Today, I’d like to tell you a story.
I didn’t meet my father til’ I was 25. I grew up my whole life without a father, therefore, and told myself I didn’t want one.
When I thought of fathers I always had this fucked up idea of them from the Breakfast Club. There was basically two types of dad…
1. Brian’s Dad: some boring, pointless middle-aged dude who said shit like, “Gee son…how’d you like to go fishing today?”
2. Bender’s Dad: some abusive bastard who would give you a carton of cigarettes for Christmas and say, “Smoke up Johnny.”
So if you’d asked me when I was in my teens or twenties if I wanted a Dad, I would have sworn an oath that I didn’t want one. And I was certain that was how I truly felt. And it was…
…in my conscious mind.
But there’s this little thing called the sub-conscious; or as I like to call it: the whispering inside. It turned out that my conscious mind was saying one thing about having a father but my subconscious was saying another. And how did I find this out?
Well, I met my Dad.
2. Meeting my Dad
It was no big deal.
I met him. He was cool. We chatted. I liked him. We parted. And planned to meet a week later. And I walked away from the meeting exactly the same person I was before… and while it was cool to meet a dad… I hadn’t changed my mind about ever wanting one. In my conscious mind.
However, what was happening below the surface was that from the moment I walked away from the meeting, strange things started happening.
First of all, I was experiencing flashbacks to the conversation… replaying things he said, over and over again, and I thought of stories he told me of his youth and I pictured them in my head with cinematic clarity. Then, I found myself telling everyone and everyone who would listen about the encounter, and was constantly constantly turning the conversation round to the subject of fathers with anyone I could: friends, taxi drivers, shop assistants etc. I was literally… on another planet… but still telling myself it was no big deal…
“Phuh… fathers… whatever.”
Until 72 hours later it happened: the big bang.
I can’t remember what the trigger was; well, that’s a lie… I can… (but its a little too personal to bring up.) Basically, I broke down… I was literally on the floor… in what can only be described as a state of primeval, raw emotion. It was raw because there was no language… there was no… “Oh it’s so great to now have a father…” there was no… “I was robbed all those years with no father”… there was no sadness no happiness. Only tears. Seismic tears that came from the center of my being.
3. So, what the fucks this got to do with my transgender philosophy?
Everything… or perhaps nothing… I’ll let you decide.
You see, I’ve had many years to think of that event and I’ve come up with a theory as to its significance. It is purely speculative… and, like the idea of the subconcious for example, not something that belongs in the realm of physical science.
What it is this…
I believe that there are words which pertain to things in the world around us… and that there are physical structures in the brain that correspond to those words. Not structures like neo cortex but… neural connections.
I believe that one such arrangement of neurons pertains to ‘father’ and another to ‘mother’. I believe that my whole life that neural connection for ‘father’ had never fired… and that the 72 hours after meeting my father was the period in which the brain began to assimilate this information until finally the neurones pertaining to father ‘fired’ and boom… I was down on the floor like a mother fucker. I was in pieces…. as the blank, empty neural space was filled in.
Similarly, I think there’s an arrangement of neurons which pertains to self identified gender. At some point, two, three, four years old, you self identify as a gender and a specific arrangement of neurons fires and connects.
Boy… I am a boy.
And… while there is no available technology to identify it… this gender related neural structure exists.
But now you have to pay attention because I’m going to complicate things here. This is not – I repeat not – the neural structure I refer to as ‘gender core’ in my unified transgender theory.
The gender core is a hypothetical neural structure which exists in all animals that have genders. It is congenital – ie… present from birth – and makes sure that a female pig executes the behaviour of a female pig.. ie… have young, raise young etc… and that a male pig executes the behaviour of males of most species… rolling around in the mud looking for females to hump.
So… do you get it… I’m proposing two neural structures related to gender. One is congenital and controlled by biology… it’s animal, let’s say… the other is neuro linguistic and controlled by social and environmental factors.
Now, last week… myself and my colleague, Electra… made a pretty bold claim abot transgender people. We said tthat all these groups we think of as different… transexuals, transgender, early onset, late onset, crossdreamers, quackaphiliacs etc… etc… are all transgender in the following sense; all of them are born with a biological gender core contrary to that which their genitals suggests.
So, let’s think of a classic crossdreamer profile.. 5 year old boy arrives in the family kitchen wearing a dress. At that moment he is being powered by his biological, mismatched gender core… but then what happens… parents tell him he’s a boy, teachers tells him he’s a boy, he has willy of a boy, ipso facto logicus… he believes he’s a boy… and will carry on believing so until it all falls apart at anything between 18 and 80. But, by the way, he doesn’t need to go through the whole dress thing… simply by being socialise and raised as a male it’s enough for him to defy his gender core and identify as a boy.
Now, let’s pause for a moment, though, and ask.. why do some boys not listen to their parents? If they have mismatched gender cores… why do the Jazz Jennings of this world refuse to be socialized as a boy. Well, maybe they just have a strong will, maybe, there’re degrees of transgenderism… light to full on. Or maybe we could think of Mister Blanchard at this moment. As we know, sexuality has nothing to do with gender identification… but maybe, in the case of transgender kids who like boys, maybe it helps the self identification process. Think about it… the transgender kid identifies as female.. plus they like boys… just as mum does and their sisters and most of society… this might help to consolidate the identification and ensure that despite the contradicting voice of parents and teachers – they deny socialization and enter immediately into total identification.
