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Old 04-15-2018, 03:58 AM   #1
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Default Socialisation and related issues

In a thread started due to a PhD student wanting respondents for a survey on smoking (it transpired that she actually only wanted cisgender non-hetero women to respond, rather than lesbians in general or the LGBTQ community as a whole, partly due to an interest in the socialisation issues involved) I remarked that socialisation issues(regarding MTF's, at least) is, IMO a huuge can of worms, and it'd be great of someone did some good research into it.

I don't know what it's like for young trans folk now, but I know that multiple times over the years well-meaning folk asking me "what it's like having lived as both", or some such, have been surprised when I've told them that I honestly have no idea - I only know what it's like to live as a girl/woman born with the wrong bits. That being in that situation I tended to pick up on gender-appropriate (ie: in my case female) socialisation cues, and avoided to the greatest extent possible the incorrect (in my case male) ones consistent with my well-being and safety just doesn't seem to occur to some folk.

It's a damnably tricky topic, and I don't wish to cause upset, nor do I feel there's much, if any, merit in 'more-than/less-than' arguments here, but I have myself encountered transwomen who, visually presenting as femme, nevertheless came across to me as rather blokey in behaviour. Which raises all sorts of questions like - were they really an MTF butch, but felt constrained by societal pressure (or that of the gender clinics) to present as femme? Or were they simply poorly socialised as women? Something else?

In a nutshell - to what extent are any of us, trans or not, shaped or defined by socialisation? It's clearly an important thing - teenagers go through the pains of finding out how to fit in in adult society, and where their place in it is. When I transitioned, I was already comfy working and socialising with other women, because, well, I'd always fitted in far better with women than men in most situations, and was often (not always) tacitly included as 'one of the girls' despite the world then seeing me as male. But I know that not all MTFs have been so lucky.

The only area I struggled with was socialisation amongst lesbians. I've little enough face to face time with other lesbians en masse, as yet, that I still feel a bit awkward and teenagery, but that awkwardness has to do with sexuality, not gender. Having been a wallflower all my life, I'm facing that problem that I know not a few other lesbians have had over the years - how does the social dance go when it's women rather than men that we're interested in? (Chuckle) it's fun finding out, but I wish there more more frequent opportunities to do so! :-}
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Old 04-15-2018, 04:34 PM   #2
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This is a can of worms, especially re trans issues and, I think, especially for lesbians of a certain age. I do not believe I am or ever was a TERF. I always believed all women should be allowed to attend Michfest and similar events. I accept people's genders as they ID. I have no interest or stake in excluding trans folks in any way. I have always felt that way, but still needed education re certain issues and I got that, mostly online and mostly thanks to Dylan on the dash site.

However, I have seen people express opinions similar to mine re socialization and privilege get labeled TERF and, thanks to the nature of internet discourse, be threatened with rape, torture, and death.

So, asking a group which includes a bunch of lesbians to talk about socialization and gender is not uncomplicated.
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Old 06-13-2018, 04:07 PM   #3
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After the TERF thread, I feel more able to respond here. I have no idea what it's like to be trans. I have no stake in telling trans folk that they have been socialized as the gender they were assigned at birth. It seems likely they were socialized to some degree, even if it almost constantly did not ring true, via being given certain toys and clothes etc. I think it's wonderful that more parents are letting their kids wear wear whatever they want, play with whatever they want. And little kids are so accepting of difference.

Think of the discouragement boys get after a certain age when they show their feelings. I assume that transmen did not receive as much of that and are therefore a little more emotionally healthy than the average man. But maybe some internalized that message anyway.

It's got to depend a lot on the individual child. I have to say, even as a cisperson, I often identified with the boys in books because they had more fun and the girls were so insipid (I am old).

It really is individual. I know lots of men who grew up in larger families whose maternal instincts exceed mine. They grew up looking after siblings. It's second nature for them to pick up a kid and talk to them. When someone hands me a baby, I panic a little.

My dad fished a lot. I went out on the boat with him, and I sometimes fished. Had I been a boy, I am sure it would have been expected of me to really learn about the boat and about fishing. I regret that I didn't. I am sure if I had expressed more interest, my dad would have taught me. But I liked cruising around, looking at nature, reading my book. But if I had been a son, I think if I had made those choices, I would have disappointed my dad.

