What does it mean when Bruce Jenner and other heterosexual males, often (though not always) quite “manly” men with solid “masculine” personae, suddenly announce to the world that they are actually “women”; that they have always felt deeply “feminine” inside; that they are now going to “transition” to living as their “real female selves,” and that in fact their “gender identity” is “female”? It means that they have autogynephilia, a male’s propensity to feel sexually turned on by the thought of himself “as a woman” or “becoming a woman.” They are classic autogynephiles.“Gender identity” for them is just an excuse. Here’s how they got themselves a “female gender identity.”
For many years, they have been sexually aroused by the thought of “being women” and impersonating women. Intermittently or occasionally, from a very young age, most of them have secretly put on various articles of women’s clothing, became sexually aroused and then masturbated in response to this dressing-up. Many men collect several pieces of women’s clothing, a “complete outfit” perhaps. Most eventually begin secretly to venture out “en femme,” perhaps to a neighboring town for shopping or a “make-over” at the department store’s cosmetics counter. These expeditions also lead to heavy masturbation, and if any store clerk happens to say “ma’am,” or if no-one throws them out of the women’s restroom, it really puts the icing on the cake. Many of these men enjoy pornography and pornographic writing centered around “forced feminization” fantasies, in which a dominant woman forces a manly man to become a submissive sissy, sometimes even a simpering fellatio expert. The men feel deeply conflicted and guilty about all these antics, and periodically will “purge” all artifacts of transvestism, and vow never to do such things again.
However, because they seldom try to work out what’s really going on in their minds, they come back to it again and again. Since the internet emerged, with all its possibilities for “support” and “networking,” the garden-variety transvestite of yesteryear is gone. A few of these men eventually moved on to full-blown transsexualism. Nowadays, it has become a flood. In many if not most cases, these men are willing to destroy their marriages and shatter their families in pursuit of the paraphilic dream. Dr. Anne Lawrence (himself an autogynephiliac) has written extensively on autogynephilia. In one article, he summarizes some important research findings:
Based on his research with non-homosexual MtF transsexuals and other non-homosexual cross-dressing men, many of whom also develop cross-gender identities of some strength (Docter & Prince, 1997), Docter observed that:
Among our subjects, 79% did not appear in public cross dressed prior to age 20; at that time, most of the subjects had already had several years of experience with cross dressing. The average number of years of practice with cross dressing prior to owning a full feminine outfit was 15. The average number of years of practice with cross dressing prior to adoption of a feminine name was 21. Again, we have factual evidence indicative of the considerable time required for the development of the cross-gender identity.
In short, autogynephilic eroticism, as evidenced by erotic cross-dressing, precedes cross-gender identity by years or decades in non-homosexual MtF transsexuals. These transsexuals do not have female core gender identities nor do they have well developed cross-gender identities that precede and act as the driving force behind their desires to turn their bodies into facsimiles of women’s bodies. Rather, non-homosexual MtF transsexuals gradually develop cross-gender identities after years or decades of erotic cross-dressing, accompanied by the autogynephilic wish to turn their bodies into facsimiles of women’s bodies.
In the past few years, “transgenderism” has become very popular. It is widely celebrated. With all the “support” they find on the web from other hardcore autogynephiles and other transgenderism activists, not to mention the mass media, secretive male transvestites are “coming out” in droves and being put on the fast-track to synthetic “estrogen” prescriptions and possibly gender mutliation surgery. Every aspect of this “transition” is also exciting, and not just sexually — every “ma’am” and every reciprocation of “feminine” gestures by others feels tremendously “validating.” They also DEMAND such validation from everyone else — ESPECIALLY from women.
Question: But how do autogynephiles reconcile this reality: they have enjoyed their lives as men and despite a troubling concern for “femininity” have generally had a coherent and often strong “male” identity. Yet in order to proceed with transsexualization, they are required to claim a lifelong “female gender identity.”
Answer: they brood about it endlessly, and cherry-pick various aspects of their lives as clear evidence of actually being “women.” Their period of “questioning” — “should I really transition?” — has much more to do with rationalizing “why they should transition” than why they should not. Their life-narratives inflate the importance of all potential lady-brain indicators — “I had several female friends in childhood! Cooking is fun! A girl 30 years ago told me I was like a ‘lesbian’ trapped in a man’s body! I once had a pink polo shirt! I enjoy silky fabrics! I love shopping!”
They retroactively invent or exaggerate incidents from their own childhoods that would suggest a “female gender identity.” They are talking themselves into this “identity.” It feels good. It is like self-hypnosis. Let’s call it autogynephilic auto-suggestion.
After a while, with the encouragement of online transgender “friends,” psychological therapists and others with a vested interest in promoting the “gender identity” lie, they begin to exaggerate the depth and intensity of the emotional pain that they have felt through life at “being the wrong gender” — but that’s not really what the pain was about. Everyone has problems, and everyone feels a little or a lot depressed at some points in life. In this process of cultivating their “female gender identities,” the autogynephiles retroactively attribute all painful emotions and hard times they’ve ever experienced to the cruel joke of having been “assigned male at birth.”
This excerpt from a male transgenderist’s blog post is from January 2015. It may serve as a case study in “gender identity.” This is from the blog of a married man, a father of two.
My quandry comes from the fact that unlike a subset of the TG population, I did not know from birth that I felt female—at least not consciously. I always envied girls in dresses and skirts. In high school, I secretly slept in my mom’s old slips and altered an old wedding dress by hand to fit me for a Halloween costume. I sympathized with women and their unique issues. Most of my friends were girls. It was a natural fit. One high school friend once called me a lesbian trapped in a man’s body. At the time, I thought nothing of it. Now, it rings in my head. What did she see that I didn’t?
Over the years, I feel I have suppressed my femininity. I identified as male, but I secretly felt jealous of women. I am envious of the ability to have multiple orgasms in a single session. I want to carry and bear a child despite the 10 months of discomfort and excruciating labor pains at the end. I love the feel of silk and lace against my skin. I want to wear dresses and skirts.
Delusional, disturbing. His goal is to “transition”; his wife is unhappy. You can get a sense from this excerpt of how he hypnotically cultivates a “female gender identity” based on the most blatantly paraphilic superficialities you can imagine. [Update, 2016: He has now “transitioned.”]