Oneness Ministry

We are One

Variety Is The Spice Of Life

Perspective is as diverse as the observer.  Each individual is unique on to themself.  And with that said consciousness also tends to group with like perspectives attracting like.  Thus we have Tennis Clubs, Christian bookstores, and Alcoholics Anonymous.  Gender and Sexuality are no different.  Those of like mind tend to socialize together with each person adding their own unique perspective.

Gender Identity is one’s own personal, inner perspective of who they are in terms of gender, i.e. man, woman, or other.  Gender is best described as a spectrum or scale.  Just as a rainbow has many colors, shades and grades so does gender.  This also works for sexual orientation, while physical sex is more concrete, however even this is a spectrum too.  Human beings are complex creatures indeed!

When a child is born the doctor looks between the legs and declares male, female or gee I don’t know!  It is not till DNA chromosome and other medical testing is done does the doctor know if the child is truly male, female or intersex.  The external genitalia are sometimes ambiguous, or not fully developed.  The genetic, physical and mental traits this child is born with are the filter through which they see the world – their perspective!  As this child grows into adulthood the filter is constantly being shaped and polished by the world.  The amazing fact is that it is less the world outside this person that shapes them than it is the individual’s responses, reactions, and thoughts.

The important factor to understand and always remember is that each person is individual and offers something unique to every situation.  It is your job as an individual to listen and learn who this person is and then honor them for the uniqueness they represent.  Accept them for their perspective and refrain from pushing yours on them.  This is a free will society so you are certainly free to offer your perspective and in fact you are obligated to do so, however whether and what others do with this perspective is entirely up to them.

Some may see you as a crossdressing gay male, others as transgender woman, all while you identify as a transsexual.  Others may simply think that you are crazy.  Each person will see you as they choose and understand.  This does not change who you are, although it may have you questioning who you are, which is a good thing, because part of the human experience is constantly questioning reality.

One last point here is groups that think alike can sometimes have beliefs that seem opposed to other groups.  If some believe that chromosomes and genitalia determine a person’s gender then it is their right to believe that.  It is other group’s obligation to share their perspective so that each individual can more intelligently determine which group they are aligned with.  This is not about right or wrong, because that does not exist.  It is about expressing individual uniqueness in a way that is constructive to the greater whole of society and life on earth.  We all know that variety is the spice of life!

🙂 Sequoia Elisabeth

Unity in Gender Diversity

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The Law of Gender Revisited

We are revisiting the 7 Universal Laws which I first blogged about a year ago.  These are vital to understanding the Universe and working with life, instead of against it.

There are 7 Universal Laws that apply equally to all things in this universe.  The sacred teachings of all traditions touch on these Universal Laws in some way.  To better understand these laws and how to apply these to our lives the next seven blogs will be a countdown of 7 Universal Laws.  Knowing the law is one thing, applying this law is another thing altogether.  Add these tools to your notebook so that the transition journey is all the more fulfilling.

Tania Kotsos in The Seven Universal Laws Demystified lists the seventh law as,

The Law of Gender: “Gender is in everything; everything has its Masculine and Feminine Principles”. The last of the seven Universal Laws is evident throughout creation in the so-called opposite sexes found not only in human beings but also in plants, minerals, electrons and magnetic poles to name but a few. Everything and everyone contains both the masculine and feminine elements. Among the outward expressions of Feminine qualities are love, patience, intuition and gentleness and of Masculine qualities are energy, self-reliance, logic and intellect. Know that within every woman; lay all the latent qualities of a man and within every man those of a woman. When you know this you will know what it means to be complete.”

Many people would consider this law to include the duality of nature, however this law is about gender only and duality is considered in a different law.  This law is about the whole and the aspects of that whole.  To express gender fully one must embrace both masculine and feminine energy.  The fullness of being contains both.

Let us consider this in regards to people.  A man has both energies and expresses masculine energy primarily.  Situations will arise that he will need to express feminine energy, for instance while caring for children.  In an emergency situation where people are injured and swift action is needed to save lives and respond to environmental stresses the man will need both masculine energy and feminine energy.  The injured need the feminine energy of caring and compassion while the swift action and problem solving skills of masculinity will also be necessary.  Without both he is not going to be as effective in his response.  A woman in the same situation has the same energies at her disposal, but will most likely tackle the situation differently.  It is simply a matter of using the same energies differently.

Society needs to get over its identification with men are this way and woman that.  There are no rules, unless you make them or accept the rules others offer you!  Allow these energies to flow naturally through you and know that all is well.

I will point out here that gender identity is how the brain is wired and follows the same Law of Gender.  Transgender individuals are wired such that the traditional male/masculine or female/feminine is reversed.  There is nothing “wrong” however; it merely is what it is.  Each person is comfortable expressing themself in one fashion or the other.  The physical body need not dictate how the individual expresses themself.  The important thing is that each individual feels the freedom to allow the Law of Gender to express through them as it needs to.

🙂 Sequoia Elisabeth

Unity in Gender Diversity     Discover Sex and Sexuality click here

 

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The Gender Sexual Connection

Sex: The physical sexual organs, what is between the legs. This can change due to sexual reassignment surgery; includes male, female and intersex.

Gender: Separate and different from an individual‘s physical sex or sexual orientation (hetero, homo, bi, or asexual), it is an individual‘s perception of the inner self as man, woman or some combination of both, transgender.

