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I Can't Be the Only One. Can I?


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I can't be the only transgender person who has made the decision not to transition, can I? I visit several transgender forum websites regularly. A couple of them have forums specifically for transgender individuals who are not transitioning. (One of those forums is labelled as being for members who are either not transitioning or are de-transitioning.) 


My experience has been these non-transitioning forums are always pretty-much dead. And when there is a new post in that one forum, that's for members who are not transitioning or are de-transitioning, the new post typically is by a member who's not even de-transitioning but, rather, is simply hitting the pause button for a period of time so to speak. I don't recall ever reading a post by someone who wrote: "Yup, I'm transgender. I've been struggling with this my entire life. But (for whatever reason) I've made the decision not to do anything in the way of transitioning" (acknowledging that transitioning doesn't only mean full and complete transition... HRT, FFS, GCS, etc.) If there ever have been such people out there, & posting on transgender forums, it seems they've long-since disappeared.


Where are the non-transitioners? Do they not feel the need to "talk" about the decision they've made & how they feel about it, indeed how it's affecting them? And, if they don't, what does that say about me that I simply can't let it go? You'd think, at my age especially, that I'd be able to finally put it to rest. But obviously I can't. And I have to admit that the dearth of non-transitioners on the transgender forum websites I visit leaves me feeling lonely. It makes me feel as though I never quite fit in... which I don't believe I do. I would give a lot to just be able to finally let it go... (sigh)😔

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There are plenty of others and several I know here - I am not one of them - but it depends on WHAT IS RIGHT FOR YOU. You are what matters and what you do is what is right for you. Being trans does not mean it is manitory to transition. I suspect you will receive replies from others I speak about and I will let them speak for themselves - know you are loved and know whatever is right for you is what you should and need to do. Don't feel pushed or pressured by anyone.

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Not at all. Like @Shay said; medically transitioning isn't for everybody. It's difficult, a bit perilous and expensive. I have a dear friend who is both trans and not considering transitioning. They dress as their authentic self when time and the situation permits and present the rest of the time as male. They aren't any less valid than I am. The entire point of transitioning is to find a place where you feel like your authentic self. Then you stop. Some girls don't get bottom surgery. Some don't do hormones. I probably won't do top surgery. They're all equally valid and welcome members of our community.


I admit they don't talk about it as much. I imagine there's not as much need when you've already found what makes you feel complete. Or at least not as much on internet forums. My friend has been a member and led several transgender support groups in their area.



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4 hours ago, Overalls Bear said:

One of those forums is labelled as being for members who are either not transitioning or are de-transitioning.

I’m surprised there’s not another group there labeled as being for members who “can’t transition” which would probably be a small subset of the “not transitioning” group. I know two people in this “can’t transition” category and originally they were planning on medically transitioning but for serious health reasons and their age, they can’t.


The interesting thing about these two ‘non-transitioning’ trans individuals is that their wives are more active within the community than they are themselves. My wife and I, for instance, correspond much more often with the significant other regarding their trans spouse’s trials and tribulations than from them themselves. In both cases, thy’ve reached a point where they can only express themselves privately. One friend, however, does go to trans related events out of their residential area...or used to pre-covid.


5 hours ago, Overalls Bear said:

Where are the non-transitioners? Do they not feel the need to "talk" about the decision they've made & how they feel about it, indeed how it's affecting them?

They definitely exist. I haven’t talked to one of them in several months and I think they may have just accepted the fact that transitioning was not in the cards for them.


It’s very possible that some non-transitioning members have found a place where they no longer feel a strong need or desire to discuss it further or focus on it as much. There have been several trans individuals here and on other forums that have made a personal choice not to transition for the good of a relationship or work or life situation. It is possible a few have felt hearing about others moving forward in their journey makes their decision more difficult. Everyone has their reasons and all are equally valid.


Susan R🌷

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I will not be medically transitioning, because the physical risks aren't worth it for me vs. my dysphoria. Transitioning is a spectrum, there's passing in public, changing pronouns but not appearance, and medically transitioning... I think sometimes there's a tendency not to be certain about where the stopping point is. Instead of saying "never", people might say, "it'd be nice if someday... so I'm not sure yet."

