Letters Volume Nineteen
This is Volume Nineteen 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 Nineteenth set of letters
Reference Topic Index
Relative ONLY to this volume:
For the complete list see main letters page.
most common complaint about the COGIATI addressed
What about transsexuals that seemingly change sexual orientation after transition?
What about those who claim they are 'totally heterosexual'?
Why do they make it so darn difficult to be transsexual or to be gay?
Hello I took your test on seeing if your a ts well I scored a 360. I feel that this test doesn't accurately tell about the person. It told me I am late onset well I am 26 post op and have early onset before 21 started feeling this way around age 6-7. I am very happy with my decision for GRS and glad they didn't use a test like this at that matter I didn't take any test. I just was curious about your test and wanted to see what it said about me. Please reply
I really get this way, way too much. People take the COGIATI, then complain about it. They have not read the instructions, and they do not even know what the test is for. This frustrates me, actually.
You really need to understand the nature of what tests are. The COGIATI is very clearly labled as a test "for the pre-transition, MTF, questioning individual who is unsure about what they need to do". Additionally, full documentation and information about the test are all there. The test is mostly grounded in valid medical and scientific data (with some personal research included, since I do value my own ability), and to date has proven to be roughly 94% accurate, according to some 1400 people questioned about their results. No test, however accurate, can ever fit every possible circumstance, or every unique individual. I cannot stress this enough.
THERE IS NO ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY! Mostly.
One problem is, that the test produces, by necessity, a very low-resolution result. There are only five possible outcomes, five possible categories. The test attempts to assess a rough estimate of real neurological sex differences, as well as the cultural absorption of gender roles (an indirect indicator, but still of value in that is shows what a person is drawn to), with the goal of estimating the internal gender state of the user. The point here is estimation, and with only five categories, the test cannot hope to serve everyone as an individual, especially people for whom the test is not even designed to be used!
Your category, Class Four, would be appropriate if you were 26, or older, and had not even taken seriously the idea of transition. That is who the test is for. Class Four is the most common category for transsexuals, and most of them try to deny and suppress their issues until later in life. Only really severe cases, or the person who has had some mechanism in their life to make them aware and self empowered early, get to transition young. Most transsexuals try desperately to conform to imposible expectations, and then one day 'wake up' to how truly miserable they are. Then, in a panic, they struggle to discover themselves. It is to help them, most of all, that the COGIATI was created.
Those who are clear on what they need, require no test to point the way. They already know what they need. Those who have already transitioned are beyond the COGIATI. For them, it can only be an amusement, or perhaps a validation. I might point out that, at Class Four, you are completely validated. Class Four means the most common kind of transsexual. It says so, right on the label.
Ultimately, you must understand that NO test can ever definitively, or with authority, tell anyone ANYTHING. Tests are at best indications, hints, estimations, rough guideposts and generalistic suggestions. There is no such thing as any test being absolute or 'True' with a capital "T". Even a medical blood test is just a best estimation. The body changes minute to minute.
Only the individual can define themselves. However, occasionally, tests can provide direction, or provide clues, or they can assess a rough idea of what is going on. That is all any test can do. That is the best any test can ever do.
Before you take any test, especially if you intend to tale the test at all seriously, read the documentation FIRST. Understand what you are taking, why it was written, and what the value is. Just taking tests blindly, then wondering why they do not seem to fit you is a bit pointless. You are not a 'pre-transition, questioning individual who is unsure'. You are post op. Right there is an obvious problem with the test precisely addressing you.
Read the instructions before you try something. Then, if the thing you are dealing with turns out to not be constructed for your circumstance, use your own mind to adjust the results according to your unique situation. In ANY event interpret things with the knowledge and wisdom that nothing on earth can ever be exactly tuned to you: you are an individual. Adjust, interpret, modify, and generally bridge the gaps.
But most of
all, read the instructions so you know what you are dealing with.
I have a couple of questions which I don't believe you have addressed in your series. In your view, why are some individuals heterosexual before and after transition and surgery? In other words why are some physical males attacted to females before transition and surgery and attracted to men afterwards? Why does this change in sexual orientation happen to some Ts and not to others?