Operating from the above definitions we now know that gender and sex are very different and yet from experience we also know that they are intimately connected.  How do we work out this connection?  Is it meaningful?

Sexual Orientation is the trait we give the most attention because it involves others.  Who are you attracted to?  Why?  Does gender really have anything to do with this attraction?  How important is appearance?  What about body parts?  Some people are turned on by toes and if this is the case does it matter what is between their legs?   What if ears are a turn on, the same question applies.  You are probably saying that what it leads to is very important and this is where the genitalia come in.  I agree completely.

In the transgender world we offer a contradiction to this process.  Our parts do not match the majority of the human race.  So do we have GRS to conform or is it more practical than that, simply to enjoy sex in a manner which supports our mental functions?  Many transgender women have surgery just because they cannot bear having male genitalia.  It is like having a large growth on your body which causes you distress.  It could just as well be a tumorous growth!  In this case having surgery is medically necessary, as much as any person with a tumorous growth.  When the result is a happy well adjusted individual post op it is hard to argue against GRS/SRS.

“As an effective treatment for a specific mental disorder, sex reassignment surgery is as deserving of public funding as any other psychiatric treatment.” states Dr. Ray Blanchard, head of the Clinical Sexology Program at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. (Egale Canada ©2011)

“The reported 68%-86% overall success rates for sex reassignment surgery must be viewed cautiously; the lack of long-term follow-up studies makes these statistics misleading. There is evidence suggesting that some gender dysphoric patients benefit primarily from sex reassignment surgery. Most such patients, however, are secondary transsexuals who can benefit from various modes of psychotherapy. Sex reassignment surgery should only be considered as the last resort for a highly select group of diagnosed gender dysphoric patients. As physicians learn new ways to diagnose and treat transsexualism, either sex reassignment surgery will be abandoned as a routine treatment modality or new predictive variables for choosing suitable patients for sex reassignment surgery will be established.” (Lothstein, Am J Psychiatry 1982; 139:417-426)  The above quote is a bit out dated now and this author finds it interesting that its prediction is far from correct.  SRS has grown in popularity as surgical techniques have been perfected.  It is now the best treatment known for severe gender dysphoria.  The question remains, what if the dysphoria is mild?  What constitutes mild?   This is between the patient and their counselor or therapist.

The final point or question I wish to raise is, does sexual orientation figure into ones decision to have surgery or not?  From the clinical perspective, the answer would be no.  Dysphoria is separate from sexual behavior and needs to be treated regardless of sexual orientation.  The practical side of the issue is a personal one.  Transsexuals often start off in same sex relationships and to have surgery would destroy the identities associated with the relationship, so unless both individuals are flexible the relationship ends.  This is even the case in heterosexual relationships since it would be homosexual after surgery.  Those relationships that do survive often forgo sex altogether.

One of the most difficult aspects of the transgender journey is relationships and the changes they must go through along the way.  The losses are often heart breaking, but this is not necessarily a bad thing.  It can lead to more loving and authentic relationships!  The road has many potholes, so it is best to proceed with caution.

🙂 Sequoia Elisabeth

Unity in Gender Diversity

TransTerminology

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Gender Diversity

What does this mean?  The title of this website is Unity in Gender Diversity so it may help to have a concept as to what this means.  In this blog I will break it down into each component so you have a deep understanding of the message behind this title.

First of all, Unity is self explanatory.  It means Oneness and interconnectedness of all things.  You are intimately connected to every aspect of your life like a bubble of sea foam on the surf is connected to the ocean.  Separation is a concept, not a reality.  The reality is Unity.

Gender is also a concept which has been created by society.  The reality is gender has several aspects some of which are fluid and some are not.  Sexual expression or human sex includes – male, female, and intersex.  However sex is NOT gender!  Gender is an individual‘s perception of the inner self as man, woman, or some combination of both, transgender.  Gender and sex are hardwired into the brain at birth, however what is not hardwired is social conditioning and this accounts for much of our behavior.  (For more in depth explanation, please read – Sex and Sexuality)

At birth each child is labeled as male or female and in a few cases intersex.  So society treats this child according to certain unspoken guidelines, boys are treated with privilege, while girls are pampered and the intersex child is often treated as a mistake or disease.  The fact about intersex children is simply that they are a natural variance.  There is nothing “wrong” with these children!  Unfortunately what often happens is the physician, family or both decide what is right instead of allowing the individual to choose when they are old enough to make this decision.

The gender rules are constantly changing so I admit that the above description is only one perspective.  The point I make here is that gender is a social construct layered upon the natural, hardwired gender of the individual.  The way I see it is simply that I was born with male sex and a female brain, while my social conditioning was male the hardwired gender is female.  There is nothing “wrong” with this, it just is.

I do contend that nature knows best so this means I am transgender!  I am not man or woman, I am a combination of both.  The funny thing about gender is that it occurs on a spectrum like a rainbow so very few individuals are fully man or woman, most people are somewhere in between.  When combined with sex and a few other factors our self image emerges.  As you grow this self image may change and thus the title of this blog, Transitions Blog.

The diversity aspect is also somewhat apparent, so I will simply say that the world is a rainbow.  Each and every aspect that makes us human comes in a spectrum and thus the infinite expressions of being a Human Being.  Even twins are not the same although they are more alike than any other humans.
When combined, Unity in Gender Diversity, means that we are all interconnected human beings with diverse gender identities and social presentations.  Just as snowflakes are all similar but different, Human Beings are too!

