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Thread: A hot take on transgender ideology (and gender ideology)

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    Quote Originally Posted by squark View Post
    No. The principle is not the same at all. If you want to use cars as an example, how about putting a body kit and fake badges on a car -- doesn't change the motor inside it. Looks like something else, but isn't. You can't take that car with the fake badges on it out to the track and expect it to perform like the car it's trying to copy. It looks like it, but it's not it.
    Well, I disagree, and I don't think that we're going to convince each other, so I'll just summarize my position.

    * There is no satisfying answer to this question because "identity" has no singular definition: sometimes it's something intrinsic; other times it's something that's completely acquired. People cherry pick and apply the analogies that conform to their preexisting beliefs or their political affiliations.

    * It's not the case that a sex reassignment surgery is just a cosmetic alteration -- a person that receives massive doses of hormones is changing their internal biochemistry, the way their muscles grow, and even the way they think at a fundamental level. If it's inauthentic to say that a transwoman is a woman, it's also inauthentic to call this person a man. As an aside, a 'gender spectrum' may not be the worst form of classification in this case.

    * Anti-trans folks talk about the genotype as though it's hardwired into the human soul. There is evidence now that gut bacteria release chemicals which alter how the body works, how the brain works, and how genes are expressed and activated via epigenetics. Gut bacteria aren't intrinsic to the human body, but they have a colossal effect on both phenotype and genotype. Even social interaction can activate or deactivate genes. Genes aren't a sacred codex, but are altered (if not structurally, then functionally) all the time via the most trivial causes.

    * It's not known whether or not transsexuality is itself a genetic phenomenon. If we discover a "transsexuality genotype" which makes people feel like a different gender, then transsexuality would be natural enough to deserve the same status as classical gender differences. The same appeal to nature can be made, for transsexuality, as is often made for classifying gender according to XX/XY chromosomal differences.

    @squark. For what it's worth, I'm still on the fence about whether or not this whole thing is just a temporary fad. I'm aware that people can be convinced to hold the most outrageous beliefs and commit the most self-destructive actions. I really, truly cannot fathom these people's state of mind. I'm sorry to say, however, that the arguments levied against transsexuality aren't particularly decisive.
    Last edited by xerx; 03-15-2021 at 01:02 AM. Reason: slight reword

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    I doubt it's just a fad. People have said the same thing about being gay and it's kind of stupid. Yeah, people really choose to be misunderstood as deviants, discriminated against in society for eons- often times murdered by insecure people who can't handle their own attractions, scapegoated for all the world's ills etc. all because it's trendy to do so. I agree the media can be "too PC" with the gay/trans thing many times (probably because they are aiming for 'shock value' and they are trying to purposefully rile up some ignorant breeders for ratings) but come on now...

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    Quote Originally Posted by xerxe View Post
    Well, I disagree, and I don't think that we're going to convince each other, so I'll just summarize my position.

    * There is no satisfying answer to this question because "identity" has no singular definition: sometimes it's something intrinsic; other times it's something that's completely acquired. People cherry pick and apply the analogies that conform to their preexisting beliefs or their political affiliations.
    I think the question is, should we treat abstract ideas and entities just as real as physical entities? Is "masculine" just as real as "male"? I would say yes.

    If biological sex determined everything, then there's no point in talking about psychology. We might as well as biologically determine everything. But an abstract computer program can affect the hardware in the physical world, and potentially, it can start to change its own hardware or it can affect things in the physical world.

    The neo-Darwinian, "selfish gene" theory imply that the body is nothing but a vessel for the gene to carry and replicate itself. The mammal is mostly a visual being, and so it must rely on visual or some other sensual markers in order for it to mate. It does not know what "masculine" or "feminine" means. But we humans know what "masculine" or "feminine" mean without relying on any sensual markers. We can abstractly know and understand that just from reading texts, for example. We become attracted to people chatting online or reading fictional books.

