“How Do You Know?”

If there is one question that is seriously prevalent to my being, it is this: “How do you know?” I’ve asked that question enough times to fill my car with silver dollars. If they made a crossdresser anthem, that would be its title. Although it isn’t just about crossdressing, as it pertains to being transgender as well as any deviation from what they have spelled out as “Normal Behavior.” The “they” in this case are society, politics, religion, culture, history… you get the point.

I’m a mess inside as I struggle to come to any satisfactory explanation as to what I am and what I should be. I am neither male nor female. Ask me today and I might tell you that I’m comfortable being a CD, tomorrow, I may cry as I long to shed the masculine shell completely and become the woman I am, and the day after that… who knows. So again, “How do you know?”

I could rattle off all the things that I do know and try to equate that to some semblance of a dignified answer, but I’m only kidding myself. I don’t know and I wish that someone could give me an answer that is black and white that would help me to know. They can’t because if there were distinctive signposts for us to navigate, we’d all be holding hands and singing happy songs as we walk a similar path and then step off at our designated stop.

En Femme Style

If I haven’t lost you, then let me try to rationalize my thoughts. I’m in constant turmoil trying to figure out “How do I know if I’m transgender… more precisely, I’m wanting to know what are all the feelings that make someone feel they are born in the wrong body and should be a female and must go through the process to rectify the mistake, and… I don’t feel that way. So does that make me, what exactly? Here’s the thing; if you gave me the magic pill, I’d take it in a heartbeat (that’s today and not me from 10 or 20 years ago.) My life is settled, and I can face all the obstacles that would come with a complete change. So, if I could take the pill, then why can’t I start the process on my own? “How do you know?”

I used to ask, “How do you know if I’m a crossdresser or just someone who has a kinky fetish for high heels and lingerie? That answer only came after years of trial and tribulations stemming from self-doubt, irritability, and failed relationships. It morphed into, “How do I know if I am more than a crossdresser and possibly transgender?” Does claiming oneself to be transgender suddenly mean they have to pursue hormones and sex reassignment surgery? Will I lose my club card in the CD world and not be fully accepted into the transgender sorority until I start some recognizable process that exemplifies that I am serious about becoming a woman? “HOW DO YOU KNOW?”

I’ve edited hundreds of articles that have asked and attempted to answer that very question, both on CDH and TGH. The multiple truths shared by everyone have only made that question more perplexing. There are some who indeed, KNOW. They know with every fiber of their being, and I applaud them and envy them. I’m drifting on the vast ocean searching for the mythical kingdom where I am going to be accepted for who I am supposed to be. It will likely be that I will die with that question unanswered. And maybe that is ok and in its own way the answer that I’ve been searching for. “How do you know?” could easily be reshaped to state, “Why do I have to know?” My happiness today, and long into the future isn’t going to be answered by a collection of points that detail a progression from here to there. My line is my line and I only need to accept what I am willing to, nothing more.

How do I know if I’m transgender? I don’t, but I think that I am, and it doesn’t matter if I don’t “Check” all the boxes. It shouldn’t take away from this wonderful experience, one that lets me enjoy being a complete crossdresser. I love femininity and there is nothing wrong with my appreciation of it. I’m single so I’m hurting no one—this is different for those in relationships. Not that I wouldn’t love to be in a relationship with an accepting individual. If it happens, great! I’m not holding my breath. I don’t know, so I’ll keep taking one high heel step in front of the other as I sashay along the path to… wherever I eventually land. My guess is that I will never dock my boat at the magical kingdom. It’s possible that I might even drift further away from it. How do I know? Who cares?

It’s time for me to be content in understanding that I won’t find answers to my questions in the stories of others, but what I will find are similarities that have importance to me. If I were to undergo some of the procedures, I can find examples of what to expect. That is essential information to have.

