Transness.org

Exploring Gender Identity

The Transgender Journey

on November 4, 2010

The transgender journey is a personal experience.  Even though this is true, this journey has certain patterns or characteristics.  Let’s look at some of the things that are similar with all transgender individuals. 

First of all, we have all realized at some level when we were very young that our bodies somehow seemed “not right”.  Whether we actually understood that our brains are one gender and our physical bodies are another is different for each person. 

There comes a time when we need to experiment with crossdressing, this may last a lifetime or it may be very brief depending on the amount of guilt associated with this action.  I remember my first time crossdressing only lasted a few minutes.  I could feel this was right for me, that I am a woman but the fear and guilt almost killed me! 

Going public with your “secret” is another phase of the journey.  Once again this phase is characterized by fear; it grips you like no horror movie ever could.  Hours are spent getting ready and you go out late at night to lessen the likely hood that you will be seen by someone you know, or that you will be discovered.  Passing is everything!  Once this has been done successfully, and excitement is felt and we get braver and braver. 

Not all transgender realize that there are other transgender people so when they realize this meeting them becomes a high priority.  It is a like attracting like, or Law of Attraction thing.  This phase can occur before or after the coming out phase and will often motivate the individual to come out at least to their friends. 

Coming out takes on all sorts of appearances, so it is hard to explain, the one thing that this phase encompasses is relief.  Once the fear of your secret has been released, life gets much easier!  The coming out usually starts with those closest to the individual and fans out from there.  The relief can be so exciting that the individual comes out to everyone they know in one big blast.  The results of which can be a mixed bag and depend on where the individual is on the journey.  If they have done the inner work to make it all OK within them, then those in their life will be OK with it.  If the guilt still rules their life then, well it can get ugly. 

Once the transgender individual begins the life experience of living full time as the opposite sex, appropriate gender for them, life often takes major turns.  Some loose it all, including jobs, relationships, pushing to the edge of losing their very life.  Others are able to transition on the job, maintain their relationships and thrive!  Once again it comes down to how mature the individual is and if they prepared for the changes.  With proper preparation the journey is deeply Joyous and rewarding. 

The next phase is one of empowerment were advocacy work becomes important.  Helping others is almost a right of passage.  We all do it to some degree.  Some will do it the rest of their lives, although most reach a point where they are happy with their bodies and wish to live an average life.  They have other concerns. 

Some have surgery and some do not, but the point comes when you are just living your new life and all is well just as it is.   The surgery is a high priority to some and to others it is not,  I would say all transgender individuals consider it at some point.  There are health concerns, cost and personal reasons to consider, not to mention sexual orientation.  The surgery can occur at any point after the crossdressing stage, although the later, the better in my opinion.  I say this because this journey is intense and can be very demanding.  The individual’s maturity and inner healing is best done in advance, because surgery is not a cure, but just a part of the process.  Yes, it does help to live the life of the chosen gender, but it is not required.  Sex is a very personal thing and I will say that for the transsexual or transgender individual that intimacy can be a challenge, it has been for me.  I expect surgery to help, but it may in fact make sex less enjoyable.  This is why getting to know yourself is so important.  How do you desire to experience intimacy?  I am a “have your cake and eat it too kinda girl.  😉

Sequoia Elisabeth

Unity in Gender Diversity   NEW eBook on Sex and Sexuality available now

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