Home About me About my books Arts & Ideas

Responding to the ABC Primetime Nightline special episode about transgender

September 5, 2011

On August 31, 2011, ABC Primetime Nightline presented a story about transgender kids who have gone for the treatments at the young age in helping them transform their male bodies to be a female. Their stories remind me as I also had similar experiences; only now young generation has a better opportunity to start their transgender lives at younger age.

Besides transgender kids, the show also included a non-transgender person, named Charles Kane, who kindly gave an advice for transgender kids to learn from his mistake. He once had experience living as a transgender—he had undergone a sex-changed operation to become a woman, then back again to be a man.

It’s very hard for non-transgender to understand the differences between who is a transgender and who is not. In the case of Charles Kane, he isn’t a transgender. However, Charles Kane is a straight man who at that time confused about his own gender and couldn’t separate his fantasy from everyday life. His personal mistake can’t be used for study in the case of transgender. Another person who made a big mistake (and often makes) is the doctor/psychologist who allowed Charles Kane to do sex-changed operation.

So now, let talk who is transgender and who is not

To be a transgender, you don’t need any inspiration or be influenced by other transgenders.

Since I was five years old, I have felt like I was a girl. I had special feeling every time when other boys in my class embraced their arms around me in the way as an intimacy between a man and a woman, while at that time I didn’t even know anything about sexual orientation. Often heard, many transgender kids say that they are born in the wrong bodies. They don’t need an inspiration about transgender lifestyle to feel that way but the feeling comes from inside since the young age.

However, in the case of Charles Kane, his transgender idea was influenced from going out at transgender nightclubs after his divorce as he wanted to experiment variety of sexuality. Moreover, unlike transgenders, Charles Kane would have never felt that he was born in a wrong body. During his male life (and even today), he loves his wife, enjoys having sex with women and living as a regular straight man.

Moreover, because transgender-women feel like they are women from the inside, their feminine demeanors and emotions also express from the inside naturally—without being trained.

I have spent time with many straight men who love to do cross-dress as their sexual fantasy and I have noticed that they can’t walk and pose as woman. They look very awkward on high heels. When they walk, their legs spread like men and arms open. This is because inside them is a man. If you have to be trained to be able to act as a woman, you are not transgender-woman. On the other hand, transgender women can’t act or pose as men or they will look awkward if they have to act as men because inside them is a woman. Therefore, only you enjoy getting dress as a woman isn’t enough to define you as a transgender.

There are two purposes in doing cross-dress.

Transgender women dress in woman’s clothes for their everyday lives, corresponding to their inside feminine feelings. Since I was in high school, every time I go out shopping for clothes, my subconscious mind always tells me to walk to woman’s clothes section. Charles Kane, however, is a straight man and because of that his mind tells him that the correct clothes for him to wear comfortably in his everyday life are definitely men’s clothes, not women’s clothes.

Straight men who love doing cross-dress are also happy to see themselves in woman’s clothes. However, they don’t wear woman’s clothes everyday and every time, but they dress in woman’s clothes for the purpose of their fantasy. If you love something so much (you love women and you love the beauty/femininity of their clothes), you want those grip on your body. In the case of Charles Kane, (during his transgender life) woman’s clothes only covered his body on the outside but inside his mind he is still a straight man. Transgenders are woman from inside and their feminine appearances are the expression in responding their inside feelings.

Therefore, transgender-women are comfortably to live everyday as women but straight men can’t feel comfortably to act and dress as woman everyday, only for some times for their sexual fantasy. That’s why I believe that Charles Kane is a straight man who confused about his gender and he couldn't separate between what is his fantasy and what is his everyday life.

If you have lived in a closet for a long time then one day you want to open to public about your gender as a transgender, which way you can come out safely?

Imagine—everyday you dress in men’s clothes to work. However, one day, to surprise people, you dress as a woman. Then everyone in your office doesn’t recognize you. What do you think it would happen next?

Or you, who live as a straight man for long time, set up a big party one day, intend to celebrate your new life. What would happen after you have a surprised announcement to all your friends and family that now you are ready to live as a woman?

The result—people would be shocked and speechless! Now everyone feels uncomfortable to come to talk with you as normal. Worse still, they may think that you are insane. That would cause you to be lonely and become depressed. Then you begin to blame your transgender lifestyle and believe that in this ‘equal right’ generation, people still don’t accept who you are.

However, it doesn’t mean people can’t accept your new lifestyle but they are shocked! With a quick extreme makeover, you make people feel uncomfortable to approach you as normal. Moreover, you will be like a joker for them to tease you. When you become a joker, people begin to disassociate you because they don’t want to bring themselves to involve.

The best way—you don’t need a big announcement but let the process of your transformation grows slowly and let people observe you little by little.

Your new lifestyle is not everything in your life; for some, living in the closet isn’t as bad as coming out publicly.

