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Transgender or Gender Dysphoria?

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  • #121222
    Janus
    Participant

    i have a friend who identifies with being gender fluid. my friend doesn’t like gender roles in society that females have to be weak or males have to be strong. there are times when my friend acts as a male b/c my friend feels stronger that way and there are times when she acts as a female b/c she thinks its fun. but my friend classifies as genderless b/c my friend thinks that all people are the same deep down in their souls regardless of gender. i think i agree with my friend, i may also be like my friend being gender fluid. b/c there are times when i act more like a guy or there are times when i am like a girl and i don’t care either way. a person is a person regardless of what gender they are. what matters is the soul inside.

    #121226
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Shirley:

    I hope you do learn from your gender fluid friend. Boys and girls are born the same: pain feels the same and both genders cry the same way. Later boys are told not to cry and girls are allowed to cry, and that is the beginning of social conditioning. Underneath, there is no difference: fear, hurt, anger, sadness, worry… the same.

    anita

    #121370
    Janus
    Participant

    thanks anita, i agree that our society has slightly ‘brainwashed’ different genders to behave a certain way. the stereotype is that men are more likely to be interested in cars and tools while women into fashion and shopping. but i am neither, i like tools and cars, but i’m not really mechanical-minded nor do i care much about fashion or shopping unless it is for food. I am currently reading The Full Spectrum on LGBT and questioning of sexual identity by David Levithan and Billy Merrell which talks about the stories of teens trying to figure out their sexual orientation and coming to terms with it. Two stories stick out personally and they are “It’s Not Confidential, I’ve got Potential” by Eugenides Fico and “Trans-adventures of a F2M” by Alexzander Colin Rasmussen. In the first story, the narrator says that she dresses like a male at times because she hates societal conventions of females. She says that she rarely dresses feminine and during the rare times she does, she is just embracing who she is as a person regardless of gender. Here is a quote that she says that describes me at times “There’s a small dilemma every time I’m in a situation that doesn’t feel safe. My feminine training kicks in, cataloging exits and escape routes. But my masculine enforcement tries to compensate for my lack of confidence by putting more bravado than I can hope to defend.” I remember when I was younger, I enjoyed wearing skirts and running out in nature, but because of societal ideals i tend to have changed. i still like nature, but i wear shorts instead. As she got older, the narrator of the first story says “The problem is that people are too intent to categorize me as a person who enjoys shopping, makeup and boys, simply because I look a certain way.” The second story talks about a narrator who underwent a sex-change from female to male. before she did that she faced a lot of trauma in her life. her father was never really there and her mother abused drugs and she was emotionally neglected. she also saw her father in the rare times he was there beat her mother. i think this was the beginning of the notion, she would be safer as a guy. she and her sister were sent into their grandmother’s care. she heard her sister fight with her grandmother a lot and her grandmother would press on her to be the sensible and perfect one. when she lost her sister, the narrator of the second story was devastated. she didn’t like anything about herself or her life around her grandmother b/c she was expected to be perfect in health and in academics. when she brought home a paper with an A, her grandmother would say “Why not an A+?” all this made her self-esteem feel quite low. i think she also didn’t want to be female after what happened to her sister as well, so she went to the hospital to change herself to ALex instead. now he (changed) is happier and realizes that when people tell him that there is something he can’t do, he’ll be even more perseverant to do it.

    #121380
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Shirley:

    I am going to take out of your post something related to the post I wrote to you on your main thread:

    the grandmother in the story, who said: “Why not an A+?” and demanded perfection-

    Was she perfect, the grandmother, that is?

    Children don’t think to ask the one demanding perfection: are you perfect?

    anita

    #121518
    Janus
    Participant

    thanks anita, i think most people lose their gender identity b/c of stereotypes they are exposed to or harsh criticisms from their family/peers. here is a quote: “it only affects you if you believe what they say, if you don’t believe then it doesn’t matter.” so i think that only you decide what choices and facts you will believe and leave the ones that don’t apply behind. but sometimes it can be hard to find what you believe and what has been instilled in you.

    #121519
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Shirley:

    You wrote: ” sometimes it can be hard to find what you believe and what has been instilled in you”- when you are a child you believe everything your parents tell you. You are not equipped to evaluate, you take it in, and so it is instilled in you. As an adult you can choose what you believe but it is not easy to uproot what was instilled in you, possible but not easy.

    I was told too, like you, that my head is in the clouds, a whole lot. I realized later why it was so- because I was so criticized and bullied on the ground, that I had to find refuge in the clouds…

    anita

    #121763
    Janus
    Participant

    i agree with you anita, i often deal with criticisms so i elevate myself higher into h=the clouds where i just see a white screen and my wings touch the sun. i want to find a way to stop having a war with what my heart feels and what my brain thinks. my heart will say “stop beating yourself down, you’ll be okay!” but my brain will argue “no, you have to learn to do this. you have to do this. you have to be perfect in everyone’s eyes!” i would like to listen to the voice in my heart and find who i am without my mind trying to outdo me.

