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11 October 2009, 10:26:PM


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Author Topic: TG: How important is Passing?  (Read 340 times)
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CaitlinJ
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« Reply #15 on: 09 October 2009, 02:03:PM »

Saw an American programme on a TS about to go for GRS. It showed 'him' still working and living as male and actually the day he was admited to hospital for GRS, he arrived dressed as a male.

Is that for real? And what an image it showed the world.

Oh yes, I saw that show as well - the one with the peroxide blonde person with glasses.
My bf and I watched it with suspicion and trepedation; unsure as to how to take this person's journey.
I think perhaps the saddest part was watching her walk along, facelift done, hair styled, breast implants, vagina...and she was loping along like a Texan truck driving male, arms swinging like an ape and legs wide apart. It was so...incongruent.
And really, it was as a result of not having lived as a woman. I'm sure she will eventually adapt her mannerisms, but it seemed such a shame at the time.
Probably my biggest gripe was that there was no mention of counselling or psychiatric assessments; I believe she went to one of the Thai doctors that don't require a psyche letter vetting the surgery.
The show left a strange taste in my mouth.
I didn't want other people to think that I was like her.
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jdhunter27
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« Reply #16 on: 09 October 2009, 02:28:PM »

How necessary is it for others to recognise your gender of choice?

Very.

If you could look like your preferred gender without surgery, would that be good enough?


As an FTM, I (at this point) plan only to go through hormone treatment (lifelong) and "top surgery". As Caitlin mentioned, many FTM men find the options available for "bottom surgery" to be unsatisfactory, and I feel that I would only be left with severe dissatisfaction and empty pockets if I were to go through with it.

If you're already a woman on the inside, what does it matter if you have a penis?


-

How does changing how you look on the outside change the way you feel on the inside?


A lot of people have their self confidence, self worth, self esteem, etc. tied in to how they look. I feel more like myself now that I can look in the mirror and see someone I recognize. People definitely treat others differently based on their (real or perceived) gender, and I've also certainly noticed this.

What happens after gender reassignment?

You go on living.


What you need to recognise (and some trans people themselves need to recognise, too) is that being transgendered is only one aspect of what makes up an entire person. For me, being transgendered is certainly fairly far down the list of descriptors I would use for myself - I'm the fiance to a great man, I'm a brother and son, I'm a friend, I'm pansexual, I'm a university student, I'm a dog owner, I'm a part-time pseudo artiste, I'm an SPCA volunteer, and I'm a femme FTM guy. Transition is only so much of what makes up my life in the future - I'll also be a home owner, studying canine behaviour theories and training techniques, rescuing, rehoming and rehabilitating dogs, getting civil union'd, etc.
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swit012
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« Reply #17 on: 09 October 2009, 02:54:PM »

Sorry about the MTF bias, JDHunter. Those questions were really just designed to start discussion, not to frame it.
It seems as though the basic answer for both FTM and MTF is very similar if not the same.

I'm also glad that trans doesn't consume your life. Everything in moderation as they say  BigGrin
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storm4u
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« Reply #18 on: 09 October 2009, 03:16:PM »

I guess that's the great paradox: "successful" transgendered people integrate and disappear. The ones that make themselves visible are either because they're "unsuccessful" or because they have a particular axe to grind. I suppose for every one transgendered person making a scene in the media, there must be dozens just quietly going about their business, being normal.


So (Politely asking) does that make me 'unsuccessful"? or "have an axe to grind"?
I dont believe I am either.
I believe I am the third one.
The one who is happy in myself basically but am not worried so much about 'looking' the part of the perfect female but happy in who I am.
I stand up and speak, definitely not for self glory but because I do know that in the past there has been some terrible discrimination and I dont want to see it happening. Its caused by ignorance and as I think Catlin commented earlier the way to stop that is for Trans to be out there and be seen. Showing we are just 'normal' people.
I do it for those who follow. So thiose young ones coming through can have a better chance with less emotional and mental stress put on them by society.

When I came out, I lost 3 stone in 3 months. I basically lived inside in fear of what people thought and were saying. Only going out when I really needed to. I would cry for 3 hrs and touch the laundry cupboards, walk through the kitchen, lounge, hallway, up the stairs, into the bedroom, round the bed to the ensuite and touch the shower door. Turn and go back. Clutching myself and crying for 3 hrs or more. No wonder I lost weight. And I was strong so how do those not so strong survive?

is it important for TG people to be normal?

See thats just the point - We are normal.
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storm4u
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« Reply #19 on: 09 October 2009, 03:17:PM »


Probably my biggest gripe was that there was no mention of counselling or psychiatric assessments; I believe she went to one of the Thai doctors that don't require a psyche letter vetting the surgery.
The show left a strange taste in my mouth.
I didn't want other people to think that I was like her.

The one I saw had surgery in USA.
We differ re the psyche letter.
but yes agreed it left a bad taste in my mouth to see trans portrayed in that way.
Judging solely on the programme, she wasnt ready for GRS so I hope she survives and will be happy.
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swit012
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« Reply #20 on: 09 October 2009, 03:31:PM »

So (Politely asking) does that make me 'unsuccessful"? or "have an axe to grind"?
I don't know you well enough to say, to be honest.

