Raised by Caterpillars.

I was raised by caterpillars and now have metamorphosed  into a Butterfly who must make a long migration to complete her life cycle

I must learn that it’s my life to take and not theirs to deny,that it is my destiny and not theirs that counts,as selfish as it may seem I must fulfill what is my life what has always been my life and what will be my life in the end.


What’s it all about Shelle?

I don’t think in all my years of life no matter how long and hard I studied an prepared myself,could I have ever imagined how my coming out to family would go.I have a very large family indeed and knew going in I would lose most it when I finally revealed who and what I am in life.Like a professional actor on a world stage I played out all that society expected  me to be with great precision and know one could have ever guessed that who I was seethed under the surface hoping on an everyday basis to escape the prison I was locked into at birth.I somehow was able to deceive the world and never myself.Recently my son said to me after I told him who I really am, jeez dad I just can’t wrap my head around this you were always a mans, man and I just can’t believe what you have told me is true now.I guess like so many other trans people I over compensated and excelled in what I did to make myself very believable.

There was also a great fear that drove my life as I knew that when or if I was found out it would be the end of life as I had always lived it and that others might use this information to hurt me further than God had already.now that I have told all of my immediate family and found acceptance from some and shocked some who may never have a normal relationship with me again I wonder have I pushed too hard to make my self the focus of this disaster that has always been my life am I stealing something from the people who have known me for life and now are thrust into trying to see a new me and struggling with how they can interact with someone they had never known existed.Am I being selfish because I need to be known before my life is drained out and evaporates into the desert of time?Could I possibly have just gone on into death and let everyone be happy but me?Certainly it’s too late to back up and close the door and pretend no one saw or heard anything.I stepped off the cliff and I must now hope the landing will be in a place that can suit everyone’s liking.Now I feel trapped by some people more than ever before because they feel they have the right to bury their heads in the sand and pretend “I” don’t really exist,Leaving me still play acting to them because they lack the courage to see that I desperately need to be released from my life’s bondage,and leaving me with feelings of guilt once again because I made this ” journey” about me and didn’t think about how they would react to the person I have always known,but who was never in existence in their live’s till now.It seems I have only made things even more desperate to me and now I have left others with thoughts they didn’t want to face in their lives,what cruel way for God to have left me in in life,I seek to be me and still others seek to deny me and I just want some moments of peace before I have to leave this place.Can’t they just quit turning away and go ahead and look at my picture and see who I really am?Is that too much to ask?

Can I please exist and be the woman I have always been?

About Hormones.

I have been poo pooed for my stance on the importance of progesterone,in your hormone therapy many times,I assure I don’t take any of this lightly,I have in the past and will in the future continue to research this,please don’t be lulled into believing that it’s not important to your health.I do take it for the many benefits it provides,some of which are important to you feminizing your body,and other reasons are significant to your over all health if  progesterone is not part of the equation you should make it so,the effects of having too much estrogen and no balance of progesterone can be deadly. this is but one of the articles that back up my claims please for your own safety read all five parts of this article,this includes you natal women as well.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I am adding a second article which can also be informative in the effects of progesterone and your Trans hormone therapy.




Could this be part of it.

Tetragametic chimerism, as it affects homosexuality and transgender identity, is properly termed macro-chimerism since, in theory, it can be hexagametic or more, if more than two embryos merge.[6] But since male cells outgrow female cells in this condition, the majority of male/female chimeras should be phenotypically male.[6] Since the majority of any organ tends to be made from one embryo or the other, while a mixed-sex brain could occur in any proportion, generally the brain would be primarily male or female.

I had to share this one here.

My Life and Experiences as both a Therapist Who Works With Transgendered Patients and as a Transgendered Patient actively Transitioning.