    The Meme evolution theory imply that abstract memes are influenced by evolution, which makes the evolution of abstract ideas just as real as the evolution of physical objects. I would say that "male" and "female" are simply physical evolutions, and "masculine" and "feminine" are abstract, memetic evolutions that occurred within a complex social society, and it co-evolved with the biological sex.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FreelancePoliceman View Post
    It’s not the thread for it, but if transgenderism isn’t identity politics nothing is. The idea that people can demand to be seen as a man or woman based on nothing but their own narcissism comes from the height of self-absorption. What’s worse is that the T community overwhelmingly believes it’s fine and desirable to groom children into their cult. We can take this to another thread if you’d like to discuss this more.
    Hey FP, I'm gonna reply to your post here:


    Part of the issue (from my standpoint) is that within your argument, there is a lack of accounting for the assumptions with which gender and sex are currently defined and delimited in the first place. I understand if you don’t wish to take a historical approach to the issue, but the reality of the situation is that we are indeed subject to the dominant discourse of our time; this discourse is the result of previous formulations, which have demonstrated an ever-changing understanding and formulation of gender and sex.

    (From Wikipedia: “Foucault's episteme is something like the 'epistemological unconscious' of an era; the resultant configuration of knowledge of a particular episteme is, to Foucault, based on a set of primordial, fundamental assumptions that are so basic to the episteme that they're experientially "invisible" to the constituents (such as people, organizations, or systems) operating within the episteme.”)

    Of course, these formulations do impact everyone’s integration of the concepts. But when we recognize that there is a epistemological regime--which our perceptions are subject to--we can understand the origination of these ostensible “identity categories” to a greater degree.

    Despite the fact that scientists have analyzed human biology, they likewise have been subject to the reigning episteme and discourse of their time. As such, their work cannot be said to be fully clear in its distinction between the seeming ontological categories of men and women; nor to likely provide a proper objective basis for this distinction in the first place. This may be evidenced by the fact that certain genes have been discovered, which can result in the formation of a non-binary/binary transgender identity for individuals. All this is to say: despite scientific objectivity, proper signification and delimitations of these categories (or even the setting up of these categories in the first place) does not necessarily arise directly from that objectivity.

    Still today, dominant public definitions hold that a man is someone with a penis, and a woman is someone without (or XX and XY chromosomes, etc). However, not only does this demonstrate the prizing and granting of maleness as the arbiter of what is female, it also fails to recognize the fact that these very signifiers (i.e. the notions of penis, vagina, etc) are constructed via humans to be the deciders of "maleness"/"femaleness"/etc. Likewise, there is not a clear relationship here between the meanings and the words which refer to them; though they may be perceived to be a “biological reality,” these denotations of maleness and femaleness also refer to other characteristics/signified meanings which are wholly separate. This leads people to make conclusions and integrate certain representations as “valid” and others as “non-valid” as a result (i.e. considering someone as “not a real man,” despite their penis-possessing; ‘man’ can thus be shown to refer to multiple ontological constructions, rather than having a singular meaning. What does man refer to here? Surely it is not the possession of a penis.) Thus, due to the changing and non-uniform meanings of man/woman, there can be an identification with one of those signifiers/representations; this is because they refer to multiple meanings, and an individual may wish to more properly signal themselves through that gender as a result (better reflecting an internal reality which their born sex/gender fails to show). The self-absorption here is no more than you may find in your run-of-the-mill cis individual. The action is not solely done for themselves, but for others as well (as it has reveals to some degree the nature of constraining structures of sex/gender/etc)--and thus one could even say that Trans individuals may be less self-absorbed than their cis peers in this way :)

    With respect to identity politics: it is a nonuniform idea and often refers to multiple phenomena. But from my view, it can primarily be said to be the prizing of representation and working within the current formulations we’ve been given--without an examination/recognition of this episteme--as opposed to a radical deconstruction of the delimitations which we have subconsciously inherited (and which we implicitly continue to set for ourselves). Transgenderism, in this way, actively exposes this paradigm and power structure (through re-signification, e.g. differently gendered pronouns and appearance) and turns it on its head. Likewise, it also expands the possibilities of gender as a result.

