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Thread: The difference between a CD and a TS

  1. #1
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    The difference between a CD and a TS

    ... is not 2 years, contrary to the old joke!

    A crossdresser is a man who likes to pretend he's a woman sometimes. A transsexual, is a woman who's been forced all her life to pretend that she is a man.

    It is a subtle, but profound difference. It's subtle enough that often it is hard to tell one from the other, especially in a society that can't acknowledge that there can sometimes, rarely, be a mismatch between the gender of your mind and the sex of your body. From most cisgender people's perspectives, only the first statement is possible.

    I've talked to some CDs who seem to view me as a supercharged version of themselves, someone who puts on an act that lasts forever - where I make permanent changes to my body to enhance the part I'm playing.

    In fact, it is quite the opposite. I'm myself now for the first time in my life - my life as a man was a total lie. The changes to my body are to correct horrible disfigurements caused by a life lived with the wrong hormones going through my body. My life now is the most real thing I've ever experienced. My life before transition feels more like a dream, and not a pleasant one.

    One of the things I'll say about transition is that if your goal is to physically change to better play a part, you are almost certainly transitioning for the wrong reason. On the other hand, if you find yourself choking on saying the phrase "I'm a man who likes to pretend he's a woman sometimes," then perhaps that is not, in fact who you are.

  2. #2
    Adventuress Kate Simmons's Avatar
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    The way I see it a TS isn't crossdressing a CDer is.
    Second star to the right and straight on till morning

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    Platinum Member kimdl93's Avatar
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    True, Kate, it's not CDing for a TS person. At the same time, we are kindred spirits. That's why I favor the imagery of a transgender spectrum. In our life experience, we have share many of the same problems and similar fears, guilt and shame. We differ to the extent that some seek the temporary expression or experience of femininity, while others, myself included, lean more decidedly towards the TS and seriously contemplate a more permanent expression. Still, so much common ground exists.

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    Ragin Cajun meganmartin's Avatar
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    Great down and dirty explanation.
    But I have found that there are variations of both Ts and Cd.
    There are some TS that have to continue being a crossdresser because of family, work or financial obstacles preventing them to live as they truly feel.
    Then they are a few cds who think they are TS to only find out they are somewhere between them too. That is why I hate labels because sometimes the label does not tell the entire story.
    Megan Martin

    " some guys play golf, I play girl"

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    New "old" girl Suzie Petersen's Avatar
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    The confusing thing is that the TS often goes through a phase which seems to others to be the same as what the CD does.
    The motivation is very different, but the actions, seen from the publics viewpoint, are similar If not identical.

    Since feelings are hard to scientifically describe, some CD'ers may not understand the difference and may go through a phase where they think they are on a path to "becoming TS". Some make the mistake to pursue transition in that belief and later realize the mistake.

    It is also not a black or white issue. Some are in doubt their entire life. Some know for sure early on.

    - Suzie

  6. #6
    Silver Member I Am Paula's Avatar
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    I considered myself a CD. Both denial, and ignorance played a part in that. CDing helped keep the GD at bay, but I still thought it was just a hobby. Like a junky, it took more and more to quiet the GD, until I went full time. Then I knew this was one big ass problem.
    Yes, I was born TS, just nobody bothered to tell me that.
    I got so good at playing the part of a male, that I began believing it.
    I wake up every morning, and thank my lucky stars that I fixed that awful problem.

  7. #7
    Happy in life KlaireLarnia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulaQ View Post
    A crossdresser is a man who likes to pretend he's a woman sometimes.
    Sorry Paula but you are wrong. A cross dresser COULD be a man who pretends he is a woman but not always. A cross dresser is a man who wear women's clothes - nothing more.

    I am a cross dresser and very open about it as I don't own more that 5 male items if clothing however I do NOT pretend to be or try and look like a woman.

    This is why we have such a hard job shaking the negativity around us. Because even we cannot escape the blinkered view society has and actually re enforces it!

