This Blog is for YOU...

If you are/were Gender Dysphoric - so as to know some from me and share some with me, and reaffirm that none of us is alone... To acknowledge that we have a treasure of insurmountable Courage, Strength and Hope in us. I have a feeling that we were given slightly higher quantities of those special gifts :-) [If you have a question to ask me, you could write it as a Comment to one of the posts, and either I would reply to it as a Comment itself, or probably, respond in one of the future posts on this blog]

If you have never been Gender Dysphoric - so as to understand what it means to have a Gender Identity Disorder. Of course, it primarily depends on whether you want to or not. If you don't, please do make a quiet exit and try not to be a nuisance.

If you're confused - so as to realize that everybody goes through a stage of confusion - the period could be short, or sometimes, very long. What is important is to acknowledge that being unsure until you're sure is as normal and as alright as night before day.

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If you're a human being - so as to find out for yourself whether you want to try to make the world a better place to live in, for every fellow human being, irrespective of their health, wealth, colour, race, gender, religion and any and every other line of division you can think of.

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And finally, this blog is for ME - so as to be able to make some difference somewhere by sharing my experiences, and along the way, slowly grow out of those anxieties and insecurities that have inhabited my life for over 2 decades. It is time to escort them to the door now!

Come, Join me on this journey!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

'O' Really!

I bet this would be a pertinent question in the minds of most transpeople who are yet to undergo their surgeries, as well as other curious folk around us. Interestingly, even though it was a concern for me prior to my transition, now, it seems as though orgasm is one of the least important things in this new life I’m living.


Sadly, because of the term ‘transsexual’ having the word ‘sex’ in it, a lot of people associate ‘transsexuality’ with merely the desire to sleep around as a person of the gender opposite to the one he/she was born with. I have often heard it being said, “Oh ‘he’ changed ‘his’ sex so that ‘he’ can sleep with men” in context of transwomen. Really, nothing could be farther from truth!


Sexual orientation and gender identity are two completely different things. Let me explain this with examples. Let’s say Ajay is a gay man who is in love with another man Eric. Now, Ajay is happy being a man and he identifies with the male gender, so his gender orientation is definitely ‘Male’ but at the same time, his sexual orientation is homosexual. On the other hand, we have Vineet who also loves Eric, but the difference here is that Vineet does not identify with his birth gender. He’d rather be living as a woman and be in a straight relationship with Eric. Hence, ‘his’ gender identity is ‘Female’ and considering that, ‘his’ sexual orientation is ‘heterosexual’. Ajay is a gay man, Vineet is a transwoman.


Sometimes, things can get more complex. There are people who are troubled on both the sides. Not only is their sexual orientation socially unacceptable, but so is their gender orientation. For instance, in the above scenario, Vineet, who is a transwoman, if she were to be attracted to girls, then she would be a lesbian transwoman. Now, you might ask – if she was attracted to women anyway, then why did she have to get her sex changed from Male to Female? But then again, you’re missing out on the important differentiating line. Her changing her sex is based on her gender identity, not her sexual orientation! In romantic relationships as a ‘male’, she could have been finding it difficult to relate with straight women. And besides that, gender identity is a much larger concept than just ‘who you are attracted to’.


The whole idea behind taking you through this entire explanation is to bring to light the fact that only a fool would CHANGE their sex just so that they could sleep around in a ‘heterosexual relationship’. The biggest thing for any transperson is GENDER, not SEX.


And now, coming to the question asked to me in one of the recent comments – “What about orgasm and sexual satisfaction post surgery?” Well, my answer won’t be based on first-hand experience, yet I can say with sufficient conviction that if you go to an experienced surgeon, you won’t have much to complain about. I have friends who went to the same surgeon as I did – Dr. Chettawut – and have experienced absolute consummation in their romantic relationships. I can certainly give testimony that the genitals my doctor has given me are very sensitive and I have no reason to doubt what my friends tell me.


