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Happier as the Opposite Gender?


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I think Jackie hit it pretty well.

3 hours ago, Jackie C. said:

The same way you make friends with anyone else?

I have one cis friend who used to run a hippie boutique in town.  I used to hang out there sometimes.  She was one of the first people I came out to when I still had a chest-long beard.  (I overcompensated bigtime back then)

It turned out that she had actually known a couple of transwomen in the past.  She let me hang out with her and her friends and drink beer and stuff.  The boutique crashed and burned, but I still see her from time to time.  This covid stuff sux.

When I made that comment, I was only thinking about how female store clerks will compliment my nails, or a necklace, stuff like that for instance; whereas men will "sir" me intentionally.

Women will speak to me in a store, whereas men will keep their distance.

I think most sane women don't see a transgirl as a threat.  To men, we represent a threat to the patriarchy, and perhaps their own manhood.

But these are just some of my theories.

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ElizabethStar
4 hours ago, Jackie C. said:

The same way you make friends with anyone else? You connect with shared interests and discover you enjoy each other's company. You do little things for each other to cement your friendship and share your lives and achievements.

I've always found this easier with girls than boys. Another red flag I ignored.

 

 

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Erica Gabriel

In reading all these posts I can relate to the sentiment of being more comfortable around women than men. It was only recently that I discovered the reason I was so uncomfortable around me and had difficulty forging male friendships was out of fear of being “ found out”. I too was bullied in grade school because I was perceived as an easy target. I’m still compiling and writing down all my memories of this time. 
 

Hugs to all of you and your honest, heartfelt posts.

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gina-nicole-t

@ElizabethStar yes you are correct that in the 80's it was referred to as the gay plague. If my memory serves President Regan started that whole mess up. He and his entire administration believed that gay people deserved AIDS. It took until almost the Clinton administration to dispel all the BS surrounding gay people and AIDS. Of course if you grew up with abusive over bible thumper parents like mine nothing was going to make them believe any different. The 80's had great music, but a horrible time to grow up knowing you're different and realizing you can't do anything about it. 

 

Gina

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17 hours ago, Overalls Bear said:

For as far back into my childhood as I have any recollection there was simply one part of me that lived life as a more-or-less normal boy. Then there was this other (secret) part of me that took advantage of every opportunity to do things that made me feel female.

That's exactly how I felt too, OB.
I know now my true self-identity is transfeminine.  But, its taken me a VERY long time to reach that self-acceptance.

 

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I believe there are both male privilege and feminine privilege.

 

I understand feminine privilege as the intrinsec permission that every AFAB person has to feel and express their emotions, to have changeable moods, to be free with they way they express themselves, to be able to dress and express themselves more feminine and more masculine and both be ok. Just as males, some AFAB have turned that privilege into a malignant weapon, using emotion to guilt and manipulate other people, specially loved ones, both AMAB and AFAB. Every priviledge can be turned into a hurtful behaviour. At the same time, whe we do have a certain privilege we are not completely aware of its extent and how easy it makes that part of our live, we simply are not aware of it because it has never been lacking.

 

I have no clue how hard it must be to be AMAB in a society that not only makes them repress their emotions and only rewards goals achieved and "manlyness". I only know that I believe from the bottom of my heart that that's unfair and deeply harmful. I also know that AFAB woman (I don't know if all of them, but at least many/most of them) really appreciate when a man opens up about their feelings and expresses them, when we can support them too.

 

That said, male privilege is so real and so ingrained in society that I don't think any cis man can ever realise its extent. I'm AFAB and I've suffered every day of my life. I've been the one to be talked over at work meetings, or politely been let to talk to be swiftly ignored. It's like there is this pattern in male brains that allows them to let a feminine voice be talking but simply disconnecting as soon as it begins to sound. We are simply not heard. But we are seen. O man are we seen. Used as eye candy every day. Judged by our bodies and used as sexual objects constantly. Dismissed and diminished just as often. Our ideas are worth less just because they come out of our mouths. When I was pregnant with my second son I had a read hard time, I was sick 24/7. I asked to work from home so I didn't have to drive the curby road from my small town to the city, wich make everything even worse. They told me no, because it might set a precedent. For months after that they hired a new employee, a man. He asked to work from home. They said yes. Now, my boss was not a bad person, and the company was a openminded one. And yet, this is what happens. All The Time.

 

I have been reading this post for some days and I didn't want to chime in in case I came out too strong (that is another pervasive consequence of male privilege). Moderators please make your work as you see fit, and I am truly sorry if I offended anyone.

 

I identify as transmasculine. I will endevor to bring to this world a different kind of masculinity. I feel this is my work and also my privilege.

I won't ever discount feminine privilege.

I ask please do not discount male privilege.

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2 hours ago, Gabriel said:

I won't ever discount feminine privilege.

