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LaurenA

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I'm beginning to feel like I'm trying to solve a mystery.  Looking for clues in my memory.  Looking up information to try to put those clues together.  Possibly even following false leads or red herrings.

I am not someone who has always felt that I was misgendered.  I have never felt that I was really female.  I have never felt that I had to transition.  This questioning is something new in my life that I'm unsure is real.  I can look back and see clues pointing towards being transgender but is that enough.

The way I've always handled new interests such as hobbies and skill was to find as much information as I could about it, then find other peoples writing about it.  Basically do a lot of research until I felt I had a good handle on what I was getting into.  Then I would go at it whole hog jumping in feet first.  Usually after being involved in whatever the interest was for three years or so I would lose interest and move on to something else.

Is that what I'm doing here?  Am I just obsessing about something that interests me?  If I make a decision will I change my mind a few years down the road?

Lyla

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Ahhh, life is a mystery isn't it?  

1 hour ago, Lyla said:

I am not someone who has always felt that I was misgendered.  I have never felt that I was really female.  I have never felt that I had to transition.

Until I realized I could!  As to hobbies and such I can be like that.  If you tried to put all these thoughts aside, could you?  Quite possibly not, at least at this point.  The question really is how far do you need to go to feel happy?   Answer that and you'll be golden.

 

Jani

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I knew I could transition when Christine Jorgensen was news.  I just never felt strongly about it and there was always the internal question of if i may.  Over the years I didn't learn how to fit in but how to play a role.  I've been playing that role for so long I've grown into the part.  Is it worth all the time and money and grief to leave that role behind?  It's so much easier to just go with the flow.

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Is it worth it?  I've got a ton of money invested in myself and I think I received a good value.  As to the grief, the hard part passes and you move forward.  I can't say I've lost anyone.  I will say I've met some amazing people though.  Going with the flow is an option, albeit painful at times.  The choice is ours to make.  

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11 hours ago, Lyla said:

I've been playing that role for so long I've grown into the part.  Is it worth all the time and money and grief to leave that role behind? 

That's a question only you can answer.

I relate so much to you (if in the other direction). I didn't know I was transgender. I didn't feel I was in the wrong body. I did know that my brain worked as a male brain, I knew I could never fit in and felt something was not right. I tried to fix everything in my life and I tried hard to fit in. And like you I just played a role. I played it so well I ended up overcompensating for 8 years and overidentifying with that role.

 

What @Jani said just lighted up a bulb in my head (thank you Jani, understanding feels good). That's what happened to me, I discovered some videos and I realised I could. And that oppened Pandora's box for me.

 

For me, yes, it is worth the hardship. Because the moment I realised I didn't need to be a woman a huge (huuuuge) weight lifted up my shoulders and suddenly a new energy was there. It felt like the energy of life, like if I could be what I am life (and every single thing I need to do) didn't feel like walking in a waist deep field of snow. I suddenly felt like I was looking forward to doing something as silly as go grocery shopping if I could you as this different version of me.

 

But I think that figuring out if it is worth the hardship is a second step. I believe you can only assess that once you've felt, at least subtly, what it would feel to be you. Not necessarily putting a label to it, but just feeling it in your body and in your mind. And that can take some time.

 

One of the things I'm learning here is that it takes time, and that is ok. 

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I guess I'm going to have to think a lot more about it.  Last night I watched a very scary documentary on YouTube called "The Gender Code".  The scenes of violence in it scared me to the point I felt that this was just too scary and dangerous.  I packed away the few items I had gotten to experiment with gender.  Afterwards I felt angry and depressed and even thought of drowning my feeling in alcohol like I've done in the past.  I guess that's another clue to look at.  Right now I think I'm going to crawl back into my cave and think about this some more.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Lyla said:

Afterwards I felt angry and depressed and even thought of drowning my feeling in alcohol like I've done in the past.  I guess that's another clue to look at.

Hi Lyla, pleased to meet you.

If you just look at statistics being trans is effectively terrifying, it is why so many people place an emphasis on "passing", because it offers the security to be upgraded in society's eyes to the levels of aggression someone happy with their gender from birth is likely to experience. Which can still be scary as statistics.

The flipside statistic to violence and prejudice experienced is the suicide and self harm rates, they make not dealing with gender dysphoria just as scary to me!

 

The strength of your feelings towards packing away the items you have is a very loud and clear signal that you ignore at your peril.  This is why everyone is advised to find a way to seek out a therapist to help talk though these fears safely and without any need to act on them.

 

When I was first questioning the most helpful exercise I did was not looking at whether or not I was transgender (that was too big and too confusing and scary) but looking at whether or not I was cisgender.

 

It was about coming to terms with myself and removing the masks I wear every day.