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The Decision Not To Decide

I have debated for quite awhile whether to share this very personal and painful essay with you my readers on this blog. I wrote this to submit to a national magazine for an essay contest. This particular piece is one of the most revealing and difficult things I have ever put word on paper about. I’ve debated seriously about publishing it here, and weighed if I thought it would help younger people not make some of the very painful mistakes I made, which is why I am posting this. I came to the conclusion it was more important to post this than the importance of my own comfort.The style in which I chose to write this article does not mention that what I am speaking of is being a woman of transsexual experience. I did not want to be so public about myself. Some may criticize that decision, but I do want a modicum of anonymity, though it isn’t exactly a State Secret about this aspect of myself to a moderate segment of the professional community and in the gender community itself as I have so many friends all over the country who I have met giving workshops, through Pink Essence, Facebook and Google+. That’s fine, but I’m a private person and don’t feel the need to make this a central aspect of my public identity. It serves a purpose for those who know because I want to be of help, but I don’t feel that is a carte blanche to open myself up to the world in general. Some people may think I’m copping out by not being out to everyone I meet, but it really isn’t anyone’s business what my medical issues are or what my genitalia are and how they got there. No one would ever enquire of a woman of non transsexual experience what their genitalia are or how they came to be and I wish to be afforded the same dignity and privacy as they have. So without further delay I give you the story about myself.

 The decision that I most regret in my life was the day I first made the decision to not decide. Because of this decision to not decide, my life became a war of attrition within myself. I find that my life has consisted of a slow drift in which I would strike a bargain with myself over and over again. Each time I would concede a bit more and have faith that this would be the end point, only to find myself drift some more.  No one knew anything about what I failed to decide for the first 37 years of my life. When someone did learn of it, it was a very disturbing and painful event. However, it allowed me to come to the conclusion that I needed to accept this and continue to become more comfortable with myself. The consequences of not coming to terms with me would be serious.
Even with this, I continued in the same way, deciding not to decide, but allowing the concessions to continue as they became manifest in my life. Somewhere the tipping point was reached. It happened three years ago when I made a decision that I should have made when I was 22, or 27 or even at 37. I was 51.
Though I finally made the decision to decide, I’m sure you must be wondering what is it that I regret by not making a decision. After all, yesterday is gone. Tomorrow is not promised to us. We only have today.
 I regret living with fear.  I regret that so many people I have known, some loved, many wonderful people, have missed out in knowing me as equally well as I have known them. I may owe some of them an apology for not trusting when they have proven themselves again and again. I regret that because of my decision not to decide for so long that I limited my own ability to reach my full potential in many domains of my life.
When T.S. Eliot wrote in his poem The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, “I have heard the mermaids singing each to each. I do not think they will sing to me.” It held a lot of significance about my decision not to decide. It left me with being incomplete and life would not offer the same opportunities others have had.
What I have been so indecisive about is about my identity. I have known this about myself since I was able to acquire the language to name it. I was very young then. Then when I was about 10, I began to go to the library and read about others who shared similar struggles. I was a very advanced reader for my age. That was when I became unhappy about who I was, as opposed to being confused about who I was. The battle of attrition began. I figured out all kinds of ways to be ok with myself without having to deal with reality, but they either only worked temporarily, or not at all. I did things that not many people did. Sometimes they were things that were dangerous with potential for serious injury. I should have been killed six times over because of serious accidents I was involved in. They might not have been my fault, but I was responsible indirectly (which means I was responsible) for making choices that put me in those situations. I had no wish to die, but I wasn’t very happy with my life. I was careless about myself.
Through all these years since I first read about myself, I continued to follow new publications and articles and learned quite a bit about myself that made me unhappier for a variety of reasons. I always wanted to understand and know my own truth. I continued to read and be current. Most of what I read seemed to be right; some of it was way off base.
I avoided serious relationships for many years so as not to have to be open to people or hurt them in some way. I’m sure I puzzled some people who would try to get close and were pushed away. I was very lonely for a number of years. There were some very fine people I decided to protect from me that under different circumstances I could have been very happy with.
Finally, I met someone and decided that I was wrong about myself. I could have this side of my to remain only with me. Eventually this person became the first person to know me completely. I’m very sorry that I must have inflicted a great deal of emotional pain on this person due to my unwillingness to make a decision with personal integrity, though that person also inflicted a great deal of emotional pain upon me as well. Nevertheless that does not justify my lack of sharing myself openly for me. I was at fault for a lot of our conflicts as well.
Even with the person to who I am spiritually bonded now, who I told at the time when our relationship became serious, it has been a painful burden to bear over the course of our relationship. It makes me extremely sad that even though I had progressed to the point to be able to be transparent about myself, it has been a painful experience for us as a couple. There have been very few who have traveled this path together. We define ourselves in relation to each other as well as we define ourselves. It is not clear that we will be able to travel together forever, though we hope and pray so. We stay in the moment, or at least the day. We remember we each have a process we are going through, more or less of our own design. We feel it out as we go. Sometimes we are afraid. Sometimes we are just sad. But then there are other times that are happy. They renew us and remind us why we are in this process together, and that is a good thing.
Even now with the decision made, the battle of attrition has become a different battle. The battle has become about how long I will wait to allow myself to finish this process, if at all, so the next part of life can begin. There is a need for immediacy that must be as carefully approached as I approached my own truth. While before I had dug my heels in, I am now accelerating towards something I did not ever wish for and I attempt to exercise restraint as a matter of judgment. I now grow impatient, yet the need for patience is even greater than before.
 I have also been mindful that there is very little left to do, just two important things and when I complete that that aspect of my life. I’ll be there.
T.S. Eliot wrote in The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, “I have measured out my life in coffee spoons.” I don’t want to do that anymore. I have learned that you have to live in the moment and it will pass, whether it was good or bad. We aren’t guaranteed a tomorrow. That’s enough to live with myself today and be at peace.