That, I think, is mostly an issue of internalized homophobia. Our society reeks with narrow attitudes about homosecuality, and because it is a male dominated society, the worst crime is male homosexuality. Indeed, lesbianism is considered a titilation for many heterosexual men. Homosexual men are a threat and an terror.
This is internalized by almost everyone to some degree, because we are all steeped in it culturally. For the FTM transsexual, it becomes severe in some cases, because many ignorant people are unable to differentiate between homosexuality and transsexuality...or transvestism, or just about anything that differs from vanilla heterosexuality.
The transsexual is therefore put in a place where they are assaulted from within and from without, with ideas about gender and sex and orientation all muddled and full of bigotry and fear. Since sexual orientation is independant of gender identity, some heterosexual women, trapped in male bodies, will attempt to conform to the sexuality socially approved to the shape of their bodies, whether they are comfortable with it or not. They trying desperately to avoid being considered the 'evil of evils', homosexual men. After transition, they realize, sometimes with a start, that they no longer have to play a role, and no longer have to avoid what is for them heterosexual relationships.
This is not the same thing for lesbian women trapped in male bodies. Prior to transition, they are naturally attracted to other women, but have the terrible problem of having the wrong body. Sex may be attempted, but it soon ceases to be much of anything but a reminder of being deformed. After transition, the lesbian oriented MTF transsexual finally can feel at ease with their sexuality, because finally, they can exist as women, with women as partners.
The key thing to grasp here is that the sexual attraction is just as inborn as the gender identity, but that it is on a 'different circuit' in the brain. Consequently, it is independant of the situation of the transsexual.
All of the above can be applied, in mirror, to the other side of the fence, the FTM transsexual man. There are transsexual gay men, and transsexual hetero men, and they have to deal with the same sorts of issues in their own way. It is a bit worse, though for the transsexual man, because medical science has not been able to devise a truly satisfactory way to create a penis. This, as you can imagine, would be especially a problem for the gay transsexual man.
Any transsexual that is obssesive about proclaiming that they are Totally, Utterly, Absolutely Heterosexual is just suffering from internalized homophobia. They have been beaten down emotionally by our culture so much that they are essentially begging for acceptance and inclusion in 'normality'. They are fleeing pain, and seek to barter for acceptance by the dominant culture, even if that culture exists primarily as their own internal demon. The thing they barter with is the willingness to conform to the dominant culture.
You see, the
fact that transsexuals exist at all tends to destroy conventional
notions of what is heterosexual and what is homosexual to begin with.
To the homosexual, the transsexual calls into question any political
ideology about the social effects of sexuality, and to the
heterosexual, the transsexual calls into question what it even means
to be gay or straight at all. This can scare some monkeys pretty much
beyond all reason. Some of those monkeys so frightened are
Hi. It is really hard being a transsexual, and being gay, too. I mean, all I want is to have what is a basic human right, just to be happy and to live. I just want to be myself, and persue happiness. People make it so hard to do this. Why is it so hard just to be? Why do they make everything so hard when all I want is just to be happy? I am not hurting anyone. Why is it like this?
I can answer that.
Let me tell you about Western civilization, and the organ called the 'appendix', attatched to your intestine. The answer, surprisingly, is in there.
Unfortunately, we live in a society, a world, that was not designed intelligently, it just gradually developed. Many things are remnants of things that once were useful but now are not, and some things that were never useful, but somehow just sort of stuck. One such thing involves the many arbitrary, illogical, and sometimes just plain foolish rules and customs that surround gender, identity, and roles that people are supposed to play in life. Society is an idiot, and sometimes one just has to suffer though it's drooling attempts at order and meaning. That is essentially the reason some things are so difficult, when they should not be.
Civilization evolves, just like the life that creates it. Mistakes are made, and some things linger past their due. Inside your body is a totally useless organ, for instance. In point of fact, it is more than useless, it is actually a threat. I speak of your appendix. Attached to your intestine, the appendix is about half the size of your little finger, and it does nothing.
The appendix is a remnant, a useless leftover from our ancestors long ago. It has the same construction and design as the 'crop' or crushing organ inside of some lizards and birds. Birds, such a chickens, eat small stones, which go into their crop. Because they have no teeth, they must eat food, such as insects, or grain, whole. The food still needs to be ground up. The crop organ squeezes the pebbles around as the food enters, crushing it up so the bird can digest it.