My mom said on occasion that she was glad I wasn't a boy because my dad, a college athlete, would have required I play sports and mom would have worried about injuries. I am not very coordinated.
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Old 06-13-2018, 04:29 PM   #4
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https://www.facebook.com/21782466834...2616154203823/

Just saw this. It's about how men and women address challenging problems differently. Interesting.
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Old 06-14-2018, 05:04 AM   #5
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Thank you Martina! I avoided further thoughts I was wanting to discuss here for after making that first post because I realised that no matter how I phrased what I was trying to express, I ran the risk of potentially offending one subset of people here or another, and I simply do not want to cause offence.

But yes - individualism. We are all individuals, and that's one of the things that bothers me deeply about attitudes to transfolk. When thinking about cisgender folk, it is easy to make generalisations about easily-defined subsets like, say cisgender male heterosexuals. There are and have been so many of them that, whilst accepting that there will still be quite large differences between them, that in general they are likely to be thus-and-so.

But us non-cisgender folk - we are so few, but even so, there are so many subsets into which we fall, and quite frankly, some of us don't understand folk in the other subsets than our own any better than cisgender folk do.

I've noted my own incomprehension of people born physically male that feel that they are female but that have no desire to have genital reassignment surgery. I also do not understand how folk who feel that they are neither male nor female must feel - but then, I was never unhappy with the gender binary, it was just that I was born the wrong side of the fence, as it were.

So - to lump all who identify as MTF together when talking about categorisation and how we should be regarded and treated socially seems to me to be inappropriate because we are simply too varied to make many generalisations that, if applied to all, would be fair to most. And it's not only cisgender folk who don't seem to see some of the problems, or are unwilling to admit them if they do - some MTF's don't see them either.

I understand the idea that gender roles are social constructs, and that the world might be a better and happier place were there to be no such constructs, so that each and every individual simply lived as felt good to them, so long as doing so didn't cause others harm. That would certainly seem to be a situation that would help those with dysphoria about gender roles, but it wouldn't help folk with bodily dysphoria such as I had one iota. And there is where at least some feminists seem to have a blind spot, they do not seem to understand that bodily dysphoria is not a psychological dysfunction - it is a mismatch between the wiring of the brain and the construction of the body.

So far as I am aware, the precise etiology is unknown, but it's thought that slight errors in things like the timing and strength of pulses of hormones that affect the foetus during its development may well affect the brain and cause feminisation where one might expect masculinisation and such like.

In practice though, most folk most of the time apply "duck theory" in their everyday dealings with others - looks like a duck, behaves like a duck - it's a duck, and who cares what ornithologists think?! Unfortunately, whilst some of us transfolk are able to pass the duck test all or most of the time and have few problems fitting into society, this is not true for all.

Those of us who can pass the duck test adequately well, though, do so because we are conforming to the societal roles and behaviours of the society into which we are born. And that society is, of course, still heavily patriarchal even in the West, let alone the rest of the world. So one COULD argue that in not only being required to pass the duck test in order to be allowed to transition, but, as many of us are, being happy that we can, that we are, therefore, supporting patriarchal values.

One could also argue that in buying our groceries from supermarkets that we are supporting the capitalist system and should therefore be regarded as traitors to good socialist values, or as heroes of neo-liberalism, depending on which side of that political fence you sit. The truth is - we don't have any realistic choice. And for those whose dysphoria is sufficiently strong, there is no realistic choice other than transitioning, because we live in the here and now, and for those of us whose dysphoria is bodily, that will never change, not even should a feminist Utopia come to pass.

Nature, quite simply, makes mistakes in the reproductive process, - that is what drives evolution, that is how humanity came into being and why we are homo sapiens rather than any other species of homo. And those mistakes are the cause of all the variety we see amongst us humans every day.

So - what makes a woman? I've talked above about things that make one physically male or female and that affect ones sense of whether one is male or female, but what makes a woman? Is "woman" something fundamental and unchanging - and if so what defines that term - or is it a social construct, and amenable to interpretation and change?

Is "woman" something we can pin down precisely, or do we have no pragmatic choice but to go with the duck test? Or something else? And if we go with the duck test, what about those poor souls who, genuinely feeling themselves to be women, nevertheless fail the duck test -as some do? How do we go about things such that all are treated humanely and with respect ? And if "woman" does happen to be a social construct - what then? To what extent and in what ways are we ourselves due to that which is innate and to what extent and how are we shaped by external factors?

