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Tell Us Your Story!

By HERWriter Guide May 13, 2011 - 12:50pm

Thank you to Christen for starting this Group!

I've seen many documentaries on Transgendered people (including the recent "Becoming Chaz") but I'm not really acquainted with any men or women who are living new lives in the sex they feel they were meant to be. Or those wishing to make the change.

We'd love to hear your stories - your trials and triumphs and words of support and advice to those wishing to transition themselves.


By October 15, 2011 - 6:46pm

Hi Susan,
I just happened to be checking email this evening and had forgotten about this post from this spring! Thanks for writing and appreciate your eagerness to learn more! It is encouraging to me in my travels through life that I have had the opportunity to engage in so many different social situations and to have had the chance to help bring some enlightenment to others in a positive way. I certainly don't mind any of the questions you have asked and I am sure that the answers will provide many more thoughts and questions as well.

To start with, I am married to a genetic female and have been for the past 18 years. When we were about to become engaged, I did come out to her.. at the time... as a cross dresser. At this time, I really didn't understand fully who I was and so found that at least being able to express myself occasionally helped with my anxieties in life - anxieties which I had no clear and conscious answer to at the time. Having grown up in my earlier years prior to the advent of the internet meant that I understood this little. When I did tell her, she was accepting but conditionally, and so we agreed to keep this in secret and something shared only at home. What I came to realize with an ever increasing amount of internal stress, was that this was not something I would do for "fun", but, it was really something of who I was. This was quite a revelation and emotionally meant an entire breakdown as I put all the pieces of my life together and became self-aware.

The discovery of the link with DES was a key cornerstone in bringing tangibility to what this all seemed, at least to me, to be... something which had seemed more subjective than objective. I was able, as well, through interaction with others online, through facebook and through other transgender web sites, to piece together what variations existed between those who dressed as female but were still essentially male brained and those who truly were female inside and living with an anomaly of a male body. The discovery and self realization of my own place within that latter of the continuum was both a relief and, at the same time, also a source of fear as the realization that this was much more than crossdressing could upset the very life and relationship I shared with my wife.

As we have no children (other than our three parakeets :) ), this journey has become one for the two of us as we both give to allow for both of us to find a comfortable place in this all. It is something that we take day by day with each other and work to find balance for us both and to meet the needs of the other.

The research that I have on the subject of DES and the inter-relationship in gender identity variances are included in links on my personal page at: http;//christenbustani.blogspot.com which you are welcome to visit and discover. Click on the research link for an array of topics and answers on many of the questions you have asked. My diary of life which includes coming out to my parents and friends are in there as well on the main page among many dozens of entries from the past couple of years as this story unfolded.

My family and friends appeared to have been supportive for the most part but it is often hard to tell as being transgender may be fine for the person whom one tells but once they come into a position to have to explain their relation to someone else, things can falter quickly I have found. From my in-laws side of the family, things could not be better and my wife's two other sisters as well as my mother-in-law actually share a much closer relationship now to me than ever we had before!

Although I share my story on-line currently, it is my hope to be able to provide ways to assist others who may feel closeted or alone within themselves and struggling with this through either panel discussion groups or in other forums. It's on my to-do list if the opportunity ever arises or is presented to me one day. We'll see... I'm still trying to navigate these waters myself.

It truly has been a privilege to have been able to experience life in two genders authentically. It is a perspective not many will ever have, certainly. In the Native American culture, such individuals were denoted as being of "twin spirits" - and were given high position within for having the ability to 'see' into two worlds. Perhaps our own culture will come to understand one day as well, that being transgender is more a gift than something to be feared or discriminated against. I'll keep trying, as I do now, to share my story, one person at a time!

Best Regards,


October 15, 2011 - 6:46pm
By HERWriter Guide October 15, 2011 - 3:17pm

Hi Christen

I'm sorry it's been a while since we talked.

Your thoughts on DES and GID are really interesting. Do you know if there have been studies on this? I know DES can cause certain cysts in men but not much more (as well the side effects for DES Daughters, I've read quite a bit on that).

Your childhood sounds unusual (but being so smart so soon can lead to one conclusion which is that you are definitely female,lol!) but you sound very grounded now. I'm glad you've found some inner peace because without it, no-one can ever be happy.

Do you have a partner, Christen, or kids? I note that you thank your friends and all the people you have met in your travels but you don't mention your family in that respect. Have they been supportive? If these questions are too personal, feel free to tell me that!


October 15, 2011 - 3:17pm
By May 13, 2011 - 1:00pm

Hi Susan and Thank You for the warm welcome. I'm working an entire life's story at present but to be more brief, here is a piece I recently wrote as introductory to my own story with a bit of background on the condition. I'm hoping to help others who may be struggling with this very real but very poorly understood condition... in whatever way I may or can......

I want to take a moment to tell you a little about myself, who I am, and this amazing journey which each of share called ‘life’. I’ve had the opportunity, over more than four decades of life, to be able to fully realize who I am and, more recently, why I am who I am. It has predominantly been through the love of my wonderful wife, spouse and best friend in life, that I have been able to arrive at this point of comfort in my own sense of self. She has been instrumental in teaching me that we are all human beings first and foremost. I have come to realize and appreciate that it is one’s love and caring, one’s compassion and one’s wisdom which are the true aspects which define us as who we are as people, and not our gender.

