Dialogue With Jennifer
Letters Volume Thirty-Two

This is Volume Thirty-Two 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!

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These are the Thirty-Second set of letters

Easy Reference Topic Index
Relative ONLY to this volume:
For the complete list see main letters page.

What are the ideal female proportions?
I've got no effect after a year and a half on estrogen!
Transsexual or Fetishist; what am I?
I'm in a stuck place. Any advice on how to get started?
Was it difficult finding a job after your surgery?
Do people ever harass you nowadays, other than online?
Do you ever wonder what life would be like if you were a man?
Help for the spouse/lover of the newly-awakened transsexual?



I am very concerned about whether or not I will ever look womanly enouigh. I want to look perfectly female. How can someone find out the right chest-waist-hip ratio as for someone's body height, in female proportions? I heard a waist-hip ratio should be from 0.7 to 0.75. What about someone's hip-height ratio, like if someone's hips are [N] inches and someone's height is [N] inches? What should I try for, and what is the best to be?


That...all the fuss over womanly proportions...that's all kind of, well, to be polite....bullcrap.

Roughly, females, on average, have wider hips than males, and males on average, have larger ribcages. None of this can matter, though, depending on build, which means fat.

More than this, the whole proportion thing is...fashion. Just fashion, and it changes with the decade. In 1920, the proportions were utterly different than the ideals in 1950, which in turn would be considered 'wrong' by folks in 1980. I frankly don't have a clue what is currently trendy in deciding what proper female proportions would be in 2005. Long skirts or short skirts? It's meaningless. Heck, it can get so outlandish that...in those 1920's I mentioned? Women would die from having ribs removed surgically so they could have freakish wasp-waists that today would look...well, horrifying. And the proper proportions of a woman in 1870 would be considered morbidly obese by the standards of the 90's.

So, what proportion is right? None. No proportion is right. It's all in what one wants to look like and is willing to work for. It's all what one thinks is attractive, pretty, or OK. That's it. And there are all kinds of tastes. Me...I like a little more meat on the bones, but some folks likes their womenfolk skinny. What can I say? Proportions are silly.

And as for biological markers for femininity...well, wide hips are good, breasts are good, but which should be wider or thinner than the other or the waist and for what height...that is empty stuff. Meaningless. Want wide hips? Eat some brownies, and let the fat settle on the hips, which estrogen makes happen, and testosterone does not.

My advice? Don't worry about it. Just figure out what looks good to you, and then go for it as best you can. Nothing else matters. At all.


I just have a few questions for you. I'm on 6mg of estradiol, and 2.5mg of Premarin. I'm 24 years old and I have been taking these prescriptions for about 1 1/2 years.

I haven't recieved any benfits from this regimen and I'm thinking about being placed on an anti-androgen. Will this be more effective? I have gained and hips, I still have fat distrubtion in my stomach and it's not moving toward my hips or buttocks. My skin has only gotten softer, and only my nipples have enlarged. I had no trouble passing when I was younger, however now, even on the regimen, I still get "clocked".How can people tell? Would you recommend facial surgery. I know you can't say because you haven't seen me. Please answer my questions.

What hormones were you on?


I was on 2.5 mg of Premarin, once per day, period, until my surgery. That is all. 

Now, it is possible that with the additional 6mg of estradiol you are overdosing. You see, the secret is always to take the smallest possible effective dose of hormones. More is NOT better...in fact, more than what is needed will be metabolized by the liver into androgenic mimics. Basically, the liver turns much of any excess into chemicals that mimic testosterone..which means that more actually works against you.

You might very well see much better results on less hormones than on your current dose, for that very reason.

Anti-androgens are certainly a worthwhile option. I would look into it. Such drugs block the effects of testosterone, which reduces or eliminates the battle inside your body for hormone dominance.

Some people take longer than others to change shape. The response of hormones is genetic, and depends on the number and quality of estrogen receptor sites in the cells of the body...more receptors, more effect, fewer receptors, less effect.

Roughly 2% of people are partially, or even wholly insensitive to estrogen. It just doesn't work, or work well. This...can happen. I knew one such person. Four years and no effect at all. A fairly tragic circumstance to say the least. It is very rare, but it can happen.

