What's a GEM?

Dear Sisters,

I miss our conversations and thought I would initiate a discussion and
hoping that you would share your ideas.

I am still in the ongoing process of self-identification. I am also at
that age and point in life where I wonder if I will transition beyond
the modest steps I have taken thus far. I have not taken further steps
because to do so, would likely pose more of a cost than a benefit to
me and my loved ones. In an ideal world, I would choose to have a
female embodiment because I am so struck by feminine beauty and want
to possess those characteristics that I am attracted to. I will admit
that I am envious of beautiful women and transwomen.

On the other hand, I don't think I would be satisfied becoming an old
and unattractive woman and I do embrace my male side and am very
grateful for its contribution to my personal development. I am not
sure where these feelings leave me in terms of the gender continuum. I
am not sure I can say my essence is fully female or male but I have
many feminine characteristics. I am experimenting with an identity
that I describe as a GEM (gender-enhanced male). To me, such an
characterization represents an appreciation for my whole self and does
not deny the male parts as I was born in a male embodiment with
feminine attributes and have actively built on that foundation. This
does not mean that I would go out and shout from the rooftops that "I
am a GEM". I would continue to enact the gender role that I am engaged
in at the moment but still feel like a GEM on the inside.

Does anyone share similar or different views on this topic? I would
love to hear your ideas.

With Lotsa Love.



Anonymous said…
I think I've felt much the same way since, as you, I feel that the potential costs would be far greater than the benefits. But instead of "Gender Enhanced," I think I feel more "Gender Enigmatic," because my gender feelings, no matter how much I consider them or struggle with sorting them out, are more a source of confusion or mystery than anything else. Yes, I have come to some conclusions about my gender stuff, but there always seems to be a new surprise around the next corner.

Anonymous said…
1st ...... you ARE a gem Felicia !!!

I know you have been in this space for awhile now and I have been in a totally TG honoring
relationship for a year now. Is there more transitioning for me? Like the rest of my life I
have only found peace "in the moment". Most of my life and especially when I lived
fulltime as a male I chased the "I'll be happy when" and of course never was. After
discovering my more intense desires of wanting to be female that old cycle tried to drag
me in again.

These days I struggle to stay grounded in the present and give thanks to all my new
accepting friends, a loving partner and a new beautiful sanctuary in which to live. The
closet still surrounds me with my old friends and immediate family but I've realized that
these people nourish different parts of me and contribute to my balance. I have made
peace with "the closet" at least for now.

I have also moved forward with obtaining a medical plan from San Francisco of which the
option of free hormones and transitioning resources are included. At the moment it will
remain just an "option" but that may change. I am enjoying the ride with my heart aware of
the past. my head pointed toward the future but my ass firmly planted in the present.

BTW ..... I don't want to be an old woman either ..... I would look silly, giggle.

Thanks Felicia for stirring the pot ;)

AZAlison said…
As someone who went further on that continuum, I would suggest that anywhere one can find balance or peace is the right place. There are lots of pressures and expectations on gender diverse people. Society wants clear and easy definitions. We feel influenced by others’ expectations and the cultures we must live in. I wish the right place on that continuum could be more clearly and solely the choice of the individual struggling to find themselves and less a response to external values and standards.
I wish I could have transitioned earlier in life. (I tried at age 20 but did not meet the rigid guidelines in place at that time. I was not clearly interested in men). I am content now as a somewhat older woman. I took about ten years to transition and thoroughly enjoyed the journey. I remained open to the possibility of stopping at any point that felt right. Ultimately, a full transition was right for me.
I have often described my GRS as a plumbing remodel. It does not define me.
I was worried when I talked to others ready for or just after surgery who felt this was their "life's dream". What, then, would come next?
Anonymous said…
Dear fellow travellers,

