changeling times

trials and tribulations of eclectic chicken

mental bimblings on a trans theme. May 31, 2012

Filed under: trans stuff — eclectic chicken @ 9:07 pm
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Now first off a disclaimer…. this is me having a mental bimble and writing it down. Thas’all….

I was thinking today about how many trans people claim that having the wrong gender brain is a ‘sign’ of their transsexuality… on its own it can’t be… many people must not be at one end of the male/female brain spectrum… we just don’t all get dysphoric about it.

Dysphoric… thats key isn’t it?…. like many things that make it into the big book of mental disorders… its ok to be something as long as it doesn’t interfere with your life… whether thats non-normative gender…non-normative sexualities… none normative ways of thinking…blahdy blahdy blah.

Soooo…is it possible to be transsexual but not dysphoric?

But you need to be dysphoric to be treated as a transsexual?

These are just questions…  I’m not giving answers…I’m thinking out loud (tippety tappety tippety…etc).

There must be transsexuals who transition who therefore are body/gender dysphoric but have the ‘right’ brain gender for which they were declared at birth.

There seem to be a lot of MtoF transsexual people who seem very male brained…. this links nicely with the theory that a lot of people on the transsexual end of the trans spectrum are also on the autistic spectrum.

Autism is said, by some, to be extreme male brainedness. (the opposite of which of course is extreme female brainedness which would be er…. hmmm… neurotic – but we don’t tend to talk about that any more… not since they stopped doctors giving women orgasms to cure it) [what was wrong with that anyway? sounds like fun]…

I digress… but in a mental bimble thats okay.

So we have mental dysphoria…we have body dysphoria… some people no doubt have just all round dysphoria.

The point i was getting to in my own mind is maybe transsexuality could be a syndrome… a syndrome as any fule nos is not a real medical thing at all… its a collection of symptoms. A bit like an ‘eye spy’ book… if you tick enough boxes the Big Chief sends you a certificate of syndrome.

People are very fond of syndromes nowadays… it fits in with out ‘everyone can be a victim’ mentality. I personally have ‘grumpy old cynic’ syndrome. The symptoms are many… sufferers legion.

This idea seems so obvious i can’t believe nobody thought of it…so I googled transsexual and syndrome and came up with  the ‘Harry Benjamin Syndrome’…. as expected this turns out to be contraversial… anything to do with transsexuality turns out to be contraversial…. there are so many ‘different’ ideas and thoughts of what it right and no concept that none of them or all of them maybe…right…or wrong.

…there are those who would throw the entire gender construct away to make themelves feel ‘better’… those who know surgery is the one true way…. those who say there is no true way – but usually those people have strong opinions on what is the wrong way.

I still like the idea of a syndrome… I usually score 50% ish on the how male are you quizzes and 50% ish on the how female are you quizzes..I’m never quite sure where that leaves me. I’m also left handed… a far more common occurance in males (or should that be those who are male brained)?  If you gave me a tick list of  trans ‘symptoms’ I tick lots of boxes, right back to being a kid.

In the months before Jane revealed all to me, a list of tick boxes would have been very helpful.

So if transsexuality hadn’t been nabbed and placed firmly under the skirts of psychiatry.. would it be a syndrome?

Ideally I guess we’d not need a syndrome either if we weren’t so hot on labelling and pigeon-holing people…. maybe it’d be simpler just to let people be what they want to be…. dress how they want… behave how they need….

I suppose that puts me in the throwing the binary out with the bathwater camp…

I guess the moral to this bimble is its easy to think about something too much… to concentrate too much on the ‘why’?

The more you think the more complicated something gets… not clearer…no…no… not clearer.

Acceptance… thats the key… big shiny key. If we all accepted difference would difference disappear up its own jacksie in a puff of smoke… thus negating dysphoria…

… you see?… dangerous ground again… I’m now tottering on the verges of rad fem gender theory and thats a BAD thing… not in the usual trans political us v the rad fems way…. but just i don’t like to be labelled as any sort of feminist. (tick another box for me).

