For Parents of Gender-Variant Young
For Parents of Gender-Variant Young
Links from Synopsis of Transsexualism
International Links from TranssexualRoadMap
GenderBridge -NZ A Great Site with a Vast Amount of Info.. See their "Resource" section.
Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Counsellors
Hair Removal & Facial Rejuvenation Etc
Queensland Police Service LGBTI Liaison
Australia's Internet Safety Advisory Body
My name is Cynthia Diane Huebscher-Scott, or to be less formal, Cindy Scott. I'm a male to female transsexual. I'm still relatively early in my transition from my biological gender to the gender I identify with. Professionally, I'm a former computer programmer. I had always wanted to be a film maker, and eventually circumstances worked out that I was able to enter that career path. For the past three years, however, my film making knowledge was turned to being a movie critic on the Internet. I guess being able to express myself is why I've taken on the task of try to answer some of the tough questions that parents of transgendered individuals have. I'll do my best to help out here.
<![if !vml]><![endif]>It's funny, but as many times as I've told my story, it never gets easier to explain. Sometimes you find an example that works and you keep it... but trying to put these incredibly intense feelings into words is never easy. Bear with me as I try
Someone asked me, "I still don't get why a person just can't continue to live as a woman in a man's body, or vice versa, and learn to be comfortable in that. " This is probably the hardest thing about the transgendered to get across to another person.
Imagine that you have an itch in the middle of your back. And, not only can you not reach it, but you don't want to scratch it either. The harder you try to ignore it, the worse the itch gets... until every inch of your skin is screaming at you.
<![if !vml]><![endif]>Consider the overweight person who looks into the mirror and says, "I know there's a thin person inside." And then, they try every diet fad that comes along just trying to let that thin person out.
Then there's the person with obsessive-compulsive disorder who, no matter what, just can't stop washing their hands, or stop checking the window and door locks.
Imagine looking into your bathroom mirror, being so totally and completely disgusted with the person being reflected back that you'd do literally anything not to be that person.
Okay? Getting the picture? Let's bring it closer to home and to the closer to the actual situation.
Imagine that no matter what you do or where you go, you don't fit in. You're expect to behave one way but that one way goes absolutely and completely contrary to your very soul. You're expected to appear one way, but that one way makes you physically ill.... I mean, head in the toilet, gut wrenchingly sick. You avoid looking at yourself in mirrors because you're so repulsed by what you see. You can't even stand looking at yourself when you're in the shower!
But, you want to please the ones you love.... you desperately don't want to let them down.... so you try to conform to their expectations, and those of society. You feel that if you don't measure up to their image, they might not love you anymore. So, you try and try.... every day, minute by minute, second by second.
And inside, you're so sick, sad, guilty, and filled with shame because when you listen to your heart, it seems like the entire world says "You're sick.... you're weird.... you're bad.... you're perverted." You see people like you on TV shows and they're the butt of jokes... the comedy relief... the topic of a talk show.
Years pass, pressure builds. Eventually you come to realize that the only way YOU will every be happy, the only way you'll be able to survive, is to be true to what is inside.
That's only a small sample of the inner turmoil that we experience every second of every day.
What's my story? Well, it has three basic components to it; life experience, medical information, and religious faith. Each component is a huge part of the whole, so we'll have to cover all three. I sometimes get worried that people will be put off by something that sounds like a religious testimony. But, in order to truly understand where I am and how I got here, you have to at least hear the "testimony." I hope you'll stay with me through that.
I was born in 1954 as a biological male, named Roger. I came along pretty late in my parent's life. My mother was 42, my Dad 44. I was their third child, but both of my sisters married shortly after I was born, so I basically grew up as an only child. Throughout my life I heard from my parents and sisters how thrilled they were to have a son, a brother; statements that would eventually carry an incredible sting to them. I knew that something was very wrong when I was only four years old, although I did not have the vocabulary to express it.
