Dialogue With Jennifer
Letters Volume Five
This is Volume 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 fifth set of letters
Easy Reference Topic Index
Relative ONLY to this volume:
For the complete list see main letters page.
How can I remove facial hair without getting a pitted face?
The failure of reproduction as the definition of a woman
How can I "accidentally" lose my penis so my parents won't be mad?
I am taking non-prescription hormones JUST LIKE YOU SAID! (HUH???)
Living as a woman without hormones or surgery
What are the differences between TS, TV, and TG?
The only currently reliable technology for removing facial hair is good old fashioned electrolysis. This involves a trained individual carefully inserting a microscopic electric wire down into each and every single hair follicle, one at a time, and frying the cell at the bottom that manufactures hair. Sometimes several zaps over multiple treatments are required, hair follicle cells are tough! It hurts a bit, to some quite a bit, but it actually works.
Now problems occur when the electrologist is not skillful, well trained, or is just plain uncaring or unprofessional. Problems can also occur when the client becomes too demanding.
In the first case, the electrologist is to blame, and the solution is to find a better electrologist! Like every profession, there are good and poor individuals to be found.
In the second case, you have to have patience!
Damage to the face by electrolysis results in pit scars, not unlike the surface of a golf ball, in the worst cases. This is caused by having to much work, or poor work, done too often. The skin does not have time to heal, and the damage becomes cumulative.
Over all, the important thing here is to understand that electrolysis takes time. To many folks want things done to quickly: they push for instant results. The hairs get burnt out, but pits result. The key is to have work done over time, usually several years, with time in between treatments for the flesh to recover. Something on the order of a few weeks in a row, a few weeks off. It takes longer, but the results are better.
Of course one must have a good electrologist, and for that, one must shop around, and be ready to try another if one does not work out.
Now, you say
you are 15, so it may well be that your hair growth is still very
minimal, and some of it could be reversible, or at the least
preventable, if you could get on hormones. I know this is generally
unlikely: you would have to have extremely good parents to support
your gender reassignment at 15, and this is beyond rare. Most people
barely have moderately decent parents; having actually good parents
would be astounding. But, if you are one of the rare lucky ones,
hormones will not only make you female, they will also stop the
progression into manhood, which includes facial hair.
I just wanted to
drop you a quick line. First, I want
to let you know that I you have a very good site here. I wish I
could have something like this a decade ago. Perhaps it
could have saved me a lot of time. I hope that other people are
making use of your information. Reading the letter from the woman
about reprodution reminded of one of the main reasons I did not
seek help with my transsexuality. Even though I rejected the
idea that biology is destiny, I denied being a transsexual. After
all, I will never have a period. How can I know what it like to be a woman?
This was a very poor excuse that I used for years. In essence, I was defining a woman by her menstrual cycle. This is not a very nice
thing to do. As it stands, there are many genetic women who never had a
period. Does this make them any less women? (Yes, in the eyes of
those who think a woman is useful only for breeding[too many].) Althogh
I did not (do not) judge a woman by if and how many children she has, I
was using a different criteria to condemn myself. It was not until I
corrected my contradiction that I sought the help I needed.
Since I was a little child, I was fascinated by motherhood. I read a
lot of books when I was six or seven so I could find out how the egg and
sperm got together and how I could get pregnant. I was very
disappointed. But I did end up the oldest of eight children, so I ended
helping to raise a number of children.
I think my points are these; 1) Defining your gender by your ability
to get pregnant is a major hinderence; and 2) We MtFs are not alone with
when it comes to reprodution. There are many women like us. All of us
have to learn to deal with it.
This was not meant as a critique of your answer. I just wanted to
give an other angle because it is a subject that touches me deeply.
I hear what you have to say, and have met folks in the past that condemned the transsexual with any number of arguments about what defines a woman (or for that matter, a man). Typical damning definitions included chromosomal sex, absence of a period, lack of early childhood experiences, and of course, the issue of reproduction.
Your letter makes me desire to address some of these old bits of nasty.
Chromosomal sex, the old XX and XY issue, has long now been clearly disproved as a basis for sex definition. It has been found to be not entirely uncommon for fully reproductively capable individuals to have the 'wrong' chromosomes, and even more folks have 'opposite' chromosomes without reproductive capability. One famous individual is actress Jamie Lee Curtis, who is XY, but no person would question her status as a female. Indeed, research seem to be suggesting that chromosomal sex is part of the equation, but not in as direct a manner as was thought...that in fact chromosomal sex is more of a guide than a rule. For this reason chromosomal sex testing is falling out of favor, and usage in sports.
