You have lived in and enjoyed your male body for roughly 40+ years, some of your pals, even longer. Given that you have this need to “express yourself in a feminine manner”, just how exactly do you experience that? When you go out, ‘en femme’, do you actually FEEL female? Is it about being seen and treated as a female? Does it not feel extremely odd, even disingenuous, going back and forth?
Any of you who have followed the comments thread on my last post understand all too well the unpleasantness of dealing with a relentless commentator trying to teach us a lesson.
I plead guilty to allowing the whole mess to continue for far too long and allowing her to hijack the discussion. I will do better next time. I see it as my job to create a safe space for you all to share your feelings and make your opinions known, and I faltered. Sorry.
That said, our commentator does have her moments, such as posing the interesting questions at the top of this post.
And so, on with my answer… (I hope readers will offer their own in the comments.)
First, I want to address what I see as an inaccurate inference in the question. I do not become Janie to go out, or to be seen. And, if I may further clarify another potential misapprehension in the question, I do not become Janie by getting all dressed up.
Like any person, I have feelings and moods. It just so happens that I understand some of my moods – the bigger, broader ones – in gender terms. There are times when I feel feminine, and others (though fewer and further between than before) when I feel like a guy. I have found that I am happier following my moods than trying to overrule them, so when I feel feminine, I am Janie; when I don’t, I am not.
My clothes follow my spirit, and not the other way around.
And, when I am Janie, that presentation communicates to the outside world that I wish to be treated as female – not for kicks, but because that is what I am.
Explained this way, it should be apparent that it is not disingenuous. I am not faking my femininity, but rather, honestly expressing it. To address the other part of the question, I will not deny that one may consider it odd.
Do I actually FEEL female? This is a hard question to answer, since I am not sure what “feeling female” means. I’ve wondered about that for some time – how, apart from sexual feelings, does feeling female differ from feeling male?
Rather than referencing my entire sense of self at any moment – as I imagine a genetic woman might, including her masculine characteristics – I often perceive my femininity by its difference from my masculinity. I don’t feel as competitive, aggressive, arrogant or powerful. My attention is much more focused on serenity and beauty and people.
And, then, of course, there is the huge sexual difference, which spills over into many other areas – feelings of attraction to men, vulnerability, sensuality, and so on.
I would certainly be interested in hearing opinions, especially from GGs, on what it means to “feel female.” And, as I said before, I’d love to know your answers to these questions. (If it puts any of you more at ease to share, know that our “relentless commentator” has become so exasperated with me that she has given up.)