I can’t remember now who gave me this link, but it’s pretty interesting. I’m not familiar with the authorship nor their stance. They seem to be very accepting of transgenderism compared to me. But this article is thought provoking – Emasculation Trauma and Autogynephilia
I was definitely not abused as a child, but I did experience what the article speaks of here:
There is no doubt that young males can be traumatized when their sense of emasculation is intense enough; when they feel they are irrevocably unable to measure up as males. This depends as much on “where the line is drawn” in what constitutes acceptable masculine behavior in their environment as their actual levels of actual masculinity or femininity.
Due to continuing patriarchal attitudes it is still a serious social “crime” in many modern societies for a male to fail to “measure up” as such, with punishments consisting of ridicule, abuse, exclusion, rejection, assault and, in extreme cases, murder.
As the article describes, I also experienced quite a lot of bullying, being called gay a lot, and I did go through puberty late. I was very self-conscious as a child about these things. How did I deal with this? I don’t think, as the article suggests, that I tried to “overcompensate” and be more masculine. Mostly I just was myself. I did certain masculine things, but because I enjoyed them, not to try to fit in. But perhaps this would fit in my case, though I’m not sure I completely buy it:
One means of relieving trauma is to repeat it, to embrace it, to own it, to control it – just like the masochist who seeks out abuse or the molested girl who becomes promiscuous.
However, it is then likely that he will still be driven to embrace his perceived femininity (control his trauma) in private. This approach may involve crossdressing, thoughts of physical feminization or homo-erotic fantasy.
Of course this is all just theory. The facts are that people like us developed addictions to crossdressing, and that people like us perhaps felt insecure in our masculinity during childhood. But exactly how the two relate to each other is still somewhat of a mystery. I’m not a psychologist, but it seems a stretch to say that I dealt with trauma by embracing what it is that gave me trauma. Though we are fallen human beings, and we are all sinful and wretched and broken, and sometimes to deal with our brokenness, instead of going to Christ, we make ourselves more broken.
To me though, it seems my crossdressing was more about sexual pleasure than comfort or reprieve from trauma. But even if this theory isn’t true for my history of crossdressing, perhaps it’s true for others? What do you all think?