You say you are getting some effects, that is something. I would personally, were I in your situation, go with a smaller dose and some anti-androgens. Make sure you are eating well, and getting your vitamins and minerals...this can be a factor as well...take vitamins to supplement your diet. Eat a proper diet. Do not drink or smoke...basically, transition is a literal second puberty, and you have to treat your body exactly as though you were 13 years old. Failure to do so can, and will, stunt your development. Good food, healthy lifestyle. Like you were a kid again. Seriously.

These are my suggestions. I really hope they work.


I'm a [young teen] year old female, so I apologize if this email seems immature or I make any typo's.

But I found your site, and had a question, that you might be able to help me out with.

I think that I've always found a strange interest in becoming a male.

I have dreams, practically every week, of being a "gay" male, and shopping for clothes.

I'm straight as a female, but somehow desire to have a penis and live the lifestyle of a gay man. {dress feminine, sound gay, and have homosexual relationships with other men - but as a GUY} Does this make any sense? I thought maybe you could clear this up for me. Do you think this is just something i'm going through?

I think I've wanted to be this way since I turned 13 or so. It's alright if you can't help, or you choose not to respond. You might have not even received an email quite like this before - I don't know.


The feelings you have certainly sound possible for being transsexual. Sexual preference and gender identity are two separate things, so it is entirely possible to be a transsexual, and be gay, too.

Now the most common pattern for a transsexual is that they have issues about their sex and gender (body and role in life) as early as age 5, certainly they have feelings before puberty. This is one of the little things to look for in diagnosing a true transsexual. The problem is that, after puberty hits, there is the possibility that the trans-gender issues could be a fetish, like crossdressing, only taken further. A fetishistic fantasy rather than a real inborn condition. And this is very important.

Because, if a person goes through transition, and changes their sex, based on only a fetish, then they end up on the other side exactly like a real transsexual: stuck in the wrong body, only there is no decent way to reverse things. A sex change is one way only. So that means that in order to avoid tragedy, you kind of have to be very sure about yourself, if you can only trace the feelings of being the wrong sex to having begun after puberty (and thus sexual desire) has kicked in.

It doesn't mean it isn't true, it just means that you need to be EVEN more careful about being sure.

Another telling thing is the issue with your body. Transsexuals feel uncomfortable, often terribly so, with the shape and function of their bodies. This is because the brain has an internal neurological 'map' of what the body should be, where all the parts are. It's how the brain can tell where, say, your arm is in relation to anything. It's inborn. But it also tells you what your body parts should be...and can cause trouble if you lose a body part too, like say, your leg.

A true transsexual feels their body is wrong, and they can feel how it is supposed to be, but isn't, at least to some degree. Their inborn body map is for the opposite sex. So I would have you question just what you feel and mean when you think about having a penis and being a guy. There is a huge difference between having an exciting fantasy about such things...and actually suffering because of knowing your flesh is in the wrong shape, and that you do not have the right body, or the right genitals. Transsexuals suffer about this, fetishists get off on it. That is a big difference right there.

Actually, that is a very strong point...are these feelings more about how neat it would be to be a gay guy, or are they more about how disgusting it is to be a woman, and feeling like the body is wrong?

FTM Transsexual: "It all feels wrong. I know I am a guy, dammit. I hate having these...female...parts. They disgust me. I know what I should have, and it isn't there. I hate my body! I look in the mirror, and...that just is not me! If I have to stay this way forever...I don't know if I could stand that."

Fetishist: "I get...like really turned on when I think about being a guy. It just seems to really fascinate me, and I can't stop thinking about it! Gay guys are so hot...It would be so exciting to be one myself!"

That is the difference.

Whichever one of these two sentences best describes what you feel, kind of points in that direction. And only a true transsexual should ever be risking their life to change their sex. It is dangerous, difficult, scary, awful, and very, very painful. And you can end up dead or crippled. Not something ever to be done because of any other reason than...it really, really, really sucks to be stuck as you are.