1 comment:

  1. This is a subject that, undoubtably, every older person has dwelled on over the years.

    Growing up, I only had TV to sate my desire for knowledge about myself.
    Forays to the library seldom gave up any useful information about gender issues, in fact, only slightly smutty articles seemed to be available so I meandered, I suppose, through the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s finding denial easier to deal with, without even realising that my aggravation in life was enhanced by my denial of myself.
    And then the Internet came along and a whole new world, a whole new vista to that world, opened up for me.
    I have found my congruence and the ensuing peace that transition has given me and I strongly believe that is our answer.
    I envy, with a small e, young ones today, with the knowledge that the Internet supplies and the slowly but persistantly growing awareness and acceptance from a cynical population, that is increasingly scared to accept anything that is deemed other than what we are told to conform to.

    For this older generation, we lived the guilt trip, for most of us, 50 plus years, now it’s time to let it go and begin our lives in earnest, as woman, and complete.
    I can get that.


A discussion for us to think about.

Gender Matters: Making the Case for Trans Inclusion

Nancy J. KnauerTemple University School of Law


Gender Matters: Making the Case for Trans Inclusion

Nancy J. Knauer, Peter J. Liacouras Professor of Law

Beasley School of Law, Temple University


The transgender communities are producing an important and nuanced critique of our gender system. For community members, the project is self-constitutive and, therefore, has an immediacy that also marks the efforts of other marginalized groups who have attempted to make sense of the world through description, interrogation, and, ultimately, a program for transformation. The transgender project also has universalizing elements because, existing within the gender system, each one of us embodies a particular gender articulation. It is through this articulation that we define ourselves in relation to the gender we were assigned at birth, the gender we choose, the gender we create, the gender we reject, the gender we are, and the gender we are assumed to be.

