Revisiting Bi-gender & The Wall - Big Post, Sorry!
I started up a convo with Bree_K in PMs because of some things she said in her 'I'm not leaving post' below, but I figured I'd expand on it and make it public. There's a crossdresser forum and a transsexual forum, but not a transgender forum (except only to GM), but I think the context for this is more for here.
This is kinda big, so let me see if I can keep the narrative straight. There are a lot of subtopics going on here... (realizing I am TG, Coming out to my mom, getting through barriers, neurology of bigender)...
Last September, I brought up the concept of my Wall. http://www.crossdressers.com/forums/...Hitting-a-wall
I'll get back to that after the label & bigender stuff...
In the past, I've tried coming to terms with labels so that I could feel like I had some direction. Early in my experiences going out, I picked up on the term bigender, but I later rejected it because it seemed too self-serving to the community and it got layered with a lot of pseudo-science and 2-soul animism which just rubbed me (an atheist) the wrong way. I also saw a lot of people saying "Me too!" which made me afraid I was emulating the defintions (because they were or it was a trendy new term) so that I could use the term as a justification for CDing. So, at the time, I stopped CDing and took a 4 month hiatus that put me internally at odds. I just called myself a crossdresser because I changed clothes from my XY gender and I told myself the term made no definition of motivation, so it was "correct." I was wrong for all sorts of reasons.
After some conversations at home with a TS friend at my GF's and my home a month or so ago (The friend also thought I may be fully TS, but I don't think so), I decided to revisit the term. It seems a little has changed in the 2 years since I first looked. I also looked at the standards of care for determining GID and it crashed on me that there's no doubt that I'd be diagnosed with it and labelled as transgender (but not likely TS). And if bigender is my specific sub-flavor, so be it.
I took to facebook that week and wrote a big post on it, the rejection of calling myself a Crossdresser and the self-identification of being Bigender. I think the reason why was so that I could admit to myself that I am what I am.
And the bigender thing is starting to get some actual research, although it has a long way to go.
This was just presented a week or so ago in Chicago.
What's listed in the abstract describes me. Ambidextrous (I can even use chopsticks wrong handed), odd phantom aspects to my bits (especially during sex, I always called it a transference, but whatever), my dominant eye changes (was an issue during my flight medical testing), early age onset (5 or 6?), etc. These aren't things that normally come out of conversations with CDs, definitely none of my friends at the clubs talk about these things. The abstract mentions bipolar, which I'm not.
I never considered it like a Pink Fog or anything. To me it was an abrupt shift and if you do any art or music, it's exactly like switching from left to right brain, which is why that study intrigues me so much.
Of course, the primary reason for accepting the transgender label comes down to GID. (The girlfriend and our TS friend both think I should try a nominal dose of Estrogen to see if it helps with the switching, not to transition, but I'm resistant to it.)
As surely as a normal cis- or trans- person knows their gender identity, I know I have two and have had them since I was a kid. Yes, it's "mental," but it's unknown if it is a biological, genetic, formative or psychological issue. Ultimately, it doesn't matter, but if the hemisphere thing is true, that's awesome. I always thought that I made the persona to fit the behavior, how was I to know that the persona was the behavior?
And is Kaela the Persona or is Mike? I think Mike is and Kaela is my Anima (and not just the whole Jungian female side stuff - again too self serving), by that i mean the part of the psyche that is directed inward, and is in touch with the subconscious or true self. Mike is the social mask with all the walls up and the one that gets in the way of things. That's the Persona. There's also a Mike 2.0, which is somewhat more integrated to Kae, but that's more of the private me, not the guy at work.
So yeah, I've been busy with the whole concept of labels and self-identification, but I've been making personal breakthroughs. And I think that although a lot of TS folk reject being on the same spectrum as fetishistic CDs, there are lots of people who crossdress who are effectively self medicating GID, and that is where the spectrum begins.
