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| Nov 19, 2007
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Stephanie Yates

TG Forum is adding some new bloggers! The first new voice on the Forum, Stephanie Yates, says hello in her first TGF Blog.

I guess I’m the new girl in town, so an introduction is in order (at least that’s what my editor tells me). I’m Stephanie Yates, married (nearly 24 years, same wonderful, tolerant, woman), hopelessly hetero and live in a small town in the Southeast. Oh, yeah, I’m ambigendered. Now I know what some of you are thinking: “Geez Louise here we go with the labels again just when we thought we’d gotten us all on the same page with transgendered!” Well, I’m not trying to cause waves but I just didn’t think there was a label out there that fit folks like me. Yes, I’m a crossdresser but, technically, so is anyone wearing clothing that is socially accepted for members of the sex of which the wearer is not. I’m not transsexual, so the pre-op, post-op, non-op options aren’t me. I’m 47 and my early education about terminology came in the late ’70s and ’80s (oh, the thrill of sneaking off to the HQ 76-77 section of the main campus library!) when transgendered was initially being used to describe people who fell compelled to live full-time in the gender role opposite their biological sex. I’ve certainly considered that option (both lexicographically and as a lifestyle), but only in the abstract, and have come to realize that full-time transitioning is not for me.

So what am I? There just didn’t seem to be a term that fit part-timers like me specifically. We were just kind of an afterthought, it seemed. Not really serious enough to warrant our own name beyond occasional crossdresser, part-time transgendered or the even more derogatory “just a crossdresser.” I decided to self-label since I figured I could either let people stick on one I didn’t like or I could come up with my own. So I settled on ambigendered (I probably saw it somewhere in passing””NO, not that kind of passing–I meant in reading something)

It’s really very descriptive of me. I operate in both gender roles; mostly masculine, sometimes feminine. For me, I like ambigendered as a descriptor as it also suggests an identity rather than just a behavior as with crossdresser. I feel that I am indeed a blend of masculine and feminine, mostly the former but that I need to express the feminine aspect occasionally. Moreover, I attempt to express my feminine side not merely by wearing women’s clothing but by creating and expressing an entire alternate identity (in so far as that is possible). Stephanie Yates is a part of who I am, and is a person I have grown proud of being. She has her own friends, her own personality, her own style. It goes beyond just getting a thrill from putting on female garments (not that there’s anything wrong with that). And as I have allowed Steph to express herself, I’ve found my everyday male mode self becoming a different, and I believe, better person.

Ambigendered isn’t just a label for me. Ambigendered is simply the result of my effort to define, mainly for myself, who I am. I’ve learned not to apply it randomly to others, but feel free to use it, if it fits your situation. And ultimately, the biggest reward I’ve found in taking my search for myself online has been in finding a substantial number of wonderful people who are making this journey of self-discovery with me. And ultimately, that’s why I’m here at TG Forum””I genuinely hope that I can offer some comfort, camaraderie, enlightenment and maybe a little wisdom to those of you out there who are on this same path. I hope to take Stephanie further, not by transitioning, but by developing her talents and personality as a means of hopefully giving something back, as a means of nurturing others. So for me, writing here isn’t just about community or the cause, it’s about pursuing self-discovery amongst a community of like-minded individuals.


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Category: All TGForum Posts, Transgender Opinion

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  1. says:

    Ambigendered – Why not just “Bi-gendered”? (Hey, don’t get mad, you brought up the subject…).

    Actually, I am guess you want to get away from labels that start with “Bi-” least people assume Bi-gendered = Bi-sexual, so the “Ambi-” would make sense in that case.

    Does sound sort of like “Ambivalent” though… Kind of like you’re not sure – so why do it? Geez, so many potholes to fall into with words…

    Aside from that, I am glad you brought up the subject. Your description makes a lot of sense, and you do a good job of describing yourself.

    It’s the best of both worlds – Well, some might think that “pre-op TS” is “the best of both worlds” – if you catch my (she-male porn reference) drift. But for most of us, a longer healthy life vs a lot more sex along with the very real risk of an early death from AIDS is an acceptable trade off.

    As a heterosexual crossdresser, you have the best of both worlds – you get to keep your job and your wife – you get to have a guy life with guy friends and activities, and also a Stephanie life with her friends and activities. Two lives in one lifetime.

    Congratulations on figuring this out and explaining it in a way that makes sense…

  2. says:

    So TG Forum has a resident wordsmith now! Excellent!

    It’s good to see another new face here…I’m excited about your column, because I just never got enough of your writing over at 360. Keep your eyes peeled for my first article…I think it dovetails with some of the things you’ve talked about in the past.

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