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The Zen of


Transsexuality? No Such Thing!

by Melanie Anne

Yeah, I know. I'm supposed to be a transsexual. Only I don't believe in transsexuality.

I used to, mind you. But since I had sex reassignment surgery in 1992 I've come to understand that transsexuality doesn't really exist.

Actually, we're all intersexed.

There's a difference between being intersexed mentally and intersexed physically. And both of those are different than just have an affinity for the feminine (or masculine). And none of this has anything at all to do with sexual preference.

There are four parts to human sexuality:

1. Anatomical Sex 

2. Mental Sex 

3. Gender Identity 

4. Sexual Preference

Anatomical sex is more complex than just "male" or "female." Everyone has secondary sexual characteristics, such as body hair, hip width, facial features, etc., that run a range between completely male and completely female. Most people lean heavily to one side, but nearly everyone either has a bit of a mix of features or has at least a few features that aren't all to one end of the sliding scale in and of themselves. And even the notion of what's between your legs is shot out of the water by hermaphrodites. What's more, these things come in all different shapes and sizes.

So, what about chromosomes? Certainly XX and XY speak for themselves! What, then about folks who are XXY? And what if someone is XX but very mannish or XY and extremely pretty and feminine looking? Not so easy, is it! Yet, even if you say, "Hogwash" and just assign an anatomical sex, you've still got Mental Sex, Gender Identity, and Sexual Preference to deal with.

Mental Sex is based on the work I did in co-creating the Dramatica Theory of Story. We discovered our psychological model of a story's structure came in two flavors: Male and Female. In fact, both operating systems are equally powerful in stories, but work as differently as Windows and Macintosh.

Male mental sex leans toward linear, goal-oriented, logical, spatial thinking whereas female mental sex leans toward holistic, journey-oriented, emotional, temporal thinking. But don't think we're generalizing here. There are four "levels" or kinds of processes that concurrently go on in the mind: Conscious, Memory, Subconscious and Preconscious. Preconscious is the only place you'll find built-in hardwired mental sex. The other three levels can employ any of the approaches listed above by choice (in Conscious) by training (in Memory) or by conditioning (in Subconscious).

How is male or female mental sex hard-wired into the preconscious? In the 12th to 14th week of pregnancy there is either a flush of testosterone over the developing fetus or not. Male fetuses are "supposed" to get it, female fetuses aren't.

Part of what that flush does is physical - it causes the gonads to evolve, it alters skeletal development, and so on. Part of what is does affect the brain, and hence, the mind.

The mind is made up of two primary forces - binary thinking in the firing of neurons, and analog thinking in the biochemistry. And these two forces affect one another. So neurons fire from two different kinds of input - Spatial Summation in which a single large stimulus makes the neuron fire and Temporal Summation in which an ongoing series of small stimuli, if large enough and often enough, eventually raise the chemical values surrounding the neuron to the point that it will fire.

That hormone wash before birth affects the brain (among other ways) by biasing the L cells and R cells in the ganglia (the little neural networks that operate within the brain at large). Each ganglia is like a little network of its own, each interconnecting with all the other networks to create the overall processing system of the brain.

The L and R cells create different kinds of neurotransmitters. One kind makes it easier for neurons to fire, and the other makes it harder. The easier it is for neurons to fire, the more binary thinking will occur. The harder it is for neurons to fire, the more analog thinking will occur.

So, even with the Conscious, Memory, and Subconscious all being trained to think according to typical male patterns, some of us have a Preconscious that is hard-wired to think in a female pattern, creating within us a subliminal dissonance.

And that is the angst we feel that drives us to transition.

Because it is all due to the hormone wash, you really can't have someone who is hard-wired way toward one sex mentally without having a great influence on their physical layout as well. So, the more one veers toward one sex mentally, the more physical characteristics will match.

Some of these are very subtle. Some are blatant. Almost any male to female "transsexual" who has that pre-birth bias to the analog in the Preconscious also has female elbows. I'll explain that but you can also get a full description in my video on You Tube at

Basically, if you let your arms fall by your sides with palms facing front, your lower arms will either go straight down along your hips, or they will angle outward at the elbows at almost a 30 degree angle out to the sides from your hips. Virtually all "normal" men have arms go straight down, and virtually all women angle outward.

Why? Because the angle is needed to hold a baby's head in the proper position to breast feed. Straight arms have far more leverage, however, so men need the straight arms for lifting and strength. That is the real, honest to gosh explanation of why boys throw like boys and girls throw like girls: its the angle of the elbows and no one can do anything about it. You are born with one or the other. "Transsexuals" with female mental sex are almost always born with the female angle as a result of that hormone wash.

But, does that disqualify anyone who doesn't have that trait from being "genuine" as a transsexual? No, it just requires us to come up with new terms to describe it.

Gender Identity is the third aspect of human sexuality. It is cast in the Subconscious, not hard-wired in the Preconscious. Still, once you've got it, your stuck. Gender Identity is fixed in place subconsciously by the time you reach Kindergarten. It is part upbringing, part cultural indoctrination, and part luck of the draw. And, like most everything else about us, it is a range. You might prefer to be masculine or feminine or anywhere in between.

Most of us are even more complex than that! We like to be masculine in some ways and feminine in others. And when you add in all the Conscious and Memory patterns in our lives, it further diversifies us so that, while our basic Gender Identity is cast in place, it is continuously molded and reformed by our situations and interactions.

And finally, we nose up to Sexual Preference. Which sex turns you on? Same, Opposite, Both or Neither/Self? Most of use, yet again, are a combination of all of these, being a little auto-erotic, a little uninterested at times, mostly leaning toward one kind of partner but finding ourselves oddly, and perhaps disturbingly attracted to the other kind under unusual circumstances. After all, studies have shown that nearly 1/3 of adults have actively engaged in same sex experimentation at some point in their lives, though most decide opposite sex relationships are more compelling.

Then you add in various physical traits that lead to fetishes and compulsions and the whole sexual preference issue gets real cloudy real fast.

So what would a real "transsexual" be? Someone who has a mind that is fully one sex and a body that is fully the other. Based on the above, that is virtually impossible!

Then who are these people who have sex change operations or cross-dress or are the fem in a gay relationship, for example? They are simply people like everyone else who, through the luck of the draw, ended up with a mix of traits in all four aspects of human sexuality and all four levels of the mind.

And folks like me - who have physical traits like those elbows, a female mental sex preconscious and an affinity for things female - aren't we "transsexuals?"

Nope. We're just intersexed about as far as you can go without appearing to be a hermaphrodite in the first place. The mental traits drag the physical ones along with them or perhaps, vice versa. So we just have the widest possible gap you can get short of have indeterminate anatomical sex from the get go.

And we spend decades trying to accept it and deal with it and the rest of our lives trying to understand it.

Melanie Anne



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