My mother was an excellent seamstress, in addition to her other creative talents. When my eldest sister had her first child, a girl, my mother began making these beautiful, ornate dresses for the baby. I was completely enchanted with the process and with the final results. One time, after she had finished a particularly wonderful with dress with French blue embroidery on the bodice, I asked her if she could make me something like that. Her response was "Boys don't wear hand made clothes." I didn't say anything, but it was terribly disappointed.
It might sound like the problem began with jealously or a need for my mother's attention. No. My mom did many other wonderful, hand made crafts just for me. I was just completely in love with the look and feel of those dresses. I just longed to actually see myself in something so beautiful.
<![if !vml]><![endif]>When I was about 10, my eldest sister, who now had three girls, bought the house immediately next to ours. I spent so much time with my nieces, who were very close to me in age they seemed more like sisters. I loved playing with them and their "girl" toys; dolls and child versions of household appliances (bear in mind that this is in the mid 1960's). Gender was never an issue with them. Whether or not a boy should be playing with a baby carriage was never an issue. Our time together was truly special.
The downside of that was the feeling that it was making some people unhappy. Out of everyone, my brother-in-law was probably the most upset about my playing with his girls. "Why don't you find some boys to play with," he shouted at me once. Eventually, we'd avoid playing at their house on the weekend, and never after he came home from work.
I did enjoy SOME boy activities. I could play rough and tumble with other sister's boys. I liked watching action TV shows and movies, but then I really wanted to grow up to be a movie director. I had a collection of western six-shooters and rifles, authentic looking WW2 guns, a Man From UNCLE component gun, and even a James Bond Walther PPK. But, those were all props for my make believe movies. Those make believe movies later turned into real movies.
On the other hand, my bed was covered with so many stuffed animals that you couldn't see the bedspread. I had "hand me down" doll clothes, donated covertly by my nieces, that I would put on my Teddy Bears. When GI Joe came out, I was thrilled. My mother saw them in a store when they had just been released and bought me one with several outfits. She was quite taken with their very articulated bodies and got one for herself to use as a model for her drawings. Suddenly it was "okay" to play with dolls!. Eventually, I had nearly as many Joe's as my nieces had Barbie's.
<![if !vml]><![endif]>I watched Roy Rogers, but identified with Dale Evans. I watched The Avengers and identified with Mrs. Peel. I was ecstatic when The Girl From UNCLE arrived. And, I loved Anne Francis as TV detective Honey West. My all time favorite movie was How The West Was Won (in the original Cinerama format) and my favorite character was the feminine but liberated "Lilith" played by Debby Reynolds.
Another movie that made a tremendous impression on me was 1968's "The Impossible Years." A David Niven comedy, the movie deals with a college psych professor who has written many books about raising children. His "professional" views are text book sixties liberalism. However, when it comes to dealing with eldest teenage daughter, his views turn puritanical. Former model turned former wife of auto tycoon John DeLorean, and present day television talk show host Christina Ferrara played the daughter. I think I saw this movie at the theater every day for two or three weeks. I really, really identified with Christina's character and lived vicariously through the character's experiences.
<![if !vml]><![endif]>As part of my theater training, my mother allowed me to enroll in dance classes. It was awkward being the only boy in a studio full of girls, but that quickly faded and I was accepted. My dancing leotard and tights became my first articles of a female wardrobe. I enjoyed the jazz dance classes immensely, and I got pretty good at it. After a few weeks, I even tried ballet.
All the while this was going on, I was praying every night for God to change me... One way or the other. I'd hope, every morning when I woke up, that I'd be different; that the girl would either be gone, or that my body would have changed. I couldn't count the nights I cried myself to sleep over this confusion.... I kept asking God for an answer to why I was like this.
In school, I had only one "boy" friend, but quite a few "girl" friends. The girls I knew always seemed to accept me, my mannerisms, and my interests easier than any males I knew. I was average height for my age, but very slender (I had a 26" waist). Gym class was absolute torture.
The older I got, the more I tried to buck what I was feeling inside. I tried hard to deny it, disown it, submerge it. The results made me unhappy and angry; feelings I wasn't truly aware of till I entered therapy later in life. I decided I needed to try to be more other guys. I got interested in cars and auto racing. I tried to play school sports. When I finally got a steady girl friend, it got serious and deep quickly as I tried to be a "man."
