I am fortunate to have received quite a bit of intelligent feedback on the "Victim" post here in Cyrsti's Condo and from outside friends. The post actually came from Helen Boyd's "En Gender" blog.
The first comes from Paula Gee: "
It's simply not fair, especially if we were misguided enough not to tell our wives about our selves before marriage. Yes any form a trans activity is selfish, and we have to understand that and deal with it."
The second from Reasonablynoble:
"As much as I've always included my spouse in my transition, it is an inherently narcissistic process. We spend so much time not focusing on ourselves that by the time we do this, we are wholly fascinated by our selves. It's hard to avoid navel gazing. At the same time, there are other people in my life and I have always been mindful about how my healing has both been a positive and negative for them.
This is a healing process and it can, ultimately, make things better for everyone around us."
I'm agreeing with both and using my past and current relationships as a guideline. For whatever reason, misguided or not I told my second wife of 25 years I was a transvestite or cross dresser before we were married. So I didn't tell the truth. As I think about it, if you put me under oath I would swear to the fact I knew there was probably something deeper going on with my gender identification but I was prepared to do my best to not follow it.
On the other hand, my current female lover is sure total love transcends gender and I'm fairly certain holds my deceased wife's views against her in someways. But it's not that easy and as wonderful as she is, I remind her she "caught up" with me after a ton of life experience and she is lucky. I knew who I was when we met. Because as both of the ladies above mentioned, the cross dressing through identifying as transgender or transsexual is, a hugely selfish process. Certainly, for obvious reasons, we are fascinated by ourselves. I was no different.
The negative as Reasonably said "We spend so much time not focusing on ourselves that by the time we do this, we are wholly fascinated by our selves." So, if we can't or don't share ourselves with others- we are only a reflection in the mirror and doomed to a damned lonely existence. As you can see on Flickr or any number of other picture sites so many of us never get out of the mirror or the camera. Those who finally make it into the "real" world are naturally stunted. Not unlike the boy who was raised by wolves. My "anti mirror" friend examples are Drake and Stana who positively light up the room with their chance to live as their real gender.
In recent years as I jumped from my mirror into the world, I acquired a pedestal. You may have read me refer to it here. Sure, experiences such as developing a circle of friends, HRT and the such are fantastic. BUT none of it makes me any better-or worse in the trans community. I certainly have to constantly reevaluate where my life is, where I would love it to go and how precarious my "pedestal" really is. It's STILL just as easy for me to be a victim as the frustrated cross dresser in the closet or the bitter transsexual who discovers SRS wasn't what she really wanted.
Of course I'm not smart enough to come up with an answer. I have been fortunate to have known all sort of peeps who revolve in and out of our culture from a long time friend who will go to any extent to rationalize purging his cross dressing "habit" 25 years ago because of wife and money to unhappy transsexuals to everyone in between.
Every once in a while though someone like Helen Boyd and Betty are able to put a little more perspective to the issue.
I am smart enough to know surgery is the end result to a successful gender transition not the beginning.
Well, this post has gone on so long I should be passing out cookies and milk to all of you here in Cyrsti's Condo.
Maybe I should consider a post called "The Transsexual as a Victim" when I really want to get ganged up on!!!!