It would seem to me that the very existence of folk after so many tens of millenia of human existence that do NOT fit the "norms" would strongly imply that variations in things like sexuality and gender identity and gender expression are indeed innate, because if they were primarily amenable to outside influence, then they would have vanished from society, given society's long history of disapproval, long ago.

----

That video Martina; thank you! YES! That really does get to the core of things! I experienced this during a brief spell teaching use of IT to youngsters - the lads would charge ahead, often overconfident that they knew what they were doing when they often did not, whilst the girls were much more tentative initially, but just as able in the long run once they'd overcome their fear of doing something wrong and 'breaking the computer' (which back then were rarer things and more expensive).

Quote:
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https://www.facebook.com/21782466834...2616154203823/

Just saw this. It's about how men and women address challenging problems differently. Interesting.
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Old 06-14-2018, 06:13 PM   #6
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If I wanted to debate Conservative people, which I rarely do, what you mentioned about variation would come up a lot. I have said to my Conservative Catholic cousin-in-law, that variation is normal and that things that vary from the norm are not pathological. If they keep turning up consistently, they are part of whatever we are talking about.
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Old 06-17-2018, 10:32 PM   #7
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Default Second puberty - great article

I've just come across a very interesting article in the Huffington Post about a trans womans experience of, well,socially becoming a woman and the comparison with that of the cisgender woman who documented her 'second puberty': http://https://www.huffingtonpost.co...b0734a99385612

I can very much relate to this. I grew up admiring the appearance of the likes of Sophia Loren and Audrey Hepburn in the films I saw them in, on the one hand, whilst desperately wanting to fit in with the women I saw around me every day. My heroines were women in science like Henrietta Leavitt and Mme Curie, and I looked up to positive female role models from feminists whose books I read to various women in the music world.

I wanted to be like them, ALL of them, despite the impossibility of doing so because of how disparate those images of womanhood were! I wanted so much to do what any young girl or woman does and find out just what kind of woman I was and where I fit in amongst women in general.

Yes, it was like having puberty a second time, or a part of it. I'm still in the tail end of the second part of it because it's less than two years since I found the nerve to approach the lesbian scene again following my rejection therefrom thirty years ago. I settled into being a woman socially in a lot of ways long ago, and yet my social development sexually had been rudely curtailed, so it's only now I've been finding my feet, and going through all that awkwardness of wondering how the dating game is played amongst lesbians that not a few women my kind of age who've only recently come out as lesbian do.

I'm so glad that the world, at least here in the UK, is kinder to young transfolk and lesbians than it was when I was little. Two or three puberties is one or two too many!!
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Old 06-18-2018, 03:35 AM   #8
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Hey, Esme, there's something wonky with that link. Could you double check it?

(Hope your finals went well.)
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Old 06-18-2018, 10:16 AM   #9
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Even though I am exploring my transgender leanings, I often have a hard time dealing with the apparent immaturity of cis-men. They are often like a bull in a china shop going on full speed into any venture without concern for the downfall. I tend to be a plan ahead sort. Thinking and making contingency plans for things that may happen five steps from where I currently stand. It very much unnerves me when someone has failed to think and plan ahead. Also find many are quick to anger when their bullheaded ways don't succeed. I am quite slow to anger and have relatively NO temper.
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Old 06-18-2018, 02:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martina View Post
Hey, Esme, there's something wonky with that link. Could you double check it?

(Hope your finals went well.)
Hi, Martina!

I've just found the page again by searching on Google for it: I was going to try to post the full link as plain text but the bulletin board software won't let me do so! ;-}

Article title is "Puberty At 33: A Trans Woman's Mid-Life Coming Of Age"

Here's the link again: https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/ent...b0734a99385612

hope that helps!

Aye, the exams went OK, slightly better than expected on one of 'em, but I think there's a 50/50 chance I might have to resit part of one module. We'll see!