    Judith Butler (an LII herself) gives the practice of drag as an example for how much performativity plays into our perception of gender. When a man dresses up as a woman, what is it that makes it a “woman” that he’s dressing up as? Drag (in a dramatic/played-up way) demonstrates the extent to which these roles and identities are socially negotiated and denoted, both consciously and subconsciously.

    I don’t, and nobody does, know exactly what a man/woman/male/female is. But what we can deduce is that these concepts are the result of--and perhaps/likely binarily set up in the first place--due to reigning power structures past and present. This impacts reality in both linguistic and material ways. And within the context of societal power structures? It is a radical act of defiance imho, and one that actively socially demonstrates the extent to which our “given” gender and sexual identities are pre-negotiated, and thus not wholly innate within us.

    Additionally, as a non-binary person myself, I reject your somewhat reductive assertion that “this is what Trans people are like/this is what the Trans community believes.” Not all Trans people “demand” that others see them as their gender, and if you demand that they should not be treated/viewed as their gender then that is likewise an act that would negate their own freedom. However, I also reject the notion that non-Trans people cannot hold their own opinions or realize to a large extent what it’s like to be transgender (insofar as that experience is uniform).. and so I don’t want to insist that your approach is problematic specifically due to that factor. But your insistence on the opposite (that Trans people are an attention-seeking, abusive, monolith) strips agency and self-determination in a fashion similar to how the former approach would; it fails to recognize the humanity and nuance present in Trans people's identities.

    I’m still in the process of engaging with feminist, structuralist, and poststructuralist theory at the moment, and so am still trying to synthesize what I have read so far—I apologize for the likely lack of clarity in this post. This doesn’t even touch though on the extent to which heteronormativity enforces and results in the arising/perpetuation of gender norms, and in our perception of gender by extension. A lot of this assumes you have an inclination and familiarity with (Continental) philosophy as well, so I apologize for that too if it’s not the case.
    Last edited by aciaradh; 05-14-2021 at 01:36 AM. Reason: Ti role went too far :)

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    I wish the questions of whether transgenderism is a legitimate human experience and how to appropriately handle things like sports were more distinct.

    I have concerns about the safety and (yea) personal comfort of cis women. But I'm not about to dictate anyone's mind. (If you're thinking about typology disagreements when you read this, I'm scornful about how pathetic you are.)

    I think it's less likely that parents are 'pressuring kids to be transgender' and likelier that they are presenting options, you know? You could be the gender you were born with, or this cool, alternative brand. (:

    Is there science involving totally different male and female brains? Maybe that's a blow against feminism? There would be a certain comfort in being excused for my emotionality and receiving acknowledgement for how difficult a desk job is for me, lol

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    @aciaradh

    Jesus Christ, this isn't academia. You don't have to try to impress anyone. When you write unclearly you invite unclear thoughts.

    Yes, gender expression is a social construct. So what?

    Additionally, as a non-binary person myself, I reject your somewhat reductive approach in saying “this is what Trans people are like/this is what the Trans community believes.” Not all Trans people “demand” that others see them as their gender, and if you demand that they should not be treated/viewed as their gender then that is likewise a violent act. However, I also reject the notion that non-Trans people cannot hold their own opinions or realize to a large extent what it’s like to be transgender (insofar as that experience is uniform, which ofc it is not).. and so I don’t want to insist that your approach is problematic specifically as a result of that. But your insistence on the opposite (that Trans people are an attention-seeking, abusive monolith) strips agency and self-determination in a fashion similar to how the former approach would, and fails to recognize the humanity and nuance present in Trans people's identities.


    I'm making a generalization that's true for about 9 in 10 at least. Words aren't violence, and if writing words on an Internet forum can strip people of "agency and self-determination" then I don't know what to tell you.

    I’m still in the process of engaging with feminist, structuralist, and poststructuralist theory at the moment


    Here's some friendly advice: stop.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ashlesha View Post
    Is there science involving totally different male and female brains? Maybe that's a blow against feminism? There would be a certain comfort in being excused for my emotionality and receiving acknowledgement for how difficult a desk job is for me, lol
    Why is being emotional something you feel should be excused? Do you wish you weren't? If not, why be ashamed?


