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Thread: Being Overly Critical

  1. #1
    Little Mrs. Snarky! Nadine Spirit's Avatar
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    Being Overly Critical

    I was just rereading the current thread on voice and something struck me, how critical are you of gender "tells?" The specific thought someone posted was in saying that while they have heard many transgender women speak they are still aware that the person was born AMAB. I am not wanting specifics on who posted it as I am not wanting to trash that person, that is not the point.

    What I am curious about is are you humans here at this site as critical of AFAB humans as you are about MtF transgender people, or more specifically yourself?

    I ask as it is something that I struggle with all of the time. In regards to voice, no I truly do not think my voice is completely indistinguishable from that of an AFAB, however many AFAB humans disagree with me. I am beginning to think that this is due to my own super critical judgement of what qualifies as male or female in a variety of areas. Take arms for another example. I complained to my wife (AFAB) that my arms are too masculine because of their size. She rolled her eyes at me and pulled out the cloth measuring tape. She quickly proved her point when we found out her arms are bigger than mine. How about another..... I complained prior to electrolysis that shaving my face made me a male, my therapist (AFAB) came back with that she has PCOS and shaves her face daily. She gave me a look that asked 'do you question my gender.' To which the answer was a resounding no. How about something I super struggle with, not having hips. Again, with a bit of quick measuring, guess what, I have a bit of shape. Not hugely curvy like Kim K, but actually more curvy than many AFABs I work with daily.

    For many, many, many years I suffered while I was unwilling to accept the simple truth, regardless that I was AMAB, I am female. Part of my suffering is that I place AFAB humans up onto an impossibly tall pedestal. I have turned them into an almost goddess like creature that has such strong magical properties that I could never, ever possibly even get close to appearing like them. Thus part of my transition has been in breaking down my own image of what I thought a woman was.

    For the past few years I have been really trying to take an accurate appraisal of what constitutes the entirety of the female end of the spectrum. And it is way more vast than I was ever willing to see before. My image of AFABs came about from media's inaccurate and unfair portrayal of women. You know that whole problem that women have been talking about for quite a long time now? What I thought was respect and reverence actually was demeaning and exclusionary. My own version of what makes up femininity excluded many AFABs from that category. Once I saw that I realized it I was obviously totally and completely wrong. The more I understood this, surprisingly to me, the more I could see my place within femininity as well. Which in the end was actually a HUGE part of what finally allowed me to transition.

    I'm told all the time that I pass and yet I obsess about all of the "tells," I think I have. My voice is not fem enough, my hands are too big, my hips are not wide enough for my shoulders, my boobs are not big enough, my hair is not full enough, my body is too muscular, my Adam's Apple is too big, my face is not pretty enough. Blah, blah, blah, I could go on all day. I understand it is not just any one of these things that make me doubt myself but the entirety of it taken together. But, and this is a huge BUT, none of it excludes me of the reality that I was born female, just in the exact same way that it does not exclude anyone else either, regardless of physical features. I do pass, in person and on the phone. I have not been misgendered from a stranger in more than about two years. That's passing. Me obsessing about my "tells" does nothing but hurt myself and women in general, and I no longer want to be a part of any of that. Which is helping me to remove femininity from that high pedestal and find my own place within it.

    So, how about you? Are you just as critical of every AFAB as you are of MtF trans people?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Laura912's Avatar
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    Isn’t it nice to discover that you are a human just like like all the other humans? That which is driving you, is the same thing that keeps a lot of plastic surgeons in business...that perceived fault, to the person, that no one else really notices because others are more focused on the entire individual. Your desire to blend perhaps forces you to seek out every detail to make it perfect, but in the meantime you are blending quite well. After forty plus years of taking care of females, one has heard many stories about how they would like a certain surgery to fix a “defect,” yet looking at them, I really do not see the problem. You do realize that plastic surgeons would not like for your insight to become too popular? Enjoy joining the others on that pedestal.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member Teresa's Avatar
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    Nadine,
    It's all too easy to start this tail chasing syndrome . Feeling masculine or feminine has really nothing to do with how we look and yet we still have to convince ourselves we have enough female traits to pass as ...... what exactly ?

    I could reel off the same list , my hands are too big , my arms are possibly too muscular , Ok with age the skin is looser under my chin so the adam's apple is more hidden . My figure is more or less in balance having hips the same size as my bust .