3 hours ago, Susan R said:

It is possible a few have felt hearing about others moving forward in their journey makes their decision more difficult.

 It's true that sometimes it makes some aspects of dysphoria worse.


Also, there's a stigma which I really hope goes away soon, but there's this toxicity about not being "trans enough" and sometimes people have valid fears about facing that stigma, and so stay quiet about not transitioning. Everyone here on this forum has been very non-judgmental about that though, so it's more of an overall thing, not something I've experienced so far in this community. If you want to speak out about not transitioning, if it helps you to feel more validated to talk about it, then every time you speak up, you might be helping to validate the experience of someone who's reading quietly on the sidelines. I think it's especially vital that kids who identify as trans understand that there are any number of paths they could take.

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I would probably come into this catagory too as, at least at the moment, would probably never contemplate surgery and even hormones are unlikely. I see that I am made how I was made and have lived for many years more 'in limbo' than denying how I am, or even keeping it totally secret. That said, the longer I live the more I think of gender being somewhat meaningless at least in my physiological and psychological context, it being more to the panderings of society. Speaking stereotypically I am not the type of woman who would undergo surgery for bigger boobs etc so it does follow in my thinking. I can appreciate that not having body dysporia does make a huge difference though. I am one of those people who (although not being totally against) avoids taking medication or undergoing un-neccessary operations. For me, as I suppose it is for most, it would be complex changing my identity etc. I think the decider here is more a case of me being more androgyne / genderless than strictly mtf, but as many will know, things can change and do float about all over the place.


As for 'not being trans enough' - apart from here I don't live in the trans community so it is pretty irrelivant to me but I do see why it is an issue to some, and examples have been mentioned from time to time. I think it is a term more conjured up by fear than anything else.



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14 hours ago, Overalls Bear said:

I can't be the only transgender person who has made the decision not to transition . . . who wrote: "Yup, I'm transgender. I've been struggling with this my entire life. But (for whatever reason) I've made the decision not to do anything in the way of transitioning" ... (sigh)😔

         Bear, you raise many points that ring bells with me. I am soon turning 65 (yikes!) and have been medically transitioning on & off since my 20's (early 1970's) but am still socially presenting as "male". Coming from a politically conservative family and area like I do transition is much more than just gender-dressing (which I DO enjoy btw) and have strove to be most feminine appearing in about every other way possible.

          I am OUT, everyone in my extended family KNOWS and is accepting of my "crossed" proclivities, so suppose one can say I'm a COWARD for only really being myself at home? Being divorced 10 years now I have two children early 20's, #4 grand-baby on way which enjoy thoroughly so have tried very hard "not to make waves"!

          I dislike most "transgender forums", do not generally talk about being a woman with anyone (never seen a therapist "officially") and just cultivate a great shape with very long hair that's probably better than most "cis women" (but, to point and like you, have NEVER actually tried to "pass")?




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I think, for me, there is a sense in which my gender dysphoria struggles are (or have become at least) a mental health issue. I simply can't let them go. Plus I know in my heart I would never be satisfied until I had gone the whole way in my transition which, at my age & with the resources I have available to me, just isn't realistic.


A dozen years ago or so I decided perhaps I could try doing a few little things to add just the merest touch of femininity to my appearance. (This was before I became the almost total recluse I am now.) But what I found was that each little thing I did caused me to think of something else I could perhaps do or something else I could buy that would be helpful. And on it went until I finally gave it up altogether. (I think a few of the things I bought (jewelry pieces mostly) are still packed away somewhere. But I don't know where.)


I know some transgender individuals are able to find a resting place short of full transition where they're comfortable. But I know, myself, I never would. Sooner or later I'd reach that proverbial line in the sand I just couldn't, or wouldn't be able to,  cross. And at that point I suspect I'd in all likelihood be thinking seriously about making another attempt on my life. I'm sorry to be so negative. But that's my reality. I just wish it could all be over for me. 🙁

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