Arriving here at this point in my life has not been easy. I knew from my earliest memories as a small child that I felt different from the other boys. I didn’t have the words back then to relate the difference, nor could I see that how I felt that I saw myself was very different from that of most boys.

As a young boy of age 4 and 5, I would often be complemented by strangers as being a cute little girl. It was my large head of curly hair that my mother rather liked about me that caused the confusion and she would correct them quickly by retorting, “Oh no, he’s a boy!”. I distinctly recall feeling saddened over this reality shock but couldn’t evoke in words as to why I felt that way.

Growing up, I always felt more comfortable in socializing with the little girls in school. I found their manner of play and of conversation on par with my own. We were able to talk about all the things that girls like to talk to about and we were able to connect on a very social level and in play in a way that boys could and generally did not. Around age eight, my best friend from next door, Susan, would often come over the house and we would engage in such things as pretending to be cosmetologists and mix together various cosmetics we found at home in order to create something new.

I didn’t realize nor did I see that any of the increasing number of signs which were developmentally variant from those of other boys but I do recall that as the girls grew up and began to separate socially from the boys, that I became very sad, alone and distraught. My response and recourse to this was my own self immersion in my studies. I became fascinated with many areas of science and read books from the library profusely as a means of escape. By the sixth grade, I was well versed in first year college studies in meteorology, geology and astronomy. I was routinely stopped by the high school kids as I rode my bike past the high school and asked if I could help them with their math homework.

One area, however, held special meaning for me and that was the realm of science fiction. It was in this realm that possibilities existed. Here were worlds where it didn’t matter if you had pointy ears and came from Planet Vulcan on Star Trek, or if you were of a different race, color or gender. You could be respected for being different and for who you were inside. As a child, I held great respect for the character of Mr. Spock on the Starship Enterprise. Being half Vulcan and half human meant that he didn’t quite ever fit in with either his Vulcan home world or with the humans with which he served. I had great respect for his ability to try to use logic to try to solve this and any issue which would arise to deal with the multitude of issues which arose. Here was someone who was respected for being the person he was inside ahead of how he presented as being different on the outside.

In the same way, I was dealing with my feelings of being female inside but knowing I was born as male on the outside. The feelings were not quantifiable and I argued with myself for decades that they were therefore illogical and tried to dismiss them but was only left feeling ashamed and alone inside.

It has been only within the past two years that I have come to face what I had hidden for forty odd years by undergoing evaluations by a professionally trained therapist cognizant in these issues. What I have come to understand through her help and through the interaction with other qualified individuals is that I am in fact transgender and identify and socialize as female.

We can think of how we define ourselves on three distinct levels. Biological sex, sexual identity and gender identity. Each category on each level is not binary, which means that we always don’t fall into totally male or totally female at all times meaning that there is a range between the two. In biological sex, there is male or female, but there are also individuals born who have physical or chromosomal birth defects which give a child, aspects of both male and female sexes. Those born in such a way are called hermaphrodites. Sexual identity describes who we see ourselves with in a relationship, whether it be a man or a woman, or, since this is also not a binary category it can, just as often be neither (non-sexual or asexual) or both (bi-sexual). Gender identity is even less tangible. It describes who we see ourselves as deep inside. Unlike physical variances which are easy to spot at birth, gender variances become apparent only as the child grows and learns what differences there are between the genders. Eventually, they become aware that do not appear to match what they feel inside with who they are physically on the outside and will often try to hide this for much of their lives creating much stress. This is the realm of what we call, being transgender.

Gender Identity Disorder (GID) is a medical condition characterized by an intense and persistent identification opposite to the genital sex to which one was born into. People who have been diagnosed with this condition are termed as Transgender. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary describes being transgender as: Of, relating to, or being a person who identifies with or expresses a gender identity that differs from the one which corresponds to the person's sex at birth

Although each person may arrive at this diagnosis because of differing causes, in my own case, I was very fortunate to learn how I developed this way. It was not until this past year that I learned from my sister that my mother had taken a drug known as DES before and during her pregnancy with me. I had read many stories and seen much correlative evidence of developmental issues prenataly in boys when mothers took this drug. As it was a concentrated form of estrogen, it had profound effects both physically and mentally on my male development and it’s measurable effects helped solidify the variance I had felt internally all my life and had fought for years inside. As a result of my mother’s intake of this drug, key areas, both physically and mentally, did not masculinize properly.

I am so much happier today, to be able to express as the person I feel I am inside and to have the opportunity to be able to socialize as any female would with the world today. I have been fortunate to find my own cause and effect and my reason for being. We live in a world, however, that is not fully cognizant of this condition and so I am here today to try to set a positive example that being transgender makes me no less of a person than anyone else. I thank my friends and the many people I have met in my journey of life, who are willing to accept me as an intelligent, compassionate and empathetic human being, a person, who just happens to have grown up experiencing the benefits of living a life in two genders.

May 13, 2011 - 1:00pm

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