Annie

Search form


Annie's Writings

Halloween and My Childhood

A Remembrance of a National Holiday

For the thirty second straight year, I won't be in any sort of costume tonight. It wasn't always this way, you know. In fact, once upon a long ago, Halloween used to be my favorite time of year. My earliest memories of crossdressing and arousal are all connected with it.

My mom always had a way of picking out EXACTLY the costume I DID NOT want to wear for Halloween. Two years in a row, she tried to get me to put on the dreaded cowboy outfit. God, did I protest! I HATED it, and all things masculine (which I never really expressed out loud). ANYWAY, she got a brainstorm that year, I believe it was my 9th, that she'd pretty me up in one of her going out nightclubbing dresses. I still remember it vividly. This was black and glass beaded, and weighed a half a ton. A very exotic dress for my initial foray into womanliness.

So, here was the genesis of my crossdressing in earnest, as well as the first connection for me between sexual excitment and having a dominant woman feminize me. To this day this persists in me, in SPITE of my being aware of its origination.

I can still recall as she went ALL OUT, even down to her underwear and strange support garments (mama had a big butt) that I had my first ever tingle of eroticism, and an overall feeling that at long last I was in the correct clothing. I felt serene and excited simultaneously. Apparently, Mom was also that night playing out one of her favorite fantasies.

I was second born in our family, after my brother. My mom told me when I was 6 or 7 that she had wanted a boy first, and then hoped the next child (me) would be a girl. I think she may have been disappointed at my birth that I wasn't born female. In all honesty, so was I. I HAD to have picked up on her vibes.

Even my dad called me "Babs" until I was four years old, when my sister came along. So, I guess they both wished for it. I was too young to remember, but perhaps I was even treated as a daughter by them for those formative years, that is, until Carol's birth. All I can say with any certainty is that I always from my earliest memories thought of myself as a girl, which would cause me immense grief later on. When their third child came along, the game for them suddenly stopped, and I was expected to play by different rules. BUT, once a girl, always a girl, even now.

So there I was, getting all dolled up for the first time, right down to a pair of low heels (kinda big) and stockings that attached to the girdle (remember THOSE?). The finishing touches, and the cementing for me of this part natural/part erotic experience came with the placement on my head of one of her wigs, some perfume spritzed here and there and then her skillful application of full makeup. Having lipstick applied for me is STILL one of my biggest turn-ons, probably because it was the last thing she did that night before I got the chance to view myself in a full length mirror. I looked (to my young eyes) TERRIFIC!

To heck with the candy I collected that year. For me, just being able to express my true tendencies and not catch hell for it was wonderful.

This began a lengthy pattern of clandestine crossdressing throughout my childhood. I'd steal an old abandoned bathing suit of my mother's, or an undergarment of some sort, and stash them away somewhere. I used to spend hours in the bathroom borrowing mom's makeup and practicing with it. After I reached the age of 12 or so, my family would go to church on Sunday, and then out to visit relatives, and I'd stay home and be "Barbara" (Babs?) for a few blissful hours.

Here it is, over thirty years later....another Halloween, another Sunday morning. I typed this story out while sitting here in a cranberry colored VERY short nightie. My breasts are real, thanks to 20 months of ongoing HRT, and the feminine feelings, genuine. I know clearly who I am, how I got here, and most importantly, where I'm going.

The last part is incredibly satisfying.

I wish for you much happiness and all the love you truly deserve.



The Ladder

My story begins, in April of 1999. You may notice that philosophically, I was QUITE a different person back then than I am today. The seminal event that altered my way of thinking forever happened shortly after I wrote this editorial, and is actually CHAPTER TWO in the adventures of Annie.

I am a fairly recent arrival to the transgendered "community", for want of a better word, having first made contact with you all in January of this year. Until that time, I traveled this road in complete isolation- had never spoken to or met another person like me.

In the four months since my first foray onto the internet and specifically into the various chatrooms for the transgendered, I have met many fine and caring people. Overall, this has been a real plus in my life. But sadly, the minuses are starting to pile up, too.

