Time to face this head on. “Being transsexual is a blessing”, I trill, “a wonder, a paradox, a unique perspective, a delight”. I have had my gonads removed. How is that not deeply harmful, a crippling?
I took my transition very slowly and carefully. I decided to work towards transitioning in November 2000, and started on oestrogen and a testosterone suppressant in Summer 2001, but until April 2002 I was still presenting male at work. I had my operation in February 2004, though I could have had it after a year expressing myself female: I believed there was a theoretical possibility that I might at some time want to revert. So after so long suppressing testosterone, I hardly think that the motivation to have the operation could have emerged from male sexuality. I got my gender recognition certificate, legally establishing that my sex is female, in February 2006. It just felt so right. Even now, it just feels right. Now, I find the idea of having any part of my body removed revolting, but that delighted me.
But that just moves the question one stage back. Is it not a deep sickness to want to have the gonads removed? It makes me like those people who want a healthy limb amputated. I notice that a comment on that blog suggests that such people should have psychological treatment, rather than an amputation, just as some Christians ignorantly say about transsexuals and gay people. I probably find BIID easier to understand than cis-sexuals do, though for those with BIID, of course, the amputation is the whole of the desire.
The only answer I have so far is that transsexuality as a whole is a blessing, and this is an inextricable part of it for me. That is, the removal of my gonads, taking away my ability to have children, is a bad thing but is more than compensated by all the other Good of the situation. I could not have had children anyway: I was too messed up in my 20s and 30s to be a good parent, and 45 is a bit late to start. I am more comfortable not producing testosterone. Orchiectomy goes with the territory, the desire is part of the phenomenon of Transsexuality.
In other words, you have to “take the rough with the smooth”. Um. There may be a better answer…
I have not transitioned in order to anything. I have not transitioned in order to oppress radical feminists, or any woman chafing under cultural stereotypes of womanhood, with an ultragirly stereotype. Nor to fool straight men into my bed so that I can humiliate them.
There are strong arguments that transition was against my interests. I am attracted to women, and I have greatly reduced the pool of women who might be attracted to me. I have exposed myself to ignorant prejudice, and made it more difficult for me to find a job.
I have transitioned because I wanted to, just that, in and for itself. To achieve only itself. That is what we mean when we call this a gender identity issue, because my presenting male was an act, a lie, and I could not bear it even though transitioning terrified me and I only transitioned when I could not bear to fight it any longer. This is who I am. So autogynephilia feels as if it cannot be a cause of my condition, though it may coexist with it. Many women with ovaries find their own bodies sensual and erotic.
And while I may have reduced the number of women who might be attracted to me, I have greatly increased my ability to relate to them. I could no longer pretend to be a man.
Added: the reference from Transabled.org has led a number of people, I presume some with BIID, to this page. Welcome. If I deny the hierarchy of oppression- intersex people do not do themselves any favours by distancing themselves from trans people- then, Welcome, brothers and sisters.
I want you to be happy, and a number of people will tell you how you should be happy. That is their stuff, not yours. You have to find out for yourself what will fulfil you, and pursue it. If living in a wheelchair, or even having an operation, is that, then it just is.
My friend asked me before I started to live full time: if I could take a pill, like in The Matrix, and be a normal male, would I take it? No, I said, because I would not then be me, though this took some time to work out. If I could take a pill and be a normal woman? Her answer was still no, because the journey is worthwhile. I do not know on that one.
If you could take a pill and have a normal body image, be happy with functional limbs, would you take it?