    I'm also curious if you could elaborate further why men and women having different brains would be a blow to feminism.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FreelancePoliceman View Post
    Why is being emotional something you feel should be excused? Do you wish you weren't? If not, why be ashamed?
    That's an interesting question because it prompts me to encounter the fact that yea, i do think I have a female brain actually, but do I think that gives me an excuse for being a hysterical cunt once in awhile? Yes, actually. Sorry

    I'm also curious if you could elaborate further why men and women having different brains would be a blow to feminism.
    Maybe it was more second wave to think gender isn't real. Third wave is more about things like slut shaming, which is easy to mock, lol, but try being a traumatized 13 year old.

    Google "terf brain gender"

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    Quote Originally Posted by FreelancePoliceman View Post
    @aciaradh

    Jesus Christ, this isn't academia. You don't have to try to impress anyone. When you write unclearly you invite unclear thoughts.

    Yes, gender expression is a social construct. So what?



    I'm making a generalization that's true for about 9 in 10 at least. Words aren't violence, and if writing words on an Internet forum can strip people of "agency and self-determination" then I don't know what to tell you.



    Here's some friendly advice: stop.
    I'm referring to violence in the sense of removal of choice, I'm sorry if that was unclear. Your words, taken to their logical conclusion--that Trans people abuse children--absolutely does strip people of agency.

    I’m not trying to impress anyone; my Ti role gets like that in discussions like this (esp as it's a conversation I'm tired of having) and I apologize for that. But what I’m trying to point out is that so much of the opposition to transgender identities is based on flawed assumptions. I get it if you don’t want to engage, but then you lose the pretense of authority and of good-faith motivations if you dismiss arguments simply because they’re too convoluted/academic (and these arguments are not super esoteric either). I will go back and edit my post to make it more readable; but I don't doubt for a second that you are fully capable of understanding the claims, regardless of whether or not you agree with them. This is a convoluted subject, yes. But so is hard science, and people wouldn’t presume to seriously discuss scientific topics without a willingness to engage with science that has come before. Similarly, if you actually want to have a constructive discussion about the nature of identity, then engagement with philosophical fields is kinda inevitable.


    (edit: previous post is now more clear)
    Last edited by aciaradh; 05-14-2021 at 01:45 AM.

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    @FreelancePoliceman @aciaradh

    Here's what my monke brain understands:

    -I have good friends who tell me they're trans
    -I'm a sort of androgynous guy who, while not trans and fine with my gender, tends to oscillate between more masculine and more feminine modes of expression depending on my mood and those around me, so I feel like I can sort of imagine why you would want to be the opposite gender
    -Those friends seem cool and I've never got the "crazy SJW" vibe from them that a lot of people seem to think trans people must have
    -To pretty much everyone they look and act way more like the gender that they want to be than the gender they may have been given when they were born, and that's how most people treat them in day-to-day life
    -At this point there's basically nothing left of their "original" gender, so why insist on treating them as though they still are?

    I don't understand what the problem with them is supposed to be. They have jobs, treat the people around them well, and haven't ever hurt anyone - much less any children - to my knowledge
    猫が生き甲斐

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    Sooo we go from 'it's just a fad' to 'eww they abuse kids.'

    Well... statistically speaking- according to the Te/Ti data- cis Heterosexuals (especially cis heterosexual males) are the ones most likely to abuse children. I'm not trying to virtue signal- but the data is there lol.

    And even if they did- it's actually still a dumb arguement. Breeder males are statistically more likely to abuse children- yet we still give them all the extra privileges and special rights in society. We don't objectively say it's not okay to be a cis straight guy. So not a very good argument. How can we claim we care about the kids like we say we do if breeder males get all these special perks in society yet they are the ones most likely to hurt a kid for real.

    It's the tale as told as time. "right"-wing Republican straight people claim they are more moralistic and for family values and the childreeeeen - yet when the kids are born they want nothing to do with them and project the evil in their hearts onto the LGBT community. And you wonder why I don't like most straight people lololol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ashlesha View Post
    That's an interesting question because it prompts me to encounter the fact that yea, i do think I have a female brain actually, but do I think that gives me an excuse for being a hysterical cunt once in awhile? Yes, actually. Sorry
    If you can't be blamed for sometimes being a "cunt," what do you think you can be blamed for, then, if anything?

