Unorthodox Perhaps

CD v Trans

There it was. The words were flung so easily, so carelessly yet with deadly accuracy by someone who should have known better. Perhaps they did. Perhaps it wasn’t such a careless act after all. No matter, the words did their work.

Gouging deep into my soul they inflicted pain that should not be. What made the pain more insidious was the fact that the words were spoken by someone who seems to have a very different definition of ‘community’, someone who should have a broader view than that of a simple gender binary. Again, as I have been in the past, I was criticised and belittled as a fake – “You are not really transgender because you don’t want to be a woman.”

What this person failed to realise is that it isn’t a case of me not wanting to be a woman. If the process was simple, if there were no others involved and if dreams really did come true then I would happily pursue transition. For me though, at over 60 years of age, I really think that boat has sailed. There are many reasons why I’ve not pursued transition but in all honesty, they are none of her business. What matters to me is that I have a right to express myself by way of whatever gender presentation I choose.

If we consider the somewhat bigoted view of this person, at what point does one cross that mystical Rubicon that marks the binary border of male and female? Does one need to do more than present an appearance of the ‘other’ gender to be considered ‘trans’ – across – gender? If to be transgender one needs more than just the appearance of the other what does that “more” entail? Despite the physical changes that the use of hormones can produce they do not change the anatomical markers often used to define gender. Is someone really only ‘transgender’ if they have completed gender reassignment surgery?

Here in CDH I often see the question asked “Are you a CD or trans?” “Trans” of course might be short for ‘transsexual’ or it might be short for ‘transgender’. When it’s used in such a question the abbreviation could be taken either way. My problem with either use though is that by inference it suggests that a person must be either a CD or trans-something but can’t be a CD and transgender. It’s another one of those labels scenarios that I detest so much. Is someone who wants to pursue transition but who as yet has not even discussed it with a doctor still “just a CD” or should we call them ‘transgender’ because they want to be a woman? Even when seeking a location to post this story I saw one choice was the forum ‘Crossdresser & Transgender Chat’, again suggesting that I am either a CD or transgender but can’t be both.

For me it’s the inner need that defines ‘transgender’. I don’t present as female for thrills. I have no doubt that few if any people think I am genetically female yet still I have the need to present as such. It is an inner, emotional need to cross the gender binary, if such a binary really exists. If that makes me a fake then so be it. If I’m “not really transgender” because I will never be legally classed as a female then perhaps I need to find a new definition. Perhaps I could be called ‘unorthodox-gender’ so that I can satisfy the bigots from either of the other ‘true’ gender streams.

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JaneS

Also known as Doc, from Canberra, ACT (that’s in Australia) is an older crossdresser who gets to dress whenever she wants to thanks to total family support. She’s happy to share her experiences if it helps others to feel less alone.
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  1. Profile photo of Dot (Donna B)
    Dot (Donna B) 5 months ago

    Jane thank you for writing a very nice article. I’ve seen people in our community disagree over exact meaning of phrases too. Easy to understand how those not in our community would be even more confused.

  2. Profile photo of Caren
    Caren 5 months ago

    First of all,I vote for “Doxy’s! Jane,in today’s world ignorance still exists.It is not recognized as such thanks to those who propose that if “I think this way,then you are wrong for not backing me.” There are so called experts in every walk of life that push their way of thinking without any consideration for others feelings or experiences and regrettably there will always be.I am taking my CD experiences one day at a time and I am truly grateful for you and the others on CDH who are willing to share the wealth.Thank you and much love to you

  3. Profile photo of VickieJ
    VickieJ 6 months ago

    Jane,

    Thanks for sharing your story. It’s terribly sad that we do these things to each other.

    We all want to belong somewhere and have an identity. It seems people within this community suffer alone needlessly so much of the time.

    I think it’s important to remember that the person who said those hurtful things to you may very well be suffering inside themselves. I know that doesn’t make it any less hurtful. However, after years of being ridiculed, teased and bullied, it can sometimes be easy to mirror our environment without realizing it. We become conditioned and go after somebody, or some particular group just because that’s what people around us do?

    Unfortunately, it sometimes takes a life time to realize that life is too short to suffer in silence.

    It took me forty years to get here, but several members here have been so kind and have helped me more than my words can express.

    Hugs Jane

    Vickie

    • Profile photo of Jackie Wild
      Jackie Wild 5 months ago

      Vicky CDH is the perfect place to be for kindness, support, making new friends and above all support at the highest level. It’s sad that we are ridiculed and judged and the thing is is that so many of these people are hypocrites. I have went been with my fair share of married men who for 6 day’s judge people like us then on the 7th. day come and want to sleep us and be with us. But it is what it is and though it took you 40 yrs. here you are now and that my dear is the most important thing. welcome to the wonderful life of being who you really are and want to be. The hell with the a holes that think anything other than we are special and unique people.It takes courage that the majority of society don’t have. Stay strong sister and be all you want to be.