But like I said right in the beginning, life has become so beautiful by itself that the O-word is close to the last thing on my mind. It’s like I’ve got the moon in my hand and somebody asks me – do you have a candle? Well, I think a candle is beautiful and I’d be delighted to have it too, but I am not incomplete without it… I have the moon!

27 comments:

  1. i want to add one more thing to your post that many times a trans person doesn't know their true sexual orientation or liking until he or she go through the actual surgical procedure, in a nut shell we can say that sometimes we don't experience our true self unless and until we go through a life altering phenomenon.

    simi b

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  2. So many rigid boundaries and limiting dichotomies..a world of males and females, homosexuals and heterosexuals. What happens to those of us who don't really fit in anywhere? It's rather sad how social cognition is defined by binary narratives. There's this constant pressure to line up at polarized camps. What if one isn't really a "male" or a "female"? What if one isn't necessarily "straight" or "gay"...are such people just confused or do they represent identities and ways of being far beyond our limited social imagination of human -"being"?...

    Dearest Gazal, thank you for giving so many of us the courage to just "be" :-)

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  3. * Dear simi and nilu, I had responded to your comments long back but it seems some network problem happened and my response has not shown up... So, here goes again -

    Simi - I agree that what you're saying is a definite possibility, but I hope, pray and wish that it does not happen with anybody. Nothing can be worse than going through a gender transition and realizing that this is not really what you wanted... It's not just a life-changing process; it is, in fact, an IRREVERSIBLY life-changing process. And that's the reason why the need for psychiatric evaluation and certification of Gender Dysphoria can not be stressed enough. The more the number of independent psychiatrists one can go to for certifications, the better - but a minimum of two independent certificates is a MUST!

    Nilu - Your comment has made me realize that perhaps this post too, somewhere, is guilty of getting trapped in those bifurcations and categorizations of people into identities. The idea was not to make two separate groups and trying to fit the imaginary characters into one of those groups even though it seems to have turned out to be quite close to that.

    My aim was simply to say that a transperson deals with an identity crisis which, to some extent, might be similar to a person who identifies as gay, but at many levels, it is different. That is not to say that there cannot be someone who doesn't identify as either and yet has every right to just "be" and to love. And there is no need to create a separate category based on exclusion from the existing ones, simply because it is unnecessary. Because after all, it is not important WHO you love or HOW you love, but that you LOVE.

    The only line of division that our world needs, according to me, is between humans who can love and those who can't... And once that line is drawn, most of the world or all of it would be on one side of it!

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  4. Gazal you didn't understood what i was trying to say, i was saying that in some cases the real sexual orientation might be fully realized only after the surgery, i wasn't talking about gender dysphoria :)

    simi b

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  5. Oh okay... Yes, that is plausible too :-)

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  6. Just curious actually (abt simi's comment): Are you implying that a sexual orientation is CREATED as an after-effect? Or is the phenomenon you describe more like the surfacing of a repressed idea?

    Are we saying that the surgery could cause a sexual orientation? (In which case the surge of a particular hormone actually creates the sexual orientation...)
    Or is there a possibility that the surgery plays a sort of placebo effect... merely allowing the individual to express a subconscious emotion that was hidden (from everyone including the individual in question) until the surgery.

    Of course, I'm not an expert neither do i have any first-hand experience. But the latter seems more plausible than the former. Not that this makes it any less or more real. Like I said, I'm just curious.

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  7. Hi Gazal ...
    How r u???
    I am your big fan..
    an you post some of your recent pics...

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  8. Sriharsha - Firstly, let's accept that sexual orientation and sexual identity have such a wide range of possibilities that one must never turn anything down as improbable. I like to look at it not in terms of sexual orientation, but an individual's attraction to another individual irrespective of the gender of either of them.

