Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Gay Transsexual

The term Gay Transsexual has always confused me or more accurately upset me once I realized it was specifically aimed at a kid like I was. I admit I was a pretty screwed up kid because well being transsexual in the 50's was not exactly a recipe for growing old or surviving. Dr. Benjamin once told me he thought possibly 1 in 5 kids like me made it to 20 years old because without family help, basically non-existent in 50's, the only option was to run away to the streets and that usually meant the sex trades.

I saw too much of this when I moved to New York City in August of 1969. My best friend Lana was a drag star in the village and she had started on the streets after running away from an abusive father that figured beating her half to death weekly would make a boy out of her. She was only 14 when she left her upper Midwest roots and moved to the "big city" as she called New York. She got off a bus and was grabbed by a pimp and was on the streets within a week. She survived but she once reluctantly told me none of the other girls like her were "around" any longer. She made a deal with the devil to get off the streets.

In one of my mom's early letters to Benjamin she asked is my "son" gay? He tells me he is a girl and he likes boys. This was in late 1958 when I was still 12 and outside of Harry who had a clue about us. Harry had never met me so he couched his response because I believe he did not want to scare my mother away. I was of course oblivious to these written conversations and probably secretly planning my next attempt at suicide which is a sad commentary but true.

I had no idea help was available and I was a sophomore in High School and the bullying was getting worse and every single time I saw my neighbor Chuck I felt he was planning another attempt to rape me and I was on my third shrink for 1958 and my grandmother was making life hell for my mom because when I refused to dance with a girl in a dance lesson class her friends got wind of it and nobody including me wanted her any more hateful than she was towards me.  Her tool of choice on me was a shillelagh or the knotty torture stick. She never dared use it when mom was around but I was chased many a time with that flailing in her hand and threatening my ass and legs.  Sometimes I probably deserved it but I am not confessing too much.

The gay transsexual is what Blanchard, Ovesey-Person,  and even Harry used homosexual initially, thought feminine or effeminate boy transsexuals were. I was feminine because my body produced less testosterone than most women but I was not effeminate and certainly did not initially flaunt it or demand to dress as a girl because it wasn't going to happen and I might have been nuts as I was constantly told but I was pragmatic enough not to push that boundary at least initially because the consequences could have been quite ugly. The refusal to dance with the girl was the beginning and yes I know girls dance with other girls but I was not exactly thinking straight right about then because of a vicious encounter with another in a long line of incompetent idiots in the field of Psychiatry. I attempted suicide about a week after that incident.

If someone had told me who I respected like Benjamin that I was a gay transsexual I am not sure what I would have done but I doubt if it would be constructive.  I liked boys because I was a girl not because I was a boy. It would be a very long time before I understood gender identity is between the ears and not between the legs. Benjamin began to realize that early on but it was common practice to use the term "homosexual" for kids like me. Thankfully I never heard that from Harry because once I was diagnosed as Type VI with total psycho-sexual inversion things were different,  He told my mother it was as natural for me to like boys as it was for any heterosexual girl.

I would have been very upset if I had been a Type V and because I liked boys they called me gay. I am unclear how they can call someone a heterosexual transsexual because they are asexual or not interested in boys because if gender is between the ears then liking boys for a MTF transsexual of any type is normal heterosexual behavior and liking girls is lesbian and liking both is bi-sexual and who cares really except many of these assholes, Blanchard and pals, still love using that term as one of the two types of transsexuals and some claiming to be "true" or "primary" like to use that term to denigrate the kids like me of my era who were labeled with it by people like Person-Ovesey and and to label the young kids today that are like we were.


Thankfully there are people like Dr. Spack at Childrens Hospital Boston Gender Clinic for kids that avoid that term and help children in a careful manner without labeling them. I remember when I first read Harry's book in 60's I asked him about the terminology and he sheepishly said you are not gay and I know he felt differently and was not pleased with the results of the Person-Ovesey study.

It is quite difficult dealing with kids defined as gay transsexuals because there are not that many around. Harry estimated maybe 1 in 200,000 to 300,000 kids are total psycho-sexual inversion transsexuals which kind of defies the odds because of what I read in the media but then I am unsure how many have been correctly diagnosed. I will leave that issue to someone more qualified than me. When I met Harry he might have dealt with one or two kids but not a lot because it required parental help and most kids on the streets would not go to a doctor out of fear of being returned home. A lot of kids were also so physically or psychologically abused at home they pushed things deep into the recesses of their minds in order to survive.

