A few years ago I sat each of my two brothers down individually and explained that I was trans. One brother shrugged and said, “ You are still the same person ”. The other took it all in and went away to digest it. The next day he called to say he had done some research and that I was not trans, just a crossdresser. This was impressive, depressing and infuriating al at the same time.
Impressive that he took the time to try and research it, depressing in the he applied a title to me that I attempt to distance myself from, and infuriating that he thought he was in a position to tell me who and what I was.
Defining who and what we are is a real problem. A lot of lip service is given to the idea that transgender is a spectrum. But really not much is understood, certainly there is little definitive information to be found even with the best google searches.
One of the best things to come out of the 2015 Transgender media explosion is the understanding that gender identity is completely separate from sexual orientation.
I have come to understand that our spectrum is more diverse than just a simple gender identity and sexual orientation combination. There are many other factors, probably a large number. Humans are complex things.
For example I have noticed a wide range of attitude in just how much female expression is enough. I know girls who want nothing short but a complete change, HRT*, GCS**, the works. The other end of this spectrum involves those that dress in private briefly. The former is accompanied by tremendous distress in male mode, the latter is often followed by bouts of shame because of the female expression. These are extreme ends of the scale, but I think they describe at least one aspect of the transgender experience.
I plan on exploring these and other aspect in coming blogs as I continue to understand just who and what I really am.
*HRT - Hormone replacement therapy
** GCD - Gender confirmation surgery, formerly GRS, gender reassignment surgery, formerly SRS, sexual reassignment surgery.