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    Aspiring Member LaurenS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulaQ View Post
    ... if your goal is to physically change to better play a part, you are almost certainly transitioning for the wrong reason.
    Thanks for that. Been thinking about "softening" and "enhancing" lately, and this puts it in perspective. Of course, I guess shaving, plucking, hair styles don't count? Not picking, just trying to figure out the borders. Would electrolysis be too much? It would be nice to have softer skin and a better figure, though. From my perspective, I don't want to transition; I like being a man, too.

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    Agree with Klaire!! While i sometimes wear women's clothes, I do not pretend to be a woman. I may change some mannerisms, etc. but I am merely a man wearing "women's clothing"

    So if i set up an online profile that says I am female, and I enter chat rooms etc, etc and pretend I am a woman, then I am a crossdresser, even though i NEVER wear a single piece of women's clothing???

    Cross dress simply means wearing the clothing of the opposite gender.

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    Gold Member Rachael Leigh's Avatar
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    Ive never really considered the transition part and I know I never will. I know I am a man but yes I have a feminine side to me that has to be expressed at times.
    Those of you who make that very difficult decision to make the transition are very brave and I must admit I do not understand the difficulties you have encountered.
    This forum has opened my eyes somewhat to what even me someone who does enjoy my fem side to you ladies who have chosen a very different path and has educated me a lot.
    Thank you Paula
    Leigh

  11. #11
    Reality Check Krisi's Avatar
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    I don't think it's at all as simple as you present it. We each have our own definitions and there are many variations among them. For example, a man could be a very casual crossdresser, just wearing panties once in a while, or a very serious crossdresser, spending most of his time dressing and playing the part of a woman.

    As for transsexuals, some have lived their whole lives believing they were born into the wrong body, while for others, there was an event that triggered this feeling.

  12. #12
    Aspiring Member Georgina's Avatar
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    I agree with Klaire and PatMatoole that crossdressing is merely the wearing of clothes of the opposite sex. This term seems to have been hijacked more than any other. Even though this site is headed crossdressers I believe there are few crossdressers here.

  13. #13
    Call me Pam pamela7's Avatar
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    Paula you make such great posts, but today I am confused. Given how subconsciously we might have buried our non-physical sense of gender, given that we are often unsure whether we are CD or TS, on a daily basis, I would say we're not even a spectrum because that is only one dimension. We have sexual attractions and preferences but they only define our sexual orientation, which can be hetero, bi or homo but also shift in time, and then we have our physical bodies, mostly M or F but also GQ, and then we have our sense of self, a result of life's conditioning (nurture) as well as our nature, a long long debate. I myself have sufficient theory of the self to know how complex the landscape is, that imprinting experiences shape who we are, as do the chems in the womb during gestation. We're lost, well, I am anyway. Being open emotionally I picked up this CD/TS group field and started identifying with the full spectrum, wondering if I was all my life a closet female in a male body, albeit therefore lesbian, to then come back to myself and feel as a man in a dress.

    But, no, there is more, there is a feeling when dressed. I don't know what it's like to feel like a woman, and now I question whether I feel like a man does, after all I'm not into abuse and violence nor fighting nor arguments, i'm not into stalking women or being a sexual predator, and yet there's a joy in chopping wood and heavy manual labour.

    So, it's complicated.

    xxx Pamela
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    Senior Member Laura912's Avatar
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    Ah, yes, what color is the rainbow?

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    Senior Member MsVal's Avatar
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    Female side, male side... I get it, but I don't have it.

    I understand having two 'sides' to one's self. Many on this forum have described their experiences quite well. So well, in fact, that I am absolutely certain that I don't have sides. I have "me". Just me. Take it or leave it, I am me 24/7/365.

    I've lived with "me" all my life but only in the past two years did I really get to know me. It was hard at first. I really didn't like me. Me was an ugly, shameful, disgusting abomination. A pervert. I was scared of me. I thought that me would ruin my marriage and my life. I would break down and cry whenever I thought of me. The more I knew about me, the less I wanted to be near me. Like Siamese twins, however, I was never able to get away from me.