🙂 Sequoia Elisabeth

Unity in Gender Diversity

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Destiny Fulfilled

This blog is a continuation of the previous blog titled Destiny.  Gender transition is not a conscious choice like most people think of it and neither is homosexuality, pedophilia, autism or any other condition.  These are choices made before birth that must manifest and be worked through.  It takes your entire life to fully experience these gifts and they affect everyone you meet, even if only for a few minutes.  The affect can be positive or negative, that is up to the individual you meet.  If you are positive and giving of your talents, then the meeting will be positive.  All Universal Laws apply! 

The message I wish to convey in this blog is a continuation of the previous blog and it is very simple.  Even though transgender is a choice before birth, it is not something that can be ignored.  It cannot be made to “go away”, it is not something to “cure” and it is not a disease!  Gender Identity is what it is and the hard part is that it is not listed on your birth certificate or in any way known to anyone at birth. 

Gender identity must be discovered over time and with introspection.  The child of 3-6 years old can usually tell others what it is, and sometimes if ignored must be rediscovered later in life, usually at puberty or much later in life.  Most children have a gender identity that matches their physical sex, so gender is often over looked or just assumed.  However in about 3% of the population the gender identity and physical sex do not match as in my case. 

I was too scared and confused to know what was going on, so the issue was not addressed.  My life was in full swing by the time I figured it out as a senior in high school, so I ignored the feelings and sometimes overwhelming urge to express my feminine nature.  To release this energy I crossdressed for 30 years and finally I faced the feelings I was having and transitioned.  It was not something that I could ignore.  It is not a choice, because the choice was made long before birth.  Please understand this when you are dealing with anyone who is coping with this condition.

Transgender, and any other condition as mentioned above affect the whole family and each person involved in this person’s life.  So the one’s closest to this individual must transition along with the transgender individual.  This is often a soul agreement made before birth as mentioned in the last blog.  The opportunity for growth here is phenomenal and must not be ignored.  This is a divine gift!  Embrace it and work it out with everyone you love.  Be not afraid to be yourself!  As hard as it may seem the rewards are worth every effort filled, painful and joyful moment.  Remember one thing above all else, Love is the way…

🙂 Sequoia Elisabeth

Unity in Gender Diversity     Discover Sex and Sexuality click here

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Destiny

A little known fact is that your brain is wired from birth with gender identity and sexual orientation, among many other traits.  Just as a computer is programmed to operate in a certain way, so are you.  The operating system works right out of the box, just as your human traits are pre-programmed.  Just because these things are pre-programmed does not mean they are set in stone.  The program is changeable!

What is not discussed or taught in schools today is that you programmed yourself before you were born.  The reason this is not taught is because it is not provable, but then many aspects of life are taken on faith, so I am not asking you to believe this, just consider the possibility and do your research.   (I have found many sources to confirm this wisdom)

Everything happens for a reason, even chaos!  Random events are an illusion much like a slight of hand trick done by a magician.  Consider the possibility that your gender identity and sexual orientation where chosen before you were born when you made certain agreements with other souls such as your parents, partner, and siblings.  Each person will have different agreements and it is not important to know what exactly they are till the moment you honor them. 

By listening to your inner voice these agreements are honored often without your conscious knowledge.  I don’t buy the story offered by the Buddhists that transgender is the result of past transgressions, in the form of Karma, although if that works for you then it can be one explanation. 

I believe we choose to be transgender so that we can experience both worlds and possibly transcend gender all together.  Our souls are genderless and sexless just as Prime Creator.  This is the reason that many Native tribal cultures honor transgender or two-spirits as Shaman and esteemed members of the tribe.  They have a close connection to spirit!  Each person is growing Spiritually through the events of their lives here in the 3rd dimension.  The challenges we choose before birth are the stairs so to speak that raise us to the next level!   

🙂 Sequoia Elisabeth

Unity in Gender Diversity     Discover Sex and Sexuality click here

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SRS/GRS Treatment Planning

Where does SRS/GRS fit into the treatment plan for Gender Incongruity(GI)/Gender Identity Disorder(GID)?  The terms GRS (Genital Reassignment Surgery) and GI (Gender Incongruity) will be used from here on to make this flow easier.  The diagnosis has been made and you are now in therapy, so what next?

The answer to this question is really up to you and your therapist or physician.  There are no rules here so I recommend doing your research and getting to know the options as well as getting to know yourself a little better. Your therapist should be helpful in guiding you in the decision of whether you need GRS and where to place it in your treatment plan.  It is not their decision to make though, it is yours.  Please understand that you are responsible for finding your way to relief.  The professionals are there to help and provide guidance.

The next step is to decide if you have enough funding to get the surgery soon or will it be years before you can afford it?  If you have money or the resources to get it, then you have several options.  Even if you don’t have the money now, you have options.  Here they are.  Get an orchiectomy right at the beginning (if you are FtoM – hysterectomy) so you do not have to take hormone blockers.  For FtoM it just makes the testosterone that much more effective.  Any cosmetic surgeries desired can be done later in the transition as is convenient.  After fully transitioning and living in the chosen gender and knowing you are happy, get the full GRS.  This option makes the most sense to me, however most doctors are uneasy with this choice, probably because they are not the ones with discomfort. (Reproduction desires need to be addressed also, since this option sterilizes)

The next option is to get hormone treatment and electrolysis done and after going full time as your chosen gender, have GRS done and leave cosmetic surgery to last.  The reasoning here is financial and basically goes in order of importance and cost.  This seems to be the most popular option chosen, for obvious reasons.  Start where you are and take a new step each day toward your ideal. 

