What can I say? I'm the only person I know who feels the way I do, in real life. It's been so frustrating; some of my friends are understanding, but I have no one who can actually relate to what I'm dealing with.
For me, I wish it was as "simple" as being a man in a woman's body. In truth, I feel I am both, or neither, depending on semantics. I am part of that elusive "third gender", the androgyne. It's very lonely, and I'm very sensitive about it. I've been burned by people who mean well, but after I tell them how I feel they try to reassure me by saying I have very feminine features and a womanly beauty.
I want people to be attracted to me for all of the man in me as well as the woman. I hope that as many straight girls (or even lesbian girls) hit on me as the gay men at the club I frequent. I guess I'm not completely convincing enough to pass as a man, as good as I look trying.
It's terrifying when I get a new boyfriend. The girlfriends I've had were turned on by my androgyny, but it's been harder with the men. The first boyfriend I had in highschool was so effeminate that he needed someone who was strictly a girl for him, so that whatever masculinity he had would be played up. If I ever mentioned crossdressing, he would say, "but you look cute in a skirt!"
The second boyfriend was terrified of the idea that I could be anything other than a girl, and it was very difficult to get him past a sort of hysterical denial of my gender; mainly I think because his father had raised him to be very macho about his own masculinity, and he was afraid because he did sometimes fantasize about men, and didn't want to even indulge in the possibility that he could be gay by dating me. Those fights always ended up with both of us crying.
The current boyfriend comes from a very religious background, and has been very supportive of my crossdressing, but I know that he struggles with the way his parents view anything outside of the hetero norm to be "broken" or "damaged" in some way.
This isn't a phase.....ever since I was a small child, I was the prince in our make beleive stories; people thought my crushes on male celebrities (Johnny depp, Christopher Walken, etc) were that I wanted to marry them, when in fact I wanted to *be* them. I wished every night for santa clause to give me a penis somehow, I prayed to God to make me a boy. I was so disappointed every morning when nothing grew between my legs.
I'm eighteen now, and my idols are Tilda Swinton and Johnny Depp (particularly in his portrayal of Ichabod Crane in Sleepy Hollow). I know now that surgery is not something I want; and I know that I have an effeminate side to me as well, that is sort of at war with my masculine self. I love my floor length black skirts just as much as I love my brocaded frock coats and pin-striped jackets. But I feel like I couldn't get the support I needed in the transgender community, since I'm not fully one way or the other and I don't alter my biochemistry in any way. This has led to me wondering if what I am is "okay" or "acceptable" even among queer people.
I'm sure I could pass much more easily if I wore baseball caps and baggy jeans, but my personal style and aesthetic prefers more tight-fitting, historical garments, which are in fashion for girls now.
If I went back two hundred years and wore the traditional men's clothing of the time, no one would question the fact that I was a man, because the differences between the sexes were so extreme, particularly in dress. When I used to work at the renfair, I delighted in being automatically called "Sire" or "sir" or "my lord" by the girls working there, and even the boys; I'm not even sure they realized I was physically a girl, even though if you placed me on a busy corner in manhattan you would know instantly that I was not a boy.
I suppose what I'm looking for is just some support, and maybe some advice from anyone who might possibly be going through something like this on how to deal with it.