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Thread: Difference between transgendered and a crossdresser

  1. #176
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    Wow!! I just spent a great deal of time reading through most of this discussion and I can say that my (apparently incorrect) view of "support" across the community has been crushed. I'm truly surprised (and quit hurt) of the hierachale slant some have been putting on the topic and the ignorance and stereotyping going on. It seems that "transitioning" TS's (because apparently there "must" be a distinction) are completely different species and share absolutely no commonalities to other transgender individuals.

    What I would like to know is how the transitioning TS's in this forum even stomach typing in the URL to this site?

    In my view there is a wide spectrum in the community but we are ALL in the same spectrum. Personally I wake up every morning, live all day and go to bed every evening with the same feeling. It's all encompassing and frustrating. I know what I am and I express it how I'm able to within my current life. The feeling of expressing my inner self full-time to the outside world is overwhelming but for various reasons it's just not in my cards in this lifetime. It tears me up, I can feel it in my heart and deep in my gut. However, because I don't proceed to throw my current life away in many people's eyes I'm still just a 'CD'er'. Everyone has a story that just might not fit into YOUR box of what a TS is or isn't.

    Please have a little heart when you throw around your words and when you group and un-group people's lives.

  2. #177
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    Quote Originally Posted by ikatrina View Post
    Wow!! I just spent a great deal of time reading through most of this discussion and I can say that my (apparently incorrect) view of "support" across the community has been crushed. I'm truly surprised (and quit hurt) of the hierachale slant some have been putting on the topic and the ignorance and stereotyping going on. It seems that "transitioning" TS's (because apparently there "must" be a distinction) are completely different species and share absolutely no commonalities to other transgender individuals.

    What I would like to know is how the transitioning TS's in this forum even stomach typing in the URL to this site?

    In my view there is a wide spectrum in the community but we are ALL in the same spectrum. Personally I wake up every morning, live all day and go to bed every evening with the same feeling. It's all encompassing and frustrating. I know what I am and I express it how I'm able to within my current life. The feeling of expressing my inner self full-time to the outside world is overwhelming but for various reasons it's just not in my cards in this lifetime. It tears me up, I can feel it in my heart and deep in my gut. However, because I don't proceed to throw my current life away in many people's eyes I'm still just a 'CD'er'. Everyone has a story that just might not fit into YOUR box of what a TS is or isn't.

    Please have a little heart when you throw around your words and when you group and un-group people's lives.
    I think you read wrong... because several people have posted here that transitioning does not make you transexual...

    If you're transexual, you're born that way. Choosing to transition or not does not make you a transexual or a crossdresser...

    I was once where you are... a transexual that wasn't going to transition. Then I had to make a choice: transition or die. I had a lot of issues before transitioning, but when I started to transition, I had to deal with a ton of different issues. And then when I get surgery and live 100% as a woman, I'm going to deal with a ton of new issues.

  3. #178
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    hi Katrina, the OP asked an unanswerable question, its a valid question just not one that can be answered. Naturally the thread has trail off into some pretty thorny areas, opinion's run the gamut! However it is simply a truth that a person who has not been where another has doesn't know what that experience is like. This doesn't make them good or bad or right or wrong it just is. Frankly you can HAVE the TS label! I DONT WANT IT! I just want to get on with my life as a woman as best I can. Did I turn my life upside down? hell yeah! did I throw it all away? no not really. I did have to assume the risk though but at the time it seemed like the lesser of 2 evils, the other being suicide.

    Anyway on a side note what's so bad about being a CDer? Why do so many want to distance themselves from this label? I hear all kinds of different words and phrases used to describe dressing up in woman's clothing on a part time basis while still living the majority of your life as a male. I thought that pretty much was the definition of crossdressing?

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    Thanks for your comments.

    Bree, there are certainly many sub-discussions going on so perhaps my comments were angled toward the ones that struck a cord.

    'Aprilrain', I wasn't distancing myself from any label or insisting that I get another. My point was that some seem to think that you need to fit a specific criteria to fit a specific label and that not fitting that exact criteria was being looked down on.... "just a CD" was one of those quotes that stood out to me. Using the "just" tag implies that someone else is more important on a community hierarchy. This didn't sit right with me. Most everyone here has different and varying degrees of difficulty because of our lifestyle but nobody should consider their difficulty more important ...or should deserve different treatment because of it.