Those with lots of money sometimes get carried away with the surgeries and do all kinds of physical alteration without fully embracing the changes emotionally.  From my experience this is a difficult path and somewhat backwards.  Gender transition is an emotional process and the surgery is meant to assist in the assimilation into society.  Where the surgery is very important, so is taking the time to learn what it means to be a woman when you were raised as a man, or vice versa.  Jumping in with the surgery can lead to disaster when you have changed your appearance and not your self concept. 

When I first started my journey one of the questions I asked my therapist is where does GRS fit into my treatment? (I already knew I wanted it, and most of us do)  He told me it does not matter if you get it early or later, the important part is to break down the false persona you created to fit into society and allow your natural self to emerge.  The surgery will re-enforce your feelings and make it easier for you, but does not really matter to a person who will never see between your legs!  GRS is for your own satisfaction in knowing your body reflects your self image.   

🙂 Sequoia Elisabeth

Unity in Gender Diversity     Discover Sex and Sexuality click here

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Are You Man Or Woman?

Do you feel like a man or like a woman?  What is a certain gender supposed to feel like?  How do you know?  I realize that most cisgender people have not considered these questions, but for a transgender or transsexual individual it is of constant concern.  Gender incongruency is something that ~98% of the population can’t even fathom.  What if the concept of gender as taught in the schools the last 100 years is inaccurate?

First understand the difference between sex and gender.  Sex is determined by the parts between the legs and gender is determined by the parts between the ears.  At least this is the modern or current understanding by science. Consider the possibility that each person is here in this reality for a purpose and they have chosen the roles they are to live before they are even born.

What if in fact gender is determined by consciousness, the field which surrounds the body and everything in creation.  What if no one is born with a gender and instead they acquire it.  Much like sexual orientation must be discovered by the individual.  I cannot tell my brother that he is gay or straight or if he is man or woman.  These are things he must discover.  Life is a discovery!  And we are explorers. 

The prevalent teaching about God or Great Spirit or Universal Mind or Infinite Intelligence (or whatever you choose to call this energy) is that it has no sex or gender.  Eastern philosophies have known this for centuries and in the past few centuries the western philosophies are accepting that God is not a man sitting on a throne up in heaven, some people more than others.  I do not have actual statistics on this, but from what I gather this concept is changing. 

The idea I present here today is that God is all there is and since God is all, so are we.  This means that no one has a gender or a sex in reality!  Those things only exist in this reality we call life on earth.  We are indeed all androgynous beings of light!  You may have seen this image presented before as alien life, for instance in the movie Cocoon (1985) or in episodes of Star Trek and in multiple instances in the media.  Everything is energy.

I mention the idea of androgyny here because I feel this is the truth of nature.  I believe that hetero and homo sexuality are creations of the human mind or the mind of man.  This goes for what makes up a man or woman, male or female also.  How do you know what a man or woman feels like?  You do not, anymore than anyone else does.  Just because you seem to have been born male or female does not mean you know what a man or woman feels like. It is what you say it is.

In the end you feel like YOU.  Accept this feeling and get comfortable with it; it is all you will ever have in this lifetime.  No matter what you change on the outside, the inner core remains the same.  The experience will change and this is the point of the material world anyway.  Enjoy the ride and only act with authenticity in your life.  Live with pride!  This is your role in life and it is mine.

Sequoia Elisabeth 🙂

Unity in Gender Diversity

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Gender Expression

The following quote is from the new eBook coming out next month. 

“A few words about the differences of gender role and gender expression, while they are similar in that they are a choice, they are different in that gender expression is about our outer appearance and gender role is the activities we are involved in.  So wearing make-up and female clothes is a female gender expression, while a female gender role would be cleaning house and babysitting.  I hesitate to include this here as our roles and expressions are getting to be so varied and free.  The old rules are breaking down, so we are seeing women in combat duty now while 20 years ago that was almost unheard of.  Men are cleaning house, washing dishes and babysitting now days too and this does not make them female.  The best way I can put it is that we are integrating now as a society and our roles and gender expressions are much more open.  While a man in a woman’s role or a woman in a man’s role may be questioned, or even ridiculed, more of society is accepting them now.  Gender expression is the area which has less latitude.  In a male dominated society men expressing as woman are questioned far sooner than a woman expressing as a man.  It is assumed that everyone wants to be male!  (Not to imply this is choice.)”

I am sure you have an opinion on this topic and I am curious to hear what you have to say.  Gender expression has slowly gotten more liberated over time.  Just like anything else it goes through cycles.  The world today is shifting from a male dominated society to one that is more balanced and Matriarchal.

If masculine energy is active, feminine energy is passive.  We have both for a reason and right now the balance is shifting!  As much as it seems that there is much to do, take time every day to simply do nothing.  Play relaxing music if you like, but just take a few minutes at least to just sit and listen to the silence.  Get in touch with your feminine energy, the passive side that is soft, easy going, caring, compassionate and smooth.  Let go of the masculine energy or active side.  There is no need to be strong, hard, angular or aggressive right now.  Just relax and feel the peace.  The world needs your Peace, your Passivity and your Silence. 

