An admission and a rethink on labels

A rapid update to my last post.

Ok, ok already. Enough!

As I said in my last post, I thought I had things straight in my head. Well not so quick there boy-oh.

As I read new posts on varying threads over the last number of days, I have found myself going back and forth on a number of issues. I found myself agreeing with one writer, and then agreeing with the next writer who had a slightly different take on the subject. Then agreeing with yet another who saw things differently. Why was I being so indecisive? I obviously still possessed some internal strife, and even though I have written twice before that I thought I had found myself in a nice cosy self-understanding, that is obviously not the case.

Admission to self

*(I know there is no such thing as normal, but you know what I mean)

“I’m just a normal guy who…”

Well, after a lot of thinking and talking to myself while on the treadmill, I now have to admit, I am not a normal guy. I have to acknowledge and affirm that I am transgender.  When one has thoughts like “that’s a nice dress. Wonder how I would look in it?” that’s not a “normal guy” thought. When I want to rid my body of hair so I can wear a sleeveless dress and enjoy the feel of pantyhose of bare skin…that’s not what a “normal guy” would do. I LOVE beer, chips and chocolate, “normal guy” stuff. But when thoughts like, “I need to pass on that delectable looking chocolate cheese cake because I don’t want to ruin all the work I have done to trim down to look good in that new skirt and blouse”, that’s not a “normal guy” thought. Would a “normal” guy push his chest muscles/flesh together to see what kind of cleavage could be achieved or when the office is empty, pull out a nail file and take care of a slight chipped nail so that they will look good next time nail polish is applied to them? I don’t think so.

I have previously stated, there is “no girl trying to get out” or a “second self”, but then, why do I have these “girly” thoughts. And why, when I dress, do I have this need to portray a womanly image? There is obviously a small portion of my brain that is “female”. Any of these thoughts or activities put my firmly in the transgender category. And because I sometimes dress in the clothing commonly associated with the opposite sex, I am indeed a crossdresser.

Labels. I’m a ______.

No one should feel pressured to label themselves and nobody should force a label onto those who don’t want one, but labels may not be all bad.

So I’ve come full circle and have re-applied labels to myself and I now believe that labels are quite useful. They let those with whom you are conversing know from what objective point you are talking. Obviously though, we have many different labels that we apply to ourselves every day, depending on our surroundings. If I’m at work, the label I am tagged with is “Site Manager”. When with a group of aviation personnel, the label is “Pilot”. If I wandered through a mall and came across a display from a local Model Railroad club, I would tag myself as a “model railroader”. So obviously, in this forum, I bear the labels Transgender /Crossdresser.

Summery

I will stick with the attitude that I will not waste energy or time in search of an answer as to why I do what I do.

Even though for a long time I have identified myself as being a heterosexual crossdresser and as such, belong under the umbrella term of transgender, I have obviously been scared to admit that I am also actually transgender. It still feels a bit strange to type that and re-read it, but it does feel like a weight has been listed off my chest.

Let’s see how long it takes before I change my mind…again…lol.

Michelle.

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7 Comments

  1. georgiakevin

    Honey you are not alone. If you are trans it simply will not go away. i have tried to run from me and did soo for years but it is impossible to run from yourself!

  2. barrbara57

    After your last post where you disavowed questioning WHY you do/think/feel what you do, I thought that you reached a level of self acceptance that I can only aspire to. I still think that (cos i still have to question). I have to admit also to being a bit overwhelmed by all of the labels and definitions, but to the degree that labels are helpful in describing or even understanding oneself they are useful. Labels are just shorthand descriptors and can’t possibly describe exactly your or my experience, but they can point to what we share. The trick for me has been in figuring out where along the transgender spectrum can I most comfortable live. I think maybe that is an ongoing negotiation.
    PS good luck on the work front

  3. I think it frightens many. But I know for me, it is a better label to use to describe to my friends and family. I never really worried about what it may mean in terms of how I internally view myself. I have always viewed myself the same regardless of how I have chosen to describe myself. Good luck with this heady stuff cutie; oh and sorry if I have put your head into a tailspin by beginning this discussion!

    • No Nadine, a big thank you!! 🙂 It really made me think. And yes, it is/was a bit frightening to actually admit something like this to oneself.
      M.

  4. Oh, Michelle! I can again say I know how you feel. I sometimes feel like embracing one label or another, but then I look at some web pages of other trans* people and I think, “I’m not like THAT!” But I can identify with some of the characteristics of one and perhaps another.

    Like you, I look at a pretty outfit on a woman and think, “I’d love to wear that!” I yearn to be able to accessorize the way I’d like to, with earrings and bangles and necklaces and …

    So, perhaps it’s a yearning that identifies me a trans?

  5. LJas has it exactly right — just because some of your behavior makes you think you should slap a label on yourself and say “I do this, therefore I must be that!” doesn’t mean your personality can be so easily defined.

    Are we different from the standards of “normal” society’s expectations for men? Absolutely, and vive le difference! A pox on conformity.

    Does that mean you can easily fit in the transgender label? I don’t think so. You said yourself there is no inner woman trying to emerge; you identify as male. Until and unless that changes, I believe that transgender is inappropriate for where your life is.

    I reached LJas’s conclusion the same way, by getting sucked into believing that “if I wear dresses and do other girly things, I must be trans-something” but when I started getting involved in trans* communities, I had almost nothing at all in common with the people who wear those labels with pride. Talk of tucking and hormones and changing one’s voice bores me. Don’t even start in about learning how to “walk like a woman”, whatever that means, and the people who say that their female identity is a completely separate person with her own interests, desires, hopes, and fears… well, frankly they scare me a little.

    In the words of the brilliant philosopher Popeye, “I yam what I yam”. If your instinct tells you that one trans* label or another doesn’t fit quite right, your instinct is probably right even if you happen to share one or two traits with others in that group. The only label you need is the one that uniquely and perfectly describes YOU, and nobody else.

  6. This is something that I flip back and forth myself on all the time. The use of labels. I think the main problem with labels is that we forget that one person’s definition of a label might differ from someone else.

    Take being a site manager as a label. You can say to me that is your label. I observe you at work and tell you are wrong. Your a site leader not a site manager. To me site leader fits better than site manager. So we argue over who is right and accomplish nothing except wasting a lot of time and getting anger at each other. When I really should of asked “What does site manager mean to you” because that is the important thing not the label.

    I think though labels make a good starting spot to understand a person. Instead of going on in great detail about yourself with me. You can use the label and then based on the label you used, I can ask you questions or talk with you to clarify to me what it means to you to be that label.

    It doesn’t matter what label I use for you. What matters is the label you for yourself to help convey to me who you are as a person. Pick the one that you feel fits you best Regardless if that is transgender or hetro crossdresser or something else. Leave it to me or someone else to take the time and show respect to you by trying to understand what that label means to you. From there the label has served its purpose and can be discarded.

    I agree why waste energy on why you do what you do. I admit I was curious myself at first. But now it doesn’t matter. I am me and that is all that matters to me.

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