Suicide prevalence among transsexuals and crossdressers

A while back someone shared this report/research study (pdf) with me and I finally got some time to read it – Suicide Attempts among Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Adults.

It’s an interesting and important read.  The study was not perfect nor were its research methodologies (as noted even in the report itself).  But really, what study is perfect?  None, to my knowledge.  And I think this one is pretty good.  My main fault with it is that those surveyed were people who were reporting to be gender non-conforming or transsexual.  But I think this would exclude large groups of people, people like me for example.  I might respond to such a survey today, but I would not have done so 5, 10, or 20 years ago.  There are a lot of men out there like I was.  Men who are married but actively crossdressing, and men who are married but with transgender feelings and just trying to make the best of a hard situation.  Many of these men would not respond to a survey like this out of fear of someone in their family finding out somehow.  It wouldn’t be worth the risk at all.  But many of these men, like myself, have never attempted to commit suicide either.  I have a hunch that the people responding to the survey are people who had already felt extreme pain and rejection in their life related to these issues and so responded to the survey.  Even the report says – “Further, the survey’s focus on discrimination may have resulted in wider participation by persons who had suffered negative life experiences due to anti transgender bias.”

But that aside, it’s still a good report bringing to light this very important issue of suicide among the transgendered and crossdressing population.  It’s worth a read so we can be aware of this issue and help those who are struggling.

I’m not surprised at the pain transgender people or crossdressers go through.  I can say this because I’ve had significant pain in my own life because of these issues.  The gender confusion and desires for what seem so illogical can make you feel crazy.  It’s pain beyond what most people realize, pain concerning our very identity.

I’m also not surprised by the horrible consequences and heartache people have felt because of these issues.  I’m not surprised that they have experienced lost jobs, broken relationships, and family relationships torn apart.  It’s a severe shock when someone finds out you’ve been secretly pretending you are a woman, or when someone finds out you are going to the doctor to have surgical operations to change what is a natural and healthy body.  When people find out, especially a wife or a loved one, they feel betrayed.  They feel like you aren’t the person you said you were.  They feel as if you’ve been hiding a deep dark secret from them for years (and often that is truly the case).  And in some cases, if you go off and start living as a woman, or refuse to quit crossdressing, they feel you are not the person you were, but are confused and trying to become someone else.  A woman who married a man is certainly not going to be okay being married to another woman (albeit a fake one), and having another mommy for her kids.  So again, I’m not surprised by the rejection people like us go through.  If we refuse to give in to our desires, we might feel unfulfilled or unhappy or untrue to ourselves.  But if we give in, we can totally ruin our lives and relationships.  It puts us in a pretty horrible fix.

But beyond these issues, the research study makes abundantly clear that much of the stress causing suicide attempts goes beyond these natural feelings and consequences, and is the result of bullying, harassment, and even violence.   It is partially because of this that the numbers of transgendered people attempting suicide are shocking – “In looking at the percentages reporting a lifetime attempt within various subgroups of the overall sample, we repeatedly found “lows” in the range of 30 to 40 percent, while the “highs” exceeded 50 or even 60 percent.”

This makes me sad.  I hate crossdressing and transgenderism.  But when I see people struggling with crossdressing or transgender feelings, I try to react with love, sensitivity, and compassion.  I’m not perfect, and don’t love these people perfectly, but I try.  I am strongly against harassment of these people or violence towards them, even verbal violence.   When I’ve counseled such people in person, I always try to be loving, I shut up and listen well, and I even give them a hug.

If we don’t respond in love to such hurting people, we will indeed drive them closer to suicide.  That’s why when I hear from wives of crossdressers through this blog, I always counsel them to first listen to their husbands and try to understand.  I counsel them to try to be forgiving and loving even if they hate what their husbands have been doing.  And I remind them that their husbands took great courage to even be able to share with their wives their secrets and they have been through much pain already.  They did not choose to have these feelings.

It is because I am well aware of this pain out there that I still have this blog.  I want to reach out and help others.  I have found freedom and change and contentment.  I am no longer so confused in my gender.  I am no longer trapped in addiction.  I am no longer unhappy.  Now I feel so happy and so free, and I want to help others find this freedom as well.

Friends, we need to reach out with love to these people, whether they be strangers, brothers, sisters, children, or husbands.  We need to act towards them as Jesus did.  No, Jesus would not accept foolish ideology, or encourage them to alter their bodies.  He would not help them put on a dress to pretend they are women.  But he would most certainly sit with them, talk with them, love them, forgive them, and serve them.