Lesbian and gay advocacy organizations began to incorporate transgender issues in the late 1990s, as signaled by the now ubiquitous “T” that appears at the end of the popular acronym “LGBT.” The resulting alliance, however, has been an uneasy one. The feminist response to transgender issues has been arguably even less welcoming. This Essay maintains that the progressive resistance to transgender narratives is rooted in a form of post-feminist agnosticism regarding gender that focuses on the temporal and historically contingent nature of gender. Under this view, gender is not real and, therefore, it is very difficult to make sense of transgender demands for gender self-definition. Contemporary transgender narratives challenge this base claim that gender doesn’t matter. They provide a first-hand account of gender as it is experienced at the beginning of the 21st century and establish that gender, as a social construct, matters in everyday lives. Thus, the first step to overcoming progressive resistance to transgender issues is to recognize that there continues to be great social meaning attached to gender, although we can certainly maintain that this should not be the case. Once we allow that gender matters, the transgender truth claims regarding the press and weight of gender no longer ring of false consciousness. To the contrary, the demand for the right to gender self-definition takes on a new urgency. It challenges our legal system of gender markers, the existing categories of man/woman, and the construction of the hetero/homo binary.

Part II demonstrates the difficulty of incorporating transgender narratives in a world view where gender is merely a social construct. It also explains how liberation ideology erased or demonized transgender identities in traditional feminist and LGB histories. Part III examines the commonality of all gender narratives and asks whether perhaps we aren’t all a little genderqueer? It also explores the integral role gender variance continues to play in gay and lesbian communities, despite the persistent efforts to establish sexuality as separate from gender or gender expression. Part IV reminds us that identity formation is historically contingent and discusses the opportunities presented by the use of “queer” as a strategic position of alliance. Most importantly, it asks us to imagine what types of legal reform would be necessary to create space for the type of gender self-definition envisioned and demanded by the transgender narrative – one that respects internal gender identity, gender expression, and gender embodiment. The final section outlines some specific actions steps to further trans inclusion in our law schools.

Suggested Citation

Nancy J. Knauer. 2007. “Gender Matters: Making the Case for Trans Inclusion” ExpressO
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/nancy_knauer/1

Who’s right?

Same Bible, Different Verdict On Gay Marriage

While liberal Christians argue the Bible should be interpreted as society changes, conservatives argue for a more literal reading, leading to differences in belief about God and homosexuality.

EnlargeJonathan Gibby/Getty ImagesWhile liberal Christians argue the Bible should be interpreted as society changes, conservatives argue for a more literal reading, leading to differences in belief about God and homosexuality.

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May 11, 2012

When President Obama announced he now supports same-sex marriage, he cited his Christian faith.

“The thing at root that we think about is, not only Christ sacrificing himself on our behalf, but it’s also the Golden Rule, you know — treat others the way you would want to be treated,” he said in his interview with ABC News.

Many other people cited their religion to disagree, raising the question: How can people read the same Bible and come to opposite conclusions about same-sex relationships?

Homosexuality: In Biblical Terms

It’s true, says Carmen Fowler LaBerge: You can be a Christian and support same-sex marriage, but, she says, “nobody can say gay marriage is biblical. That’s just foolishness.”

LaBerge resigned her post as minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) after the denomination voted last year to ordain noncelibate gay clergy. She says the Bible is clear.

“From the Old Testament and throughout the New Testament, the only sexual relationships that are affirmed in scripture are those in the context of marriage between one man and one woman,” she says.

Actually, the Old Testament does condone polygamy. Still, LaBerge says, from Leviticus to Paul’s writings in Romans and First Corinthians, homosexual acts are called vile and detestable, and legalizing same-sex relationships does not change the sin.

Not so fast, says the Rev. Susan Russell, an Episcopal priest at All Saints Church in Pasadena, Calif. She takes her cues from Jesus.

“Jesus never said a single word about anything even remotely connected to homosexuality,” she says.

Jesus does say the most important commandments are “Love God” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Given that, Russell believes if Jesus were here today, he would celebrate committed, same-sex relationships.

The Bible Vs. Culture

Russell says you take the Bible literally at your folly.

“When you read the Bible, you can find justification for almost anything,” she says, “including slavery, the subjection of women and an argument that the sun actually revolves around the earth.”

