It is my observation that very few Transgender people choose to speak of their experiences, doubts, hopes or fears. This is so even amongst their peers when they meet, so how will their Significant Others come to terms with the situation? In fact nobody appears to be talking to anyone else about these issues. This is the problem. You dare not mention a discussion group to raise these matters while we are having our normal conversations
Why is this so? I believe that as a general rule males have been raised on the premise that they do not discuss their feelings. They are meant to be men and feelings are something that only females discuss. It might be interesting to interview children who have been raised by a solo female parent to ascertain whether they have a different viewpoint
I tend to place TGs into three categories with the possibility of going from one end of the spectrum to the other, as many do.
1. CDís----who enjoy dressing as and when the opportunity arises. By far the majority of CDís still talk about "boys toys, footy, fishing, etc" and so on, but never discuss their innermost feelings. These range from fear of discovery, how and when to disclose their cross-dressing to their partner, what will happen if they do disclose their dressing to their partner. Loss of Family? Possible loss of job. Having to live alone, where do they go to from here? Some will move on to become transgender.
2. TGís----Some even live in role without their partnerís knowledge. It is usually a question more of their partner knowing and accepting, as many do. If not then it is out the door to a totally new life. To be fully accepted in the community and live as a female, earning oneís living (as a female), for the bills still have to be paid in order to survive.
3. Some may now start to search into their inner most feelings and ask what is the next step. As there is very little likelihood of returning to the family, the question of whether or not to take hormones now arises. Many will go down this road but few will progress to SRS; largely due to cost. Hormones need to be monitored by an Endocrinologist, and preferably not a GP. Balances must be correct and maintained at the appropriate levels. Never abuse the regime, always stick to the prescribed dosage; youíll get there just the same. However, questions are still there:
"Am I satisfied to continue as I am?"
"I am on hormones so should I progress to sexual reassignment surgery? (SRS)".
A few will go all the way, and re-assessment is now a very urgent requirement as living in role on hormones is a very different situation to SRS. Are you mentally attuned for this change, and believe me it is one hell of a big change.
Now is the time for your partner to accept you as TG living in role, if they havenít already. Very few will be prepared to accept you as transsexual and go on living with you so you really do need to seriously consider the consequences.
For a male to female it now means very definitely two women in the house.
You may have lived in role before, but you could perhaps still accommodate your partnerís needs as a male and female. Now she knows that that has gone forever, and the Changeling will be looking to make their own life in a way that they feel is right.
It could be still heterosexual, lesbian, or gay, whatever the Changelingís preference.
If your partner does not accept this final challenge to their life, then you are
well and truly out on your own!
TSís----So you have made the big decision, you are aware of the pitfalls, or are you? Have all the problems with SRS been explained to you? If so by whom, another TS who is honest enough to spell it out blow by blow, or a counsellor (psychiatrist) who has no concept of what you are about to encounter, unless of course they happen to themselves be a transsexual.
Hopefully you are fully aware and mentally ready for this immense change. You may have family and friends to support and guide you on your journey. There is no comparison to TG as now your sex is what you have always hoped it would be. The change is enormous and takes time to come to terms with.
You may hit "Post OP Blues", and wonder what the hell you have done. Have I made the right decision? Why is it that so many succumb to SUICIDE if becoming TS is the panacea for our problems? I believe the figure, pre and post op is 45%, which is appalling, this means to me that being TG was right, SRS was wrong, or the assessment was wrong.
Perhaps you have been pushed from a comfortable support situation into the final phase, by some well meaning, but totally misunderstanding person. Time is not of the essence under these circumstances----time and thought are precious, and so what if you wait another 6 months or 2/3 years, at least the decision you make then will hopefully be the right one. This decision is not just for you, but equally for your partner having taken into account her needs and fears, as it could be the end of your relationship.
I as you are aware am TS, have had the "Post Op Blues". I suffer a monthly cycle, have hot flushes, I am in Puberty and Menopause all at once. Donít believe you cannot suffer these symptoms or others, such as excessive lactation.
You think after SRS everything is going to be fine, no more problems, how wrong----you are just starting on another steep learning curve. My Daughter who is fully supportive still harbours some resentment at her Father now being TS. I have full support from people around me, and many of my Lady friends have been a great help in my coming to terms with now being female. However, always remember you can never ever be 100% female; you do not have the experiences of a female from childhood through to becoming a grandmother, and never will have. You have never experienced a period or being able to talk over womanly problems, or even bigger, been pregnant and given birth.
As I see it, I am between and betwixt, I am not 100% female and although my genes are still XYó100% male, I cannot return to being male. I sometimes feel I am in limbo, but am enjoying what I have achieved and am willing to compensate for things that cannot alter. The road I have chosen has been over a 40 plus period of years, I hardly think that constitutes rushing into it.
Because I donít want people to make mistakes I spell it out as it was for me. I have been told that a few people find me to be intimidating and that makes them feel uncomfortable. This indicates to me that I am touching a raw nerve, but if it makes someone think---great, that is exactly what I intend. I donít want to see any of my friends drop off the tree.
There are those amongst us who are many years down the track after SRS, who still have doubts about what they have done. There are those living in role and waiting for the operation, who should use this time to research further what they are contemplating, not just from their angle, but their partners as well. To rush in because your heart tells you it is the way to go is wrong. Stand back, reassess your situation, has living in role been sufficient, or has it only shown up deficiencies that you had not thought about? Now is the time to really look deep into your innermost self and ask "Is this the right course, not just for me, but for the family?" Be honest with everyone around you, but most of all yourself! After the operation is the wrong time to find out that you have made "One Hell of a Mistake"
In the midst of my "Post OP Blues", I asked Peter Widdowson if he still had my "bits and pieces", I meant it as a joke and hope that is how he accepted it. Since then I have progressed to giving talks to my Church, on ABC radio and a local Rotary club. I am out there telling it as I see it and helping people come to terms with our situation. I believe this is the way to go if we wish to be understood and to achieve our place in society. Love, honour and believe in yourself, it is very powerful. Be honest with yourself and your loved ones. If you do so whatever your personal persuasion you (and with luck your partner) will continue to live happily.
To put my position in perspective, I have helped set up a Support group at Seahorse, insisted on one from day one for Agender Australia and have spoken with other support people in other States. They all agree on one thingóthat to have the use of a TSís experience is very useful as it gives them an insight into problems they may encounter. They think that not using these types of resources is very wrong. This is from the support persons perspective as well as the prospective TSís position. It gives both a very meaningful understanding of what happens, or is about to happen. They now are better equipped to expect what may or will happen because of all the points raised and openly talked over to both sides satisfaction.
If this scenario is wrong, then there is no hope of each side understanding the other.
Both sides have to talk to reach an understanding.
We need more workshops in place so that these sorts of issues can be thrashed out before the event. Afterwards is too LATE!
If this is wrong then I consider that there is no hope, and I for one will give it all away
Kathy Anne Noble
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