The single thing that I always come back to was how confusing it all was. I asked Harry more than once why did I think I was a girl? To be honest I don't even think he knew why other than psycho-sexual inversion but how does that happen? Before my first meeting with Harry mom asked Harry many times why does he insist he is a girl? Initially because it was around September of 1958 when they started communicating I don't think even Harry knew why. It was part of what drove me emotionally because it seemed logical if I was a girl people should just let me be a girl but as we all know it just does not work that way. Therefore the multiple suicide attempts because as a girl how could I possibly live as a boy?

My older brother Ray was my best friend and still is. Until I got upset at some things when I entered High School I never pushed boundaries between boy-girl but Ray has always told me it was just so obvious but that was just who I was and how I looked and how I moved and how I spoke. I guess you are what you are whether you try to be or not.  I certainly couldn't have changed because I didn't know I was acting like a girl if that makes sense. I thought I was bullied and bloodied because physically I did look female because of the low testosterone levels but Ray says it was not that but everything sort of "said" girl and that caused the confusion.  I guess I can believe that but I am certainly no expert.

If you haven't figured it out by now I am still searching for answers. One of my best friends in NYC was an Italian girl and I hope I am half the girl she was. She always thought she was a girl and I loved her to death as a friend but she looked like Dick Butkus, her words not mine, and it broke my heart because she will always be beautiful to me.  She had total psych-sexual inversion and was another Type VI but why did she look like she did and not like me. Everything she did was feminine and she killed herself because she felt doomed and that was a week worth of crying for all of us. I just don't understand the vagaries of this transsexual crap sometimes. It just seems so freaking unfair to so many.

If I could snap my fingers and there would never be another transsexual brought into this world I would do it in a heartbeat.


31 comments:

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Elizabeth said...

June

I am not sure I understand your comment at all. My basic point was not that anyone is better than anyone else and I have stated that through most of my posts and many times have said we had it easier in many ways if we survived childhood.

It was about how confused I was and about the continued definition in some circles of kids as "gay transsexuals" today because they are feminine or effeminate. The post was also about how little was known back then about kids like me or you even by Benjamin.

The post was against the use of the term "gay transsexual" and was not an attempt to set up some perceived hierarchy which is crap because there is no such thing as "more" transsexual because defining "levels" of pain as importance is just plain dumb.

There is only one person acting like a monster on this post and in this comments and it isn't me.

Liz

mata ne said...
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Elizabeth said...

June

I have no issues with my past June because I have come to accept what happened just was and there was little I can change but it has never consumed me but some of my insights are about me and the struggles and some are opinions.

I cannot help it if your past bothers you and I wish it didn't but what I meant was I wish no child would ever be born again and have to face what many of us faced and I wish I could end that.

I cannot end all the trans stuff because it is what it is. All I can do is write how I feel and I will be right sometimes and wrong others but I will keep writing because I have some things to say.

If they bother you don't read the blog but you had your free shot at me.

Sibyl said...

June,

While your reply seemed to have little to nothing to do with Liz's topic, I was still curious about why you have been so adamant, so I followed those links you provided...

Wow! Might I ask, exactly who's cat was it that you ran over and why in heavens name you did you do it twice! Honestly girl, I haven't a clue who it was and I really don't care, but who ever, you really pissed em off but good didn't you! If nothing else your horrible experience should serve as the text book example of why one should never post anything personal on-line! The nut cases are out there a'plenty and they are having a field day with the "Power of the Internet." That said dear, you seem to be a bright and attractive woman, so might I pose a more serious question?

Why in gods name are you still at it?!
I really do appreciate what it was you were trying to make happen "back when," and even now, but after all that? I'd have long since turned of the damned computer, changed my name and moved two states over never to see any of it ever again other than watching it receded just the once in my rear view mirror...

Sibyl

mata ne said...
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Anonymous said...

Elizabeth,

I made a promise to myself I would not comment again on a blog that related to these issues, yet here I go! sigh.

The Blanchards, Person Ovesy, Baily, Money and all the others who subscribe to the "Homosexual" starting point all make the mistake of accepting the declaration made at birth "It's a boy" as Transsexuals that is the first thing we reject.

Psychosexual inversion is simply a different source cause to other syndromes that may at first appear similar. Perhaps if people were able think of different source causes as existing along a plane and not an ordered list with some perceived heirerarchy there may get to be a consensus but that seems to be beyond the ability of most.

I was once asked by a shrink "would you like to have been born a girl" My reply startled him "I would rather have been born without this issue to deal with" So, Elizabeth I understand precisely the point you made in this post of yours.

