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Hello everyone. 

I'm going through a lot difficulties with my gender identity right now. I was born female, but everyone always thought of me as a Tomboy. I spent most of my youth thinking that was pretty accurate, as I refused to wear dresses or skirts by the time I was out of preschool, and I never really liked or was into "girly" stuff.

I had some major life changes in the last few years, which weren't all great, but a positive aspect which came out of that, is that I have now been given the time and opportunity to think about myself and rediscover who I am, as I spent many years on autopilot, just basically  "pretending" to be what society and people around me expected me to be. By the time I was a teenager, I had begun creating alternate personalities inside my head, and developed several more over the years, and began living through these personalities, completely suppressing my own, just to survive my circumstances.

Since going through a divorce and being on my own for a couple years now, I've found my personalities have all but disappeared. The problem was, they left and I didn't even know who I was anymore. I went to therapy for a couple years, where I slowly started learning that I don't have to be those personalities anymore. I get to be me now. This realization has been freeing and exciting, but also pretty overwhelming.

I realized I was never any of those personas that I developed as a coping technique, and I realized that my actual gender identity, the people I'm really attracted to, and so forth, were never any of those I learned to believe during my years being on autopilot.

So, after questioning for some time, I found I thought the term androgyne fit me. But, after talking with someone for awhile, and telling them how I feel/felt almost exclusively male most of the time, I became convinced that I just prefer to present androgynously, and we discussed other terms that might fit me better, such as transmaculine, demiguy, bigender, and even paraguy. 

I turned down almost all those terms, because almost none seemed to be exactly fitting, and I  want really be able to understand who I am, for my own sake.

After a few days of thinking, I again consulted with this person, and I threw another loop at them, which was that despite feeling generally entirely male, I had started sensing an extremely vague feeling of being neutral at times. But, I told them, it was so vague it was nearly nonexistent, and so I decided that paraguy, somewhere around 99 % male, and maybe 1 % neutral fit best. 

Because I do plan to transition as much as possible for me, anyway, and I was feeling pretty much completely male, we decided, for the sake of easier conversation, paraguy was pretty obscure, and I ought to just, in future conversations, refer to myself as a trans man, to limit any confusion. This was perfectly great for me, and I felt it was really fitting, and was pretty excited that I finally had a clear idea of who I am.

I was thrilled, and actually went and bought some more men's clothing yesterday, which I'm really happy with. I also have plenty of women's clothing, as well, because I do prefer to present more androgynously, and for a period of time kept referring to myself as a feminine male, because I didn't know how else to really describe it. And that's fine with me. I do feel like that is an accurate gender expression for me, and I don't intend to change the way I present, with the exception of having top surgery and using makeup techniques for a more masculine facial appearance, because I don't think I can on HRT. 

But, last night, it all came crumbling down again, as far as gender identity. 

I was just watching TV, and my particular attraction to a male actor suddenly came into play. I suddenly started feeling female at that moment, almost like I was triggered, and in my mind I started thinking " what is going on here???"

I was very confused and distressed to say the least, and I turned the show off and went to bed with nothing but questions about myself again.

I was wondering if I would feel differently when I woke up this morning...if the female feeling would be gone. However, I awoke to find that it hadn't fully gone, although it partially did. So now I have been sitting here all day, feeling partially male and female, although female to a lesser extent than last night. And I don't find these feelings are really bothering me, but at the same time, I know there is still that vague neutral feeling inside that will pop up sooner or later, even if only for a few minutes.

So, I'm very confused, again, and questioning myself all over again. I feel like I'm back at square one, and very disappointed to be feeling this way.

I'm hoping someone here might have some help or advice for me, because I feel like I'm losing my mind here.

Anyway, sorry for the long story, but thank you for reading.

 

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I should also probably mention I consider myself polyromantic, and am questioning my sexual orientation at times, as well, because it seems to fluctuate, and so does my gender identity, to varying degrees, depending on who I am feeling attracted to. I think this might be a possible reason why I felt triggered when I was watching this show last night, but I'm not really sure.

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Welcome to TransPulse, @Cary!  