So that is what I would offer to think about...really think about what it is you just want, as opposed to what it is that you NEED. If being female in the world, if wearing a female body is really, really bad...then you might be transsexual. But if you can live with being female, and just have a lot of thoughts about how neat it would be to be a male, then...that is more likely to be a sexual fetish.

If it is a sexual fetish, then it is something to play with, a kink, but not something to actually do anything life changing about. There are boys out there who have bi tendancies and who might well play along with a little game of 'let's be gay boys together' in any number of ways. Doing that will satisfy your dreams, but not cost you your life.

On the other hand, if you really do hate having breasts, if being female is disturbing, wrong-feeling, and increasingly unpleasant, if you feel kind of unhappy with your body and the way people perceive you, if you cringe inside when anyone calls you a woman, or uses the pronoun 'she' with regard to you, if you cannot stand having a vagina, then....you might well be a transsexual. If that is the case, well, when you get old enough to make your own decisions, and can survive even if everyone in your life rejects you utterly (which they almost certainly will) then you can fight to be male...and FTM transsexuals turn out really, really great in most cases. Never be able to tell. Just perfect. But...the path is a LOT more difficult than that of the FTM transsexual. The hormone side is easy...astounding changes come easily...the problem part is that it is very, very difficult to make a penis. Many operations, and even then it will have to be bionic...which is to say, partly machine inside to make it work (it's a kind of implanted plastic pump system, if you are curious). That's just how it is. Sorry.

So, that is what I know, and can suggest to think about. You have a lot of time, so consider what you truly need, and what you maybe just kinda want, very carefully.

I hope something in this is helpful.


I have reached a point as of late where I no longer have any will to keep denying to myself who I really am, which seems to be a lesbian woman cruelly incarcerated in the body of man. This condition of mine has been a secret badge of shame I have worn since I became about twelve years old, and I am sick and tired of feeling like there is nothing I can do to remedy my depressed, sad, unemotive, uninvolved, and truly reclusive relationship with the world around me. As of late, whenever I allow my thoughts to wander, they either go down I'm A Transsexual Lane, Hopelessness Boulevard, or What the Fuck Am I Gonna Do About This? Avenue, and it's impossible for me to just ignore and reppress (suppress?)  my condition any longer, but I don't know what to do. Suicide seems the quickest way to end the pain, but that never solves anything, and would deny me of many of life's fruits. SRS is an option, but I honestly don't think that's for me. Transitioning to looking and living like a female appears to be my best option, but I don't know where to start. I am [Young Adult] years of age, in a small [North American] college town in America, living in an apartment with [A Number Of] guys, and I don't think that my current living environmennt is suitable for me to begin my transition in. I haven't told my folks about being a transsexual yet, and i'm terrified of doing so. I'm currently seeking counseling (for my transsexuality among other things) but my counsellor doesn't appear to be very knowledgeable on the subject. If you can give me any advice at all, I would be much obliged and comforted to know that someone out there understands what I'm trying to deal with.


Yes, I hear you, and there are other people in situations just like yours (and worse, I might add) so...you are not alone, and there are others that understand what you are going through.

What to do? Well, first off, keep learning and reading up on the subject. The more you know, the more power you have. Ultimately only you can figure out what you need to do, and all any councillor or pundit like me can do is to remind you that you are the person who has to figure yourself out, and come to a decision, a plan.

And that is what you can do. If you can decide what you need, you can make a plan, then work toward making that plan happen.

For example...if I were in your situation, and I decided to do transition, I would work to put myself in a place where the greatest chance of success could occur. This might involve finding a job and a life in a large, coastal city, like Seattle, or Los Angeles, or San Francisco, or Vancouver, and setting up a stable life there. Then I could easily find extremely experienced and knowledgeable therapists and councillors, as well as a nice gender support group to attend. I would look into hormones and transition on the job over several years. I would make new friends who could accept me as I was, for what I am.

Basically, that is kind of what I did, and I know a lot of folks who have done just that and succeeded. It takes time and determination...commitment, of course.

And I am not talking even complete transition here....surgery is a possibility, sure, but no one has to have it. A lot of transgender folks don't, and choose to live at an intermediate stage, where they appear female, say, and live female in the world. Other than intimate situations (and medical emergencies) nobody needs to know what is in your pants (or under your skirt).

