grew up.

How can you possibly understand what MTFs like me go through? Kids like me were girls and we liked boys like the vast majority of genetic girls do. It is a horrible and gruesomely miserable position to be in.

I could never have let a boy touch me down there and I could never have sex with a girl because I was a heterosexual girl. It scars your soul in some ways and it is why there are so few Type VI but we got those over early and will never have to suffer the cumulative result of decades of gender issues.

Talk about being out a transitioned women when you get there not before. You are making assumptions about issues you have no experience in which makes those comments superfluous.

Elizabeth said...

@Elizabeth

Sweetie we are all so different and that is why trying to wrap all of us under the banner transgender and to celebrate only the similarities is as dumb as Sarah Palin attempting to discuss Special Relativity or anything actually now that I think of it.

Sex drive issues might be the blockers working plus it can be an issue for some women. We didn't have blockers in olden times but sexual desires are as much between the ears as anywhere else and I had both a promise and a dream of doing the nasty with my guitar playing friend only the fool and his band went on a long tour so he lost out. He just lit my fire as they say.and I am guessing once you are ready your hubby will light you fire also. It is kind of difficult thinking about sex when it hurts to dilate.

You don't answer my emails any longer girl. Is it because they are so short now. :-)

Hugs

Liz

Elizabeth said...

@ Elizabeth

You know I agree!!!! yeah I think you are right. I am starting to notice the pain getting less and less tho. It is time to move up a size LOL.

I just sent you an email from your last one! You might not have gotten it cuz I was replying from my phone and T-Mobile is just about the worst cell carrier EVER!!!!

Jenny said...

Blimey, following this by email gets so confusing!

Fascinating stuff, anything that forces you to think is always good.

I don't talk about sex that often on my blog. When someone else is involved it is an invasion of their privacy. Suffice to say that it's never been my driving force and no, I didn't get to satisfy any desires as I grew up. I really wish I could have had a "normal" growing up with girlfriends and all, or that I could have found a place among my gay friends, because the other kids at school and university all seemed to be having so much fun. Not everyone is married to their childhood sweetheart in their early twenties, and marriage merely to satisfy desires is not a basis for the kind of relationship I'm after.

I can never understand all your experiences, you're right. Hell, I was closeted cross-dressing five-year-old when you were a confident young woman. But you might be surprised how many times different paths cross. Being the largest kid in the class simply meant people couldn't harm me for being different, it didn't stop me being different.

Elizabeth said...

@Jenny

That is why we are all so different yet so important. I didn't have much choice as a kid. I tried to hide like most of us do because it hurt so bad but I couldn't hide because of appearance.

I cannot imagine your pain and would wish it on not my worst enemy. I think kids like me actually had it easier. My path was clear and once I got it through my head my appearance was an advantage it was quite certain where I was headed. It was a rocky road at times but none of this is easy for anyone.

@Elizabeth

I still love you young lady.

Anne said...

I am glad that we are able to get through this in such good order. I would like to add a bit more about this sexual attraction thing, as I found it quite facinating how easily and naturally my sexual "orientation" changed.

As I mentioned in my earlier post above, I became sexually active with girls almost immediately after the onset of puperty. This despite the fact that all my sexual ideation and non sexual personal identification was of my self as female. What I have not gone into on this particular thread, but what I will expound upon to some length n my own blog, is the fact that from my earliest moments of self awareness, I saw myself, thought of myself, as female.

It was not until I was brought to the US and started school that I became aware of the physical, (genital) difference between boys and girls. Even though I felt uncomfortable pretending to be a boy whilst I knew that I was not, the really severe angst did not begin until puberty. With the onset of puberty, everything got much more intense.

I think it was sometime prior to puberty, that I heard about Christine Jorgensen. I am guessing sometime in the late 1950's. That reality, quite literally, "blew me away"! I was totally stunned to learn that the miracle that had been promised to me in a 5 year old child's dream was actually a walking, talking, living, breathing...REALITY.

The ensuing years, complicated as they were by puberty, SEX, high school, etc were a blur of turmoil, denial and an uncompimising quest for knowledge. I sought answers to this conundrum through my years at University everywhere, from my studies, to my conscience, and to spiritual explorations involving pure LSD and organic mescalyne, (peyote).

.....More to follow...