Gender expression is about what you show the world.  The desire to live an authentic life and feeling free to do so is everyone’s right!  Just because you appear to be man or woman does not make it so.  Just because you act one way or the other does not make it so either!  So how does one know if they are in the right body and gender expression?  They just do.  Gender is an inner feeling or knowing that most of us never question, if you are questioning it then I suggest you visit the website below and discover more.  The next blog will discuss gender role and preview the eBook Sex and Sexuality.  Ta ta till then,

😉 Sequoia Elisabeth

 Unity in Gender Diversity

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Transition Journey

So what is transition really?  Ok, so it is a change, but what does that mean?  Yes, change is the most constant force in the Universe!  By transition do we mean a flower blooming?  Or a child growing to an adult?  Maybe, however to make this as simple as we can let’s go with a definition of changing from one state of being to another.  Now let’s get more specific and look at gender identity.  The transition I speak of today is gender transition. 

In a way the transition is not about change at all, but about awareness.  Just being aware of what already is.  The core does not change.  Instead the person moves from ones state of being to another.  Like peeling the layers of an onion the transition journey reveals the deeper realization of self.  This may take a lifetime or it can be done in a few years.  The fact is that individuals are born with a gender identity that is innate.  However it is easy to be mis-lead by appearances.  Getting caught up in societies expectations is so easy with all the roles we have thrust upon us.  

Authentic gender transition is about removing the false persona, male identity for MtoF or female persona for FtoM, which is created to “fit” into the world based on societies expectations.  Removing the veil and allowing our authentic self to emerge is what the journey is all about.  Growing up takes time so transition does not happen overnight, however transition does happen a lot faster than the first time around, unless you are one of the lucky ones who have not allowed the veil to be drawn.  When you start young the false persona is not created, but you still must be aware of your authentic self and make sure this is who you are expressing.  More and more kids are being allowed to transition now days which is a revolution of awakening in this authors opinion. 

Transition is a natural process that really needs no assistance other than deep awareness.  Are you aware of how you feel?  What makes you happy?  Have you walked down that road and deeply enjoyed the journey?  If you are male transitioning to female then dress up and see how it feels.  Know as much as you can about the journey. It is sort of like planning a trip from New York to Shangri-La. In order to get to Shangri-La one must leave New York.  

If you need a tour guide then by all means, please get help.  Discovering the aspects of you that are false can be a long road and not an obvious one.  The most important aspect of the transition journey is to be authentic and natural.  Authenticity involves following your bliss, and doing that which brings Joy to your heart.  Let go of any desire to play a role or attempt to fit other people’s expectations.  It is not about being black or white (male or female), but about showing your true colors!

🙂  Sequoia Elisabeth

Unity in Gender Diversity

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Self Identity

For those with Gender Identity issues understanding who you are is indeed a life long journey.  When you ask that profound question of “who am I?”, take a few minutes and feel the answer.  You may hear words, but instead of listening, simply feel. 

You are the only person who can truly know who you are.  No one can tell you although they may try.  This blog is about the journey of discovery in which one explores the inner depths of their own psyche and beyond.  As you may remember from earlier blogs, the mind is simply a tool used to interface with this environment, it is not who you are! 

Neither is the body “who you are”.   The body is simply a vessel which carries us about and to experience this world in which we live.  Our body has 5 senses, our mind has 6 and together they make up a complex system of collecting information about life.  Being human is all about the experience of life from every perspective and aspect.  So what does it mean to be a woman or a man?

This is the question that leads many gender variant individuals to therapy.  The odd thing is that most people would simply say “this is who I am” while looking in the mirror at their body, and really have no clue as to whether they feel like a man or woman!  You feel the way you do, so how do you know that is like a man or woman?  Who decided those parameters? 

The transgender journey is largely about accepting who you are, how you feel and the behaviors you are compelled to participate in.  Part of identity is self expression and this is often not a conscious decision, although sometimes it is.  For a man to have the desire to wear pantyhose or other woman’s clothing can be very confusing and frustrating.  The idea of being a woman trapped in a man’s body for me seemed absurd.  This question depends on how you define self. 

You are you and the rest is simply how you are experiencing the world.  The choice is yours how you experience the world and yet it is NOT.  It is like you have made the choice to get on a particular train (born male, female or intersex) and now you are having that experience.  The current choice comes in your attitude about the ride.  Are you going to enjoy it?  Will you jump off the train?  Will you feel sorry for yourself because you choose the “wrong” train?  Have you ever started on a trip and then forget where you were going before you got there?  Then you end up standing in the middle of the sidewalk wondering how you got there?  This happens more than we are willing to admit, especially in life’s journey. 

The next step is to choose again and move on with a renewed vigor for our new goal.  Happy to just be alive!  Paying attention to every little feeling and thought.  Not judging them but just noticing them and using them as a guide to our next step.  …Row…Row…Row…your…boat…gently…down…the…stream

🙂  Sequoia Elisabeth

Unity in Gender Diversity

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Possible Challenges

The most difficult aspect of transition is probably going to be different for each person, however I will attempt to make a few generalizations here so that you will be aware of possible challenges along the road.   If you have an insight into possible challenges in transition feel free to comment below. 

The transition from one sex to the other can be a very emotional one fraught with trials and tribulations. Or it can be a simple process of shifting the physical body to better represent the inner gender identity.  It is important to realize here that gender is fixed in your brain before you are born.  The physical sex appears to be fixed but in fact can be altered to match the gender identity fairly easily. 