The Porn Pandemic

Here is a helpful video about sexual addiction, particularly pornography.  For those of us who struggle with addictive masturbation connected to crossdressing fiction or crossdressing, I think the same principles apply.  We need to understand the brain chemistry to these addictions.  And the issue of novelty is so huge.   I found myself looking for new things as my addiction continued.  My addiction did not stay just basic crossdressing.  It got progressively worse and went into other more perverse areas.

These addictions are not things to mess around with.  They can easily destroy our lives, marriages, and relationships.  Recently I just had a friend lose his job because of his crossdressing addiction.  Brothers, let us step up the fight and take this seriously!

OCD connection to crossdressing

By OCD, I am of course referring to Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.  I’ve been looking at a number of websites and articles online that talk about a connection between OCD and crossdressing.  It’s very interesting and important for me to think about because 1.  I am mildly OCD and 2. There are reports of crossdressers finding relief of their symptoms by taking medication used to treat OCD.

Firstly, how many of you readers are OCD?  I took an online test that seems fairly legit.  Click here for the test.  For me personally, I scored a 16, and the test says a score of 12 and up means it is very likely I have some sort of OCD.  Obviously it is not a foolproof test, but my friends and family members have made fun of my obsessive nature many times, calling me OCD.  Watching movies of people with severe OCD people, I can see myself in them, having their same tendencies but not to such an extreme, so that I can still live a healthy life.  I do count things, have strange thoughts pop into my head repeatedly, I do have extreme obsessions about organizing and cleanliness, and of course crossdressing compulsions.  However none of these things really affect my life very much in a negative way.  They are all controllable and I do not think I need any medication.  The only one that affected me much in the past was of course crossdressing and that one is under control even without medication.  But that is just me.  Perhaps for some of you counseling regarding OCD, or medication for OCD, could be helpful in treating your crossdressing?  That is, if there is truly a connection.

 

Here are some articles and excerpts from books that talk about the possible connection.  See what you think.

1.   Abstract – Paraphilic disorders among patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder: case series by Manuela Borges.

2.   Abstract – OCD and transvestism: is there a relationship?

3.   Pdf – Treatment of Transvestic Fetishism With Fluoxetine: A Case Report

This is about a patient who was strictly interested in crossdressing, and did not have gender dysphoria.  Different medications are discussed.

4.   Google Book Excerpt – Today’s Transgender Realities: Crossdressing in Context, Volume 2 by Bolich.

Hopefully the link works.  Go to page 149 in the book.  You can see that this author thinks the connection between crossdressing and OCD is uncertain.

5.    Google Book Excerpt – Cross Dressing, Sex, and Gender by Bullough.

For this book, go to page 352-358.  There are some possible medications discussed with reported successful treatment.

 

I also found this personal website in which the author discusses the relationship between crossdressing and OCD.

Here the author discusses the connection – The OCD/Depression GID Connection

And here – Practical Suggestions for those seeking Alternatives – the author discusses medication and claims to know more than one person who found help from such medications regarding their compulsive crossdressing.

 
 
For me I have found great change throughout my life in being less obsessive and compulsive than I used to be.  The symptoms I described about myself, I have been able to change and force myself to adapt and be less OCD.  And I’ve been able to overcome crossdressing.  There is hope for all of us.  But if you think it would be helpful for you to take medication, I suggest trying it, and don’t feel any shame any doing so.  If crossdressing is ruining your life, and you have been mostly unsuccessful stopping the behavior through the other ways I have suggested, it seems like it doesn’t hurt to try medication to see if that helps.

Any comments?

Be Strong for Halloween

In a few days it will be Halloween. I post a reminder at this time every year. I know firsthand that it is a time of vigorous temptation. Even just seeing other people or children getting into costumes can conjure up memories of crossdressing, or fresh desires to crossdress. And the ads all over the internet certainly do not help.

I certainly imagine that some of you are crafty enough to get your wife or parents or girlfriend to dress you up as a girl or a woman for Halloween. But remember, just because it seems harmless to them, you know yourself. You know that for you, it’s not just clothing. You know that for you, you are obsessed with the clothes, and feel you cannot do without. For some of you, there is even a sexual component involved. What seems harmless to them is something that keeps you in bondage and addiction.

