Tuesday, June 7, 2011


When I started my transgender journey many years ago I thought I was transitioning from male to female. There was a clear destination to the journey: womanhood. 

Through years of hormones and electrolysis, "real life experience," and, finally, Gender "Reassignment" Surgery (GRS), I doggedly clung to the goal of becoming a "real" woman. I'd heard other "transsexuals" speak of being reborn, going so far as to abandon their original birth dates in preference for their day upon the operating table. The long-term effects of hormones, the self affirmation of RLE, and the skill of the surgeon made it seem as if the objective was possible. 

Still something inside me could not reconcile the facts of the matter. I innately realized that longing is not being, and no matter how hard we try we can't always become what we so fervently wish to be. Despite all the time, energy, money and pain invested in the pursuit of this objective, acknowledging that the dream would never completely come true, was unexpectedly relieving. Coming to terms with this reality enabled a whole self integration. Dispelling an untruth allowed for a much cleaner, healthier view of self and world.

So I don't claim to be a woman. I'm a transwoman, infused with feminine psychic energy and now the proud owner of reconfigured female acoutrements, yet still rooted in male biology. My XY chromosomes are still there. My cultural experience, from boyhood through four decades of male privilege cannot be erased. Sure, if I could snap my fingers and be born again, I'll try it as a full-fledged female, but since that's not in the cards, I must accept the blend of masculine and feminine thoughts and feelings that define me, and affirm the sacredness of that reality.  

I am a gender explorer, a traveler across the great divide. It's a rare privilege and perspective. Why should I deny such a special characteristic in favor of a figment, however appealing. I'm better off grounded and balanced in me, rather than in fiction.

So it's better for me to face up to reality and acknowledge and appreciate that I am not man, I am not woman, I am transwoman, meaning a female-like individual who has emerged from maleness. This is amazingly healing for me. 

Yet this identity is also better for others. Most cis-gendered people, those who enjoy perfect congruity of biological sex and gender identity, cannot fathom the mindset of those who would change their sex, and inherently doubt that such a thing is possible, though some are kind enough to play along with the charade to some extent. They're actually correct. You can't change your sex. But you can change your gender, if you want to. That's been going on for thousands of years. The "transgender" people of today are the "eunuchs" of antiquity, the volunteer eunuchs anyway. It was easy enough for cultures back then to assimilate eunuchs; they were cool people, versatile, creative, non-threatening, not so very different from we modern transgender people.

It seems we could go a lot further and faster toward assimilation if we self-identify as something that is at once more accurate for ourselves and palatable for cis-gendered people. I never felt comfortable telling a woman that I am a woman. It just didn''t fly in my mind, much less theirs. It's an insult to their experience, as well as a wild conflation of my historicity and physicality. But when the term transwoman is substituted for woman the effect is very different. Now I'm on solid intellectual ground, and they are offered the opportunity to open to a new possibility that doesn't impinge upon their identity. So the term "trans" becomes a portal to acceptance. 

Giving up the dream of ever becoming a woman, I am free to be a real transwoman. No denial or delusion is required. I don't have to hide or devalue my history. I don't have to twist myself into a theoretical pretzel. It's not what I originally envisioned, but now I believe I have found the pathway that I was born for.

Annie R.


  1. As a genderqueer person, I came to the same conclusion recently. I could not find a good reason to give up being a fake man to become a fake woman. I have to be whatever it is I am and live a life not defined by labels. Freedom is cool.

  2. Beautifully said. I agree completely - I am male, but my experiences of coming into manhood are and always will be completely different to someone who was born with XY chromosomes, no matter what I do. I cannot hide or change my history - to do so and deny my experiences would be very unhealthy and dishonest. I like my former therapist's definition of who I am - "you're absolutely male, it's just that your definition of male is much broader than most" ;)

  3. You are a coward... show all our comments you stupid male pig... You should have never had srs you fucking jerk.

  4. Monsters like you who want to hurt everyone else just so you don't feel like the stupid male you are should either bite a bullet or put a rope around your neck and swing. Creeps like you want to set TS's back 20 years. You are soooo stupid.

  5. I hope you realize regretting the surgery you invested so much time getting is insane. It shows that at the very least you did zero research and thought you could be changed into a woman. as many cross dressing men do. But Mr. Annie your lack of caution has nothing to do with who TS's are. This is because you are clearly not a TS. You're just anther gay cross dressing male who went way to far and now you want to whine TS needs to be phased out. Boo fucking whaaa.. The only thing that needs to be phased out is access to HRT for guys like you who don't have your heads screwed on right. Also The fact you keep deleting comments and are afraid to post ones like this clearly means everything in your agenda is 100% bullshit and from your sick twisted mind. Dude I'm willing to bet if you don't get help soon you will end up on the remembering our dead page.. That's a fuckin crime because you are simply not one of us.You make us look bad mister!

    I'll be posting this on my TS Equality site so the world can see how much of a coward and full of shit you are.

  6. Coletta -- what a charming person you seem to be. I've noticed on other pages your vitriol and propensity for mud-slinging and name-calling. Please comment here more often so my visitors can see the quality of the mental state of the "separatists." And thank you for the slurs... they are just precious. Please bring more when you can think of them. I sense you are just getting warmed up.

    FYI: I've never deleted ANY posts.

    I am thrilled with my transition and surgery. Thanks for your concern.

    "Creeps" like me have helped advance the TRANSGENDER cause, and no one has benefitted more from this combined effort than the "transsexuals," who now have an easier time accessing GRS, getting their name changed, getting their birth certificates change, getting their Social Security and passports changed, getting insurance that will pay for transition, and have civil rights in 15 states and counting. Yes, that "transgender dictatorship" is really trying to erase you.