    A prescription medication has been quite helpful in managing the anxiety and a skilled therapist has been quite helpful in understanding me. I've come to learn that me is not all that bad. I may not yet fully embrace me, but I have reached the point where I am mostly comfortable with me. I want to know more about this person that's been hiding in plain sight all these years.

    My gender is both masculine and feminine. I exhibit characteristics of both. What's changed is that I am becoming more comfortable expressing the femininity that heretofore was repressed. As I express more femininity I am finding greater contentment. Yes, there is some loss of masculine traits, mostly where they conflict with a feminine trait, but not all of them conflict.

    I'll be off to see my therapist in a couple hours. It's a little frustrating that she refuses to put labels on things so I don't have a clinical term for where I am in the TG space. All I know for sure is that I am me, 24/7/365. Take it or leave it.

    Best wishes
    MsVal

  16. #16
    0 to trans in 60 seconds! Donnagirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulaQ View Post
    ... is not 2 years, contrary to the old joke!
    Too true... It's much closer to 3 years I've found!!!
    Call me Donna, please

  17. #17
    Aspiring Member Lacy PJs's Avatar
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    I would tend to agree with those who say that a crossdresser is someone who simply wears the clothing (and other items like jewelry, wigs, etc) of the opposite sex. While they may occasionally act "womanly," in general, they are content with being a guy albeit a guy in women's clothing. To move beyond that and take BIG steps to be recognized as a woman and actually become a woman is, to me, beyond crossdressing.

    I may have used this analogy previously, but in my way of thinking, it's kind of like the difference between a hobby and a profession. The hobby is an interest, something that you may or may not be even good at, but indeed something that you are interested in. A profession requires a deeper commitment than a hobby; you almost need to be totally consumed by it... or it totally consumes you, since it is so much more to you than a mere hobby.

    And, yes, from my perspective, there are probably more here who are trans than who are CD. That isn't either good or bad, simply an observation.

    And for those of you who don't particularly like labels, please keep in mind that it's the way many of us try to keep track of things. Even though Shakespeare said that a rose by any other name is still a rose, the word rose generally best describes what a rose really is.

    Lacy PJs

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    im transgedered,my prob. is im both male and female,im actually both.i know its weird,but thats who i am.when in male mode i feel like a woman playing at being male,when enfemme i feel like a male pretending to be a woman.confusing isnt it.im one who can identify on both sides of the fence. see im female on top and male on the bottom,if i took hormones i would be bigger the a c cup bra,this is why i did not take my clothes off in front of other males,for guys do not gave breasts. ive known a crossdresser who had surgery and later regretted it,i warned her but she went with it,now she wants reverse surgery to become male again.

  19. #19
    Ice queen Lorileah's Avatar
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    Yay it must be Monday. Time for us to argue semantics...again.

    Paula is making a point I think may be getting lost here. And it goes to the exact arguments you are making. That there IS a difference (Albeit...sometimes blurred) between the "I dress to look a part" vs "I dress to show outwardly who I am". But I had to reply to this
    Quote Originally Posted by Krisi View Post
    As for transsexuals, some have lived their whole lives believing they were born into the wrong body, while for others, there was an event that triggered this feeling.
    I will vehemently disagree and will absolutely say that statement (if ever it was right in a very FEW cases) is wrong. If a TS says it was because Uncle X made them dress as children, no therapist would ever green light a transition. Transsexuals are born, not made (contrary to thousands of really bad porn stories). TSs don't wake up one morning and say "Gee I think I should be a woman". No that thought is back in the back of your mind haunting you. An event may CAUSE you to admit it, but it doesn't cause it.

