Deconstructing the Monolith of “Transition”

It’s become undeniable that I need to take some significant steps toward breaking down the psychological fortress I’ve established around my cross-gender identification somehow.  I’m starting to cross-dress with a queer look most of the time now.  And I’m working with an Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapist to unburden my exiled gender-variant inner child.  These steps are helping, but as Rimonim insightfully commented on a previous post about role models, I need to give myself permission to transition medically in addition to socially before I can actually answer the question of whether or not that’s what I want to do.

Writing my last post about whether the hair loss drug Propecia is a transsexual phenomenon has helped me begin to deconstruct the monolithic question “do I want to undertake the medical treatment for transsexualism?” into smaller questions like “do the benefits of taking a systemic medication to prevent hair loss outweigh the risks?”  Propecia (finasteride), one of the common drugs taken by MTF transsexuals, is essentially an anti-androgen, despite being taken by many “men” to prevent and reverse hair loss.  Thinking that way has a paradoxical effect.  While it makes transsexuality seem less extreme, and less frightening to contemplate, it also makes the usual treatment of it seem sort of silly and the need to make a decision about it less dire.

Using a regret minimization framework, I’ve been thinking it might make sense to take finasteride while I figure this trans shit out.  If I end up transitioning, but not for a while because of fear and indecision, I’ll certainly be glad I had taken the finasteride and preserved my hair.  If I don’t end up transitioning and I’d taken finasteride for a while, there’s only a small risk of permanent side effects.  So there’s not a lot of chance for regret there.  Likewise, if I don’t take the finasteride and don’t end up transitioning, there’s not much of a chance for regret.  However, if I don’t take the finasteride and do end up transitioning after a long period of reconciliation, I sure might regret being bald.

Furthermore, taking finasteride would allow me to test the waters about how I feel about hormonal adjustment therapy.  If I take finasteride and have a sense of confirmation that I am on the right track, then that might indicate that doing more would be good.  If I take finasteride and have a sense that I don’t like the path I’m on, that might indicate that I should turn back.

Different aspects of transition fare differently when considered using a regret minimization framework.  Am I likely to regret showing up at my child’s school wearing tasteful, appropriate “women’s” clothes?  Slightly, but I’m more likely to regret not penetrating the veil of secrecy and shame I will live under if I don’t.  (I’ve already done this, actually.)

Am I likely to regret taking spiro and estrogen?  I am scared of losing sexual function, but I’m not super functional already anyway.  I’m a bit afraid of sex, and often have erectile dysfunction or anorgasmia with basically everyone except fat girls anyway.  Go figure.  And now that I’ve quit porn I usually need anal penetration to cum when I’m masturbating.  Maybe estrogen is exactly what I need for good sex after all.

Am I likely to regret telling everyone “I’m a woman” and dealing with the effects this will have on my child’s development?  Certainly.  But I’m also very likely to regret not doing it, so I don’t have a decision there yet.

In the meantime, my hair loss is accelerating and the finasteride is looking pretty attractive…


4 thoughts on “Deconstructing the Monolith of “Transition”

  1. georgiakevin February 3, 2015 / 12:27 pm

    Your post is very worth reading. You are brilliant, your writing reflects that. Being transsexual is not logical. I think that is the hardest part for me to deal with. My world is best when things are logical. Nothing about being transsexual is logical, none of my feelings make sense. As old as i am and as long as i have tried to live with my feelings you would think that i would have developed a sort of peaceful co-existence by now but not even close the need to be me grows stronger as i get older……………………sigh. My best to you dear and write on.


    • pasunhomme February 3, 2015 / 6:33 pm

      Thanks. I don’t see how it’s not logical. It seems logical to me. What is illogical is the way sexual identity is created and enforced by society. I hope you find ways to make peace with yourself or be yourself as you can. Ultimately the point of my last two posts is that binary thinking about being transsexual or being yourself or making peace is just as destructive as binary thinking about gender or sexuality. The question “am I transsexual or not?” is not helpful. The question “can I make peace with this or not?” is not helpful. The question “can I be me or not?” is not helpful. I can make somewhat more peace in certain ways and in other ways there will always still be less peace. I can take certain small steps to be myself and still refrain from doing other things that I wish I could do but are too scary.


      • Felix Conrad March 23, 2015 / 10:36 am

        I have a lot of experience with Propecia as I took it for three years. Propecia in my opinion is usually tolerated well physically (we only hear of those with the sides… the reality is that most people take it and don’t experience serious side effects.) However, the problem is the psychological effects if you are vulnerable to anxiety or depression. DHT is actually a complex hormone with many different functions and if you get anxiety it will be stronger when your body is denied DHT. To conclude, if you are mentally healthy then it’s fine, but you should probably steer clear if not.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s