  4. Profile photo of Tasi Zuriack
    Tasi Zuriack 7 months ago

    Unfortunately those within the community who make hurtful remarks also consider themselves out and above the community. The media has done us no favor but equating transgender with those who are transitioning eventhough Wikipedia (for instance) defines transgender as gender identity and gender expression. Also unfortunate is the still large number of crossdressers who crossdress for fetish reasons. Just Google and see what comes up. It’s a constant battle and we need to confront and educate every day and certainly challenge those who feel that not being full time doesn’t make us any less trans.

    For those interested in exploring the true meaning of transgender just a bit more, I refer you to this http://www.sisterhouse.net/library/category/transgender-resources/all-about-transgenderism/?numtoshow=3&archive=yes

    Hugs….Tasi

    • Profile photo of Jodi
      Jodi 6 months ago

      Hi Tasi
      It IS unfortunate that a large number of crossdressers , cross dress for fetish reasons . What people don’t know or understand is that , this is how it starts and it starts very young , at least it did for me and once it gets hold of you it doesn’t let go . Why do these thoughts of wanting to dress as female come into your head in the first place ? Surely not every male has these thoughts and if they do they mustn’t act on it or just ignore it . I think we are tapping into our female side without actually realizing it and when puberty hits it becomes a massive turn on . This is where the humiliation comes into it . You start to think surely this isn’t right , what if my family found out or my friends . I was a footballer and surfer and I couldn’t bear the thought of people talking behind my back and having my reputation ridiculed and tarnished .I started around 1960 and a few years later when puberty was in full swing I couldn’t help myself . I had no one to talk to about either , I thought I was unique you see , so how could anyone else understand ? I’ve purged three times since , thinking that this is a bad habit that has to be dropped . Now I embrace it in the privacy of my own home . I can’t see myself ever coming out of the closet because I read about the pain and suffering some girls endure and I have no desire to put myself through that . Maybe one day , but I get the general feeling that people , not on here ( hopefully ) think we are perverts but they don’t know the full story . I have learnt to control my fetish and I have learnt to embrace the fact I am a heterosexual crossdresser. After all lets face it , female clothes are far superior to male clothes and I feel more comfortable dressing that way . Also I’ve always had an obsession with breasts as I think they are the epitome of the female form . When I look in the mirror and see a female staring back I get a real sense of contentment. Hmmmm maybe I’m trans too . 🙂

  5. terri m 7 months ago

    Jane, you couldn’t have said it better. I would love to transition or at least live as a woman, but my family has always come first and will continue to be first. We have too many labels and too many of our community judging others. Thank you for your post.
    Your Terri

  6. Regina Love 7 months ago

    I understand your post completely. I am now 57 and have always felt like a girl on the inside. Many have attempted to label me and yet I seem to always slip past their labels, although it is much more difficult due to my called profession. Being a part of the religious community does not help much either as very few want to hear, much less discuss the realities of gender and all of its wide panorama. I guess I must stay closeted for a while longer and yet my desire to live fully into my feminine self seems to grow stronger each day.

    Hugs
    Regina

  7. Profile photo of Abbie Simons
    Abbie Simons 7 months ago

    Jane

    You were one of the to speak to me when i joined this wonderful group. I was still coming to terms with new concepts and difficulty of who i was. It is not easy, but we all belong on a spectrum which includes CD and TG. I am not sure why we ask that question and you know what i am not going to ask it again or at least try not to. to not labelled my fellow sisters. I am probably as unorthodox as most as i now identify as female, yet live as a male as that is what those around me need. My body shape means i will never really get close to that wish of being female. no amount of surgery will do that for me. I just try to find peace and need to change my ways to help others to find their peace.

    Big hugs hunny you are an amazing person

    Abbie

    • Profile photo of JaneS Author
      JaneS 7 months ago

      Thank you Abbie. I think the quest for inner peace is the only really important thing we have to pursue. That peace, though, can’t come at the expense of others because then it’s not really peace, just short-lived satisfaction.

      You’ll find your inner peace, fear not.

      🙂

    • Profile photo of Tania Wilde
      Tania Wilde 7 months ago

      Abbie,
      Along with all the other comments, yours struck me because of one line”yet live as a male as that is what those around me need.” Even my wife acknowledges that if she not in the picture, she’s sure Tania would be an all-day, every-day occurrence. Our femininity suffers because of obligation, and not for lack of desire, or need.