I've been married for almost twelve years. My current status is: separated, pending divorce finalization. There are many factors why this union failed, and it is not important to explain them here. The loss of family and friends when one is to any degree transsexual is simply "par for the course", so I'll just say that I'm shooting par.

Although divorcing, my wife and I remain friends, which I suppose is a rarity. We talk on the phone regularly, and go out on platonic dates on Saturdays. Last night was no exception. You know the routine: dinner and a movie.

So, we're having some Chinese food and the conversation is slight. This has always been one of my pet peeves. Caryn will bend your ear on the phone, but at the dinner table, or in a restaurant she is generally silent. I don't like eating publicly without making small talk, so I tend to chatter a bit. I lead, she listens. Again, it was the same routine last night. After hitting on several innocuous topics, I got to a couple of things that have been of concern to me, and perhaps, you too!

Next Saturday afternoon, I'm taking another BIG step in this growth process. There is a conference being held in Orlando where the guest speaker, Dr Sheila Kirk of Pittsburgh, will discuss SRS and other cosmetic procedures. Surgery is NOT in my immediate plans, simply because of financial considerations. I am attending this meeting primarily to visit with a couple of friends that I met at the Pink Room, and to get acquainted, hopefully with others like me. It will be my first EVER visit within our "community".

I hate to say this, but I fear this will be a very BAD experience for me, overall. I'll try to explain my trepidation....

Last Sunday night I was chatting with a couple of gals who, like me, live in Florida. I asked if they would be attending the seminar in Orlando. One, who I'll call "Cee", said: MAYBE.

"Well, I'LL be there...but in DISGUISE! I'll be wearing jeans. Most of the women I know dress like this, and SO DO I. Just an old hippie!"

Her next post to me sounded incredulous, if not incensed. "How could you go to a TG meeting and not dress for it?!?" I tried to explain my situation as best I could, but got absolutely NOWHERE with her. In fact, she ignored my posts and talked to others until I got the message: GO AWAY! So, sadly, I did....

Are you wondering why I'd choose to go there NOT as Annie, but as Paul? It's simple. I can't pass! I don't like to be stared at, or ridiculed. I just want to go through my life as unnoticed as possible. Even when I finally have my surgery one day, I will STILL present myself as MALE in public- won't change gender status or name on my driver's license, either. Do you find this at all hard to fathom? Well, I find it hard to believe that I should be ostracized among my own kind, an already sorely oppressed minority, simply because of my life choices. Don't you think I'd LOVE to be ME all the time?

THIS IS THE ISSUE! It's what I call "The Ladder".

There seems to be among us a self-imposed hierarchy, that I for one will NOT buy into! It's similar to the Indian caste system, or the way African Americans sometimes think of themselves as better or worse dependent on the shading of their skin. It is all arbitrary, and it is all nonsense!

There are RUNGS on this imaginary ladder that some gals want to place you on. At the very top rung is the post-op TS who lives as female. On the BOTTOM-MOST rung......is ME! Or so they would have it.....

Here is how I think this "ladder" is ranked, from top-to-bottom:

Post-Op TS, living as female

Pre-Op TS, living as female

Non-Op TS, living as female

CD, living as female

Pre-Op TS, living in both genders

Non-Op TS, living in both genders

CD, living in both genders

CD, living as male, but appearing publicly as female on occasion

CD, male exclusively, but at home "en-femme" among family and/or friends

CD, only "dressed" when alone

AND THEN, ME: Pre-Op TS, on HRT- living as male, never dresses as female, and may never will. It's not my issue!

There is much trouble ahead for me. I will undoubtedly be an object of derision and scorn at that meeting. I can understand why, too.

They will think me a pretender or a coward. THEY fight the battle in the trenches, I choose the path of least resistance, where the outside world is concerned. So, I will be the pariah...the laughingstock... the object of negative attention, in spite of my wishes and best efforts, even among my own sisters! This really hurts me!