Recognising what I do in life as a role in order to play a part expected of me whether self imposed or just reinforced by society or others, and what I do because I want to. The expectations list was way bigger!

I wish you all the best in your thinking and exploring.

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@Lyla I am pretty new to all this, but I can relate. I have on multiple occasions packed away or tossed out various things related to hobbies I had a lot of interest in after I got bored. I would do it without a second thought until much later, and then it was a "hindsight's 20/20" sort of thing. But, with my dresses, my makeup, my hair clippies, there's a much more immediate response if I even consider it. (Haven't packed them away/tossed them, and won't. I am resolved.)

 

Journeys of self-discovery are seldom easy, or free of fear. I have only recently (proportionately) started on that journey. However, the fact that you are willing to take a step on that journey is a good indicator that you can overcome your fears and reservations, no matter what statistics say, and reach your destination, regardless of where that destination is. I am just a spring chicken staring at a crossroads, and I don't have all the answers. But, we're on this road together, and all we gotta do is just start walking and see where our feet take us. It's the journey, not the destination, right? (Gods, I do sound cheesy).

 

-Here if you need me,

Keira

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Hi Lyla.  I so remember that nagging question as it seemed to swirl between "can i and should i".  Coming to this site helped me a great deal.  i saw in the example of others that i could.  I certainly wasn't as unique as i had thought.  The "should" still existed.  I went to therapy, as was suggested here.  There amongst other things i looked back at my life.  I saw so many steps both forward and back.  I remembered the pain of rejecting myself and drinking as either a punishment or perhaps as a reward for living up to societies desires.

This is a very personal journey.  I was told by a mod back then that she had my back.  In fact i think we support each other in finding the path best for us. Glad you are here and sharing the same doubts i have known all my life.  Keep sharing......It helps

 

Hugs,

 

Charlize

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The violence scares me and not being able to pass is a trigger for that.  I'm afraid I'll become even more of a recluse than I am right now with this pandemic.  I haven't left the house except for curb side groceries since March.  I can picture myself dressing in male costume just to go out of the house.  The thought of any socialization as female is way too scary.  As most people do, I have a great fear of being made fun of and I have always taken great pains to not place myself in a position where that might happen.  Yet here I am thinking about make almost the most major change I can think of that will place a bullseye on my back for ridicule.  I'm beginning to realize I've always been trans but too scared to do anything about it.  I still am!

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19 hours ago, Lyla said:

I'm beginning to feel like I'm trying to solve a mystery.  Looking for clues in my memory.  Looking up information to try to put those clues together.  Possibly even following false leads or red herrings.

I am not someone who has always felt that I was misgendered.  I have never felt that I was really female.  I have never felt that I had to transition. 

Lyla

I am someone who always felt misgendered. But I was also always completely heterosexual (based on my assigned gender at birth) & I've always lived an outwardly more-or-less male life. I'm 72 now. And I'm gradually losing a lot of my memory of what occurred during my childhood as well as my adulthood. It's become something of a patchwork quilt, if you will. 

 

Starting at around the age of 60, my life-long gender dysphoria hit hard aided by the internet and YouTube where I first came to realize I wasn't the first male to have always felt female inside. Anyway... I can relate to what you wrote about looking for clues in your memory. I do this constantly. Mostly disjointed memories come to mind, both of things I can still recall doing that suggest I was likely born transgender as well as things that suggest perhaps I wasn't, times in my life when my heterosexuality seemed to overtake my gender dysphoria. 

 

Hugs... 😉

 

I think I can also relate to being too scared to do anything about my own gender dysphoria. In my case, though, I'm married. And the major reason I will never transition (to any degree at all) is because it would destroy whatever years my wife has left. But I also have always been exquisitely sensitive to criticism. And I suspect that even if my wife were not in the picture, I would find it extremely difficult to present myself in public as female. I don't believe at my age I could ever pass even though my height, as well as my weight, would certainly put me well within the range of a more-or-less typical female. It's the wrinkled old man's face that would betray me every time. (By the way,  except for the fact I'm married, I'm an almost entirely reclusive person myself.) 

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4 hours ago, Lyla said:

The thought of any socialization as female is way too scary.  As most people do, I have a great fear of being made fun of and I have always taken great pains to not place myself in a position where that might happen.

I totally understand Lyla, it took months for me to pluck up the courage to go far enough away from my house to risk walking outside dressed as a woman. Not least because I had spent years purerly fantasising and had to order and buy appropriate clothes first!

I walked past one woman also  out on a walk on a small forestry loop and we smiled at each other and that was it. She will never know how panicked I was when I saw her walking towards me, or the internal urge to turn around and run back to the car which would have made me stand out so much more, but nor will she ever know just how totally ordinary and normal it felt for me to be seen as a woman in the world.

