I have been perusing some of the things that I was researching a few months ago, about my own transgendered self and came across this passage (again) from the TransGenderCare website. (Taken directly from that website, under the article named “What is Gender?”)
Even a few hours after birth, significant behavioral differences are noted between morphologically “normal” boys and girls. Newborn girls are much more sensitive to touch and sound than their male counterparts. Several day old girls spend about twice as long looking back at an adult face than boys, and even longer if the adult is speaking. A girl can distinguish between the cries of another infant from other extraneous noises long before a boy. Even before they can understand language, girls do better at identifying the emotional context of speech.
Conversely, during the first few weeks of infant life, boys are inattentive to the presence of an adult, whether speaking to the infant or not. However, baby boys tend to show more activity and wakefulness. At the age of several months, girls can usually distinguish between the faces of strangers and people they know—boys usually do not demonstrate this ability.
As infants grow into children, the differences seem to intensify and polarize. Girls learn to speak earlier than boys and do a better job of it. Boys want to explore areas, spaces and things, girls like to talk and listen. Boys like vigorous play in a large space where girls like more sedentary games in smaller spaces. Boys like to build, take things apart, explore mechanical aspects of things and are interested in other children only for their “use” (playmates, teammates, allies, etc.). Girls see others more as individuals—and will likely exclude a person because they’re “not nice,” and will more readily include younger children and remember each other’s names. Girls play games involving home, friendship, and emotions. Boys like rough, competitive games full of”‘zap, pow’ and villainy.” Boys will measure success by active interference with other players, preferring games where winning and losing is clearly defined. In contrast, girl play involves taking turns, cooperation and indirect competition. Tag is a typical boy’s game, hopscotch is a girl’s game.
As we grow into adults, these differences become both more subtle and entrenched.
Female brained individuals are naturally socialized, tend to prefer cooperation, group discussions and compromise, but are rigid rule followers. Male brained individuals need to be forced into a social conscience, see everything as winning or losing, and are very territorial (my idea, my place, my person, etc.). Competitive and keenly aware of their place in the pecking order, males view rules as something to avoid, ignore or use against others. (The legal profession is very male.)
Female brained individuals are very aware of emotional states, both in themselves and others, and have a gift for, and need to express themselves in language. These two needs/abilities combine so that there is a great deal of discussion and description of everyday things (food, experiences, involvements and other people) with an emotional context and value judgment.
Male brained individuals have great difficulty identifying emotional states of any kind beyond anger, fear and lust, either in themselves or others. Language tends to be restricted and used sparingly, and hardly ever to describe emotional states. But male brains do have superior spatial and non-verbal skills, such as mathematics, map reading, 3-D conceptions, and with increasing intelligence, abstractions.
In fact, for reasons not understood (at least by this writer), gender differences seem to decrease as our IQ points increase. One study indicated that one-third of physical females in graduate school had brains wired more like a typical male brain.
Transgendered folk tend to be born with a female brain gender, but shortly after eight years of age begin to forsake it for a makeshift male brain type of response. It is like abandoning a four-lane highway and taking a little dirt road beside it — and making the best of their choice. Why do such a thing? To fit in. Around eight or nine years of age, the differences between male and female behavior become obvious. In order to fit in, the physical male with a female brain begins to mimic and then perfect (as much as they can) a male response, leaving their natural female self unexpressed or underdeveloped.
Some transgendered physical males are very good at this subterfuge and produce a flawless macho male persona. Others are less successful, and some produce a “Swiss cheese” persona where glimpses or whole chunks of their natural female thinking showing through. But, no matter how efficient an individual is in hiding their natural gender from others, they will always be aware (at least at times and to some degree) of it themselves.
This is exactly what I remember experiencing oh so many years ago! These things happened to me! I started walking and talking at 6 months! I was reading Dr. Seuss by age 1, and much quicker than my sisters read them to me. I remember trying to piece it all together, and looking back all those years ago, I can clearly see all of those things truly have happened to me.
In order to fit in better with my male counterparts, I had created this “Robby” persona and managed to acclimate and assimilate into what adults wanted a “little boy” to be: a small male person. It never occurred to me, until rereading this article, that having friends was mostly about having younger friends, friends who had either slightly older or younger sisters, playing house/dress up/tea party and playing typical male games like flag football, kickball, tag, dodgeball. I also remember playing hopscotch and four-square and wearing makeup because I liked those activities.