    And since we are arguing semantics "Believing" can be kind of wishy washy.

    be·lieve
    bəˈlēv/
    verb
    gerund or present participle: believing

    1.
    accept (something) as true; feel sure of the truth of. (this may be true...until you read the rest as to what accept means)

    synonyms: be convinced by, trust, have confidence in, consider honest, consider truthful .
    All actions taken by you about someone else But definition 2 is NOT true
    2.
    hold (something) as an opinion; think or suppose.
    We don't "believe" we are we KNOW we are. If you have any questions...you need to dig deeper to find out what you really know

    I like Paula's example that some think of a TSs as a step up ()or down or in another direction) of a crossdresser. Yeah we all know the joke, but this isn't something you decide to "try". It is forever, especially as you pass landmarks. like hormones...changing you identity and finally surgery. This is a "see if it fits" thing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Georgina View Post
    I agree with Klaire and PatMatoole that crossdressing is merely the wearing of clothes of the opposite sex. .
    But then you have ignored whatever feelings were involved which creates the desire to wear those clothes in the first place. Often all the person knows, is that they have a very strong desire to wear clothes that mean something is different about them than others of their physical sex. And that's the defining thing; why do they want to do it. There is far too much confusion about that, mostly because of the stigma our societies place on someone adopting the behavior of the opposite sex from which they were born. And, the hardest part about it, is that such a huge percentage of people insist that there can only be one, single reason why any of us feel that way.

  21. #21
    Senior Member UNDERDRESSER's Avatar
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    The pros and cons of labels. You need something to get across the message you are trying to convey, but they can be so imprecise or misleading. Working in a field where many people get terminology wrong, and we end up offering them something they don't want, I am familiar with the need to be accurate in descriptions. It can be even more important in this world, but ironically, it's harder.

    There is the fact that everybody is not binary, which is where most of the terminology springs from, there is the fact that there are many aspects to the matrix , physical ( even that divides further! ) emotional, mental, orientation, the list goes on! Research continues, and "official" definitions get updated at random intervals, and at different ways in different fields and countries. Not surprising that the labels get confused and misused.

    I have come to understand that I am, a CD, at least as most people would describe it, but I don't internally identify that way. My line in the sand is that I'm not trying to look like a female. I am, trying to do some, for want of a better word, "feminine" sexual displaying. I like the way females can show of their physique, a fit athletic woman is a joy to behold. So too can guys, I can find a man attractive from an aesthetic point of view, without wanting him sexually. I find hosiery and skirts particularly appealing,as they can draw attention to, and enhance, the legs, hips, and butt. ( Yes, I'm a leg and butt guy, all ways have been. ) I can't tell you how good it made me feel when my GF admitted that she was envious of my legs!
    "Normal is what you get when you average out the weirdness that everybody has." Quote from my SO

    Normal is a setting on a washing machine, or another word for average.

    The fact that I wear a skirt as a male should not be taken as a comment on what you do, or do not wear, or how you wear it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulaQ
    A crossdresser is a man ... A transsexual, is a woman
    Actually, this is the part I wanted to emphasize - your gender identity is what really makes the difference. If you are male identified, and you do the sorts of things that go on here on this forum, you are probably "just a crossdresser." If you are female identified, you may well be someone who will eventually transition.

    Nobody really commented on that part of it though.

    I wanted to apologize for a couple of things:
    Quote Originally Posted by PaulaQ
    who likes to pretend he's a woman sometimes.
    So for one thing, I should've said - "presented to some degree as a woman does some of the time." That didn't flow as well though.
    For another, I don't really like that I used the word "pretend" - because it suggests that CDs are incapable of living authentic lives. I reject that premise implicitly - most of you are quite capable of leading authentic lives. It's just that most of you do not, I am very sad to say. (Feel free to blame society for that - I surely do!)

    Also, I didn't want to suggest a sharp dividing line between CDs and TSs - it's anything but that, nor that these were the only two outcomes possible. Oh no, that is very far from the case.

