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  • Posts

    • Susan R
      I heard about International Women’s Day from my boss this morning. She invited me to her celebratory “Coffee Chat” woman’s group tomorrow via virtual online meeting through Zoom. Sadly, I had to decline due to schedule conflict but regardless, I was happy that she thought of me when sending out Zoom links.   Thank you so much for the link @Kasumi63. I’ll have a listen tomorrow. Susan R🌷
    • tracy_j
      My take - In a nutshell - Keep talking and try to avoid raising any barriers as, if you are not careful, they can become mountains. Try to put yourselves in each others shoes (in your minds) so you better understand each other. It is really about supporting each other. Empathy is good!   It's good that you are starting well. Long may it continue   Tracy
    • VickySGV
      I too have Major Depression Disorder that comes up often enough to be a real bearcat, and in those times i just want to be left alone.  Coming out is a very stressful private thing, and crowding your child with a coming out in any way adds to the stress where it could put your child in worse danger. I will not assign a pronoun to your child without the child's permission although the message to you is to use the natal He/Him from what you say. The basic care can be done without introducing the issue of gender.  The cross gender request to your older daughter could have any number of meanings and while something to be taken into account, it should first be YOU getting counseling on helping your child with their primary issue which is the Depression because parenting children with those issues is a real burden that I too have had to deal with as well.  Gender Dysphoria if that is what it is will last a lifetime and when the depression is lifted is going to be there.  It is after all your child's life.  If the child's current mental state will not support transitioning give your child the credit for knowing themselves and what they can take day by day.  
    • Susan R
      @ChrisR Wow, this is a wonderful update and I take my hat of to you for your affirmation of her and her decision to transition. This is going to make her life so much easier from this point on. I wish all parents had the understanding and compassion that you have and I wish her the best in her continuing journey.🙂 Thank you for your uplifting update!   My best, Susan R🌷
    • Susan R
      @Pumela   This is a very difficult situation indeed. I would prioritize your actions with what will best keep your trans daughter safe. So obviously whatever your next decision, her life or the possibly of her harming herself has to take the top priority.   I can relate on some level as to the fear your 12 year old has in regards to coming out to you. I had a similar experience and relationship with my parents and my parents and I decided denial and suppression was the only way we could deal with the situation. It was no a good situation but that’s how it was back then 55 years ago.   You have many more resources widely available to you thanks to modern technology (the web) and slightly more acceptance in our society than years past. You do have someone that Shannon trusts enough to discuss this topic with and that’s where I would start. You can’t force her to come out to you. Would it be possible for your older daughter Chloe attend a counselor/gender therapist with you there. Have a discussion about ways she can open up a discussion with Shannon. She may be the bridge between you and Shannon. She may be able to being a catalyst for her to somehow come out in time.   It seems like Shannon really loves how you (and your partner?) treat her and is deathly afraid of you thinking less of her. Society indoctrinates many, if not most, males early on into thinking they will be thought of as weak or less than if they show any femininity. I can’t say whether Shannon’s depression will diminish once she comes out to you but I think it is part of the issue. Not attending school and the problems associated with covid restrictions on socialization likely also plays a part in her depression. If it becomes a case where she is so depressed that you worry for her safety and health then I would likely disregard her counselor’s idea to keep it private and confront the issue head on in the most loving way you can. I would keep it private between you and Shannon so not to bring undue stress on her. I would talk to a therapist before this ‘talk’ if you are unsure on your approach but it is something you may end up considering if it gets any more serious. Once Shannon knows that you accept and affirm her, I think you’ll see some positive changes in her demeanor.   I wish I could offer more. I hope it works out for you and Shannon. I hope others here share their ideas too.   Warmest Regards, Susan R🌷
    • Kasumi63
      Yeah, it’s International Women’s Day! (I’m in Japan, so I might be a day head of you.) Let’s celebrate the diversity of women and fight for a society where all women can pursue their dreams!   https://www.internationalwomensday.com   Be sure to page down and listen to “Choose to Challenge” by Anita Nandaula”!