    And this sexual-orientation-could-change-upon-surgery part, mentioned by simi, at the end of the day, may or may not have anything to do with the surgery at all. Nobody knows, and nobody can say it for sure... because many people's orientation changes ('evolves' would be a better word) over the course of their lives anyway. I personally know at least two 30+ men who were in successful heterosexual relationships till they were in their mid-twenties, but today, identify as completely homosexual (and there's no surgery involved). I also know somebody who, after 10 years of his surgery (he is an FTM), has developed slightly bi-curious tendencies recently. But I would not assume the surgery to be responsible for bringing this change about.

    If the surgery does cause it, I'm positive that the instances are not frequent, but then, like I said, sexual orientation is an ever-evolving process and nothing, at all, should be considered impossible :-)

    Madhu - Thanks Madhu! I'll put up my pictures whenever I feel it would be in context of any of my posts... So, stay tuned! :-)

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  9. Hi...
    I am sudha..
    I just wanted to ask you that, r u feeling now as a complete woman??And in life of woman monthly periods are very important??So r u following those monthly rules??what r u doing for experiencing periods??do you use sanitory napkins??

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  10. anita here..
    What kind of dresses you r using ??Means what kind of fashion?Do u use saree or chudidars or salawar kameez or jeans or skirts??Do u ever go for mehandi???

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  11. Please don't take it in the wrong way.
    I just wanted to ask whether you had any psychiatric problems in your childhood and especially teenage. Like, the transperson whom I know is experiencing depression, social anxiety, has extremely low self-esteem and finds it difficult to get along with people.

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  12. and yea, aggression too.

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  13. seems u r in a state of hibernation..lol.
    I mean no new posts or replies?

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  14. Anonymous - Firstly, I regret this delay in responding to your query. I am not in hibernation, no, but April has been a rather occupied month for me on various fronts. Things look a little settled now, so, I'm going to be more regular with replying to comments and blogging...

    Coming to your question, allow me to ask YOU a question instead. How do you think your state of mind would be, when you do not know what your identity is... Every time you're going to fill up the 'Gender' column on a form, your insides ridicule you for being a liar... How do you think you would feel when you fall in love but can't imagine expressing it because you know all you would get in turn is mocking laughter, when you feel inferior to everybody around you, for the simple reason that they KNOW who they are, and you've either not even figured that out, or if you have, you don't
    have the courage to tell the world. It is the worst space to be in, and I hope nobody ever lands there. Depression, Anxiety, Low self-esteem and Aggression (mostly, with family) are all expressions of a deep conflict with oneself. And really, can there be a deeper conflict than feeling the body you wake up in and breathe in, is not your own?

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  15. It is nice to hear that she is not alone dealing with these problems and that someone was there at her place someday. But how shall I help her?I really want to. Talking is not helping. Does she need professional help?She is going to start transition soon anyway.Will that automatically solve her problems?

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  16. Well, transition, in itself, is an emotionally and physically taxing process too, so do NOT expect instant improvements and changes. A minimum of 2 years is what you and she should look at. And yes, a lot of the issues do get resolved, but it is important that she keeps working on her self-esteem.

    See, all these years of having felt inferior brings one's self-esteem to the lowest level possible. This battered self needs to be nurtured and loved (more by herself than anybody else), and gradually, all the related problems will begin to fade away.

    And yes, professional help will be required. Firstly, you can't transition without professionals being involved. Secondly, even after one gets the certificate of Gender Dysphoria from a shrink, it may be a good idea to keep scheduling a visit with them from time to time. Since sometimes, the period of transition can be even more stressful than the pre-transition times, it can be a great help to keep professional help accessible.

    And please be prepared for huge highs and lows in this journey. It will be loaded with moments of outbursts and emotional breakdowns, but those of freedom and joy too. Just stay around, be there, let her feel that she is cared for, no matter who she is or what she becomes. That security is worth more than a million dollars. And once she is safely on the other end of the river, you can give yourself a pat on the back for having been a true friend :-)

    All the Best to you and your friend...