So the real issue is...defining what it is that you actually need, and what it is that you cannot live without. That is the bottom line here. If you cannot live without being female in the world (or something not entirely unlike female) then transition, partial or complete, is the plan to pick. But...if you can manage to stand wearing a male body, or maintaining a male presence in the world, then it is better to avoid transition because frankly, transition is a living hell on earth that only the truly serious and desperate should ever dare. It is really difficult, and you almost certainly will lose every person you ever knew, forever. So be sure.

But, if you really are transsexual, and if you can survive transition, then yes, you can live as a woman in the world for real. I have.

But it was not easy. 

One thing you could try, even where you are, is a hormone test. It is a useful thing to try, teaches much, and has only minor risks. You could go on hormones for, say, six to eight months (no longer, or various changes start to become permanent, irreversible, among them breast development) to see how you feel. Hormones can often separate the boys from the girls, in that, by inducing chemical castration, and altering the chemistry of the body and brain, one can often tell fairly rapidly whether the situation is desirable or not. True men find it intolerable, for example, to be on estrogen and anti-androgens at transition levels. When male sexual functioning goes away, one tends to get an idea of whether or not one is male or female. This is something any doctor, of any kind, can prescribe.

Since you are in a college town, another possibility is to look for a gay or queer organization on campus, or in town, that provides help and resources to young adults. Gender queer is still queer, make no mistake.

Those are my suggestions.


Was it difficult finding a job after your surgery?


No. Not at all. No more than any other person, anyway. 

However, it must be noted that this is only because I was fortunate enough to 'pass' well. I do not look like anything other than an ordinary woman. This, needless to say, makes all the difference in the world. It is the very fount of survival for the transsexual. If I had not been so fortunate, my story would have been very different, and much, much, much more difficult and terrible. The world is not kind to people who do not pass well. This is a terrible and tragic reality.

So, because I look and act and sound female enough, as it were, I have experienced life, and work, as any female would in the world.

Being female in the workplace is very different than being male, I should mention. To be female is to be paid less, not really listened to, not really taken very seriously, and to have little hope of advancement equal to male co-workers. It can also mean being harassed by sexually frustrated men, and it can mean being given tedious and useless jobs that male co-workers seem exempt from. It often means being talked down to, and treated as if one were less intelligent.

What was difficult for me, work-wise, was surviving during my transition itself, when I was halfway...appearing neither male nor female. People are easily frightened little animals, and I even ended up homeless for a while during that difficult period. But, once the hormones changed my body enough that I looked completely female, my work problems became the same as any ordinary female. Except for one event...I made the mistake of visiting an old school biology teacher who had been nice to me in High School and told him of my adventures. I figured, being a teacher, and a science teacher at that, he would be understanding. Big mistake. He was very bigoted and I never knew. He went out of his way to get me fired from my job, hounded me to ruin my life, and generally tried to destroy me. It was pretty shocking. He felt he was doing 'god's work' to persecute and hurt me. It was pretty insane. Fortunately, I moved away soon after, so that saved me from him.

After that, I stopped being honest with people for many, many years. I hid and went 'stealth', which means to never, ever, ever admit or deal with having ever been transsexual at all. I was pretty traumatized by what my old teacher had done. I became frightened of people, afraid of their bigotry. I saw what happened to other transsexuals I knew if their employers found out about their history (being harassed, insulted, pushed out, openly fired).  Over time, thanks to the loving family I gained after my surgery, I gradually got better. Now I am more open about myself. I don't, like go out and tell people, but I no longer hide either. Family makes a big difference.

However, even now, despite being 'out' on the internet, I would go to great pains to hide my past from any employer. Period.


Do people ever harass you or try to intimidate you, besides in letters or online, because you are a transgender?


No. I am one of the fortunate ones, in that I 'pass' perfectly. Unless I were to tell someone, they would have no reason to suspect that my history was...unusual.

