Last summer, almost exactly a year ago, I started seeing a
therapist to try to get a better understanding of why I was
spending a lot of time crossdressing. The therapy was pretty
effective, and last New Years I began living
full time as a woman. As the months go by, I seem to find
myself less and less able to understand why going full-time
is not the path for everybody. Before I completely lose touch,
I decided to write down some of my thoughts and observations
about this subject. If I offend you or appear to mis-charactize your
choices, I apologize in advance. Please forgive me--I already
told you, I don't understand it! But perhaps my thoughts will
prove useful to a few of you who are trying to sort these things
out for yourselves, even if it only raises some questions you
may not have thought of already.
First and foremost I must assert that my transition is not about being
a "man" or being a "woman". It is about expressing my true self. My
heroes in this regard are
Quentin Crisp, a very effeminate man, and
a full-time clown.
That said, most people find it most comfortable to express ourselves
within the traditional models of "man" and "woman"--however
difficult we find it to define those models!
I have chosen to present myself full-time in the role of "woman."
But I do NOT believe there is a pecking order between transsexuals,
cross-dressers, drag queens, and whatever. There IS a pecking order
between those who are fully and truly expressing themselves, and
those who live in masks for whatever reason. But this heirarchy is not a
moral judgement or a character flaw. It only means that some of us
are further down the road we all travel, toward self-actualization.
(See Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.)
Am I really 100% woman, or am I suppressing my male side? I can't
say for sure. I try not to suppress any positive aspect of my true
self. But I am looking at habits that I've developed, such as
writing long-winded didactic treatises. I ask myself, "Is this a an
aspect of my true self that I wish to nurture, or is it just
something I do because I thought it was what a man should do?" (I
think the didactic treatises thing is okay, but I am trying to write
from a more loving, less argumentative viewpoint.) But I don't know
for sure. I am open to all possibilities. I know that I am nowhere
near the end of my journey. I don't expect--or want--to ever get
there. Life is the journey.
Now, on to you part-timers. That was me for a long time, too, and
not so very long ago.
I see some (few) part-timers who, it seems to me, are very much
expressing their true selves and are living a balanced life
presenting as both male and female. I give you exhibit A:
Charles Anders/Charliegirl. She has fully documented
this phemonena in her wonderful book,
Lazy Crossdresser, which you should go to Amazon and purchase
immediately. (One day I hope to get to know Charlie better.
I'll probably find out that
she's as screwed up as the rest of us, but for now she's my hero!)
Another example, I believe, is my friend Katie, although she is
still struggling with the issue herself. In my opinion, such people
are way down the road of self-actualization, and I see them living
joyously and bringing joy to all those whose lives they touch.
Another group of part-timers are those who are still trying to
figure it all out. That was me for a long time. "Know thyself" is
such great advice, but so very difficult to do. Would that there was
a recipe. Good luck to all the seekers.
Another group of part-timers are those who choose to live both roles
because they own something of value in each, and do not see a way to
integrate them. Huzzahs to these people, I say! It is foolish to
lose family, friends, a good job, or even those joys of manliness
that may be valuable to you, if you don't need to. Maybe you need
to, because the draw to the femme side is just so powerful: you will
experience much pain, but in the end much joy; you have my sympathy
and support. Maybe there is nothing you value on the male side: you
have it easy, go for it; this was my fortunate position. Of those of
you who continue to balance both sides, some of you work it out in a
way that is comfortable for you and your loved ones. Good for you!
Enjoy your life, you are blessed. And don't waste time regretting
what you can't have, for you have plenty to be thankful for. But for
others of you, the balancing act will always be a painful struggle.
You most of all, Tin Man, have my sympathy.
Finally, you may be a part-timer who is "forced" to live
part of your life in a mask. You are un-free. You have no choice.
You would transition if you could, but you simply cannot. You,
dear, also have my sympathy, but I have to tell you this: You are
stuck at the very beginning of the road. You have not taken the
first step. You are still a child, whose world is controlled by
forces you do not understand. Please grow up, dear heart. Become an
adult, or at least a rebellious teen-ager. The truth is this: you
are free to make your own choices in this world. Yes, your choices
have consequences, and you will bear responsibility for the
consequences of your choices. But the choices are there for you to make.
It's your life, and it's the only one you've got. Live it! Live
consciously, live free, and choose joy. If you need help
understanding this, here is a book that helped me a lot:
I Found Freedom in an Unfree World by
Harry Browne. (Yes, THAT
Harry Browne, the
The world is full of joy and love. Please come out and share it.
Every single one of you!