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Glasscloset

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I don’t really know where to start. I come from a very traditional Catholic family that had very rigid expectations of gender roles. I never fit that mold, I was the 2nd youngest of a family of 10. I had 7 older brothers and I was always a very feminine kid, I preferred to spend time with my younger sister and female cousins. I was always trying to avoid doing the typically masculine activities. I wasn’t ashamed right away that I was so different because despite the expectations for the most part I was able to avoid doing the things I didn’t want to do. I remember the first time I felt ashamed was I was playing with my sister and she had this beautiful purple princess dress. I put it on once and for a brief moment I was so happy, it felt right but then my sister came into the room, I don’t remember exactly what she said or did but I remember insisting to her that I didn’t really have the dress on I had just put my arms through the sleeves. I just know that after that i would try harder to do more masculine things which I failed at most of the time but a lot of the way I expressed myself through fashion after that was hyper masculine in a very conservative way. This continued until I was about 20. All this gender confusion was also combined with the fact that I very clearly was attracted to both girls and guys. This isn’t something I really struggled with oddly enough partially because I didn’t fully acknowledge it to myself but also because it was just another sin to confess/ that was inevitably gonna get me sent to hell. At the end of high school I had started dating this girl who had also gone to my school and we both left the church when we were about 20 and had a wave of realizations, primarily about religion but a big one was that we both came out to each other as bisexual. I think a year or so later she was taking a gender studies course and it was something we talked about a lot. The class very heavily focused on how gender was a construct and I sort of took on the label of gender nonconforming at that point and I decided I didn’t care what pronouns were used so I didn’t bother asking anyone to change them. I did start to present in a more feminine way at that point, but always in a way that was clear that I was dressed as a feminine man, for instance I would wear women’s pants but never a skirt or a dress. It continued like this for a while. The biggest change came after a couple of me and my girlfriend’s other friends from high school who had also come out as gay or bi to us introduced us to a couple of their trans friends when we were visiting them. This wasn’t something we had really been exposed to or thought about. I without really having thought through it or come to any specific realization said something to her one time about maybe being interested in what it would be like to be a woman. I don’t fully remember what I said but I will never forget what she said. She started to cry and asked me why I would want to destroy my beautiful body. Looking back on that moment is hard for me because if that had gone differently I probably would have started transitioning when I was 21 or 22 but immediately I took it back and apologized. I said that I didn’t really mean it and was just saying things. It was such a short interaction and I almost immediately shut off that part of my brain after that. I didn’t connect it to that conversation at the time but she started to bring up terf like talking points pretty often after that point, or just bring up that she didn’t understand trans people because gender was fake. We continued dating in a pretty on and off rocky way until I was 25. At that point we had become pretty interdependent. In a large part because my family is pretty toxic and I had a lot of fear about coming out to them and I ended up going very limited to no contact with them. I’ve spent the last 5 years sort of rediscovering myself as an individual person. I’m a pretty introverted person in general and that combined with the pandemic (which has made me borderline agoraphobic) has left me very isolated. In the past 2 I’ve just been in this weird sort of limbo. As soon as I found out that you could change your gender marker in my state when you renewed your license I switch it to non-binary and that was something I started to think about more in depth. Despite that I still was struggling with feeling trans enough since nobody who saw me would assume I was anything other than a guy. The more I’ve thought about it the more I’ve realized that I feel closer to being a woman than I do to being a man. Every time someone “mistakes” me for a woman on the phone (happens pretty frequently) I don’t correct them and feel a wave of euphoria. I’ve started dressing more feminine at home and will multiple times a week come to the conclusion that I am a woman but that’s followed almost immediately by feeling like I am not trans enough and that I’m afraid that I waited too late and now that I’m 30 I’ll never pass (which I know isn’t/shouldn’t be necessarily the goal) or be pretty enough. I just don’t feel strong or brave enough to do anything about it especially since I don’t have a support system. After writing this novel of a post, I honestly feel like there is not even a question to ask because I think I know the answer but something I struggle with in general is that I’ll often identify the problem and know what I should do but be too afraid to do anything to resolve it.

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Hi, @Glasscloset and welcome!

 

I think most of us have been in a similar position.  Two things I would point out: there is no such thing as "trans enough", and there is no such thing as "left it too late".  A few years ago, I felt much the same as you do now.  It turned out that I was as trans as they come, and I transitioned at age 62.  I am accepted as a woman everywhere I go.  You could be, too.

 

One thing I would recommend is to find a gender therapist.  You have a lot to talk about, about your fears, your goals, and how to make your goals come about. 

 

And in the meantime, hang out here.  Explore the various discussion threads and join in whenever you feel like it.  THis is a very supportive place.

 

Regards,

Kathy

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  • 2 weeks later...

Welcome!

 

I’ve had many of the same thoughts and struggles over the years.  I’m finally out and living 100% female at 62.

 

Prior to seeing a therapist my wife and I worked our way through You and Your Gender Identity: A guide to discovery by Dara Hoffman-Fox. We found it on Amazon and it helped a lot.

 

I wish you the best on your journey!

 

Richelle

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