In my childhood people did harass me and intimidate me. I got beat up a lot.  Before I began transition, I was a target, because I was a rather feminine-looking person, who, so I am told, acted like a girl. It made boys angry, confused, and often violent towards me. I couldn't help what I was, I was just....who I am, from birth. Many transsexuals show some outward physical symptoms of their condition, which is why, more and more, transsexuality is being considered a form of intersexuality. I was definitely such a person. I was delicate and frail, and male secondary sexual characteristics were very slow to appear on me, and even then, they were not very strong. This was a very happy thing for me...because for me, being male in any way was horrible and wrong. When things like body hair finally started growing on me, at age 20, that is when things really became critical for me. Something had to be done. I could not live with being male. I could not remain alive if it meant living as a male.

During transition I was harassed a lot because, well, a person who is halfway does look a bit odd, and that scares people. I can understand that, even if it was wrong of folks to do. After my transition is the only time in my life that I have ever been able to just be accepted and treated well. Now I look like what I actually am, and so people are not afraid or bothered by me anymore. It is a big, big relief.  

Even so, I sometimes still feel afraid of people sometimes. It's hard to get over being a target of abuse for the first 20 years of your life. 


Do you ever wonder what life would be like if you were a man?


No. I don't wonder about such things. It's really kind of incomprehensible to me. It's also unpleasant to consider.

It is hard for me to even imagine what goes through men's minds, to tell you the truth. I was never able to figure out boys, even when I was living among them, physically resembling them. And I tried, I really did. I couldn't stand being thought of as a male. It was just wrong. It was very miserable for me back then.

I do know what would have happened to me if I had not been able to go through transition and correct my body to match my mind and soul. I would be very, very dead. About twenty years dead, now. I know, without any doubt, that I would have killed myself. I almost did, actually. Having the wrong body was just that horrible for me. Absolutely that horrible. Every day was miserable pain for me, pre-transition.


So, like so many people, I have a few questions..

I take Estrace (Estradiol) and Aldactone (Spirinolactone), and though I have a good idea of what the Estrace does (the name and "prescription info" packet make it pretty obvious), but I am unclear about the Aldactone..the prescription packet does not help, because it appears that it is usually prescribed for "hyperaldosteronism" (high blood pressure?).  I asked my doctor, and she said "Aldactone is what gives you the breasts, really," which wasn't really a help.  I'm curious to what it is that Aldactone does that makes it good for trans patients.  I don't expect you to be a medical doctor, but do you know?


Spirinolactone is being used here as an anti-androgen, as a testosterone blocker. It was thought to have cardological effects, but recent studies seem to indicate it really isn't as useful as originally considered for that purpose. There are several anti-androgens, they are used often to treat acne, which is induced by testosterone - the hormone causes the sweat glands to overproduce oil, which becomes trapped and breeds bacteria. Limit testosterone, and the oil is produced more slowly, which eliminates the acne. (male skin is more oily than female skin).

Anti-androgens do not grow breast tissue at all. Only estrogen can do that. Estradiol is an artificial estrogen. Estradiol is what grows breasts, makes the skin soft, and otherwise makes one into a woman. The Aldactone's job is to block natural production of testosterone in the testes, so that the testosterone is not constantly fighting with the estrogen.

Hormones control what genes are switched on, or switched off. This is how they can affect the body as a whole. Estrogen switches on certain genes and silences others, which causes the cells of the body to follow a female plan....it is system wide and affects every organ. The reason the skin changes, for example, is that different proportions of proteins and other structures are manufactured, resulting in a different plan for the construction of the skin. This is done because genes are switched on or off according to the sex hormone that dominates. We have, in our genes, coding for both female and male growth and development. This is why hormones can work at all.

So, estrogen switches on the molecular circuitry of the genes to manufacture the body according to the female plan, and anti-androgens block testosterone so that it does not compete as much with the estrogen and try to switch the genes back. At any given time, the majority of the genes in the body are silent, they are constantly being switched on or off, like subroutines in a molecular computer program, according to what is needed. But overall, hormones regulate like a CEO of a large company, they give a general order that all cells obey as an overall...business plan.


My doctor, too has told me "I'm giving you low doses because I don't want your sex/penile function to diminish.  The nature of your desire will change, but not your function.  You'll still transform, albeit slowly.  Why rush?  Most of my late-onset patients function just fine, so let's keep it that way for now." 


This makes no sense at all. 