Each of us, in our personal way, asks the same question, “How do you know?” I think we feel the need to garner reassurances, an “It’s okay to feel that way,” even the recognition from our fellow members that our posted picture shows our inner female.  The line between being transgender and just a crossdresser is as blurry as a 1960s television station without rabbit ears. (Sorry, couldn’t resist throwing some “old” humor out there.) That is why many of us will never find that particular answer. And… that is perfectly fine because the only answer that you need is the one that pertains to you finding your balance in life and the means to navigate it with happiness and compassion.

If there was one thing that I wish I could have told my younger self, it would be this, “Buy the shoes! Wear the dress! Treat yourself and others with respect and love everyone for who they are and not what they should be according to what society dictates.” Okay, that was much more than one thing. You get my point. I spent too much time hating myself and it took a toll on those around me. Today, I live by being as compassionate as I can. I have lots of years to still make up for, but at least I now like the person (whether in a dress or not) I’ve become and am still becoming.

May your life be enriched by the duplicity of treading the line between male and female, it is most assuredly a blessing and not a curse…

 

Until next time…

EnFemme

More Articles by Sabrina MacTavish

View all articles by Sabrina MacTavish
The following two tabs change content below.
I've been on this path for nearly 50 years, beginning at age 7 when I wore my grandma's old dresses with my cousins. It felt natural. Later, I went through the fetish stage and fought with my insides. After my divorce 20 years ago, I let Brina out only to bury her away during another relationship. Now I accept that she is more who I really am and live my life in the hopes that my path will one of future happiness. Over the last 6 years, I've found out more about who I am, the path that I'm on, and what it means to be transgendered. I've also been much happier since I acknowledged and accepted myself for who I am. I'm still much in the closet as responsibilities take precedence. It doesn't help being an introvert by nature, but I will gracefully walk (mostly, ok, not so gracefully) this path as I become a better me.

Latest posts by Sabrina MacTavish (see all)

Tags:
5 1 vote
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
21 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Victoria Frederickson
Member
Victoria Frederickson(@sommekinder)
1 year ago

I’m going to be blunt. Sabrina your article and comments are very expressive and truthful. No one can judge you unless you give the power to judge. Those who have commented so honestly and forthrightly are absolutely correct in their opinions/advice. We are all individuals on individual journeys… we are all Transgender women. All of us suffer from some level of transphobia, years of societal oppression and trauma. You’re admitting that you’re a trans woman but you’re afraid to believe it. Once you give yourself license to say those words “ I am a trans woman” and start continually saying… Read more »

Laura Moore
Member
Laura Moore(@wishfulthinking)
1 year ago

Thank you Sabrina for that very insightful article. Without a long, long story, let me just say that I came to the realization that I am trans just recently. I have no doubt that I am trans, but do not know exactly where on the spectrum I am. I have a wonderfully supportive sister and an equally wonderful counselor who I have been seeing on and off for the past year. They have been my rock. I’ve also come to the conclusion that it really doesn’t matter where on the trans spectrum I am. I used to think that being… Read more »

Brielle
Member
Member
Brielle(@briellerose)
1 year ago

Hi Trina, I haven’t been on the site as much lately as there have been a lot of personal things I’ve been dealing with, but I wanted to reply to your article. Your query has an infinite number of answers, none of them invalid. For me, I suspected as far back as 2015 (give or take), when I had most of 5 months home alone to rejuvenate my crossdressing. My wife was out of town helping sick family and I discovered Amazon clothes shopping. I got so wrapped up in it that I abruptly threw everything out well before my… Read more »

Terri M
Member
Terri M(@terrim)
1 year ago

Thank you Sabrina for your article. It made me think more of who I am. I am becoming more aware that I am transgender. But because of my family obligations I really can’t bring myself to go further. So may say that’s a cop out. But it’s what I feel.
Yours Terri

Liz K
Member
Member
Liz K(@emilyalt)
1 year ago

I see transgender as an umbrella for lots of other gender identities. I see nothing wrong with using that as your identity. It works for me and it’s how I identify. I adopted the label when I still considered myself a part-time CD. I will continue to use the label regardless of where HRT and my transition takes me. Nothing new here. Other gender non-conforming folks of myriad flavors have been adopting the trans label for years. And it’s accepted practice in the mental health community. Taking a broader approach to our identity has some advantages. First and perhaps most… Read more »

