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Taking a deep dive on a recent comment.

Recently, I received the following from a friend, edited for our purposes here.

I’m not sure if it should be considered a ”selfish” act to go full time, I found in taking that step I became a better person, I could contribute fully with the real world which I failed to do as a man. Talking of losses and gains, we never know the full story until we take that final step, all we can hope for is our worse fears don’t come true, thankfully in my case I gained far more than I lost.

There are so many aspects of transition, not just hormones and/or surgery, being full time means you change as a person and you change the way the world sees you, perhaps that aspect is what scares people the most. All I can say to that is many of those fears are ill-founded, people are far more supportive, they really do want you to succeed.


None of that is wrong and all of it is true for the person who said it. But let’s peel it back a bit.

“Selfish” is an adjective, and means “concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure”. We do all types of selfish things each and every day. And for the significant majority of those, it is quite a good thing. But when in a relationship, especially a relationship one treasures, especially one formed on the basis of certain realities that have not really changed, one must make sacrifices. By the way, nowhere is selfish necessarily considered negative by definition.

Let’s just say I transitioned. Let’s also say my wife was completely supportive (let alone assuming I would be completely supportive). Would I then be selfish? Would anyone be making a sacrifice? If for no other reason than my wife would be placed in the situation of having to explain me, she would be making a sacrifice. She would be the one that people would be looking at when we are together in public. She would be faced with dealing with MY realities, when now she does not have to do so. Especially since, as I have stated and believe to my core, I am not uncomfortable as a man. I have no dysphoria. I have no real reason to even give such a life change any real consideration, especially since it is not solving a problem. There is no problem, as I believe I have created a reality in which being Kandi can allow her to thrive.

I have no idea that I would flip the script and then have dysphoria about missing my male self. So yes, transitioning is a 100% selfish act. It may also be, for many, the only way to continue to live. Is it selfish to get a new hip, for example? 100%. It that a bad thing? Of course not. Necessary? Most likely. But it is selfish to ask your spouse to support you in terms of the rehabilitation necessary to get back to being self-sufficient? Sacrifice.

Let’s also understand, literally every one in your life could possibly accept your transition without question (unlikely for 100% of those in your life, but most is very possible). So now everyone on the planet accepts you. But all the relationships that one spends their entire lives building will absolutely change. The way you interact with all you knew will change. Is that a good thing? It depends. For me, I have literally life long relationships with people that I interact with frequently. Two people with whom I make my livelihood I have know since the 5th grade and the 9th grade. I have friends that I see routinely who I also have known as long. I treasure those relationships. If I were to transition, those relationships would completely change. Maybe not in a bad way, but they would change. Those are male friendships, which would no longer be possible in that context. These relationships are the tentpoles that hold up my life. Excuse the French here, why fuck with a good thing?

Let me remind everyone, this is MY life. These are MY circumstances. These are MY relationships. Not a single aspect of these are anything like YOUR life, YOUR circumstances, YOUR relationships, YOUR feelings. Let me also remind everyone, the absolute second I write anything, everything changes. Life, every second of every day, changes, it changes our circumstances. We are an enviable community here. We love and support each other. When we ask a question, we are seeking advice. However, when we make a statement, we are not asking to be questioned about anything, we are simply sharing OUR own feelings.

You are you, I am me, we are bound by a sisterhood, but the “sister” part is so very different for each and every one of us. To suggest anyone transition, without being intimately involved with knowing their mental state and all circumstance of their lives, is irresponsible. Letting someone know your experiences, what you have seen, is supportive and caring. But watch those lines and respect them.


6 Responses

  1. There was much to savour in that post and your message was spot on. We can have a romantic notion that things would be different ‘if I’d known then what I know now’ or if we inhabited a parallel universe where the others in our lives were not a consideration but how many of us would do things differently? And if we do feel that we are sacrificing elements of our own lives for the sake of others, those sacrifices are the lifeblood of our relationships.

    I love the fact that we’re all different because it gives us the opportunity to view life from different perspectives. As I’ve said previously, I was lurking here for a while before joining the cadre of contributors and seeing what you and the then small band of contributors got up to blew my mind. It showed me what was possible for people like me and dispelled many of the fears I had. Crucially, though, it gave me the ’toolkit’ to live MY life on my terms and did not constrain me into living someone else’s life on theirs. Because the bottom line is that much though I love reading about how others manage this side of their lives, many of the specifics are things that I would not want to do, either because they do not fit with my personality or because Mrs A and others in my life have different outlooks (and levels of tolerance) to the corresponding individuals in their lives. My life is not perfect – no life is – but I have much to be thankful for and a great compromise overall.

    To continue the French theme, vive la différence!

  2. I think you’ve got this right Kandi! There’s a lot of negativity around the notion of being “selfish” and what that all entails. However, I’ve always felt that if you are not good to yourself you’re no good to anyone else either. We must travel our own path, and accept the paths of those around us. I’d like to think that our CD/TG community does that.

  3. Thank you Kandi for writing this.

    We each have our life to live. Our path of femininity is ours alone. No one else should tell us how far we should transition. We all have prior obligations and responsibilities and vows that must be honoured.

    Anyone who suggests the ultimate goal for us is full time, is doing our community a disservice.


  4. We all have different situations. So much have changed in my lifetime (I’m 75). I often think if I had known more about myself when I was younger my life would be completely different. But I also look at my family and think how much I love them. Balance is the keyword in my life. But knowing I am not alone has helped me cope with my situation.

  5. Kandi,
    I was half way through reading the first paragraph when I realised the friend you mentioned was me , I’m really touched by that , thankyou .

    I really can’t add to those words , we can never know what the repercusions are until we act on our decisions .

    Our separation and subsequent divorce would have more than likely happened anyway because we both knew it was the most sensible choice for the whole family . Pehaps we should consider the choices of grounds for that to happen , she couldn’t live with my gender issues but that didn’t remove her problems of explaining completely to her friends but what would she have been comfortable with living with ? My gender issues , or living with another woman or the possibility of living with a man . The shoe could have been on the other foot if she had those grounds to divorce me , of course I think how I would have dealt with that .
    Would I have been totally selfish if I refused to separate and insisted we attempt to keep a marriage alive ? It possibly begs the question is it a selfish act by being totally honest ? Accept the truth at any cost !

    The other point you make concerns the losses you might experience , other people’s attitude can’t be predicted . I have lost very few friends from my past , some of them have surprised me , the odd rejection has come from unexpected family members or friends . I’m afraid you have to let them go , you can’t let your life be ruled by the occasional contact you may have with them . I must admit I’m slighly bemused by some who definitely prefer me as Teresa .
    I read recently on an online transgender website that the fundamental outcome for a transgender person is to find true and lasting happiness , the sacrifices , the highs and lows are what it takes to achieve that goal .

    If happiness means being selfish then I’m happily guitly of that .

    I’ve never lost sight of my obligations or responsibilities , my son and daughter know I’m still there for them . Going full time is an indivdual choice , I do find it upsetting when they aren’t given the freedom to make that choice , severe dysphoria is very hard to supress long term , it’s one aspect my gender counsellor was very concerned about .

  6. Well said my dear friend. That’s all I wanted to say. I love you and all my sisters here on Kandi’s Land.

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