What happens to most transgender individuals is that they are conditioned by society to conform to the role determined by the organs between their legs.  Sex organs are for two purposes, procreation and enjoyment.  It is no accident that procreation is fun.  This assures the perpetuation of the species.  Whoopee 😉  The mental aspects of sexual attraction and role play are complex.  Sexual orientation like gender identity is fixed at birth, so it is the melding of society’s views with personal views that make this complex. 

The transition journey is one of releasing society’s views and living an authentic life which is true to your inner feelings and identity.  This begins with acceptance of both yourself and others.  If someone no longer wishes to be your friend then allow them that space and focus on accepting your natural self. 

In order to replace a glass of orange juice with apple juice you must first empty out all the orange juice.  This process creates a void which is to be filled by the apple juice.  The space is filled at all times, so as one leaves another fills the void.  Transition is much like this.  For a Male to Female transition as the male persona is released this creates a void for the natural persona to fill in.  Substituting another false persona, say of a certain female role is no better than the false male persona.  The point is to allow the natural persona to develop as it would have if the body parts had matched from birth. 

The best advice for allowing this process freedom to evolve is to let go and release any judgment.  Stop trying to please others and simply go with the flow.  Pay close attention to what brings you Joy.  This is best described as a feeling of contentment and gentle peace within your body, centered in your heart. 

For those with an overactive mind, release is a process of patience and persistence.  Make all thoughts OK while relaxing and focusing in the general moment.  If specific thoughts creep in and they likely will, consciously release them.  Say to yourself, “I release any thoughts of how my life should be.  I am open to my inner most gifts and allow them to express naturally.” 

I wish you Peace and Joy on your journey of Love.

😉 Sequoia Elisabeth

Unity in Gender Diversity

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Gender is a Rainbow

Are you man or woman? How about male or female? Just because you are male does that mean that you are a man?  What if you have female sexual organs but feel like neither a woman nor a man?  Who makes up these rules anyway?

Think of a scale with 0 being in the middle and 100% Male at one end and 100% female at the other.  Now stand in the middle and let go.  Which way do you move?  How far?  Are you in the same place as you were a year ago?  How about 20 years ago?

Gender Identity is your sense of being man, woman, neither or both.  It is a scale of masculinity and femininity which can only be determined by you and your feelings.  How do you feel compelled to express yourself?  Which roles are you most comfortable in?  If you were to ask these questions to every person in the world, you would likely get answers all over the scale with most being near the middle of each direction and only a few at each end, but more in the middle than at the ends.

 

Gender is a rainbow of identity and everyone falls somewhere on the scale, but not necessarily in congruence with your body.  Transgender individuals often fall within the middle 50% of the chart, but opposite of their birth sex.  A person who is right in the middle would be considered androgynous.

You may be asking, “This is all fine and dandy, but how does this affect me?”  This matters because it affects your relationships and how you relate to others.  The person you meet at work or at the mall may appear to be male or female but in fact be transgender.  Putting that person into a box is the temptation and often in our society it is the teaching.  What I am asking of you here is to see the rainbow and accept it.  We all are going to have a different gender identity so it only makes sense to honor the differences while seeing the similarities.  You have many ways of relating to this person and gender is but one.

See what you have in common with the person you are talking with, meeting for the first time, or sitting next to on the bus.  Our gender identity is expressed in the way we dress, talk, and act.  If this happens to be different than you, which most of the time it will be, accept them and find out who they are before putting them in a box or labeling them.

No matter what label or box they end up in make it OK and live by the golden rule.  Now that you understand gender apply the same guidelines to sexual orientation and please do not assume you know one or the other. Sexual Orientation has little to do with ones Gender Identity!

Sequoia Elisabeth

Unity in Gender Diversity

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Sexual Orientation

Sexual expression comes in many different flavors, and is possibly as unique as the number of people on our beautiful blue planet.   The old school wants us to conform to the old ‘boy meets girl, girl has baby’ scenario and while that does serve its purpose as a race we are moving beyond that.  The world may appear to be a binary system with only men and women, but I can assure you it is not. 

Sexual orientation is an aspect of gender that Dr. Carl Bushong describes as “Brain Sex”.  ‘Our love/sex patterns, and how we relate to others on a social and interpersonal as well as sexual level, often referred to as our “Sexual Orientation”.’  (1995) This aspect, like gender identity, is hard wired from birth, which means our brains, being much like a computer, are programmed to be attracted to certain physical attributes, genders and personalities. 

To restrict every person on the planet, all 6.8 Billion +, to being either heterosexual or homosexual is unrealistic.  Instead it is much more feasible that each person on earth has their own unique sexuality which falls into several categories.  The categories as they exist today are, heterosexual, homosexual, asexual, bisexual, and pansexual.  There are a few other words being used but overlap these so I will stick with this list.  Within each category will be a sliding scale so that each person falls somewhere on the scale and is not necessary stuck exactly in that spot, although they will stay within a category. 

Just briefly hetero means opposite sex attraction, homo means same sex attraction, (a) means no sex attraction, (bi) means both sexual attraction, and pan means all sexual attraction.  I do not like the term bi sexual because it implies there are only two sexes, male and female.  This is the old world paradigm and no longer works (if it ever worked).  Pansexual includes everyone and applies to anyone that is sexual but not strictly attracted to the opposite or same sex. 

The whole labeling game gets a little absurd after a while because the terms become contradictory and putting people into boxes is both confining and inaccurate. For instance, a transwoman who is attracted to women is lesbian or are they heterosexual since they were born into a male body?  And what about the woman who was attracted to this person not realizing they were transgender?  Does that make them a lesbian?  So what if it does? 

