I Will Never Know; I May Never Know

I have declared and written previously that despite outward evidence to the contrary, being AMAB, I am and have embraced my reality as a woman at my core. Therefore, I AM a woman, correct? That being understood and settled, I should transition to living my womanhood full-time or at least transition to living en femme as part of my normal life. Correct?

Yes. Well . . . yes, but maybe. Add on the conflict simmers, sometimes boils, but always steeps. In a large part, my conflict grows out of my deep unwillingness to jump on the current modern-day transgender bandwagon lock, stock, and barrel. My perceived gender does not match my biological gender. However, does that mean unequivocally I am the gender of my desires? I am gender-broken to be sure, but does that brokenness mean I am automatically the gender opposite of my biological gender? I think not. I deeply desire to be wealthier than I am, but that doesn’t mean I am and therefore am able to spend as a rich man. Certainly not.

I have made many important decisions in my life by what I “knew” in my heart. I am sure if there were any other issues about which I felt this strongly, I would have acted, carrying out my heart’s leading if such action didn’t violate my faith. Yet, recently, I sat in a waiting room with other ladies and some men. By all appearance I sat there as a male and as such forbidden to enter into the quiet conversations of the women around me with whom my heart longed to relate as just another woman in the sisterhood of everyday women. Ah yes, the silent pain of gender brokenness.

En Femme Style

In my quietness and isolation, self-imposed because I really have no interest in engaging the other men around me in conversation, I realized that because I have lived with my gender conflict all of my life, I will never know what it is like to be a normal heterosexual male.

Being around what I assume are normal males of my age demographic (late 60s) I would think most of them are genuinely interested and passionate about the interests in which they engage in conversation. Myself, I was interested enough only for the sake of fitting into those conversations rather than face being an outcast amongst the “men.”

Girls/ women. I loathed the way men thought and talked about women. I am not sure I ever saw a woman as a “normal male.” I noticed fashion, shoes, jewelry, hair, perfume, deportment, pregnancy (with pain and envy) and knew as such my style and deportment if I could but be a female. Without a doubt, I will never know what it is to think or feel like a normal defined male, because for my life I have never been that person. I am trans, facing a competing identity that despite all the biological trappings is who I would rather be because it is who I am.

The other end of that pendulum is that I may never know womanhood as I long to know it. Without question, I can and do acknowledge that I am, as per the current label of the day, transgender. Not a female to be sure, and though trans not even automatically thereby a woman, but after years of “soul searching” my deep sense of self is that I AM A WOMAN. And I want to be related to as such.

However, without a life-changing decision to alter the way I present my outward self, I will never know if living as a woman is as good as I incessantly imagine it to be. And if it turns out to be less than I imagined, well that’s OK, too because at least at that point I would be experiencing the disappointment as my authentic self, free from the sense that I am living life at “second best” level.

Although I may want to be pretty, I may never know that joy. I may want to be the lady next door, but I may never know that accomplishment. I may want to participate in a lady’s tea or brunch or retreat as simply another lady in that social circle, but I may never have that opportunity. I may want to be an attractive enough woman to be desired and pursued by a man, but I may never experience that privilege.

Notice that I have listed the “good things” that we non-transitioned trans women imagine about womanhood. Would I be so yearning for womanhood if I truly understood and felt the discomfort of my monthly cycle, the vulnerability of having a weaker physical presence, or of being minimized in a business meeting simply because I am a woman?

I have had a trans woman friend who had bottom surgery tell me once that her first vaginal yeast infection was bearable because she saw it as an “ironic affirmation of her womanhood; a “rite of passage,”‘ if you will.” Though it was a terribly annoying and painful experience it gave her a certain contentment that she experienced her womanhood at this level. However, her second yeast infection was simply painful and annoying, certainly not part of her pre-transition dreams.

Do I ever fantasize about these very real negatives? No, not to the degree that I do about the “positives.” But I have considered them honestly as best I can with my trans mind and have concluded that because such comes with womanhood then yes, I will accept them, hopefully gratefully, because I understand they are part of the experience of womanhood that I chose to explore and be part of when I decide to transition. (I can’t say considered with my male mind because it is not exclusively male as I already addressed)

However, without a committed decision to transition, all will continue to be dreams and fantasies. At this point, as a non-transitioning trans woman, I understand that I will never know what it is to think purely as a male and I may never know what it is like being a woman, except if I decide to stop settling for “I may never know” and instead decide “I am going to know.”