    I believe the answer is stand back and do some people watching , do all the women you see fit the media stereotype and are all the men strapping macho guys ? Do they all come over as obviously male or female or do some leave you guessing ? A TG person will slot into that mix like most other people , you don't get misgenderd so what you are doing must be acceptable , I don't get misgenderd but I'm finding it's something I think less and less about .

    Do the traits we display really matter , if no one else takes offence or questions our appearance why do we need to spend wasted time on correcting something that's only a problem to us , we need to get over it and convince oursleves we are what we present and try and be happy with that .

    I started to get the message when my dear gender counsellor offered me some clothes to get me started on stepping out the door , her clothes fitted perfectly , she was a trim size 12 but nicely in balance , apart from our gender we were the same physically , OK I have a little bit of a boost in my bra but that's it .

    I'm not sure if your opening comment relates to something I said but when attending three different social groups the majority do not change their voice . I know one ot two are taking voice training lessons but you make the point that without constant practice over a long period it's never going to happen , a few controlled words isn't the same as a lengthy , coherent converstion .
    Last edited by Teresa; 07-21-2020 at 11:47 AM.
    The real me ,no going back.

  4. #4
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    Interesting question. I am pretty harsh in assessing myself, the many tells of my male genetics. At the same time I have seen many women who share these same attributes. On me, these seem glaringly obvious. On others, these seem only to be commonplace variations.

    Easy come, easy go;
    Easy left me long ago...

  5. #5
    Bad Influence mechamoose's Avatar
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    Well, I'm about to hit one month on Estro, and I got "M'am-ed" and mainsplained at the hardware store today.. I wasn't even really dressed up or made up in any way.

    I'm out, girls black cargo shorts, hot pink tank top, pink socks & red sneakers.. and a colorful spandex face wrap like a biker would use. Covered my lower face and neck (over my mask.. they look tacky)

    I went in to buy a 8" ventilation elbow. I'm going through the different ones they have on the shelf, and this mid 40ish guy is like "M'am.. are you sure you need an 8" vent?"

    "Yes"

    "Did it say that on the side?"

    "No, but I built it, so I'm pretty sure "

    >Puzzled< (His buddy gets a silly grin on his face as I proceed to describe the ventilation system and what its for.)

    "Well, if you were using it for heat, you'd want this other one.."

    I have never, EVER been randomly walked up to and given advice in a hardware store.

    I had done nothing, spoken to no-one..

    What I mean is that we each see things through the bias of our own eyes. Who you are to you does not match who you are to your three best friends, and that is still different between those three.

    As an artist, I know that every artist sees nothing but all the mistakes in their work. The same is true here.

    Don't be overly critical, just *BE*
    - Madame Moose - on my way to Anne
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    "I yam what I yam and tha's all what I yam." -- Popeye the Sailor
    "If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And when I am for myself, what am 'I'? And if not now, when?" - Hillel the Elder

  6. #6
    Gold Member Lana Mae's Avatar
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    Early on on my journey, I discovered through observation that not all women are a like! I was contemplating getting hip pads. I noticed a very feminine FAB with hips narrower than her chest! I did not buy the hip pads! Also not all have the classic hourglass figure! Variety is the spice of life! I have settled in to an acceptance of who Lana Mae really is and I live with that! YMMV Hugs Lana Mae
    Life is worth living!
    "Foxy lady! You look so good!!" Jimi Hendrix

  7. #7
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    Nadine,
    A week ago, I told my wife how I want to look more like other women (which I meant to say to pass) but before she knew what I meant, she said something that hit me. She said - it's a slippery slop to try to chase the made-up ideal look, because this is precisely what leads to obsessions, depression, etc. It's very important even for her to love and accept her own body. And I was like - this is exactly what so many here say - accept yourself for who you are.
    In my case, I agree with that but I still want to pass for some reason. Just don't want to be seen as a guy ever again, because I don't feel like one.
    Last edited by Katya@; 07-23-2020 at 10:53 PM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member mbmeen12's Avatar
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    She said - it's a slippery slop to try to chase the made-up ideal look, because this is precisely what leads to obsessions, depression, etc
    This is a brilliant quote and to answer yes I am super critical of myself but fully understand that I am so clockable i.e. big boned, 6 feet tall and with shoulders of 3 feet wide and neck line. A body that a transitioning FTM would love to aspire to have. As to other MTF folks to each to their own and I am envious when they do meet their goals and look /sound the part.