Russell and other liberal Christians argue the Bible is the living word of God, and much like the U.S. Constitution, needs to be interpreted as society changes.

But LaBerge says the issue is which has more sway: the Bible or culture?

“There’s a stream of faith that would recognize that the Bible continues to have authority, and that we are obligated to submit ourselves, our wills and our desires to it,” she says. “And there’s a stream of faith that would say that human experience actually trumps — or is an authority over — the Bible at this point.”

Reaction In Black Churches

Homosexual behavior is a fault line splitting Christian denominations in two — Episcopalians, Methodists, Presbyterians, Catholics — there’s even a wide gulf between young and old Evangelicals. But nowhere is this question more fraught than in African-American churches, says Tony Evans. He pastors the 9,000-member Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas. One reason, he says, is cultural.

“The breakdown of the family is the single greatest challenge that we face today,” he says.

Evans and others say the black family is in crisis — a majority of babies, for example, are born to single mothers — and that’s why black ministers are often the most vocal opponents of same-sex marriage. Asked about the argument that this is a civil rights issue, Evans bristles.

“The issue of race is not an issue of choice. It’s an issue of birth,” he says.

Does that mean that homosexuality is a choice?

“The Bible is clear on that one, too. And that is, sexual relationships are to be between men and women within the context of marriage,” Evans says. “That’s not only related to the issue of homosexuality, but adultery, or fornication or bestiality. All of that is proscribed in the Bible.”

Envisioning God’s Kingdom

Graylan Hagler, the pastor of Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ in Washington, D.C., says “of course it’s a civil rights issue.”

Hagler notes that there are plenty of blacks who are gay, and they, too, should have access to the God-given institution of marriage. To him, legitimizing marriage for committed gay couples is precisely what the Bible envisioned.

“I just think of the words from Galatians where it says, ‘There is neither Greek nor Jew, male nor female, slave nor free,’ ” he says. “And what is happening there is that they’re pointing to what the kingdom of God looks like … it’s open to everybody and everybody has equal status.”

Of course, conservatives say that the best blueprint for God’s kingdom on earth does not spring from what you read between the lines of the Bible, but what you read in black and white.

When will we truly know the truth?

Biopsychology and Transgender Studies

Biopsychology Pieces the Puzzle Together

Biopsychology can play a major role in the acceptance of the idea that gender identityhas a biological basis. One reason is because it is factual. These gender variation can be proven with evidence, pictures, and statistics. The theories of the bio-psychological perspective are not like the psychoanalytical  perspective of Sigmund Freud, which are based in the idea of the mind or subconscious which cannot be observed. The brain can be observed. Genetics can be observed and broken down. The ability to observe and study is what the scientific method is all about. That is what make it more reliable. A more reliable source and study equates to a more persuasive argument of the facts that gender identity has a biological basis.

The nature versus nurture debate is always at the heart of the gender identity debate. From the time that the transsexual’s dad thinks that he did something wrong as a parent to the time when a mother says “I knew you were difference when you were 2 years old”, the implication of the environmental causes and genetic causes start to clash. Like with other abnormal human conditions, biopsychology has the potential to put to rest the never ending nature versus nurture debate and religious scorn as it pertains to gender identity. With evidence of natural occurring physiological differences, it places gender identity in the same realm as being born with red hair or down syndrome. It is only a matter of time before the evidence is explored and the idea of gender being a black or white, male or female issue will be put to rest.

Sections of the Brain

In 2004 a study was conducted in Amsterdam by the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience. With the use of three different staining throughout the nuclei of the hypothalamus, they were able to determine that male-to-female transsexuals, in fact, had the same size and number of neurons as normal females and this similarity occur prior to the actually administration of hormones like estrogen to the male-to-female body. This same evidence was found to be true as it pertained to female-to-male transsexual and their similarities to males. The researchers came to the conclusion that these findings prove that gender identity is apart of a complex network involved in various aspect of the transsexuals hypothalamic nuclei that is shaped like the genetic gender they were born but it is the size and number of the gender that they feel like.