 

Finding "the right label" is something that many folks set out to do when they are questioning their gender identity. It's perfectly normal, and as you are discovering, it can be elusive.  Just as you think, "Aha! That's it!", new circumstances arise and you wonder if another term will fit better.  Identity journeys, especially early on, are often filled with these label changes.  

 

Another perspective is to concentrate not so much on finding the right label, but on finding the things that make you happy, and from that, eventually, a best-fit label will emerge.

 

Reading your (excellent) introduction, I see both gender fluid and non-binary traits. Again, gender identities can cast a wide net, with many folks in their own unique middle ground between male and female.  An excellent book I can recommend on exactly this potential expansiveness is "Life Isn't Binary" by Iantaffi and Barker, available from many book ordering sources.  Among the many topics covered and case examples, you may well find several that speak to your own experiences.

 

Feel free, if you haven't yet, of exploring the various existing Forum topics and their threads, and join in if you desire.  We are here to support each other, and look forward to hearing more of your evolving journey.

 

With warm greetings and wishes,

 

Astrid  

 

 

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Thank you for welcoming me here, @Astrid.

I appreciate your help, and I do think I probably fall into non-binary, somewhere, anyway.

You mentioned genderfluid, and I have been researching that term today, as well as multigender and even trigender. 

I don't think trigender really fits, because it appears now that I am fluctuating, which I didn't really notice much until last night.

I think genderfluid might be a good fit for me, but I am still kind of confused about multigender.

I even looked into the different flags and what they represent, hoping that might give me a clearer understanding, but it really didn't, unfortunately. 

It is very confusing, but I thank you for your help, again. And I will definitely be looking into the forums some more.

 

 

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Hi @Cary pleased to meet you. I went through the same panic attack of "Who am I?" when my marriage failed. That was when I realised that I had just spent most of my adult life trying to be whatever other people wanted or expected of me.  I started my journey just trying to answer that question, and ended up realising that socially, emotionally and internally I am a woman, but the hard part was to not grab at a label because that would just be putting on another mask to fit in. Sometimes we fall back into old patterns out of habit because we know how to play that role, so be aware that some of your responses may just be learnt behaviour.

I just had to experiment until I found somewhere that just seemed to fit right. Now I am closer to being myself than ever before, and it has been as terrifying as it has been freeing! I decided not to worry about what I see my sexuality as, but that's because coming out of the marriage relationships were not high on my list, I needed to know who I am before I could know if someone liked me for me. Good luck, it sounds like you are heading the right way. :) 

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Hello. Pleased to meet you, as well @DeeDee.

Thank you for sharing some of your story with me, as it seems like we have had some similar experiences during life and the end of marriage.

I think you've offered some great advice, and I appreciate it. I really didn't think about the issue of falling back into familiar patterns, like you mentioned, so I really appreciate your perspective on that possibility.

I think one reason I am scrambling so much to try and figure things out lately is because my marriage ended about four years ago...separated for two years, and have been divorced for two years now. I haven't been involved with anyone for these last four years, partly because I was terrified of being with anyone again for awhile, due to things that happened during my marriage and divorce, and partly because I knew I needed some time on my own, but lately I have found myself thinking I might be ready to get back into the dating world and perhaps be able to build a new relationship.

I just don't want to even try to enter into a new partnership without really knowing myself better, as I certainly don't want to end up back in that pretend world or feel like I have misled anyone in any way.

So I guess I will try to slow down a little, and do some more experimenting, and just keep talking with people for awhile. It would be better than getting back into a situation I don't seem to be quite ready for, after all, anyway. I'll be sticking around the forums here. I just hope I don't ask too many questions due to all my confusion, lol.

Thank you so much for your advice!🙂

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7 hours ago, Cary said:

I just hope I don't ask too many questions due to all my confusion, lol.

