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Deciding not to transition.


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Even though I want to, and the desire to be a beautiful woman will always scratch away at the surface, I don't think I can actually go through with it.


I would lose everything that I have. My family, my kids, my house, potentially my job, any chance of being promoted due to the potential of being viewed mentally unstable.


My parents on both sides are heavily religious, when I came out to my mom as a non binary crossdresser it took her a full month to grasp that it is just clothing and hinted strongly that I would be a sinner if it were a step further.


Mt birth father who I recently became in touch with again, a closet crossdresser himself, firmly believes that being transgender is an abomination against God.

Although continuing to go through life without him really does not bother me too much.


The biggest deciding factor is my wife, I truly love this woman, but my desire to feel validated as a woman has lead to certain bedroom acts that she is adamantly against.

And I feel a further transition would only lead me to want to be further validated in such ways, ultimately leading to sexual incompatibility and our relationship failing because of that.


I dont think I need to like the person in the mirror, if it means I can hold onto the things that are most important to me. I don't need to have the form of my desires, if it means I can hold on tho the things I love, and I can deal with the sadness of existing the way I am if it means I never have to deal with the crippling sadness of losing everything.


I'm sure there is some form of happiness I can aquire getting as close to feminity as I can without transitioning. But I just don't feel that the risks outweigh the rewards. 


As sad as it is to say this, I believe this is the best choice.

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This transition stuff is indeed hard.  I have none of the difficulties you mentioned as I'm single, without children and almost all my relatives died in the last 10 years.  And I'm struggling with starting a medical transition.  The financial obstacle is huge and I have a decent career.


The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence and there are losses no matter what decision you make.  I find myself contemplating whether I can simple be satisfied with cross dressing.  I get a lot of joy out of that.  It sure seems like a major step to take it a little bit further.


I strongly believe that we are all unique mixes of male and female.  We are all artists with our gender and sexuality.


22 years ago I radically changed my life.  I left my job and my wife and was homeless for 4 years.  Everyone thought I was totally crazy.  People do that kind of thing all the time.  It was not easy.  Life is not just about making things easy.  We all struggle.  I do not want life to just be sitting on the beach every day.


The stoic reading that I do suggests to make your appearance on the outside blend in.  It's what is on the inside that counts!  I know I've changed on the inside on this journey and this forum has been part of that.  I see gender differently and that change is a keeper.  I think there is logic in the physical world of props and gimmicks.  They are important because of the inner changes that they help bring out.


This forum is a little odd.  I tend to post here and then not look at the site for a few weeks.  I find myself thinking that I should just forget about transitioning and never come back to the site.  Seeing people make good physical transitions is exciting!


So, ultimately I don't know if I'm being supportive or narcissistic with this post and indeed with all the posts I make.  Is this just the nature of a forum?  The absurd business world as I often call it?  I'm sharing my thoughts as you shared yours StarryNight.  I relate to questioning going further in this journey.


I've been playing bikini barista in my house lately.  Spending $100,000 to look a little better is absolutely excessive!  I enjoy this bikini barista activity and I'm keeping it.  I'm going to be a little bit more conservative this time around though.  I crashed and burned once in life.  I won't do it again!  If I can physically transition without crashing and burning, I'll probably do it.  I'm delaying right now because the risk of crashing and burning is still too high for me.  It sounds like your crash and burn probability is way too high!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Starry, like you, I made the decision long ago not to pursue full transition. I say full transition because despite not taking part in HRT or surgical procedures, I think I have achieved another form of transition that for me personally, is just as fulfilling.


I have transitioned to what I like to call part-time womanhood and I'm really enjoying life.  Like you, there were too many positives from my male existence that I just wasn't willing to give up.  However, I also have no desire to give up on my feminine persona, which is also, extremely important.  So, I live a life of two genders and it works extremely well for me and my life situation. 


If my life situation was different, I'm sure I'd give a lot more consideration to full-time womanhood, but this current alternative lifestyle, keeps me happy and fulfilled.


I wish you all the best and hope you can find a situation that allows you to be happy.

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Hi @StarryNight
I understand exactly where you are at and the difficult decision wrt to finding a 'balance' that best fits the needs of our own identity but also our family bonds and social connections.  For me, the journey has included many pendulum swings and is now slowly starting to settle into the realm of non-binary, gender fluid, crossdresser.  But the benefit of this Forum and therapy have solidified my self-identity and self-affirmation as Transfeminine - regardless of how I happened to be dressed on any given day.  That will never change. 


As both @Sally Stone and @Lydia_R have shared, its a wide open spectrum for each and every one of us individually and there is no perfect solution that fits everybody. 


While situations do change, and its always possible that you will be able to fulfill your true desires someday ... I have come to the conclusion that its important to find happiness (in whatever way possible) exactly in the spot that my two feet are planted today.  (and ... maybe someday those feet will be wearing nice 3-inch pumps 😊)

I hope you've found some encouragement in what we've been able to share with you.

Deep breaths ... one step at a time.