There was always something dragging me back to the girl, though. I was in a little theater company and was fascinated with make-up. I got pretty good at it. Through my mom, I got into the costuming area too. The first show I did with this company was "Camelot" and I was the only male member of the cast who knew how to put on a pair of tights. Eventually, I adopted a "stage" name, Chris. I hated my real name. Eventually, every friend I had knew me only as Chris.
I need to mention that it was around this time that I met my beloved Miriam. We became best friends in high school. She listened to me, talked to me, accepted me without question. Unfortunately, we were both in committed relationships so we never moved any closer romantically... But, I knew from the moment that I met her that I was head over heels in love with her.
<![if !vml]><![endif]>Denial drove me into a pregnancy and marriage at age 17, into the Navy at 19 and the subsequent end of that marriage. After the marriage ended, because I was living alone, I entered into a period of indulging my "problem." I did not know what transsexual was. I assumed that I was gay, or at least bisexual. Then I fell into an accidental homosexual affair; accidental because I didn't go looking for it and I didn't see it coming.
The brother of my ex-wife was also in the Navy, and assigned to a squadron at my base. Each time he came home from a cruise, my ex-wife and I would host a party for him. He and I became friendly. So, because he was stationed where I was, he looked me up. We went out drinking several times. The last time, we had stopped at my trailer on the way back to the base and that's when he seduced me. Yes, it turned out he was gay and had been interested in me for years.
I was drunk, and I went along with it because it felt so nice to be seduced... To be submissive in this manner; to be swept up and carried off. And even today, these moments and feelings are very romantic to me He made me feel feminine and, thinking that these feelings were brought about by the probability of my own homosexuality, I thought this what I was suppose to do.
Well, like a stereotypical guy, after getting me into bed, he became interested only in himself. It was like he forgot that I needed attention too. He had a beard, and when he kissed me, it hurt my face. He was heavy and hairy and as I began to sober up, I discovered that I did not like this. I was completely confused. I feel like a girl. I like girl things. Yet, when presented with a man, I was repulsed.
I thought that it was just that time that turned me off, and I wound up being with him for about a week and a half. By the end, I was coming up any excuse I could think of not to sleep with him. I didn't hate him, but I hated what he was doing to me, how he made me feel. And top of everything else, I was suddenly being crushed with an incredible amount of guilt and fear of discovery. At the end of the week, when he left on another cruise, I went looking for a woman.
Out of fear of what had happened, to keep him from coming back, and to protect myself from the guilt and shame, I quickly rebounded into another marriage. This one lasted 3 years. I specifically recall one episode with this second wife. We were getting ready for bed, and she playfully tried to put her bra on me. Why? I don't know. I guess she thought it would be cute. And, you'd think that would have been heaven, but it scared the hell out of me and I recoiled from her.
Understand that there never was anything sexual about cross-dressing for me; no frilly underwear, gartered stockings, other cliché trappings. Putting on cosmetics, a simple dress or even just a feminine sweater and jeans felt like... Well, it was like when you're trying to dial in a fuzzy radio station and you finally land on the right frequency and the station finally comes in like gangbusters. But, giving in to these "desires" was frightening. I hated to take the makeup off and put the clothes away. But when I did, my God, the anger and shame that washed over me for caving in. I could not understand why I had been cursed like this (and, as far as I knew, no one else in the world had this problem).
Anyway, when that marriage ended, I fell into a short, intense, affairs; constantly struggling to prove I was really a male. Any cross dressing I did was always in paranoid privacy and, despite the feeling that this was the "right" way to be, I was always left with intense guilt and shame. Then it was plop right into another marriage. This one lasted 13 years and brought me my two children.