These are the things I talked about over Chinese food with my wife. As usual, she listened and offered no comment or insight. I was left to digest dinner and my thoughts privately.

The time arrived that we should start making our way to the theater (finally saw "Saving Private Ryan"....WHAT A MASTERPIECE!), but before we left, we had our ritualistic dessert...a scoop of pistachio ice cream, served with a fortune cookie. I always enjoy reading my fortune, don't you? I'm looking RIGHT NOW at the slip of paper that came with my cookie. Here is its ironic message to me:

YOU WILL BE RECOGNIZED AND HONORED AS A COMMUNITY LEADER.

Girl..Do YOU think so?.........With love, from Ann Marie Stuart



The Ladder, Chapter Two

The Family

This meeting in Orlando turned out to be the most critical few hours of my life, looking back on it...

My head was spun around, and my goals and philosophy were changed forever by this event. It LITERALLY put me on the path that has led me to becoming Annie.

FOLLOWING ARE NOTES TAKEN CONTEMPORANEOUSLY WITH AN EVENT THAT OCCURRED AT THE ORLANDO HILTON, IN ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, FL. THE OCCASION WAS A CONFERENCE ON SURGICAL PROCEDURES AVAILABLE TO TRANSSEXUALS, HOSTED BY DR SHEILA KIRK, OF PITTSBURGH. IT WAS ALSO MY VERY FIRST PHYSICAL CONTACT WITH THE TS "COMMUNITY". AS MENTIONED PREVIOUSLY IN MY EDITORIAL, "THE LADDER", I SHOWED UP FOR THIS MEETING =NOT= IN WOMEN'S CLOTHING.... ANY COMMENTS YOU MAY HAVE ARE MOST WELCOME, INDEED!!!

My First Encounter With the "FAMILY"

2:15 PM- I've arrived quite early, it seems. Several of us are already here; some sit in the lounge area near the bar. Others are scattered all around the lobby in little groups. I'm sitting alone on a twin couch, but this is only for the moment. Soon enough, I shall dive right in and either sink or swim. I'm dressed as Paul, NOT Annie.

To my right are three MTFs and one FTM transsexual. They chat familiarly. To my left is a man obviously on vacation. He's wearing shorts and flip-flops and is currently reading a book stamped USED along the upper edge. Every so often, I see him sneak a furtive glance away from his book at the folks all around us. He sits cross-legged and seems a bit annoyed; his right foot twitches nervously. He looks at me curiously, and I smile back. Then, he returns to his book. I can tell that he isn't really reading, as not a single page has been turned for the LONGEST time.

2:30 PM- I'm ready to hit the diving board...moving closer to the action...the bar area. There's 10 others here, perhaps more. I don't yet see my friends Toni and Tiffany, but it IS early. I'm seated at a table on the very outer edge, sipping a diet soda, and observing quietly. My note-taking will have to end soon. Gratefully, no one is paying me any mind.... Drinks are being stirred, cigarettes consumed, positions changed.

2:50 PM- I am most surprised and delighted to see here a woman who literally SAVED my LIFE. Back in February of 1998, I was at the end of my rope. The over-whelming urge to pursue my innate unshakeable TS needs had at LONG LAST gotten the best of me. Looking through the Pompano Beach Yellow Pages for a psychologist, one ad in particular caught my eye. The lady claimed "gender dysphoria" as one of her specialties. I called, made an appointment and presented my story so CONVINCINGLY that she gave me a referral to a doctor immediately. The very next day, I was officially on HRT, after a lifetime of sneaky self-medicating. I have been SO MUCH the better ever since. That compassionate woman is here RIGHT NOW! I feel eternally thankful to her! She can never know how she truly helped save my life.