Cassandraspeaks

Elizabeth said...

@Cassandra

I make no claim on being an expert on any of this stuff and most times I am just blogging my opinions on subjects based on my own emotional response sometimes and my personal experiences.

Your comments are always welcome whether I agree with them or not. I was actually asked that question by Dr. Ethel Person about "would you like to have been born a girl" and my answer was yes but then she asked "what if you could not be born a girl" and my response was I would not want to go through this again so as long as I have no memory of it just "normal" would have been fine.

mata ne said...
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Elizabeth said...

@June,

The only thing I won was a life and I lived it the best I could for better or for worse but it was my life. You might want to try it.

You have my permission to post any email I have sent to you June because I sent nothing to you other than questioning why you were saying such things about me on this post that was not in any way shape or form aimed at you or anyone other than me.

If you have an issue with me just say so without some bloviated rant full of incoherent bullshit.

By the way why did you send me your personal phone number again? Did you actually think I would call you?

Plus, do not ever attempt to threaten me in any way.

As for HBS you do not want to go down that path June because you cannot win. If you would like to re-hash what was said then I will gladly pull up what I posted along with everything else and let it stand.

As for further accusations made within this comment I told you that you had a freebie but not any longer.

What has happened here does beg the question what in the name of god did you do or say to that Natasha person to get her that mad at you?

Did you take some self perceived slander or slight and turn it into this kind of insane off the wall nonsense you posted here and then deleted because you did not want anyone to read it? I have a copy if you need it.

What did you do to Natasha that made her return it in spades to you? People normally do not do or say things like that without reason but then we just witnessed you do something similar and I wonder if you had my name, address, and phone number would it have been plastered on this comment thread.

You offered me pictures Aria Blue sent you and I told you I did not want them because I would never hurt someone like that even if you did have them.

If you want to comment be my guest but don't be a coward and delete your posts because you are embarrassed by them.

Anonymous said...

These kind of exchanges (not your fault Elizabeth I ran a blog I know what it can be like) are a perfect example of why I closed my blog and no longer make comments on other people's (until now sigh!) and also why I no longer support HBS.

I too refused those pictures of Aria you offered June and for much the same reason as you Elizabeth. It would seem you offered them to a lot of people. Nastiness has a habit of reflecting back on the perpetrator. What goes around comes around, as you sow, so shall you reap, all that stuff.

An old saying comes to mind regards having a life; "Those who can, do; those who cannot, teach"

Anne said...

OK...Te following is just ne old woman's opinion so you can all take it for what it is worth.

First of all, I have NO CLUE what this current donnybrook or little 'dust-up' is about, and I reallt don't want to know. What I DO know, is that the majority of those involved have been around this very ame block MORE than once and recognize what a self destructive waste of time and energy it is.

Since it is my belief that we all share a common goal, like the betterment or smoothing of the path for future generations of childen who share our plight, might I suggest that rather than continue prticipating in the cicular firing squad we move on to more productive endeavors.

For example: I have posted on my blog, two particularly interesting links to some recent studies on androgen receptors and their relationship to PAIS, CAIS, IS and TS. Here is the link...

http://anna-es-asi.blogspot.com/2010/11/some-heavy-readingthe-science-trapped.html

Sibyl said...

@ Liz

You wrote in todays post:

"If you haven't figured it out by now I am still searching for answers..." M'dear, you are far from alone in this one, I too, fool that I am, find the quest for an answer to "why," along with a rapidly shrinking hope that I might someday find a kindred spirit the only reasons I still haunt these corners of net. As a dear friend and former mentor said to me as she threw up her hands in disgust and exited stage right,

"Screw em all. I've got mine!" While I am not quite there yet in either the having it all or being quite so jaded... I get the feeling I will be in two shakes of a lambs tail as I am more and more often questioning my wisdom and seeing the beauty in hers... After all, What manner of stupidity was it for me to have such a vain hope of finding either an answer or a like minded woman? A rather large one I've come to realize as to date it seems all my searches have been less than fruitful, leading not as I had hoped to either answers or to like minded women, rather it seems all I find are permanently damaged survivors of this trauma or worse, to my growing dismay, an ever growing horde of folks that seem to have or have recently acquired a gender: fetish/need/desire/wish/expression/choice/genetic predisposition/phylia/aberration/dream/modality/performance/voices from on high/voices from my dog/etc.etc.etc... that has caused them to shun and or flaunt some part of social convention and to dress or act in some manner usually associated with the opposite sex from that to which they were born! Which acroding to them makes us j u s t t h e s a m e!