Don’t give in my brothers. Be the men God created you to be. Some of you have been going strong, resisting temptation, and God has been healing your hearts and helping you to appreciate being real men. Don’t throw all of that way. Don’t set back your progress. Don’t rationalize and give in.

Be strong in the Lord. Resist the temptations. Recognize the absurdity of crossdressing and take joy in knowing that you did not give in to it. Take delight in the self-control God has given to you. He has empowered you by His Holy Spirit.

Enjoy the innocent laughter and fun of your children as they dress up, knowing that for them, they do so for fun or to model after the good examples of adults in their lives (or from television or books). Take joy knowing that for them, they realize it’s all pretend and they aren’t getting a sexual high or special comfort from the costumes.

From Joshua 1, as the Israelites prepared to enter the Promised Land. Fitting words for us this week as we prepare to enter battle over our lives and souls.

6 “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.

Nocturnal Emissions vs. Masturbation

This is a pretty graphic topic I guess, but it seems practical enough for me to talk about, because dealing with these issues is a reality for most of us.  First of all, if you want my thoughts on masturbation, see my long post on it – here.  I’ll try not to repeat myself.  This post is more about nocturnal emissions, and how they sometimes coincide with crossdressing dreams, and I’m going to explore the possible connection to regular masturbation or lack thereof.

So, what do guys do who aren’t married?  What is their sexual outlet?  Nocturnal emissions of course.  So one could say that masturbation is not necessary and so we should not do it.  I’ve noticed this is also the case in marriage.  My wife and I usually have sex once a week.  If we skip a week (which happens quite often), I usually have a nocturnal emission in there near the time we would have had sex.  So again, we could say masturbation is not necessary, because God has provided the means of nocturnal emission.  I’m not coming at this from a scientific angle, so perhaps some men don’t have nocturnal emissions, but I would guess most of us do if we aren’t having sex regularly.

I’ve been going back and forth on my judgements about whether masturbation is good or bad (if done without sinful thoughts).  Earlier this year I leaned toward masturbation always being a bad thing, as I don’t believe it’s God’s ideal, as it’s very difficult to do without sinning in our hearts and minds, and as we have the outlet of nocturnal emissions for the sexual release.  And perhaps most important, it is difficult for some men to masturbate without it turning into a serious addiction.  Some months ago, my wife and I had not had sex in a couple weeks and I wanted to masturbate, but I thought to myself -  “well, what if there is really no need to, because God provided nocturnal emissions instead.” So I prayed, “Lord, I’m going to try to lean on masturbation less in these times of being away from my wife, and let you use nocturnal emissions for my release if I need it.” Well I went to bed and that very night I had one.

But lately I’ve been wondering if masturbation is actually a better outlet for the sexual release than the nocturnal emissions.  Let me explain by first analyzing my nocturnal emissions or wet dreams.  When I have a nocturnal emission I almost always wake up as it happens.  90% of the time I wake up in the middle of a dream, and so I realize at that time what the dream was about.  Wonderfully there have been times that I have had a wet dream thinking about sex with my wife.  But unfortunately sometimes it is about me with another woman, or more often (at least in the past) it was about crossdressing.  (Thankfully the number of my crossdressing wet dreams has drastically reduced in recent years, yea for healing from sexual perversity!).  So I wake up, and feel very dirty and guilty about my sinful dream.  And on top of that I hate wet dreams because they are a sticky mess.  Masturbation is a whole lot cleaner because you control it.  But with wet dreams I end up getting my boxers and the sheets sticky (and sometimes my wife if I am laying up with her).  I guess this is how God designed our bodies to work, but it sure seems a gross method.  It’s not that I detest physical things, like that which my body produces, I just don’t want it all over the place.

But let me get into the sinful aspect of wet dreams.  I really think that when I’m dreaming, I’m still me.  I lack much control, but it’s still my thoughts and desires that come out in my dreams.  Therefore, since in my living life I have healed greatly and resisted crossdressing so much in the past years, crossdressing isn’t as much a part of my dream life as it was.  So I do think it’s right to feel some culpability for what we dream about.  It’s still us doing the dreaming.   Could demons influence our dreams?  Perhaps.  Could we sometimes just dream about random things that we can’t imagine how they got into our minds?  Perhaps.  But largely I think we control what we dream about to some extent by the worries we allow ourselves to think about during the day, by the things we take in with our eyes, and ears, by our hopes and desires, etc.   Now granted, our self-control is severely limited while dreaming.  It’s pretty hard to resist the temptation of lust while we are out of it and sleeping.  So what can we do to avoid these dreams, these sinful dreams that can even cause us to experience heightened temptation to crossdressing during the day because we think back to the pleasure of the dream?  See this post for an example of how a wet dream led to one of my failures – here.

