Transfigurations – Pages for Transwomen
What it entails to transition from having been assigned male at birth to becoming female
Transwomen were born with male body parts – not as many newspapers would have you believe – that we were born men. Our mothers would have had a very hard time during labour if that had been the case.
The aetiology of transsexuality or transgenderism is still uncertain – although current research is tending to suggest that there are differences between certain parts of the brain of males and females and that trans people tend to have brain similarities with people of who they identify as ie for M2F transwomen, the structure of various parts of the brain is more similar to the brain structures of cis women. It is thought that these small areas of the brain are responsible for how we think about ourselves and how we define our gender. This is true of people who identify as being transgender even if they have not been administered cross-sex hormone therapy.
Many transwomen can trace feeling unhappy about their gender to the age of around 4 or 5 years old (some even before then), whereas for others the feelings of distress about their gender doesn’t strike until puberty. I do know of others who say that they were living quite happily in their birth gender roles until around 40 and then they developed gender dysphoria – but I suspect that this is far less common. All our paths to becoming true to ourselves are different, some will have only slight differences whereas for other people there are very major differences, but this is just like any cis person, we are all unique individuals in our own right.
As more and more has been written about transgender people in the media and transgender people appear on television shows, public education has benefited and so parents are more aware of the tell tale signs of gender dysphoria in their children – and now know what to do to help their child. If a child does have gender dysphoria, then treatment with hormone blockers (see the trans youth pages) can postpone the onset of puberty – which can be tremendously beneficial as to how well that child can adapt to their new gender as they mature into adulthood.
Unfortunately, for many transwomen – especially prior to modern day enlightenment, this was not possible and people grew up with a deep sense of shame about feeling like they did, so they strove hard to fight it. Many transwomen tried to become ultra masculine in an attempt to stifle their inner feelings about who they really were, some joined the armed forces, some took up life endangering pursuits like motor sports, rock climbing, mountaineering etc.
Many transwomen married and had a family – again often to try and reinforce a rigid male pattern on themselves ………………. but to no avail, nobody can ultimately escape the person who we really are and who we were meant to be – except for those that could not live with the shame, hurt, bewilderment, family rejection, loss of home, employment and a myriad of other things and decided to end their existence by taking their own life.
Until only quite recently, the psychiatric profession were the gatekeepers to treatment and unless a person fitted into their rather tunnel visioned way of thinking, treatments were denied to a whole range of transgender people – these would include those that did not fit into the classic definition of a transsexual person. There are other trans people though who do not wish to fit into the gender binary system (i.e. males or females), but perceive themselves as having an overlap of, or indefinite lines between, gender identity and sexual and romantic orientation.
- two or more genders – bi-gender, tri-gender or pan-gender people
- without a gender – non-gender, genderless, a-gender or neutrois
- moving between genders or with a fluctuating gender identity – gender-fluid
- third gender or other-gendered – includes those who do not place a name to their gender
Not everyone who is trans wants to take hormones to change their body shape, not everyone who is trans wants to undergo surgery to radically change their body into who they know themselves to be – and I think that we need to be clear that this is OK as well.
I have told my own story here on this site and I can only really speak of what it was like for me, every other transgender person will have a different story to tell – how things that happened in their past have shaped them into the person that they are today (which is true for just about every person on this planet) and much of what happened in our pasts have shaped our own individual pathways into how we finally came to be our true selves.
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