Trading one Question for Another

I am AMAB, now 68. I’ve been aware of my gender incongruity since I was five. Since that young age, I have struggled with the question, “Why do I have such an intense desire to be a girl?” It wasn’t just that I wanted to dress as a girl and now a woman; no, I distinctly remember longing to be a little girl, then a pre-teen girl, then a teen girl, a young college woman, to being a young woman/mom. Oh, how I wanted to be a mom! And now; to this very moment… well, I’d settle for being Grandma Charlene.

Why? Why? Why?

I did everything I could to not want this. In line with my Christian faith, I prayed, fasted, memorized volumes of Scripture, attended church faithfully per the fundamental Baptist tradition, served in ministry, and all to find no relief. I’ve been in some therapy, and talked to my pastor, my wife, etc. And still the result—I want to live as a woman.

En Femme Style

Why? A dozen years ago, I had the privilege of friendship with a medical doctor, who was also a full-time, fully medically transitioned trans woman. She, too, had a strong Christian background. So, I thought she could better than most understand my struggle with my perceived gender in light of my Bible faith. This was not supposed to happen to a Christian man like me, right? It couldn’t be! It shouldn’t be! But it was and is.

As I shared the darkest recesses of my heart with Dr. ____ finally quietly answered. “Charlene, listen to yourself. Everything you have told me so passionately; your deep longing for everything female; your dream to be desired by a man for your feminine and sexual qualities, your desire to be a bride, to give yourself to your new husband, to be pregnant, and finally be a mom; Charlene normal men don’t desire those things, but you do. Do you know why.?”

“Because I am a twisted, perverted person,” I answered.

Quietly, ever so kindly, without a hint of surprise or disgust, she answered, ” No, Charlene, it’s because you are a woman. You are not a man at your core. You want that which a normal heterosexual woman wants because deep within you are a woman.”

That was such a euphoric revelation. Just hearing another person, professionally trained, confirm to me what I wanted to believe all my life, but just couldn’t bring myself to admit, was comforting and exciting.

Yet, for years after the diagnosis, I ran from it. I feared it. This just couldn’t be true about a man like me. Finally, after years of denial and running away from my truth, I yielded to the fact that I want to be a woman because, at my core, in my very heart, I am a woman.
Wow! Finally, 12-plus years after Dr. ______ exposed my true identity, I am finally embracing the answer to that incessant question, “Why do I have such an intense desire to be a woman?”

Question answered. Now I know. I want to be a woman because I am a woman. After years of incessant questioning, not only do I now know the answer, I embrace the answer. I am a woman who just happens to be trans.

Peace. Correct? Yes, but short-lived.

My answer just opened the door to a new question. “How do I manage this condition to fulfill my natural needs as a woman, while still fulfilling the needs of those who count on me to be a man for them?”

And thus, life moves forward. I love my womanhood, albeit it is still hidden, though more cracks along the surface are appearing. How often is it said that there is no one right way to transition? I am not sure what my way is going to be.

But now I have a direction for the future.

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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Mistress B
Mistress B(@mistressb)
1 month ago

Thank you Charlene. First off thank you for your post all be it some time ago, it still resonates. Whilst I don’t have any answers there is so much commonality between so many of us that there has to be some undiscovered truth lurking in our DNA. We are not perverted freaks however we are not to be envied either. A life spent hiding who we are is at times tolerable but never a full life. The joy and happiness that erupts when you fully come out is overwhelming. I’m a strong believer in the theory of a massive Estrogen… Read more »

Hope Roberts
Member
Hope Roberts(@hr2021)
1 month ago

Oh Charlene! Thanks for sharing. I feel exactly like you now but I did not have those intense girl feelings till about 9 or 10. Since I accepted my state as transgender in 2019 vs crossdresser I am happier now more than ever. As you said. It makes perfect sense now.

Blessings,

Hope

Stacia Ranville
Stacia Ranville
9 months ago

Charlene, I am 76 and have probably run myself out of time. I took the chance and came out to my wife of 56 years about a year ago…and my whole wife flashed before my eyes. My choices were/are get out or give it up. Well, you know what I and many others know: you can’t give it up. Right now I am working along with a great therapist who gently but firmly reminds me that I will get out, I must get out; and so must you somehow. I am still hoping for a bit longer my wife will… Read more »

Jonnie Bigelow
Member
Jonnie Bigelow(@jonniebgood)
10 months ago

Hi Charlene, You know God sees you. Hope you know God loves you. The bind you are in is one of womanhood’s largest: putting all others before yourself; pleasing everyone but yourself. Another trait many women suffer is believing there is something wrong with them personally for not loving enough, doing more for others, giving enough, and wanting experiences they are not having. Sound familiar? You are Woman. At least you know yourself. Your whole life brought you to just where you are. Celebrate your feelings. Consider what beliefs you have that are still making you feel shame or bad.… Read more »

