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I want to start Social transitioning before hormones, but parents..


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Hi im Nicky, 21 year old transwoman and i want to Social transitioning in the coming year, but whats holding me back are my parents. My parents are in there own process of accepting im transgender and are supportive, but not very involved. They are convinced that you need to Social transitioning after hormones, they are saying thing like: i dont see you as a girl right now, you are not going to dress as a girl and wear make-up now, right?, Etc, etc. Im scared to be honest with them about buying make-up, clothes, my plans, etc. Because of how they are going to react.

I told my mom today that im looking for products to hide my beard shadow after shaving and she looked at me as if i grown a second head. I dont know what to do anymore! Im daily struggling my genderdysphoria and i dont really know if i can take it to live like a man for a entire year still. And i really want them to be a part of all this, but i dont know anymore. I have been trying for months to respect that they need time to put everything together and come to terms with everything, but i feel like i cant keep waiting, because they are not ready. And i love them with all my heart and i wouldnt know what to do without them, but more and more it starts to feel like im drowning.

Im sorry that im putting so much bagage on this site, but i could really use advice.

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  • Forum Moderator

Honestly, in the states (and in previous versions of WPATH) you had to live as your preferred gender for a year before HRT was even on the table. The idea was to "be absolutely sure" before you had access to medical intervention. 


That's not in the WPATH guidelines anymore, but you still need a diagnosis of gender dysphoria from a doctor in my state before you can pursue HRT here. No clue what the rules are in the Netherlands. Your health care system is generally better than ours though.


I'd try explaining what dysphoria is like and how much you're suffering. Break down in tears if you must. That worked wonders for getting my wife on board. I was so distraught that I learned that I could cry without making sound.


For a less dramatic approach, you could try explaining that your risk of suicide goes WAY down if your gender dysphoria is actually treated and one of the accepted treatments is living as your preferred gender.



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Eventually you may have to choose between your parents' happiness or yours. Hearts are often broken, it happens. And I hate to break it coldly like that, but denying myself for others caused me some real damage, on top of the dysphoria I was already dealing with.

Most parents are just concerned that their children will be able to support themselves and survive in the world, so I would make that a priority if they are helping to support you.


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Hi @Nicky1820 I am sorry to read you are in such a difficult place right now and looking for your parents to support your next steps. And no need to apologize, your feelings and your struggle are real. I absolutely agree with both Jackie's and Stevie's points, and I might add that there is no single way to transition and no set order. Only you can decide what steps to take and when. In my case, my social transition started first. I also wanted to add to what you said about waiting until someone else is "ready." The truth is, you could be waiting a very long time, and because of that you will be stuck in the dysphoria and the feelings that go with it while you wait. In my case, I waited for more than 20 years because I cared more about how others would react than putting myself first. And I paid a terrible emotional price for that. I feel it is super important to confide in your parents that the longer you wait to move forward to live your life the way you want to, whether it is socially or medically transitioning, the harder it is for you. I believe that if your parents are truly supportive, they will understand this and show their love for you by supporting your choices and your needs. I hope this helps! ❤️




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4 hours ago, Nicky1820 said:

And i love them with all my heart and i wouldnt know what to do without them, but more and more it starts to feel like im drowning.

Im sorry that im putting so much bagage on this site, but i could really use advice.

Say that to them.  We transition to help ourselves. The alternative is pain: emotional and physical.  If you explain to them that "until you can get on HRT and start seeing the changes that it produces, I NEED to do something to reduce the pain. Social transitioning is a way to help (me) deal with the daily pain I feel. I know it's hard for you to see, but I'm sure you also don't want to see me struggling in pain either so this is what I am going to do".  

You're in charge of what you need to do to help your dysphoria. You are not in charge of how people deal with that. That is on them.  You can try and help them understand what it's like to be you, or why you have to do this but in the end, how they choose to support you (or not) is on them.


And honey, we are ALL struggling with something and need this community to help us deal with it so unpack all the baggage sister, we're here for you.

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5 hours ago, Nicky1820 said:

I have been trying for months to respect that they need time to put everything together and come to terms with everything, but i feel like i cant keep waiting, because they are not ready.

Tell them this!


By all means get some makeup to cover your beard shadow.  It's a small step, but you need to feel some progress happening, even if it is baby steps.


There is no reason to wait until you are on HRT before starting your social transition.  In my opinion, it is better to start the social transition first.  Once you start on HRT, physical changes can happen pretty fast, and can force you to transition socially whether you are ready or not.  I think it is better to have a little practice at being yourself first.


In my case, I started going out part-time as Kathy first, mostly to support group meetings.  Once I started HRT, I only had three months before breast growth forced me to come out and go full-time.  It would have been much more stressful if I had not had that practise time first.

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  • Forum Moderator

@Nicky1820 If you are still living home and want to please or appease them, I would start things that need to eventually happen. If you are on your own this is still a good idea.  You mentioned beard shadow.  Start electrolysis now, ASAP.  It takes a while for the hair follicles to be killed permanently.  Having to grow out your facial hair on a weekly basis while trying to go about life in feminine mode is terribly difficult.  Its almost a new definition of dysphoria.  Start seeing a therapist.  You will need a recommendation for HRT and (possibly) name and gender change at court.  I don't know what the laws in your country are concerning this.  You could start growing your hair out and practicing makeup skills in private.  There is so much to do in this time before starting HRT.