My relationship with my third wife was always a little "off." She was never a good housekeeper. But, always in the past, I had taken the major responsibility for house cleaning; ever since I left home. I've always really enjoyed that, so it didn't become an issue until my second child was born. At that point, the mother became completely incapable of maintain the house and looking after the kids. It seemed she was barely capable of managing the house while I was at work. So, I'd work my job to earn a living, and come home to be a housewife and mother. I did literally everything except cook. It didn't take long to realize that I was better at being a traditional wife than my wife was.
I should address the subject of my children here briefly. Once I dedicated myself to trying to live a "manly" life, I developed a dislike of children. A lot of it was unhappiness with how I saw many parents raising their children; rude, disrespectful, undisciplined. A real large portion of it was that I knew I'd never be able to get pregnant and experience the miracle of birth. Little children always reminded me of that. When my third wife got pregnant, I had hot and cold feelings about it. Eventually, however, I realized I could "live" the experience through her. I picked her brain for every feeling, every sensation that she underwent. When my daughter was finally born, the feeling was just indescribable.
In the meantime, I had learned about Renee Richards and realized that I wasn't alone with this problem and that there was a solution; a double edged sword if there ever was one. The knowledge that I wasn't alone and that there was a "cure" caused even more confusion and guilt.
Coincidentally, after my first child was born (while I was still in the Navy), I met another transsexual in the base housing development. He/she had come clean to his wife about how he felt, that he wanted/needed to be a woman. And, I had to sit silently and watch as his marriage disintegrated. I had to watch how he suffered at being denied access to his own child. I valued my marriage, and cherished my daughter. I knew in my gut that the same fate would await me if I was honest.
By the beginning of 1988, I was pretty much a basket case. I didn't feel that I was earning as much money as I should (I was a computer programmer), and the children's mother was placing an incredible amount of stress on me. The feeling that I was a better woman than a man was always in my mind. I was getting up in the morning an hour or two before I needed to and staying up after everyone was in bed so that I could cross-dress. Eventually, the outside stresses and internal pressure drove me into a mild nervous breakdown. I collapsed in the bedroom, sobbing uncontrollably while the children's mother comforted me with words like "wimp.... Be a man.... Cry baby." I can't really discuss this period in time because so many memories are very cloudy for me. I've blacked them out, and really only remember what I see in pictures and video.
In mid-1988, I took a better paying job in another city. The change was good and I was able to "maintain." But two years later, I was back in the same position. This time, however, I was discovered. I had been wearing female underwear under male work clothes. It gave me some sense of balance, of blending the girl and the guy into a package that could survive day to day.
But, one night, after I removed my bra in the bathroom, I forgot to pick it up and put it away. Whether I was simply distracted and forgot about it, or had left the bra on the floor as an unconscious way of allowing the children's mother to discover me is open to debate. I was never sure. Later that evening, the children's mother used the bathroom and discovered the bra. When she confronted me with it, she had completely misread the situation. She knew that it wasn't one of hers and was convinced that I was cheating on her. There were things I refused to tell her during the course of our relationship, but I never lied. And, I wasn't about to start now. So, I cleared the air. It was probably because that her greatest fear was I would be unfaithful that she completely accepted that the bra was mine and that I believed I was a transsexual.
However, in hindsight, I think she truly did not understand the concept of transsexual at that point It seems that she thought the problem was that I was a transvestite. She was very slow coming to this realization. But, she was flexible enough to give me her birth control pills. After a week or so of taking the pills, I started feeling positively incredible. In fact, one day I will never forget, I was just completely euphoric. The trouble was, the euphoria hit shortly after I had arrived at work. I had to close my office door to keep my giggles from being overheard.
After a while, my nipples began to swell a bit. Then the children's mother insisted that my genitalia were shrinking. I think that was her imagination, although I did experience some very slight atrophy in my testicles. When the pills ran out, and the disgusting feelings of being male returned, I was completely convinced that I had to have help. For the first time in my life I had felt something close to "normal," and I didn't want to lose it.
I found a therapist in the area, a woman, who had experience with "secrets." It turned out that she had experience with gender issues too. We worked for several weeks, with me unlocking many doors in my past, many more than I have time or space to mention here. Eventually I took the Minnesota Inventory test, and the results came back showing that I was very much oriented as a female.