Birds evolved from dinosaurs, and dinosaurs had teeth, but they still had crops too. The types of meat eating dinosaurs that birds came from, and also that mammals came from only used their teeth to shred and bite...they used their crops to grind, just like chickens do today. The early mammals that evolved from dinosaur ancestors kept the crop, despite developing multipurpose teeth. Why did the crop not go away altogether, even though mammals have such teeth? Even though worse than useless - the crop uses up biological energy to exist- we still have the darned thing. Evolution would have certainly selected to get rid of the drain on food and energy. Problem is, if the crop gets too narrow, bits of bone, or food, or grains can get stuck in the opening into it. When that happens, infection sets in , and generally kills the animal. So evolution could not select to get rid of the food grinding organ, because of this problem, this flaw, of the opening becoming dangerous if randomness selected for it to become even smaller, for it to go away altogether.
In humans, our crops, which we call 'appendixes' are as small as they can get before grains are likely to get stuck in them and block them up. They hang there, useless, off our intestine. Sometimes they still, rarely, get blocked anyway, and that results in an appendicitis, which -in the days before surgery- killed people. It just did not kill them often, because it did not happen often.
Nature only does 'good enough'. It is never perfect. If the rare person dies, no big deal to Nature.
The same is true of the way civilization has evolved over time. No one is planning civilization, is just grows and changes over time. Once, before medicine, most babies died. People had to have lots and lots of children just so that a handful, maybe two or three, might live. Women often died in childbirth..one in 20, in fact. It was grim. So, is it any wonder that many religions -which control and affect society- demand people to have many, many children " 'Be Fruitful and Multiply"? Made sense, once.....it made sure that there was a next generation, and the more people one had, the more one could dominate other, rival groups or religions. In low-tech warfare, it's the number of people that win the war...weapons are just whatever one can grab. The side that wins becomes the 'Truth'.
Nowadays, however, with medicine, almost all mothers and babies survive. So our planet is getting so crowded that our survival as a species is in danger, and we threaten to kill of the planet by breeding like flies. But still, 3000 years later, some religions and some societies still demand their population breed and breed. Even if they are poor, without food, whatever. It is suicide, it is stupid. It is the social equivalent of the appendix, maybe worse.
Now, finally getting to the point, back 3000 (or so) years ago when religions were controlling society, and fighting amongst themselves to see who would become the 'Truth', they needed lots of people to fight. People to spread the word. People to convert, though force of arms, other people to the cause, or kill them if they would not convert. They needed to grow their population. This was especially true for the tiny, monotheistic, desert religions that one day would become Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. They were surrounded by superior, numerous pantheistic civilizations, who so dominated the world that they allowed freedom. In Ancient Rome, for instance, it was law that all religions were equal, and that homosexuality and difference was OK, and that free speech was important, and that pleasure was the reason to live, and much else besides.
Now if you were a small, warlike, desert cult trying to win the day with the odd idea of only one god, and a whole set of strict rules that were not much fun, what would you do? Why you would make breeding mandatory, and that means making anyone who did not breed like a rabbit evil. Gay folks tend not to have as many children as straight folks, unless they adopt, or put up with unpleasant stuff, so they are obviously to be damned: no babies to become warriors from that lot. Same with transsexuals, of course, lumped in for the same basic reasons. Also, pursuing pleasure had to be made a sin: successful warriors do not win by slacking off and having fun. They win by being really, really fanatical and pursuing winning alone.
Well, to cut things short, the desert cult was very violent, and the pantheistic folk were not violent enough (though of course the winners tend to tell things differently) and the desert cults won. The became the dominant 'Truth' in the Western world, and they seldom changed the rules that let them win.
So today, breeding a lot of babies that the planet cannot support is OK, homosexuality is evil, and transsexuality is evil. At least to a lot of people. The war was won, the desert tribes killed everyone else off, but the ancient, now useless-even dangerous- old rules still remain.
And that, my
friend, answers exactly why it is so darn hard to pursue happiness
today...and why being gay or transsexual can be such a big pain in
the ass. It was not always so, back when 'Truth' was different. The
social appendix is easily inflamed.