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Taking the long way towards finding myself.

Penny Patton

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I'm Penny. 43 years old and just starting my journey into transitioning into a woman. So far I've only told my sister and a couple of online friends, all of whom have been incredibly supportive. Actually, as I wrote this my sister just texted me some trans resources and said she'd help me with things like learning how to makeup.


 I've had strong gender dysphoria for as long as I can remember. I have memories going back to around elementary school about it. I always choose a female  character when given the option in videogames. I've always presented as female online and have frequently gotten comments, online and offline, about how I have a more feminine personality. I even have dreams where I'm a woman.


So why did it take me so long to get to this point? Part of it was growing up without the words or knowledge about transitioning. Part of it was worry about how my family will react (My mom, step-dad, and a lot of my extended family are very conservative and openly homophobic/transphobic), but my parents moved to Florida and I don't have much interaction with the transphobic members of my family anymore so that's become less of a concern in recent years. Concerns about how it would affect my employment(I currently have some very conservative co-workers). Fear of going through the awkward middle stages of transitioning while out in public. And just coming to terms with the fact that, yes, I am trans. And, yes, I also had to deal with the "I'd make a hideous woman" thoughts and, ever since I turned 40 I've also had to wrestle with the thought that "maybe it's too late". Watching a lot of trans YouTube videos, and seeing a lot of before/after photos on Twitter helped me deal with both of those thoughts.


 Also, I deal with severe depression. I have since high school, but only got diagnosed and started receiving treatment in 2017. Like, crippling depression. It's hurt all my past relationships, my career (I used to be lead artist at an animation studio, then a high school art teacher), and generally made it difficult to leave the house and interact with people. The silver lining to this is I already have a therapist and she's been fantastic. Although she's been out of the office since December and I've only spoken to her over the phone once since then. But I have an appointment tomorrow and I'm set on telling her about my transitioning plans to get the ball rolling.


 I really came to grips with my trans-ish-mess in December, after my last appointment with my therapist. That's why I haven't talked to her about it yet and have only told three people. Also, in November my therapist encouraged me to apply for disability due to my depression, and in February my landlord told me they were evicting me so their parents could move in to the house. Currently in temporary housing due to the lack of affordable rental options in my area. So that's been the main focus of our last few sessions. Oh, after my therapist pushed me to apply for disability (which didn't even occur to me as an option) I realized it could be possible to transition while not having to worry about the employment situation. Of course, it could take years to get approved so I'm not counting on it, but the thought definitely helped prompt me to where I am now.


 As far as transitioning, I intend to take this all the way. I HATE my voice, always have, so I intend to get a voice coach to work on feminizing it. Failing that I'll get voice surgery. In fact, I plan to get all the surgeries my insurance will cover. Top, bottom, face. I won't feel comfortable in my own body until then. (Yes, I know they make you wait before you can do this, so I'm prepared for that.) If it were possible to get a working reproductive system I'd do that, too! After talkin g to my therapist tomorrow, my next priority will be hair removal. I want to get that started ASAP. I know it's a long process that likely will not be completed before I'm ready to start HRT.


 So that more or less sums up my journey. Beyond that, I write, draw, dabble in 3D modelling and spend way too much time in virtual worlds that predate Facebook's mess by decades. I'm a published author (in a very limited capacity, the number of books I've sold is probably still in double digits). I've worked on a TV show for a major network that lasted two seasons. No, I won't say what books and what TV show. I'm not ready to reveal my offline identity quite yet and those would give it away. However, there is a lot I'd be happy to talk about and just didn't think to include here, so feel free to ask questions.


 Thank you for reading!

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  • Forum Moderator

@Penny Patton Welcome Penny. Your journey is not unlike others, including me, though unique in that your journey is your own. Welcome to thius forum. You will find an oasis of supportive people and truthful answers to your questions and please ask them as they come. I highly recommend wandering through the various topics and forums and note the wonderful resources now available to you.



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Thank you both for the warm welcome. I've been browsing the site resources and the forums and already feeling at home here.


I had the thought of sharing my plans for transition. How I'm approaching it, maybe getting feedback on it. Also maybe a bit about my plans for what I want to do once my transition is far enough along for me to begin feeling comfortable with myself.  Should post that in this thread, or is there a more appropriate sub-forum for that?

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi @Penny Patton! I can relate so very, very much to your story, though we’re transitioning in opposite directions (I’m FtM). I’m in my early 40s and it’s only been in the last year that I’ve really let myself say the word ‘trans’ (just to myself, so far, and a few folks online), though I think deep down I’ve known since well before I knew what the right word was. 

One thing I love about this forum is that a lot of the folks on it are a bit older. YouTube seems to be full of bright-eyed teenagers and young adults who have already transitioned, and depending on the day I either find that inspiring or depressing (I struggle with those same feelings of ‘it’s too late for me’). Chatting to other people who have transitioned/are transitioning at my age or older is so much more comforting because it reminds me that not everyone is on the same timeline. 



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