    'Call me' what you will, CD, TS, TG..... I don't really care all that much. However, what I am saying is that 'classic' TS's are not entirely different than others in the spectrum.

  5. #180
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    Quote Originally Posted by ikatrina View Post
    'Call me' what you will, CD, TS, TG..... I don't really care all that much. However, what I am saying is that 'classic' TS's are not entirely different than others in the spectrum.
    Well, we're all human, aren't we?

  6. #181
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    @ Katrina,


    You because of you not transitioning does not make you any less a TS person but it does place you in a different category.

    You and I do not share common experiences due to me transitioning five years ago.

    I am no better but because of my transition my needs as a trans person are not even in the same universe as yours.

    The transition process almost killed me twice but I made it.

    I lost everyone and because of it I now wear it as badge of transition.

    I bled and died inside because of my decision to be my true self.

    Once you walk through that door life as you know it ceases to exist.

    You cannot understand this because you have not walked that walk.

    If you have been offended by anything I've said I'm sorry but this is reality as I know it.


    Julia

  7. #182
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    And Katrina, please do not use the term "lifestyle" that is an extremely offensive term.

    I was born intersexed I didn't have a choice thus the way I live is not a "lifestyle".

    I know you meant nothing by it but just reading that makes me extremely upset.

    Thank you


    Julia


    Quote Originally Posted by ikatrina View Post
    Thanks for your comments.

    Bree, there are certainly many sub-discussions going on so perhaps my comments were angled toward the ones that struck a cord.

    'Aprilrain', I wasn't distancing myself from any label or insisting that I get another. My point was that some seem to think that you need to fit a specific criteria to fit a specific label and that not fitting that exact criteria was being looked down on.... "just a CD" was one of those quotes that stood out to me. Using the "just" tag implies that someone else is more important on a community hierarchy. This didn't sit right with me. Most everyone here has different and varying degrees of difficulty because of our lifestyle but nobody should consider their difficulty more important ...or should deserve different treatment because of it.

    'Call me' what you will, CD, TS, TG..... I don't really care all that much. However, what I am saying is that 'classic' TS's are not entirely different than others in the spectrum.

  8. #183
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    If you ever make the decision to go through transition and then have surgery you will understand what makes a cd different from a woman.








    Quote Originally Posted by ikatrina View Post
    Thanks for your comments.

    Bree, there are certainly many sub-discussions going on so perhaps my comments were angled toward the ones that struck a cord.

    'Aprilrain', I wasn't distancing myself from any label or insisting that I get another. My point was that some seem to think that you need to fit a specific criteria to fit a specific label and that not fitting that exact criteria was being looked down on.... "just a CD" was one of those quotes that stood out to me. Using the "just" tag implies that someone else is more important on a community hierarchy. This didn't sit right with me. Most everyone here has different and varying degrees of difficulty because of our lifestyle but nobody should consider their difficulty more important ...or should deserve different treatment because of it.

    'Call me' what you will, CD, TS, TG..... I don't really care all that much. However, what I am saying is that 'classic' TS's are not entirely different than others in the spectrum.

  9. #184
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    Quote Originally Posted by ikatrina View Post
    Wow!! I just spent a great deal of time reading through most of this discussion and I can say that my (apparently incorrect) view of "support" across the community has been crushed. I'm truly surprised (and quit hurt) of the hierachale slant some have been putting on the topic and the ignorance and stereotyping going on. It seems that "transitioning" TS's (because apparently there "must" be a distinction) are completely different species and share absolutely no commonalities to other transgender individuals.
    I understand the comments and complaints about things like hierarchical views of the trans spectrum, and I understand how they are read into the responses, here and elsewhere. To be honest, I share some of them. There is no doubt whatsoever, for example, that female gender identity (forget expression for a moment) in "our" population runs from none to 100%. There are implications in that. The internal experience is not the same as a result, and neither is the urgency (typically) of resolution. It's not better or worse. It just is, but you CAN view that as a hierarchy, should you choose to do so and focus exclusively on that. I would submit, however, that for every TS that may look down on someone whose female identity isn't as "complete," there is another person who wishes their own was greater. Wannabe's and elitists picking at one another. So I get that.

