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It does take courage to learn how to live from the inside (Tillich). We often have to struggle to keep a sense of who we are, there are many forces that affect us.

Growing up as a transgendered child, it is learned very quickly that what you are is not acceptable. Our society and culture has conditions of worth reinforced by parents, friends (and not so friends), and the media, TV, radio, news papers and magazines. We are given rewards when we accomplish, love when we behave, punishment when we do not. Part of this is based on the culture you are part of and itís "set of standards". You have already found out that usually it does not include being transgendered. We are conditioned to like ourselves only if we have met the conditions and standards expected of us by others, and since the "standards" are created without regard to your needs and who you are in your deepest self, it is impossible to meet them.

Most of us learn very early to construct a mask, a wall to hide the real self to let us fit in, to be like every one else. There is now a gap between the real self and the constructed fake self and the greater the gap the more the misery!

OK so what does this mean, you are bucking the system by just wanting to be who you truly are and you are finding you are getting a great deal of grief. One of the basics of advertising is that if you tell people something enough times they will tend to believe it, whether it is true or not. You have gotten the message, what is the result, you may not like your self much! Every one is telling (ok not every one, Iím not) you that there is something wrong with you and since we all need love and acceptance the affect is huge. This happens early in your growing up long before you can understand gender problems are social, culture problems.

Did you catch what I just said? This is not your problem, and it is not your fault! Our "culture" does not have a place for us. People do not see their own culture they see through it, like a bad pair of contact lenses, and they are tinted and distorted.

I will have a number of pages looking at other cultures where there is a place for us. In many instances we were thought to be gifted, (we are in reality) and were priests and doctors and wise people.

The way we are born is beyond our control, but what we do with it is.

  "for to will to be that self which one truly is, is indeed the opposite of losing hope" (Kierkegaard, 1863).

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Last modified: 02/09/09