Maybe She’s Born with It (or maybe it’s genetics)

We ask ourselves why we are like this.

Our partners ask us why we are like this.

It’s just…  how we’re wired.  We’re just born this way.  

I do not think gender identity is a choice.  It’s just who we are.  I believe this side of us is a part of us when we are born.  It may take years, even decades for us for us to realize there is something there inside when it comes to stepping outside of the traditional and societal gender roles.  When I was young, around five years old, I remember seeing mannequins at a department store modeling lingerie.  Something just clicked for me.  A part of my heart, my brain, opened a little bit and I realized that I was mesmerized by these beautiful clothes in a different way than most boys would be.  

Yes, a boyn is often interested in girls and lingerie is a different and sensual world that most boys aren’t involved in, but moments like that made me want to wear lingerie.  I couldn’t stop thinking about what it would be like to wear stockings and a garter belt.  It was then that I started to pay attention to how I felt, what I thought about when it came to “girl things”, whether it was makeup, a beautiful dress, or how boys and girls were “supposed” to think, act, and feel.  

I think many of us think that this side of us might be a fetish.  And sure, it might be for some of us, but lingerie, heels, dresses are not sexually stimulating to me.  When I am en femme, or even simply underdressing, I feel amazing, sexy, beautiful, but never aroused.  

But…why?  I don’t know.  It’s just who we are.  Some people like to link certain events in our lives to this side of us.  I have heard everything from an absent father, a domineering mother, unaddressed trauma, repressed sexual identity as reasons why we are drawn to the other side of the closet.  There may be some truth to that for some of us, but I don’t think that there is anything inherently psychological connecting me to my gender identity.  Sometimes I think I am enlightened and I simply ignore gender norms and do what I want, and where what I choose.  Clothes are clothes, there’s no need to genderize them.

I don’t think any of us can point to a definitive reason and say THIS IS WHY I AM WHO I AM.  Some of us feel we were born with the wrong body, some of us feel were assigned the wrong gender at birth, some of us…  well, we go back and forth like a ping-pong ball trying to find a reason why.  I get tired of looking for a reason why I am who I am.  Ultimately I don’t think it’s anything I’ll understand and I try not to speculate about it.  In many ways, I am comforted by accepting I was born this way.  

BUT!  When we say we were born this way, could there be a genetic reason for it?  What if it’s not trauma, enlightenment, or anything else, but something biological wiring us in this way?  Could our genes impact our gender identity?

We are about to enter the OVERTHINKING ZONE, so fasten your garter belts, ladies.

My friend Marci and I have been chatting about this over the last few days and she sent over a couple of articles you may find interesting.  Ultimately I can’t say if biological factors influence who I am, or who any of us is.  If it wasn’t for spell check I wouldn’t even be able to spell neurologist, let alone be able to make any sort of decision about the link between genes and femme jeans.  I suppose you could make an argument for this as well as against it.

However, would I like this to be true?  Would I want there to be a connection between my brain and my gender identity?  Would I like there to be a biological reason I was born this way?  

I don’t know.  I really don’t.  People fear the unknown, people hate those who are different.  I understand this is rather broad and a massive generalization, but there is discrimination and violence against people of different races, different genders, different sexuality.  It wasn’t long ago that people who were left-handed were thought to be communists.  The trans community is already hated enough as it is, giving people a “reason” to hate on us is something we don’t need.  I mean, if this was true haters are going to say things like “See?!  they’re genetically different!  Their brains are messed up!  There’s something wrong with them!”  And soon enough there will be talk about “fixing” our brains or conversion “therapy”.  

On the other hand, it’s comforting that this is just how I am because of subtle variants in my genes (and subtle differences in my femme jeans, lol).  I don’t think gender identity is a choice, and the idea our biology influences that is, well, it’s kind of nice to have an explanation about why we are the way we are.

What do you think? Do you think there is something to this? Would you like it to be true?

Love, Hannah

17 thoughts on “Maybe She’s Born with It (or maybe it’s genetics)

  1. I believe it is biological. I believe all of our backgrounds are too diverse for it to be solely nurture.

    With all the information out there today I suppose there is more of possibility for kids to develop a desire to become transgender. But I believe that truly would be a “phase”. It is too difficult a life to chose to be this.

    For us older folks we had no information. We all thought we were the only one.

    In the end it just shouldn’t matter. This is who we are, we are not hurting anyone, we just be left to be.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. sometimes i think it is like anything else. Why am i a doctor ? Why am i a Mechanic? Why am i a Lawyer? It is who we are and what we like to do or be.
    it is unfortunate that our society has to give labels to everything and reasons for everything. Instead of just being accepting and be able to say Hannah looks great in that outfit. Wow look at Bob looks good in that. Wish i could look so good. Wish we could do this without having to feel any guilt about being ourselves.
    Just my two cents
    Peace N Love


  3. several years ago there was an article in the WSJ entitled “caught between male and female” by a dept head at the U of Cal. He states that it happens in the womb when the mother releases certain “stuff” at one point -affecting the brain-which does not correspond with a previous “stuff” release that forms sexual characteristics. I would look up stuff but you get the idea.the author states that the former release varies in the degree of movement to the female brain side which would explain why we all vary.This sort of agrees with a more recent study that certain criminal types have a missing area in the brain.
    It is all about the brain—emily

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “We ask ourselves why we are like this.