The children's mother was highly distressed and disapproving now. It should be remembered that at this point in time, to get hormones one had to live full time as a woman, and the end result was intended to be sex reassignment surgery. None of this pleased the children's mother. As the therapy progressed, and my exploration of the feminine me increased, so did her displeasure. At a time when I should have been feeling freedom from years and years of having these emotions bottled up, I was thrown back into a sea of guilt.
I came out to my best friend of twenty-five years, who coincidentally is gay and has been out ever since we became friends. I believed that if anyone would understand and be sympathetic to what I was going through it would be him. I was wrong. He could not accept it. While it did not affect our friendship, I was extremely disappointed. (Eventually, he accompanied me to a TransFamily meeting where he found an understanding. We're fine now. As a matter of fact, I feel that our relationship has gotten better.)
It seemed that the worst case was happening. If I pursued the course that would ease my own pain, suffering, and make me a better person, then I would lose everybody who was important to me. As 1991 dissolved into 1992, I once again entered the war to regain my "manhood;" to once again submerge the woman. I was not willing to sacrifice my family.
I battled hard to go back, and it was agony with every step. I cut my hair back to a normal "man" cut and cried hysterically when I got back into my car. I allowed my mustache to grow back and grew sick to my stomach every morning as I cleaned up for work. I allowed my body hair to grow back, and started closing my eyes in the shower. I angrily threw away every article of clothing that was remotely feminine along with a hard won and expensive set of cosmetics. I tried exceptionally hard not to overdo the macho while constantly watching my body, my voice, and my words to ensure display nothing that could be construed as effeminate. But despite all of the pain of the purge, the damage was already done as far as the children's mother was concerned. For her, there was just no going back.
I lost my job because of politics unrelated to my gender issues, and went into another tailspin of burn out and guilt. I had nothing to fall back on but my faith in God. Prayers were lifted up to relieve me of this curse so I could become a good father and a good husband. After a bit, I felt like I had regained control and eliminated the girl. But, the relationship continued to get worse.
In August of 1992, we were in Orlando, Florida. I had gone there because of the job market. After a week or two of scraping to get by, the children's mother decided to give up and come back north. So, on the night that Hurricane Andrew came smashing into the Florida coast, my family was gone and I was stuck in a church literally screaming at God. It seemed that the louder I yelled and the angrier I got, the worse the storm outside got. My despair was so great that I decided to give up. I set about gathering what I'd need to take my life.
It became a showdown. God called me on my words. He wasn't going to stop me. But, as I reflected back on everything I had suffered through during the past thirteen years, I decided that the children's mother was not worth damning myself. She was gone, that was it. I was here, and I'd find a way to get by, and make a new life for myself. When I was back on my feet enough, I'd transition.
God wasn't through with me yet on this matter, however. And, eventually I can to the realization that I would have to return to Cleveland and try one more time. I was obliged to try and fix the relationship. After five months of intensive effort, however, I had to give up and admit that there was no fixing the relationship. It was then that Miriam came back into my life.
As I mentioned earlier, I had been in love with Miriam in high school. I believed I had done the noble thing and not interfered in the relationship she was in. I went to her wedding, and after I entered the military, we lost touch. I consoled myself in the intervening years that she was with the man she loved and was happy.
Actually, that couldn't have been farther from the truth, with her marriage turning sour on the honeymoon. She threw herself into her job and began climbing the professional ladder. She spent seven years attending Cleveland State University at night, while working full time, earning her Bachelors Degree and graduating at the top of her class. By 1986, her marriage was over and she was single again.
When we got back together, it was magic. It was meant to be. And, one of the first things I did once it appeared that we were bound for a serious, long term relationship, was to tell her about my gender issues. I was prepared for the worst, but instead of being repulsed, she embraced me and accepted me. She told me that she wanted to take care of me! Although we were in the same profession, her present salary was nearly double what I had been earning when I burned out. She encouraged me to pursue my dreams of film making and music.
