The Fear of Becoming FemaleOnce fully feminized would you find yourself in a cloudy position with regards to your transition? Would you no longer have the reference or understanding which drove you to transition in the first place?
So what if you're transitioning and all of your feelings regarding transition are most sincere. You’re convinced it is the right thing for you to do. You’re getting positive feedback from the hormones you’re taking. Your brain is less cluttered, the obsession of crossdreaming is much reduced and you feel much happier as a person as a result. You’re now free to simply get on with your life. The desire to transition is still there pushing you harder and harder along the transition conveyor belt. Your sex drive is much reduced and you are much happier being less driven than before. You have perhaps achieved your goal, the quality of life is better, you feel yourself (what ever gender that is) for the first time in ages.
At this point there are a number of outcomes to this scenario, mainly dependant upon each individuals personality type, confidence and support network of friends and family.
2. You stay with the hormones. You like yourself now. Everything is great. The estrogen dose is maximised, you live full time and all is going well with your transition. You are doing the right thing. SRS may even be a strong consideration.
Lets pretend that these two outcomes could still eventually come to the same to the same conclusion that this person below experienced. A person who transitioned when young and has lived most of their adult life as female. The ‘AG’ in the text below refers to Autogynephila:
Most of this text has been extracted from a comments discussion from the popular Autogynephiliacs Love Estrogen post at Crossdreamers
"Transitioning from male to female alleviated many of the symptoms of AG. In my mind, this is why many with AG find transition as the answer to their prayers... up to a point. They wish to be female sexually... transitioning lets them become what they need sexually... but ultimately the hormone which has pushed them into this corner (testosterone) becomes weakened... the very element pushing the need for femininization is cut off... and without this hormone, the need for transition becomes cloudy... the meaning of their entire sex life becomes cloudy... the reason for their feminization becomes uncertain... and they feel lost. "
This person recognised a strong cross dreaming element to the transition process from the beginning.
"I started transitioning from male-to-female in the late 90's. At the time I explained my concerns of being AG and transitioning to my therapist, but he didn't see it as problematic. It probably didn't hurt that I was small, attractive, and extremely passable. I think those aspects "qualified me" in their books... almost no matter what I said in session."
" I transitioned and lived for almost a decade in the female role. It was great in many ways (I was "present" during sex with a partner instead of locked in my own fantasy world! I was seen as attractive and enjoyed the attention from both men and women. I felt a certain ease in the daily feminine role instead of trying and failing to measure up to the masculine.), but terrible in others (Expense of transition. SRS is final. Most TS's I know have severe lifelong issues -- even the ones who "pass" completely. As you age, the need for FFS and other surgeries becomes a reality if you want to stay on the feminine side of the tracks. Being a female can be frightening -- I was in two attempted rapes. I resented having to be tied to an endo and pills forever. I found that it was hard to have true girlfriends because they look at you differently than other women... even when they say they don't. Etc.)... and ultimately I de-transitioned."
"Now, years later I'm on hormones again. It took years for the AG to return, but when it did (I suspect when my T levels returned to normal pre-transition levels), I knew that I had to deal with this somehow... and forever..."
"I'm hoping that I can skirt the issue between genders... living work as male and everything else as female. I understand this is a very limited and difficult existance (and possibly not fulfilling), but I have no choice. No therapist has shown me a way to get rid of AG... and years of willpower and denial made me angry and almost suicidal, so..."
"My hope is that I can continue living a limited female role until I'm old enough that I no longer pass and/or my need to express myself sexually has diminished to where I no longer need to be a girl. Will that happen? I can't say... maybe... we'll see..."
"After I de-transitioned, it took my system many, many years to regulate hormones. For years I was asexual and had no AG. In fact, I thought I was cured. Then..."
"I noticed my forehead was getting greasy... I was getting more aggressive... I was having sex dreams again... and getting aroused. I knew my T level was rising after all those years dormant... and that's when the AG started to return. I was really horrified. As a child I'd prayed that God would release me of these thoughts. I thought he'd answered my prayers... but now learned differently."
"I wanted to run back to transition, but fought it -- I'd learned too much of the reality of transition to do it again, but with no cure for AG, how could I deal with it?"
"For me, I looked at what I needed most... to be seen as female on a casual social level and sexually... and this is where I hope to keep it. I choose not to have SRS and change my documentation (what a nightmare it was to change back last time!), but to come to terms with being an extremely feminine male (tg)."
"To this day I really wish there was a cure to this. More than female, I really just want to be "normal."
This experience seems to be more common that we think, with the crossdreaming condition. There are many that argue that the test for transgender transition is to take estrogen and see how you respond. The common thought is that the person with the Feminisation Fetich will soon come off hormones and be relived to return back to normal masculinity. But many have taken oestrogen in high does with T blockers over many years, transitioned and then found themselves in the position the person has described above.
Transgender forums are full of stories of people 'yo-yoing' back and forth between the two worlds. These people are not fantasists and are very real. Their feelings of gender dysphoria are very powerful and are driving them to take oestrogen's to feel like themselves.
Psychologist Anne Vitale has recognised that many transgender clients over the years, have experienced what she calls 'Testosterone Toxicity'. Briefly that testosterone is the driver for transition, and coupled with the aromatase into oestrogen makes things much worse for the transgender individual. The aromatase into oestrogen is the part of this subject that I simply don't understand. However you can read the report here which has some excellent case studies
Here is an extract:
"It is also known that the administration of cross sex hormones MUST be maintained to sustain the anxiolytic effect. It is not unusual for some patients, feeling better after starting hormones, to believe they are cured and no longer need to continue the medication. Unfortunately what they experience is a quick return of their gender dysphoria. If there is any physical test to determine who should seriously consider partial or full transition, taking cross sex hormones is it."
"In addition, to account for the periodic need to cross dress in certain males, I predict that eventually we will find that as testosterone levels rise above some threshold in the daily lives of these males (Ahokoski et al 1998), that the enzyme aromatase becomes active and temporarily converts testosterone into estradiol forcing a strong desire to dress and live, even if only temporarily, as a woman."
"as counterintuitive as it may seem, it can only be assumed that testosterone plays a crucial role in forcing certain male individuals to crossdress and experience femininity to the maximum degree possibly."
So is testosterone the driving force behind transition for many? Perhaps testosterone only has to exist in very small quantities for it to act as a driver? For some the feminisation process may have been going on for years before the 'cloudiness of transition' sets in. For other only a few weeks of treatment is a enough to switch off the condition.
But the problem is what do we do to treat ourselves and maintain a quality of life? For those who come off hormones many are restarting again months or years later just to find some relief.
I myself have restarted a low dose regime of oestrogen. I simply could not stand it any longer and knew the only thing I could do to help myself was to take oestrogen. I am now far happier, my brain is settled and everything in my life seems to make sense. I am happy, but I know as I continue the problems of how I will be perceived to others will become apparent. I too just want to feel normal and oestrogen makes me feel normal regardless of gender. It feels as if I have no choice but to accept my feminisation, in order to be myself. Maybe I am transphobic myself and this is my problem?
So I would be interested to hear from others who are in the same boat as me. Have you come to a form of acceptance? Perhaps a partial transition even? Have you fully transitioned and now wonder what has driven you to transition in the first place? Did you experience all of the above, fully transition and are happy?