Love the name, kimberlyann. Please embrace your own advice and that best part of you. You seem very loving and she needs you. Being intersex rather than transgender, I believe in different shades of femaleness and maleness, a continuum or spectrum rather than identity or even physicality always being binary. Your inner femaleness sounds particularly strong, heartfelt, and precious, always there as you or a big part of you. It's not too late, but whether a full transition or not, she seems thirsty for others to know and love her for who she is.
when i went shopping a while back with my androgynous ex-girlfriend/fashion consultant, she chose very slim/tight fitting buffalo jeans with spandex for me after i tried on several different ones. the pockets have just enough room for keys and wallet but the keys are a little uncomfortable. the jeans seem very androgynous in style to me, but most people think in binary gender terms and allow little leeway in male clothes so anything not definitely masculine seems feminine to them.
Chrissy, such a thoughtful, insightful, and well written piece. I love the phrase, "... I had transitioned to become a woman (physically) and now it was time to see what I wanted to do with my life as a woman." As you know, your parents may have also suffered from emotional neglect and continued the cycle since that would make it perfectly normal for them, without much awareness of any other way. I'm sure, though, that there were other issues. Of course, it's true that they could have done their best and still not met your needs, but that's more of a cliché or platitude than something with a lot of substance - there so much more to it. The incredible thing is that you are going way beyond that and finding ways to give yourself that attention, discover your needs, and take care of yourself in ways that your parents probably never dreamed.
Kristin Beck, highly decorated retired navy seal and transgender, comes out strongly against the military transgender ban. http://www.tmz.com/2017/07/26/ex-navy-seal-kristin-beck-donald-trump-ban-transgender-military/
The premise for such mutilation in early life is based on outdated assumptions and discredited information from the 1950s. Let's hope the AMA opposes its continuation and that it ends in this country and worldwide.
Emma, that is so sweet and considerate to check, but I felt your warmth and friendliness very much came through and chrissy's too. I appreciate the interesting and heartfelt discussion and look forward to more.
Additional information on the use and history of the term, "gay agenda" or "homosexual agenda," which was "introduced by sectors of the Christian right (primarily in the United States) as a disparaging way to describe the advocacy of cultural acceptance and normalization of non-heterosexual orientations and relationships." The last paragraph notes, "the term is sometimes used satirically as a counterfoil by people who would normally find this term offensive." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexual_agenda
Emma, thank you so much for posting the link to that excellent piece. I too was initially startled to see both those words in the title, "gay" and "agenda." The title seemed like such an unexpected misnomer when the text of the article was so well written and the word "gay" is not a common umbrella term for the entire LGBTX/LGBTQ community. However, it turns out that some sectors of the Christian far political right, especially in Texas, use the word "gay" exactly that way. They consider anything contrary to cis heterosexual marriage an abomination and part of the overall gay agenda. It's apparently all "gay" to them because any further specific or types just seem like mumbo jumbo. It may also be more effective to name your enemy or political rival with one simple word that everyone understands and has already formed an opinion about. The title is well crafted in response to their use of the terms and not at all the mistake in wording that it first appeared. However, the confusion and controversy here suggests that the author should have taken a few words to explain the title.
Chrissy, happy almost birthday – you have so much to celebrate! I have a few comments about the effects of your transgender status on finding a man. One is that there are always aspects of all kinds that others find unattractive or attractive to different degrees. Even though transgender is a big one, it is still only one of many and you obviously have so many wonderful qualities, such as being smart, articulate, warm, caring, and sensitive to others. While transgender may deter some men, most of them are probably not the type you want anyway. Conversely, someone who sees you for who you really are is more apt to be the kind of person you like and are compatible with too.
I’m so sorry that you are in that position with your sister, which I described before as something along the lines of her terrible loss and limitation. Unfortunately, family members are often the last to fully accept you in all kinds of ways, especially when it comes to changes. Their image of you is rooted far back. Since the core of it forms in childhood, it is often difficult and slow, at best, for them to see you in any other way. Families should come with a warning label with a long list of side-effects, interactions, risks, and unforeseen effects.
Good luck in this next year of being more you than ever.
That's happened to me too with being androgynous and with intersex disclosure. Sometimes it involves pressure from family or friends, but sometimes through their own insecurity about what their family or friends will think about them. They fear that their gender status or general social status will be questioned or compromised. A girlfriend that was particularly drawn to my female aspects loved that we could be secret lesbians except to close friends that we knew would accept us. She had been occasionally attracted to other women but was too afraid about what others would think to become sexually involved with them.
Emma, that sounds like fun, the hairstyle hunt. I also appreciate your post, Monica, since I had no idea that one out of three cisgender women wear wigs or hair pieces and that seems freeing in case I ever want to try it.
Emma, I can't wait to see it and whether you go pixie or try something else. A tremendously talented hair stylist might know what is best for you, but I have found them exceptionally rare so you would probably know best what works as well as the kind of look you want.
Most religions include both gods and goddesses. It is only in monotheism where the question even arises whether god (singular) is female or male. However, even Christianity and Judaism speak of angels that are female. Since angels are supernatural beings, it is perhaps only a matter of semantics to say they are somehow not deities or gods. There are also androgynous gods, such as the hindu ardhanarishvara, a composite of shiva (one of the main hindu gods) and his consort, parvati. Many other hindu deities change gender or have opposite gender forms. The original Hebrew word for Adam is androgynous or gender neutral and Eve was fashioned from Adam's rib or "zela," which often means a component, suggesting that Adam contained both genders before the differentiation of Eve. Perhaps the bigger question, especially in monotheism, is why god even has gender if god is supposed to be a non-biological entity or spirit. Maybe that's because gods are made in man's image (I mean maybe that's because gods and goddesses are made in humans' images).