      Let the others call me anything they wish, it’s just a label, I know what I am!
      Tania

  8. Profile photo of stacey  s
    stacey s 7 months ago

    Jane, read your story and found it interesting and hurtful at the same time. I am sorry you went through this and have experienced some of the same. However, we cannot use labels as society uses. I, have been a Crossdresser for years and have been in therapy for many years because of my non acceptance of myself thanks fully while there I have accepted myself and my sexually which would be gay also. As I feel my famine side at all times due to genetics. Explain at another time. I, do not believe in Labels either as I have been married twice neither knew of my inter turmoil , anger . I , will not hurt someone with words or thought because each person is different with different circumstances whether single or married. I, was looking for and found CDH and found that each is different and a different place. I wish I could have transition however I can’t due to other health issues. We must stand together at all times regardless of our thoughts . By mindful of feelings of others also.
    Hugs to all,
    Stacey s

  9. Patricia Gil 7 months ago

    Being honest with oneself is what matters. Many a woman has stated they wanted to be loved for who they are. Yet so few are ready to return the feelings. Don’t put me in a box, it get crowded to easily.

  10. Profile photo of Jackie Wild
    Jackie Wild 7 months ago

    Jane I identify with your situation well and April hit on it the best (I think) when she told you that more or less it would be a better world if the wonderful diversity in us all would be recognized and accepted. However, it’s a hypocritical world or nation we live in. Where do we find ourselves within it’s realm? Usually somewhere where we are being judged and persecuted for being ourselves. Each of us are taught when we were growing up to be honest and not to lie. Then as we get older we find ourselves wondering of why should we be honest about who our real selves are? It’s a real dilemma when we do step out of the darkness and be honest. The word or title of Transgender does not have a rule that one needs to have her little pecker chopped off to claim it’s entity. I believe I’m correct when I say that Transgender is one who identifies oneself as belonging to the opposite sex. I identify myself as being very similar to the opposite sex, I wear makeup, what is said to be women’s clothes, high heels and so fourth, I even have a very feminine stature and personality which Transgenders aim is to have but I’m not considered or looked upon as Transgender at all because I’m gay, frequent gay bar’s and I’m a drag queen in societies eye’s and nothing more. However, I personally feel Transgender because I dress and wear makeup almost daily. My role as a drag queen only takes place once or twice a week. My point is is that whoever told you these things should stop and take a real look at themselves, clean their own back yard before they try to clean yours!

    • Profile photo of stacey  s
      stacey s 7 months ago

      Jackie, well put and your statement was excellent !
      Thank You,
      Stacey s

      • Profile photo of Jackie Wild
        Jackie Wild 7 months ago

        Thank You Stacey. It truly is a dilemma for us but the bright side is is that we are evolving a little more every day. Soon we could have a trans for president, hey ya never know!

    • Profile photo of Josselyn
      Josselyn 5 months ago

      Thanks for sharing that Jackie. I believe you have said it all. I am so sick of all the labels people use. It’s like a type of prejudice. It is a shame we still have so much hatred still in this day and age. Every time I think this country is stepping out of the dark ages they always do something like this. My prayer is that we all learn to respect each other for who we are not what we believe or who we follow. We all need to love ourselves before we can love others.
      Hugs and kisses
      Joseline

  11. Profile photo of April (Pacific Princess)

    Wow Jane – you really got me thinking with this one!

    First – so sorry this happened to you. One would think that someone in our “community” would have a greater understanding of the wonderful diversity among us, and learn to appreciate that diversity in all its forms. To experience bigotry firsthand and then to turn around and do the same thing to another is just so hypocritical. And it brings up the fact that while labeling and categorizing is a very human thing to do, getting beyond the labels requires thought, compassion and empathy that sadly some do not have.

    I am actually of two minds on the use of CD/TG terminology. On the one hand, to use those terms in a pejorative fashion to hurt and isolate is just so wrong. The person who did this belittles herself with her own bigotry. There are so many ways to express ones gender identity, and I think most of us realize that there is no “right” way to present. We just are.

    On the other hand, I don’t really have a problem using the terms CD or TG/trans to open a dialog, because in my mind they (broadly) define either someone who likes presenting as a woman occasionally, or someone who would like to present and live as a woman full time, whether or not hormones or SRS are involved. I don’t use the terms as a judgement of any kind, and I have found that use of the terms initially can get people to talking about themselves, even if they don’t agree with my assumed definitions, and eventually we can get into all the nuances of each persons own particular circumstances.

    You have been part of the community for far longer than I have and I am interested to know how you would open a dialog with someone who has gender identity issues. How would you start a conversation, especially with say, a newcomer to the chat room, in order to learn a little more on where they would see themselves on the spectrum? If there is a better, more subtle and open ended way to engage them I think it would be a good thing, but I haven’t been able to come up with anything on my own.