I ask please do not discount male privilege.

/\ This. The privilege walk is a well known exercise where folks all start at the same line and then take a step forward or back "if they have ever or never" according to certain questions. Inevitably a stable home growing up, middle to high earning, university educated white male does best; and I have seen men storm out of it and I have seen women finish ahead of men because of their family circumstances and ethnicity growing up, it is so highly dependant on our lives. I don't like it because people cannot help many of the factors that make them step forward or back, but the lesson is that in every area of life privilege exists whether we use it or are comfortable with it or not, it isn't chosen, just there.

Anyone under the trans umbrella will have unique insights because they will see more than most.

 😶

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ElizabethStar

I feel there is another side to privilege as well. I have two instances that that out. A few years ago there was a blizzard coming in. My employer decided to let all the girls go home early. I had to ask them -what the heck- was up with that, I don't like driving in the snow either. I was told it was only the girls, not the guys, due to their driving ability. I made a thing out of it and was able to leave an hour later. Still ended up in a ditch.

 

Another time I was having a full-blown migraine. I I could barely see or talk, and was incapable of thinking. Still I had to be at work. My supervisor got in my face, and like a drill Sergent demanded I tell him what my problem was. It lasted for a good 6-7 hours. I found out later that another girl has migraines all the time and stays home without question.

 

I saw my Dr. the next day. She freaked out, though I had a stroke (it was that bad). A few years later I found out my migraines were psychosomatic. Funny I haven't had one since I came out.

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Reading back to the first post I think we may be hijacking Overalls post here to focus in on privilege when the original post was more about the difference a cis person has wondering about whether they would be happy as the opposite gender.

Which is not how she experiences her dysphoria.

 

I know in the past I have joined in ridiculous pub conversations guys have had about waking up with breasts, and read more transformation stories than I ever should have before realising my brain was hinting at something (it's just pure fictional escapism lol); but I never realised just how hard it is for someone totally at home in their own body and societal role to recognise the struggle of those that aren't.

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ElizabethStar

Back on topic...

 

I'm much happier and calmer as a girl. I don't feel like I'm on the clock all the time and have to prove myself to other people. I'm just being me and don't have to be afraid of who that is.

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1 hour ago, DeeDee said:

I know in the past I have joined in ridiculous pub conversations guys have had about waking up with breasts, and read more transformation stories than I ever should have before realising my brain was hinting at something (it's just pure fictional escapism lol); but I never realised just how hard it is for someone totally at home in their own body and societal role to recognise the struggle of those that aren't.

 

You're right, we haven't talked about that yet. Waking up with breasts? Awesome. 😋

 

Pretty sure I read all those "transformation" stories too. I still enjoy them when they crop up in a book or series I'm reading but I don't pursue them like I used to.

 

Hugs!

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1 hour ago, ElizabethStar said:

I'm much happier and calmer as a girl. I don't feel like I'm on the clock all the time and have to prove myself to other people. I'm just being me and don't have to be afraid of who that is.

 

That's pretty much my experience too, except I'm in the other direction. I feel way calmer, like a constant buzz of discordance that fueled constant anxiety has lowered its intensity. 

 

It is really mindblowing to look back on my life now and see all the signs, clues and nudges that were always there. And yet I didn't see. 

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ElizabethStar
1 hour ago, Jackie C. said:

 

You're right, we haven't talked about that yet. Waking up with breasts? Awesome. 😋

 

I forget that there are people who would look at this as the end of the world.

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Not me although not much I'm happy to see my little girls... Allelulia. Oh darn I never get the spelling right. And for those going the opposite way I understand the feeling because I hate having ... As my English friend said..mm dangly bits.

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I remember talking to my wife (now ex) and wondering how it must be strange to have those on her chest all the time.  She said it must be strange to have those "dangly bits" there in the way all the time.

Guess there is a point of view involved.

Of course what wasn't said was how I kinda wanted my own to be there.

I'm pretty happy with my girls now.  And those "dangly bits" are kinda in the way at times.

It seems the point of view can change.

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Heather Nicole
On 11/21/2020 at 7:39 PM, ElizabethStar said:

I've always found this easier with girls than boys. Another red flag I ignored.

 

This sort of thing certainly seems to be fairly common among trans folk. (It even features prominently in one of my favorite trans stories, "Wandering Son" aka "Hourou Musuko"). I kind of wish I could echo the sentiment, but it was different for me. Not different in an "I found socialization easier with boys" sense though, it was more complicated than that.

 

Boys would look at me, see a boy, and therefore (depending who was looking) would register either a potential friend or a potential victim. Girls, on the other hand, would look at me, see a boy, and simply stick with the other girls. (At least until teenage years. At that point, my mere existence seemed to be personally offensive to a lot of girls.) I was always the shy introverted type, so my socialization was mainly based around those who approached me. And that was almost always boys.