    • Kasumi63
      So what do I hope people (especially transgender people and loving partners) learn from my story?     First, about communication.  Many people emphasize the importance of communication, and of course, I agree with those comments. However, I also think it’s important to consider the conditions that make free and open communication possible.  I think the most important condition is that both people feel SAFE to tell the truth. If telling the truth means being abandoned and cut off, few people will have the courage to do so. This is precisely why coming out is so painful and difficult for transgender people. And I don’t recommend that people come out—unless they have a safe place to land in the event of not being accepted. Just saying, “Let’s have a discussion,” even in a calm and loving voice, doesn’t cut it. You need to let the person know that they’ll be safe regardless of how things turn out. Of course, this cuts both ways.   Second, about third party support. Related to what I said about communication, I think each party should find an independent friend, relative, or counselor, to whom they can talk about the relationship. This is so they’ll feel safer to be more honest with their partner. I have to admit that this is one reason my wife and I have had such a hard time, neither of us have any really close friends to confide in.   Third, about self-knowledge. Some people, such as my wife, can and do give very straight answers to just about any question about their feelings and beliefs. To be honest, I am somewhat in awe of such people. Are you happy? Do you think you’re female? Are you homosexual or straight? Why are you like this? Though I’ve gotten much, much better, I’ve found most of these questions to be impossible to answer, and confusing in the extreme. Needless to say, self-knowledge is important, and perhaps another important prerequisite to good communication, but at the same time, I don’t think human beings can be reduced to simple, straightforward answers all the time. So, even though you might just want a straight answer to a simple question, the person might not even have such an answer.   Fourth, about eliciting answers. This is where communication gets really tricky. In speaking with my wife, I often used to think to myself, “What does she want me to say.” Or, “What answer would make her happy?“ Or even, “What would be the best answer to this question?” But then I would get confused and puzzled. Now I can hear everyone saying, “Kasumi, what the hell are you doing?! You shouldn’t be trying to tell the person what they want to hear; you should just be honest and answer as best you can!” I know this, but as someone who mostly confused about her own feelings, and very sensitive to how the other person feels, trying to response to their feelings often seems more honest, than not. To summarize all this, I doubt many people are as bad as me about this, but I suspect that all communication is distorted by this type of dynamic. In fact, it’s hard to even be conscious of it, but empathy and strong feelings inevitably shape all communication.   I’m afraid this has turned into another rambling note, and I suppose you can summarize all this by simply saying, that while communication is important, it’s also extremely complex and has many pitfalls. Which brings me to my final point.   Fifth, about love and respect. As I mentioned above, I think humbly treating the other person with respect is the most important thing in moving forward. I admire how the original poster (myt10) has such a deep respect for her partner. Her humble admission of “being so selfish,” when she clearly is being the opposite, almost made me want to cry. She just wants to feel safe—like we all do. I agree with what other people wrote that in his essence and in his attitude toward you, he won’t change, but I also feel pretty sure that some things are certain to change in your relationship. However, if you both treat each other with love and respect, you have nothing to fear. It’s scary, maybe even terrifying, but I hope can also feel excited and thrilled about all the new possibilities.    Please be brave and try your best to continue to be understanding and respectful of your partner! If you both can be that way, you will certainly have a wonderful adventure together. And part of an adventure is not knowing how it will turn out, while knowing it almost certainly will be something worthy of the love you’re willing to share!   I’m sending love and warm wishes from Japan—as I continue on a scary adventure of my own!
    • Pumela
    • Red_Lauren.
      Me deciding on going in to nails was purely a accident. I got my first set over the summer, and with me being hands on. It intrested me. I don't know what I would have done other wise. Retail, and food bores me. I left the manufacturing world. After being around it my whole life. Because it destroyed me body. I even was going to school for engineering at one point. I was good at it, but it really bored me, and I couldn't see my self sitting at a computer all day. 
    • ChrisR
      Update: Shortly after I posted here, I asked them where they were in their gender therapy and they said that they were pretty sure they wanted to transition. Previously they said they were not sure and I was trying to be neutral, hence the awkwardness I felt about complimenting their more feminine expression. After this conversation, I was comfortable giving compliments and they appreciated it. They just started hormone therapy this week and I really hope that they start feeling better soon. I know that it's a long road, but I'm relieved that they are moving in the right direction. 
    • KymmieL
      I am more girly than my wife. She is a tomboy.   Well my son came into the store and finally seen me in my new shirt. Of course he starts in at home, Kim possible and other BS I just ignored him. Don't know if he told my wife. If he did She hasn't brought it up.   Hope to find some info tomorrow on the transfer. Even news on the possibility of leaving would be something.   Got the bike out today. Felt good to ride again. Even if it was around town.   Kymmie
    • Kasumi63
      I bet you’re excited! Congratulations! Even if there are some painful moments, you’ll get through it! I wish you all the best!