One of my spouses recently had to have a hysterectomy with bilateral orchectomy. This puts her in the exact position in terms of physical structure as I myself. I have spent some time trying to determine what the actual differences are between she and I. We both lack ovaries and womb. We both have fully developed breasts, we both are female in self definition, and in how the world defines us. We both have labia, clitoris, vagina. If anything, I am one structure closer to womanhood: I have a 'pseudo cervix' while her vagina now bluntly terminates. She grew up as a tomboy, I was raised as a boy. She has XX chromosomes, I XY (I assume -I have not had either of us checked). Right now, what is the difference between us, really? My molars are slightly bulkier, my pelvis is not as wide as hers, I have the tiny bump of bone on the back of my skull that all the testosterone exposed grow, and my arms are one inch longer in proportion to hers. That is all that really separates us. That, and about 20 years of experiences in childhood, and young adulthood. It is not a huge cataloged of differences, and it is difficult to see any importance in them, ultimately.
She has experienced having a period, for a while in her life, she hated it, loathed it, and tells me that I am vastly better off without the pain and mess she endured. She was estatic to be freed from the bother. She is definitely not alone in this feeling. Hmmmm....
Lastly, she, like many women, has never, and now will never, bear a child. She never wanted to, and she had her tubes tied at a young age.
So, I compare myself to her, I think about all of those definitions of womanhood, and see them for what they are; fairly uneducated prattle that fails to insult transsexuals, and does insult nontranssexual women everywhere. The problem that the dim and the bigoted fail to grasp, is that being male or female is more a state of being, than any easily defined group of physical characteristics. Gender is a moiety, and sex a rough classification of physical form.
The real world is a bit deeper and richer and more subtle than the hard-of-thinking would allow. The transsexual, by existing, points this out. Perhaps that is what actually bothers folks, deep down.
The penis and the testicles both are extremely rich in major blood vessels. Attempting to perform a 'do it yourself' orchidectomy will result in your death, within fifteen minutes. Basically, you would just deflate in minutes, bleeding to death. Even if they could rush you to a hospital in time, the chance of survival would be weak at best.
Far, far too many young transsexuals kill themselves this way. If you have read my page you probably came across the '50% Rule'; that 50% of transsexuals end up dead by age 30. Part of the reason is that some folks are violent bigots and kill them, another part is that narrow attitudes and people hurt them over the years emotionally and they kill themselves- because the social hatred is too much, but the third reason is that they get desperate and pull stupid stunts to fix the problem themselves.
You cannot do this yourself. It is serious surgery to do anything sex organ related!
I am afraid that there is no 'Oops, I guess I will have to be a girl now' scam to avoid the scary responsibility for admitting what you are. Sorry. It just does not work. Ever.
You are going to have to grow up to the point that you can face the issue bravely, and then, pick your time and situation intelligently to transition. You will need the services of doctors, and surgeons for the full route. There simply is no other way.
If you are in a
position where you have parents who are narrow or dangerous, WAIT!
Wait until you can take charge of your own life. Survive. Be smart.
I am taking
your advice and trying to start hormone therapy. I
remember, in your story, how much they helped you. I am sure that they can help me also. And I really want this help! Do you know anywhere I can get the hormones, WITHOUT a prescription! I do not care what it may cost me!
to me that I try the hormones for 6 months. To see if this is
what I really want. I have ordered them, and they are on their way. What
dosage do you recommend, since this is just a test. I am doing just what
you told me to do. Please answer me.
Actually, you are NOT doing what I suggest to do, at least if you have truly read the contents of my site.
Here is the scoop, once again from the top, please pay attention, OK?
Hormones can indeed be a useful experiment to determine aspects of your gender. However, such experimentation should NOT be done haphazardly or just by yourself.
That is stupid. Understand!
Hormones are by prescription in America, and for a damn good reason. They can KILL you. They can screw you up.
It is rare, admittedly, but such things can happen.
This is why I stress, over and over, that hormones should be taken under the guidance of a physician. It does not need to be a specialist, it can be a general practitioner, but it needs to be a doctor.
You need to have a physical, you need to be monitored. You need to rule out problems with cardiac and circulatory issues. You need to rule out liver damage and kidney issues and certain diseases.
If you have a problem, or problems, taking hormones can destroy you in a number of serious ways.
Blood clots could kill, paralyze or cripple you. Your liver could fail. Your kidneys could die. You could end up dead...or worse than dead, pleading to be allowed to die...or even barely able to know that you want to die.
If you are really healthy, fine. But you could have heart problems and not even know it. No heart, no you.
And oh yeah, by the way, CANCER. Hormones make tissue grow. ALL KINDS OF TISSUE.