    There are also varieties of trans identity, however, that are simply different. One may have no real male identity ... but also no female identity either, for example. I.e., the spectrum isn't a spectrum at all, really. It's a matrix. Any individual aspect of an individual's identity, phenotype, genetics, expression and role, etc. may fall anywhere in that matrix. Sometimes individual characteristics MAY be expressed in spectrum terms. Gender identity itself, considered broadly, often does - but not always. Even there, individuals, even cisgender invdividuals, have gender characteristics which are "atypical" (no, I'm not going to define it).

    The heart of the heat in THIS dicussion is whether transitioned transsexuals are different (in OP terms - what's the difference between ...) from the rest of the trans population. And that's where I tend to agree with them and say yes. If you read carefully, they are NOT saying they (necessarily) are different in identity, but that the experience is so radically different that it just doesn't compare. Do other trans people experience deeply feeling their identity, have conflict, experience GID, commit suicide, experience depression and marital difficulties, blah, blah, blah. Yes, of course. But they do NOT have to live exposed in the same way, do NOT experience the same social and economic consequences, do NOT have to walk (there's a euphemism) away from friends, family, jobs, church, community, etc. at anything like the same levels of risk. It's not that these things don't happen to some other trans people. It's more that the situation is turned upside down. I.e., if 10% of the non-TS trans population experiences such things, 90% or more of the transition(ing) TS population does. To live transitioned is to live 100% of the time at risk of being a pariah. And THAT is "different" (OP), if not in kind, it is in certainty.

    Lea

  10. #185
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lea Paine View Post
    The heart of the heat in THIS dicussion is whether transitioned transsexuals are different (in OP terms - what's the difference between ...) from the rest of the trans population. And that's where I tend to agree with them and say yes. If you read carefully, they are NOT saying they (necessarily) are different in identity, but that the experience is so radically different that it just doesn't compare. Do other trans people experience deeply feeling their identity, have conflict, experience GID, commit suicide, experience depression and marital difficulties, blah, blah, blah. Yes, of course. But they do NOT have to live exposed in the same way, do NOT experience the same social and economic consequences, do NOT have to walk (there's a euphemism) away from friends, family, jobs, church, community, etc. at anything like the same levels of risk. It's not that these things don't happen to some other trans people. It's more that the situation is turned upside down. I.e., if 10% of the non-TS trans population experiences such things, 90% or more of the transition(ing) TS population does. To live transitioned is to live 100% of the time at risk of being a pariah. And THAT is "different" (OP), if not in kind, it is in certainty.

    Lea
    This is very well said.

  11. #186
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    First of all, let me just start off by saying that over the years there have been many gender variants trying to
    gain acceptance in society. The ones that gained the strongest political voice was the transsexual community.
    Since then other gender variants have seen how we have gained some rights and now they are pushing their
    own agendas. There are drag queens, and those who cross-dress with transvestic fetishes etc and society has
    taken us all and thrown us into this basket they call "transgender". But they fail to understand what it is that
    makes us all so unique and different to one and other. They don't understand that we all have different opinions
    and needs on sex and gender diversity. There are some remarkable differences between the main groups and this
    really needs to be understood to help remove some of the typical stereotyping that goes on in society.

    As suggested earlier, I think it is a good idea to share some life experiences of what it is really like
    to be a transsexual so others here can understand why we are so different to other gender variants.

    So here is another look at some of my experiences during my life as a transsexual woman born intersex.

    You don't always need to know if you are meant to be boy or a girl at a young age to be transsexual. And
    the reason why I say this is because of when we normally develop our gender identities & our earliest
    childhood memories. This is something that surgeons who are assigning the sex of intersex infants try
    and take advantage of. And the reason I understand something about this is because it happened to me
    and I have no memories whatsoever of having sex reassignment surgery at the age of 3. I get some odd
    flashbacks, but according to my psychologist, she thinks I am still blocking the most painful memories out
    which is quite common for infants who experienced trauma at this age. I also have deep issues with my
    genitalia which still affects me today that is most likely attributed to what I have been through as a child.

