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Your letters - Melanie's responses

A Reader Asks...

Do you consider yourself a transsexual still, or do you consider yourself a woman?  I often wonder if there is a final transition.

 Melanie Replies...

Well, actually, you never resolve that. But the funny thing is, there comes a time when you stop asking the question. Instead, your attention turns outward, and you begin to have all sorts of opinions about all kinds of external things and people in the world that you never had time for before.

I think, in fact, that the concepts of male or female are so wrapped up with social roles, changing sexual feelings as one progresses through life, and also the specific context in which one finds oneself at the moment, that NOBODY on the planet would really have an answer for that one if they looked deep inside and reported truly.

What sets the transsexual apart for the rest of the world is simply that this person keeps asking the question over and over again. But when the transsexual evolves far enough emotionally, the question is asked less and less frequently, until one day it just doesn't come up any more.

At that moment, the individual ceases to be a transsexual and becomes a person. The man/woman, male/female, gay/straight, masculine/feminine of it, is how we classify others, either automatically and subconsciously, or consciously when contradictory information is observed. But none of those can be determined by looking at oneself. We know ourselves too well, and are fully aware that we are really not of a single mind, but rather are a constant turmoil of contradictory alternatives, through which we chart a course as best we can.

When an individual grows through experience to gradually shift the eye of critical awareness from oneself and back to the external world, that is when transition has come full circle. This is true not only for the transsexual, but for any human being who seeks to understand the nature of self. As Zen would describe it: first the mountain is a mountain, then it isn't, then it is. The key is not that the mountain appears the same at the end of the cycle, but that the observer has changed and come back to the same place as a different, more enlightened human being.



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