If you have the slightest degree of intelligence, if you have any wisdom about you at all, you will march your ass down to a proper physician and do your experiment CORRECTLY.
Mail order self administered hormones are the act of the coward, the deranged, or the insanely desperate; at the very best, it is the act of the undereducated who simply do not know any better.
Dammit, READ MY SITE IN FULL before you dare to claim I suggest action about ANYTHING!
And not just my site, but many others too. LEARN before you LEAP.
Now, I try to be supportive and helpful to everyone. But this crap pisses me off. Take responsibility for your own damn life, your own damn actions, make your own damn decisions, and go through proper channels.
"I am doing just what you told me to do."
How DARE you? Grow a spine, face the doctors, and determine your OWN life, yourself.
All I can, or will do, is offer up information, and possibilities. I tell no person what to do. I offer possible suggestions for action, period.
I have been
dressing and living as a female now for
around Six months,
yes, I am a Male to Female Transgender, or is it Transvestite? I am not
sure, anyway, I have not been to see a therapist, nor have I started any
Hormones. I have been told that I do appear female, as long as I keep my
face close shaven, or tweezed. (Ouch! Ouch!)
I am beginning to
think the Hormones may be unnecessary in my case. I
use silicon breast forms, and wear a wig, and have had little trouble
For me, I am
comfortable still having my male genitalia, and being feminine at the
same time, what is your opinion on this?
What is my opinion on what you have written? I suppose you are in effect asking me what you are, or what your behaviors mean, which in some ways is the same thing -if one follows the argument that a life is judged on actions.
Only you can define yourself, and only you can determine who and what you are, what you want, and what anything in life means.
Still, I am not evasive with this, I will answer, for I have opinions...
It sounds from your description that you are, at least so far, happy with being a crossdresser. This is fine. It also sounds as if you are experimenting with what it would be to live long term, or even forever, in the social position of being female, and this too is fine...indeed better than fine, if you can do so successfully, without harm befalling yourself. At the least, it is a wonderful education and experience, at the most, it could be a way of determining what you want, or making sound judgements about your own future.
Labels? You want a label? The closest label for this would be a transgenderist, since in living full time, you are taking crossdressing past the point of being a fetish, and into the realm of identity expression. At the very least, you would seem to be taking it very seriously!
If you can pass well enough to not be harmed, and you can have a decent life, then all I can say is to pay attention to things, because your life is becoming unusual, interesting, and filled with amazing things.
As for hormones, and complete transition, well, that is kind of irrelevant, unless you actually wanted it, isn't it? The point is to be happy.
If you are,
well, then, you are probably doing the right thing for you, ne?
Jennifer, Hi, I
have alot of questions that I feel I cant
get answered to start out i'm 30 and married and not happy with my marriage. I am attracted to TS,TV, and TG'S or i'm confused as who is who?? I can't tell my wife she won't understand. If you could talk to me it would be appreciated.
Here are some
in-a-nutshell definitions of terms:
is a person born with a brain wired the opposite sex of their body.
The cause of this is hormones in the womb which affect the
development of the fetal brain. The condition is incredibly painful,
and drives transsexuals to correct the error by having their bodies
resculpted to match their brains. Transsexuals come in two varieties:
MTF (Male-To-Female) and FTM (Female-To-Male). There are equal
numbers of both. Transsexuals know what is wrong with them
essentially from birth, but often deny the fact because of social
pressures. Transsexuals are rare, at around 1 in 30,000 people.
TV: Transvestite, crossdresser
is a person, almost always male, who feels sexual excitement dressing
up as the opposite sex. Transvestism is a sexual fetish, a kinky
thrill that generally develops sometime after puberty. Transvestites
are almost always heterosexual, with only 3% being gay. It is
estimated that perhaps 20% of all males indulge in crossdressing fetishes.
transgenderist is a person who exists somewhere between the opposite
poles of transsexual and transvestite. Transgenderists may have some
brain wiring issues, but also may have some sexual kinks as well. A
transgenderist may live entirely as the opposite sex, even to the
point of having limited hormone therapy, but almost never have
surgery to change their physical sex. Transgenderists seem to prefer
being 'somewhere in the middle'.
TG: 'Transgender', 'Transgenderism'
is an essentially meaningless term that has been adopted by many as a
'politically correct' way to lump together transsexuals,
transvestites, and transgenderists, as well as anyone else whose
concern is gender issues. Part of the reason for the adoption
of this term is to attempt to politically unite these various
different types of people under one 'flag', for the purpose of mutual
support and social power and defense. Because much of the general
population already lumps these types of people together, unaware of
the striking differences between them, some feel that this political
unification has value.