 

But, I have to admit, the rare times when I would find myself in an engaged conversation with a girl...those conversations were comfortable in a way that was a little more personal and less superficial than a typical conversation with a random boy, and I really valued those rare exchanges.

 

On 11/22/2020 at 7:37 AM, ElizabethStar said:
On 11/22/2020 at 7:12 AM, Jackie C. said:

 

You're right, we haven't talked about that yet. Waking up with breasts? Awesome. 😋

 

I forget that there are people who would look at this as the end of the world.

 

Now this is one I can relate to! Ever since I first heard of Gynecomastia, I never could quite understand why other guys would be so bothered by it...I always found it enviable! I guess that one's a big honking red flag for me!

 

On 11/22/2020 at 9:39 AM, Jandi said:

And those "dangly bits" are kinda in the way at times.

 

They really are sometimes! Although I never exactly hated what I have down there, necessarily, sometimes it does seem almost a little weird to have all that dangly in-the-way stuff. Especially how the "twins" will randomly..and constantly...decide to get that dull ache and demand attention. It's like:

 

Me: "OMG, didn't we, like, just take care of this?"

Left: "Yea, but we want attention now, too!"

Right: "Yea! And we're not gonna let you focus on anything else until you do!"

Me: "Ugh, ok, fine, you win again, let's get this out of the way, I'm already late..."

 

On 11/22/2020 at 4:39 AM, Gabriel said:

I identify as transmasculine. I will endevor to bring to this world a different kind of masculinity. I feel this is my work and also my privilege.

I won't ever discount feminine privilege.

I ask please do not discount male privilege.

 

Gabriel! 😄 At the risk of extending any topic-hijacking, I especially feel a need to respond to your post.

 

First of all, I'm glad you ultimately felt that you could join in and offer your perspective. And I love what you've said here. Femininity had a much-needed reinvention and rebirth around the 1960's. And I've been noticing the past year or so that we both are certainly not the only people who seem to feel that the same rebirth/reinvention is long overdue for masculinity.

 

This is also one thing I love about transmen and transmasculine individuals that makes me very, very glad to have such wonderful brothers around: I don't know if maybe I'm generalizing, I hope not, but I often feel like transmen and transmasculine and such often make for better men and better examples of masculinity than many cismen do (nothing against cismen in general, of course, I've known many cismen who are also shining examples of positive masculinity).

 

But it's like, a masculine individual brought up as AFAB...that kind of life experience seems to often force a person towards a much better model of masculinity and away from the more toxic, anachronistic aspects. And I'm very happy to see you consciously dedicated to that advancement. :)

 

I should clarify one thing about the way my mind looks at the world, simply regarding terminology:

 

My mind draws a big distinction between the idea of "privilege" and the idea of...hmm...what to call it...I guess "detriment" for lack of a word that fits better. So, for example, to my mind, a "privilege" would be one gender having something beneficial that another gender lacks, whereas a "detriment" would be one gender having something...well...detrimental that another gender lacks.

 

Now, I think this next part is where some differences in perspective come in, and I suspect I'm likely the odd-one-out in this: My mind usually categorizes most of the unfair gender differences as EITHER a "privilege" for one side (or the other) OR as a "detriment" to one side (or the other). But reading through this discussion, it seems very common to regard most unfair gender differences as BOTH a "privilege" to one side AND simultaneously a "detriment" to the other side.

 

To be clear, I absolutely do regard any gender-privilege inequality to be a bad thing regardless of whether I feel I'm looking at the "privilege" or "detriment" category. And I have no intention of promotion my world-view on this as "better", its just different perspectives, differing terminology and classifications. But still the same values.

 

So if I say anything that may seem dismissive of male privilege, what I really mean is three things:

 

A. I fully recognize there are bad things women have to face in life that they should not have to face, regardless of what terminology I may ascribe to it.

 

B. I have just slightly enough awareness of epistemology that, whatever the topic, I'm fully aware of the possibility that I may very well have no idea whatsoever what in the world I'm talking about, and if so, I wouldn't even be aware of my own ignorance! ;)

 

C. I've faced a lot misandry (both "male detriment" and "female privilege" varieties) in ways that I feel like the general population isn't commonly willing to accept even exists. So it's a huge sore spot that is, I admit, very difficult for me to be fully rational about. Though I try.

 

I'd also like to say, for what it's worth, Gabriel, even as an amab who's never publicly presented as female, I can still directly sympathize with some of the "male privilege"/"female detriment" examples you and others have expressed. Especially the feelings of not being heard, feeling like your voice is overlooked and marginalized. That's been a recurring pain for me ever since I was a kid, so for what it's worth, I understand and I do sympathize.