2:55 PM- The turn out is light- perhaps 15 of us. A lady with silver-blonde hair stands next to me and says, "I am EMBARRASSED!... Only 15 people showed up..." Somebody else offered encouragingly, "Perhaps the others are coming..." "WELL, they'd better hurry up!" She glances with annoyance at her watch and hustles to the front of the room. I'm seated in the last row. Next to me is a tall dark-haired gal. Her legs are crossed just like the tourists' were earlier, and her foot shakes nervously in the very same fashion.....I say HI, but nothing more. My greeting is returned. We sit in silence. There's a few late arrivals......

3:00 PM- I can't help but notice that the average age of my fellow family members is....OLD. The dark-haired gal to my immediate left is younger, and so are the 2 FTMs, who sit together. There's 30 of us here now....A few of the late arrivals are quite terrific looking! I am completely jealous!

3:10 PM- Brenda Carlson, a local psychologist, introduces Dr Kirk. Ms Carlson is recently post-operative. Her surgery was performed by Dr Kirk, who is also a transsexual. Kirk is a large woman in her late 50s, perhaps. She has an unmistakably male voice.

3:15 PM- My friend Toni has arrived...and Tiffany! We sit together.... Our numbers swell; the room is nearly full now.

3:20 PM- Kirk talks credentials, personal history and accomplishments. A SURPRISE! She throws open the floor for questions after speaking barely 15 minutes. Most of the inquiries relate to various genital procedures- one doctor's technique vs. another's.....My mind wanders.

4:10 PM- We've FINALLY gotten around to the BIG question...orgasmic ability post-surgery.... Dr Kirk offers many reasons why a woman may NEVER have orgasms. Even among genetic females, 35% report never experiencing this pleasure. She makes absolutely NO PROMISES that any of us will be orgasmic post-op. "Although the POTENTIAL is there, orgasm is NEVER guaranteeable." Its your typical "Surgeon's Disclaimer", with which I am sadly ALL too familiar........(facial surgery disaster-- don't ask!)

4:50 PM- We've fallen into theoretical discussion: Why a TS who takes massive amounts of estrogen generally DOESN'T develop breast cancer, but women who naturally produce much smaller amounts of the hormone DO... This, along with my afternoon dose of spironolactone, is putting me to sleep!

5:00 PM- The possibility of TS organ transplants; this was one of my CONSTANT fantasies when younger. Only the FTM transplant seems viable at present. Supposedly, the transplanted organ would function normally in EVERY way! AMAZING!!! I'd be glad to donate mine (it's LOW-MILEAGE!) if I could get a discount on the vaginal reconstruction.

7:00 PM- We reconvene, after an extended dinner break. One-third of the original crowd is absent. Brenda Carlson, the TS therapist who opened this event is giving a TERRIFIC speech on the life complications (or LACK of same) following GRS. Ms Carlson begins by pointing out that in the past she was a preacher. The speech she delivers has the same emotional tenor as that of a passionate minister. This is a pleasant change from Dr Kirk's two-hour infomercial for her facilities' services....

7:30 PM- Ms Carlson reminisces about her surgical procedure. She is a most excellent speech giver and this has been an absolute highlight of the day for me. I sit transfixed by her words and her heartfelt delivery. BRAVA! She talks about feeling like a DECEIVER in the past. The message strikes me a hammerblow to the heart. This is EXACTLY how I've always felt about ME-- that I am deceiving myself, my friends and the world in general. Today I sit here in men's clothing. My deception continues apace.....

7:45 PM- My gears are turning... Others in the room, some quite unpassable, talk openly about their transitions and the fact that there have been few complications in their lives in SPITE of their present physical appearance. I gather hope from their testimonials. There are many things that I will take from this meeting and consider for some time. I am among some VERY brave ladies, and I feel like a complete COWARD!

8:00 PM- Dr Kirk speaks again. She talks about having delivered 8,000 babies during her years in obstetrics. I wish to God that one of those children had been laid on MY stomach.... More questions and answers....At one point, I look down at Tiffany's crossed legs...her foot twitches nervously!