    I started experimenting with dressing up as a girl at the age of 6, but it may have started earlier, but I don't
    remember. I recall when I did it that I use to constantly question myself if I was really a boy or a girl. This
    went on right into puberty when I first really thought seriously about wanting a 'sex change' at the age of 15
    after seeing the movie about Christine Jorgenson in 1977. My dressing up was out of control if noone was around.
    But there was no help available where I lived and there certainly wasn't any internet to research things to be able
    to understand what sort of condition I had at this stage of my life, but I strongly suspected I was transsexual as well.

    So you girls who are young and get to transition today are very lucky compared to those of us who are older and also
    knew many years ago who we really were and first thought about gender transition & sex reassignment surgery.

    Society wasn't at all tolerant back then and after overhearing two men I was worked with saying derogatory
    things about a transsexual woman they knew was enough to scare me into submission and make me repress
    my issues. I didn't want to be someone who would be unfairly judged & criticised so I started fighting it harder
    so naturally the denial increases as well and this was the point where I become very homophobic & transphobic
    myself and started to pretend I was really a man. But I fooled lots of people because obviously I was transsexual,
    but had you asked me at that time I would have said "No". I did not want to accept that I was transsexual and I
    did everything in my power to fight it, but it is something that seems to just consume you more as you get older
    and you don't need to be a crossdresser before you come out as a transsexual.

    I hadn't dressed as a female for 18 years when I started to experiment with it again at the age of 44 and when
    I did it, I knew in my heart that was looking at a real woman in the mirror & not a man & this was the same feeling
    I always got that lead me to question who I really was as a child. There was this peace that came over me when I
    was in female mode that is so hard to put into words. I was very acceptable & comfortable as a female even before
    I started on hormones and this is something that has been noted by my doctors & therapist when I did finally start.

    Going from male to female was like a Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde type transformation & was instantaneous with me, except
    as a male I was the demon, but as a female I was an angel. There is a huge difference in my personality and how
    happy I felt about myself. If I had to switch back to male mode I use to feel down and depressed and this is why
    I know already that I cannot live a double life like a bigendered crossdressers can.

    So this is something else that I believe really separates transsexuals from the crossdressing community. I personally
    believe if you are transsexual usually there is a lot of discomfort in your life with anxiety and depression until you finally
    do stop fighting it. I don't see this same level of discomfort in some of those claiming to be transsexual and who have
    not transitioned yet. Transsexuals also have different patterns in their behaviours and personalities as children which
    is something else I have noticed about being transsexual, even if they didn't know in their childhood that they were
    transsexual and felt uncomfortable with their biological birth sex. Many transsexual children who are repressed their
    issues appear shy & withdrawn and have very low self esteem, but put a M-F transsexual child in a dress and see what
    difference it makes to their personalities. I came out of my shell when I was allowed to be myself and had so much more
    confidence which is very evident still today.

    But like most transsexuals repressing their issues I had a very hard time coming out to other people about this. So
    I led this secret double life that other people have no idea about for the best part of 3 years from 2006 until 2009.

    It is interesting to note what brought my issues to the surface in 2006 when I was
    doing well in repressing it for so many years, I will explain what brought it on shortly

    Despite the fact I hadn't been dressing up as a female since the age of about 16 the thoughts were has always there.
    As I have said a number of times, even as a male I always seen myself as a lesbian in bed with a female and there was
    an incident that occurred around 1985 which revealed something very interesting to me. I was about 23 at the time &
    I never identified as a gay male, the thought of gay type sex repulsed me. However I had a threesome with my girlfriend
    and a guy, but in this situation I did not see myself as a male. I felt like my girlfriend & I were just two lesbian women in
    bed with this guy. I enjoyed it a lot because my girlfriend and the guy were making love to me not in any other way. So
    I know that I do have a heterosexual female sexual orientation, as well as a lesbian orientation, so this is why I think I
    really am a bisexual woman.

    A few years later I got dressed up for an ex-girlfriend at the age of 26 in 1988 and I was the spitting image of
    Marie Fredriksson from the popular pop duo, Roxette. And that only happened because because we were drinking
    alcohol & my girlfriend encouraged me do it and after I was dressed, she was in shock at how feminine I did look.
    I absolutely loved what I seen & felt, but I wasn't ready for transition then and I am not sure my girlfriend would
    have liked what she was stirring up in me anyway. But I still feared everything too much, so I dumped my girlfriend
    a few days later because I was scared of what she might permanently reawaken inside of me.

