I am often attacked by the "gender fascists," i.e. the transgender extremists like Mr. "Cristan" Williams, Mr. "Autumn" Sandeen, Mr. "Dana" Taylor, and others because I don't care for the term "transgender," refuse to accept it, and especially because I am constantly challenging the silliness that they spew... Silliness like claiming that simply saying one is a woman magically makes it so.
On those occasions, for example when dealing with a medical provider where I have to reveal my history, I am sometimes asked, "What's the difference?" when I explain that I am transsexual, not transgender. That's a good question, and while I usually respond with a relatively technical answer, of late other differences have become obvious.
For example, there was the rather silly article posted by Mr. Williams that asks "What are the top 3 things you like about being trans?" I cannot think of a better illustration of the difference between actually being a transsexual, and being some kook who identifies as "transgender." For me, there was NOTHING I liked about being "transsexual." If I had a choice, it would certainly not to have been born transsexual. My first choice would have been to be born a normal female. If not that, then my second choice would have been to have been a normal male. I certainly would not have chosen to be born transsexual. If I liked "being trans" I would certainly not have put so much effort into having SRS.
Of course, the person asking this question is a man, who either has not had SRS, or if he has, regrets it. He revels in being "transgender." It is his entire purpose in life. For him, it is a choice, not a medical condition. I would no more choose to be transsexual, than I would choose to be diabetic. I would not more find something good in being transsexual as I would find something good about being diabetic.
No, I haven't gotten to see life from "both sides." I never had "the best of both worlds." I was miserable for much of my life. I hurt people I care about.
Another difference that has become very obvious is how we deal with disagreement. I recognize that a lot of radical; feminists would reject the idea that I am a woman. Shoot, I have known that since I first read Janice Raymond's The Transsexual Empire back around the time I began transition. I certainly did agree with Raymond's extremist views, but I also did not feel the apparent blind rage that seems to consume transgender extremists who cannot seem to deal with such disagreement. The Internet is becoming filled with their calls for the rape and murder of women who simply don't wish to sleep with them.
I do find it interesting that I can get along with many of those women, even if I don't agree with everything they say. Then again, I seriously doubt that the kooks like Mr. Sandeen, Mr. Williams, and Mr. Taylor have much in the way of friendship with women born women. They certainly spend a lot of time attacking them online.
Even if I don't agree with what someone writes, I am willing to listen, and try to find common ground. I consider Victory Brownworth a friend. Mr. Williams seems to have become obsessed with destroying her. As best I can tell, the real motivation for this is the simple fact that Ms. Brownworth does not think men like Mr. Williams should be able to attend the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival. Mr. Williams, really does not like being told no. So, Mr. Williams has repeated attack her, accused her of horrible crimes, and then he wonders why people think him something of a kook.
When I began transition, a major concern fo me was to not cause discomfort to other women. For the kooks like Mr. Williams, Mr. Sandeen, an Mr. Taylor, the feelings of women are inferior to their fetish-driven desires. If a woman is upset at the idea of sharing a shower or other space with a "transwoman" with an intact penis, she is at fault and she must submit to the tyranny of the transgender kooks. Before my surgery, the idea of exposing myself to a woman like that would have been horrifying.
Yes, there are major differences.