    In short, I am what I am and no more...
    Last edited by mbmeen12; 07-22-2020 at 05:01 AM. Reason: typo
    Someone asked me recently, how does it feel to be on HRT? I wrote and stated "I'm finally doing something for me".... xo Kara

  9. #9
    Silver Member Devi SM's Avatar
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    Nadine,
    Answering your question, yes I'm a very critical of AFAB and I confess I never thought about this before, you showed me a side of me that I never saw before.
    Now, if I'm critical of AFAB how I'm on mtf? I dont think I'm the same as critical as with AFAB because all the many natural features of the AFAB already mention that difference us are impossible of fake all of them in one person, so in other words, always there will be something that will betray a transwoman if she is not in stealth so hiding her past as a man. But if we don't know that she's a transwoman, there're many transwoman out there that nobody would think were a man.
    I knew one some years ago while working as a man and being a crossdresser. I observed her for weeks and one day i share I was a crossdresser, immediately in her reaction I saw she hide something so time after she told me be a transwoman but we agree to keep her secret.
    She's very tall, may be 6' 2", has a very strong face and a deep voice but nobody ever, in a very critical enviroment governed mostly for men, mentioned anything about her feminity, may be because she keep all the time a very low profile.

    I'm a Instagram follower of several transwomen just to support them and sometimes I don't enjoy seeing some of them because for me they are clearly just men dressed as women but at the same time I can see myself on them.

    I have a very good friend, AFAB, married for 30 years to other woman, but she thinks that she is bisexual because was married before to a man with who she had a daughter very good friend of mine too.
    We have developed a very open, sincere relationship so we have mutual confidence to talk about anything. She knows my past sexual activity with men but that I prefer women and very rarely I would go with men again.

    She knew me as a man and had seen thru the years my transformation so she always worship me for my achievements of had changed from being a very masculine man to a "pretty woman", those are the words she used and I laughed.
    One day I showed her the pics of the very first time I fully dressed as a woman. I remember how happy I was that day because I saw a woman in me and that moment was fundamental to start this journey but now I feel embarrassed to even show her those oics and both laughed a lot watching it.

    All these had kept me thinking the last weeks on how lassable I am. I'd been looking for someone honest to ask. I thought to post a thread here but honestly in the crossdrwsser section I see just kind of a contest to be the more passable woman and many just worship others to gain some friends that lately worship them but nobody has the gut to give an honest opinion. I tried to be honest an open with my opinions and I was just eating for dogs so I would never do it in that section. What about here, between trans people, well I'm honest again, I think that the same paradigm of the crossdressers section repeats here but in a minor scale but I can't trust to do it.

    So the question, I'm critical with AFAB as well with MTF? Yes, but let me explain myself, I would say I try to be honest and not a dreamer. If any here or around what's to dream about pass as a woman, don't say you were a man, people don't pay attention to what we pay attention. Peoe in general are not aware of the trans people yet and the lower we can keep the profile the better because in few years they will see no difference.
    One day a lady passenger while I was an Uber driver told me, don't excuse yourself with the world, you're a human being as any other human being and if you wouldn't mention I was trans she wouldn't pay attention to it.

    I'm conscious of the so many femenine features I lack but one day my wife complain with me because I went out wearing a tight jeans and a t-shirt that show my "big tits and the big butt" she was jealous because she doesnt have a big butt but she have big boobs and when I said that she answered me but you're a man.

    To finish this long comment, I keep being critical with AFAB and mtf but I stop being critical with myself because I'm just a transwoman but I don't go over there telling people who I am because they don't care and after all, friends and family will get used to me, the more we expose ourselves the more the people will receive and embrace transpeople and will understand that we're not perfect because nobody is perfect.

    Mho

    PD.
    I did this post in my phone so I hope no many run ons and uncongruences in my writing, Nadine will understand this last sentence.

    Devi
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  10. #10
    Princess Candice candykowal's Avatar
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    It was so easy for me during my teen years to pass as a girl that today, as I mingle with like minded friends, some who have flawless presentations...ya, I can be critical of myself.
    So I just try to do my best, take my presentation while out in public seriously but try not to over think it.
    As I enter my golden years, I find a lot of positive inspiration from older gal who continue to do their best...and in reality, it is all we can do.