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Old 07-08-2018, 05:08 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Esme nha Maire View Post
It's a damnably tricky topic, and I don't wish to cause upset, nor do I feel there's much, if any, merit in 'more-than/less-than' arguments here, but I have myself encountered transwomen who, visually presenting as femme, nevertheless came across to me as rather blokey in behaviour. Which raises all sorts of questions like - were they really an MTF butch, but felt constrained by societal pressure (or that of the gender clinics) to present as femme? Or were they simply poorly socialised as women? Something else?
This is a great topic, and I"m glad you brought it up. I consider myself somewhat truscummy, and a bit of a "third way heretic" in the trans community. I don't know, maybe my views aren't that out of alignment with the majority, but somedays, it feels that way. While I think TERFs take shit way too far, with the way they used to attack transwomen in the 1970s with guns and death threats, and how Janice Raymond has trans blood on her hands for what happened after she published "The Transsexual Empire" in 1980 and got healthcare taken away from trans women, and how the modern TERF movement is WAY too close to the alt-right, and engage in the worst sort of anti-antisemitism (I swear, if I see another TERF post something from The Federalist while complaining about George Soros and The Jewish bankers pushing "trans agenda"...) they also have some legit points, in terms of this Cotton Ceiling BS, and how too many trans women will engage in "magical thinking" to ignore the fact that we are cursed with male biology, and need to deal with that unpleasant issue.

To begin, let me start off by saying the first and foremost thing I tell anyone and everyone who will listen when they start transitioning MTF is that it's not enough to transition your body, you have to also transition your MIND.

We are all, all of us, who have been forced to socialize as male, been scarred and traumatized by the experience. I could tell as early as 4 or 5 that something was going "wrong", that I wasn't "meant to be with" the boys group, I would be better placed with the girls group, but I didn't know how to say it, and in Reagan's America in the 1980s in the midwest, I would have been physically and mentally abused for speaking up more firmly for it.

So I am constantly checking myself mindfully for ways that I "behave male" because yes, I've been socialized male. I've also benefited from male privilege growing up, even as I suffered horribly from the dysphoria that being forced to socialize male caused me.

This is one of several key areas in which transwomen and biologically born females are different. We will never "grok in fullness" what it was like to be raised as girls and then women from day one. We will never understand the pain and shame forced upon biological females vis a vis menstruation, or the million and one daily aggression that the Patriarchy forced upon them in our most malleable and receptive years as children.

Yes, we suffer sexism after we transition, we suffer discrimination, we suffer violence, and bigotry. But we are still socialized as males, and to not work on that, to not be mindful of that, to simply refuse to acknowledge it flies in the face of everything rational and logical, at least to me. It's not enough to look like a woman. You need to start working on THINKING like a woman, and not in a stereotypical fashion either.

I always half-joke that I am a victim of testosterone poisoning and Patriarchal brainwashing. It will always bite hard into my soul that I never got the life I wanted, to be raised as a biological women with all my other Sisters. But that is life. Life isn't fair. The best we do is take the bad hand life dealt us, cope, adapt, and try to make it a little bit better for those who come after us.

TL;DR: Of course transwomen are women, but they are not exactly the same as women-born-women. There's no shame in acknowledging the dividing line and the difference, even as it causes we as transwomen frustration and heartache.
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Old 07-08-2018, 08:34 PM   #12
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Default Tracey Norman (Legendary 1st Black trans model of the 70s)

I spent the majority of my life as an aspiring hairdresser, colorist, and loved dabbling in makeup artistry, as well as nail care and esthetician work.

But I think it's important for transwomen to have community and safe places to enjoy community.

I've known only a few transwomen in my lifetime, but did you know that Tracey Norman was the face of Clairol's Auburn hair coloring products, during the 1970's?

I found an article online about her life as an Black transwoman. Tracey talks about what it's like to be an transwoman and the challenges she faced during very turbulent times. I think transwomen today face the same issues that Tracy faced back then: issues pertaining to physical safety, the right to live safely in society, the right to have gainful employment, the right to find someone to share life with and to be loved and liked for who she is, was and still is.

I think this is an deeply insightful article and I like how she describes the terror of being outted, loss of employment opportunities to her own ability to share about socialization issues, etc., and her life since the 1970s.


Here's the link to the article:

https://www.thecut.com/2015/12/trace...del-c-v-r.html

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Old 07-08-2018, 11:44 PM   #13
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Bex-9Tales, the one thing I'd definitely disagree with you about is regarding MTF socialisation as male and thus experiencing male privilege as necessarily happening, or necessarily happening to the extent that one could justifiably claim to have experienced the male experience of the world, in all cases.

Even that, like so many things, varies from individual to individual. I didn't have to work on thinking like a woman in the slightest; it was just natural to me. Or, put another way - I've always just thought like me, and no-one seems in any doubt that I'm female these days! I haven't a clue what it feels like to be male, think like a male, etc. (gah! stereotypes!.. -can't be helped, for sanity's sake). I'm not claiming any kind of superiority in any sense over that, that's just my personal experience.