Chrissy, congratulations on your hair independence now that you are free to wear your own hair or a wig. I just want to tell you how much I understand the importance of hair to your gender identity and overall sense of self, appearance, and social persona. That has always been an issue with me, beginning in middle childhood when my desire for long hair became a terrible battleground for me with my parents. That made me hypersensitive about it for life. You portrayed your hair unveiling so vividly and I could totally see myself going through a similar thing if I were you or in similar circumstances. I've rarely been entirely happy with how my hair looks and it being as androgynous as I want it to be rather than too male or too female looking. I also have a so far unfulfilled desire for feathers in it, especially ever since I saw Steven Tyler with them years ago on American Idol.
There are few things that I despise more than that kind of simple minded, binary, intolerant thinking. However, attacks on free speech constitute one of them. Responding to words with violence is not the way to win people's hearts and minds. Truth be told, it makes us look silly and weak. We must take strong measures to protect ourselves from threats in any form, whether verbal, legislative, or physical. However, it is counterproductive and a losing game to start fights over words. We need to treat others with respect or at least tolerance, no matter how strongly we disagree with them, if we ever hope to receive mainstream respect and acceptance. That said, news has become so politicized that it has become difficult to distinguish between responsible/neutral news reporting, opinion, propaganda, and even outright fabrication. It is truly despicable, dirty tactics if someone made up the story about transgender "activists" attacking a "pro-family" bus to make us look bad or achieve some political gain. Accordingly, it would be the height of folly to then play into their hands by making it come true.
According to DSM-5, gender dysphoria "refers to the distress that may accompany the incongruence between one's experienced or expressed gender and one's assigned gender... It focuses on dysphoria as the clinical problem, not identity per se." This takes into account that gender is a sense of self or identity based on multiple factors and experiences, not just anatomy, and allows for different degrees, types, and ways of adapting to and expressing this incongruence. It is not automatically a pathology. Since the diagnosis of gender dysphoria recognizes the great distress that can arise from this issue, however, it can still form the basis for treatment, insurance reimbursement, and even disability. Transgender status was never a protected class under Title VII, so this is not altered by the diagnostic change from gender identity disorder to gender dysphoria. As the article and previous post mention, the lawsuit is based on its more general sex discrimination provisions and therefore may "expand civil rights for transgender people just a little." It's about time!
Of all the things in the world to be upset and offended by. Sad for you but pathetic for them. Yeah, maybe weak minded or insecure along with narrow-minded and perhaps judgmental. Emma has a good point, though, that it might turn into something of an opportunity to inform and educate others. Some people really do not understand how someone can be a different gender than the anatomically assigned one or can be both male and female genders. However, they can often come to have some acceptance and understanding with more information or personal contact rather than it just being an unfamiliar, abstract, and maybe even absurd idea.
I am so glad that you and Nikki accept, understand, and support each other so strongly and are always finding ways to grow together and make things better, more in keeping with what you like and who you are. That is mainly where you find your peace and belonging, plus maybe also with a few close friends rather than with family and people in general. Many are set in their narrow, binary ways and still have their own limitations and prejudices or judgments no matter how much they consider themselves unique, unconventional, or enlightened. I feel that Nikki shows an exceptional degree of self-awareness, honesty, courage, and bravery by accepting and exploring varying and multiple gender states. Too bad it’s like gender heresy to some.
Karen, read a little of your blog and wish I could train with you and had those speedy curves to play on with my own very fast, nimble little car. You seem to excel and test the limits in everything you do by design and with control. I am in awe of your self-defense skills and teaching experience. That must also help keep you in a state of readiness by demonstrating tactics and responses necessary in times of condition red. The more ingrained or overlearned the better in case of a real-life situation. It is also great that you have the capability to scale way up for students willing and able to go beyond the basics into more advanced self-defenses methods and firearms. I love that you carried forward these skills and interests into your transition and the lgbtx community since they are often gender-typed as masculine, although that is a ridiculous, narrow-minded stereotype. They make you even more attractive as a woman.
Karen, I have great admiration for your self-defense skills and willingness to share them. It not only benefits your students but the entire lgbtx community by helping to change the stereotype of us as easy targets and make others think twice about trying to bully or hurt us. By the same token, Emma, your friend not just protected himself on those occasions but may have stopped them from going on to victimize others. Bullies rarely pick a fair fight. They choose what they believe is a sure thing and avoid what they consider a risk. They often have a keen sense of others' vulnerability. It is key for everyone to know their capabilities and limitations. For example, carrying a gun can be a life-saver for some, but place others in greater danger. Some can become experts in martial arts, but most are better off with the kind of class Karen offers. Of course, self-defense means not just fending off attackers but learning ways to minimize risk and escape or gain assistance in a bad situation (such as sounding a loud whistle and not getting coerced into a secondary location). Thank you again, Karen.
A great time for us on both sides of the Atlantic and all ponds to celebrate our independence from the rules, limitations, and shackles of anatomical and binary gender determination. Viva la gender revolucion. fireworks in all colors.