Ah, such conflict of heart and mind. Yet, I am contented to be trans though it is such a conundrum. I cannot perceive the male I would be if I wasn’t trans. I honestly don’t know who I would be. But ironically, I have a clear vision of who I am as Charlene and who I could and would be upon transitioning. And it is that vision of me that offers hope and excitement about my future.

Kindly,

Charlene Victoria

EnFemme

 

 

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Charlene K

Hi, In 2023 I turned 68. Very little has changed over the years. I realized at 5 years old that I deeply longed to be a girl. Like so many of us in my age bracket cross gender expression was taboo so my authentic self was closeted away. Today i understand myself to be a tras woman, albeit even at this time in my life non transitioning. Years of inner struggle have brought to me the conclusion that I am a woman. "Trans" is but an adjective I use to describe my unique womanhood. I am also a strong born again Bible believing Christian. To be sure that is a conundrum; a Christian man with deeply held faith beliefs who has concluded that at his core level he is a she, a woman. I am also returning to the site. I left in an attempt to "flee" the reality of myself. Silly me to be sure. This is who I am. I am here for support while I do my best to live without transitioning, which as much as I would love to just seems to disruptive to so many others I love.

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Jill Lacey
Member
Jill Lacey(@jillleanne)
4 months ago

 Charlene K well said Charlene. My thinkings are on the same wavelength really. Many times I have wondered what it would have been like to be just a male in a male world, or female in a female world. What would I have attempted to accomplish? No way of knowing. I was a top athelete in the male world growing up but no matter what I excelled at, never took the leap to further myself in that direction. Something always held me back. Something from another gender. Still to this day, I wonder,  no yearn,   to know, feel, what… Read more »

Susan girl
Susan girl(@susan794)
7 months ago

thanks Charlene i like the term gender broken its very appropriate. i too was raised in the early 60’s and it was a completely different world seems God made us but left it up to the parents to program you the gender broke term really makes sense

Jackie Rusalka
Member
Member
Jackie Rusalka(@jackier)
8 months ago

Very well thought out an written. Thank you. And something I can surely ascribe to. As was once once told to me the context of BDSM but I feel totally fits here: “it’s not so much destination, as it is the journey”.

AB
AB(@agirlatheart)
8 months ago

Charlene, thank you for this article, I can really identify with it and I love the term “gender broken” that’s me for sure.
AB

Toni Floria
Member
Active Member
Toni Floria(@mustangtoni)
8 months ago

All I know is I want to be perceived and treated like a lady going on 70 years I’m unable to suppress the desires that come from allowing my true feminine self to be free and to express myself in public. I dress like a grandma and seem to pass It feels wonderful to be treated like a lady at the checkout at the grocery store

April Showers
Member
April Showers(@aprilveshowers)
8 months ago

Hello Charlene! The title of your article grabbed my attention and I read through it without losing focus. Your journey informs me about mine. I am AMAB and I truly define myself as a transgender person. A long time ago, I was a “closet cross-dresser" denying my femme side, and filled with guilt and shame whenever I expressed that true part of me. I realised that my denial and self-imposed guilt and shame were not mentally healthy for me, so it was a revelation when I realised that I had the freedom to ask myself the question, “Do I accept… Read more »

April Showers
Member
April Showers(@aprilveshowers)
5 months ago
Reply to  Charlene K

Hi Charlene! The part two months have been busy with life, but I am taking some more steps. I am scheduled for rhinoplasty – make my nose more femme. I am taking with a counsellor with the aim to decide if I ask my wife if she is OK with me staying in FHT. And this week we are on vacation and I am dressing full time en femme!

JAKe Hatmacher
Active Member
JAKe Hatmacher(@middleground)
8 months ago

Charlene Victoria, I read your piece with interest, and I have a couple of comments. I see you sort of think you know what you are not as a man, but do you truly know what “a man" really feels? We are all different and we have all, being trans, know there is probably no one who is a true stereotypical male, just as no woman truly fits the mold of the stereotypical woman. From what you said about your age, I suspect we are of similar age. Despite my knowing I will never get to experience everything a typical… Read more »

JAKe Hatmacher
Active Member
JAKe Hatmacher(@middleground)
8 months ago
Reply to  Charlene K

Charlene,
I hope you understand that in no way am I urging you forward. I simply wished to comment on what you wrote and give some insight as to my actions and progression. Please do not venture hastily, but give thought to all you do. I’ve tried to do that for myself. You need to be able to accept each step you take. If you can’t, then please pause, ponder more, and don’t step forward until you know you can accept the consequences.
I say this with love and concern.

