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TGIF: Putting Some of the Pieces Together

Written by Danny Blackwell and published by Transgender International Fellowship. Quoted verbatim. See Information on Re-publishing.

By D

Please note that this information is not a complete cause or development of a transgender person but hopefully serves as an outline. Please keep in mind that these are some of the issues we all experience and they are only suggestions. Also, where MTF or FTM do not appear they apply to both

As we look at developmental issues of a transgendered person some terms need to be defined. Also we have mixed both FTM and MTF characteristics together.

1.      FTM: Female to male transsexual ie a woman who feels she is a man trapped in a woman’s body

2.      MTF: Male to female transsexual ie a man who feels he is a woman trapped in a man’s body.

3.      SRS: Sexual reassignment surgery. SRS can be considered after psychological assessment, medical as well as other assessments and requires living in the chosen sex role full time for up to two years, different countries have various other qualifications.

O to 6 years old

A distant or absent father figure while growing up.

FTM Generally comes from extremely dysfunctional families. Often a history of male abuse (not necessarily sexual).

FTM: There is a strong identification with the male usually represented by the father. Other significant males such as siblings can be a strong influence.

A very involved mother.

FTM: The Mother, representing females, is often seen as indecisive, compliant and submissive often in the presence of extreme physical violence directed at her or other female family members.


FTM: Males are seen as decisive, direct and in control. Although in the abusive circumstances the Mother may have acted to 'keep the peace' such repeated actions sometimes creates resentment and rejection of the female role by the child. 

 Perfectionistic tendencies that obstruct inner peace.

At ages 0-6 there is cross dressing or other sex-atypical behavior for some. When the parents see this, they do not try to correct this as inappropriate, but find it cute and amusing, and actually slightly encourage it.



Felt separated from one or both parents.

Feelings of gender/sexual in conflict prior to the age of 5 years. However memories before five years of age are unreliable.

 May have experienced physical and emotional abuse.

 In some there may be a sense of envy about the opposite sex sibling or friend getting more attention from a parent.

7-13 years old

Perceived verbally abusive father-figure.

FTM: Frequently the female has masculine features such as a square facial appearance and a masculine build. In reality such features only demonstrate the variance that naturally occurs amongst female features.

MTF: In a similar way some males are born with naturally occurring female features.

FTM/MTF: Some possible cross gender toys and play desired  

Family failed to recognize obvious developing signs of transgender activity

Sensed that he was not really wanted, or extremely ill-timed when born

FTM/MTF: In both situations type casting and vilification by peers can contribute.

Fantasies about being a girl/boy, that don’t go away.

Considered a loner & shy.


Teen years

Regularly experienced humiliation in playing sports.

An inner sense that his masculinity does not match that found in others.

FTM/MTF: The best term to use in describing/listing the factors that may contribute to gender ambiguity is: 'multi-factorial'.

Considered a loner.

Questions regarding their real sexual orientation.

Deep sense of shame.

Steady discomfort for gender expectations imposed by others

Generally very poor self-image

Notices a change in self-view and a freedom in relating more openly in social interactions when cross-dressed.

Harbors a sense of self-hatred as a male/female.

They may think negatively about his/her gender at least once a day.

 They are angry at God for allowing transgendered feelings to be a part of life.

Seriously considered or acted out suicidal attempts.

Is not convinced that God truly loves him/her.

May have fantasized about having sex with a man while in the female role or visa/versa.

Macho type hobbies and behaviors have been used to hide feminine desires

Thoughts that reflect a strong gender hatred.

Avoids conflict at all costs.

 They have an abiding sense of guilt and fear in being exposed and publicly humiliated.

Both FTM/MTF: Desires to receive the non-sexual love, acceptance, esteem of another same sex person.

Generalized distrust in men/women.

Difficult to stand up for himself or his convictions, even when he is right

Has great difficulty in finding and keeping a close male friendship

Suffers from additional problems related to addictions

MTF: Masturbation was an associated problem with cross-dressing in teen-age years.

MTF: Experienced as a youth euphoric and sexual stimulation when cross-dressed.




Sexual excitement when cross-dressed continues.

Private, self-conscious and self-isolated

Have attempted to hide transgender feelings by hyper masculine activity

Feel inferior to other men as a male

Self perceived enlightened understanding of women than average or normal men


 FTM/MTF: At whatever age ... would prefer to be a opposite sex.

Self perceived social advantages of belonging to the opposite biological sex. The social advantages do not necessarily correlate with the reality as perceived by the opposite sex.

 Difficulty in experienced lasting freedom from transgender issues if the secret desire is kept to self.

Difficulty talking to God when alone

Has found Christianity ineffective in changing transgender feelings

Some with 'Late onset transsexuality’ came "out of the closet" and began hormones and preparation for SRS later in life

Many have an absolute conviction that there is underlying biological cause.

Attempted some form of spiritual exorcism to get rid of ‘perverse demons’.

Have nearly despaired of God really having the ability to change this condition

Rarely is there appropriate counsel as to the difficulties in achieving acceptance in an acquired gender role.

Has experienced a sense of failure at his professional career.

Have found that religious fervor/evangelicalism to not significantly change feelings.

Struggles with bouts of depression and anxiety.

Seeks leadership positions to gain people's respect.

FTM/MTF: Uncomfortable with and among same sex people.

May be on presently on a psychiatric medication for a nervous disorder.

Possible other emotional issues that add to transgender issues.

Felt that Marriage would eliminate or take significant care of the transgender feelings

MTF: Married a Christian woman.

Have reasoned that having children would help eliminate feminine desires.


The road to a transgender lifestyle

Early crossdressing experimatation that is sexualized at puberty

Secret lifestyle becomes more open and seeking of support for inner feelings

Begins attending pro transition support groups in transsexual sub-culture for support

Takes on feminine/masculine name and persona as well as dressing as desired sex for groups.

Comes out of the closet and dispute family rejection, seeks out a psychiatrist and a doctor for first phase to SRS.

Begins living as a woman/man full time and taking hormones.

After two years and fulfilling all the requirements has SRS.

Moves and lives as a woman/man after SRS or cannot afford the surgery and lives as a shemale.


The road from a transgender lifestyle

Early crossdressing experimatation that is sexualized at puberty

Secret lifestyle becomes more open and seeking of support for inner feelings

Begins attending pro transition support groups in transsexual sub-culture for support

Takes on feminine/masculine name and persona as well as dressing as desired sex for groups.

Due to family rejection and stress seeks out counseling and family & new friends stand with them.

Although it’s a long road involving support groups, counseling and faith in God he/she begins to see the light of day and is accepting themselves as a man/woman.

Dispute the SRS 8 years ago "Jane"/Jake is disillusioned and after finding faith in God reverts back to a male/female role.

FTM/MTF: There is a primary need to focus on the resolution of the ambivalent perceptions of the social advantages associated with the opposite sex. Such resolution is a long slow and painful process.

Finally, feel free to contact the authors and check out their websites.

God Bless you

See Also