As a child, I was treated as if a male child, and expected to be and behave as such, but internally I simply was not, and behaviour wise, well, I was just me, and caused some degree of concern from a fairly early age, I later discovered, although my oddness was put down by my parents to my being bookish and introvert at first, and possibly gay when I was older. I say 'possibly' because I didn't really fit their notions of what a gay lad would be like either, which is hardly surprising, because I wasn't one. And whilst I was presented with "here are these expectations of you, 'cause you're a boy", what I paid most attention to was what was expected of girls and women - because I - the me in here (taps the side of my head) was a girl.

Like yourself, I was aware of issues relating to behaviour with regard to personal safety, but I suppose I had the "geek escape clause" working in my favour . Geeks are expected to be eccentric! And I most definitely was (and am) a geek!

Whilst going through the transition process and being a member of a support group, it became apparent to me that there is a very wide variation in MTFs, not simply visually, but also mentally. But just as some did come across as rather blokey in behaviour, with others it was hard to imagine them as ever being anything other than women , and I don't mean just visually. I was not the most extreme case of being naturally female/un-blokey in behaviour, either.

And male privilege? I'm not claiming that categorically I experienced none whatsoever, but quite honestly, I'm damned if I can think how. The experience of being belittled due to being clearly rather odd (because I simply didn't have it within me to be 'one of the guys') previously felt pretty much the same as does being belittled for being a woman now, the only difference was that I didnt experience trans-hate pre-transition.

Hence my raising the subject of socialisation, because I've seen over-generalisations on the subject in both directions. Rather than experience male privilege and then female lack of privilege, it's been my experience of always lacking privelege, initially because I did not fit expectations, and then due to being visibly female. I'm just as sure that some MTFs do not need to adjust their behaviour and thinking in order to fit in well as female in todays society as I am sure that some do.

I've found it interesting to read of FTM's experiences here, and I've been getting the impression that it's probably more common for them to feel they've experienced both sides of the male/female divide because of the different way in which their dysphoria manifests and its timing. But I'm guessing - I obviously cannot know for sure if this is so, and would be interested to know how they feel about this.

I note that I've seen more than one FTM here express disquiet at the fact that once they have transitioned, they will be seen to be part of a group (males) some of who behave in ways they feel are anywhere from simply damned impolite through to abhorent. Indeed I've pointed out to one FTM myself that not all cis-men behave badly, and in transitioning they will have just increased the chances that some womans next encounter with a bloke will be a pleasant and amiable one.

I'm bemused that I have yet to see any MTF express disquiet that post-transition they will be seen to be part of a group (females) that behave thus-and so. I can't help but wonder whether there's a touch of societal skewing of peoples thinking about what it is to be male or female going on there. I mean, women can behave badly just as men can, and certainly not every MTF woman is an angel, just as not every man is the devil incarnate.

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Old 07-09-2018, 06:48 AM   #14
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Hi Esme,

I appreciate your well-thought out response to this. And while I can't speak for you and your experiences, I personally can't see how any MTF can claim to not have been affected in any way by male socialization; I actually used to think the same way as you - that I hated being socialized male, that I always "thought" female - and in many ways I suppose I did. I always gave more accord to women than men, I was always a bit suspicious of men. But as I began to make myself become more self-deconstructive and aware, I could see the sub-conscious signs of it. The way women born and raised as women often constantly apologize for things they don't need to, the way they are self-effacing, they way they will back down from arguments instead of standing their ground. So so so much of this comes from the 24/7 indoctrination from Western culture, and we don't even appreciate it. How it shapes, molds, and warps us, in ways we don't even appreciate it.

And yes, male privilege is out there, and yes, we benefited from it. There have definitely been times I can recall where I was given more accord because I was presenting male at the time. I can definition think of times where I had to aggressively push a cause to get something - a raise, more resources, what have you, and a lot of that came from pre-programmed "male" behaviors.

And yes, definitely there are some transwomen who "grok" womanthink better than others. I am sad to say that I have come across transwomen who seem to be, and I apologize for how shitty this is going to sound, little more than a male in a dress. They're anti-feminist, they're entitled in the way only men can be, they talk over other women constantly, they tear other women down. And you see it in some of the younger, entitled generation too with this whole Cotton Ceiling bullcrap.