    • Kasumi63
      Hi, myt10,  Valfole, Kay-san, and everyone else on this thread!   I have a very loving relationship with my wife, but we have been struggling with this issue for about ten years now. I just had GCS (a week ago!), and we are very close to finding a pretty happy resolution. However, this has been a long road with lots of struggles along the way, so I hope those of you here can learn from my experience, just as I can surely learn from you.   Without going into too much history, just let me explain that my wife is Japanese and we communicate in the Japanese language. We’ve been married for about twelve years, and for most of this time, I have been struggling with dysphoria and my gender identity. For a couple of years, I kept this hidden—not meaning to deceive but simply because I was struggling to make sense of everything myself. Eventually, however, it became more obvious to her what was going on—and she basically hit the roof. She used to barrage me with questions, and ultimatums, asking about my sexual orientation, gender, motivations, etc. And whenever she did, I completely shut down. I know I am fault here, too, but I simply could not share my deepest, mixed up feelings, knowing that it would mean the end of our relationship. Partly, it was because I honestly couldn’t answer all her blunt questions in the direct way she wanted; partly, it was because I was terrified of being rejected, especially knowing that I would not survive being abandoned, and also because I am extremely fond of her. Sometimes, months would go by and we’d be as happy as can be, and then something would set her off, and she would start lecturing me for hours (and I do mean hours) while I would just listen passively in silence. To be fair, from her perspective, she was struggling to communicate and just wanted answers. But from my perspective, I didn’t feel safe, confident, or secure enough to reply. On those rare occasions when I did reply, the result was more questions that would confuse me even more, leading to another shut down. Sometimes, I would try to stop dressing or transitioning for our relationship, but those efforts would never last long. Basically, she wanted me to choose between transitioning and her, and that was an impossible choice for me, so I kept wavering back and forth. There is no way I will abandon her, but I also can’t stop being my female self.   I think here I need to pause and comment about our sexual relationship. I know this is a difficult subject for everyone—and there is a ton of diverse here—but it’s obviously important for couples, if they want to clarify their relationship. As for me, I’m almost as confused on this topic as I have been about my sexual identity and orientation. Basically, when I was a man, I felt exclusively attracted to women, but what has become very clear to me over many years is that that attraction was more of an identifying with than an attraction to in the normal sense of the word. In other words, I’ve wanted to look and be like the women I’ve been with, if that makes any sense. On the other hand, whenever I was dressed as a woman, I mainly felt attracted to men and nothing excited me more than having a man be attracted to me. These were the times that I most felt like myself. For about ten years now, we haven’t had a sexual relationship at all.   And yet we love each other. Apart from this issue, we get along great. We share many of the same interests, thoroughly enjoy being with other, travel together, etc. I guess you can say we are the closest of friends. Still, there has been this gender issue, and as I’ve very slowly proceeded with my transition, the issue has become more and more difficult to ignore. And then everything came to a head when I started taking hormones—and she found them. Of course, she initially got upset, but I think something broke for her, too, and she started researching and reading up on transgender issues. At the same time, she also made up her mind to support me, instead of resisting. This in turn made it easier for me to open up, and I have gained even more respect for her. The past couple of years we have been moving forward more positively. Last year, I came out to my place of work, and last week I had GCS. I have my own apartment, but spend weekends and other times here with her. We also chat online everyday without fail. I may move back in with her in the future, but I don’t know.    I suppose another important issue in this that many people don’t like to talk about is finances, but this also has a huge impact on relationships. Luckily, I have been blessed with a great job that pays well. My wife has a decent job, but probably not enough to live where we live now. Anyway, I am determined to take care of her to the end, and she has made up her mind to be emotionally supportive and friends with me.   We will probably be getting divorced soon, maybe even this month. If you’ve read this far, you might be surprised to hear that, and I think most people think of divorce as an absolute end, but I don’t, and I don’t think my wife does either. However, this will be a big change. Obviously, she won’t be able to think of me as her husband any more (that’s been slowly changing anyway), and I won’t be able to think of her as my wife. A big reason for our decision (and it’s a negative one) is Japanese law. Here in Japan, same-sex marriage is illegal; consequently, it’s illegal to change one’s gender while being married. In other words, for me to legally become female, we have to get divorced. (I acquired Japanese citizenship many years ago.)   So what will the future bring for us? I honestly don’t know. We’re both in our fifties, and nearing retirement, and we’re both pretty down on the idea of marrying again. However, she might find someone and fall in love, and I might, too. Personally, I would love to have a boyfriend, but I don’t know if I can make any commitments. My wife seems to be the same way. Of course, I want her to be happy more than anything, and I deeply respect her for supporting me, even if it’s taken some time for her to get to this point. I will be moving to an apartment that’s very close by, and she will stay in our condo, and I do not doubt that we will stay as close friends.   Conclusions? Message of the story? I think there are many, but this has gotten way too long, so I’ll leave that for a follow up post. For now, I’ll just say that if you love and respect each other, you have nothing to fear moving foward.    
    • Aurora
      First off, I am getting really excited.  45 days and counting till April 21st for my GCS.   Then also, when I had my major surgery on my stomach area back in early 2009 for cancer.  I found that just holding a pillow over my stomach area really helped out with pain when I sneezed or cough.
    • Myles97
      Thank you so much for that!! ❤️
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