Miriam and I were married in June of 1993 in a exceptionally romantic ceremony in her apartment. By December of that year, we had bought a house. During this time, the children's mother had been making bad decision after bad decision, methodically destroying her life and endangering the children. I began to realize that the hard times and bad feelings I had lived through were not necessarily all my fault. It wasn't long before custody of the children came back to me.
When the children came home to us, we realized that it was extremely important for me to be home for them. I almost felt like I was living a dream. I was home, doing all of the things I loved and did best; taking care of Miriam, the children, and the house. As time progressed I began to see that, in God's master plan ( for me, for Miriam, for the children), what I thought was a curse was in fact a blessing. Everything I had been fighting in me suddenly became an asset.
Miriam encouraged me to express myself, without regard to a stereotype; it was okay to cry. By 1997, I able to begin exploring my femininity again; this time without guilt. In the autumn of '97, however, I had a life changing experience.
Early in 1993, I had suffered a back injury; a disc in my lower back was "bulging." Physical therapy had managed to keep it together. But, in the summer of 1997, the disc ruptured. Surgery was no longer an option. The doctors put me on a steroid treatment for the injured area, as well as heavy duty pain relievers. I was very frightened by the surgery, but it was completely successful. Unfortunately, the medicines had given me a another problem that wasn't recognized until it was nearly fatal.
In late October, Miriam had to take me to the emergency room. I was extremely weak and pale. I had lost fifteen pounds between the back surgery and the trip to the emergency room, and weighed only 115 lbs. The doctors informed us that I had a bleeding ulcer, and that if I had waited any longer to come in, I probably would have died. In fact, I was really at death's doorstep that night in the ER I was taken to the critical care unit and given over three units of blood.
I spent a week in the C.C.U. I used the time to evaluate my life. This really drove home to me how precious and delicate life really is. On the night Miriam took me to the hospital, I reflected, it would have been so easy to close my eyes and peacefully give up. I really had to fight my way back, back to life. And, I realized that life is just too short for me to torture myself over this gender issue any more. Once I was back home and on the road to recovery, I discussed my feelings with Miriam. To her everlasting credit, she gave me her blessing to pursue my biggest dream.
I started by exploring the hormones issues; effects, side effects. From the Internet, I learned about "phytoestrogens," which are herbs that the body recognizes as estrogen. I originally had to purchase what I needed from the 'net, but eventually discovered that the local GNC Health store carried similar products. The positive results were an improved state of mind and a very slight feminization of my bust. The downside was that it seemed I had to take an incredibly high dose of these herbs to realize any benefit.
After awhile, Miriam and I decided I should find a therapist who could help me to begin hormone therapy. I got exceptionally lucky and found a wonderful therapist very close by who specialized in gender issues. My sessions with her were wonderful. After a few months of sessions, she recommended me to the endocrinologist that she works with. I will note here that some wonderfully loving, heart to heart talks with Miriam enabled me to feel that I did not need the surgery to be "complete." We are so much in love that I would not dream of surgically altering our relationship. When I presented this to the therapist, she agreed; transitioning does not have to end in sex reassignment surgery. I came home feeling validated.
The initial appointment with the endocrinologist had me very nervous and anxious.... not knowing what was going to happen...what to say. Miriam was with me, and sat in the exam room participating in the discussions.
First off, we reviewed my family medical history. We then talked about my history... how long I'd felt this way, my relationship with Miriam, and my goals. I was up front about the fact that, because of my terrific relationship with Miriam, I ruled out surgery. We agreed that everything up to that point was acceptable for us. The doctor made sure we both understood how the hormones would affect me as a male.
Then, he had me change into a hospital gown and gave me a physical.... mainly concentrating on my heart; estrogen can make an existing heart problem worse. He thought he detected a murmur and got me get up for an echocardiogram...just to be sure (results were negative). He also gave me my first breast exam and showed me how to do it for myself.
While I was getting dressed, he wrote me a prescription for 2.5mg Premarin (one twice a day) and told me to come back in a month. Then, I went to the lab where they took several tubes of blood. That was it. Fairly quick and nearly painless . The end of a lifetime's struggle, and the beginning of a new life.