 

Women are literally all shapes and sizes and I know one cis woman on another site who says she has been misgendered all her life, even though she is not trans but sees herself as a butch cis lesbian, it was with the trans community that she finally met people who did not judge her on her appearance and so she tries to help as an ally.

 

I work in a mainline faith community and so I know that 50% will embrace me and the other 50% will hate me, I will have to spend the rest of my working life defending my right to exist in the same spaces, but I am totally certain that I do exist.

 

I had to ask myself what I was more scared of, being insulted by someone I do not care about, or being a hypocrite for telling my kids that they are wonderful and should never change to fit in with someone else and that any real friend will like them for who they are. I hate hypocracy more than I hate being ridiculed - that has been done to me plenty without reason in the male world I grew up in. My kids may not understand but they will respect my honesty, whether now or later in life.

No one here has ever painted a picture of transitioning as being easy, but a good many have found it better than they feared.

 

Overalls is right, not everyone who realises they are trans takes the path of transitioning, sometimes it just isn't right for them and knowing who they are is enough; no matter what is right for you by the end of your questioniong you will know yourself better and that is the main thing.

As Charlize said, it is a personal journey, just know that the people here have your back while you need it.

💛

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4 hours ago, Lyla said:

The thought of any socialization as female is way too scary.  As most people do, I have a great fear of being made fun of and I have always taken great pains to not place myself in a position where that might happen.

Layla I had these thoughts too.  I was never one that wanted to stand out in the crowd.  I was teased as a child and even today I do not like it when its mean.  As to having a bulls eye on your back, I'm not so sure.  My friends and family are understanding, even if they don't understand.   As to other activities you can always go shopping at different stores until you feel comfortable with being out as Layla.  That's what I did.  I assume (hopefully) that your avatar is not a computer generated female interpretation of you.  If its real than I suggest you would have less concern than you might think.  I hope you don't mind me being forward and saying so.  

 

As to putting yourself out there in public, I was terrified at first but then I became driven to be me.  Yes the few misgenderings hurt but I let it roll off my back.  I wasn't going to let a stranger get in my way or ruin my day.  Although it did bother me.  

1 hour ago, DeeDee said:

I had to ask myself what I was more scared of, being insulted by someone I do not care about...

 

By overcoming my fears I have discovered a whole new world and you can too if you want to.  Whatever direction you go, please take care not to let fear lead the way.

 

Hugs, Jani

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The avatar is a picture of me 15 years ago.  Like Overalls a lot of lines and wrinkles have been added since then. 🙂

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8 hours ago, Lyla said:

The violence scares me and not being able to pass is a trigger for that.  I'm afraid I'll become even more of a recluse than I am right now with this pandemic.  I haven't left the house except for curb side groceries since March.  I can picture myself dressing in male costume just to go out of the house.  The thought of any socialization as female is way too scary.  As most people do, I have a great fear of being made fun of and I have always taken great pains to not place myself in a position where that might happen.  Yet here I am thinking about make almost the most major change I can think of that will place a bullseye on my back for ridicule.  I'm beginning to realize I've always been trans but too scared to do anything about it.  I still am!

I think with this paragraph you beautifully summed up feelings that I have, and obviously others have, or have had also.  I can't add much to the wisdom above, except to say that you are among friends (and some smart cookies they are).

 

I will add that little bites is the only way I can handle the "bigness" of this whole thing.  Slow, steady progress is my mantra.

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4 hours ago, Lyla said:

The avatar is a picture of me 15 years ago.

You looked nice then and we all age with a few wrinkles and such.  Please don't fret over being caught out.    Remember that everyone is a mixture of male and female features.  The more I look around and observe others the more comfortable I get.  

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10 hours ago, Lyla said:

As most people do, I have a great fear of being made fun of and I have always taken great pains to not place myself in a position where that might happen.  Yet here I am thinking about make almost the most major change I can think of that will place a bullseye on my back for ridicule.  I'm beginning to realize I've always been trans but too scared to do anything about it.  I still am!

 

Hi, Lyla.

 

You are right that most of us have experienced this fear at some point.  As the day I planned to come out to the world approached, I was almost paralyzed by the fear.  But I knew I wanted to move forward, so I went to the city, where no one knew me except my trans support group friends, and I spent an evening and a morning there as Kathy.  It was quite an eye-opener to realize how no one cared that I was presenting as a woman.

 

My support group friends took me to a trans-friendly nightclub to watch some stand-up comedy.  The next morning, I had breakfast at a coffee shop, talked to the barista, went window-shopping, talked to sales people, bought some gear I needed at a backpacking co-op, talked to the cashier, made a joke about my presentation not matching my ID, and no one had a problem with me being me.

 

I am not saying you should do that right away, but taking baby-steps in the real world with your new identity is a great way to try it out and to start dealing with the fear.

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