During our dinner break at 5 PM, I met a gal named Kendra who was in such desperate straits that she AMPUTATED her own penis with a box cutter. Now, she has NO genitalia at all-- like a Barbie doll, and hasn't the money to proceed further. There are SO MANY terrible and tragic stories out there!

At one point during the Q & A, Kendra asks to read something she wrote. It's on 3-ring paper that she carries in a fanny pack. The two sheets are tattered and faded, and she has difficulty deciphering her own handwriting-- she's sitting next to me; that's how I can tell.

Kendra reads a personal account of anguish at the hands of the medical establishment, and there's an intimation of her self-mutilation as a result. Dr Kirk is non-plussed, and tries to dismiss this personal confession out-of-hand. The two get into an argument and Kendra storms out of the room. She returns perhaps 15 minutes later; I think she's been crying. I ask, "Are you alright?" She shakes her head NO and sits forlornly. A few minutes later, Kendra gets up quietly and leaves the room for the last time. Somehow, I feel relieved. I mean, she was capable of cutting off a part of her body with her own hand-- who knows what else this girl might do in a crazy moment?

9:00 PM- Discussion of various hormonal regimens.

9:30 PM- One post-op talks sadly of troubles with dilation bleeding-- a recurring problem for the last two-and-one-half years! Her surgeon was Montreal's Dr Menard. Why am I NOT surprised? The girl asks Dr Kirk should she return to Menard for surgical revision, and Kirk says ......YES!!! I've heard ENOUGH from this doctor! Can't wait for this to end....

10:00 PM- The conference concludes. I'm sitting again on one of the lobby couches chatting with three ladies from the meeting. They all live in my area, and encourage me to attend their support groups. Really NICE people. We exchange information. One asks me casually if I ever "dress", and I answer her honestly. "NO, but I did in the past. It's not my issue and I'm still doing the "guy" thing in public for now..."

THAT WAS IT! Nothing more of what I really expected would be a complete NIGHTMARE for me. I spent HOURS with my sisters, and felt COMPLETELY at ease and accepted. My fears were for NOTHING!

As I sat on that couch with my legs tightly crossed, I noticed that my right foot was twitching nervously...Where had I seen that before?

Ann Marie Stuart
4-25-99



Annie's Mantra

I offer here my four step process for self improvement. Each succeeding step is harder than the previous-- I won't kid you. I'm still working on #3 and #4 myself!

My mantra is this:

* BE yourself

* ACCEPT yourself

* Be GOOD to yourself

* LOVE yourself

Seems simple, yes? Well, let's take a closer look at each step...

#1-- BE yourself

The starting point. Throughout our lives we learn to BE someone for others: The good son to our parents and brother to our siblings; a true blue buddy for our schoolmates; the loving boyfriend; a husband, father, steady provider. In short, we learn to be a MAN.

Rather complicated when one is a TG woman, yes?

We teach ourselves early on to sublimate our female personas so well that sometimes who we really are disappears COMPLETELY for years or decades. In many cases the woman within will reemerge later in life.

If this is what has happened to you, or if you've suffered forever in agonizing silence, you mustn't feel guilty that you've opted to be YOU. Know that you aren't neglecting or betraying all the people you love; you're simply looking for peace of mind. If they could only feel the
pain you've endured, don't you think your loved ones would want it to cease and for you to live happily? Of course they would!

So, take that bold first step and dare to BE yourself!

#2-- ACCEPT yourself

Self acceptance is not as easy as one thinks. Leaving the TG issue aside, we all have problems with self acceptance to some degree. As the saying goes, "I am my own worst critic." Hey, you're only human-- face it! You've got limitations and flaws; we all have! It doesn't make you a bad person-- it makes you one of the family!

Now the second part of self acceptance is to genuinely embrace who we really are, emotionally and genderwise. How many wasted years did we all spend running away from ourselves for whatever reason? Run no more, friend! ACCEPT yourself.

#3-- Be GOOD to yourself

You are well on your way. You have learned to BE and ACCEPT that being. Now comes a difficult task: choosing to be selfish, in a positive, reaffirming way.