I think I take first prize for not fitting in for whichever group I participate in whether trans or otherwise for whatever reason, I just don't seem to fit in. I see myself as a transtemporal man or transtemporal person living 2 centuries or so to the future of the time my physical consciousness is to be found. I do love women and aspire to their beauty and grace and general sensibility but feel that no matter how hard I try I will never attain these qualities. I consider myself to be a sort of transsexual but instead of HRT and SRS I have simply gotten more into women's clothes, corsetry, make-up, permanent make-up and a concentration on keeping myself healthy at all costs. I am both very feminine and very masculine and no-one including myself seems to know whether I should be considered a ''he'' or a ''she''. I do have a complicated personal esthetic and get along with women really well but not as a man but as a woman. If all this sounds confusing to the reader, well, be my guest in confusion.
Felicia Conti said…
Re: What's a GEM?
Posted by: "Felicia Conti"
Thu Mar 20, 2008 10:33 pm (PDT)
My Dearest Sisters,

I was struck by the level of sharing and compassion that each of you
shared in your thoughtful responses. I appreciate having you all as
sisters. This sharing causes me to yearn for a get together of some
sort before SCC. What do you think?

Miranda, thank you for sharing your uplifting message. I am very
inspired by your sense of balance and contentment. You are a role
model for us all. I do hope I get a chance to meet you in the near
future. Thank you for being a friend.

Adarabeth, I realize that we are all pulled in numerous directions and
appreciate your responding and am glad that we are friends. I
definitely like your view and attitude on aging gracefully in any
gender expression. In response to your question "Do you think perhaps
you will be a prettier old man than an ugly old woman Felicia?" I just
think that society gives males more latitude when it comes to aging
and that for females, it represents more of a loss. In terms of costs
and benefits of "taking further steps", so far, I am where I feel I
need to be and am striving for balance. Thank you for your kind words
of support.

Bri, I love your description of being an amalgam of both genders and
especially your statement that "Life circumstances don't always
dictate that we can have the ability to do exactly what we want...
therefore... it's very important, from MY perspective, to be able to
find your center..." Thank you for sharing your wonderful philosophy
of being in the flow and not trying too hard to control what happens.
You are a wonderful friend.

Stephanie, I like your description of "ambigendered" as this is a term
that is very fitting to me as well. I regret that we did not have more
time to connect but hope to see you at the SCC next year. I will not
repeat the mistake of trying to save a buck by staying down the street
as the costs in terms of wasted time traveling back and forth were not
worth the monitary savings. I am glad to join you in the gender middle
and look forward to seeing you soon.

Isis, Your response is a very uplifting one that looks as the glass as
half full rather than half empty. I agree with your depiction of how
society views aging from different lenses depending on gender, it
doesn't really seem fair. And yes, we can set back the clock but as
you say it is only temporary. Your statement "…I tend to go inside and
harvest from what my body entitles me and I make the best out of it.
Now, an aged woman that is fully in touch with her body and treats it
as nice and caring as I can. Enhance what can be enhanced and be as
grateful as I can for having the luxury of experiencing it." – now
that is a gem of a statement! I think we do appreciate being female
more than genetic women because we have to strive to attain it,
especially on a physical level. Thank you for being a friend.

Thanks again, Sisters for your loving sharing.

With Lots of Love.

Anonymous said…
Dear fellow travellers,

There are two essential kinds of fitting in, being true to oneself and fitting in with the society in which one is immersed in. Since we are all coming from different spaces this means that everyone's balance is to come out differently. In my case I believe that I was living the life of a dandy in the beginning of the 19th century in England so my attitudes and other personality characteristics somehow have to be tailored to this present 20th century and 21st century where I now find myself physically living. It has not been easy and at times I feel that I am a hopeless case. At other times I feel ahead of my contemporaries because I carry the pride and to a certain extent the sensibility of a nobly constituted man. On the other hand I have this passionate need to feel feminine and as a woman. There is one thing I am not confused about. I like myself and I know I am beautiful. I just don't think our world always sees this but I never give up taking good care of myself nor do those close to me either for the matter.

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