    But what stirred everything up was I was asked to play and sing at a lesbian's ball in 2006 by a lesbian friend who had
    no idea that I was a repressed transsexual. She told me that no men were allowed. So I asked her if she was wanting
    me to dress as a female and she said "Yes". Because I always seen myself as a "lesbian in a male body" there was a
    real want to do this gig but I wasvery scared. So Itold my best friend about the gig who said he wanted to dress up
    as a woman and come and perform with me.

    Rah Roh! now this is getting way too scary so I never did the gig, but irrespective of that I could not stop my female
    personality from re-emerging this time. This led to a battle I was caught up in for 3 years from 2006 until 2009 where
    I was leading this double life in an attempt to defuse a lot of the stress & tension I was experiencing with my gender
    dysphoria. During this period I was home all the time and alone during the day on my own so I was dressed as a woman
    during the day and undressed or covered up if anyone was coming around or before my house mates got home. Most
    of the time I would spend my time on my own in my bedroom just dressed as a female because it felt so right for me.
    I had a phobia with mirrors, I could not stand seeing a reflection of myself in the mirror as a male because that is how
    much I despised being a male, where as a female I could accept myself.

    However I then made very desperate attempt to repress my gender issues so I purged when I met my last ex-girlfriend
    because she also wanted me to move in with her which was a huge mistake, but anyway.... She had a perfect body and
    was blonde and very beautiful. However I realised that when I was looking at her, it wasn't just a sexual attraction that
    I felt for her, there was this ever present envy that I wanted my body to be just like hers. In bed I still seen myself as a
    female and I even told her that. I also told her about my dressing up as a girl as a child. I even did sewing, floral art, and
    loved shopping with my girlfriend, but she claims that she did not make any connections from the ways I was expressing
    my femininity. When she found out later after I left her & come out she claims that she had no idea because I didn't tell
    her I was transsexual, but the question is would she have taken me seriously when she had not seen me as a female?

    I could not come out & say I was a transsexual because I still wasn't really 100% positive at that stage and I think it was
    because I had not come out to the world and declared to everyone that I was a female. I really knew 100% that I was a
    transsexual after I started living full-time, on hormones and changed my legal identity. Until I did that I felt that I couldn't
    claim any labels really but no doubts I did fall somewhere into the transgender spectrum. It wasn't until I understood that
    better did I know where I fitted in.

    I hope this post helps some of you to understand my gender identity a lot better.
    Last edited by Melody Moore; 01-06-2012 at 09:13 PM.
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  12. #187
    Princess in the making SandraAbsent's Avatar
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    I have been quietly observing this thread. I am just starting my transition, although a little in reverse. I made the decision to live full time before I started anything medically with my body. With this being said I have a different perspective, but I think I will share in the feelings here with the other girls that have transitioned medically. The background is that I have major heart issues at the very young age of 39. Hormones are just not possible for me right now. Surgeries without hormones would be a waste of money and effort in my eyes. So until I have a doctors give me clearance on hormones, I intend to not take my life in my own hands by self medicating or pursuing voodoo products to try to change things. Part of the reason I feel this way is because of this form in particular. For the last two years that I have been a member here I have seen post after post of "does this work, or does that work?" What I have found is that if you talk to anyone who is seriously considering transition, they will all tell you, "It doesn't work!" The conclusion I have drawn from this is that those asking questions like that are seeking an easy alternative or a temporary fix that they can switch on and off when needed. Whether it be a crossdresser or someone who is considering transition its easy to draw the conclusion that we all have something in common. Making the decision to transition or live full time is one that until you have made it, you will never understand. Here is a little perspective on this. A cis-gender female once said this to me and at the time my reaction was "How dare she?" The more I learn, the more I understand it...

    Someone made the comment the other day, that a transsexual female could never completely comprehend the full female experience, that having had the male privilege and power in the past, discredits the transexual female from having to endure a position of always being viewed as less than equal.
    Now you can probably conclude that this statement would make just about anyone in this current discussion enraged, as it did me.

    My response was...