    It's just that the question "OMG - ARE YOU GOING TO TRANSITION?!?!?!?" gets asked of many members here, quite a lot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Klaire Lamia
    I am a cross dresser and very open about it as I don't own more that 5 male items if clothing however I do NOT pretend to be or try and look like a woman.
    Addressed earlier, although a couple of questions:
    1. Why'd you pick the name Klaire here? Why not Steve? Or someone non-gendered?
    2. Perhaps you aren't quite the same as most of the CDs here - possibly you are something else, such as gender queer? (Not that I really care about labels.) Or perhaps what you do is simply what is required to live authentically for you. In that case, congratulations - you've done something few here will ever do!

    Quote Originally Posted by Krisi
    I don't think it's at all as simple as you present it. We each have our own definitions and there are many variations among them. For example, a man could be a very casual crossdresser, just wearing panties once in a while, or a very serious crossdresser, spending most of his time dressing and playing the part of a woman.
    Oh, I don't think what I presented was simple at all. For example, the "just wearing panties once in a while, (well, OK, to be honest, it was stockings)" pretty much describes my CDing for most of my life, on the rather limited times I did it, at least up until near the bitter end. Meanwhile, there are plenty of folks on this forum who spend a lot of time en femme who'll never medically, socially, or legally transition.

    Actually, the hard part about all this is believing who you really are. We are encouraged to believe in things that are physically visible, such as our genitals, and discouraged from believing ideas that seem to exist only in our own minds.

    Quote Originally Posted by pamela7
    Given how subconsciously we might have buried our non-physical sense of gender, given that we are often unsure whether we are CD or TS, on a daily basis, I would say we're not even a spectrum because that is only one dimension.

    But, no, there is more, there is a feeling when dressed. I don't know what it's like to feel like a woman, and now I question whether I feel like a man does, after all I'm not into abuse and violence nor fighting nor arguments, i'm not into stalking women or being a sexual predator, and yet there's a joy in chopping wood and heavy manual labour.
    Oh, a great many of us bury our internal sense of gender. There are a variety of reasons we do this, but the predominate one is survival. When I was a kid, if I'd talked about this stuff, they'd have "fixed me", for sure. No thanks! I figured out pretty fast that lying was a safe bet. And it was a strategy I used heavily throughout my life - never letting anyone really know me. Until that almost killed me.

    I know what it's like to feel like a woman does - because I am one. I have no idea whether or not this is the same as the experiences of any other woman, nor will I ever know for sure. Some things I've described ring true with some women I've talked with. On the other hand, there are a lifetime of experiences and socialization that they have had, that I didn't get to have. Perhaps this makes me something totally alien, neither man or woman. However, for the most part, people don't seem to react to me that way, at least until I tell them I'm trans. And for that matter, my boyfriend feels like I'm all women, as do I, so to a great extent, those are really the only two votes that ought to count. (Although if I'm honest, being accepted as a woman by others is very important to me.)

    There are angry and violent women. I don't view that as the purview of men, although certainly some men have a real talent for those things. The calmness you feel is probably your own GD being mitigated by your CDing.

    Anyway, again, I'm not trying to label anybody. Some of us (me included), go for very traditionally or stereotypically feminine presentations. (I refuse to apologize for this, btw - this is just me.) Some of us are CDs, some of us are GQ, some of us are androgynous, some of us are TS, there are many, many possibilities.

    I just wanted to make the point that it isn't about how you present, as who you are inside - your identity. Trying to actually get to the bottom of that though is often like looking into a hall of mirrors. It's hard to know what's real, and what isn't for many of us.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by meganmartin View Post
    That is why I hate labels because sometimes the label does not tell the entire story.
    No, you're trying to cut it too fine. If my count is accurate, I am the 22nd person to post to this thread. That probably means that there are likely 22 unique stories here. You can't bend and morph a given label and definition to fit every situation. It doesn't work like that.

    If I said "car", does that tell the whole story? No, of course not. There are many elements that go into making a complete definition; some minor (like color) but some are major (body style, for example). Definitions are intended to provide gross categories; not wafer-thin nuances...

    Personally, I try to keep it very simple. 3 definitions, that's all.