Now, please, our Canadian friends… just because sexuality might help in the self identification process does not mean there are two types of transsexual. And anyway, the same acceleration could happen with boys who like girls if society – starting with their parents – wasn’t so bent on forcing a gender on them. I’m quite sure, that if we continue on the progressive curve we have embarked upon in recent times… so called late onset transsexualism will become less common.
Anyway, where I’m going with all this is an explanation for those gender identity crisis that can hit a person at almost any age…. late onset transsexualism. It is, if you step back a moment, quite a fascinating phenomena… Sorry, to always mention Barry the builder as our example… but, you know, a burly construction worker helps to drive the image home. So, there he is, Barry the builder, 52 years old, beer belly, three kids, wife… suddenly decides he’s a woman. Wow. I mean, people can decide many things about themselves mid life… I’m a christian, I’m a fan of ballroom dancing, I’m a self obsessed cunt… but to decide you are the opposite gender… what the fuck is going on with that? And the amazing thing is how common it is. If even happens to gold medal winning athletes who epitomise manliness, it leads me to question who else did it happen to in history. Is this the secret reason Julius Ceaser was murdered on the senate floor… did he announce he was transitioning to Julia Ceaser, and they just killed him on the spot… hmmm…
Anyway, the phenomena ceases to be a mystery, though, when we think of the dual components of gender identity. Biological – the gender core – social… gender self-identitifcation. Barry the builder was born with a misaligned gender core… he was seemingly successfully socialised as a male… perhaps there was always one symptom, one clue of his gender variance… that he would project into a female body in his sexual fantasies… or perhaps not (anyone interested in gender arousal as a symptom of underlying transgender psychology should visit our website… transecend movement.com) but then, one day, in his 52 years of life, the house of cards comes falling down and his gender identification shifts to that of his gender core. Barry now sees himself as female.
So we know… why it happens, but what are the triggers?… Why does Barry… no, fuck Barry, let’s go back to Julius caesar… why did Julius caesar, at the peak of his career, with a vast empire at his fingertips… suddenly decide he was Julia?
In my opinion, and obviously it is an opinion cos nobody knows, the primary mechanism is the removal of internal shame. Julius may have been one of the lads when he was decapitating Gauls and bedding Egyptian porn stars…. shit, sorry I said that… i really like Cleopatra… you know she could speak five languages and was forced to marry her 11 year old brother. That is one honeymoon video I wouldn’t wanna watch. Imagine that… your parents invite you to a formal dinner to present you to the partner in your arranged marriage… imagine… you’re nervous with excitement… is it going to be that handsome prince from the lower Nile, is it going to be the brother of the Babylonian king… no… it’s your brother. On the plus side it would cut the cost of the wedding reception… you’ve both got the same family after all.
Anyway, Julius may have been one of the lads but he… but he always knew there was something there… and he was embarrassed about it. He was ashamed of it.
Shame, my friends. Without wanting to state the obvious, shame is a fucking powerful psychological mechanism. Shame could bury a winning lottery ticket. The way I think of shame it’s like… a hammer… boom boom boom… it can take feelings and pound them until they go running into the shadows.
So, it’s when Caesar loses his shame that he realises that not only does he identify as female… but doing so feels, right and beautiful.
But of course, that’s not an answer… what causes him to lose his shame at being female.
Well, the reason Caesar denied his gender core, was that society told him he was male. His subsequent shame at the female within was created by society labelling such femininity in a man as wrong and shameful… so he obediently developed shame.
Now, how does anyone remove shame bestowed upon them by society? Well, the simple answer is by rebelling against society. That doesn’t mean a personal crusade against societal norms… but just the slow realisation as one gets older that certain things are bullshit. In other words, Caesar removes that shame once he gains the necessary life experience and maturity to question it. And he doesn’t have to be all zen about it; instead of the acquisition of some kind of wisdom… it could just be anger at society. If Julius looks back at his life and realises that it has been nothing more than a testosterone induced orgy of decapitating Gauls and conquering the world, and that he was pushed down that path by pressure to be ‘a man’ … he may wonder why he should go on listening to society when it hasn’t done so much for him.
Late onset transsexualism occurs, therefore, as a natural part of the maturing process; more concretely – the ability of individuals to define themselves on their own terms instead of societies. This means they’re able to suddenly vocalise in their conscious mind a desire they’ve always had – to be female – but instead of shame… it just feels incredibly right.
You are correct here.
My increasing identification as trans as I age has everything to do with my repudiation of everything I was taught in life and my increasing desire to be myself.
I also agree that sexual orientation plays a big part in the early versus late onset identification process but there definitely are not two types of transsexuals. Also, transgender people all have a misaligned gender core (as you call it) and that deviation varies from person to person inciting a different response depending on circumstance.
Blanchard won’t admit he was wrong about the two-etiology model because that would only encourage more doubt on his other really bad idea which was AGP.
I like your point about the gender variation – varying from person to person. I think this is one of the achievements of our little community: that we have really come to understand the individual forms of crossdreaming, gender variance and the transgender condition.