    The attitude I take is that people should be aware of their own proclivities, and arrive at an understanding with themselves of what they're willing and not so willing to change. Everyone has to try to moderate their self against social expectations. Leaning too much either way is bad, but it's up to the individual to find that medium.

    I also think everyone, or nearly everyone, has a sense of justice, or more generally of what's right and wrong, and the guilt that comes from violating one's own sense of it damages one's sense of self. If you're acting in such a way that you'd call yourself a "cunt" then the shame or guilt you seem to feel you should take as guidance to change how you act. But there's nothing wrong with feeling emotional. Your thoughts and feelings are near the core of how you experience the world, and since you have as much a right to exist as anyone else, you shouldn't feel shame for them. Expressing them is a little more complicated, but as a general rule I'd say that unless you're being casually inconsiderate/rude then you shouldn't feel shame for expressing them either.

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    Transgenderism is a social contagion much like how anorexia and bulimia were a couple decades ago. There's an unofficial term "rapid onset gender dysphoria". Most youth with gender dysphoria are struggling with other underlying issues, and there is often a general dis-ease with their self-identity. Then due to environmental factors (internet, social groups..) they fixate on the gender aspect of identity. It's hard not to when the trans community immediately affirms everyone with doubts on their gender.

    I have no problem with transgender people. However, I am against the immediate affirmation and am dubious about the medicalization of the mental disorder. ESPECIALLY when the individual in question has not fully emotionally matured yet. In the UK they're going to require a 2-year delay before people identifying as trans can get surgery. that's good. hormones and surgery are irreversible. whereas the rate of people who desist after identifying as the other gender is very high.

    I think everyone interested in the subject should listen to this podcast (specifically about gender dysphoria in boys).

    Here are some points they touch. These people are legit and not just some random theorizers.

    So many parents are blindsided when their child comes out as trans.
    The counselors and therapists are partly to blame.
    These boys are often bright, socially behind, and very online.
    Angus noticed that a lot of these boys were playing particular RPG games and it gave them a false illusion of what the female aesthetic really was.
    These very intelligent boys, who often have intelligent answers to things, are giving parents very strange and almost immature answers as to why they want to become a woman.
    Predatory men online could be further exacerbating the problem.
    We’re seeing a rocketing number of people who are saying they’re bisexual.
    What benefits do these gender dysphoric boys get by joining a girl clique? (a pre-made identity)
    Why are young women so obsessed with dressing up their new toy? (the trans boy being the toy)
    So many families are just lost and don’t know what to do.
    Want diversity and inclusion? You should see these groups. They’re diverse and they’re all worried about their child.
    When you talk to de-transitioners, they all have a level of wisdom about who they are and what they want.
    Did Angus see a connection with autism in his surveyed group?
    Children are taking fewer and fewer risks in our environment. As a way to rebel, they’re taking risks on their bodies and their personal identity instead. (before it was clothing, hair color, tattoos etc. now it's gotten to be more extreme-)

    What you should take away is that you should refrain from immediately affirming someone who tells you that they're questioning their identity. Of course, still be understanding and accepting of their feelings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FreelancePoliceman View Post
    If you can't be blamed for sometimes being a "cunt," what do you think you can be blamed for, then, if anything?

    The attitude I take is that people should be aware of their own proclivities, and arrive at an understanding with themselves of what they're willing and not so willing to change. Everyone has to try to moderate their self against social expectations. Leaning too much either way is bad, but it's up to the individual to find that medium.

