One time many years ago my dad & I were talking about rising crime rates in town.  I suggested that perhaps more cops were needed.  My dad said, “Cops are the symptom.  They’re neither the cause nor the cure.”


What is it that makes someone transgender?  There’s been a lot of debate on the origin.  I’m not going to touch that here, except to say that transgender has been a thing for far longer and wider than most people probably realize, and that I have my own ideas on the why & where.  Instead, I’ll focus on some symptoms and leave the cause and cure for you to discern (hint: there is no “cure”).

Occasionally, I’ve seen people use the phrase “fully transgender”.  Although I think I get what’s being indicated there, it’s a red herring statement.  Can you be only half transgender?  No, not any more than you can be half alive… you either are or are not.

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Some trans folks opt for medical treatment.  HRT, various surgeries.  Is THAT what makes you transgender?  No, again these are some symptoms and not the cause.  Nor are they the cure.  These treatments are intended to be therapeutic, to alleviate the mental and/or emotional suffering.  You see, things like dysphoria/dysmorphia, depression, anxiety and the like often go along with being trans. All treatments are therapeutic, but not all treatments are necessary for everyone.

Is being transgender in and of itself a mental illness?  No, of course not.  C’mon now.  It’s simply a way of understanding yourself that’s different from the majority of (cis) people.  A different sort of consciousness.

Well, shoot.  Let’s look at etymology for some help.


  1. across; beyond
  2.  through — into another state or place — surpassing; transcending

(This one’s a little more difficult)

  1. the behavioral, cultural, or psychological traits typically associated with one sex
  2. either of the two sexes (male and female), especially when considered with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones. The term is also used more broadly to denote a range of identities that do not correspond to established ideas of male and female.
  3. Gender refers to the characteristics of women, men, girls and boys that are socially constructed. This includes norms, behaviors and roles associated with being a woman, man, girl or boy, as well as relationships with each other.

In other words, transgender = changing or transforming of gender or gender presentation.  Hey wait, isn’t that kind of like crossdressing??  There’s another symptom.  You didn’t need surgery or hormones for that either did you?

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A lot of us (myself included) began doing this odd thing (aka crossdressing) as young children, long before onset of puberty.  Almost like we knew or something (I did, but the language to express it in words didn’t exist back then).  Maybe some of us knew why we did what we did, or maybe not. It doesn’t matter that it took you ten years or thirty or fifty to understand it.

The day I began to understand myself as transgender was the day a lot of things about my life looking back began to make more sense.  Like why girls liked me as a friend and not as a boyfriend.  Why more than one of them had called me a girl.  Why I like fashion, colors & have an artistic sensibility.  Why I think that most men are goofballs and had to learn how to become one of them.  Why I prefer to be a diplomat and not a fighter (I’m not scared of confrontation, but I don’t enjoy it either).  Why I feel the vibe and watch the body language more than I care about the words (although words are important too).

None of these are causes, but they’re some more symptoms.  Does every trans person have all these symptoms?  No not all of us, but you probably knew I was going to say that.

Sooo…that’s about all I got to say, for now at least.  I hope that all you other gals on here who understand yourselves as transgender, will please come throw down on the comments of this here article.  And maybe some gals who aren’t sure will ask some questions, either out loud or just to themselves.  How did you know?  What are some things you wish others knew or understood?

Thank you Ladies!!

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    Kim Dahlenbergen
    Active Member
    1 month ago

    Seems like a lot of energy and time are devoted to asking what defines a person as transgender and why is one transgender. The latter question is presently impossible to answer. We have an over abundance of hypotheses but no definitive clinical evidence. As your article suggests, there can be a wide range of people who fall under the transgender umbrella. Although we can suspect or even be fairly confident in our self assessment, we may express that part of ourselves in vastly different ways.

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