Not that they ARE or god forbid would even want to be that sex like me! What manner of insult is that! To be a woman! Hurumph! No, they just don't want to do_______, or be associated with ______, or to wear_______ or, they they... oh what the heck! Fill in the damn blanks any way you want cause odds are, there is going to be some nut bag out there for which it's true no matter what inanity you choose to write! but they are still just like me ya know!

Sadly, it seems that the further I go, the more things that are set right in my life and the more normal and, gasp, binary it becomes. The fewer answers I find and the less the likelihood of meeting any sort of kindred spirit becomes, while the apparent likelihood of meeting emotional sucubi seems to increase exponentially and daily! None of which in anyway seems at all related to me, or to who I am, or the way that I live my life, and it certainly doesn't add one iota of the value!

So why am I here? You tell me, cause frankly, I'm stumped and getting more stumped by the day!

Elizabeth said...

@Cassandra

It does give me pause at times. Because I disagree with someone does not mean I hate them. I am not immune to doing and saying dumb things and I do try to be honest if I feel I have been wrong.

But I am also smart enough not to be too public. I was offered the chance to write for one of the big blogs but am still undecided because I value my privacy.

I use a server service in NC and remote desktop into a setup where I have an image and use that for email and connections and several other people I know do this. I highly recommend it. It is available in many places and isn't that expensive. I was involved in the business so the one I use for myself and several friends is a friend. It doubles my internet fees but pays for itself.

June is unfortunately why I do it this way because some of us are a little unstable after surgery for whatever reasons and trust is a two way street as they say.

I am still trying to figure out why she was mad at this post because I was talking about me and the simple fact I don't understand why everything is so random and unfair at times.

I am Welsh so I am not immune to retaliation when attacked. I would prefer it not be that way but regardless of how mad I was at someone I would never expose their private information as I would not want pictures of Aria if they hurt her because I honestly have no interest in hurting her.

I sometimes think I never should have retired.

Elizabeth said...

@Anne,

This is June's dust up and I have no idea why she had this issue with this post since it has nothing to do with her. It is her problem and then she implies about emails and she has my permission to post them.

She can post or she can go away it is up to her but she does not want or need her past brought up because she is the one that has serious issues from her past.

I figured out a long time ago I did the best I could with what I was dealt in life and I am not ashamed of my past and to be honest when I look at the bad times and there were plenty and the good times and there were plenty life has been good which is cool.

I write about it because I am continually amazed and amused by life since it is just so arbitrary and random. I had one neighbor Oscar in NYC when I moved there and he changes my life and brings wonderful friends into it I could never have imagined because he was a friend.

There are times I think I should stop blogging but it will not be because of the June's of the world.

nobody said...
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nobody said...

Not worth the time spent

Elizabeth said...

UGH I need to keep up with your blog better. I always miss the good stuff!!!!

As you should of figured I can 100% relate to how you feel about things. I was never one to really research into all the different opinions by this doctor or that doctor or even read up on the different classes and labels of t-girls simply because it never mattered to me. I knew what I was and that was that. But reading this for some reason has made me think again about the transition I had before my TRANSition. I never knew of gender identity, transgender, transexual, drag, or anything. I just knew that I liked what the girls liked and that I was more of one of them then I was ever one of the boys. Being that I had gay men in my family, for some reason I got it put in my head that all gay men wanted to be and felt like girls. When I "came out" and started hanging with the gay boys, I didn't ever really feel like one of them as I did with my friends in school who were all girls. Then I started drag and well, it was very short lived because most gay men are more women than drag queens and I didn't fit in there either. I always knew in the back of my head that I was going to transition from the minute I knew that I could but I was in denial for a while. Alas here I am. I owe a lot of my education to terms like "transgender", "tranny", "ts", blah blah blah, but when it comes down to it I hardly relate to most of the t-girls I meet either.

Bottom line...it doesn't matter what any of these labels mean. All that matters is that you truely know who you are and you do your best to not hurt anyone or yourself in the process.

I wish I could have read what that June person wrote but I can pretty much guesstimate that it fell along the lines of this horrid addiction to competition in the t-community over who is "the true" transexual. I don't think it is something to even care about.

Love you mama.

The other Elizabeth
www.omgitsatranny.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

You know Elizabeth omygoditsatranny I find it significant that the people who generally don't care are not transsexual. Actually I think it rather important that people get treated for the right condition, don't you?

cassandraspeaks

Elizabeth said...