A transsexual should take the lowest possible dosage that accomplishes transition, but not for the reasons you offer here. The real reason is that in dealing with hormones, more is never better. Excess hormone is metabolized by the liver into a slew of compounds, several of which have mirror functions...which is to say that excess estrogen, when metabolized by the liver, produces androgen-like chemistry that can work against the goal of transition. In effect, it is like getting more testosterone in the body. This is why the lowest possible dose should be taken. Enough to get real and constant change, but not more than what is needed. There is also the issue of not overstressing the liver, too, it should be mentioned. The last thing anyone wants is liver damage.

One of the most useful things about taking estrogen, for the MTF transsexual, is to have penile/sex function seriously diminished, or even eliminated altogether. Such 'chemical castration' is incredibly valuable. When a potential transsexual loses all male function, they are confronted with the gravity of what they are doing, and frankly, it  serves to separate the boys from the girls. A fetishist, for example, say a crossdresser who only imagines they are transsexual, will quickly find that when their sexual function is destroyed, they lose all interest in going through transition, they become agitated, and desire to quit the program. This is because their motivation to change is basically founded upon an extreme form of 'dressing up', by altering the body, a form of extreme sexual fetishism. Such a person would be destroyed by complete transition, their lives would be ruined, and they would find themselves post-surgery filled with regret and horror. The crossdresser does not want to be a woman, the crossdresser is enjoying a (primarily male) sexual fetish. Understanding this early prevents grave tragedy.

On the other hand, if a person undergoing hormone therapy finds the loss of all male function to be a relief, to be a great improvement, a grace rather than a horror, then that is a pretty good hint that they are on the right path. No real male wants to lose their penis, or their sexual function. But a woman, a real woman, would not want to have a penis, or male sexual function.

For these reasons, I have long advocated that early experimentation with short-term hormone treatment is a very good diagnostic tool, in that a patient can learn, directly, whether what they think they want is truly something that they can live with.

In my opinion, the best choice is to obliterate male sexual function so that that the potential MTF transsexual can learn clearly whether or not they truly are a woman or just a male who is following a fetish. The sooner this is learned, the better, and the less tragic the outcome. No person should suffer transition only to find they have made a terrible and permanent mistake, perhaps one they cannot live with.

The exception to this would be the classic She-Male, or true transgenderist, who actually wants to be a functioning male who appears and lives as a female. This is a specialized subset of people, and should not be confused with the true transsexual. Again, losing all male function is educational here as well. A She-Male can always then choose to remain on lower dose female hormones for bodily change while retaining male function...but they will know who and what they are, and what they want very clearly.

Your doctor is correct in one respect; you cannot rush transition. Transition is a second literal puberty, and as such, it takes natural, biological time to occur within. It takes years. Indeed, for full and complete change, at least a decade is required. But for functional change (breasts, skin, body shape) a handful of years, sometimes as few as one and a half, are needed.


She's very experienced, but almost all the info I've read online says nothing like this.  Do you think Dr. [NAME] was telling the truth, or a little (well, not so little) lie to put me at ease?  I know there are 101 or more paths in hormone therapy, so maybe this is just one method? 


I have given my opinions, and my reasons for those opinions, as well as the facts as I understand them. Your doctor may have any number of reasons for the things you have expressed to me...and it is also possible that you may have forgotten some details, and any number of other possibilities. Doctors are people, they have prejudices, issues, beliefs, politics and attitudes which cloud their reason just like anyone. Some are better than others. And even the best doctors can disagree, sometimes very strongly, over even the most standard of things.

So I am not here to make any statement for or against your doctor. I can only answer what you ask to the best of my knowledge and ability. What you decide to do...is how you handle your own transition. I do feel that it is important for any patient, in any situation, to be directly involved in their own treatment. Please follow up my information by reading what you can on the topic to verify things for yourself.


