Letters Volume Eleven
This is Volume Eleven of the collected letters.
Wherein can be found the anonymous texts of actual letters written to me, and my answers in return. They are included because it has been suggested that the discussions are of value. The letters are presented as a rather loose, ongoing continuous dialogue between a hypothetical questioner, and myself.
You can write to me, too!
These are the eleventh set of letters
Reference Topic Index
Relative ONLY to this volume:
For the complete list see main letters page.
need a crash course in passing!
What transgenderists are all about.
What about urination after surgery..is it a problem?
Counceling INSTEAD of transition...what happens then?
I am in a situation where i need to begin my real life test very soon. Maybe too soon, but my situation is such that i pretty much have to go for it now. I pass physically fairly well, though I have a ways still to go. I really am nervous about being accepted, and about passing. How can i make sure that I am accepted as a woman a well as possible? I really need a kind of crash course on this, and any help would be appriciated.
Since your physical appearance is at least in the ballpark, that is one important piece to the puzzle of being accepted as a woman.
There are two other details that seriously determine passing, and are equal to how one looks, if not even marginally more important: voice and mannerisms.
If you do not have a passable voice, develop one immediately, as it will be vital in passing. There are several sites out there that provide the same lessons I learned, so check them out. In a nutshell though, the rules are pretty simple, just requires some practice...here's the gist:
Never use falsetto...dead giveaway. Pitch, within reason is not the issue. How high or low means little compared to other factors that are vastly more important.
Produce your voice only from the back of your throat...from your head...never from your chest cavity. The chest is larger in physical males, and produces a characteristic hollow rumble under the voice, which is what must be eliminated. Slightly nasal if you have to, but back of throat. Eventually you will find a place that seems to feel comfortable, but has no low resonant subtones.
No monotone. Males speak in monotone, females use a more 'musical' manner of speech, and often phrase things so they rise slightly at the end, as a question.
Females keep the conversation rolling, nearly constantly make eye contact, have a much smaller or nonexistent 'personal space' of physical proximity to others than males, and almost always gesticulate while speaking.
Females use language males do not, cues such as the use of very diverse names for colors and dramatic adjectives. Females seldom make absolute statements.
By combining some, many, or all of these traits, it is possible to develop a convincing voice.
As for mannerisms, study other women and assimilate body mannerisms that seem comfortable. In time, your own personality will shine, and you will unlearn the crap you had to learn to imitate to survive in a male role. But for now, until you become comfortable and secure, reverse the process and study and imitate the female...only not too far! Exaggeration never works, keep things subtle. The absolute best is to discover how to be yourself...but you have indicated a time issue, so this is crash course stuff.
Females generally are looser in body motion and more relaxed over all. The are especially relaxed in the posterior, though I am not talking a wiggling rump here...that is false and affected. Genuine is always best, as is subtle. Females are naturally more relaxed in their muscles than males. Estrogen will gradually do this for you.
Little details when you are first starting: don't go overboard with makeup, ever. Wear only the kind of clothing other women of your age and situation wear...copy and blend in. If you are uneasy, a good solution is simple slacks suits and jumpsuits, that sort of thing. This is the 90's and few women do skirts anymore. Wear very sensible shoes. Dress down just a bit. Dressing too fancy is a dead giveaway.
It also really
helps to have a nontranssexual woman friend help you learn and guide
you in a crash course situation. Over time, you will gradually come
into your own
I just took your COGIATI. What a cool test! I always wondered, now i have an idea. Thank you. your test says my result value is 5 and that i am classification 3, androgyne. what exactly is a transgenderist? the test says i am that.
A transgenderist is a person who feels most comfortable blending the sexes in some fashion, rather than being wholly male or wholly female. For example, I know Male-To-Female transgenderists who have taken hormones, live entirely as women, yet never intend to have surgery. They are quite happy with having male sex organs, as well as breasts and an overall female appearance and life. Their sexual preferences could be anything...gay, straight, bi, anything. They just live that way.
