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How Do You Refer to You?

A Kandi's Land question to our readers...

A friend e-mailed me about recent posts. She posed the following (excerpted from a wider and more personal exchange of emails):

I realize that about a year ago I started referring to myself as [my female name], often in contexts when I was presenting as male (one example is if I did something a woman would be embarrassed to do). So, how about you? Does your internal monologue have you sometimes referring to yourself as Kandi, or do you still refer to yourself by your male name? It has me wondering if that is a normal part of the internal social transition I am going through. I had lunch with my friend and I told her that I know I am still being socialized as a female, that is that my social activities have been vital for me because they teach me about what it means to be a female with other females. I already know I am a second class citizen around men, unless I am one of them!

Unidentified friend

My excerpted response:

Simple as it gets, I never referred to myself as anything other than “I” or “me” pre-Kandi.  The view from inside my head at the world remains the same.  I frame how I see things, what I believe in, etc. essentially as I always have prior to accepting myself and then creating “Kandi”.  Now I do think of myself as female for one simple reason, I cannot deny that I am a woman if this what principally drives many of my thoughts every day. Every day contains thoughts about being Kandi. Obviously this blog contributes to that. But I still identify days where I will go out dressed, where I will try and continue to incorporate Kandi into my business dealings or simply what I will wear to bed (in one of my many nighties probably six out of seven days). Every day is framed with what can I do today, while achieving what I have to, as Kandi. This is why I go to a doctor’s appointment dressed, this is why I volunteer dressed, this is why I will occasionally take my work to a library or coffee shop to work while dressed.

I have met many who have the ability to mentally compartmentalize things, including their male side and their female persona.  Most of these ladies have highly technical jobs. I do not have this ability.  All minds work differently. Where we end up, how we evolve from ourselves to a CD to something else. Circumstances still drive the bus on this, as you can attest, so we’ll see.  Many like us, I have found ways to make this work in a hybrid fashion.

My manner of referring to myself when talking or thinking to myself is to say “Let’s go girl”, “this girl…” “come on girl”.

Yours truly

We all have an internal method of communicating with ourselves. We all refer to ourselves in our minds in a certain way. So ladies, how do you refer to yourselves, in your own heads? Has your manner of expressing your feminine side changed how you view yourself at the most basic level? Do you feel like you think as a woman would (no one obviously knows how anyone else actually thinks) or as you feel as a woman?

All comments welcome!

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22 Responses

  1. Interesting! I feel at this point in my CD development I am duplicitous, my identity governed completely by the circumstance I find myself. If I am in male mode I am my male name, no hesitation. If female tho, I am Kris – again with no hesitation. I have deliberately tried to do this, and it seems to be working. My internal dialog I am always “me” – no name necessary – but Kris is ever present and influential. If I am in male mode and I refer to my female side it is always in the third person – I’ve also noticed many persons do this, and I do enjoy it when other persons refer to me as Kris also. So, although Kris is a creation of my imagination she is becoming more and more real.

      1. Exactly! From my perspective, I consider my online activities part of my overall CD experience. When I am here or in any other CD related forum I am Kris, no matter how I am dressed at the time. I am not transgender, so in person for me it would depend on how I am presenting. I personally revel in that switch-ability!

  2. Kandi ,
    The choice of names and what we choose to call ourselves is a complex one . I mentioned in another post the first time I adopted Teresa because I was required to find a suitable and acceptable name for that particular forum . I’m so glad I had to make that choice because I was out to the World looking like a woman called Teresa .

    Did I find it harder when going full time ? Not at first because so much of my male trails were left , by that I mean official trails like driving licence and passport and some insurance companies . The question asked in your post was what we choose to call ourselves , as you reply ” I ” and ” Me ” doesn’t change but the one I realy hate now is being referred to as ” Mr” . That is totally in my hands and quite easliy achievable but some problems are never totally solved , my voice is questionable on the phone which I usually correct tactfully by saying , “What I sound like is not what I look like ” , so they usually correct themselves by asking for the correct title . What often happens then is I’m told it’s not a problem because they have a family member or close friend who is transgender , ( how things have changed !) .

    I’m glad I don’t have to make the choice between male and female for employers or anyone else , again it possibly depends on your level of gender dysphoria . I’m lucky to have resolved that but I feel for those stuck with that dilemma , we should be allowed to be us and not forced to live with two personalities .

    1. Teresa, I think I know your answer to this, but the question is how do YOU (in your own head) refer to yourself. And for you, I know you are Teresa, all the time. This is not about how one introduces themselves. It’s how you think of yourself.

