Sensuous in Satin

Reflections on Transgender life

I feel like a woman

Posted by Adrian • Monday, June 23. 2014
We all know how hard it is to talk about our gender identity to others.

Often the words we have to express our feelings are inadequate, ambiguous, or misinterpreted.

So we can talk but others don't get the same message.

In our quest for acceptance we strive to be understood. But how often do we question if what we are saying has any shared meaning? When we talk about gender we aren't talking about sex, physical external genitalia, or appearance.

We are talking about something intangible, a feeling. And feelings are notoriously difficult to communicate.



Let's look at what is a very common example of this non-communication.

I know that many members will have tried to describe their gender by a reference to it being "that of a woman".

Over the years I have asked many people what it means to have the gender of a woman, what it means to feel as a woman. And what I hear is that there isn't a single, commonly held view.

What is more surprising is that genetic females show the greatest divergance of meaning. I've yet to hear the same interpretation twice!



People in society don't in general ask - what does it feel like to be a man, or what does it feel like to be a woman.

And so we haven't established any shared understanding.



So when we say to someone we feel like a woman, what the listener interprets that to mean can be widely different to what we meant.

Being aware of the differences is probably a good start to improving our communications