Sometimes MTF transgenderists only suppress male hormones, maybe use a little estrogen, and get themselves to where they can pass either as male OR female equally. Then they live as both, as they see fit.
Some MTF transgenderists only crossdress, but are aware that their expression of a female side is more than just a fetish, that they are partly female inside, and that frees them to live as they choose.
There are also Female-To-Male transgenderists too, in case you are wondering. They express a masculine component to whatever degree they feel comfortable, but do not consider themselves transsexual.
Basically, a transgenderist is more serious than a crossdresser, there is a real gender issue there, but they are not driven to transition completely, and alter their sexual functioning totally. They are in the twilight zone between crossdresser and transsexual. It is a valid way to live, though like everything in life, transgenderism has risks too, and as usual, they come from the dangerous disapproval of other people.
The test also says
i should consider joining a group devoted to gender
play. what is that? how do I find such a group and what do they do? I am
asking that you please help me know what to do and basically how to find
what your test is recommending. I very much thank you for your help.
Gender groups come in many forms. You can find how to contact them from my links area, I recommend contacting the Ingersoll Center, and checking out Transgender Magazine (it's an E-Zine, online), especially. They are in my links area, located on the rest of my site, below all of my various articles and sections.
A gender group
could be a gender support group, which is kind of like group therapy
sometimes mixed with occasional outings to clubs or parties. Some
gender groups are societies for crossdressers and transgenderists,
who arrange special 'en-fem' cruises, trips, and vacations, all
planned for the maximum safety and security. Some gender groups exist
simply to help people cope with being transgendered or transsexual or
transvestic, and provide resources and information. There are all
kinds out there!
I am writing to you
because your are post SRS; I am pre
SRS. Hopefully you will be able to answer my questions.
Also, thank you for your wonderful web site. Not only am I
concerned about havine orgasms and having an adequate vagina, but
also concerned about going to the bathroom.
I am worried that following my SRS, my urinary function may not be "as good as" a woman's. I have read literature describing how a TS may have to lean forward when sitting to direct her stream into the bowl or may experience a lot of wetness from a void. How common are flow direction and/or spraying following SRS? Did you experience any voiding pain after the urinary cathater was removed? Can I expect a stronger (faster flowing) stream? Does urination feel different? After urination, can I expect to wipe dry only a few drops of urine near my meatus or will urine spread over my crotch? Is there a particular surgical technique to ensure a normal female urinary stream?
Passing and being accepted as a woman is, of course, very important to me. However - just as important - every time I go to the bathroom after my SRS, I do not want to be reminded that I do not function "as good as" a woman.
A very good set of questions.
Every surgeon has a slightly different technique, and there are natural variations to each unique patient who has reassignment surgery. Some people have more problems than others, and just about everybody has some complication, even if minor. This is to be expected, for SRS involves some pretty major rearrangement of tissue, even if the basic overall process of the surgery has become pretty standardized.
In my own case, as I detail in my transition story in the articles on my site, having the catheter removed was a fairly unpleasant experience, and I was worried myself about all manner of problems. I had to learn how to urinate all over again, and at first it was not always easy.
Sometimes, early after surgery, I might make a mess, have to lean far forward to avoid spraying over the seat, and I might drip a bit if I got over excited. After about six months, my urethra 'settled down', and all my newly created organs had healed completely and settled into place, as it were, and things became much better. Now, I function as normally as my nontranssexual lover, Elde.
I do not mess myself or the toilet, and drying myself is no different than what Elde does - I have bothered to compare myself with and observe her. Of my post operative friends that I have questioned about such matters, all report no difficulty with urination, though some did have problems on occasion the first few months after surgery.
The key to a normal urinary stream is the angle of the urethra itself. The most common form of SRS is the Penile Inversion Technique, which despite the occasional artistic variations of each surgeon, is quite standardized. Difficulty can occur if the urethra is in any fashion out of place, which can be caused by many things. In my case, simple swelling of the traumatized tissues cause my urethra to point a little to the side and up at first, but as things healed, this ceased to be an issue. Given time, the organs tend to find a comfortable and functional place in most people.