The first thing I noticed that changed was my mental state. As the level of estrogen in my system rose, so did my peace of mind. I slept better, was less prone to get angry, and just in general felt SO much better. This hasn't decreased as time has gone on.
I've suffered with migraine headaches all of my life. Sometimes they come from stress, and others are related to changes in the weather. The first substantial major change that I really noticed was that the headaches stopped. Completely! I haven't had a migraine since April. In fact, I've had only one minor headache since I started the hormones... that one was from a VERY stressful day.
My breasts began developing after about two weeks..... in fact, in those two weeks I doubled the development that a year of taking herbs caused. I also learned the true meaning of "tender breasts." Bumping my nipples right now is as painful as a bump to the groin ever was.
When I returned for the follow up visit, the endo was a bit dissatisfied with my development. He had another blood series run. When the results came back, he upped my dosage of Premarin to 3 times a day. He also prescribed Aldactone (four 25mg tablets, twice a day) which is supposed to help slow down body hair growth and aid in breast development. I'm suppose to see him again in early September for another check of my blood (hormone levels), breast check, blood pressure, and heart.
While exploring the gender issue on the net, I found that new medical research had discovered that there indeed was an absolute difference in the brain of a transgendered person from a "normal" person. The research shows that "the volume of the central subdivision of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BSTc), a brain area that is essential for sexual behaviour, is larger in men than in women. A female-sized BSTc was found in male-to-female transsexuals. The size of the BSTc was not influenced by sex hormones in adulthood and was independent of sexual orientation. Our study is the first to show a female brain structure in genetically male transsexuals and supports the hypothesis that gender identity develops as a result of an interaction between the developing brain and sex hormones."
<![if !vml]><![endif]>"We found no relationship between BSTc size and the sexual orientation of transsexuals, that is, whether they were male-oriented, female-oriented, or both. Furthermore, the size of the BSTc of heterosexual men and homosexual men did not differ, which reinforced the idea that the reduced BSTc size is independent of sexual orientation. In addition, there was no difference in BSTc size between early-onset and late-onset transsexuals, indicating that the decreased size is related to the gender identity alteration per se rather than to the age at which it becomes apparent."
You can read the complete results of the study at the below website. "A sex difference in the human brain and its relation to transsexuality" by J.-N. Zhou, M.A. Hofman, L.J. Gooren and D.F. Swaab.
Although it's presently impossible to verify, the theory for male to female transsexuals, greatly simplified, goes like this: The base sex at conception is female. It takes the Y <![if !vml]><![endif]>chromosome to make the fetus a genetic male. However, somewhere along the 12th week, a slight hormone imbalance can cause the brain to be remain oriented to female.
This brought forth the realization that God really intended me to be this way. All of my early gender influenced play plus a thoughtful mother, a nonsexist father helped to train me to take care of Miriam and my children. I find it so fulfilling to be the "wife." Trying to maintain an even balance of male/female influence for the kids is tough, but I do enjoy this challenge and the rewards.
In the book "Joy For A Woman's Soul," Luci Swindoll writes the following: "Who am I? Me. I'm myself. No other. No duplicate. No clone. God created me, and I'm who He wants me to be. Nothing more. Nothing less. That's true for you, as well.
"The writer of Job says each of us has been uniquely shaped by God's hand. He has formed us exactly. The great I AM made us and shaped us. A blessed thought! I don't have to be anybody but me. And, as I walk with Christ, he's in the process of making me more like himself."<![if !vml]><![endif]>
The more I cherish my femininity as a blessing rather than a curse, the better my situation becomes. I'm still a bit insecure about how well I "pass." As of now, I've only experienced a little change in my hips. But, my breasts have grown to a good AA size. I'm very pleased with that. I've always had soft skin, but now it seems especially so. My complexion has improved tremendously; pores on my face closed and blemishes virtually disappeared. Sexually, I'm still functional but everything takes a lot longer, which isn't a bad thing (blush blush). There has been some significant atrophy of my testicles, but again, it's okay.