So TLDR, you no doubt experienced male privilege in countless million little ways that you probably would take for granted, even as you hated being identified as male. That doesn't mean it didn't exist for you. As I stated before, if we really want to create a more egalitarian society, and do right by our fellow women, then we must transition our minds as well as our bodies. And yes, as you say, some of us may discover that we don't need to go through as much self-deconstruction and self-deprogramming as others, I have no problems with that line of thinking. But I would be shocked if there was a MTF who didn't need to question at least some of their behavior patterns and thought processes, even just a little. And this isn't meant to be an attack, simply a statement of fact, at how we are deeply influenced by our cultures, even at a non-conscious level.
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Old 07-09-2018, 07:40 AM   #15
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I sincerely appreciate the dialogue expressed by both of you, Esme and Bex.

I am not sure if it was here on our boards at BFP or in the prior, now-defunct "Dash" community where I have shared this before, but my eldest son, from an very early age, has had (and probably still has) gender dysphoria.

As an young child, my eldest would often dress up in my clothes and feminine articles of lingerie, or use my makeup, lipstick, or even borrow my dress shoes, while exploring his gender identity. And because of this early exploration of gender identity, I sought out an child therapist for my son to go see, to help and provide an safe place for exploration of his gender dysphoria.

I think it's incredibly difficult for those who experience gender dysphoria, no matter what part of the Trans- spectrum one resides. I have always felt that my eldest child leans more toward the female side of the spectrum. But my eldest is also unmistakably male.

Although my son is unmistakably male, I would be remiss to not acknowledge his gender dysphoria, which I believe he still experiences.

I am disclosing this aspect of my eldest's gender dysphoria because as his mother, I have always tried to provide an safe environment for my son to realize that, as his mother, I care about the huge pressures one faces when trying to decide which way to go, so they can come to terms with their gender dysphoria.

Fwiw, I extend my sincere appreciation to members of the Trans- community for sharing your personal experience, concerning your own personal development.

Generally speaking, you are by proxy, in my mind, the Early Adopters of deciding what aspects of Meta-social or Micro-social expectations of socialization you decide to accept or reject.

K.
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Old 07-09-2018, 09:33 AM   #16
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That is so sweet. Thank you for being such an awesome and supportive mother!! I'd like to think that no matter what, the overall trend re: the trans community and acceptance is heading in a positive direction.
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Old 07-09-2018, 09:37 AM   #17
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(Chuckle) Bex, these matters of privilege and socialisation and such are things I've long given much thought to since childhood; it's not a subject area I've only thought about since realising that transitioning is possible, at the age of 28, some 32 years ago for me. I was reading feminist literature since my mid-teens and enthralled by it, because it spoke to me of the problems faced by women - people like me - and possible ways to go about trying to tackle them.

You mention self-deprecating behaviour - yep, I've always been like that (got told off for it in chat here by someone just the other evening!). I asked for raises at work but almost never got them; it just wasn't in my nature to be aggressive about it. Now, it should be noted that there are cisgender guys who are self-deprecating and non-agressive, so I'm not claiming that my more female-typical behaviour in that regard necessarily comes from my femaleness. But it is innate. And guys always have talked over me, ignored me, etc. As also have the more forceful women.

The only thing I can think of where I know male privilege was definitely aimed in my direction was a few occasions where, being the only visually male person in a small group, I was looked to as some kind of authority on whatever the topic was at hand. That mere possession of male visual characteristics didn't make me an oracle - ie: I'd happily state that I had no idea if I had no idea - confused some (disgusted some - what kind of a man was I if I didn't know THAT stuff?!), delighted other women. And as I've noted elsewhere, I was quite often, although not always, tacitly treated as 'one of the girls' in offices I worked in, because, well, psychologically I was one.

Actually I've just recalled one temp job I landed because the temping agency had noticed that very thing. A timber merchants had an office run by a male manager but with otherwise all-female staff, and they had a backlog of work, manually creating invoices, so wanted a temp to help. When the agency put me forward, the timber yard wasn't initially enthusiastic because they were concerned that a male might cause problems with the female staff. They reluctantly agreed, on the understanding that if I wasn't suitable I'd be out the door like a shot. That company actually asked for me back by name on three later occasions when they had backlogs because I could both do the work well and fit in fine with the (other, to me) women there.