I have a gay male friend. After he finished his high school, one day without any sign he told his parents that he was gay. His dad got really angry then kicked him out of the house. Father yelled at him that he had never had a gay son and he also yelled back angrily his father that he also had never had a dad like him. Finally, he had to continue his life alone and work very, very hard. If he chose to live in a closet for a while longer and continued study until graduate from university, he would have a better future. Is it necessary for him to tell his parents that he is gay while they had never questioned him, especially in the time that he wasn’t strong enough to take care of himself, yet he knew that his parents were very conservative? With ambush coming out, you are like a mad bull—when you want something, without thinking of the consequence you run into it, then the person who gets hurt the most is yourself. One thing you must keep in mind that to accept a new change, people really need time to make up their minds. Do not shock people!!!

The first thing he should do is to start collecting new friends quietly and learn more about his new lifestyle. In case his straight friends can’t accept his homosexual lifestyle, he will not feel lonely because he has prepared to handle new situation and new life, and know where to go from here to start his new life.

Then once in a while, when everyone in his family is happy, he may bring his new friend to hang out at home. After his friend leave, he begins to talk with his parents about his friend, ask them to see whether they like his new friend or not? If his parents like his friend, he then reveals to them that his friend is gay. In case his parents don’t accept his friend because he is gay and begin to pester about his sexuality, then he can say—“Oh dad, I say my friend is gay, NOT ME.” He may have to stay in the closet for now but he can have his goal that one day when he is strong enough to take care of himself, he can live with his lifestyle. Do not make argument with parents when they are like mad bull. Some day when they are happier, he can talk about it again. It doesn’t mean they can’t accept him but they really need more time.

To come out from the closet, you don’t need to put yourself in a risky position but always prepare an exit for yourself. Keep in mind—to have a chance to come out is not everything in your life. To have a chance to come out but being kicked out from the family then have to be a homeless can’t make you happy. However, if you believe that to stay in the closet for a while is the best way for your life for now, you will never be jealous, acting publicly, strongly against people who are outside the closet because one day when you have a chance to come out, you will feel embarrassed that in the past you used to strongly anti homosexual people.

I had taken time for years until I had a complete transformation to be a woman. I began with plucking my eyebrows little by little everyday—no one had noticed the new shape of my eyebrows—or if someone asked me about them, I had prepared my answer that my barber suggested that my eyebrows were too messy and I agreed that shaving them a little bit was a good idea. Then six months later, I began to pluck other parts of my body hair such as on my legs and underarms. My relative asked me one day why did I need to pluck hairs on my legs; I lied to her that when I scrubbed my legs in the shower, it hurt me—whether or not she believed me, I didn’t care because I will never say directly that I wanted to be a woman. Then I began to grow my hair long and told people that because I studied in an Art school, having a long hair made me look like a real artist. For makeup, I wore it only when I went out and used public restroom to clean off before home. I have never told my parents that I am a transgender but at a certain time when I looked feminine enough to be noticed, they would know without discussion about it. I will never set up a party to celebrate my new life or make a surprised announcement; instead I had revealed my gender to people through my transformation little by little. If people ask me about my gender one day, it means that they had seen and thought over and over about my new appearance before asking me—and that would also mean I have given them enough time to make up their minds—for coming out of the closet, I will never shock people!!! Slowly slide the closet’s door to open and sneak out—do not jump out or make a loud noise to shock people! This is not a festival or Halloween party or any kind of entertainment.

Moreover, the slow process of transformation will give some people like Charles Kane to rethinking and thinking, over and over and over that are you sure you want to be a transgender? Moreover, it also allows some people like Charles Kane to go backward before it is too late in making a decision in doing a sex-changed operation.

People don’t accept you at how beautiful you are, rather they accept you at how good you are. If I have made my parents felt that they lose their son, I will prepare something for them to compensate before I made my way completely out of the closet, for example I will be proud to say to my parents that even though I am a transgender but look at me now I am graduated and I can take care of myself. To be successful in your life takes a lot of time to earn, and that’s the reason, to come out from the closet as a strong person also needs a lot of time to prepare.

Many transgenders may use to have experiences hooking up with men from nightclubs for sex. After their true genders reveal, some men are angry and violent. In this case, it’s because they have never forethought that they will meet a transgender so they don’t have enough time to make up their minds—in other word, they are shocked! What men can do in this shocking situation is asking to leave quietly. Do not be violent. Believe me, after taking time to think about it, one day you want to come back.

Men who look for a long term relationship with a transgender but have a hard time to tell their parents or friends may employ the same way as my transformation—in a slow process. You may tell your parents one day when they are happy to hear something different that “my friend is going to marry his transgender girlfriend,” then listen to their comments. If they have a negative comments, make sure that they understand that you say “your friend is going to marry, NOT YOU.” Any of your parents’ questions that you can’t find a good explanation, you just keep quiet and think which better way to explain them. Then some day on a nice weather day, we will bring back this issue to discuss again. Until your parents can’t find any reason to dispute, they would accept it. Give them enough time. You don’t live alone in society—if you want people understand you, you have to understand them first. Therefore, you have to listen other people first which points they disagree with you, then find ways to convince them point by point. Remember—take your time!

The physical transition should put into 2 issues and they are needed to be considered separately.