JAKe Hatmacher
Active Member
JAKe Hatmacher(@middleground)
8 months ago
Reply to  Charlene K

🙂

Kim Dahlenbergen
Active Member
Kim Dahlenbergen(@kdahlenbergen)
8 months ago

I have the same sense of being unsure. I only have life experience as myself and don’t know how that compares with the life of a woman or a man. I suspect how I experience life is a bit of both. I give out word expression to the feminine aspects of my self through clothing, and I suppose through some of the activities of day to day life. Perhaps even through how I view and respond to aspects of life. At the same time I sometimes am obliged to emphasize what might be maleness in dress, activities and to a… Read more »

Kim Dahlenbergen
Active Member
Kim Dahlenbergen(@kdahlenbergen)
8 months ago
Reply to  Charlene K

Thanks, Charlene! Its funny. I just read an article about free will – or the possibility that free will is an illusion. I know I didn’t choose to be trans…it was seemingly preordained. However, I do tend to agree with David Hume’s definition of freedom as being able to choose, no matter how limited the options may be. I the greater cosmic sense, who I am and the choices I make are of little or no consequence, but nonetheless, I can choose to hide, disguise or fully embrace myself as a woman, regardless of how others may see me.

Amy Myers
Active Member
Amy Myers(@amylove2dress)
8 months ago

This I can relate to to some extent, as right now I feel I’m sliding every so surely to being trans. Though becoming female full time is will cost me in many ways, and I’m not ready to pay that price! I’m retired so work isn’t an issue, not it’s more like one of family and social. Certainly areas and individuals I feel will not be too accepting based on comments they have made. So your solution is a valid one, as much as any other one is. At one I feel I would cast off my male clothes then… Read more »

Jill Lacey
Member
Jill Lacey(@jillleanne)
4 months ago
Reply to  Charlene K

. The cost of transition is personal. When I came out as trans, the cost was irrelevant. It was never a question of cost. What would be the cost to me mentally had I not came out? I no longer had the ability or desire to stay hidden. Transition is no different. If one is trying to measure the cost of transition from a moral and social standpoint, one is not ready to transition. There needs to be a true understanding internally that says, I can no longer go on through life pretending to be someone else. Call it whatever… Read more »

Morgan
Member
Morgan(@kimberlymichals)
8 months ago

I just read your latest article. Very good, very thought provoking. Gender is a colorful spectrum, whose colors diverge when seen through various lenses. You have your way of looking at it, I have mine and everyone else has theirs. Life, the world, the universe is not black and white. I’m glad to know you haven’t locked into the old fashioned binary vision of what gender is…because it’s not that…not even in the animal kingdom. Great job, keep these thoughts flowing

DeeAnn Hopings
Member
Active Member
DeeAnn Hopings(@flatlander48)
8 months ago

All actions have consequences. It is the nature of the beast. There is a Push and a Pull. A Push is what drives us to leave where we are because it no longer suits us. A Pull is something that attracts us and is a place where we want to be. As transgender people, I think we experience both. We reach a point where things can no longer be as they were. We see an image of a place where we want to be and begin that journey to that place. At any moment in time, all we can do… Read more »

DeeAnn Hopings
Member
Active Member
DeeAnn Hopings(@flatlander48)
8 months ago

Charlene: You touched on many facets regarding being transgender, but I will focus on the transition part. As we well know, transition isn’t just one thing. There are a number of bits and pieces and it requires a fair amount of conscious thought. In many cases, people find working with a therapist to be very helpful. If there are thoughts about possibly transitioning, how will it impact your personal life, your family life and your work life? Given ones circumstances, some things may not be part of the question. For example, if you are retired, obviously there are no work… Read more »

Marg Produe
Active Member
Marg Produe(@margprodue)
4 months ago
Reply to  DeeAnn Hopings

 DeeAnn Hopings   Very well put DeeAnn.   Marg

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