 

I had to smile at reading that!  Here:

  • It's impossible  to ask too many questions.  Most all of us similarly started with some amount of confusion, and had myriads of questions.  The more you ask, the more articles you read and videos you watch, and often with the help of a gender therapist, the more insight you gain about yourself.
  • The are no dumb questions at TransPulse 🙂

Best wishes,  

 

Astrid

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  • Forum Moderator

   Welcome Cary.  There are way too many definitions and i think we all float around as we find our own.  The word trans* floated around a while back.  It simply included a community of folks with gender issues.  That fits all of us here, except perhaps for loved ones.  I consider myself a trans woman.  Many of my activities and even the way i dress quite often is neither male or female by todays standards but i am seen as a female by those i meet in the world.  

   Sexuality is a different matter.  I've been married for over 50 years to the same woman.  What does that make me?  I guess i'm just me.

   I can certainly say that being at this site, sharing and speaking to a therapist has helped me accept myself while helping me to find a path to live what i find.

 

Hugs,

 

Charlize

 

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Thank you again @Astrid!🙂 I have been doing a lot pf research and introspection, for sure!

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Thank you for welcoming me here, @Charlize!

I really appreciate you giving me some insight, and it gives me a better idea of the way I see myself, and how I've been feeling a lot, these days.

I am happy to say I have started working with a gender therapist, although just recently. We'll have our third session in a couple days, and so far, even though we're still just getting to know each other, things are going great, and I couldn't be happier with my decision to start working with her!

Thank you, again!🙂

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Welcome, Cary! I'm still a newbie here, too, and questioning myself. It seems a long process and I guess we just need to be patient with ourselves. ❤️

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Hello, and thank you @Zelaire!

Nice to meet you🙂. Yeah, I really thought I was finished questioning myself, for a lot of reasons. But, then these other feelings(?) turned up, and here I am again, questioning. The weird thing is, they don't even seem like MY feelings, which makes me question if something else is going on I hadn't thought of before. Maybe I'll make a new post about it soon. I'm definitely trying to be patient..(not my strongest quality, unfortunately, lol). 

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On 5/10/2022 at 9:16 AM, Cary said:

The weird thing is, they don't even seem like MY feelings, which makes me question if something else is going on I hadn't thought of before.

Welcome @Cary. I can relate to this one. For right now, I've stopped trying to define myself with labels or signals from the outside world, because when I do I soon discover feelings alien to those things. It was suggested I only focus on becoming the "real" inside me-- whatever that is. Too many changes in my identity and feelings are in flux. My search, I would hope, will lead me in the right direction. May your voyage be peaceful, even if you'll most likely also feel a few bumps. Nothing wrong with bumps, hey girls? 😀

Yours,

Davie

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Hi @Davie, and thank you for welcoming me to the forums!🙂

I'm starting to see that I probably shouldn't be trying to label myself, at this point. I'm kind of getting used to the idea of just going with the flow, and seeing what happens.

I'll still be questioning in my mind, though, I'm sure. It's just my nature. Lol. 

I am going to try and have a peaceful journey. I'll keep working with my gender therapist, and someone here suggested a gender identity workbook in another post, which I've started working through, although I don't recall the name of it at the moment. Written by Dara...(?)

So I'm keeping myself occupied with that, too.

Thank you, again, and nice to meet you!

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  • Forum Moderator
On 5/8/2022 at 5:46 PM, Cary said:

But, last night, it all came crumbling down again, as far as gender identity. 

I was just watching TV, and my particular attraction to a male actor suddenly came into play. I suddenly started feeling female at that moment, almost like I was triggered, and in my mind I started thinking " what is going on here???"

Welcome to our forum, @Cary. I’m glad you’ve found us and have reached out.

 

In a similar manner to you, my bisexuality and understanding I am female inside from my earliest teen years was very confusing too. I was very attracted to women yet knew I was one inside. It seemed a paradox to me until I learned that gender and sexual orientation were two independent parts of myself. One facet does not directly cause the other.

 

This topic would be an excellent question to discuss with your therapist. The feeling of incongruity it triggers could be related to a lifetime of expectations and/or indoctrination as to what is “normal”, have an unexplored part of your sexual orientation or preferred sexual role, maybe you’re gender fluid, have some combination of some of these things, or perhaps something else you haven’t yet learned about yourself. The answer will undoubtedly give you even more detail and understanding as to who you are. It may also bring you some revelation to many other questions that were unanswered about your past. This has been my experience with my therapist.

