Thursday, October 11, 2012

Transsexual, Transgender Dissertation!

Hi everyone, I'm still here.

I just received an email from an Amy Rotherforth. She is asking to interview me as well as other transgender/transsexual people for a research dissertation paper. Has anyone else received this email, and if so, does anyone know anything about her. She sounds legitimate, but it would be nice to hear from someone who actually knows her. She certainly sounds like she could be an ally for our community.

Here for your reading pleasure is the email that I received, just in case anyone has not received it:

Hi, I have found your e-mail on your blog; I hope you don’t mind me getting in contact with you! J This email is a little long, really sorry about that, I just wanted to make sure everything I can think of is said!

Anyway, a little bit about me, my name is Amy Rotherforth. I’m from Yorkshire in England and studying Psychology with Counselling studies at the University of Huddersfield. I am in my final year and have to complete an 8000 word research dissertation on any topic. My research interest is the transgender and transsexual community and I hope after completing this final year at uni I will work as a psychologist/therapist working with individuals undergoing transition and also the aftercare of patients undergoing sexual reassignment surgery.

My interest on this topic comes from people I have met who are transgender, TV programmes, blogs and academic research. I feel that there isn’t enough research and hope that through people speaking about and educating others on trans issues more and more; the discrimination and transphobia which is still out there could be greatly reduced! (In a perfect world, disappear!) I myself am not transgender or transsexual but I consider myself an ally. Throughout my career I hope to make a difference to the lives of people and feel very strongly and passionate about it. I feel that the social barriers and the conflicts which individuals have to go through to live in the gender they chose e.g. coming out, family issues, spouse issues, jobs, ignorant people etc. are all issues which need to be addressed and people’s attitudes need to be challenged. 

To give a bit of information on the research… I have to submit an ethical approval on the 17th November to the university so that they can monitor us and make sure we’re doing everything to the book. So I won’t be able to start with the research until early December, I’m just writing now to see if any participants are interested J It will be an interview, nothing too personal and won’t be too long! It can be done in anyway you find easiest, skype, phone, instant messenger, email, letter, you choose J any questions which you don’t want to answer can be left, you can also change your mind at anytime throughout the whole process and your data will be destroyed. It will all be kept anonymous and you can have full access to the results when its done if you would like J The interview questions will be about gender identity, discrimination and your stance on surgery and treatment. The full aims and questions will be put to a focus group who can assist me in deciding if the questions are appropriate and I can give you more detail about all that after the ethics approval when everything will come together (on the 17th October)! 
If you feel you would like to help me and take part, would you please respond and just let me know, and then in December I can make a start! To make you feel more comfortable I can answer any question you may have, I can also leave my university email which is if you would feel more comfortable using that one. Any question you have, or information you would like about me or the project is more than welcome J Also, if you don’t feel comfortable in answering questions but could help me by being part of my focus group (helping me before I start, deciding on appropriate questions) then also let me know, any help is much appreciated J 

Thanks for reading , hope this all makes sense, hope to hear from you!

Hope to hear from anyone who has received this email, and what they may or may not know about her, or just your thoughts about the whole matter. 



PS: I have Amy's personal email address also, if anyone would like it. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Relationships~Male To Female~Female To Female~My/Our Dilemma

Heeeeere's Cynthia!

Hello everyone,

I am sorry that it has taken me all this time to get back here with something actually worth saying, but, ever since divulging some of the things I have so far... well... I haven't had all that much to talk about. Actually that's not entirely true~but some things are very hard to talk about. Maybe this really isn't worth writing about~but I'm going to do it anyway~because this is important to me~even if to no one else... except maybe Halle... Halle, I hope you can find something in here to comment about. I look forward to hearing from you, as I always do.

The past few months have been, to say the least, crazy. Lots of ups and downs. I have made mention of how accepting my wife has been of this whole transgender/transsexual thing I have thrust upon her. Well, it turns out she is both understanding/not understanding. Maybe 'understanding/not understanding' isn't the right phrase to use. More like 'accepting/not accepting', or maybe just plain uncomfortable because she doesn't know enough about this to be able to understand what is going on inside of me. I guess that does mean 'understanding/not understanding'. duh:)

I have tried to be as honest and up front and provide as much information for her as I can come up with. I think I may need to do a better job on the information part so that she/we can develop a better understanding together of who and what I really am, although... I'M SURE I know WHO and WHAT I am. I've known one thing for sure for almost six decades~regardless of the fact that I didn't know the technical aspects of it... and some buried memory... until the last few years... I AM A FEMALE!... albeit, impersonating a male.