 

And would you believe I was actually turned down for a job once because I was a guy? True story! The interviewer was even explicitly clear about it. Can't for the life of me understand why they even gave me an interview in the first place, if that was how they felt. It was an old, local retail chain that no longer exists, but to this day I have to be careful about mentioning it, because there's a lot of people who are so deeply convinced that sort of thing can't happen to males, they would (and have) weaponized it as me being sooo very misogynistic that I would make up an "obvious" lie like that. Again, main point being, you have a sympathetic friend in me.

 

Sorry everyone for bringing up the privilege thing again! I don't mean to re-derail!

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Heather Nicole

Oh, also, I should clarify too, it's less the idea of "male privilege" existing that bothers me, but rather, it's much moreso the idea of males having an exclusive overall advantage that hurts me. So anyone who recognizes female privilege in addition to male privilege is ok by me!!!

 

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11 hours ago, Heather Nicole said:

They really are sometimes! Although I never exactly hated what I have down there, necessarily, sometimes it does seem almost a little weird to have all that dangly in-the-way stuff.

I have come to feel that this part of my body is somehow "inside out".

Sometimes I wonder if there was a way to just poke it back in.

Oh well.

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On 11/22/2020 at 6:06 AM, DeeDee said:

Reading back to the first post I think we may be hijacking Overalls post here to focus in on privilege when the original post was more about the difference a cis person has wondering about whether they would be happy as the opposite gender.

 

Thanks so much for mentioning this DeeDee! For some reason I got to thinking about it while in the shower this morning. (I do a lot of my thinking in the shower.) Actually, I wanted to say, it's okay with me if members go off-topic while replying to my posts. Most of the the threads I post are just pretty-much random thoughts that happen to come to mind anyway. And so if some part of what I write, or some part of another member's reply, brings to mind a topic that's not really related to my original post & additional members want to chime in on that subject that's okay with me. It's interesting to me to see where threads I post go even if it's off-topic. And I feel like if something I post creates an opportunity for other members to toss ideas around, so to speak, then my post has been a success.

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Hi girls....

Here's my take: It depends on what you mean. Decisive, I know....

 

DeeDee observed:

9 hours ago, Overalls Bear said:

Reading back to the first post I think we may be hijacking Overalls post here to focus in on privilege when the original post was more about the difference a cis person has wondering about whether they would be happy as the opposite gender.

And,

9 hours ago, Overalls Bear said:

Actually, I wanted to say, it's okay with me if members go off-topic while replying to my posts....

And so if some part of what I write, or some part of another member's reply, brings to mind a topic that's not really related to my original post & additional members want to chime in on that subject that's okay with me. It's interesting to me to see where threads I post go even if it's off-topic. And I feel like if something I post creates an opportunity for other members to toss ideas around, so to speak, then my post has been a success.

 

I think the discussion about male and female privilege are directly on point. The existence of both social constructs is indisputable, as the examples in this thread attest. For me, transitioning MtF, I want to experience the emotional outlook which I think [hope] will be emphasized in my female gender expression and identity -- kindness, empathy,  gentleness, helpfulness, cooperation rather than competition, caring. I recognize that those are some of the female "vulnerabilities" upon which "male privilege" thrives. I hope that as my gender identity and expression evolve toward the feminine, I will be "evolving away from" my life-long masculine gender expression, including the role expectations associated with male "privilege" which are grounded in abuse of those feminine characteristics. 

 

In short, I favor the feminine outlook on life, but grew up in the masculine, including society's role expectations. I understand the "price" will be turning away from "male privilege," but I think it will be worth it....

 

~~Big Hug from Lee~~

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On 11/24/2020 at 5:20 AM, Heather Nicole said:

Oh, also, I should clarify too, it's less the idea of "male privilege" existing that bothers me, but rather, it's much moreso the idea of males having an exclusive overall advantage that hurts me. So anyone who recognizes female privilege in addition to male privilege is ok by me!!!

 

I have to admit that I share this view.  There are many women that use the stereotypical notions of gender to their advantage.

 

Why carry something heavy when a man will offer to carry it for you?  Why walk home when a man will offer you a lift?  Why put your own shelves up.......etc?

 

Some women also use their perceived vulnerability as means of control.  "Only men can be aggressive."  "A woman can't bully a man."

 

I live in a country that has a queen who is female, and we have had two female prime ministers, so the glass ceiling is not all that low for everyone.

 

Robin.

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10 hours ago, Lee H said:

 

In short, I favor the feminine outlook on life, but grew up in the masculine, including society's role expectations. I understand the "price" will be turning away from "male privilege," but I think it will be worth it....

I feel this way as well 

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ElizabethStar
10 hours ago, Lee H said:

I understand the "price" will be turning away from "male privilege," but I think it will be worth it....

So far it's been worth every moment.

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      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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