    #121778
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Shirley’s Brain:
    Telling Shirley: “You have to be perfect in everyone’s eyes” is pressuring her to fail because it is impossible to be perfect in everyone’s eyes. I don’t think there is a single person who thinks that I am perfect. If someone thinks so, he or she is delusional. Shirley too, cannot possibly be perfect. Brain, please, wake up from your delusion and listen to Shirley’s heart who is making more sense than you!

    Dear Shirley’s Heart:
    Please use your gentle, loving nature to point to the brain its faulty thinking. I am a bit impatient with its delusional thinking: perfection? Huh! no such thing!

    anita

    #121855
    XenopusTex
    Participant

    I admit that I kind of get tired of the whole “gender-fluid” concept. There are, and will always be, differences between men and women at both the physiological and psychological levels.

    I know a variety of law enforcement officers. Most of the women carry the smallest frame pistol compatible with the job requirements. Many of them don’t shoot all that well because they probably can’t get a good grip on the “Glock” 2×4 grip of their .45ACP pistols. Of course, they might shoot better with a heavier frame, but, eh… There is also one female officer I know who carries the biggest duty weapon I’ve seen; think it’s a Glock G40 in 10mm Auto. But, she’s also my size, so that has something to do with it. Would hate to be on the receiving end of that… ouchie.

    When I look at all this “gender-fluid” stuff, I can’t help but think that it’s a product of way too much time on one’s hands. Do you cease to be a woman if you enjoy going out and hunting for example? Do I cease to be a man if I’m clothes shopping?

    Enjoy who you are, and stop spending time trying to figure out some classification. People are getting paid money, who knows from where, to come up with all sorts of names for things.

    #121918
    Janus
    Participant

    thanks Xenopus Tex. I feel that it started with insecurity due to gender stereotypes. I hate it when people assume that I like shopping, clothes and jewelry just b/c I look a certain way. People are quick to come up with the words of “tomboy” when they find out that I like to play competitive sports, go fishing, want to learn hunting and go camping. when did the origin of these words come to mean what they are now? ‘tomboy’ used to mean a belligerent boy in the old days. i am still working on trying not to please people and work on being myself, but it can be hard at times. i was raised in my family to be tough no matter what. when i was younger, i remember i played sports but often wore skirts and ran out in nature. as i grew older i began to partake in more competitive sports and began to wear more shorts since it was easier to play sports in them. it didn’t matter to me what gender i was then, i was just myself until i got to middle school where i was bullied, in high school i decided to become a better person and not let the bullies get to me and i spent a process of healing and i was pretty much healed until the summer of my sophomore year when a guy was sexist and saying that women should not play sports or have education to be a scientist, the should be housewives. i didn’t think much of it until something similar happened in junior year. now out in public, all i can think of is my insecurity and thinking that people don’t like me b/c I don’t care about the gender stereotypes. I don’t want to think all men have to be strong and be good at mechanics nor do girls have to be pretty like shopping and clothes b/c i don’t fit either stereotype. i am sick of people telling me how to act to what they feel is appropriate for gender types. as i have gotten older, the relationship with my mom has deteriorated somewhat since i have realized she has different values on how girls should act. she enjoys shopping and jewelry and i realize her personality and mine are total opposites. i have gone from being confident about how i was to someone who just wants to avoid anyone and everyone and hide myself. i still enjoy playing sports, but i don’t wear skirts as often as i used to and i wear shorts instead. i try to hide myself and switch between gender types depending on the situation. there are times when i feel safer pretending to be a male, even have a sense of strength and other times when i enjoy being female. this sense of duality between genders and the constant clash with me struggling against societal gender roles is making me confused on who i am. are my values truly the ones i have or have i been conditioned by society that way? i think i have a personal grudge against being female b/c i don’t want to be like my mom. my mom has a short temper and can be very judgmental of people and i’m the opposite of that. people assume that since i am female, i tend to like similar things like my mom, but i don’t. i tend to be more like my dad in interests esp. when it comes to my science aspect.

    #121999
    Janus
    Participant

    gender stereotypes aren’t really fitting for anyone.

    #122108
    XenopusTex
    Participant

    You are what you are. I am what I am. If you like shooting/hunting, that doesn’t mean you aren’t a woman. I am absolutely terrible at math, my epic badness is legendary at the office… that doesn’t mean I’m not a man.

    It’s interesting to look at the representations of things in different cultures and different time periods. You have the deities: Diana (hunt) and Artemis (hunt). Apart from being represented as the ultimate in human female physique (just like their male counterparts for male physique), that’s certainly not a “feminine” thing. In Japan, girls used to be trained to use the yumi, a large longbow… wanna take a guess at what it was used for?