 

I wish you all the best on your continuing journey of self discovery. I hope this forum serves you well.

 

Warmest Reagrds,

Susan R🌷

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This trans thing? It's a convoluted, confusing path through time.

Today I got a new haircut, nothing special intended but it had a special flare. (I cut my own hair). I haven't had a good cut in a while because I've been ill with my bad back and sciatica and constantly afflicted also by bed head. As I trimmed away, I felt playful with it and tried to get it to sit up better by layering it differently than previous. I kept snipping and posing with it until BANG! It hit me. I looked closer into my eyes in the mirror. Instead of the usual recognition of me in the mirror being the guy face I've always known who was making poses as a girl . . . I found the face exactly the same and completely different simultaneously. What I found was the image of the girl Davie pretending to be a guy who was pretending to be a girl. Duh. Duh? Confusing statement, but it's a confusing underestanding and recognition. I saw me as a girl for the first time looking back. I've seen this face a million times, but this time I didn't recognize the person she was. Her whole past was different. I was startled—did I really want to know what her life might have been? Yes. And no. Yes and no. I realized her journey had been a painful one and I didn't want to hear all about it.I have an impulse to cover all my mirrors (though one whole wall of the bathroom would require destruction). On the other hand I do want to know her, everything about her because that's what I do: I mine my own life for stories and hope others may find something in them.

So I will be looking back into that mirror to find her. And into old photographs. And anywhere I can find some clues. Stay tuned, Davie--here I come!

yours, Davie

 

David@5-Lo.thumb.png.6cf5c53be2dacb75224baa336ca802bf.png

 

 

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Thank you very much, @Susan R!🙂

 

I haven't quite got that far with my new therapist yet, but as things progress, I will be sure to keep what you've said in mind, and just see where it leads to from there! I think there is a combination of things going on, and no doubt now that some of it is related to what used to be my old life, and trying to be what I was taught to believe was "normal". Yes, many things have been changing for me regarding gender identity, sexual orientation and/or roles, and so on. I know they are separate, unfortunately it seems to be hitting me all at once, and likes to spin around in circles inside my head, until I'm just an anxiety-ridden, confused mess. Fortunately, when I find that getting too carried away, I'm still able to conjure up one of those old personas sometimes and argue with them until they tell me to "shut up!" Lol. (I laugh because this actually helps me, in a weird way).

Anyway, thank you, again!

 

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8 hours ago, Davie said:

What I found was the image of the girl Davie pretending to be a guy who was pretending to be a girl.

Hi @Davie!

Actually this statement is not so confusing for me. I ran across someone saying something similar pretty recently, and just thought to myself "yep, that about sums it up", along with "how is this person in my head?", lol.

Anyway, I thought it interesting how you described your experience cutting your hair and what happened, because I just chopped mine all off (again) a few days ago, and I remember watching in the mirror as the hairstylist cut it, and having a really similar experience to what you've described.

It kind of caught me off guard, because even though I've chopped my hair off plenty of times (including once on my own with a pair of kitchen scissors, during a severe dysphoric episode(results not good), this was the first time I can remember really feeling any kind of shift, mentally.

Thank you for sharing your experience with me. It really does mean a lot!🙂

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Thanks, so much,@CarySo I'm not crazy . . . yet! LOL.

Perspective changes so much and there's nothing so helpful as another person understanding that. And time is another perspective to consider. I don't have to figure it all out today—just enjoy that new haircut and hope she'll soon wink knowingly back.

Wink,

Davie

 

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Thank you, @Davie!

I don't think you're crazy, but maybe I am, or maybe not quite yet,lol!

The phrase I quoted you on yesterday...I heard someone say it again just last night. It makes me wonder how many others have had this particular thought, or something very similar. I know I couldn't have explained it, myself, until I saw someone else put it into words. You're right about perspective changing, and just since being on this site, others have shared perspectives with me I hadn't even thought of, not to mention you and everyone else here have been so welcoming and helpful to me. 

I hope I will be able to help others, as well, however much I can while going through my own journey, and hopefully even more someday.

 

And I hope you're loving your new haircut!🙂😉

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