Another study, the largest study of transsexualism to date, was conducted on 122 male-to-female transsexuals that found that there are  three genes known to be associated with sex development: androgen receptor, the estrogen receptor, and an enzyme which converts testosterone to estrogen. In the subject they found that the androgen receptor was longer in them than other genetic males which causes a weak testosterone signal. This weak signal can have integral effect on gender development in the womb. Lauren Hare from Henry’s Institute of Medical Research, who headed the study says this

“We think that these genetic differences might reduce testosterone action and under masculinize the brain during fetal development “

The co-author Professor Vincent Harley added:

“There is a social stigma that transsexualism is simple a lifestyle choice, however our findings support that a biological basis of how gender identity develops.” (Hare. 2008)

Another research study shows that the corpus callosum, which is the portion of the brain that connect and facilitates communications between the left and right hemisphere of the brain, shape is reverse in transsexuals, opposite shaped of a norman person born with the same genitalia.  This study was done through the use of MRIs on normal males, normal female and transsexuals of both kind. So this evidence shows the existence of a mental sex between your ears as oppose to just a physical sex between your legs.  So determining sex is not as easy now as opening the baby’s legs and seeing a penis or vagina.

These studies and countless other studies show that it is extremely likely that there is a genetic basis to gender identity. It is my belief from personal experience and personal evaluation of the transgender community that there is a biological basis that predisposes transsexual to become what they are. Yes, making the choice to transition to the new gender depend on what you environment allows. A transsexual cannot transition in Uganda without the risk of death. The extreme social negativity toward the transition prevent that choice of living the social life of the new gender to be made. Whereas if a transsexual is in America, they can transition freely because of the wealth of rights we have and American citizens. Although the lifestyle is still marginalized in America, so transition is not without some form of resistance.  Due to conservative religious beliefs and other social obstacles, even with evidence, transsexualism will have an uphill battle to become respected as more then a lifestyle choice. I find this ironic because it was so quickly and easily accepted that alcoholism had a genetic basis. So society can except that someone choosing to pick up a whiskey bottle and gluttonously drink irresponsibly has biological reasoning but a person feeling like the opposite sex with studies that can explain this feeling on a  biological level is unacceptable and shunned. This does not seem very logical or fair. The difference though is drinking is social acceptable and in some instance seen as “cool”. Whereas transsexualism is seen as a weird sexual deviant lifestyles only explore by  perverts , exploited in the sex industry and smut TV for shock value and ratings i.e. Jerry Springer Show and Maury Polvich. I think the issue of gender identity and sexual orientation will end in a way similar to the issue of the shape of the planet. When everyone thought the world was flat, science and research came along and prove that it was round. There was period of that transition where people who were consider educated at the time like Thales, Hecataeus of Miletus, and the prevalent people of that era spoke against the idea that the world was round but over time and continuous studies and proof, the round world became public knowledge and a world wide excepted fact and not just in theory (except for Sherri Shepard on The View who didn’t get the memo or something…lol)

The truth of the matter is that the layman or average joe is not keeping up with the advances in neuroscience especially as it pertain to gender identity. Gender identity is not their issue until we are trying to use their restrooms, be a girl scout, or receive the spousal support for a spouse’s death. The key is to bring this knowledge to school books and colleges so that the next generation is not suck in the notion that if an individual is  born with a  penis he is just simply a male/man or if a individual is born with a  vagina, she is just simply female/woman without any consideration of variation to the obvious physical. There is a inside of all humans and many things we are yet to understand. With time and constant exposure of the truth, I have faith that society will come around.

Various link  to more information and the studies

Swaab DF. Sexual differentiation of the human brain: relevance for gender

identity, transsexualism and sexual orientation. Gynecol Endocrinol

2004; 19: 301–12.

Yokota, Y.