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Saturday, January 7, 2012

An odd perspective

There are a couple of things I take more or less for granted that I suppose I should spell out.
Essentially I see myself as different from the majority of transsexuals in two ways.
The first, and most obvious, is how I came to hormonal transition 'accidently'. It is relatively rare, though fairly sharp late life development of major gender issues does seem a relatively known phenomena. Generally it gets put down to suppression of TS traits, which I suppose helps the psychiatric industry but which I have absolutely no faith in. Having recently discovered the world of captioning and forced feminisation I can understand how stories like mine might seem contrived. Generally I look at myself as someone successfully containing an abnormal amount of female traits within a male shell. I certainly didn't switch from typical male to female, but on the other hand I do believe that I came a very long distance in one night. After all it did take nearly a year of changed hormones before that mental tipping point was reached. Altogether, though, I relate to it as having an odd rather than really distinct history.
Where I do see myself as very different is in regard to my attitude towards my process.I suddenly found myself in a state profoundly different than any I'd known before, whatever the curiously familiar aspects were.
The drive to understand just what these profound changes were and how they've continued to change me, has been paramount throughout. In this way I do see myself as rather different. It is something that arises very much from the concertina-like nature of the transition from non questioningly seeing myself as male to being completely sure of myself as female.
A good example might be my last post on memory. I think most of us in TS transition experience changes in memory performance. But clearly if one is firmly in a process of finally becoming the woman that one was meant to be,a fair part of that can be ascribed in general terms to the withering away of association with the previous male life and the new more vivid reality of life fully lived as a woman.
Or take conversation. Have read a number of times of people finding relief at laying down the burden of macho competitiveness when talking to guys. For me I had huge problems in starting transition and talking with guys because I'd start off in the same way as I had done for many years purely out of habit, and because the guys around me were initially only slowly learning not to treat me like the guy they'd known for years. But very soon in going for those sorts of conversation, I felt almost physically sick. Essentially the testosterone reward of greater alertness that had been a concomitant of those competitive based conversations for years had just gone. And the way I look at that isn't much in terms mainly of my personal journey but more in how certain underlying principles of differentiation that permeate the male day to day self are extremely dependent on neuro-hormonal variables.

Very early on I was talking to an old friend I'd known for about 30 years about my process. One thing I said seemed to resonate with him and has been something of a mantra for myself. It went 'Yay, I'm an experimental subject again'. Am happy to agree that the notion of 'real self' makes great sense in terms of individuals' separate journeys of self understanding. But understanding the ground of gender doesn't come from analysing the train wreck of the previous assigned sex and the vision of another one. It may come, and if one accepts that we're talking about neurology rather than psychiatry I'd say it must come, from the ways in which we journey and can chart our individual routes from the wreck to the new model. However much we know ourselves to be citizens of, say, the country of women we still need to journey to it, through changes that leave no part of us untouched. It's the most profoundly moving experience of our lives. We may never be the most knowledgable of citizens but in that one special journey whereby we view that land from it's borders we have our unique, and uniquely valuable perspective.
That we all do in our various ways but I really do feel that in my circumstances I should try and give as evidential a narrative to my transition as possible. Even though my general health seems surprisingly to have reached a point when it's just possible that GRS could happen, sudden catastrophe like liver cancer is always possible. And though it's altered now there was that other difference between me and others; that I wasn't transitioning to start a new life as much as hoping to be transitioned before I died.

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