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My story retold. Turns out I don't need to transition after all.

Guest Janessa

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Guest Janessa

For a good portion of my life I thought I needed to transition, but after a lot of thinking I realized I don't need to. In fact I don't think I am transgender at all because, while I do indeed have some feminine traits that I can't ignore, I have absolutely no problem with being a guy as long as I don't have to hide these traits. Maybe I am "gender queer" or something else, but whatever label suits me the important thing is that I'm myself and no-one can change that.

I think the reason I thought I needed to transition for such a long time is because my parents and everyone around me, including the therapists whom I went to for help, pressured me into acting like a boy. My father was rather homophobic and seemed to think that if he allowed me to act feminine in any way I would somehow "turn gay". All the other people around me were rather strict about gender roles as well; the vast majority of them were homophobic Christians and even the ones that weren't thought that men should act like men.

As for the therapists... they honestly were never helpful. The first one was some Christian guy that was offended by my situation, the second one thought I was schizophrenic or something, and the third one thought I was gay even though I never said a thing about liking men.

I did "act" like a boy in an attempt to make the people around me happy, but this only made me feel like I was living a lie and it made me wish I had been born as a girl instead. I felt that maybe, if I was a girl, I could be my real self around other people and actually be happy for once.

At one point I even I came out to a few of my friends and asked them to start calling me Janessa. After a while though I felt that having my friends call me Janessa was pointless and only caused unnecessary problems, because I felt that being able to be myself mattered to me more than being seen as a woman. So I regretted asking them to call me Janessa. Eventually I lost my friends due to a bunch of drama that, quite frankly, was their fault and I guess it was for the best anyway, since I wasn't sure how to ask them to start calling me by my male name again anyway.

So I am now in a different group of friends. These people do not know I used to go by the name Janessa, but they do accept my feminine traits and that is what matters to me most. But what is even better is that I know they accept gay people and they seem rather open minded - open minded enough that I think they would have no problem with me even if I was transgender - which makes it a lot easier for me to respect them.

Even though I figured out I'm not really transgender, I will continue to support gay and transgender rights and I will never judge anyone without a good reason. While I may not be transgender myself, many of the issues affecting transgender individuals still affect me and, even though I'm not affected by certain things, I feel like everyone should be allowed to be themselves and should never have to be someone they are not.

I think that if people weren't so strict about gender roles this wouldn't have been an issue for me in the first place.

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  • Forum Moderator

Hi Janessa,

You are the only one who can truly know your gender and sometimes that can be very, very hard. But first let me explain you can be transgender without transitioning or being transsexul-they get used a lot interchangeably but in reality aren't the same. Transgender is a large umbrella term for people with gender variations of all sorts, androgynous, crossdressing, genderqueer, transsexual, anywhere on the spectrum outside cis really. A lot of us who are transsexuals use the term for ourselves rather than the more specific transsexual label because so many people misunderstand and bring prejudices to the transsexual label that it is even less representative of who we really are to others.

Also your experiences with therapists highlight why we so stress seeing gender therapists. Much of the research in the field is new-a regular therapist will be trying to fix your mind often when it is now an accepted fact-even by the AMA -that this is a physical condition arising from a mismatch between the structures of the brain and the rest of the body. In essence a birth defect. A gender therapist is also familiar with the complex symptioms of the condition which can mimic mental conditions you don't in fact actually have. I would very strongly recommend still seeing a gender therapist. They can guide you to find out for sure who you are and how you need to express your gender to be happy. They are not there to push you or label you in any way.

The reason I still recommend seeing one is that the mind can be an amazingly powerful thing and sometimes we spend years in denial or fooling ourselves. We sometimes waste decades of our lives doing it only to wake up one day with bitter regrets. I'm not saying you are doing that. I am saying you could be. None of us wants this path. None of us wants the prejudices and labels and long hard work, Sometimes so much so that we lie to ourselves and it can be very, very hard to tell. You may not be transsexual, may in fact be genderqueer or somewhere else on the spectrum. But it is just so hard to know alone. I hate to see anyone else waste years of their life when seeing a gender therapist can help you know for sure.

But whatever point you fit on the spectrum you are still welcome here.