I was directed to your website by my boyfriend/fiance.  He has gender dysphoria and wants me to understand everything I can about what is going on inside of him and what will be happening to the outside.  My question to you and hopefully I can get an answer...where can I go to get information from the other side.  From the Spouse/girlfriend of the man who is going to be going through SRS.  I want to know what happens after the fact.  What kind of emotional reactions am I going to be facing.  If you don't have anything like this, I'd be happy to share my feelings right now after hearing from the man I love that he wants to be a woman.  How at first I was angry and confused and didn't know what I did to make him feel this way, so I thought.  To how I want to stand by his side through everything and even asked him to marry me after the fact I knew he was a woman in a man's body (of course he said yes).


Yours is the very most rare kind of letter I get (and I get a lot of letters). Your situation is kind of rough and complicated, and...there just isn't much help out there. Maybe none. But I'll try.

To the best of my knowledge, there really are no resources out there for the significant others (boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives, mothers, best friends, etc.) of transsexual people. I would think that this is probably due to a couple of factors.

One, transsexuals really are very, very rare in the world. As birth defects go, transsexualism is pretty uncommon. Perhaps one in 80,000 people or so. 

The second reason is that only a portion of transsexuals, (pre-transition) will get so deeply romantically involved with others to the extent that those other's lives are traumatically affected. But, some do. Usually this occurs in transsexuals who are so filled with shame and self-repression that they desperately try to deny their condition, falling under the erroneous belief that if they only do what is expected of them...get married, have kids, and so forth...it will cure them. For that reason, most such transsexuals are finally reaching crisis in middle age, and so they have wives, children, even grandchildren, and the whole thing is quite a mess for everyone involved. A smaller portion even than that will wake up earlier to their gender crisis, while they are still young, but perhaps will have a girlfriend or a fiance. In that case, it is often the impending pressure of marriage or other commitment issues that wakes them up, and forces this crisis. This situation is, overall, better than the latter one, because fewer lives are disrupted, and those that are disrupted are not as severely disrupted.

The best situation, of course, would be the transsexual who is able to face their condition from the earliest age, and does not try to get involved with anyone until they can get their body fixed. This is difficult, because there is so very much pressure on people to conform. These situations would be equally true for Female-To-Male transsexuals as they would be for Male-To Female transsexuals.

The usual response of most partners, wives, girlfriends, husbands, boyfriends, and so on of the transsexual (of whatever direction of change) is...shock, followed by anger, followed by rejection. Basically, a transsexual can expect, as a rule, to lose everyone in their lives completely; all family, all friends, everyone. This is utterly common.

What is uncommon, very uncommon, is any situation where any friend, lover, family member, or spouse stays with the transsexual all the way through transition and out the other side. It does happen...but very, very, very rarely.

Among the most common of feelings that the spouses and lovers of newly awakened transsexuals report to me is a feeling of betrayal. They tend to feel betrayed, as though they have been tricked, or as though their transsexual partner has been lying to them, or has somehow been playing a game with them. This is not what is going on, but one can definitely understand how they would feel this way...to a great extent their very sense of the reality of their partner has been shattered.

The situation is that the transsexual has almost certainly spent a lifetime trying to deny, repress, ignore, and willfully make 'not true' the fundamental reality of their defect, which is being born with a brain of one sex, and a body the quite the opposite. Transsexuality is such a subtle form of intersexuality that it is confusing and difficult even for the transsexual involved. And of course, there is such bigotry and shame associated with the condition that admitting it in any form is a horrific task for most transsexuals. It is no wonder that so many transsexuals simply suicide rather than face their condition. The transsexual, coming out to a spouse, is coming out as much to themselves as to anyone, because if they have lied, they have lied to themselves as well, merely to cope day to day. It is such a terribly painful condition, or can be for many transsexuals, that combined with the social loathing of it...the need to wish it away is...overwhelming.

Unfortunately, the condition is very real, and eventually, whether at a young age, or in middle age (for the few that make it that far), there comes a time where it absolutely cannot be denied any longer. It's like a dam bursting. Thus the sudden coming out, the rapidity and the almost maniacal need to deal with it all at once, and the feelings in spouses and friends that everything has changed instantly, which can thus feel like a kind of betrayal, at least of expectations.