When I came to grips with my perceived identity, in junior high school, I realized it was all for naught! A friend of mine (who I was secretly seeing) was gay and had been in the process of writing a play. It was unfinished, but I encouraged him to finish it (after one of our secret intimate encounters). I offered him my writing skills, though they were mostly undeveloped. We finished the play that evening; rewrites lasted for another month.
Once we felt it was finished, we approached one of our English teachers (who also doubled as the school’s drama coach and play director). She looked at the play written on loose leaf pages. She told us she needed to look it over and ask the other staff about it. From the look in her eyes and upon her face, she loved it! Almost two months passed and we got the confirmation!
All we needed was a small cast, about 10 people. Three or four sets and set dressing; then costumes. I had relatively long hair then and my friend asked me to play the lead. I couldn’t help not to; the part was written for M, but he couldn’t go on because of his stage fright. M was a wonderful friend. The play was about his latest suicide attempt, the fact of his being homosexual, and ‘what if I had killed myself’ proposal. It was only supposed to be for one evening, it ran for three evenings!
I was in the opening show. I spoke my parts; eventually, had to physically shave part of my head on stage, and act like I had slit my throat with a straight razor (the same one I used to shave my head). The way it was written was just beautiful! My character collapsed back onto his bed as the lights on stage changed from blue to red. I dropped my handful of hair after I calmed down on the bed. Then some pounding at my bedroom door. Some shouting and wood breaking! Then over came my father and mother to the bed and as the lights on stage faded to black, my mother screamed: “Oh, God! NO! No.”
The next scene was played out in our living room and all that you saw was grief and sadness on my family’s faces, a casket and me, scurrying around, trying to talk to the people I loved, but left behind. Another scene in my bedroom and my parents and brother were in there, talking amongst themselves and wondering where they all went wrong. I was not to be seen, but I was heard. I talked to all of them, a disembodied voice from beyond, and for once, they all listened. I told them that my passing was not their fault and that I was the one who took the easy way out; that I was sorry.
The scene came up to a hospital room, mom was on the gurney and dad was wearing scrubs. They were so excited when the doctor brought in their new baby. I was in the scene and I just looked on as they brought a little life into the world. She would have been my sister. When the doctor left and the nurse came in, the scene stopped. I addressed the audience and said: “If I hadn’t taken my life a year ago, I would have been the proudest brother my sister would ever know.” There was a pause, “I never knew.” Pause. “All this grief, sorrow, melancholy… All this, was my fault.” The lights faded to black.
We waited as the curtains came down. We had a standing ovation! All of us came out and the curtains were pulled up. We bowed and I pointed to M. It was his brainchild! They loved it!
My understudy pulled off the next two shows, except I did the beyond voice and the ending monologue. Each night an ovation. I just never really knew what it was to act convincingly, and I found my calling!
Our English teacher had us perform “The Taming of the Shrew” in true Shakespearean form: all women’s parts were played by the guys. I landed Kate’s part. Dressing in her costume felt absolutely right! I wore a headband covering my head (my hair hadn’t quite filled in yet). This one was also well received. We were applauded, but no standing O.
I wanted to keep up acting, but graduation was looming. High school, here I come~!
I guess I needed that boost of confidence to allow me to reflect on something that had bothered me for years: what I could actually call my gender? I didn’t really know, but I figured I was bisexual. That wasn’t it, but I had to make due. (Much of this is in some of my earlier blogs… Please peruse.)
To get to where I am now and the article blurb… I remembered acting the part of a typical male and doing quite well at it, even to the point of having girlfriends. It all seemed artificial. Rereading the article made me realize that I am just a person whose brain and identity are female, and whose body is male. I refuse to remain like this much longer!
I scored well on tests and exams, mostly without studying, somehow I managed it! In college, same kind of thing: attend lectures, take notes, no studying before the tests, acing the tests and exams.
I reached a turning point in my life and found I could no longer concentrate, started on tangents that had no bearing on the discussions, and revealed to the world of academia that I was a fraud~! I failed acting the part of a college student. I failed acting the part of a knowledgeable person who knew his way around… It was all stupid of me to do, but I was determined to proceed the way I needed to~!
Hence, my research and my dilemma. I am a transgender. I am approaching my final turning around point, failing that, I remain male! I am looking ever so forward to this journey! I am up to the challenge like I’ve never had before!
Welcome Robynn Penelope to the World Stage! I am here! Watch me LIVE!