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Honestly, I find the "I don't see you as a girl right now, so you're not going to wear dresses and make-up, right?" super hurtful. My dysphoria isn't as bad, and I'm very lucky that my parents are helping me to transition by way of clothing and hairstyles. They haven't changed pronouns yet, but my sibling has and it feels nice.

But just because they don't see you as a girl, it doesn't mean you aren't one. How you see yourself, especially in this case, is very important and explaining that could be helpful. And they may not understand. My mom has been doing research and asking me questions and she still doesn't fully understand what I'm actually going through. She's also guilty of wanting me to focus on other issues I have (low self-esteem, anxiety, problems interacting with people, intimacy), and then make a decision about my identity. I very much disagree, although I do want to get better on every front, not just one. Your parents need to be able to understand that you need to start transitioning before HRT, because that can be how you find your style and how you find out how you want to present yourself. Your dysphoria sounds horrible and really affecting your life, so bringing that up could potentially help. It is causing you pain and parents should never want you to be in pain. 

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59 minutes ago, Sol said:

She's also guilty of wanting me to focus on other issues I have (low self-esteem, anxiety, problems interacting with people, intimacy), and then make a decision about my identity.


For many of us, other issues, whatever they are, are a result of gender dysphoria and living in the wrong identity.  Fix that, and many of them will go away by themselves.

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  • 4 weeks later...

@Nicky1820, my heart goes out to you for your current situation.  And while it's not exactly the same, I've had (and still have) issues that are at least in the same ballpark.  I also was striving for feminin behaviors.  Before I came to terms with being trans, I used to look at things like jewelry, bras, purses, and typically anything that was labeled or socially recognized as female items.  That lasted a while, but finally there came a day when I just couldn't handle the longing, and occasional frustration of wanting those things but having to push those thoughts and feelings down in an effort to conform to what I was told I was supposed to be by family and society.  So I bought my first purse that night and surreptitiously an item here or there going foward.  I kept these items hidden because my mother would not approve of anything I was doing.  For context, I live in the Florida panhandle and a stone's throw away from Alabama.  It's the kind of place with a massive conservative population and is also largely religious, which was generally "Southern Baptist".  I'm sure I don't have to tell anyone here how that works.  My mother was raised in that environment, as was all her sisters  My grandfather on her side was a deacon for 20 years or so.  My mother made it clear, long before I came out, how she felt about anything not heterosexual cis man with herterosexual cis woman.  She played the "civil" game by commenting she disagreed with it but wouldn't get involved with "people like that" in any effort to deny someone their personal freedom in "making choices" in their lives.  At the time I took that as face value.  However, as time wore on, I realized that wasn't actually true and she was only trying to appear tolerent.

As time wore on, and her true feelings were becoming obvious, I had met both of my partners and our relationship had been developing beautifully.  One of them is non-binary and the other doesn't really identify himself as anything.  Both helped me break through all feelings and fear of just being who I knew I was but spent so much effort trying to ignore.  When I finally got to visit one of them, they helped really get the transition rolling.  That started with outfits and style choices and moved from there.  At that point I knew I simply couldn't continue as I had been with my family as a whole and her in particular.  After so many years sneaking around and trying to hide things to satisfy her views and beliefs, I knew what I would have to do. 

I'm glad your parents accepted everything despite not being as supportive or involved as you would have liked them to be, and probably needed to be for you as you faced the issues that come with being trans.  In my case, I just barreled through telling her everything.  She'd already seen my nail polish, earrings, and capris and I knew if I didn't just bite the bullet it was going to wind up more difficult the longer I waited.  When it was all out she had the PR face indicating, to me, she wore this PR face meaning she was very much in opposition to everything I had told her but didn't want to look bad.  What she did say, rather curtly and with a tone of condensation, was "You will always be my son."  It hurt then and still hurts now.  I left the house once dressed in some of the lovely items from the new wardrobe and various accessories.  My mother just looked at me and asked, "Is that how you're going out?"  After saying yes I was met with, "So this is a 'thing' now?"  Long story short, her actions, words, and tone screamed her lack of approval.  She actually refuses to use the term "purse" and, to this day, still calls it my "bag."

@Audrey is also spot on in the transition process taking different roads with each of us.  In my case I was climbing over two decades of hiding, denying, and burying everything I was taught and thought I was supposed to be.  So my transition started with my outward appearance.  I had been under so much pressure about everything for so long and the first step, for me, was to strive for a look I could feel good about and do as much as possible for my outside to accurately represent who I was inside.  I haven't started HRT yet and it's sadly likely that won't be something I can get for a while yet.  That hasn't stopped me from doing anything and everything I can to truly feel like myself.  It's been wonderful so far.  Every "ma'am" or "she/her" is a victory for me.  Waiting for HRT would have left me trapped in a body I felt wasn't right while continuing to fight the internal struggle over my identity.  Some people may wait till after HRT, but I absolutely agree that nobody can truly ascribe a singular definition to the transition process.  That is your journey and you make the choices you feel are right for you and when you feel it's time to do so.  Nobody else can tell you anything about your transition. 


And like @Bri2020 said, you're absolutely able to express your feelings, frustrations, and challenges here.  Personally, I fell in love with the site and community fairly quickly.  With relatively little support from my family and only a few wonderful friends, I am exceptionally greatful to have somewhere to go when I need support and to interact with people that understand the things I can find myself dealing with.  So let it all out if you need to.  It's working wonders for me.

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