I use "unsuccessful" in quotes because that's really whatever the individual person thinks of themselves, not an objective measure.
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CaitlinJ
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« Reply #21 on: 09 October 2009, 03:44:PM »

As an FTM, I (at this point) plan only to go through hormone treatment (lifelong) and "top surgery". As Caitlin mentioned, many FTM men find the options available for "bottom surgery" to be unsatisfactory, and I feel that I would only be left with severe dissatisfaction and empty pockets if I were to go through with it.

It's probably worth mentioning that hormone treatment is often very successful for FTMs; the effects can include:
- dramatic muscle/body mass increase
- heavy body hair
- heavy facial hair
- hand and foot growth
- bony growth over various body areas (i.e. knees, forehead)
- clitoral growth (to the point where it becomes a small penis)
- deep male voice
- male pattern baldness

So it's not all doom and gloom for FTMs with regard to surgery; it is balanced a little by the hormone effects.
Comparatively, the hormone effects on MTFs aren't nearly as noticeable (breast growth being the most obvious). However, the surgery options for MTFs far cheaper and far more satisfactory.

I've postulated that the poor surgery options for FTMs is because of sexism - i.e. there hasn't been as much research and development into the field of 'penis construction' because the largely male surgeon population hasn't had much interest in helping someone who is biologically a woman become a man.
Whereas most MTFs have had a healthy dose of male privilege during their lives and this influence is the likely cause of the progress that has been made with MTF genital surgery.
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Eromenos
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« Reply #22 on: 09 October 2009, 03:49:PM »

Admit it looks like i got some dates wrong.
Problem is reliable information or just information on sex changes is hard to find.
VW told me she was first. Had her op in Oz and was only the 2nd over there.
Believe you know her.
The other starts with 'L' and hers was in 1975 here in NZ.

I was merely believing what they told me.

I think you should ask the person you quoted. Shes probably known about and had far more experiance then most in nz.
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jdhunter27
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« Reply #23 on: 09 October 2009, 03:51:PM »

It's probably worth mentioning that hormone treatment is often very successful for FTMs; the effects can include:
- dramatic muscle/body mass increase
- heavy body hair
- heavy facial hair
- hand and foot growth
- bony growth over various body areas (i.e. knees, forehead)
- clitoral growth (to the point where it becomes a small penis)
- deep male voice
- male pattern baldness

So it's not all doom and gloom for FTMs with regard to surgery; it is balanced a little by the hormone effects.
Comparatively, the hormone effects on MTFs aren't nearly as noticeable (breast growth being the most obvious). However, the surgery options for MTFs far cheaper and far more satisfactory.

I've postulated that the poor surgery options for FTMs is because of sexism - i.e. there hasn't been as much research and development into the field of 'penis construction' because the largely male surgeon population hasn't had much interest in helping someone who is biologically a woman become a man.
Whereas most MTFs have had a healthy dose of male privilege during their lives and this influence is the likely cause of the progress that has been made with MTF genital surgery.

Hormone treatments are very effective, which (it's been theorized) is why so many trans men "go stealth" - because it's so easy. I've been on T* (*testosterone) for nearly 13 months now and pass pretty much 100% of the time.

The sexism theory is pretty popular from what I've heard. To be honest, I'm not that fussed over it anymore, I've come to terms with the fact that I need to be content with what I've got lol.


Also, re: mental illness within the GLBT community - I don't think it's particularly that the GLBT community is susceptible/has a higher rate of mental illness, just that because our community is so condensed that it seems that way, maybe. Personally, I'm coping (suffering?) with mental illness that is predominantly hereditary, but I know a lot more heterosexuals than queers with mental illness.
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jdhunter27
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« Reply #24 on: 09 October 2009, 03:53:PM »

Sorry about the MTF bias, JDHunter. Those questions were really just designed to start discussion, not to frame it.
It seems as though the basic answer for both FTM and MTF is very similar if not the same.

I'm also glad that trans doesn't consume your life. Everything in moderation as they say  BigGrin

S'fine, the MTF side of the T community is predominantly more visible/vocal than the FTM side Smile
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CaitlinJ
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« Reply #25 on: 09 October 2009, 04:09:PM »

S'fine, the MTF side of the T community is predominantly more visible/vocal than the FTM side Smile

YA RLY!
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Eromenos
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« Reply #26 on: 09 October 2009, 04:20:PM »

Well i suppose being 6 " 4 doesnt make you inconspicuous lol
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CaitlinJ
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« Reply #27 on: 09 October 2009, 04:27:PM »

Well i suppose being 6 " 4 doesnt make you inconspicuous lol

Nor does loving the sound of my own (loud) voice  Sad
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Eromenos
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« Reply #28 on: 09 October 2009, 05:56:PM »

Nor does loving the sound of my own (loud) voice  Sad

were like 2 peas in a pod!
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« Reply #29 on: 09 October 2009, 07:25:PM »

Ok, now I'll have a go. I apologise that I don't have much to say about FTM transgendered people because I don't know any personally (I only know of one and I can't claim to know him that well to be honest).