  11. #11
    Member Becoming Brianna's Avatar
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    I am and have always been most critical of myself. This trait extends way past my femininity and sense of gender as well. I will always be far and away toughest on myself. I am almost never critical of others be they trans of cis because I understand the diversity of experiences and forms that femininity can take and that there's no set way to BE a woman. One simply IS a woman. And yet from me, despite over a year of social transitioning and knowing for sure that inhabiting this world as a woman feels right and natural to me to the point where I find myself becoming jealous of trans women further along in their journey than I am, I have trouble admitting that I AM a woman. There's this constant drumbeat of "how do you know?" "What specific feeling makes you so sure of that?" "What about all of these feelings of doubt and uncertainty? A true trans woman should never have those." And yet if that voice of doubt is right, then why do I feel such euphoria at being gendered correctly as female? Sometimes I can see Brianna. I can feel Brianna. And yet other times she is far away from me. It makes me wonder if perhaps I am bigender or non-binary, but maybe what I feel is that I simply haven't EARNED the right to call myself a woman. I realize how silly that sounds: how does one earn the right to be a woman? One is or one is not, and I would never question another trans woman if she told me she was a woman. Yet I do not allow myself the same latitude. Owing to my socialization as a male, I do not know nor will I ever know what it truly means to be a woman. All I know is that interacting in this world as a feminine presence, as a woman, just feels right to me. It feels like a more natural and authentic state of being more in tune with who I truly am. But if that's the case, why the fear of regret if I move forward in my transition to taking medical steps to actualize my femininity to the world? Why do I feel such pressure to inhabit both worlds? Sure, my family plays a role--and an important role at that--but is there more? I'm trying to work on my autonomy and listen to my heart but I'm still not 100% sure what it is trying to tell me. This is why earlier this month I ripped myself open multiple times to examine whether I was ready for HRT and if HRT was the best step for me. I've come to the tentative conclusion that I am not and may never be. It's just such a final decision and such a clean break with the person my family has always known. Moreover, my dysphoria has always been more social than physical and it has rarely been totally soul crushing especially since I've come out and started living as a woman socially. Further complicating things is that I know I would have been a tomboy if I had been AFAB. I firmly believe that I would be happier on HRT but I don't KNOW that. It is that lack of firm secure knowledge that stops me cold and makes me question. Am I enough of a woman to transition? Am I woman enough to take on this mantle? Do I even NEED HRT or medical transition to be the kind of woman I need to be? I realize that that's a tough question to ask but it is highly relevant to me personally. Sorry if I'm taking this thread off course. I just needed to share my thoughts. I want to be able to be comfortable and to simply BE, but I don't know how to do that and have never been able to throughout my life.

  12. #12
    Platinum Member Teresa's Avatar
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    Brianna,
    I've checked your profile page but it doesn't reveal age or marriage status should that apply .

    I can understand your reasoning , OK I'm going to relate it to my own life . At 69 I know so much of how to live as a man , being a husband , father and now grandfather so in real terms I know very little of living like a woman , the scales are weighted so heavily on the male side . Is it really so surprisng we find it hard to transition to a female role , to live life as a woman when we know all our previous actions have been controlled and manipulated as a male . Some of us may never shake off the mantle completely , we have to learn how to live with them and make the most of the parts we do more succesfully . I agree HRT doesn't hold all the answers , it's not a magic potion , we don't become instant females , that is the pitfall some fall into . You may feel more female in some respects but the outer image doesn't possibly change enough , it's a treadmill we can get caughty in but all it does is take us round in circles without resolving anything . We really do have step off it and say to the RW this is me " warts and all " , only then can you find a balance and hopefully see the road ahead much clearer , I can only add it's worked for me .
    The real me ,no going back.

  13. #13
    Little Mrs. Snarky! Nadine Spirit's Avatar
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    Thank you all for the responses, they definitely make me think, and I appreciate that!

    Just a couple of things......

    Laura - I agree with plastic surgeons being unhappy with this sort of revelation, lol. Your comment also made me remember something my wife said when I was complaining about something regarding my looks, 'You're just like almost every other woman out there, paranoid about something nobody else notices, congratulations.' It made me laugh.

    Lana - Back in my crossdressing days I began with the usual, huge boobs, and large hip pads, thinking that was how I would need to look if I wanted to actually pass. Over time (years) I slowly began using smaller and smaller breast forms. I forget the sizing of where I ordered them from but it was something like I began with a size 10, then went to an 8, then a 7, then a 6, then a 4, and finally a 2. Nio my breasts were not growing during that time period I just started ignoring that whole CD adage of, 'if you have wide shoulders you need to have huge boobs to balance everything out.' (uh, no IMHO it just makes your top half look even larger.) I also eventually completely stopped wearing any hip pads. Oh and guess what, was I immediately 'clocked,' no. I was simply more comfortable.

