What does it mean to be a man who wants to be a woman?

by Felix Conrad - Clinical Philosopher on May 19, 2015

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A brief conversation on masculinity:

transgender masculinity

I am a man who intensely desires to be a woman. However, I believe that transition is a false paradise and that I will be far happier living the rest of my life as a man. But what type of man? If I intend to be male the rest of my life, how should I feel about my masculinity? Should I see myself as a covert woman or should I forget all that fem-stuff and just…

…man up?

These are questions which all non-transitioners have to face…but they are seldom talked about. Normally, a person with a male to female psychology is so obsessed with what type of woman they are, they barely give a thought to masculinity. Today I’d like to share how I feel about manhood.

1. How do you identify – given you live as a man but suffer from MtF gender dysphoria?

I’d probably describe myself as a ‘transgender man.’

Obviously, most people think of a transgender man as a biological female who has transitioned to live as a man, but I can think of no more accurate description: I am a man who was born with the transgender desire to live as a woman…thus I’m a transgender man. But I don’t like the politicization of terms such as ‘transgender’ so I never walk around calling myself a transgender man.

2. Ok…that’s your linguistic description…but how do you feel? Do you see yourself as a woman on the inside?

No. We all know just how compelling and irresistible is the need to identify as female…but I find that if I throw myself a bone and think of myself in any sense as a woman then I end up getting more depressed at being a man. Therefore I resist the notion that I’m a woman in any way, shape or form. I am a man…who by virtue of his transgender condition wants to be a woman.

3. But we all need these identities to keep us going? Isn’t it almost puritanical and potentially cataclysmic (on a psychological level) to adhere so strictly to your gender – given your condition?

I think that many transgender people need to delude themselves as a matter of survival. I’m no different. However, instead of latching onto things about myself that I see as proof of womanhood, my delusion is that there’s no such thing as gender.

In other words, I cope with not being a woman by seeing the whole man/woman difference as inflated. The only real differences are anatomical and thus, superficial. Men and women are just the same lego humans with different bits stuck on them.

Of course, this isn’t necessarily a delusion…you could certainly argue the case…but the point is that because this idea helps me cope with my gender dysphoria it’s not one I want to start debating and investigating. It’s psychologically useful so why start fucking with it?

4. So, if you don’t see much difference between men and women then that must play into how you feel about being a man?

Yes.

Because I don’t see being a man as that big a deal or that distinctive…it frees me up to gain a certain (very small) pleasure in being a man. I like the fact that I’m not like other men…I have this strange empathy and loyalty and bond with women. I feel like one of the X-men…that I have a special power…and although it’s not particularly useful or explosive it makes me different from other men and that’s important because I don’t want to be like other men.

Fuck, that’s a really terrible explanation…but it’s hard to explain.

Another thing I should add is that my gender dysphoria is kind of unusual. I don’t have such an intense loathing of my gender…more like a constant longing to be the other one.

5. So, ultimately…what does it mean to be a man who wants to be a woman?

It means that you are a very unusual man…and you can either spend the rest of your life crying into your beer about it…or you can embrace that difference.

I certainly embrace it…and also embrace an idea Elle Mesen introduced me to in her book, Sissy Hypno: that gender variance almost certainly has some evolutionary function. I believe that the best way to give existential purpose to your male to female psychology is to see it as nature’s way of ensuring that a certain part of the male population will ally themselves with females rather than males. This facilitates the liberation of women – so necessary to the full unleashing of human productivity and creativity.

I see myself, therefore, as some kind of fundamentalist feminist. I have a man’s body and a man’s physical strength, but God did not give me that strength to assert male dominance…

…but to fight it!

If you are interested in learning more about coping with gender dysphoria without transition, buy my book! (ignore the review from my troll!)

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

joanna Santos May 25, 2017 at 9:11 pm

Felix you and I are so the same. To deal with my dysphoria I have had to let go of the trappings of masculinity and what this society demands of us. As a gender dysphoric I have had no choice but to reframe my identity to suit my reality.
In essence all men are trapped by artificial demands as are all women. The difference is in the degree that we buy into these schemas that have been scripted for us to follow.
I toy with the idea of transition and sometimes it is intense and yet I cannot being myself to embrace the idea that I am a woman at heart. I am a person who desires what I maybe shouldn’t have and need to grapple with that in whatever way I can.

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Transcend Everything May 31, 2017 at 6:35 am

I like it when you say we’re the same…it reminds me of the bond movie when the baddie says ‘you know, Mr bond…you and I are a lot alike.’ On a serious note, though…probably what we(you are saying is that we have pretty sensible, reasonable views about all these gender issues. I suppose we also have a Catholic/ latin orientation. xx

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joanna Santos May 31, 2017 at 11:24 am

oh I have the Catholic part down to be sure Felix believe me!

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d or d June 1, 2017 at 12:00 pm

I’ve spent many years reading and watching videos on transgenderism to try to understand what the hell is happenning to me. Even thought I have found many good examples of reflection of people which I really identify with, I can say that, for me, your post is one of the best.

I’ve been struggling with my disphoria at different levels but fortunately I’ve been able to live with a relatively peaceful state of mind.

Now, after two years under psicological treatment, I’ve accepted myself as the person who really I am. A transgender person.

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Sacha September 14, 2017 at 10:48 pm

God gave you nothing as he does not exist.

Your are male but not a man as man love their dick, do to want a pussy and feel happy to be male and to use a dick.

Your are trans : a male who wants to be female but knows it is impossible, and you wonder if being trans and a woman socially could be better than nothing.

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Sacha September 14, 2017 at 10:51 pm

I love myself, socially man or trans, but as I do not see myself as a man, I do not feel hurry to transition,

I see me and not a man. I am male, but not a man.

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