  3. Most of the time I defiantly refer to myself as Rachael, in either mode and even while golfing in male mode I will tell myself Rachael you need to hit it better lol.
    Yes Rachael is pretty much who I am.
    The biggest challenge is when I’m around those who don’t know is to be careful not to slip up
    Yes I am Rachael and that is how I see myself

  4. Kandi,
    I feel guilty but this week my son told me my grandson is in an end of term play in the afternoon , as it happens I’m going out to an organ concert with my GG friend in the evening but I just couldn’t swap from one identity to another . So I had to make up the excuse my friend was spending the day with me . My son was OK with that and he apologised for the short notice , perhaps he was expecting my answer .

    That’s how strongly I feel about myself and the identity I’ve gradually built up , it’s a difficult dilemma when dealing with close family , I know I’m risking being excluded as time goes by .

  5. I have an advantage in that my given name is Kim. Perhaps Mom knew something. So I only have one “me”.

    I am from time to time obligated to present the world with a male version of myself, but it is just a part of the whole…neither a separate nor dominant entity.

    I like to think that I don’t change as a person from one presentation to another. A female friend of mine reinforced that belief when she first met me in female mode by observing that I was still the same person, just with nicer clothes.

  6. Tina is just a name for the time I present as female. When I think about those fleeting moments of dressing and going out, I am still “me”, but I wouldn’t call myself by a male name. When I read the blogs or forums, I am still only “me”, but use the name Tina to be recognized as a member of the CD community. Internally, I am always him, but externally, I am either in male mode as him, or in female mode as her.

    Regarding Kandi’s comment about compartmentalizing and a technical job, I am definitely in that group. There are many times that I separate “her” from my day-to-day life, only to have that side come sliding back into my thoughts when I take a break. I guess that’s why I can go months between opportunities and not feel too stressed!

  7. This is an excellent topic for a blog post! And I often ask other ladies this same question. For me, I think of myself as Christina in my head. When I leave the house I am in “boy mode” but in my head I am Christina. It wasn’t always this way. There was a time when I accepted myself as a CDer. Then over time once I was free to CD I started doing it daily and it just became my clothes (not women’s clothes). Christina was in my head all along but was hidden in the shadows. My feminine side has been with me always, but I didn’t really recognize it. But I started to be honest with myself in how I view things (regardless of how I am dressed) and over time I realized it was with Christina’s vision. And with that framing, that’s how I started to view myself not as a CDer but Gender Fluid and then to Transgender. So I guess I classify myself as a “non-transitioning” Transgender person.

    Being honest with yourself, the introspection, being open to being vulnerable. This has been very good for my mental health. And looking back in my life a lot of the odd quirks started to make sense with viewing my life in this new prism.
    -Christina

  8. Good question and I have to confess that I’m really struggling to answer it!

    I’m not the sort of person that thinks of myself by name, regardless of which persona I happen to be presenting so the default is I/me. But I think there’s a philosophical angle to this question too….

    At one time, I would have categorically stated that I feel like a ‘him’ because that was my only reference point. But as I’ve allowed my feminine side to evolve, I can no longer make that assertion. I feel a contentment in my feminine persona that I’ve never felt in my normal life but have come to realise that I can no more assert that I feel female as a result than I can assert that my understanding of maleness corresponds with any other biological male, whether CDer or not.

    So I guess that brings me back to I/me again!

  9. Interesting question. “Cali” start as a geographical referrence as part of a login name on another site, I think pre-2010. The orginally login name was shorten to just Cali a few years later. I use Cali here and a few other sites. I also use __Cali or Cali___ on website when I give a clothing or shoe review. No one in real life knows that I am “Cali” and I want to keep it that way. I work in a public and technical field.
    I’m me, period, no matter what I have on, which is mostly (if not all) bought in the women’s section – but they are MY clothes; not women’s, not men’s, but my clothes. I might look like I am in “dab boy” mode BUT with more colorful clothes, high heels and to-die-for nails. Some days even with mascara and eye shadow. I blend my two worlds.
    Life has thrown some lemons at me, but I have turned those lemons into Lemon Vodka and Lemon Meringue pies. Enjoy life – you only get one.

  10. Hi Kandi,

    An interesting topic. Now that I live virtually full time as Fiona, I don’t really have a “boy” mode any more. I do my best to emulate a woman but I don’t believe I think as a woman would, nor do I believe I think like a man anymore. It has now become just how Fiona thinks, somewhat similar to before but somewhat different as well.

    I find myself talking to her on occasion – “Fiona, hurry up. You’re late!” or “Fiona, you do look nice in that dress!”. I also refer to myself as “girl” sometimes – “Girl, what were you thinking?” But mostly it’s I, me or you.

    I like Christina’s description of herself: “a non-transitioning” Transgender person.” It applies to me as well.

    Fiona

    1. Thanks Fi! That is exactly the question, in your head, how do you refer to yourself. You and are are similar in this way. See you soon, I hope!

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