    We are all transgender, meaning that we have crossed a boundary to present as the other gender. There is no distinction as to whether you cross the boundary once and stay, or cross and return, cross and return or the frequency of episodes. Whether you leave home or not is also irrelevant because ALL of this has to do with State of Mind.

    But, at one end of this spectrum are crossdressers; people who have chosen to cross the gender boundary frequently or infrequently. I think it is irrelevant if you do it just to wear the clothes or you actually desire to emulate and be seen as a female; albeit temporarily. The reason I say that is that society will view you as something "other" than a male (unless you pass REALLY well). Further, this is where that question comes up as to women who wear men's clothes are crossdressers or not. I don't think they are crossdressers because they are not wearing men's clothes to gain a different sensation or to transcend their current situation. They are wearing men's clothes because they are usually more comfortable, more durable, more intended for a particular purpose, etc.

    At the other end of the spectrum are people who have a gross mismatch between their sex as defined at birth and the gender that they feel internally. This can be a source of great pain and frustration. These people are transsexuals whether or not they transition. The analogy would be considering yourself to be gay, but also being celibate. The state of one's mind determines how one views the world, even if you are not participating in that world as a function of that perspective.

    DeeAnn
    Last edited by flatlander_48; 03-23-2015 at 10:29 PM.

  24. #24
    Junior Member Alice K's Avatar
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    Lorileah said: TSs don't wake up one morning and say "Gee I think I should be a woman". No that thought is in the back of your mind haunting you. An event may CAUSE you to admit it, but it doesn't cause it.
    Very true It is always there, from the womb, but two additional points - once born TS there may be a lot of influences or observations that can enhance the nurturing of the feminine. It is at some point where "she" may be buried very deep as Paula said for survival:


    Oh, a great many of us bury our internal sense of gender. There are a variety of reasons we do this, but the predominate one is survival. When I was a kid, if I'd talked about this stuff, they'd have "fixed me", for sure. No thanks! I figured out pretty fast that lying was a safe bet. And it was a strategy I used heavily throughout my life - never letting anyone really know me. Until that almost killed me.
    Some may have buried her so deep, for survival's sake, that even we may have forgotten she was in here. But like all the subconscious she keeps popping up to the surface. Sometimes we see her arise and tamp her back down. Sometimes we don't even notice, but others may.

    But the second point to Lorileah's comment - there will be a cause, say an illness, a change in bodily chemistry, resolution of anger issues, therapy, or just a need to live in truth that causes some to resurrect her. Hopefully, it happens early enough in life that a person gets to experience the richness of the life that was buried. In my case, I have had a flood of memories, good memories of the life that was before she was buried. Of the comfort of being her and even some later memories of the cost of the repression in anger, discomfort, feelings of awkwardness and fear.

    Some wonderful and insightful comments from the folks here. I am so glad I found this site as I am uncovering what has been buried. Thanks for the insights.

    Alice
    Last edited by Alice K; 03-23-2015 at 10:08 PM.

  25. #25
    Platinum Member Eryn's Avatar
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    Unfortunately this sort of discussion tends to turn divisive. I hope that everyone can keep it constructive and recognize that we are all different.

    Many of us live on the middle ground while we determine where our true path lies. We don't assert simplistically "I'm a man" or "I'm a woman." In my case, I'm me, Eryn, who has been trying to express herself as she wishes all her life.

    After a few sessions of discussing my life and activities, my therapist didn't even question the fact that I'm pretty far toward the TS end of the spectrum. I spend way too much time enjoying life in the mainstream while presenting female to be considered anything else.

    My conclusion is that there is no abrupt barrier between a CDer and a TS, but a vast middle ground that many of us are happily exploring.
    Eryn
    "These girls have the most beautiful dresses. And so do I! How about that!" [Kaylee, in Firefly] [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    "What do you care what other people think?" [Arlene Feynman, to her husband Richard]
    "She's taller than all the women in my family, combined!" [Howard, in The Big Bang Theory]
    "Tall, tall girl. The woman could hunt geese with a rake!" [Mary Cooper, in The Big Bang Theory]

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