    Our partners ask us why we are like this.”

    I do not ask myself this, nor does my partner. She and I just accept it that I am a woman of the transgender variety. More important to me is what to do in life.

    You may not have intended it, but you do not speak for all. Other than that I do not have any objects to what you wrote in the body of your post.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. As I do not read Hannah’s blog posts very often, I am not familiar with how she writes in general. I was just going on what I saw at the beginning, and the wording imply that these internal and external questions are universal. I only notice it from my feedspot email feed.

        Yes, she is wonderful. We have been together for over 30 years. I count myself as very fortunate and privileged to have her in my life as I realize many do not have accepting partners. I have read stories of marriages ending after this amount time when one partner comes out.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. We ARE wired! And something DOES click! I knew THE VERY FIRST TIME that I would ALWAYS enjoy femininity … the clothes, the “look” … the rituals.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I certainly would Ike to have a reason for me being this way, at least one where those who don’t get it could have some understanding of what we deal with.
    But I too know that I will never fully know why my drawer is full of panties and bras instead of ugly cotton underwear or why many days I stand in front of a mirror putting on makeup.
    But now as I’m older the why became less important than it just is what it is and I am just me and that’s ok

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I feel the same way. I’m at the point in my life where I don’t care what others think. Take me the way I am, or don’t. I don’t care.


  7. I have (mostly) stopped asking why and (finally) moved on to acceptance. However, as my wife continues to struggle with understanding and acceptance (she really does try), I would love to have a textbook “shame-free” answer to give her — but I’m not holding my breath. Nancy

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I appreciated your observations on origins of transgender identity and deeply empathize with the inner struggle you, myself and many of us experience in trying to reconcile our anatomical gender markers with what’s going on inside our heads.

    As noted by others, there is so much diversity in the cultural and family circumstances we each emerged from that it seems unlikely to be a purely sociological phenomenon. And while I deeply distrust my early recollections, I do recall the emotions I felt…the shame and guilt of being recognized as different by my siblings (without clearly understanding what about me was different), some allusions to my behavior being unacceptably feminine, and learning to hide whatever seemed feminine.

    Also, as we all know, its hard to hide/suppress a desire. Its curious to me that those vague, ill defined early childhood feelings and attraction to feminine things could emerge as a compelling desire to dress and present as a woman despite all the social pressures and taboos to the contrary.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. great addition to the discussion of a very complex topic. Your kind of contribution, aND HANNAHS BOLD PROVOCATIVE STATEMENTS ARE WHY I READ THE VAST MAJORITY OF WHAT IS SHARED HERE. THANK YOU FOR SHARING. Russians say “live a century, learn a century, die a fool.” We at least are trying to make sense of a vexing question. why indeed?

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Gorgeous stunning beautiful outfit got on in picture-I so Agree with you and yes Jennifer part of who I my and power women when my her and life feel amazing and gorgeous stunning beautiful too and ever be one side or other and enjoy life as it comes

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you for the thought-provoking post Hannah. It brought back many memories of my own childhood that were repressed or that I deliberately tried to forget. Whether genetic or otherwise played a roll in how we become who we are maybe interesting science but ether way we are born this way. It feels liberating to know it was ok to be who we are, how we felt and that scientists are starting to sees us as an extended part of the gender norm. Society for the most part is far from seeing it this way but it’s encouraging that scientists are learning more about us. Through them, scientist can educate the world that gender is much more than just binary.



  11. I’m going to weigh in here as one who has studied , read, taken care of people with intersex issues, including most of the well known ones, that are certified biological and say that I think nature, esp. prenatal brain chemistry and altered brain pathways played a big role in my own situation, as opposed to nurture which some cultures really seem to draw out. I’ll also say that this is an educated guess and at 78 I’ve been pretty lucky to have a chance to push the envelope of trying it either way, successfully and find myself like Hannah, strictly hetero with an embarrassingly full ladies closet and makeup supplies. It waxes and wanes but it’s always there. From age 5 to 78, it’s been consistent. Learn to accept your innocent selves and to not judge yourselves or others. We are an odd species. Men and women are way more similar than different, and the biological default in the absence of testes or the effects of their products is female. Overlapping leri

    Liked by 1 person

  12. one more thought. Oxytocin and dopamine are 2 reasons people do drugs. I’ll bet if they were measured over thousands of us, dressed with feminine attire and makeup, that both of these love/pleasure natural compounds would be higher as they are when we see babies or touch or are touched by our pets. These have been measured, Oxytocin is why your areolas tingle. Male or female doesn’t matter.


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