But, as I said, the biggest change is in my physical and mental well-being. Honestly, no exaggeration, I have never felt better in my life! I wish I had done this many, many years ago. I mean, just the fact that I'm not plagued by headaches anymore has been a tremendous improvement in my quality of life.
I'd like to take this opportunity to publicly thank my Miriam for making this possible for me. The understanding, support, sympathy, encouragement, and boundless love she has given to me have enabled me to become a complete and happy person...finally. I know it's been difficult, at times, for her to say good-bye to certain aspects of her "Roger." I recall, in particular, her sadly noting that she'd never see me with a mustache again. I know that she struggles on occasion over her own sexual orientation because of this. But, to her endless credit, she has embraced the new qualities of "Cindy" and realizes that inside the body, it's still the same "ME" that loves her always, all ways, and forever.
<![if !vml]><![endif]>As the new millenium begins, I felt I should update the story with a brief look back at the last half of 1999. After the August TransFamily meeting, Miriam and I struck off for that shining city of transgender acceptance, Toronto. What a delightful time that was for us.
As time has passed, my features seem to have softened greatly. It's now to the point where, when I look in the mirror, I can't even see "Roger" anymore. I'm quite pleased with how my figure has filled out. I'm rarely mistaken for a male any more in public. And, quite frankly, I just couldn't be happier.
To conclude, Miriam suggested that I added a few of my observations about being male and then being female.... Mainly because going through puberty a second time has really been an experience. Warning: I will be discussing mature themes below.... Proceed at your own risk.
The biggest thing I noticed was the change that the hormones made in my thought process. Ladies in the audience, please take note. I'm about to give you information that John Gray has no clue about. Men think with their penis. I know for some of you, this is not news. But for Miriam and I, this was positive confirmation.
There is not a minute in the day that a man can forget he has a penis. It's always there, always awake, always sending sensory input to the brain. It's a constant reminder of manhood and sex. It's even there when a man is sleeping.. and he's subconsciously aware it's there. It's erect when he wakes up. It itches during the day and needs to be moved. It'll respond to visual stimuli, even when the man doesn't want it to. And the old "clean the pipes" line.... I don't know about it scientifically or medically, but my experience says it's true. What a man says, what a man does, is completely dictated by the penis.
How can I say this? The hormones have disconnected the direct connect line on mine. I completely forget it's <![if !vml]><![endif]>there. As a matter of fact, the only time in the course of a normal day when I'm aware it's there is when I get dressed (and then it's just a piece of skin) and when nature calls. The only time it affects me on a sexual basis is when Miriam touches it.
<![if !vml]><![endif]>And speaking of sex, I just don't think about it anymore. As a matter of fact, most times I don't think about it until Miriam says something. Sex was never just sex for Miriam and me.. It always was "making love." But now, the need for gratification and satisfaction has been replace with the desire for the intimacy. I still enjoy making love, but it does not mean the same thing that it did before. Satisfaction is important and enjoyable, but it's not right there in the frontal lobe anymore. I've always been sensuous, but now it seems that my skin has been supercharged, which makes intimacy all the more enjoyable.
<![if !vml]><![endif]>Someone asked, the other day on the discussion group, how I could handle being both genders. The first answer is because of Miriam. I'm willing to sacrifice the surgery in order to remain in a lifelong relationship with her. And, since I do prefer females sexually, not having the surgery enables me to continue sexually with Miriam. I mean, really... if I'm not going to be putting anything into it, why do I need it? Right? Why spend the money? I think that part of this is just being practical.
Finally, as I said above, I just don't feel that my male genitals are down there anymore. How often do you notice your breasts? When you put your bra on, when you take your bra off, when you bump them, and when you run. I probably more aware my breasts because they're new. If my genitals were reminding me every second that they were there AFTER being on the hormones, then it might be another story.
Well, that's it. I hope this has been a help. I hope I haven't embarrassed myself too much. If this helps someone else avoid the pain I suffered, the mistakes I made, the time I lost... It's worth it.
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