    As I sit here this very moment sending out resumes for employment knowing full well that my gender identity is on trial every step of the way, how can I not feel as less than equal? It also mistakes that at no point in my life have I felt the "male privilege." As a matter of fact, if comparing to a cis-gender female, she can never fully comprehend the feeling of being less than equal, than I feel at this very moment.
    Now after looking at this in retrospect I understand it. We even after transition can never fully comprehend the full female experience, because even though we may have felt female at one point in our lives we were not. So when we went to school or activity choices weren't limited to hopscotch and hula hoops, when we went to high school our career choices weren't limited to "You'd better be a nurse, teacher, or hair stylist." Put simply we had choices, and because we have or had a clinically strong desire to be a female, we made the choice to transition. Once we transition we begin to see the world through a real woman's eyes but only when we make that decision do we fully experience that.

    Now for a moment lets pull this all back into this discussion. Consider this for a moment...

    Until you make the decision to live full time and transition, you will never experience the full transsexual experience, and never fully appreciate the challenges it presents. You may be familiar with them, you may be planning for them, but you have not experienced them. Are you willing to risk everything? I am!

    I had no choice. If I waited for the medical field to determine I was ready, I could be old, grey, and wrinkly. I had to flip the switch. Over the next few years while I establish my new identity, I am acutely aware of what I will face from family, friends, church, and employment. I am very aware that name change will be easy, but because of the lack of medical treatment gender marker will be next to impossible. This has to be the only place I differ with some of the opinions expressed here. I do not feel less of a woman. I am risking everything I can except my life. I will not put that in danger until my Doctors say the risk is minimized.

    I do agree however that you have to put your money where your mouth is. And that is the distinct difference. What risks have you taken? A crossdresser has a certain level of risks to identify the way he wants to, a transsexual has certain risks before transition that she must assume in order to be able to identify with herself. I empathize with everyone, but I cannot relate. So the original post was about the difference between a crossdresser and a transgender. I think that very accurately this thread has made it relevant that there needs to be a dissection of the umbrella term in order to clarify the differences more accurately. I think the key difference that has not been discussed here is the difference between empathy for anyone under the umbrella and the ability to truly relate to the "full transsexual experience." Unless you are living it, you really can only empathize.

    I make it clear in any discussion about transgender rights that I am not an activist but I will fight for what I believe in. I am not fighting to use the restroom, I am not fighting for the right to use dressing rooms, and I am not fighting for the rights of everyone under the umbrella or the cliche transgender mantras. I am fighting for the right to live my life and anything that will assist me or others in my situation in achieving that goal. Ok rant over....done!
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  13. #188
    Princess in the making SandraAbsent's Avatar
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    Sorry entirely too many punctuation errors to even attempt to correct!
    Life inside the music box ain't easy
    The malots hit the gears are always turning
    And everyone inside the mechanism
    Is yearning
    To get out

    http://sandra-absent.blogspot.com

  14. #189
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    Good rant, Sandra!

    Kathryn
    "Never forget the many ways there are to be human" (The Transsexual Taboo)

  15. #190
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    Quote Originally Posted by JenniferLuvsPunk View Post
    I don't quite understand the difference between someone who is transgendered and someone who crossdressses.
    Transgender means to cross a gender barrier. Crossdressers cross this barrier when they choose to wear opposite sex clothing, and/or adopt opposite sex mannerisms, even if they cross the barrier only sometimes, and then cross back. TSs cross this barrier permanently when they solidly identify as the gender opposite than birth and then take steps towards transition. Once TSs transition (not necessarily with SRS ... see post #195), in my view they've become women and no longer fit under the transgender umbrella. People who study chromosomes will disagree with me, but there you go.

    The difference between a transsexual and a crossdresser (or someone who prefers to identify as transgender because they believe this term means being in the middle between CD & TS) is this:

    A transsexual fits within the binary view of gender, and has either a male or a female identity. A crossdresser (or someone who prefers to identify as transgender) fits somewhere in between both genders and the notion of binary gender simply does not apply to them, even if their gender identity fluctuates while they are learning how to be a combination of the two. You might think of them as their own third gender, a mixture of male and female (in which there are infinite combinations and variables) ... except perhaps the men who identify solidly as men and who dress purely for fetish.

    Some transsexuals take a while before realizing they are TS, and they identify as crossdressers (or transgenders) first. Some crossdressers (or people who prefer to identify as transgender) may believe themselves to be TS when they are lost in an intense pink fog, especially if they have repressed their feminine expression.

    Last edited by ReineD; 01-07-2012 at 10:28 AM.
    Reine

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