Roxanne Lanyon
Member
Roxanne Lanyon(@roxanne)
10 months ago

I love that story so much! I am a mature transwoman, who began her life as a young boy exploring her way around bras, panties and girdles, occasionally. Now, after a full male life, I am desiring to really be a woman. I never thought I would feel this way, but now, at 75, I WANT to become a Lady! No, I do not know why, it is just a feeling I have, and finishing the rest of my life as a woman sounds so appealing to me. I want to be cared for, wanted by someone else, especially a… Read more »

Krystal Garven
10 months ago

I had some minimal religious growing up , not much but my sense of self at 5 was the same before grade 1 to be a girl – socially I had no idea why ? it’s interesting how I absolutely at that age wanting my genitalia female in my thinking so young – I just new I was wrong as a so called boy – it was absolutely a true natural feeling and I was not sexually abused either ! – I just new – as a child I found my mothers old 1950’s black satan underslip with a ballet… Read more »

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

Charlene, Thank you for sharing your story, your story up until now and continually evolving. As usual, I find similarities to my story in the other stories I hear and read. I grew up in a Catholic Christian home, and although not a lot was said or discussed, at least with us kids, the way I was supposed to behave was clear, or seemed to be clear. It took therapy sessions during my decision time about who I was, and am, to reveal to me my girlish and womanly desires went back to my early childhood. In the 50’s and… Read more »

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

Charlene,
You piqued my interest.
Besides the sexual act of penile insertion, what jobs can only be done by a male, and you must do?

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

Charlene,
I am a person of faith, Christian faith, and have read all of scripture. Thanks for clarifying for me what you meant by manly duties. Yet I am not sure why these duties aren’t or can’t be sufficiently carried out in female form. My personality hasn’t truly changed, or at least I don’t think it has. My spirit has not changed. What is to prevent you from carrying out the duties you listed should you want to personify your womanly desires?

Rebecca Lay
Rebecca Lay(@twisterphoto)
10 months ago

Charlene: Your article spoke to my heart. I too have come from a strong Christian background and did all those same things to try and change my feelings about my gender identity. None of it worked. One day as I was seriously considering taking my own life I cried out to God and said why, why am I this way. He quietly spoke to my heart and said you know whom you have been your whole life and I know whom you have been. I accept you for the woman you are. From that point on, I knew it was… Read more »

Lucinda Hawkins
Active Member
Lucinda Hawkins(@lucinda)
10 months ago

Charlene great post never thought about all that. i feel the same way as you do. i feel more as a female then a male. i would rather be female for all the reasons you said. the clothing real women have to choose from is unreal, pretty dresses, skirts make up, earrings. heels, nylons, bra;s.all real men get to choose from is jeans and shirts. nothing sexy about men’s clothing at all. real women wear jeans and shirt, so why not we will dress up as females. when i don’t dress up i feel not my self, i need to… Read more »

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

Thank you for your article, Charlene. I had not considered that self-acceptance might lead to the new question, but it definitely makes sense. Even once you or anyone else has accepted who they are, it remains a question of how they work that new understanding into their lives. Like many of us, I continue to be all over the place in terms of self awareness and understanding. I have come to the point where I am beginning to accept that I may never have a firm, stable understanding of my gender, or in other words, I’m may simply have to… Read more »

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

Hi Charlene,

I think I chose the term gender fluid rather carelessly…because I am also predisposed to the gender binary. I just seem to slosh back and forth between the two poles…more out of necessity than inclination. It has become a matter of accommodating those parts of my family and work life that were built around the male facade.

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

Hi Charlene, Indeed, at times the accommodations feel like confinement. I am a bit better these days at putting that feeling aside when confined or consigned to male clothing and pretense. I don’t feel resentment so much as resignation to the necessities of the moment. And I know soon enough the confinement will end. As it has today! I spent the past week traveling for work, of necessity in male form. Now I am free to be myself for at least a few days. I’ll try to enjoy the freedom and put thoughts of reentering confinement aside till it must… Read more »

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

Charlene, that is some time you have spent questioning yourself, I am now starting to question myself in that way, as I never was one of those who always felt I was in the wrong body though I did start dressing up at a young age it took till my 60’s to really let me femme self be freer. Now I do wonder if I’m on that slop towards being trans, no answer to that one yet! We simply cannot explain these things, why we are drawn to this no one knows. However I’ve used another analogy which people never… Read more »

Lauren Mugnaia
Member
Active Member
Lauren Mugnaia(@reallylauren)
10 months ago

Hi again Charlene 🙂 Yes, you know the answer, you’ve always “known" who you were , and always felt that way since you were a child. Our stories match so much! I finally reached the point in my life where, if I didn’t transition, I wasn’t even able to consider any other option. I had to leave the old life behind and face a new future, so I’ve been living and working as a woman for over 18 months. As I think I’ve mentioned, due to a recent medical issue I had, relatively unique to women, a urinary tract infection,… Read more »

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