Anyway, a couple weeks later, I had a small argument with my girlfriend when she called me out on it. We haven't been going out lately on the weekends (kid, sickness, etc) and I've never been one to go out midweek, so without my femme side around, she rightfully challenged me on it. Kae is real to her and if it turns out to be the mask or a fake act, she has a right to be pissed. Granted, I switch regardless of what I'm wearing, but she had a point. I don't go out during the week or to non-TG/CD places because I'm afraid of what people think. I wasn't being true to myself (which is why Bree's post resonated with me).
So I thought on it some more and decided that if I was a CD, I was justified keeping it a secret from my mom and only being a weekend club queen, but not if I was TG. I also used the shame and walls and distance to lament that my parents didn't understand me, but I did nothing to show them who I was. So I outed myself a little over a week ago. Of course, the shame and guilt were all on me. Mom accepted it whole heartedly, professed her love (along with a bunch of questions) and was aware of it since I was a barely in kindergarten. It answered a lot of questions for her and opened up a dialog. It also made me feel more confident in my self-identification, if my mother had an idea of it 30 something years ago.
It also proved to my gf that I'm willing to challenge and be true to myself, which makes me a better partner for her.
So, I'm trying to tear down my internal barriers on identity and something remarkable happened...
That wall I mentioned back in the fall was actually built with my own hands, but apparently I had put in a door. I think I have a better idea of what my next steps are. The stuff Reine mentioned in that convo resonated with me even then, but I wasn't sure how to make that happen. Now I do, and it will not be easy, but will be worthwhile.
On Monday, my girlfriend and I are going to see the LAIR exhibit at the LA Zoo. Kaela needs to get a life of her own, after all. Mike will have his life, but he needs to get out of her way.
Isn't it fascinating when we begin to peel the layers of the onion that is ones identity. I know exactly...totally what you mean. Beginning at the end of your essay, my mom new things I didn't know or recall. She knew before I did, although I don't know what she might have called it at the time.
And isn't it true that we struggle with labels...trying to fit ourselves to a label rather than picking, or discarding labels based on how well they may fit.
The other thoughti have tooffer deals with being at a state of awareness...readiness to recognize ourselves. As a child I had no frame of reference for what I felt. I only knew that my behavior elicited teasing from siblings and rebuke from some adults. Reallythrough most of myadult life I still hid or denied the.possibility that I might present as female... it wasn't until I saw myself for the first time fully en femme and was encouraged by my wife that I could fully entertain the potential of who I was...or at least who I might be.
Mom's still coming to terms with it, but it's out of support and love. She thought we all wanted a sex change surgery, for example. Then, in another email, she wanted to know if she had seen me once when we all still lived in Maryland (I'm in Los Angeles, they live near Tampa now) because a bunch of CDs came into a restaurant once and one looked like me. As part of that whole thing, she made sure I knew I was still the only one in their will. LOL. But yeah, knowing that she knew something was different in this before I was old enough to start crafting a public face, meant a lot to me in justifying this as my reality and not a delusion.
Labels can be constructive or destructive. Both ways offer a shorthand word to a list of characteristics. Sometimes, not all of the characteristics will fit. Sometimes the characteristics become an archetype, sometimes a stereotype. And yes, I was afraid of fitting to the label than finding the right one for me. I think I'm on the right track now.
Yeah, the early teasing and such can be a problem. My dual mode dysphoria is another thing in the way. I can have all sorts of people complimenting me (I've posted on my inability to accept them well before), but if I'm in male mode and look at my female picture, my criticality of my features, makeup, beard shadow, etc totally kills any confidence I can have. I basically say to myself "How can they say she's pretty, she's a man (me) in a dress!" and I just get in my own way. I don't feel that way when I switch, so my male side needs to STFU.
[QUOTE=Mikaela;2812421.... if I'm in male mode and look at my female picture, my criticality of my features, makeup, beard shadow, etc totally kills any confidence I can have. I basically say to myself "How can they say she's pretty, she's a man (me) in a dress!" and I just get in my own way. I don't feel that way when I switch, so my male side needs to STFU.[/QUOTE]
Ain't it the truth. We oftensee the worst in ourselves...gotta listen to your SO on such matters! Do that and you will be nylon the right track!