For the first time in fifty years, in 2018 I am a male who does not question his identity, has no gender dysphoria, and is content being a guy.
In 1968, my gender identity issue began. In January of this year, it went away. Fewer than two months after I finished transitioning from male to female, I ceased having any sense that I am woman.
As winter turned to spring, I gradually reintroduced living as a male. By late May, I was back to living full time as a male. On June 3, I got my hair cut to the very short style I had worn for decades.
What happened? I will use my next post to explain what I believe is behind this. After that, I will answer the six questions which I have been asked the past few months, as I have rolled this out to close allies. One of their questions has been, “Do you have any regrets, such as having surgery?”
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When, on April 23, I published Post-transition crash, everything I wrote was true, but I left out this one thing, that besides everything else with which I was dealing I was fighting myself because I was experiencing myself to be a male.
I was, at the same time, feeling wonderful and terrible. I was torn because I thought I had figured this out. I invested my entire self in transitioning, and transitioning took away the two things which had been driving me to despair, that I would either lose my mind or kill myself.
While transitioning was not always a smooth ride, it worked for me. It calmed the fire in my brain, the two-person struggle that raged within me. Not being able to turn off the internal agitation, from January of 2013 until I lived full time as a female in July of 2015, I felt as though I lived inside an inferno.
With each transitioning step, I grew into my new life as a female. Julie, our kids, and many friends adjusted with me. When I had my final surgery in November, I was positively ebullient; I had that wonderful on-top-of-the-world feeling a person has when completing a huge task.
I was pleased with my surgeries. I was happy with having completed my transition. I was looking forward to moving on to new challenges in 2018.
When I looked into the mirror, I liked the woman I saw. When I got dressed, the clothes felt correct on me, and I found myself to be a respectable more-than-a-bit-past-middle-aged female. Going out into the world—shopping, dining, church, you name it—I was comfortable and confident, even though I still didn’t blend in as a genetic female.
The second half of last year, I was gradually feeling like my old self, a topic about which I wrote in 2017: The culmination (2). Well, by the second week of January this year I noticed that I was now feeling so much like my old self that my new self had disappeared.
I was supposed to be a transgender woman, and I felt like a cisgender man who now has a transgender body.
This drove me into a deep depression.
Every day, I found myself longing to live as a male. I found myself longing to be Julie’s husband, that is, I wanted the world to see me as her husband; I was neither her wife nor the generic “spouse.” The desire to be her husband, to be able to hold her hand and other public actions which had fallen away, burned intensely in me as I longed to figure out how I could achieve it.
But I had gone and surgically altered myself, and had legally changed my name, with Gina all over my drivers license and credit cards. How could I possibly resume living as a man? How could I hide my breasts? Was I destined to be a freak?
At times, I felt like the biggest idiot on earth.
I was angry—why did this happen now? And I was happy—for decades, I wanted to feel like a guy with no desire to be a female, and those moments when I ceased fighting with myself I felt great. And I was confused—what on earth was I to do?
I prayed, daily, that the Lord would comfort me. I prayed, daily, what I had continually prayed throughout my transition, that the Lord would show me what He wanted me to do. I prayed, daily, that He would help me adjust to being a man so that I could live in the world as a male with my surgically-altered body.
I waited a bit before I told Julie, to be sure this was not a fleeting thing. I informed her on January 30, after my cataract surgery. She was so shocked that she was virtually speechless. I told some close friends. They were shocked. Our kids? Shocked. My trans friends at the group Julie and I attend? Shocked.
Since I had been shocked at this new twist, why should they have been any less stunned?
In late February, it faltered. That old sense of being two people revisited, male and female competing for dominance. The female sense returned strongly enough that I shaved my legs for the first time since early January. I painted my nails, which I hadn’t touched in weeks, and was comfortable wearing a skirt and heels to church. Before this happened, I found myself unable to attend church two times, because I couldn’t bear to dress myself in women’s clothes and, since they only knew me at church as Gina, I wasn’t ready to go to church in men’s clothes.
The female sense only lasted a few days, then I returned to feeling exclusively male. The brief event, however, plunged me back into serious fighting with myself. I was miserable, depressed, and unable to see how I was going to live. As a male? As a female? Going back and forth—gender fluid— depending on what signals my brain was sending me?
Was my brain going to continue toying with me? Could I ever trust it?
In late March, Julie finally convinced me to see a therapist. I saw the psychologist about whom I wrote in “Post-transition Crash,” and he helped me a lot. I would see him six times, but after two sessions I was feeling strong again.
He suggested that I should allow for myself to be gender fluid, that perhaps I will always have periods where I feel male, and times of being female, and the overlapping two-person struggle. He found me being too hard on myself, that my sense of things was too black and white, and that if I would go with the flow I might not have these times of deep struggle.
I hated his suggestion.
I have no interest in being gender fluid.
He and I debated it in every session.
It is no fun for me to go back and forth. Thinking about my family and friends, and everywhere I go and everything I do—and trying to find a job!—I could not imagine, “Hey, I’m Gina, today,” and then, “I’m back to Greg these days.” Ugh. No thanks. And who would hire me?
As I said, after two sessions I was again feeling strong, despite the psychologist’s ideas. That was the first week of April. Since then, I have remained strong; I have had zero days of struggle, the longest period I have felt this way since 1968.
Wow. I can’t believe I just typed that.
I can’t believe any of this, since 2013, has happened to me, and that I can finally say this: I am a man who has no interest in being a woman.
I have been aching to scream to the world how wonderful I feel, but I’ve had to be patient. I needed to be sure this would last. I needed to be able to explain things well, because a lot of people are going to be confused—Detransitioning? Is that a thing? Was he ever really transgender?—and some might make fun of me, and others will be convinced that I was mentally ill all along . . . and still am. My fellow Christians, who rejected me, might have a field day with this news.
I especially need to protect all who are transgender, that I do not misrepresent them or what it means to be transgender. What I am writing is my experience and no one else’s. I simply cannot reveal what is going on with me to the harm of another transgender person.
With this in mind, remember these two truths. First, the transgender experience is highly individualized. That is, we all go through this our own way. Second, when you have met one transgender person, you have met one transgender person. Trans folks are not popped out of a mold.
I had wanted to go public to celebrate my birthday at the end of April. Julie and our daughter convinced me that was too soon. I then set my sights on early July, which is six months since the onset.
Besides ensuring this is going to stick, the past few months has given me time to sort this out. In May, the answer dawned on me. I believe I located the reason my gender struggle went away.
I’ll address it, next time.