When I was younger, I only ever recognised MTF cross dressers and I perceived them in two flavours: the ones which made me feel sad and the ones which made me feel happy.

The "sad" cross dressers were tragic: make-up not done properly and quite obviously male. It made me feel sad and uneasy because I realised that no one would do that simply to get some kind of reaction, would they? It can't have been a fettish, because they didn't look happy. They looked glum, trapped. There was an obvious need there to pass as a woman and they were obviously very very bad at it

How do you know these people were unhappy to me that just seems to be your opinion based on their looks actually it says `more about you than it does about them.


The "happy" ones were beautiful, admirable and you either had to *know* they were physically men, or have some kind of sixth sense. Because this came so easily to them I assumed that they just did it for fun, drag queens.

Same question how do you know they were happy on my wall I have photos of some of the most beautiful TS and drag Queens, most are dead either murdered, drug OD or Suicide.

From the above happy/sad dichotomy I (mistakenly) formed the notion that people who were good at cross dressing did it for fun and people who were bad at it did it because they really needed to be another gender.

Maybe they all had the same common goal.

I have two such friends, who I won't name. They're both MTF, they both seem to be comfortable being called "he" but I'll use "she" to avoid confusion. Miss A is young, full of life and beautiful. She passes, she passes so very well that members of the transgendered community in New Zealand have turned their backs on her "you can't understand our problems " is what they said.

Maybe you could define what you think makes up the Transgendered community as I can not imagine many TS saying something like that, also I cant imagine any TS being comfortable being called he unless of course we are talkintg about F to M.


Miss B is tall, masculine and very blokey. She loves to wear little Lolita dresses but they are entirely inappropriate and it just doesn't work. She knows that, her friends know that, we support her as best we can.

and I am sure `she is all over come with that support.

I used to think A did it for the kicks and B did it because she had to. Turns out they are both TG and A went so far as to go through the psych screening for hormone replacement therapy. She didn't go through with it in the end. Why? Well, she said "It would ruin my sex life."

Takes all kinds back in the good old days we would have called her a Drag Queen (good for straight trade)


Reading between the lines, it seems as though gender reassignment is not so important for A. Passing is important, but only in certain circumstances. She cross-dresses in public with the same trepidation Caitlin mentioned and she finds it liberating, scary and exciting. It's obviously a very big deal. Then again, I've seen her in her (men's) underwear and that's not an issue for her. Gender seems to have ceased to be an issue between us as friends, passing seems to only be important when presenting herself to the rest of the world.

As it should be.

One of the things that A is very concerned about is the number of pre-op transgendered people who think "after I get my surgery everything will be better". I sounded this out before with storm and she says the surgery made a big difference, but apparently, a number of transgendered people do get the surgery and then realise that their lives haven’t changed. They may be different on the outside, but their problems on the inside haven’t changed. This is because (as we all know) being transgendered can bring with it a great deal of other problems. 

the main problem most TG folk have is coming to terms with their unique position once that is sorted most go on to live productive and normal lives , i know I mentioned previously photos of TG who have passed let me say out of literally thousands of TG I have known the tragedies are by far in the minority. 

I know a number of other MTF transgendered people who have a great many problems in their lives. Mental illness seems to be high in the GLBT community or maybe it's just that I tend to gravitate towards mentally unwell people. Caitlin: you mentioned dysphoria and that's a concern for me.

Gender Dysphoria is I guess TG specific and yes a number do get desperate enough to take matters into their own hands I empathise with them ande completely understand why they go to those extremes. Most TS I know had a lifelong burning desire to change genetalia to match their perceived true sex nothing less was satisfactory.

When I think dysphoria, I think about those people who have fixated on a part of their body they don't like and need to get rid of it. One man (for example) disliked his legs so much he eventually chopped them off.

Absolutely get rid of it sooner the bette3r is the way a lot of us thoufgt.

The sad thing about his story is that no sooner had he gotten rid of this legs that he fixated on his right hand as the next thing to go.

Nope I never chopped my hand off sorry neither did any of my peers to my knowledge.

. My fear is that the need to change one's body, when it finally happens, may not produce the life-change  expected and lead to bitter disappointment.

Oh yes it did for me and all my friends bar none.


 My understanding is that the jury is still out on whether gender reassignment surgery makes people happer or not.

Is that the Swit Jury  and where does he get his information or is this all supposition.

For some people (like storm) it certainly seems to be a positive thing. For others, it results in bitter disappointment when they realise that the genitals weren't the things causing the negative thoughts and feelings.

Once again what is this based on can you quote stats and research.

So, my view on passing is that it seems important but not always and not when presenting to all people: in some contexts, gender is unimportant. As for gender reassignment, my view is that it’s valuable, but only in so far as allowing one to present as the proper gender, not as a catalyst to “fix my life”.

I know that sounds a little flaky and disjointed but I am still forming my views about this BigGrin
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