Be GENTLE with you.

If you abuse your body with alcohol, cigarettes, too much food and caffeine, find the strength within to STOP. Yes, it will be difficult to break those habits-- nothing worthwhile is ever easy. But if you can accomplish this great goal you are actually being SELFISH-- the care you give your physical well-being will contribute mightily to the flourishing of your entire person.

The final step seems the easiest on it's surface...

#4-- LOVE yourself

Yes, you are worthy of self-love and esteem. Strive for it, but in your quest try not to get lost in the superficial types of "love":

Vanity, self importance, self indulgence, self delusion, narcissism.

Every one of these is a terribly negative thing; a dead end.

Self-love is simple and pure, like the adoration of an infant for its mother. As the child is father to the man, so too is genuine self-love the rich soil that all good things sprout from. The secret of popularity among others is being popular with YOURSELF.

So, go ahead-- love who you are-- Be your #1 fan. Learn to relish life and embrace the future joyfully.

Does it all seem oversimplified, my little four step mantra? Maybe it is. Or maybe you aren't ready to take that first big step.

I hope you will though!

Annie

© Annie Van Auken 5/6/2005 All rights reserved.



Breast Implants

An Inside Story

I had a breast augmentation done in April of 2001. If you've been considering the procedure, this article is my attempt to let you know just how things went with me. I'm NOT saying that my experiences will be yours, nor is this an expert's primer on all there is to know about boob jobs.

Total cost for my outpatient surgery with tax and all was 4.5 K. My surgeon, located in Fort Lauderdale, is locally-famous for doing all the "HOOTERS Girls" here (HOOTERS is a restaurant famous for skimpily-clad waitresses).

During our consultation, photos were taken, and I was shown a book filled with pictures of previous patients. These were neck-down shots, and although enticing, I made it CLEAR that I did NOT want my "before" and "afters" to appear in this gallery and I requested this agreement in writing.

We discussed implant types and methods of placement and delivery. At this time I expressed my desire for a full D cup; strangely the doctor tried to talk me into going smaller. I insisted. Then he advocated for an incision in the nipple, something I was also against. I preferred the one-inch incision be placed under the breast. The minimal scarring was not a concern to me.

AGAIN, much to my surprise, the doctor argued against it. He tried saying there was a higher risk of nipple numbness if he went this way. I asked him candidly if a thru-the-nipple procedure was easier for HIM and he admitted it was. I told him I would have NO cutting done on my nipples.

Lastly, I expressed my preference that twilight rather than full anesthesia be used. With this, I'd be able to continue breathing on my own, a safety factor that was most reassuring. It can and HAS been done, and eventually he agreed, with a proviso that if I started squirming on the table I'd be put under completely.

I was a customer who knew what she wanted!

My surgery was scheduled for a month later. It was in-office. I was told to dress warmly: wear sweat pants and heavy socks.

The night before my procedure I received a surprising phone call from the nurse who would be in attendance. It started out jolly, but really left me well, angry. After a bit of banter, she threw a HUGE "by the way" at me. It seems the doctor hadn't mentioned some unusual details while I was in his office. My feeling was he NEVER informed his patients of these.

First, the implants would not look "right" when placed under my pectoral muscles. In fact, they would look SQUARE! Also, she advised me to wear VERY loose fitting shirts, because initially my new breasts would be sitting JUST BELOW my shoulders! Within a month, they would round out and gravity would make them fall into place.

Whatever happened to full disclosure?

OK. Next morning, I'm lying in the chilly operating room. Doctor comes in all smiles and says, "What we will do is make an incision in the nipple...."

WAIT a minute! I don't want that I TOLD you.. Then out of justifiable paranoia, I went over EACH specification above. I was taking NO chances. I had two witnesses; the nurse and anesthesiologist, so I felt reasonably safe after.

On with the show....