Do not transform yourself like the explosion of a bomb—I mean you want to have everything in a very short time: the complete transformation from head to toe including a vagina and a new sexual partner. In this case make sure that you understand between you want to live everyday as a transgender and the transgender lifestyle is your new toy the same way as kids feel excited when they receive a new toy. Imagine, when a man is going to have the first child, he would jump up and down happily, run around and talk to people that he is going to be a father and set up a party to celebrate. Then after he has two or three children, he feels that taking care of his kids is a very hard job and expensive—finally, unlike when he has the first child, he has learned that he should not have one—but it is too late to go back in time. To dress as a woman once in a while in your sexual fantasy is fun, but to dress as a woman everyday for some men may be a hard job, then finally they may think that living as a man is a lot easier!

The physical transformation should put into two issues.

First: taking female hormone by consulting with a doctor and some plastic surgery like breast augmentation allow you to go back in time, in case that transgender lifestyle isn’t for you.

If you want to transform yourself from male to female, you must ask yourself seriously what’s wrong of your male life—why being a woman is important to your life? Transgenders know since they were kids that they are born in a wrong body, and that’s the reason the transformation is necessary for them to correct the mistake that nature gives to them.

In the case of Charles Kane, his psychologist should question him—as he wants to transform himself to be a woman, what’s wrong of his male life? Didn’t he like his male appearance anymore? Or did Charles Kane feel the same way as transgender kids that he was born in a wrong body? Like when you bring your car to fix, an automotive mechanic will ask—‘what’s wrong of your car? Why do you bring it here?’ If the answer is that the car has nothing wrong, it doesn’t make any sense why you bring your car to fix. If living as a man has nothing wrong for Charles Kane, it has no reason why he has to change his male life to a female.

Second: sex-changed operation should be considered separately from the first step. Not every transgender is happy to have a vagina. Also do not think that “to have a vagina means that she will look more passable, happier in life, or easier to find a sexual partner than the one who has penis.”

I have a transgender friend who always performs sex with straight men in a male role (being top) and she doesn’t enjoy being penetrated in the ass. After listening long enough her transgender friends who have done sex-changed operations, she has decided one day to do a sex-changed operation. How could she be happy with her new sexual position?

If asking transgender teens, almost all of them, I believe, want to have a vagina, while they don’t have many sexual experiences for consideration.

I used to dream when I was a teenager of having a sex-changed operation one day. Now I don’t want it because after having long sexual experiences with many straight men, they tells me to know which way I prefer to have sex. Moreover, straight men have no problem to be my bottom. I ask myself—why do I need a vagina, while there is nothing wrong for having a penis? If some day, for example, I have a testicle cancer and my doctor tells me to remove my testicles, or I have an erectile dysfunction, I may decide to do a sex-changed operation—in the reason that something go wrong about it. But for now there is no reason to make a change.

In case, Charles Kane wants to have a sex-changed operation, his psychologist should ask him seriously, (because once he did, he can’t have his penis back as normal) such as “what’s wrong with your penis?” “Don’t you enjoy using it anymore?” or “You don’t want to look at it so you want to change it to a vagina?” “Which way do you enjoy having sex—a male role or female role? ” If the answer is nothing wrong in having a penis and he still enjoys using it, why he wants to change it to a vagina? It is like if you are bald, why do you want to buy a comb—for what reason? You don’t want to change your gender or your sexual organ for no reason.

In the case of doing a sex-changed operation, you can’t listen to what other people convince you that it’s good to have a vagina. Something is good for someone; it may not be good for others.

Physical transformation doesn’t affect your mind. It doesn’t change your mind from male to female. However, it is only help you look more passable to live easier in public. So the most important thing in being a passable transgender is your mind.

The person who knows the best what you need to change and what wrong inside your body is you. The physical transformation should be used to solve the problems you have had—not for entertaining your sexual fantasy.

What should you do when you are bullied?

If you are bullied over your transgender lifestyle, don’t blame yourself that because your lifestyle is not accepted. There is nothing wrong about your lifestyle; you are not only the transgender but there are many of them all over the world. When you blame yourself, you let your mind downs then you become weak and can’t find the exit; you don’t know what to do because you still have to live as a transgender.

There is nothing wrong about your lifestyle. Think like you run into bad people. Look around yourself, not only transgenders are bullied, both men and women, boys and girls run into bad people all the time. If you don’t blame yourself, your mind is still strong and you have full energy to fight the problems such as talk to your parents, talk to your school, talk to your teacher or report to police that bad people try to bother you.

Fun cartoon story

Bob and Paul are close friends. They are drinking and talking at a bar.

Bob: Hey Paul, why do you look so sad tonight?

Paul: My wife wants a divorce.

Bob: Oh, how come? It looked to me like you both loved each other very much.

Paul: My wife thinks I am a transgender.

Bob: No way! I've never seen you dress as a woman. Why does your wife think you are a transgender?

Paul: Because I've gained weight so quickly after we got married, when we have sex, my wife can't find my dick because it’s shrunk inside my body. And now I have man-boobs too.

Eat right, Exercise right--for your wife and yourself

© 2011, by ½ Lady Lisa. All Rights Reserved.