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Guest musicalice

This sounds well thought through, and i definitely agree that gender roles shouldn't be imposed on people. It seems you've found a way you can live with yourself, so well done :) in many ways, that is a transition, jstt not in the sense often used here.

And i admire you for your want to help LGBT people even if you don't feel part of our acronym :)

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Guest Donna Jean


I'm glad that you've found your comfort zone......

We try to let people know that not everyone needs to transition...that is a HUGE step!

Good on you!


Dee Jay

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Guest Kael147

Hey - well I'm glad you can be yourself with your new friends. This is so important. I've struggled for so many years and am just now starting to feel like I can truly be myself. Feeling comfortable in your own skin is important. I hope that you've read Johhny's post - he has some really good points and I would just say that I echo his sentiments.

I used to do this thing where I would tell myself it was okay to be myself in my own skin as a woman. I would walk taller, speak my mind and enjoy who I was - for a while. Then out of the blue - BAM - I'm feeling gender dysphoria again. I don't know if this will happen to you or not and I'm not saying it will, but just be aware that this could happen.

Funny thing is that as soon as I acknowledged that I'm a man, I haven't had the BAM in reverse. Anyway, thanks for sharing. I think it is good for us to have discussions about being true to ourselves and that it is okay to change our minds because it is. We are the only ones who know what is on the inside of ourselves..

Again - thanks and best of luck,


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Guest Juniper Blue

Great post ... We all have different paths ... for me ... I have discovered that I am androgynous. It was kind of right in front of my face and obvious my entire life but I just never really looked into what that meant. it would be like having red hair but not really exploring that until one day you look into it and realize after researching your family tree that you are probably Irish. For me, being androgynous means that I have charatersitcs of both genders and that I emrbace this. I do not define myslef as male or as female. I am gender fluid, pan gender and I do not adhere to gender roles or gender expectations (outside of those that are legally imposed ... I usually observe those ... usually. I have been known to go without a shirt ... if no one is around ... LOL.)

When I was a young child, I thought that I was a boy because my twin brother was sensitve and I was strong. As an adult, I realize that in our case, he was a sensitve boy and I was a strong girl and we were being raised in a very sexist home and generally sexist culture.

I am a woman by legal defintion but Iam a womwn who wishes to live as she sees fit ... as an equal to all .. as an equal to men.. I am women who would like to go without her shirt and not get a ticket.

I really examined what I wanted from my life. I realized that I do not want to be restricted to any gender role or gender identity. I do not want breasts ... I have a chest now, I did not want a period ... I have no uterus now ... but I also do not want a penis, I am ahppy with my vagina and clitoris ... I don't want a beard .... I like my smooth skin. I like being brave and strong but I like that I cry at anything sentimental, including hallmark commercials ... I want to bench 185 and go home and bake cookies ... I don't want to "fix things" ... I want to be snuggly with my freinds .... I want to be ruggedly hansome yet laugh like a girl!! And so ... that's what I am doing.

It's my life and I make the rules.

I wish you the best ... be yourself ... keep doors open ... keep growing ... exploring ... keep reaching out and may you live a REMARKABLE life without limit, without restrictions, by your own terms. Male ... female ... pangender ... androgyne etc. etc. ALL or none at all and sometimes and never and always as YOU see FIT.

Best to You,


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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest miss kindheart

Hi Janessa,

<<< hug >>>

Welcome to Laura's Playground.

Please feel free to come over and chat sometime.

The Chat room does require another registration that is separate from from your forums one.

Please read the chat room rules before coming in, and expect a short interview with one of the chat room moderators.

One of the things that they will ask you is if you read the rules. :)

We have Androgyne meetings Sat & Weds 9pm est est and you are welcome to attend.

We all look forward to seeing you.

:wub: vanna

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Guest Svenna


Can I have your name if you are no longer gonna need it? It is beautiful!

Well, Johnny said everything I was thinking, and said it well. Only you can really know what you really are, so I hope you are correct. It would be much easier to be a man with feminine traits than trans, no doubt about it...

I didn't see any mention of gender dysphoria in your post. Usually, trans folk experience a LOT of gender dysphoria. Did you think you were transgendered previously in spite of no gender dysphoria, or did you have it and it has now disappeared? Just curious...

I hope the best for you, no matter where your road leads..

Love, Svenna

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