As I read (and re-read) this thread I see something that really sticks out, and that's the almost universal disdain for labels and the equally universal use of them (although not necessarily by the same people). And that's perfectly OK when we label ourselves, but we run into problems when we try to label others.

Maybe "label" isn't quite accurate. Maybe we should simply say "identify". Labeling, or identifying, isn't actually bad, as it helps us find context for whatever it is we're doing and it helps others relate to us in a way that is consistent with our self identity.

So why all the venom over the idea of whether or not someone is a "True TS"?

I think some of that has to do with our own issues of who or what we are. I know someone who, despite being a pre-op TS and established in her own RLE adamantly refuses to call herself "transsexual" but merely "transgender". When pressed for an explanation she states that since she's not post-op she does not consider herself to be transsexual.

Yeah, talk like that in this forum would be met with vociferous and well-deserved opposition.

And that's all well and good if it stops with her; the problem is that she also transfers her own self-definition onto others in the way she deals with them. If, in her mind, she's not TS until she's post-op then how can anyone else be, either? And thus begins all of the conflicts she has in her relationships with other transsexuals. Long story short, nobody wants to talk to her because she's so wacky.

I'm not saying that this is what's happening here, but I do think that the conflicts we run into on this site sometimes have a basis in a very similar dynamic. Sometimes.

And yes, there IS a definition for "True TS", but I have yet to see anyone here use it. Dr. Harry Benjamin identified 6 degrees (or types) of gender dissonance in his Sex Orientation Scale as described in The Transsexual Phenomenon. You can do a web search and download it.

It's a good read. Will it help you, personally, identify your own gender identity issues and give context to what's going on in your life? Maybe, maybe not. But in any event there's no need to have these senseless "True TS" discussions. If you think you're TS there's a very high probability that you are, and that may be true enough. And according to Dr Benjamin it's merely the degree of your dissonance and what you do about it that determines how "true" it is.