This will be my last post. I feel that after five months of exhaustive self-inflection I can finally move on. Tackling what it meant to be an autogynephiliac/crossdreamer was essential for me to be able to do this, so I hope and pray that others may be able to do the same. I'm leaving this blog up in hopes that it will help guide people toward their own path.
This is a message for those that think they are suffering from gender dysphoria, but feel perplexed by autogynephilia. If you are 100% certain with your masculine identity, this message is not for you. Everyone else, enjoy.
What it means to have Autogynephilia or to Crossdream: It's a unique sexual fetish so strong that its probably definitive of your entire sexuality. If your arousal is driven solely on the thought of becoming or existing as a woman then you are a 'crossdreamer'. The typicalities of people living with this are somewhat uncanny: struggles with initiating sex with a partner, ongoing compulsive behavior, and depression are just some of what many have experienced. Crossdressing is common, but not necessary for crossdreamers.
Why you have it: This was the big question for me when I started researching this, and I became exceedingly frustrated that there was/is no scientific explanation. Even the best of explanations are met with so much resistance that its nearly impossible to decide how this pertains to you. So excuse me if this comes across as way too bold and wildly unscientific, but I understand the urgency you're probably feeling if you're trying to find the answer- so I'm just going to give you the explanation that provides me with satisfaction.
The reason you have autogynephilia is because you lack any other ability to express your femininity. It's the outlet that your "inner girl" uses to relieve pressure. You may then ask yourself, "Well Renee, then why don't all guys have autogynephilia? Don't all guys have a feminine side?" The answer to this is probably going to be hard to swallow, but: Not quite like you do. The fact is, that deep at your core you may desire to actually live as a woman.
In the past few months, I'm yet to speak to any crossdreamer that is entirely confident in their portreyed gender identity. I've asked many of them the same question: "If everything you knew and loved was destroyed in an earthquake tomorrow, would you pass up the opportunity to live as female if given the chance." (I might further explain that it would be as a natural, attractive female so they don't confuse the intent of the message with something like living as a transexual.) In every case the answer is yes.
What's interesting about this is that I don't initially ask that question. I first ask just a more simple question: "Do you identify as trans person or do you have any desire to actually become a woman?" The answer has mostly (but not always) been no. Further conversation yields commonality in their responses: "I wouldn't pass;" "My current world would be turned upside down;" "I have too many obligations;" "It's scary;" "Sex changes don't make you a 'real' woman;" and so on. Ultimately, what I learned is that many of us only live as men because of how impossible it feels to become women, even the ones that initially claim that the buck stops at AGP.
Bottom line here: Chances are you're transsexual. Note that when I say that, I don't mean that you should necessarily go forward and start taking hormones and get sex reassignment surgery. I'm just saying that you are compelled by the same thing that many others have acted on- having gone forward to become women.
What this means to you: That really depends. If the incongruence between how you live and how you desire to live is causing you to live in misery, then you need to go forward and pursue the life that you want. "Are you telling me that I should want to actually become a woman?" I asked this to numerous transexuals only to be met with vague answers like "Only you know what is right for you" or "I can't answer that for you." Well I personally don't like non-answers, so I'm going to give the straight dope:
The answer is Yes.
The only reason I feel confident in saying this because if you have made it this far in reading then you're probably having strong doubts about your gender identity. If however, you are just reading this for shits and grins then please disregard.
Now heres why.
Because you need to be happy, you deserve it, and you've denied yourself for too long. You can try finding your purpose in life for the rest of your years, but you'll only be miserable. If you reach down beyond the AGP to find that you're actually dysphoric, then this is going to be your only solution. And heres some more reasons why:
First, if you're a Christian then you need to read the following passages: Isaiah 56:4-5, Mattew 19:12, Acts 8:26-39, and Mark 9:46-47. For the record, eunuchs were castrated men. It didn't really have anything to do with them being trans, but castrated none the less.
But the point to take away here is that as a Christian, you aren't supposed to lie. You're supposed to live an honest life. Integrity. If you are feeling that you are at wits end in a Christian catch 22, I'd like you to consider those above passages in making your determination of how you want to represent yourself to God. Would you rather be honest as his creation by embracing your true self or would you rather suffer in Old Testament ideals that justify the Christian Right to frown upon your true nature? How would Jesus treat the young transwoman thats being rejected by her Church establishment? My idea: He embraces and loves her for everything she is.
The second reason I have is just general philosophy. We as humans seek happiness/pleasure. Depending on your school of thought, in any instance you are going to seek to maximize your overall happiness.
The problem is that when your living as the wrong gender, you're living against your natural virtues. And even if you don't believe that being virtuous is the ultimate way to achieve happiness, you can at least consider that its impossible to experience maximum fulfillment or pleasure as the opposite gender, unless you become the opposite gender. If your ultimate pinnacle form or self actualization is to exist as a Megan Fox lookalike, then why are you trying so hard to do anything but?
In the coming months its my intent to truly come out to my partner. While I'd like to say I'm optimistic about her reaction, I'm not. She already is aware of my AGP, and doesn't really want it in our lifestyle, so I doubt further progression will be taken well. It's unfortunate for me, but its not her fault. Unfortunately for her, I don't see myself as capable for providing this manufactured personality for much longer.
I'm soon to embark on a whole new world. And a whole new me.
I'd like to thank everyone that helped me piece this together. From the IRC's to Blogistan.