The questions in this post are placed in an orderly progression of thought, from the question of sinning, to being intersex, to the experience of gender dysphoria, to the need to live as a female.
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Q: Are you not giving in to your sinful desires? If you find it okay to transition, isn’t that the same as telling an alcoholic to cure himself by continuing to drink?
A: The first question is an important one, while I find the second a distortion.
Where one begins determines how this is viewed. I view myself as having an intersex condition, which means I am not purely male but have a female aspect to me, my endocrine system having been disrupted so that I have always felt that I should be female. From this starting point, my transitioning is not giving in to a sinful desire, but treating a malady the way any person longs to resolve a physical problem and enjoy wholeness.
If one sees transitioning as flowing from a mental illness, perhaps it is not proper treatment. Indeed, I have known those who suffered gender dysphoria because of a mental illness, but their gender dysphoria was a mask for the deeper malady and an inaccurate diagnosis.
If one sees transitioning as serving a sexual desire, a fetish, or the like then, yes, it would be giving in to one’s sinful desire.
Therefore, to the second question, clearly my answer is “no.”
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Q: Has your intersex condition been diagnosed by a doctor?
A: It has, as much as a condition of this sort is able to be diagnosed at this time.
I see an endocrinologist. That my being on hormone replacement therapy has provided me with peace is recognized as the proof we can have at this time that my endocrine system was maligned in such a way that when I had regular testosterone and estrogen levels for a male I was in turmoil, and now that they reflect that of a female I have physical peace.
My doctor said, “The only way we have at this time, where we might see definitively how you are wired, would be to do an autopsy.” You can imagine that I took a pass on that.
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Q: Would you distinguish between a person who has transgender feelings and a person who suffers from the intersex condition you talk about?
A: There is a wide range of possibilities inside of this conversation. If I did not have two things to which I can point that my endocrine system had been disrupted—my mom being on estrogen when pregnant with me and that she was under extreme stress because of my brother (stress is more and more being recognized as an endocrine disruptor)—and if I did not have other signs in my body which could be signs of it—I went through puberty extremely late, I have no Adam’s apple, and I am lefthanded (research is suggesting lefthandedness, which is found in only 10% of people, could be the result of endocrine system disruption)—I would be stumped as to my having gender dysphoria, with no other thing in my past to account for it.
We know from specific people—Walt Heyer is the poster child for this because he is widely known—that gender dysphoria, which can lead to a person transitioning, can arise from something other than an intersex condition. Heyer experienced extreme trauma when a young boy, including sexual abuse. I personally know two genetic males, who now have transitioned, who tell of heinous sexual abuse to them in their youth. Yes, I wonder if they have been correctly diagnosed, whether they could have resolved the gender identity issue if therapy were directed another way and would not have had to transition. For one of these folks—both male to female—transitioning meant the loss of marriage, the inability to get a job, and many difficult situations in the world; a complete disruption of life which any person would prefer to avoid.
Knowing that transgender feelings do not arise from only one source, it is vital that a proper diagnosis is made. Sufferers need to be honest with themselves, and with their doctors and therapists, so that these professionals are able to do their best in correctly serving them.
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Q: How is it that the female side has overwhelmed the male side such that you desire to dress as a female and be called by a female name?
A: The answer is very simple: the brain is the quarterback of the body. I wrote about that here:
Though I remain logically able to recognize that I am a genetic male, my entire sense is that I am a female. Therefore, of course, I desire to dress and live as a female. Here is where I ask men: How would it go for you if you were forced to dress and live as a female, to be seen as a female, to be socialized as one? Surely, this would be horrible, even torturous to you. Indeed, that is the answer I always receive. That is what living as a male was for me.
We know the sex hormones are tremendously powerful. Women with distorted hormones can become very emotional. Men with elevated testosterone can become very aggressive, and some studies suggest some violent criminals were experiencing too-high of this hormone. And men with testosterone which is too low complain about being sapped of energy.
This informs me, that a messed up endocrine system would have the impact which it had in me, and now that the two sex hormone levels have been reversed that I am enjoying physical peace. And, naturally, now feeling fully female, comes the need to dress and live as a female.