The world is coming out!  We are becoming more aware of gender identity and sexual orientation, which is leading to more understanding and eventually to more acceptance.  I ask only that you stay away from the labels as much as possible and simply love the person.  This is why I like the Pansexual label best because it is defined as “A sexual orientation characterized by the potential for aesthetic attraction, romantic love and/or sexual desire for people, regardless of their gender identity or biological sex.” (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/pansexuality#English 2010)

Who you are attracted to should not be grounds for discrimination.  Could you imagine if the world judged you on the grounds of your attraction to hair color?  “Oh you like redheads, uggg or ewww”!   Being gay or lesbian is no different since you have no business what they do behind closed doors.  LOVE the person and stop separating!  We are One, one big family of Human. 

😉 Sequoia Elisabeth

Unity in Gender Diversity

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What Next?

Having decided that you are indeed transgender, what next?  For those who do not know, it is not always easy to accept that you are different than most people.  I mean we grow up knowing who we are and relating to the world through our eyes but we do not know what a woman is supposed to feel like or how a man is supposed to feel.  We have no frame of reference as a child. 

Gender is something that only the individual can decide or more accurately discover!  I am speaking of gender identity which has little to do with sexual orientation.  That will be an entirely different blog.  Our physical sex does not determine our gender identity and I have a great article explaining all that here on my website. 

There is an innate feeling of misalignment for the transgender person, however so many of us want to fit in believing that this determines our love.  We often think that acceptance comes from people around us like our parents and siblings.  I am here to tell you that it does not.  Acceptance comes from within our own minds and hearts after we have come to terms with our true nature.  While transgender may be a variation of natural selection it is not wrong, bad, a disorder or a disease.  It is simply who you are! 

Once you have discovered who you are, and transgender individuals often have a sense of this at an early age, the journey becomes accepting yourself; loving the differences while noticing the similarities also, because acceptance is loving the whole package.   Honor the feelings you have inside by allowing them to express.  Look deep inside and embrace your findings with courage.  If you need help along the way ask!  This inner journey is something that everyone must do in order to grow and to expand their understanding of who they are. 

If you are someone who loves a transgender person then I salute your choice and your bravery.  Love is not about right or wrong it is about discovery of the deeper self.  It is a two way journey and a blessing for everyone participating.  Love is unconditional and it often chooses us, by this I mean we fall into it quite unknowingly.  Once there it can be a wonderful and magical experience when embraced.  The unknown can be scary so let me assure you that nothing but good comes from Love.   To be continued….

😉 Sequoia Elisabeth

Unity in Gender Diversity

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Is It Time?

How do I know I am ready to transition?  What do you think about when you wake up in the morning?  What are you thinking about when you go to bed?  Are you thinking about it all through the day?  In this case you probably already have started your transition.  I of course am speaking of transitioning from male to female or female to male in order to express ones gender identity.

Many people who are not transgender ask the question, why do you need to transition at all?  To many TG’s the answer is obvious but let me just clarify.  Being transgender is living a lie unless we can express ourselves as who we truly are.  We need to transition as much as anyone needs to be understood and loved!  If you can imagine going through life without love, never being understood, not being able to express your ideas, and not being able to live your visions and dreams, then you know what it is like to not transition. 

There is an energy expressing in us, through us, as us and to withhold that energy is impossible.  It must be released or the person dies, or harms another.  It really is very simple, are you being the person of your dreams?  If not, then why?  Are you fulfilling your destiny?  If you are truly a transgender person and you are living your birth sex then no you are not fulfilling your destiny. 

This is not something that pops up at the age of 35 or 40 all of sudden.  This is something that has been with you since birth and you have been denying it.  If you have no memory of having gender doubt or feelings of not being in the right body then you are not transgender.  And I mean constantly for years and not just a few times. 

The important thing is to live your life authentically and be true to who you are inside. In order to do this you must be honest with yourself.  And you must get to know yourself.  Some of us are so busy living stereotypes and expectations of others we don’t even know who we are.  Being alone is very important for this and I would suggest taking a camping trip or weekend in a remote place with no electronics.  Simply be with yourself, feel your feelings, write your thoughts down, find things that you enjoy.  How are you creative?  What are your best features?   What would you like to share about yourself with the world? 

Once you figure out who you are, then share that with those closest to you.  Find those who are supportive and be willing to let go of those who are not, and this sometimes means letting go of those closest to you, parents, children, spouses, family.  You deserve to be loved and appreciated for who you are!   Please do not hide from the world.  You are loved and our purpose here is to share that love.  Being Transgender is a gift, just like being a genius or a natural athlete.  If all the above describes you then maybe it is time to transition. 

😉 Sequoia Elisabeth

Unity in Gender Diversity

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Let’s Review

Coping tools for Transition are the main purpose of this blog so let’s do a review here.  Transition is all about change and can include anything from moving to a new city, starting a new job or embracing a change in physical gender.  There are no two transitions quite the same, so please apply these techniques to your situation. 

I have talked about many things so far, but the most important tools I have discussed are the 6 senses of the mind which began Feb. 2, 2010.  If you have not read these I would recommend you go to those blogs and give them a look.  The mind is a powerful thing to waste! 