In considering these things I have determined that for me, masturbation is preferable to wet dreams.  When my wife and I don’t have sex in a given week, I have greatly heightened temptation to sin, not because of any specific trigger or desire, but just because of wanting that sexual release.  Instead of waiting for the nocturnal emission, I masturbate and deal with the issue immediately, and then all temptations go away.  I only need to masturbate that one time and then can wait until the next week when we will have sex again.  I also can control my thoughts during masturbation but cannot during a wet dream.  The wet dreams end up being full of sinful lust, whereas when I masturbate I can think only of my wife and nothing else, and not have any sinful thoughts.  Let me be crystal clear.  I am not talking about masturbating while looking at pictures of women on the computer, or while looking at crossdressing photos, or while thinking about crossdressing or any strange fantasy.  I’m talking about something that takes about 3-5 minutes in the bathroom, only using physical stimulation and thoughts of my wife.  It’s quick, clean, without sinful thoughts, and gives me that sexual release until my wife is back with me to have sex again (like if she was away for work).

I write about this just to get you all thinking.  I’m not telling you what to do.  For some of you it would be disaster to take my approach because you can’t control yourself with masturbation.  So then don’t do it!  But maybe for some of you this is a good alternative to crossdressing wet dreams which will throw you all out of whack.  I welcome criticisms, reflections, thoughts, and scientific data, on these issues.

Be Prepared for Battle

Psalm 144:1

Praise be to the Lord my Rock,
who trains my hands for war,
my fingers for battle.

I love this verse for thinking about spiritual warfare and avoiding sin while on the computer.  Originally the context was speaking about actual war as David relied on the Lord for help in winning battles for Israel.  I think it is an appropriate application today to think about the spiritual war we are engaged in.  As Paul says in Ephesians 6:12For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

And 1 Peter 2:11Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.

I love the idea of God training my fingers for battle.  I try to regularly ask God to build up ability to have self-control.  One of the areas I need it most is on the computer.  It’s so easy to lose my head and go look at something stupid that I will regret later.  It is so easy to click on some article about crossdressing that shows up on the news.  And that can lead down a rabbit trail of sin and lust.

I need my hands and fingers trained.  I need God to guide my finger clicks on my mouse, and keep my hands from typing in stupid Google searches.  When I sit down at the computer, I am sitting down to a battle.  I am sitting down and fighting over my soul.  My sinful nature and the demonic world would love nothing better than to see me go back to crossdressing addiction, squandering away my life.

This would be a wonderful verse to print out and tape to your computer mouse, keyboard, or computer monitor.  Men, let’s prepare for battle when we sit down, and not take the computer lightly!  It is a wonderful invention, which can be used for many wonderful blessings.  But we are also capable of committing great evil on these machines.  When you sit down remember that there is a battle going on, and the battle is over your soul.

But God is our Rock, our foundation, our stability, our strength.  We need not fear.  He gives us the strength we need to overcome temptation.

Disturbing Quote

I came across this quote from another blog.  I found it quite interesting, so I read the whole original article.

Amy Bloom, in her article from 2002, Conservative Men in Conservative Dresses, wrote :

“The greatest difficulty people have with cross-dressers, I think, is that cross-dressers wear their fetish, and the gleam in their eyes, however muted by time or habit, the unmistakable presence of a lust being satisfied or a desire being fulfilled in that moment, in your presence, even by your presence, is unnerving.  The combination of the cross-dressers’ own arousal and anxiety and our responsive anxiety and discomfort is more than most of us can bear. We may not mind foot fetishists, but we may not wish to watch them either. ”

From my experience, and from talking to others, this quote speaks the truth.  People are disturbed by our behavior and we need to understand that and accept it.  And of course I would add, they should be disturbed by our behavior.  Come on men, let’s stop giving in to this messed up behavior.

Also interesting was how the author detected that the men who are crossdressing are men with very firm gender stereotypes about women, stereotypes that I find too traditional, too focused on superficial appearances, and disturbing.  Understand this!  Part of my healing from crossdressing has also been a healing in my marriage, not viewing women and my wife in such a stereotypical way, no longer gently pressuring her to wear high heels and makeup, not being bothered that she is a very strong person, emotionally and physically.