My head hurts… I’ve probably managed to cause offence to all sorts of people who like to find offence wherever they can… blogs are such rich pickings for those whose offense taking is on a semi professional level… if they cross a line do they become officially ‘paranoid’?

I dunno…. its all just words and theory… time for tea and a nice biscuit I think.


Gendered moi? March 12, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — eclectic chicken @ 1:05 pm

I think i’m reaching a personal epiphany.

Maybe i’ve reached it.

The ‘thing’ with Jane is a huge thing to come to terms with and what i’ve found is that it has made, is making, me re-assess so many things in our lives.

One of them being me.

The fact that the topic of the week/month/year  in our house is gender means its constantly at the forefront of mind in a way its never been for me before.

Do you out there <peers into the intermeweb gloom> think about who you are in terms of gender?

I’ve struggled with who i am for most of my life, i have a histoy of depression lite (and post natally dark) that stretches back to puberty. (the solution in our house was to eat more brown bread and marmite…B6/B12 dontcha know)….I’ve under achieved, i have low self esteem etc etc.

And none of it has ever even started to make sense.

Until now.

Within days of Janes coming out i started to self examine myself in gender terms. Its been a running joke, for most of our relationship, how male i can be and my blokiness has mirrored Jane’s transformation…. a reaction…a seeking balance in our relationship.

Thats what i’ve said…thats what it must be.

But…whats puzzled me is this crying lark…they way Janes gender issues upset me SO much whilst i’m totally accepting of them on a personal level.

I think i’ve been scared.

Scared that Janes coming out isn’t ‘causing’ my inner bloke but a catalyst enabling me to find it.

Now wouldn’t that be a neat and tidy story?

Boy meets girl.

Boy becomes girl.

Girl becomes boy

Girl and boy live happily ever after.

After all those who are transexual tend to have partners who are gender atypical. It would in a neat and tidy NHS approved binary transgendered world make total sense.

But life isn’t like that. People aren’t like that. I’m not like that.

As we’ve looked at Janes past, at her formative years as John its been a case of  a diametrically opposed ‘me too’ …..a tomboy….who became a shaven headed dungaree wearing young adult….who became a woman who wore her husbands boxers and went to gents barbers for a short back and sides. A woman who never shaved her legs….never wore make-up….not on feminist principle…far from it…just becuase none of those things made sense.

I’m not body dysphoric, i love being the way i am…..but that said if it changed tomorrow….i’d love that too. If i lost my breasts to cancer i’d be bereft…but then i’d get on and enjoy the enormous benefits of not having them.

I’m not unhappy with my genetalia…they have served me well…they still do…but i can see the attraction of having a cock.

I’d like to be physically male….but i don’t not want to be a woman enough to want to be a man.

I’m not male.

But….I’ve never cracked being female.

If pressed..and Jane did press this this morning and brought some of my thinking to a head….

I’d say i have a male/female cycle..or a more random fluctuation. Best illustrated in the cutting of hair.

Grow it until unhappy..then cut it to be happy ad infinitum when i was younger. It often used to happen towards the end of relationships…long term relationships with men have made me very unhappy…and the cutting off of hair was always symbolic of a new start…a new me.

And then i’d get into another relationship with another man…try to fit into the role of girlfriend and round i’d go again.

I thnk if i try and decide if i’m male or female i think i’ll go mad.

Online tests always tend to show a balance…almost equal in gender terms.

Does that make me both…or neither.

Hopefully once i cogitate a little longer it’ll just make me me…i hope it can lead to a self acceptance i’ve never had before.

I’ll find a way of embracing both genders in a way that doesn’t need the extremes Jane needs to be comfortable in herself.

I thnk my tongue in cheek ‘tweed wearing accidental butch lesbian’ is probably far closer the truth than i ever wanted to admit to anyone….let alone myself.



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