Lauren Mugnaia
Member
Active Member
Lauren Mugnaia(@reallylauren)
1 year ago
Reply to  Emily Alt

Hi Emily, I completely agree with you. I’ve known I was trans almost forever, even when the word didn’t exist yet. I’ve been telling people I’m transgender for several years when I was purchasing things, even if I was in drab. I’ve never had a negative reaction but almost always positive and often it starts a conversation. Now that I’ve transitioned and presenting as Lauren, there are still moments where I know they’re suspicious so I will tell them I’m a trans woman, never had a problem so far. My medical card and my license both say I’m a female… Read more »

Liz K
Member
Member
Liz K(@emilyalt)
1 year ago
Reply to  Lauren Mugnaia

I guess I could say the same Lauren. Deep down, I’ve always wanted to be a girl. I’ve always been trans. It took decades to say that out loud. Feels good to say it now. Seems to be opening doors….as they say.

Lauren Mugnaia
Member
Active Member
Lauren Mugnaia(@reallylauren)
1 year ago

Hi Brina, You already know what my answer is… I KNOW I am a trans woman! How do I know that? That knowledge probably came planted in my brain before I was even born, because I’ve always known I was supposed to be a girl. I’ve always felt like one, thought like one, wished I was one, had the mannerisms of one, and my mother even gave me a girl’s name. I recently had somebody I know ask me; “How do you know you’re transgender?" My immediate response was: “How do you know you’re white?" He looked back at me… Read more »

Kelly Blind
Member
1 year ago

Think if they, “society, politics, religion, culture, history," were not the ones dictating what is or is not normal. Lets reverse that thought. I wonder how different the world would be if the LGBTQ community dictated to society, politics, religion, culture, history what is or is not normal. Now you have to ask yourself, how would I feel about who I am? or what I am? It is my belief that religion, all religion is what is wrong with the world. Religion is what has shape all societies, all politics, all culture, and history as we know it to be.… Read more »

Kim Dahlenbergen
Active Member
Kim Dahlenbergen(@kdahlenbergen)
1 year ago

I’m right handed, 6’2”, blue eyed with white hair fits and betrays my age. These attributes are all obvious. What goes on between my ears is seldom shared with anyone else, and even when I do share my thoughts, these can be equally unclear to me and those I confide in. Its getting late in life. I know, so many say its never too late. But like you, I am just not sure. I think it may indeed be too late to expect a flash of clarity after six decades of uncertainty and self doubt. And you know, that is… Read more »

JAKe Hatmacher
Active Member
JAKe Hatmacher(@middleground)
1 year ago

Sabrina, I believe I liked and enjoyed your article about “how does one really know," as I think I’ve mentioned before, even though I’m on hormonal therapy, I still occasionally ask the question of whether I should be doing it or not. I think, for me, your words about what society, and religion, and whatever dictate has always been a stumbling block for those that “don’t fit the mold." Maybe we were born into a wonderful era of more acceptance. Not complete acceptance, but more acceptance, because as you and I both know, there are those who can’t get past… Read more »

Victoria Frederickson
Member
Victoria Frederickson(@sommekinder)
1 year ago
Reply to  JAKe Hatmacher

I’m going to be blunt. Sabrina your article and comments are very expressive and truthful. No one can judge you unless you give the power to judge. Those who have commented so honestly and forthrightly are absolutely correct in their opinions/advice. We are all individuals on individual journeys… we are all Transgender women. All of us suffer from some level of transphobia, years of societal oppression and trauma. You’re admitting that you’re a trans woman but you’re afraid to believe it. Once you give yourself license to say those words “ I am a trans woman” and start continually saying… Read more »

©2024 Transgender Heaven | Privacy | Terms of Service | Contact Vanessa

21
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x
Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from Transgender Heaven.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Login to Transgender Heaven

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?