Many of the problems one hears about...those that are not do to difficulties or permanent damage during the reconstruction...tend to go away after a good few months. Surgery traumatizes flesh, it cannot be otherwise, and swelling, nerve injuries, and the new structures in fact being new, can all contribute to initial problems.
Most post operative MTF transsexuals have some minor problems such as you describe during the first year, but most also get past these problems. Only a small number have permanent difficulties. Such matters must then be attended to.
Surgery is always a roll of the dice, but the odds are definiately on the side of functioning 'normally' after six months to a year, providing that one attends to one's own health: exercising the muscles by stopping and starting the flow of urine, being reasonably healthy overall in behavior.
While your concerns are valid, the chance of having serious permanent problems are not great.
I wish to add
one more thing, and that is that nontranssexual women also have
problems like you describe. Nontranssexual female genitals vary quite
a bit, and each woman is unique. I have known nontranssexual women
who have had messy urination situations their entire life, so the
fact that most transsexual women end up functioning in a standardized
way is perhaps unusual in and of itself: we may be odd because we
mostly function very well, rather than in diversely messy ways.
Something to consider: we may actually be better off than some
I am a graduate student in the southern US and I am researching the topic of Gender Dysphoria. Please excuse me if I use any stereotypical words, for I do not mean to offend anyone. Are you aware of anyone seeking counseling to try to resolve (for lack of better word) their suffering and what problems they may encountered by continuing counseling instead of going on with a sex change operation?
Yes, I am aware of such things.
Some counselors, usually because of their own personal issues, delay help for transsexuals, sometimes for years and years. They attempt to 'cure' transsexuality through therapy, various treatments (even electric shock!), drugs, and so forth. Anything but providing transition.
Stanford was notorious for this for years, and even John Hopkins had a phase of this.
The result in all cases is the same; the transsexual becomes worse and worse, have their already low self worth eroded, and either finally realize what is going on and leave to find someone who will help them, or in the extreme cases, finally suicide.
The amount of human carnage caused by the idiocy of ignoring the biological basis of transsexuality, and attempting quack 'cures' will probably never be fully known. Many brilliant people -remember that transsexuals, on average, have much higher intellects than other people- have been literally destroyed by this kind of 'solution'. High intellect does not equal emotional maturity, and unfortunately, too many transsexuals lack the self worth to 'fight the system' when it abuses them.
Transsexuality can not be 'cured'. It is a fact of neurological construction, of the sex of the brain being at odds with the sex of the body. It occurs in utero, and all the counseling in the world will no more 'fix' the problems of the transsexual than counseling can bring back an amputated arm.
The standard treatment for transsexuality, transition and surgery on the other hand, has one of the highest levels of success and patient satisfaction of any medical procedure. It solves the misery by reconstructing the body to match the brain, which is sensible, because if it were possible to alter the brain to match the body, the individual identity would be -by definition- annihilated in the process, to be replaced with a new identity. Rather like killing the patient and replacing them with someone new. Altering the body to fit the owner works, and works incredibly well.
Whenever a patient is denied proper treatment and forced through years of dissuasion, useless attempts at treating a birth defect as a psychological illness, and other such foolishness, utter tragedy is almost always the result.
I personally have met transsexuals who suffered through such quackery, and before they finally left to get serious treatment, they came within a hair of taking their own lives in despair. Hopefully, with the information now available on the internet and in books, transsexuals will know to run away fast from any situation that would deny them the standardized, approved treatment they deserve.
regularly get letters from folks grievously uninformed about their
options, sure they are alone in the world, and at the mercy of
exactly the kind of endless, fruitless counseling you describe. This
suggests to me that the quackery continues to this day. It is
horrible when personal agenda replaces proven medical procedure, for
lives are destroyed for no reason other than to satisfy some person's
bigotry or denial of reality. This is intolerable, and I dream of a
day when it finally ceases to be.