It really seems as though you have an almost complete handle on things. I don’t know your story in full I’m afraid, I am new to this division. But my background touches all the correct bases, and in any case; I appreciate the exchange and sympathise deeply with your angst.
To begin, I don’t want to offend you with questions, or statements, of where I am at with my current, ever changing, positions. Although I guess I can’t not. Since I am me. And I’m writing.
So let us just get started and see what follows.
It seems blatant to me that there is no gender duality; there never was. Though the difference between male and female is not entirely arbitrary either (although it nearly is).
I am not sure. I suppose I believe there is no gender but for a basic and expansive medical spectrum. People can choose what they wish for the rest. Trust their feelings. They can get any surgery, take any hormones (if they trust doctors that much); and every choice seems like a fine one. To say otherwise would be to argue that people see no benefit in any cosmetic surgery, or any drug therapy, like rhinoplasty or antidepressants. This seems patently not so.
But you seem different to others I’ve known. Willing to accept something towards maleness now, but acknowledging you may not do so later. This also acknowledges, implicitly, that your feeling ‘complete’ is potentially transient as well: an expensive and draining, but likely true, position to reach. We tolerate and habituate to everything.
It does not appear to be “identity for identity’s sake”, I suppose is what I mean. Not a search for an in-group; more honest exploration. I haven’t had time to read your section on pronouns yet, I’m sorry, so we will leave that for now. Other than to say, more generally, that to give someone power over your emotions, and over something so rarely backed with malicious intent as pronoun usage; is utter folly.
Those who attempt this, outside of close friends, and who choose offense where they can, exhibit a false belief in a need to control their environment. An artificial need; for it is the internal environment, their own strength, they are reaching externally for. The label itself is meaningless. The control over the action of the other: false. Even if compliance is given freely, and apologetically regarding missteps, it brings no safety or strength with it. As such, to interpret any non-malicious action as an affront is surely on the offendee not the mens rae absent “offender”. You may feel differently, and I would love to discuss that further.
You are very attractive as a boy, which I suppose goes to my programming. The androgen receptor concentration in the upper body make a stark difference I think. But I do not really know enough about the dynamics and specificity of the procedures to grasp it all adequately.
For example; would not something as systemically powerful as hormone replacement be causal in maleness identity, as far as that is biologically determined – ie the longer in treatment, the more likely maleness will feel “right”. Social pressures to pick a team, as it were, aside.
And does this matter? Surely not. Only maintaining hedonic tone matters. Completeness, as much as possible for as long as possible; with some anticipation of likely probable futures from this moment. Yet, testosterone has antidepressant effects as well. This will further slant conditioning. Hormones are tricky.
But everything is tricky.
Wanting to be something one has never felt, but has heard about, seen and imagined; this has always been a tough philosophical leap for me. Especially once surgery and hormones get involved; but I am quite critical of science on the whole, on a lot of topics. And this bleeds across a little bit here I think.
We make the best choices we can in the moments we have, and whatever anyone does to assist in feeling well is as good a path as any. Especially if it harms none.
I’m sorry, this is long and not a question exchange yet is it.
i think out loud (with my typing fingers) a lot. It helps me figure things out. For a while. Fields are diverse, and ever changing: this is such a fundamental ontological problem. In a constructed world, the epistemic nature of the “selfness phenomenology” can only be deferred to the operator.
But this loops back to the first question; how does one say that “that, over there” is the phenomenology they require when they, by definition, have not experienced that self phenomenon? Unless one accepts an ontologic certainty, like the binary, in addition to a belief that the doctors can, not only correctly identify the constituent parts of it; but manipulate them to effect as well.
This seems all but impossible. So then the answer lies existential and hedonic; if one thinks any path may work, and they have access to it: they are duty bound to try it.
This position, then, can not look favourably on the irreversible procedures. Especially where the young are concerned. Because they do not bring what some seem to think they promise. Indeed, almost certainly, they can not deliver on such a promise.
Unless there is a man or woman secure in identity immune from suffering. It may relieve one burden, yes, and perhaps temporarily, as you point out. Self honesty alone marks this. But I can not conceive in a logical progression how one can “be” another, that they are not. And then need vast system altering treatment to become so. “So” being what they were, but were not. It does not follow. Unless gender is taken as static; which I find equally untenable.
Therefore, unless there are dose spectrums and combinations, and (as with any psychiatric concern) we are treating a “condition” to restore functional outcomes – the merely “looking” at another and “knowing” anything about personal identity, is nothing short of paranormal in its claims.
Also, what is young across a lifetime? Why this path ahead of any other? And “how can one be so sure?”, alongside a million other “what if’s”, remain complex issues to be answered preceding permanent interventions. Without interfering with any freedoms, one can do what one wishes in all things. Yet, these remain objectively rational questions, and surely there can only be error in choosing ignorance when making decisions based directly upon their reconciliation.
The self-fulfilling prophecy of treatment is, perhaps not a concern, but a likely reality – due to multi-factorial influences. This may not change the path choice, but does give dimension to the philosophy of the choice.
I probably haven’t explained myself well. And I am sorry again for the length. And just as an aside; I do support your choice completely. I hope that comes across.
Though I would like to ask more questions, because of your lucidity. And honesty is always the swiftest path forward. But I don’t quite know yet what form those additional questions are to take, not until your reply.
I have typed for far too long, as usual, anyway.
I suppose my approach is sterile and analytical in some respects. I apologize for that. What I am aiming for are the questions I think I would ask of myself, in order to seek the answers to how you reconciled these concerns. This will help me to help others to understand.
It will hopefully challenge you to find what answers you applied as well; answers you may not have had cause to articulate before now.
However, if you have chosen to take offense rather than to engage, I understand and will pass your case along. And am sorry we couldn’t help each other more completely at this time, should you find that to be the case.
But please know my approach, though mildly confrontational to some, is genuine. I come from the Ellisian school. I expect considered, but I do know still not easy, answers. Whether articulated or not, I think there is a high probability you will find you have considered these items in some form.
Others will still aim for here, but will take far longer to get to the point. And that is an option available, and is entirely up to you to elect. I do not ever take offense.
I can conceive of answers to the majority of the considerations that I have put forth; but I do not want my answers, since I am not really asking the questions.
AJ. (2013). Chronicle Letters. Gender Identity – Letter to a friend. September, Ed8, (12).
Try JChronSc:- “Psychiatric Medications“; Systemic Hormone Effects & NeuroChemistry Tall Tales.