Letters Volume Twenty-Five
This is Volume Twenty-Five 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 Twenty-Fifth set of letters
Reference Topic Index
Relative ONLY to this volume:
For the complete list see main letters page.
about the hands and feet
The April 1st parody inspires reflection on how insults can be defused
A general overview of the COGIATI results is presented
There are none. On the positive side, hormones do change the skin all over the body, as well as the muscles, and this greatly alters the appearance of the hands and feet, along with everything else. The structure of bones, however, is set in concrete, and does not change. There are no operations to change the bones.
I can offer one useful thing: Fussing over the hands and feet is, in the long run, wasted effort. I had great terror, early in transition over having big hands and big feet, and frankly, now that I am 18 years post op, I look back on exactly how much hand and foot issues have impacted my life and the degree is minute. I have a harder time finding women's shoes that fit me. That is it. I was so afraid that my hands would 'give me away', and they really never did. What 'gave me away' was my own terror, my own worry, which made people uncomfortable and curious. As soon as I ended my fussing, I no longer had anything to worry about.
It's the worry that we do not pass, the worry over the little details, that often as not, makes us not pass. So I have found to be true. Ignore your hands and feet, and they will not attract attention. Hide and worry about them, and they will incite curiosity and speculation. And give them time to have the skin and muscle change completely too.
How you present
yourself overall, is vastly more important than any few imperfections.
I clicked onto
Transsexual.org on Monday April 3rd, having,
thankfully, not done so two days earlier, on your April
Fools Day parody. I enjoy your site for it's information, it's
letters and your replies, and i actually printed a few things from it
and copied to give to the people i came out to, along with my letter,
about 18 months or so ago.....I have learnt to accept the terms
Tranny and Queen with time, and even use them myself from time to
time now, though if there is one word (besides shemale), which
offends me most, it is "freak". Surely you could have used
another word instead of that one, and the joke may have been
considered funny. I'm not sure how i'll view things when i'm 18 years
post operative, though i don't ever think i'll ever be using that
word, even when i happen to joke about the Transsexual condition.
It is the words of hate that cause us the most pain that shackle us. It is impossible to be controlled by words that have no emotional power, and being made to feel terrible, to be hurt by an angry word, is to be controlled. That is why people use and create offensive terms, so as to have influence over what they fear or loath. It is the same reason society protects expletives, swear words, so carefully, making such a taboo of using them: if 'obscene' language became acceptable, it would lose it's power to shock, to release anger and frustration, to make us laugh, or to hurt. New obscene words would need to be invented, and would be, to take their place...as has, in fact, happened over time again and again.
I thought to use April Fools not simply for merriment, but as a tool for growth. That which we can make sport of, we are freed from. In making fun of my own efforts, I try to lessen my own arrogance, and in using harsh humor, and harsh words in my satire, I leech them of much of their power.
Understand that literally we are, as are all errors of development or mutations of biology, 'freaks', but also understand that the existence of 'freaks' is the very engine that powers evolution. The first erect ape was a freak, as was the first primate to use vocalized grunts to define things, the birth of language. Every advancement begins with a freak, which by virtue of useful difference, dominates in time, to become the norm. Freakdom is the caterpillar stage of butterfly wonder.
There are always more than enough people who will find some word, or some term to annoy or to hurt. What can be done about this? Only one weapon is available against those who cannot be educated: to drain their terminology of any power to harm us, to be able to make sport of ourselves and all we hold dear, to have the higher perspective that our antagonists lack, to counter dread seriousness with silly abandon.
The word 'freak' can only hold you so long as you hold your own plight as a serious matter. That is what any antagonist is counting on. The more we can laugh at ourselves, truly see ourselves as ridiculous not merely intellectually, but in a heartfelt knowing, the less power anyone can have to hurt us with language, or opinion.
All life is
ridiculous. Everyone is a clown, ultimately. We poor primates cling
to our inventions, our bitter rivalries and solemn sacredness, and in
the end, we are but pretentious and shaven apes. I choose my April
content carefully, and the word 'freak' most deliberately; it was
used against me a very great deal. It is a demon for me, and
therefore something to be rendered powerless. It was supposed to
shock, not only my readers, but myself. If we cannot take charge of
the words that hurt us, then we are at their mercy. There are real
things that really hurt, physical things, physical forms of
disapproval, and they are waiting. In all of that, I say we can waste
no time allowing our energy to be drained by being upset by any mere
word or idea.
I scored a 385 on the gender test, and I was wondering if there was some listing of categories from least likely transsexual to certainly transsexual on the website?? If not, I would greatly like to know where I stand in the general schema of the test...
Well, in the opening pages of the test there is a hyperlink to a full breakdown of the test and it's construction, if you are curious. There are also many letters in the letters column on my main site page that deal with the test as well. But I can summarize...
Basically there are five class divisions:
-650 to -385 which approximates the standard 'Big 'Ol Sack 'A Man', to Quote Johnny Bravo from Cartoon Network.
-390 to -129 which fits your basic, off the shelf transvestite, just gets jollies from dressing up.
-130 to +129 which is a true androgyne, happy as either male or female, with an undifferentiated internal gender. 'She-Male' type.
130 to 389 which is the most common sort of transsexual, the 'EveryTrans' as it were. Sometimes tries to tough things out until they eventually break from the pain over the years. Many make the mistake of marriage, going into the army, other forms of denial. Some croak themselves. Most eventually transition, some very late in life, with many regrets about waiting so long.
390 to 650
which is the extreme, Do-Or-Die, ready to face transition from the
word go, serious transsexual. This last group used to be considered
the classic transsexual, but only because they were the only class
doctors saw...the ones willing to face the scary prospects of
transition Way Back When. Now they are seen to be the extreme end of
the condition, unable to endure their gender misery long enough to do
the whole denial bit the Class Fours often do. Lots of these folks
croak themselves if they feel hopeless, if they feel they can never
transition. Sad thing is, most could have made it, if they had just
waited till they were 21, like me. It is really rough for the teenage
Class Five. My hardest letters to answer come from that group.
At 386, if the COGIATI has any value (and I do give it some credence, actually), then that would place you pretty close to the boundary between Class Four and Class Five. I score as Class Five, and I did transition as soon as it was possible, risking everything, at the age of 21. Exceedingly glad I did, too, because the longer one waits, the less one can hope to transition perfectly, which ultimately means to 'pass'.....to be accepted without question and not be treated as a freak or a monster part or all of the time.
If your score has validity, then I would assume that you must have a substantial level of discomfort with your body, and your sex role, as well as the action of testosterone in your blood upon your mind. In short, some definite gender dysphoria. If so, then, the earlier the better, denial only makes things worse, and more difficult.
However, the bottom line is, only you can decide what you are. No test, no person, no doctor can diagnose your true, internal gender, the actual sex of your brain, independent of your genitals. Only you can decide that. And you have to be very sure, because it is a one-way journey.
So, figure out who you are as soon as you can...if nothing else, figure out what you cannot stand...sometimes knowing what one cannot bear is the key to knowing what one actually wants. Back in 1980, I knew I could not stand to live one more year, much less a lifetime, in the wrong body. Knowing that I would rather die than live that way certainly gave me a perspective, and some serious motivation, to correct the mistakes of Nature.
In any event,
you have to decide what you are. Tests are just hints. You have to
understand your own misery, I think. What can you not live without?