    I have also yet to experience the type of bigotry you have, but then I have only been back dressing for a short while. Perhaps down the road, if I have more negative experiences, I may change my opinion on the matter.

    Hugs.
    April

  12. Profile photo of Kayla Jameson
    Kayla Jameson 7 months ago

    Point well made. You would think being in a minority, we would all band together for strength. But not so. I’ve come to realize that no matter one’s orientation, stage in life, religion, politics, etc., most people today have the attitude, “If you’re not like me, then I will hurt you.” Still dreaming of true peace.

  13. Profile photo of JaneS Author
    JaneS 7 months ago

    I could go with “Doxys”….

    The ‘conversation’ that was the embryo of this article happened a while back, before I joined CDH but I thought it worth writing anyway because even here I see a similar thing creeping in to some conversations.

    It is important that we all support those around us, in whatever way is necessary. Everyone has a life journey to manage and it is no-one else’s business how we do that. We should always consider those around us, and our responsibilities, when we make decisions about the way we proceed but in the end we must be the ones who decide what is right for us individually.

    There should be no such thing as “My way or the highway” for everyone needs to remember that side roads can get us to destinations too.

    • Profile photo of Tess Williams
      Tess Williams 7 months ago

      Amen Sister!

      No one person is the same – man, woman, crossdresser, transgendered, non-binary, black, white, or green. How in the hell could anyone imagine that everyon’es journey would be the same?

  14. Profile photo of skippy1965(Cynthia)
    skippy1965(Cynthia) 7 months ago

    Jane,
    I am so so sorry that you had this experience and I agree that the worst part is that it was said by someone WITHIN the community! 🙁 We have had the discussion about “labels being for cans” before and I have made a distinct effort to avoid asking the are you CD or TG question (or if I do to ask it more as are you CD or TG/TS -though now that you reminded me that one can truly be both I will try to avoid it entirely). I understand why we ask it because there are different aspects to someone who is a CD but has NO desire to be female or even necessarily to present as female very often vs. someone who DOES wish to express that side of themselves the majority or even all of the time -with or without making physical changes to their bodies. I completely understand your reasoning in your circumstances an have many of the same feelings myself. Being younger and unfortunately unencumbered by a SO at this point, I have not ruled out full transitioning (though I have also not yet made a decision to go forward either). I appreciate you posting this as it makes me re-examine my own approach and realize that I may inadvertently have hurt someone his way which is the LAST thing I would ever want to do! You don’t say whether you confronted the person who spoke those words to you. If not then perhaps they will see themselves in this article and their heart might be changed. If you did, then it may still help others like me take a bit more thought as to the power of our words. If I may , I’d like to do what little I can to offset the harsh words someone spoke to you by saying “I LOVE you Jane! and you will ALWAYS be in the group I count as my closest friends! ) <3

    Luv,
    Cyn

  15. Profile photo of Tasha
    Tasha 7 months ago

    I wish there were a way to conduct mass education and resolve the linguistic problems that plague us all. The terms, indeed all the language, used in this day and age is under extreme transition. Pun unintended. Obvious and clear insults should not be tolerated and we all need to confront those who use hurtful language. We must defend each other. At the same time, we need to make room for those who make honest attempts to accommodate our needs. It isn’t so easy to master a whole new vocabulary and concept of being. Binary thinking is destructive for us, but ingrained since birth for others. We need to remember that. The one-by-one person education we find ourselves giving those we meet, within and without our circle of friends, is exhausting. Most hurtful of course are the words from those closest to us who can, in an instant, destroy the deep feelings of trust we have built up since coming out. Jane it seems you suffered this latter experience. I am sorry. But, you have us, and by now you must realize that for every couple steps forward, we get the inevitable step backwards. Try to remember Ginger Rogers. She did an awful lot of dancing backwards, in heels, but with such grace and style. It can be done. Hugs.

  16. Profile photo of Amanda Patrick
    Amanda Patrick 7 months ago

    HI Jane,

    My under standing is if you want to present as female but have not transitioned it falls under the umbrella of transgender. transitioning is not always necessary it is how you feel inside. the person who made that comment needs to do some research.

  17. Profile photo of Sarah Maisy
    Sarah Maisy 7 months ago

    Oh, Jane. I feel so sad and angry that someone has hurt you so much. First up, in our greatest catch all term you are an amazing and beautiful human being, Secondly anyone ignorant enough to think anyone on whatever this ‘cross-trans-dressgender’ journey is, can be really pigeon holed, just doesn’t get it. Every single one of us has had different experiences and ideals on this journey. Lastly I wan to join your team but need to know if we’re going trio abbreviate to “unorthos” or “doxy’s”?

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