Ask Hannah!

I have been a Transvestite all my life and dress as a woman on a regular basis with full make up breast forms and an ever expanding wardrobe. I have now reached the stage where I am more content dressed as a woman and it feels more natural for me to be this way. I am beginning to wonder if I am becoming Transsexual and how fine is the dividing line between TV and TS?

The risk of asking for someone’s opinion is, well, getting their opinion.  Sometimes another opinion isn’t the same as our own and it can sting a little.  Having said that, it is my opinion that terms like ‘transvestite’ and ‘transsexual’ are a little outdated.  You may define these terms differently but the prevailing perspective is that ‘transvestite’ is another word from crossdresser.  Fun fact!  The word’s origins are German with the original word being ‘transvestit’ which has its roots in Latin.  ‘Trans’ is a Latin word for ‘across’ and ‘vestire’ means ‘clothes’. This website is very educational.  ‘Transsexual’ usually means someone who has made changes to their body (physically or legally or with hormones) and presents as a gender different than the one they were assigned to at birth.

The dividing line is different from everyone.  I admit I am not helpful with this question, unfortunately.  I don’t feel that transitioning/living full time is the right step for me.  I am happy in both of my genders and I don’t feel that choosing one over the other for the rest of my life is right for me.  I like options.  I think most of us feel calm and contentment when we are en femme.  Many of us feel more relaxed when we are dressed.  I feel that way too!  But I realized it’s because I do relaxing things when I am en femme.  When I am in boy mode I am go go go go and I work like a million hours a week.  When I am en femme I am spending the day at a museum, dinner with friends, seeing a play, or shopping.  These things are relaxing.  Hannah does not work, the boy does.  Hannah relaxes, the boy does not.  

So yes, I am calm and relaxed en femme, but it’s not necessarily because I am en femme.  It’s also because I am doing relaxing things en femme that I usually do not do in boy mode.  When I am en femme I feel natutral.  I feel the same way in boy mode.  This is expected, however.  I am content in both genders so of course I feem natural.  I am bi-gender after all.   

It sounds like you are wondering if perhaps transition is the right step for you.  I can’t answer that.  It might be!  I would recommend you meet with a therapist specializing in gender identity and speaking with your doctor.   

Love, Hannah

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5 thoughts on “Ask Hannah!

  1. I agree, Hannah. Thoughtful and careful answer. Let me try answering it in a different way. The writer seems to be confusing the terms transsexual and transgender. In my opinion, from what she describes, she is most certainly transgender, but would only be consider transsexual if she made a decision to progress to gender confirmation surgery.


  2. I’d like to offer a slightly different take. I think the original question addresses one’s changing sense of self over time. Granted, we are a very diverse group, but many of us become aware of our own evolution, often from that initial mix of fascination and fear, towards dabbling in lingerie, to frequent underdressing. Then at some point, some of us overcome fear, satisfy our curiosity or admit a need to dress fully as women. Perhaps, that innate need gradually erodes and overcomes denial/repression/fear. I know for myself, I experienced an “AHA!” moment consisting of simple thought: “I can do this!”

    That realization was followed quickly by more private experimentation with clothes, shapeware and makeup, and soon by my first tenuous steps out into public. I loved it…loved the freedom, the honest self expression, the sheer joy of moving through the world presenting (as best I could)as a woman.

    At last, I acknowledged to myself that I was transgender. However, that didn’t mean I was certain about what was next. I wondered if I could ever put the genie back in the bottle, if I’d soon be dissatisfied with occasional or part time. I’ll admit that I pushed some boundaries too fast and too far, in the process losing a long and otherwise rewarding marriage. I’ve since managed to find a reasonably happy medium between the male and female aspects of my life.

    Whether its pent up from decades of repression or a surprising realization, it seems to me very logical that one’s self definition might evolve as we pile up more and more positive experiences, and even to retreat a bit when things go wrong. I do know some who made the final step towards full social and subsequent medical transition, but also many who achieved an uneasy or comfortable balance between expressing male or female in accord with their personal circumstances and preferences.

    So, in summary, perhaps, as one feels and recognizes changes in one’s self, the old labels don’t quite fit anymore. Added to the complexity, the generally accepted meaning of labels evolve over time.


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