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  17. Thanks a ton :)

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  18. u are agem of aperson.hope i could emerge better. what keeps u going on an endless road.could there be fulfillment of life for u or for a person like me who has pined for love from a woman.u see inadequacy and know no one is there to respond. may be there is hope for souls like us or maybe none. in writing it i cry out for people who are incomplete. whether physically like u or emotionally like me.

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  19. Anonymous2 - First things first! I'm not incomplete... not anymore. Irrespective of what others might think on this, what matters is what I believe. And really, feeling incomplete or complete is in each person's own hands. I know it does seem very difficult to start with, but think of it this way. We, and only we, are responsible for deciding who we are and how we feel. Circumstances are not in our hands, but how we take them, completely, is.

    You would want to be loved by a woman, you say. Not having that love makes you incomplete, but that is only YOUR way of looking at it. You can choose to believe that love will come along when it has to, but not being in a romantic relationship right now doesn't mean you're incomplete. If it were so, then all the people who stay single all their lives would never be complete, according to you, no? Please read my post "So Long, Love!" When we're desperate to be loved, chances of making a mistake are very high. Only when we are at peace with our own self and feel whole and complete are we in the correct space of mind for perfect love to come along. [My viewpoints, of course!]

    So, please do whatever is necessary for you to feel complete because of yourself, because getting a woman's love is an external element. It may or may not change. But whether your inner climate is spring or winter - is something ONLY you can decide and change. It is most common to try and point fingers and others and make them responsible for our misery, but at the end of the day, that is not only wrong, but even, pointless.

    And you ask me, what keeps me going. Well, what keeps me going is the completeness I feel within me, with every step on this road that I've taken. All the Best to you! Take care

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  20. Dear Gazal, your life, your blog & all the responses by readers are a source of inspiration; I am proud of you, your fortitude & the sagacity of your experiences; and take solace in the fact that while I, an Army Officer; can really do very little to physically alter myself, I'm living myself out in two realms & am quietly satisfied with my life and with the simple pleasures of crossdressing in secret, not for a wider audience really ( although their acceptance does help too ), but for myself & an expression of my innermost recesses. I'm thankful to God for everything I have & also for the alternatives He has shown me to compensate for what I could not be....I'm proud of all my sisters out there, I love your courage. May The Lord Bless you all. Debbie Barua. (debbiebarua@gmail.com)

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  21. Dear Debbie, I am so happy to read your comment, and believe me, YOU being content (even if quietly) is all that really matters. Had I been content, I would not have gone ahead with surgery too. Being thankful and happy is, like I always say, a choice one makes on one's own. I'm willing to and do make that choice today after my transition, but you have made it without needing to transition, and that's great!

    So, cheers to your choice! And thank you so much for sharing it with me and being so generous in complimenting me. Take care and do write once in a while. All the best! Hugs! :-)

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  22. Hi gazal

    while filling the gender column in forms, i will get more pleasure wen i fill it as female esp online forms.

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  23. Neena - Gender is much more than 'M' or 'F'.

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  24. Gajal, did your friends in college have any idea or clue of you are going for transition in future.

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  25. ghazal its nice to know that u feel complete.i did not mean to say that being a tg u r incomplete.rather being at peace is imp.i am 42,married but never experienced love. it is tragic. i pretend to go with life. i do not know if i am ever going to meet my soulmate.i have no expectation except that female must love me and just be mine. whom i can relate to intellectually,emotionally or spiritually. for such aperson whether she is complete or not does not matter.ican quit anything for her. everything including status, respect, and even brave ridicule if it comes to that and if that makes my soulmate secure.

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  26. Anonymous3 - A couple of them knew that I wanted to do it, but nobody knew when.

    Anonymous2 - I'm afraid I cannot comment anything on that. I have already said what I needed to in my previous response to you - about feeling happy and content. All the best! Take care.

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Civility check done? :-)