    I also work with a woman who can’t stand to be around firearms, I work with a male police officer who made his way up the ranks and feels the same way. I work with a woman who loves to grab her .308Winchester and kill “God’s creatures” and put them in her fridge, I work with several men who grab their <insert high-powered rifle here> and do the same. I admit that I don’t know of any women out here who use one of my friend’s preferred “deer” rounds, the old .375H&H Magnum, but there aren’t too many guys who want to shoot that either 🙂 Beautiful gun and a beautiful and versatile round, but *ouch*. Someday, I shall own a nice Finnish made .375H&H Magnum, but that day is not today.

    Here’s a practical safety concern that I have for your beliefs. “There are times when i feel safer pretending to be a male.” One of the most important safety concerns is knowing your limitations and knowing when “going there” is a “Bad Thing”(tm). I am 6’3”, 230 pounds, and frequently carry a weapon ranging from .380ACP to .45ACP and can shoot a pistol to law enforcement qualification standards. You know what… when that little voice in the back of my head says don’t go there, I don’t go there. I am concerned that this feeling of safety may lead you into situations that you probably shouldn’t be in. It’s like those folks who get a concealed carry permit and think that they are invincible… they aren’t.

    #413673
    Janus
    Participant

    wow seven years have passed since I last posted in this forum. My gender journey hasn’t been easy but I feel more clear about myself. Taking time to explore resources over the years, expressing myself as a guy and talking with a gender therapist helped me realize that I felt something that was missing had been found. I realized that I was much happier presenting as a guy, working on letting go of gender stereotypes. I got diagnosed with gender dysphoria in 2018 and gender therapist and counseling has been helping.

    #413713
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Janus:

    I decided to submit my post today here, on this Nov-Dec 2016, 2-page thread, and an identical post in your Dec 2015-current (Jan 2023), 94-page thread. The reason is that the title of this thread includes the word Transgender and the term Gender Dysphoria, which I hope will get the attention of people out there looking for forums on the topic.

    Yesterday, you submitted posts in all of your threads: Lost in Life (Aug 2015), Overcoming Fear and Doubt (Feb 2016), Dreams and Goals (Feb 2016), Gender and Personal Identity (Aug 2016), Transgender or Gender Dysphoria (Nov-Dec 2016) and Too Criticizing of Myself  (Dec 2015- current, Jan 2023, 94 pages).

    In your very first post on tiny buddha, on Aug 14, 2015, you wrote (I will boldface some of  what suggests to me body dysmorphia, gender dysphoria and/ or being a transgender male): “I’m not sure where to go in life. I am a wiccan and aspire to become a reiki healer… I want to enter the medical field… I see insecurities and flaws in my body“. On Aug 15-18, 2015, you wrote on your very first thread: “I think the pain began at the end of fifth grade in June… They said I was too athletic and tomboyish.. In seventh grade..  I also got sexually harassed by a guy”. On Feb 2016, you wrote (in another thread): “I’m not good enough compared to my friends, I’ll never be as skinny or as athletic as them.. I tend to be worried about my weight, my body“.

    Still in Feb 2016, you wrote: “My goals:… stop being so criticizing of myself… I would love to have the confidence to tell the people and the guy that I love how much I care about him. ..the best feeling about being in love with someone is that it makes you appreciate your life..  he means the world to me and I would do anything for him and if I have to let him go I’ll be okay as well”.

    In Aug 2016, you wrote: “Sometimes I question the power of my gender. Sometimes I wonder if it would be easier being a male. My ap world history teacher who is also a psychology teacher says teens experience gender identity issuesI often hide myself with casual clothes b/c I don’t want attention..  I often bury myself in my academic subjects often afraid to even approach the subject of physical relationshipsI find that I am the polar opposite of my family, mostly my mom, and I don’t even want to look like her, which is one of the reasons I sometimes question my gender identity and the thing is, I don’t look like her… I enjoy playing sports and casual clothes while she enjoys buying clothes, shopping, typical feminine things. I also enjoy letting out my anger in creative ways such as dancing or writing, while they often let their anger control them. I am easy to talk to and don’t judge others regardless of whoever they are, while my parents will be a bit judgmental”.