The other tools I discuss are awareness, compassion, community, and Universal Laws.  The topics I discuss include Death, 2012, time, visioning, gratitude, unity, oneness, Love, morality, relationships, the transsexual transition, post-op regret/grief, jobs, societal perception, introspection, and journeys.

Looking over this list there are a few subjects I have not covered well and will be including in the days to come.  I will be talking about community, support groups, suicide, and anything that my readers suggest.  Having some feedback on subjects that you are interested in is most helpful, so please write to me and let me know.  If you found this blog without going to my website then please pop over and give it a look. Unity in Gender Diversity

😉 Sequoia Elisabeth

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Who are you?

Who are you?  Are you sure about that?  How you see yourself and feel about yourself is very important, however it is our actions that truly define us.  Our thoughts and prayers are simply one step on the path to discovering who you are.  The creation process works like this, thoughts, words, and action.  Each cycle of this process further defines who we are.  Being true to our word and staying focused on our desire is one way to hasten the process.  When we send out consistent messages combined with actions to back them up then the Universe has no choice but to manifest our dreams! 

Consistency is the problem that most people face and this simply comes from discipline and focus.  Always do what you say you will do, be honest with yourself first and then others, and make no promises you cannot keep. 

Be easy on yourself too.  We all slip up from time to time, so try not to beat yourself up.  It is very true that we are our own worst enemies, so make peace now.  Begin by looking yourself in the eye (mirrors make this very easy) and saying “I love you”, feel it deep within.  Do this every day and see how you feel in a week.  I do this on a regular basis, as often as I remember to.  This may seem egotistical but it is not, because you are not speaking to the image in the mirror, but the Spirit that makes up the image.  “To thine own self be true”.    

So this brings us full circle to, who are you?  For me there is no set answer, only the feeling at the moment.  Sometimes I am Peace, sometimes Love, sometimes Divine Feminine, and sometimes I am simply me with no identity at all. 

While I am not my body, my body is an expression of who I am in physical form.  Yet when I look in the mirror I feel that I am more than this.  I feel so limited in this body; like a prisoner of flesh.  The Journey of Love that leads to discovery of our inner self can be a long and lonesome road, but it can also be fulfilling and joyful.  What do you expect to find at the core of your being?  The same thing that I find at the core of mine?  Could be, we are one! 

😉 Sequoia Elisabeth

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Keeping up with the Jones’s

God makes us all different, but it is the ego mind (ego is equated with the psyche or mind of man) that feels that it is incomplete and wants to make everything the same.  That keep up with the Jones’s mentality is what gets so many of us in trouble.  Why?  Simply because we are driven to be something we are not.  This happens with gender too.  Maybe you feel like you are not a “good” woman or man, but somehow inferior.  You know the game, my thighs are too big or too small, my waist is fat, or I am way to short.  All the comparison we make of our bodies to others is driven by this inner feeling of insecurity controlled by our ego mind.  Now I am not here to bash the ego, far from it.  Instead I would say that the ego serves its purpose, but it is important to realize when the ego has control over your actions.  Basically I use this method to know if I am in my “right” mind (not ego mind). I simply get in touch with my feelings and focus on the area in the center of my body.  If I am feeling good, then all is OK and I should proceed, but if instead I feel a tight tension, pain or sick feeling then I should re-assess my actions.  I call this soul guidance, because feelings are the seat of the soul.  Your Higher Self or soul is communicating with you through your feelings!  Are you listening?  When you are thinking of beginning a transition be it a gender transformation or a work transition, whatever, check in with your soul!  One thing that many people do not realize is that no one can tell you that you are a man or woman.  Gender Identity is subjective and only you know how you feel.  Many of us know that we feel like a woman very early on and some report as early as 2-3 years old, however many of us do not make that connection that I have this body, I should be feeling this way!  Why?  We have no idea what it feels like to be one sex or the other we only know how we feel and that it is either right or wrong.  I never felt wrong, I only felt like myself.  I had no idea in my early years that I was a woman.  I was given a male body and I accepted that the way I felt was male!  Only later after puberty did I feel like wearing woman’s clothing.  By this time programming had taken over and I was locked into living a lie!  I did question reality so to speak when I was 17, but Harry Benjamin had just released his very strict guidelines for transition and I was a bit freaked out by them.  I mean living a full year as a woman with no help what so ever, no hormones, no surgery, and even the prospects of having counseling help seemed very remote.  So I did my best to be the man everyone else expected me to be.  I was living in my ego mind!  I would have brief moments of “sanity” when I would ‘crossdress’(which in reality was dressing properly in truth).  We can only live the lie for so long before things start to break down.  The feelings at this time of transition can be tricky.  I was scared to death of being “caught” and yet I did it anyway because it felt so good.  It just felt right!  From what I have learned over these last ten years is that these urges to crossdress come in cycles and for most male to female transgender persons it runs around 15 years, and what I mean by this is that we have a period of crisis urges where we dress appropriately or freak out!  Now I am fully in Transition and loving my life as my natural self!  See this is the key to it all.  Being yourself!  Now many of you will say, Duh o.O!  Not everybody lives their authentic selves, even in the transgender world some people are still living a life they believe others want them to.  They are conforming to a bi-gender world, were we are either male or female.  The fact is that gender is a spectrum and you can be any combination of male and female.  Few people are completely one or the other.  This is gender identity not sexual orientation that I am talking about.  So please get in touch with your soul (feelings) and be yourself!  You will be happy you did. 

😉 Sequoia Elisabeth

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