To many here the term autogynophelia is a derogatory description for a transsexual who is attracted to their own image as a woman. Used by Ray Blanchard to try and categorise a non-homosexual transsexual, it has been the subject of controversy for some time now. So at the risk of opening up a can of worms, I wanted to express some observations that apply to me in the hope of eliciting some feedback from some of you.
As someone who has dressed up in women’s clothes since the age of 7, I consistently and systematically resisted this urge by purging until my early forties when I finally entered 4 months of gender therapy. I have always wanted to understand my own behaviour and the impetus behind it. For if I could understand it, I thought, I could moderate it or even eliminate it. If I could have pushed that ‘easy button’ and have it go away I would have done so many times; especially in the adolescent years when my own burgeoning sexuality and sense of self where being formed.
So now as a self described ‘advanced crossdresser’ I am comfortable being out in the world and present as a woman. But what does that mean and what is the ultimate goal?. Why has the sexual gratification aspect which was there in the early years waned significantly but not entirely faded? For I am aware that the main driver behind my dressing is not sex since I began before I even knew what sex was. So while I have no yearning to have surgery in order to bring me closer to womanhood, I am controlled by this pull to crossdress and express my own version of femininity. Why that brings me comfort is a question I cannot answer. I just know that it does.
So now in my late forties I have had to become content with myself and make my peace with this activity as being part of my makeup (pardon the pun). Maybe not by choice but by necessity. Because the continued battle against it drains you of your energy and only serves to demoralize and promote the idea that you are a weak person for not having more self control.
Yet when the urge is there it’s unmistakable. You need to crossdress and it’s like that urge for a cigarette. I will now go a few days at a time without it but not more. And it will alter my mood when I cannot dress but have planned to.
But to return to the main theme, I sometimes feel that there is something to the idea that I am attracted to an image of myself as a woman. That there exists a kind of narcissism that drives it and feeds it. The primping and the clothing choices and the obsession with passing. So maybe for me personally the theory of autogynephelia somewhat fits. My being discovered at the age of 3 playing house with my sisters wearing my mother’s pumps. Her strong negative reaction leaving a lasting and permanent imprint. Would I have outgrown the behavior if she had not reacted? I will probably never know.