In short - I'm sufficiently bright and introspective to be aware of the diversity and subtlety of the ways in which male privilege exists and is accorded or taken for granted by some. But truly - nope, I don't believe I was even accorded male privilege very often (and I can't recall ever benefitting from such - not saying I absolutely may not have, just that if I did, it would have been in very, very minor ways), I just didn't fit societys notions of what a male should be like, because I could not - I'm female, always have been as well as having had the severe bodily dysphoria.

It wasn't a case of 'groking womanthink' with me and some others that I encountered - we were just simply ourselves and, well, female of mind. (shrugs). To me it seems like there's a certain amount of 'magical thinking' on the part of some who think that mentally there always MUST be some difference between cisgender women and transwomen, just as there are with some who think that any such differences that exist must necessarily be ignored.

So far as I can see, with regard to the socialisation and male privilege issues with MTFs, the reality is that there is a spectrum from the one extreme, those who have little trouble transitioning because they always were very female of mind and absorbed societys expectations of females, rather than males; through those who may have to work on things a bit in order to transition socially successfully; to those who just cannot seem to stop acting like a bloke and who are always likely to experience problems being accepted as female because of it.

Sure I haven't experienced menses and all that surrounds that, nor childbirth despite my strong instinct, when younger, to want to bear children. I didnt experience people telling me I couldn't be X when I grew up because aside from wanting to be an astronomer from a young age (fairly acceptable for both genders even back then), I tended not to mention some things that I maybe wanted to be, because I was aware I might get strong disapproval for some of them (like being a dancer in certain female dance troupes!).

But I was aware as a child that girls were commonly directed toward certain types of aspirations and away from others, and thought it horribly unfair, and this well before I'd even heard of feminism. (shrugs). We are all individuals, and MTFs are incredibly diverse in the way they present to the world when young and in their experience of the world when young. The myth that we must ALL necessarily have been unaware of the existence of male privilege in the world, and therefore either be educated to a womans lot in the world or have a sudden moment of illumination once we transition is just simply not so, any more than thinking that we're all just women and that's that just because we say we are. I'm as capable of seeing what's in the world around me as any other girl or woman - that's why feminism appealed to me as a youngster - because I hated the way the world treated people like me - ie: women. So I respectfully disagree with you on that point, Bex.
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Old 07-09-2018, 09:42 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Bex-9Tales View Post
That is so sweet. Thank you for being such an awesome and supportive mother!! I'd like to think that no matter what, the overall trend re: the trans community and acceptance is heading in a positive direction.
Thank you Bex... ... I've tried to always put my children's needs and concern's first, no matter how tough the road has been (past, present or in terms of an future).

I appreciate your candor and Esme's candor too.
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Old 07-09-2018, 09:55 AM   #19
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Esme? That's incredibly unfair being told off by someone in chat. That's not okay. I hope you realize that that person's behavior is about them (ie, hidden bias, prejudice, etc) and not about you.

And, thank you for disclosing in your post that this happened to you.

Trans-identified individuals are often the targets of this type of prejudicial treatment, as well as other members of the greater LGBTQ community.

It's sad, to me, that given how incredibly hard it is to find our way 'home', that one encounters this in our own community.

"We're all just walking each other home," -- Ram Dass.

That is one of my favorite all time quotes because it's true. We're all just walking each other home.

May you and others find comfort and peace in our community, each and every day.

K.
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Old 07-09-2018, 09:58 AM   #20
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As Bex has said, Kätzchen, that is really nice to hear of a mother being that supportive of a child with gender dysphoria! It does raise one point that may be of interest though - the only thing that gave the GIC any pause for thought about me was that I had no history whatsoever of cross-dressing. This because simply changing clothes wouldn't have eased my dysphoria one iota, and the potential negative of being found out if I did try to acquire womens clothing - nope, wasn't worth it.

It was lovely to be seen as and treated as a woman when I socially reassigned, so such social dysphoria as I had was eased, but the more fundamental problem with me was physical, and my bodily dysphoria didnt go away until I had surgery. Both kinds of dysphoria exist on a spectrum, and it's great that more dysphoric youngsters these days are given the chance to explore what's the best solution for them, rather than having to try to decide between one extreme or the other. Which wasnt an issue for me (never any slightest doubt!) but is for some. Supportive parents are pure gold for gender dysphorics!
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