    Katya - Yup, this is the very same issue that AFABs deal with, but in dealing with it nobody doubts their gender huh? Kind of stinks, but it is a reality of being female. There is just so much pressure on looks, whereas in the 'male' world of things their is the pressure to achievements.

    Devi - thanks for the response, we think very similar to each other. Something you said struck me, in knowing someone is a transwomen, people will then often identify the tells that they will ignore if they don't know of the transgender status. Which is what happens to me all of the time. It annoyingly happens when I go give speeches to college students. They all gender me properly without a hint of anything, I give my speech, and then they begin misgendering me. It shows me that people are willing to overlook certain "tells" unless they know of a person's past. I've had this happen at work also. A new person gets hired, genders me properly and then at some point, months sometimes, into the future, they begin misgendering me. As it turns out, typically that person did not know, and then someone told them. Which says to me that gendering someone properly is often a mental thing and not a physical thing.

    Brianna - This quote from you jumped out at me "There's this constant drumbeat of "how do you know?" "What specific feeling makes you so sure of that?" "What about all of these feelings of doubt and uncertainty? A true trans woman should never have those." This thought is one that I also had that kept me from transition for so long. Especially with some of the voices around here and the whole "you better have actually tried to kill yourself before you transition because it is that extreme and if you don't HAVE TO then DON'T do it. Yeah well, 3 years into HRT, and 4 years from GCS, I am here to tell ya all, it is okay to have doubts, and still transition. It is okay to have not tried to kill yourself and still transition. And possibly the most important message I can try and pass along to you sweetie is, you can always just try HRT. It is not the finality that maybe you think it is. You can try it for a short period of time (a few months) and not have long term repercussions. Much longer and you will threaten your fertility. You will also eventually most likely begin growing breasts and once you have those you really can only surgically remove them. Stopping E will deflate them but not remove them. Other than those couple of things, I think everything else is reversible under HRT, but I am ignorant of the actual long term repercussions of starting and then stopping HRT, but I do know it is not the finality that some people assign it to be.

    Thanks y'all!!!!!

  14. #14
    Reality Check Krisi's Avatar
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    If you're not critical of yourself, you'll never get any better. And this goes for all of life, not just trying to present as a woman. You shouldn't be obsessed with it, but you should always try to improve yourself.
    Krisi

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krisi View Post
    If you're not critical of yourself, you'll never get any better. And this goes for all of life, not just trying to present as a woman. You shouldn't be obsessed with it, but you should always try to improve yourself.
    I think this is fine if we don't talk about the looks but achievements. Otherwise, I completely disagree. Clearly, there are better things you can do for yourself and the society than improving your look.

  16. #16
    happy to be her Sarah Charles's Avatar
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    I spent so many years absorbing the media/advertising/erotic "ideal" of what a woman should look like that it became the basic template for where I was failing. My process has had two different arcs; one of attempting and failing to meet that ideal and one of slowly chipping away at that image as I do the best with what I have. One of the first breakthroughs was buying clothes and discovering there weren't just women my size and shape but there were enough of them that manufacturers made a profit in selling them clothing. I used to wear pads and forms and cinchers and wigs and much more makeup than I wear these days. Around family I don't even try to change my voice (if I did I wouldn't get a word in the conversation or have the mashed potatoes passed my direction). I do try to modify my voice when I'm in public but I'm getting out of practice as Covid has made it unusual for me to be in situations where I can be misgendered. So I don't know what most other people are thinking these days as I settle in to my new life. However, as my confidence builds, my concern for the opinions of others has diminished regarding how they perceive my gender. The family and friend core of my social world all support me. For example my kids and grandkids have invented their own names for me that show both an understanding of my gender and their love for me. Seeing success in claiming my correct gender as reflected in their support has done so much more for me than any superficial change to my appearance.

    I never claimed I was perfect or have overcome all that stuff built in to the system, but the effort has been to come to terms with as much of it as possible. All that said I still don't find my face to be feminine enough and will probably end up getting work done. Oh well, it's that or have that one last voice telling me where I'm failing to try hard enough for something I've wanted for over 65 years.
    Sarah
    Being transgender isn't a lifestyle choice. How you deal with it is.
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