Another issue many lovers and spouses have with having a transsexual partner is that they may wonder what is going on with themselves. They soon realize that the transsexual partner's identity does not change because of transition, and that only their physical sex and some aspects of behavior change. It becomes clear that the inner moiety, the inner gender of the transsexual was ...contrary... even before the condition was revealed. This makes some lovers and spouses question their own sexuality...because, in effect, they were attracted to a personality of their own gender, hidden within a body of the opposite sex. They wonder if that makes them queer. They wonder if this means that they somehow, deep down, are homosexual. Some folks get really bothered about this. Obviously, if one is bisexual, this would not be an issue, so such a problem is only common to heterosexual partners of newly-awakened transsexuals.

My usual answer to this is that women often have problems with men and vice versa, because there are some basic incompatibilities in the things men and women want from life, and from each other, and this is well known. The transsexual presents, before coming out, as an apparent member of the opposite sex that....remarkably compatible. Getting along is surprisingly easy in comparison to other relationships because, in effect, an impossible ideal has seemingly become real; the straight guy who thinks in a way a woman can agree with, or a straight woman who thinks in a way a man can agree with. In actuality, of course, the transsexual is a woman or man who simply wears the body of the opposite sex. So, basically, if you are a woman with a MTF (Male-To-Female) transsexual as a partner, what you really had all along was a lesbian lover who looked...extraordinarily butch. But, one would not know that, and so...it seems like a magical ideal...the perfect man, or at least the better than usual man. One that thinks and values things that a woman can agree on much of the time. As a generalization.

Thus, the spouse is (usually) not queer herself (or himself, in the FTM case), just in love with a person, a person who they get along with, and have no reason to see as anything other than what they appear. Of course, the transsexual themselves has been trying not to see themselves accurately either...because it is just too awful to admit to themselves. It's kind of a trap for both people, for everyone involved. It's just complicated and unhappy for everyone.

Then comes the issue of...what if the spouse sticks with their transsexual lover all the way through...then what?

Well, that is very simple. Either the couple stay together as just friends, they adapt their sexuality to allow what will become a gay relationship, or they split up.

So....let's say you stay with your transsexual lover....on the other side, she will be a girl. Period. And that means that either you two end up in a lesbian relationship, or you stay together as best friends without any sexual relationship, or...you split up. That is what happens. It's either best friends sharing a life and dating others, you become homosexual partners, or it ends.

So, what I think is that what you need to do is to really consider what your own needs are here. Are you bi? Straight?  If you are capable of being bisexual, the problem is small...instead of a boyfriend and husband, say, you end up with a girlfriend and wife, and if you really love each other, it's happily ever after. On the other hand, if you are straight as an arrow, then...there is no point in kidding yourself...it's not going to work, unless sex is not of major importance to you, or unless you can work out some form of open relationship where you can get what you need on the side. This is the reality of the situation.

Thus....what you have here is a person, who you thought was male, but who never was. They were born female, but their body surely did not look female. If they are truly transsexual, they will fight to the death to get their body fixed, and one day, several years from now, they will end up...just female. If your partner really is transsexual, then you don't have a boyfriend, you have a girlfriend. You always did, but both of you just couldn't see that, for various reasons. You, because your girlfriend looked convincingly male, and your transsexual partner...because it is unbelievably terrible to face being a freak of nature, a birth defected creature that society does not merely make fun of...but often openly loathes.

What you need to do is to assess your situation in terms of what you need, what you can live with, what you can live without, and what your own sexuality is. 

You will need to weigh relationship...love....versus sex, and roles within relationships. You will need to consider whether or not you can be happy as a lesbian in a committed relationship with another woman, which is what things will be in about two to four years. And I might add, those two to four years will not be easy...it is a difficult road to repair Nature's Nastiest Little Joke. On the other hand....helping someone you love save their very lives counts pretty big in the Big Book of Relationships.

Ultimately, you need to figure out what you need. Sex? Love? Friendship? The specific soul that is this particular person, out of all the people in the world, that you have written to me about? Regardless of shape or form or sex? Or.....not?

You are in a relationship with a real life shapeshifter. They will shapeshift, and the result will be unbelievably profound. They won't turn into a wolf, but their transformation will be no less magical and incredible. More than this, it will be very real. As real as life and death.

You have your life. You need to know what you want out of it. Once you know that...then your choices are straightforward.