Now~my wife has been somewhat aware of my predispositions ( although not technically ) as I have for most, if not all of our forty years of marriage, shown a propensity to wear some articles of women's clothing ( undies to be exact ). Still~with her witnessing this behavior of mine~I managed to keep her ( and myself ) in the dark as to just what was really going on in my head ( some hiding of the truth and of course denial ). I had no idea that there was a medical term for what I felt and who I believed I was. I just believed I was some kind of weirdo or freak who believed it was much more prudent and necessary to hide my feelings, sans the undies, and simply try to be what was expected of a male in my day. We're all great actors~aren't we? Well... up to a point that is. If you have been reading any of my writing, you might remember, from a prior post, that I did a very convincing job of burying my own feelings so deep, that even I forgot some of the things that happened in my past.

Now... I told you all of that so that I could tell you all of this... and to get to that part from which the title for this post is derived.

I think where things have become a bit sticky is... my wife says she doesn't know what her role or place is in our relationship now ( sounds pretty reasonable to me ), as she still sees me as a man~her husband. After all, that's the role I've been playing all these years. She has told me that she worries about me wanting to separate and go off and be with a man as that is what women usually want in a relationship.  I have tried very hard to erase her fears of my wanting to have anything at all to do with a man. Because I am still physically a male ( haven't transitioned ), my Christian beliefs will in no way allow me to enter into a homosexual relationship with a man. The only way I could ever be with a man would be if I was to transition fully to the woman I know that I am, and then, only if that is what my brain tells me my preference is at that point in time. For the record, my preference up till now, has been, and is, female. And I see absolutely nothing changing with said preference in the foreseeable future. Why? That's just the way it is. I have no further explanation.

Also for the record: My wife has expressed that she understands that I could never be happy again if I had to present as a male 100% of the time ( acceptance? I don't know... ). As things are right now, my wife says I can dress quasi female most of the time and every now and then present as male again just for her. I think this is about as good as I am going to get at this time and stage of our marriage as the alternative is not very appealing. Actually, I'm finding this arrangement to be mostly reasonable, as it allows me the opportunity to be my female self... most of the time... rather than the minority of the time... or not at all.

Also, for the record: We still have a fairly physical relationship... that is... we hug and kiss and hold hands all of the time.

But~ here is where the sticky gets even stickier. Here we go...

...If I believe myself to be a woman~and I do, of that there is no doubt~and I want to stay married to my wife~which I do, and again there is no doubt~am I now engaging in a lesbian ( homosexual ) relationship ( which my wife does not want )? Remember~I have not transitioned~so I do not have any physical female characteristics except for some superficial things like maybe my clothes, a little make-up perhaps, some mannerisms, or my hair, etc. The question now is~am I going against God's Word and my beliefs as a Christian and engaging in a lesbian/homosexual relationship after all? This is the sixty-four thousand dollar question! If anyone has any thoughts on this~please feel free to comment and help me out.

Right now I see myself as a woman who is~in this alien body called male~very much in love with and wanting to stay with my wife. Can this relationship be termed lesbian/homosexual on the basis of what is between my ears, and in my heart and soul? According to my research and my knowledge of the Bible, homosexuality is a sin punishable by stoning... at least in biblical days. Now this is my/our dilemma.

Now~If circumstances~that is, family, money, work, church... oh boy!... excuse me... oh girl!... ( and the list gets longer )~were different~I firmly believe that I would be giving some serious consideration to transitioning. Skip the serious consideration~you know it~I'm sure I'd opt for transitioning! But alas~not to be~not at this time. I would give my eye teeth to be oh so much younger and know what I know now. Wouldn't that be the case with a lot of us?

I have also told my wife, very emphatically, that I don't believe I could ever live my life without her by my side. Not after forty years of marriage and a long and strong Christian lifestyle, and of course my undying love for her, which has had its' own way of developing the kind of relationship we have. She is my world and more important to me than my own life. I would not hesitate to give up my life in her stead.

So~where does all of this lead? I wish I knew exactly~as again, this is my/our dilemma.

Halle, I now feel pretty sure I have the answer that I know Is correct for my situation, and mine only ( Biblically speaking ). My belief that the Bible is the inerrant, infallible, everlasting Word of God ( and what I live by ) is making the answer very clear to me, but I certainly can't speak for anyone else. 

I wish I could provide more answers on this subject, as I'm sure there are more girls out there with the same or similar questions that need answering. Any of you Bible scholars out there are more than welcome... and I do mean welcome... to comment here about this and anything pertaining to this. Just be sure to give the Bible references for your comments pertaining to what the Bible actually says. I look forward to hearing from all of you and researching those answers!

Hugs to one and all.


Saturday, May 12, 2012

~Happy Mother's Day~

Hi everyone,

Yeh, I'm still here.

Just wanted to stop for a minute and wish every one of us and our wives (who have children), and our mothers ( if you are still fortunate enough to have yours' still living~mine is not ) a wonderful Mother's Day!

             ~Happy Mother's Day!!!~

Hugs to all the mothers,