    I also think everyone, or nearly everyone, has a sense of justice, or more generally of what's right and wrong, and the guilt that comes from violating one's own sense of it damages one's sense of self and ultimately their ability to be content. If you're acting in such a way that you'd call yourself a "cunt" then the shame or guilt you seem to feel you should take as guidance to change how you act. But there's nothing wrong with feeling emotional. Your thoughts and feelings are near the core of how you experience the world, and since you have as much a right to exist as anyone else, you shouldn't feel shame for them. Expressing them is a little more complicated, but as a general rule I'd say that unless you're being casually inconsiderate/rude then you shouldn't feel shame for expressing them either.
    after i said what i did, i ended up terrified about how it would be interpreted, because i was thinking of being a "hysterical cunt" as taking a sarcastic tone and getting up from the table or something, as it is so often understood. but it might be interpreted more, like, literally and in a legitimate way, by people who aren't just mad at me anyway lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by aciaradh View Post
    I'm referring to violence in the sense of removal of choice, I'm sorry if that was unclear. Your words, taken to their logical conclusion--that Trans people abuse children--absolutely does strip people of agency.
    Unless I'm somehow a wizard and my writing has a mystical effect I've been unaware of, my forum posts don't force anyone to act or not act as they please.

    I’m not trying to impress anyone; my Ti role gets like that in discussions like this (esp as it's a conversation I'm tired of having) and I apologize for that. But what I’m trying to point out is that so much of the opposition to transgender identities is based on flawed assumptions. I get it if you don’t want to engage, but then you lose the pretense of authority and of good-faith motivations if you dismiss arguments simply because they’re too convoluted/academic (and these arguments are not super esoteric either).
    The problem with avant-garde humanities "theories" -- feminist theory, critical theory -- is not that they're too complex but that the obscure language used masks hazy thought. It's possible in plain language to describe the concepts being discussed; they aren't so complicated. But when you write as you did (I don't mean to insult you, just stating what I see) you bring in too many implicit claims that are irritating to have to go through in order to make a comprehensive reply.

    This is a convoluted subject, yes. But so is hard science, and people wouldn’t presume to talk about scientific subjects without a willingness to engage with science that has come before. Similarly, if you actually want to have a constructive discussion about the nature of identity, then engagement with philosophical fields is kinda inevitable.


    A better analogy would be theology, where any literate person used to reading super-Latinized English
    can follow a discussion, but feels lost when reading an intense screed arguing the difference between God's ousia versus prosopon because the relevant jargon is intentionally created to mystify what it refers to, and some of the most intense fights occur over the most vague of conceptions clashing with another vague set of conceptions. This isn't something I can force you to see, so if you disagree and think "feminist theory" or whatever demonstrates or even values clarity of thought, I don't really see the point of further discussion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ashlesha View Post
    after i said what i did, i ended up terrified about how it would be interpreted, because i was thinking of being a "hysterical cunt" as taking a sarcastic tone and getting up from the table or something, as it is so often understood. but it might be interpreted more, like, literally and in a legitimate way, by people who aren't just mad at me anyway lol
    Were you joking when you said that, then? If so, I apologize for misunderstanding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AWellArmedCat View Post
    -I'm a sort of androgynous guy who, while not trans and fine with my gender, tends to oscillate between more masculine and more feminine modes of expression depending on my mood and those around me, so I feel like I can sort of imagine why you would want to be the opposite gender
    I'm interested by what you said here. Just to be clear, my understanding is that you're saying you act sometimes in ways that are seen as stereotypically feminine and sometimes in ways that are seen as stereotypically masculine. What does that have to do with wanting to be seen as a girl?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FreelancePoliceman View Post
    Were you joking when you said that, then? If so, I apologize for misunderstanding.
    so sweet of you to say that when i should think more before i type things to the universe, lol <3

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    Quote Originally Posted by FreelancePoliceman View Post
    What does that have to do with wanting to be seen as a girl?
    It doesn't really. I wasn't trying to say that I understand the experience of gender dysphoria, but rather that I personally don't feel a very strong sense of my gender nor any particular drive to act in ways that someone my gender may be expected to. All I meant by this was that if we imagine that there's a sliding gender dysphoria scale with "I very strongly identify with my assigned gender" on one end and "I very strongly identify with the opposite gender" on the other I feel somewhat in the middle or ambivalent. Because of that it's just as easy for me to imagine identifying strongly with one's assigned gender as it is for me to imagine identifying strongly with its opposite
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