There is a wonderful (and wonderfully sad) thread this morning on Susan’s Place called “What does growing up in the opposite gender body do to the psyche?” People on this thread say it has made them less secure, guilty, self-conscious, ashamed, and confused, to name a few. It has always stuck me as I have read different discussion boards and different participants’ stories about how similar the experience is. Which is not to say that we don’t all have varieties of human experience because we all have other parts of our psyches that don’t necessarily involve gender: race, class, geography, trauma, and so on.

In thinking about my life, I believe that I’ve really been blessed with intelligence, luck, good relationships, loving kids and wife, challenging job, and a generally optimistic outlook. The only thing I don’t like is my sex, and I honestly don’t even have a suicidal rage against it, either, but rather a long-term, slow-burning dissatisfaction with it. But I think that constant dissonance affects all other parts of your personality, sometimes in radical ways, sometimes in very small ways.

I’m beginning to think that while it’s all about my body, it’s really all about the way I relate to the world, and the body is only the outward manifestation of my self as it tries to relate to others.