    In Nov 2016, you wrote: “Lately all I feel like is covering up by body and not wanting anyone to see it… Even through the years that I was bullied in seventh and eighth grade, the idea of gender identity never crossed my mind, I was happy to be me. But after I had to quit gymnastics..  in late October.. I’ve been getting the memory of the time in late August after gymnastics practice, when a guy was sexist to me. during the time, he thought I was wearing a leotard to sexually stimulate men… On my junior year at high school.. when the summer of junior year rolled around, I couldn’t wait for it to be winter b/c I kept thinking that I wasn’t safe as a girl, that I needed to change my gender. Towards winter, I thought I would be more comfortable since I was wearing sweatshirts and keeping my body hidden… There are times when I act like a guy and feel much better, but underlying that is still a fear that I’m not safe as a girl… I despise gender roles in society… I think the term ‘tomboy’ is a bit insulting to girls and also the princess complex that girls should be princesses and guys should be superheroes… Before puberty, I often acted like a guy, but I wore skirts and didn’t really care. I wanted to be genderless, neither a guy nor a girl. After I hit puberty, I was okay with it, but I disliked the girls talking about how to make their bodies attract more attention from guys so I didn’t really associate with girls. Also since I liked competitive sports, camping and doing strenuous activities, I had a lot of guy friends… I didn’t really feel much of the social anxiety until march of my junior year… I can focus on myself as a person and other days, I identify with females being weak… Sometimes I see males at school trying to show off their strength and fighting and I realize I don’t want to be like that, neither do I want to be the female who shows off her body wishing her bosom was bigger b/c I don’t care about these things. I would much rather be intelligent than anything else.

    “But my mind keeps thinking that I’m not good enough as a girl. I have a patriarchal family and my mom has an aunt who favors her son more than her daughter… my mom has a bit of a short temper and I don’t like that. I think part of why I hate being female is that my mom is judgmental, pessimistic, temperamental, too materialistic, likes the fancy clothes (which I don’t care about)… I am not like my mom and I don’t even want to look like her. I am compassionate, open-minded… I’m searching for emotional strength as well and I have often thought that being male would help me be stronger, but I feel like the illusion of physical strength isn’t really real strength. There was a while when I thought I was great and confident after working out, but now I work out a lot and I still don’t feel peace with myself. The thing I want most in life is emotional fulfillment, to know myself beneath the labels… to see myself not really in either gender, but as an evolved human being who knows exactly what their soul is. It was also drilled in my mind to not flirt or be involved in sexual activity either… There are questions I wish I knew like how my mom felt when she first held me in her arms”.

    My comments today, Jan 13, 2022 on the above quotes (I did not at all quote you from your longest, 94-page thread): I ended the above collection of quotes with your sentence: “There are questions I wish I knew like how my mom felt when she first held me in her arms” because to me, this is a very, very significant sentence: you were wondering if it meant anything to your mother to hold you for the very first time.. because you never received from her- seems to me- any acceptance, beginning in the very beginning of your life. What you did receive from her (again, this is my understanding, not necessarily the-truth-the-whole-truth-and-nothing-but-the-truth so to speak) is anger and rejection. And so, you rejected her in return, rejecting her as the (traditional) woman that she has been, and rejecting all of traditional womanhood as well.

    You wanted or needed to be the opposite of your mother (“I find that I am the polar opposite of..  my mom, and I don’t even want to look like her“) physically and mentally: to not look like her, to not think like her, to not feel like her, and to not behave like her. Add to this the patriarchal attitude of your traditional family/ society (viewing women as weak and inferior; viewing men as strong and superior), adding to the mix having been sexually harassed in school as a female… no wonder you didn’t want to be a woman.

    I didn’t comment on all the quotes I chose, and I have more thoughts about them. We can talk more, if you want but it is perfectly fine with me if you don’t want to elaborate on anything I mentioned above, I want you to feel comfortable here and everywhere else!

    In your updates to your first 5 out of 6 threads (threads of Aug 2015-Dec 2016), you shared yesterday, Jan 12, 2023, the following (I am re-arranging what you shared, so to fit a chronological order, best I can): in 2018, you were diagnosed with gender dysphoria and attended counseling and therapy with counselors and with a gender therapist, over the years. In 2018, you started a wiccan site with a friend (still operating it). In 2018, and in 2019-2020, you saw a nurse practitioner, nutritionists and counselors, and they helped you come up with workout and meal plans (to combat eating disorders and over-exercising). Starting in 2019, you started to let go of trying to fit gender stereotypes and you joined the Transcendence group at Stockton University, and met some gender non-conforming people. In 2021, you earned a reiki certificate. In the past couple of years, you decided what specific career you want to pursue, and you are pursuing it (“I have decided to pursue biology and environmental science, with a career.. helping with environmental sustainability and resources for NJ fisheries and wildlife”). In 2022 and the start of 2023, being at Stockton, you experienced a lot of growing and healing while pursuing your chosen career.

    I loved having Transcendence group people friends where I could be myself… My gender journey hasn’t been easy but I feel more clear about myself… I realized that I was much happier presenting as a guy, working on letting go of gender stereotypes“.

    – Thank you for all that you shared through the years, including these very uplifting and inspiring updates. CoNgRaTuLaTiOnS for all your amazing achievements!!!

    You are an inspiration and you have a lot of good to offer the world, Janus: one step, one day at a time!

    anita

     

     

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