I woke up in what seemed a minute; my chest felt tight and heavy, and there were obvious lumps that hadn't been there before-- BIG ones! In my haze I was thrilled. They gave me muscle relaxants for the pecs and percoset for pain. I was told to lie as still as possible the first three days.

NO ONE needed to tell me that! My friend, the pain level involved was literally THE worst I've ever experienced. Every time I twitched it felt as if my chest would burst open. Perhaps this was due to having the pectoral muscle wrenched from the ribcage; or maybe it was the 50 CC implants (twice the normal size) that had been used. All I can say is I thought I'd go crazy with the pain. The percoset did little to help.

I'm NOT saying the same thing will happen with you, OK? Maybe I have a lot of nerve endings in there, or I'm just a big baby. Anyway, eventually the pain subsided, the strange squares rounded out and migrated south, and I had me a Playboy chest, just like the nurse had promised. (smile)

The implants are saline. There was a bit of sloshing at first but that went away. They're virtually undetectable, and everything has been fine these four years.

In summation, although there were some frustrations and plenty of pain, I would do this again in a heartbeat. I've never been happier!



From Crossdresser to Transsexual

Is it Possible?


We talk about many issues in our chatroom, but one of the most hotly debated subjects I've ever been involved in there has been that of the fetishistic crossdresser and whether or not a CD is transsexual.

There are many among us who believe that if one becomes sexually aroused by the donning of women's clothing, or by simply THINKING about metamorphosing into a female, then that individual is not truly transsexual, but a man with a fetish.

I was one of those "aroused" CDs once, and I can state categorically that I have NEVER considered myself a man-- not even a male, in fact. I have always been an "incomplete woman".

Then, how can I reconcile that so often I utilized a part of me that, by TS definition, I should have loathed? There's no question that functioning in a male capacity was INCREDIBLY conflicting for me. Given a choice, I'd have had no sexuality whatsoever.

How many crossdressers can identify with this: Being excited while dressed as a woman, relieving that tension (you know how) and then feeling disgusted with yourself afterward? You can't get out of the clothing or wash that makeup off fast enough. Sound familiar?

What causes this cycle of arousal, excitement, climax, brief pleasure, self-loathing and then divestment? Is it the societal programming that would have us believe that this is all deviant behavior, -OR- does it go deeper than that, strike us at our hearts?

Is it possible that way down inside, all crossdressers, even the ones who adamanantly deny it, are just as transsexual as the gal who never had an erection in her life prior to SRS? If the latter is the case, it would definitely explain a lot. What clearer reminder that one's male body is out of sync with her female mind is there than this ultimate act of masculine self-gratification? Can the disgust that comes later be NOT with the act itself or the clothing, but with the undeniable enforced maleness of one's physicality?

All this is conjectural, and strictly my opinion. Yours is just as valid, and I respect any differences you may have with me.

Now, let's turn briefly to those who believe that crossdressers are just men with fetishes...

In 1998, I took blood tests prior to beginning HRT. I was 44 at the time. It greatly surprised me to find out that my blood testosterone level was WAY too high. Normal levels are somewhere between 300 and 650 units, while MY level was over 1000! The doctor told me joshingly that if I were at all evil, I'd probably be an axe murderer. Some joke.

I was WAY oversexed in middle age-- imagine how high my levels must have been in my prime! This blood test revelation explained why I had been so easily "turned on" all the time. You get enough "juice" in your veins and you cannot control what it does to you.

So, I think that the gals who say they've never been aroused in a male way naturally have extremely -LOW- levels of testosterone in their systems. It is troubling that SOME of these hormonally fortunate ladies would deny me and others our rightful claims to transsexuality because of the uncontrollable arousal self-feminizing has for us. HAD, in my case-- the whole experience for me was ultimately non-fulfilling, and the need to truly metamorphose pushed me forward, into HRT and my current state of assexuality, prior to SRS.

If you are a crossdresser or transvestite and believe that you are, when all is said and done, a MAN, I accept that. But, if deep-down, you feel that you just MAY be transsexual, I truly understand!