Oh I absolutely think it is important to not be "misdiagnosed" by an actual doctor for any condition, but I nor any other t-girl out there has the right to say who is and who isn't unless they are a doctors themselves. There is too much stone throwing in this community which is why I tend to not get involved too much.

Clarify for me what you mean about the "people who generally don't care". You mean about labels and classes and such? If so, I can assure you that I am a transexual and yes...those types of things really don't matter to me. Call me what you want but I am a woman first, and a transexual second and I am ok with that. It is my personal opinion that I do not need validation by being put into a certain class of transexual is all I meant by that.

Anonymous said...

Ok, look Elizabeth I am not in the mood to pick a fight with anyone and my comment did not have a hidden agenda aimed at any one person in particular. Talking about these issues seems to mean walking around on eggshells for some reason.
The intention behind my comment is simply that I am at the end of my patience with transvestites who think they are transsexual because they like to wear a dress at the weekend. I’m at the end of my patience with politically correct advocates who seek to go along with them because they don’t want to offend. I’m also at the end of my patience with campaigners whose personal agendas damage the ability of those of us who seek a regular life to achieve that goal. There are a great many very public figures whose speeches and writings they claim to be in the name and in support of transsexuals whose words and attitudes make my flesh crawl and I know I am not alone. They don’t speak for me and I wish they wouldn’t claim that they do.
As for qualifications to make clinical diagnosis, I assure you I am well in a position to do so. However I wouldn’t do that solely on the basis of what someone writes on the internet. However, attitude speaks volumes.
Cassandraspeaks

Elizabeth said...

Everyone can be fooled including Harry Benjamin. Renee Richards was one of his last patients in the 70's and was this professional tennis player of little note as a man and then of little note other than being transsexual as a female professional.

She wrote two autobiographies which is weird in itself but in her second she expressed regret about her surgery. If someone deceives themselves enough and can believe their own illusions then they can fool even Harry and that was not easy but Harry always felt it was better for one more to get surgery than one less because it is after all our choice.

I always look on the positive side because unless they stored sperm, a disgusting thought from my point of view, then at least they cannot procreate.

Anonymous said...

I understand your point.
Way back when I was doing my RLT (9 months of pure hell which my Doctor mercifully cut short) I knew a girl whom this shrink used to trot out at conferences and lectures as an example of a type VI Primary transsexual. Everyone was fully convinced of her bona fide and she looked stunning. Everyone including me and her shrink were jaw dropping stunned when she refused surgery because she got "too much pleasure from sex as a male." Yes, it's easy to be fooled. But that shouldn't mean a condition is not defined.

Elizabeth said...

Type VI has been blurred for years by everyone from the HBS crowd to many shrinks.

First off the simple fact she allowed herself to be paraded out in public as Type VI example should have been warning sign #1. The second question would be was she having sex with men or women? If it was women that is red flag #2.

The shrink was a complete and total fool if he fell for her act because if she was not begging for him to approve surgery every time they met then she was not Type VI. I would blame the shrink for being a fool but that is too easy.

Conditions are defined but few actually understand what is what and fewer understand the blurring of lines.

Anonymous said...

With the benefit of a great deal more experience and knowledge gained since that time Elizabeth I agree with you. For the record the lectures and conferences were very private medical events and not that public but still I take your point. Should have been a warning bell.

Your point about the shrink being a fool. Quite possibly he was, I didn't know him well and neither am I privy to what she told him in the privacy of his consulting room. As far as I knew at the time the girl in question was having sex with men but liked to be "active" on occasions. *shudder* Harry Benjamin was aware of "blurred lines" My recollection of his book he was urging greater research to be done. I just get the impression much of the research done since Harry's time has been by the wrong people on the wrong people and drawn wrong conclusions by and large.

I don't profess to have all the answers myself and one of the reasons I'm still around these issues is perhaps I too am looking for them.

Regards HBS; it was a great idea but was poorly managed and presented and although I once supported it as a concept I no longer regard it as having any value. Far too much hate is put out in it's name and has therefore lost credibility.

Elizabeth said...

Oh My. I hope you don't think I was picking a fight. I was just asking a question. I totally understand how you feel about people who claim to be TS when they are obviously going through some sort of crisis and are in need of attention. I think sometimes though that people look at girls who are just not as "passable" and throw them into that category and it is sad. I also agree that you can't judge anyone based on what they post on the internet. But you shouldn't let what other people think of themselves effect you. They wanna call themselves TS then so be it. Just makes it easier for me to blend in the way I want to lol.