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  • 2 weeks later...



Reading your difficult dilemma reminds me of my own hard time reconciling my then secret inner being and desires with my love for my wife and family.


I can only speak of my own circumstance bc each of ours is unique.


What I do want to say is the way you out family and partner ahead of yourself to me is one of the most feminine things to do.

Its  a very feminine instinct IMO to suppress one's ego, sacrifice for others closest to you.


I enjoyed 16 years of marriage with its mostly ups and  some downs even as I endured not coming terms with myself and telling my precious partner about it. The latter part I have regretted and prob will do so forever.


...but life has its cruel twist and at some point one is reminded how fragile it is and the priorities that go beyond even  the deliberation of gender issues.


My wife got Cancer in 2014.


I would have maybe spoken to her about the woman in me she had always suspected but we suddenly had a far bigger demon to fight together.


I came to the realisation then that I had been the luckiest person in the world to have had her by me for 16years and known her for 23 years but luck had run out for us.


At that point you just appreciate health regardless of gender. How I wished I could sacrifice any desire and thought of changing my gender forever in exchange for her life. I would have been more than happy to be a male to her forever to keep her with me.


but that was not to be, She passed just before Christmas 2017.


It was the coldest Christmas.


My priorities after her departure (we liked to see ourselves as transitioning to a new form), was immediately my children. They were young teens then and I did not feel it fair to throw more turmoil into their lives with a transition.


I waited for a good two years till both were older (hopefully wiser)


It had been a half century of feelings that despite being comfortable enough with many aspects of my male self, that I was quintessentially female.


It had been since my youngest memories perhaps before four yrs even perculating in the background. I had never been terribly male in appearance anyway but had done male dominated jobs from Military to Film sets. I had coexited with both self without much drama.


But as the years went on, Perhaps bc of falling hormone levels maybe, I began to feel more and more connected with my female side which re-emerged even though I had hoped it went away. Yet I had no desire to take masculine hormones to revitalise the male side of things, it simply did not feel right.


I decided eventually to transition in 2019.


I had reach a point of time where I was confident of my children accepting me and that I would not be a blight on them in the often difficult teenage years of high school or that I would be seen as a freak to the community and an irresponsible parent.


I had also come to realise that bc life was fragile and a precious person had left, that I should live out my years with authenticity at least.


We never had the conversation we should have.


I don't know if she would have felt it would have been a spanner in our works. We had met on a set of a film about Transgenders which was the irony. She was an extremely open minded person indeed she took the job bc she wanted to know more about Transgenders, a genuine curiosity and a big empathetic heart.


But through snippets of time in our relationship, she would always comment on my femininity which she loved but often tease if I was secretly gay and if I'd enjoy gay sex.


I told her I would not.


She would tell me I could be truthful but just not to tell her I was Transgender.


I took it as a caution to where I would risk my gift of a relationship (and our small children) at the time.


Much as I felt she was open minded, I also felt it would be difficult for any wife to accept a Transgender for a husband as inevitably, even if our friendship would always stay the same, the bedroom would be a very different thing.


In many ways I felt way more empathetic to Alicia Vikander's character in "The Danish Girl" than I did to Eddie Redmayne's.


My wife, I could not bring myself to losing the good things I had been gifted in life with her. She was a present from heaven for me. I often thought how lucky she was as she survived some horrendously dangerous journey as a child refugee and always had the rub of the green, but then felt I must be even luckier bc I was with her.


That I suppose I am not a "girly girl" and could enjoy the male aspects of my life like a Tomboy would helped me go through all the years without as much issue from childhood and up even if I questioned myself EVERYDAY.


I understand the tremendous pain torn between two choices.


I can only hope that life also has a way of bringing equilibrium and that one day you and your spouse will have the conversation and over time she will begin not to see your difference as a threat but a gift.


There is no easy way and only you will know what is best.


But it should not stop you from being feminine.


BC as I told my wife once when she did ask me how I would prefer to be viewed (should have been a chance to broach the subject of course which I spurred)...I said "We are in the end all human beings"


I prefer to see everyone as such. Because in the end when we get older, age is the great equaliser. It won't matter what sex you are. We will all be dealing with moving on to our next existence.


And if life is anything it is a preparation to free ourselves of our physical world and its inconsequential constructs.


Society judges us and pidgeon holes us.


Nothing stops my inner spirit even if I get mildly annoyed being misgendered or cast with different expectations bc of my gender. Deep down in me, I am who I see myself as and that had always been how I functioned.


Even now, I have not come out to my (ALSO) heavily religious parents. I choose to think if people are ready to accept me, they will but its "Don't ask don't tell", I'm not here to convert anyone, they can choose their own reality of me because I can't change the way people think and its not worth my time anyway.


If someone wants to think of me and gender me male still even if I wear female clothing and look pretty, so be it.


The only people important to me anyway were my wife and my children now.


And somehow I feel deep down inside, my partner, she has always accepted me bc she has always loved me as a person first.


And that she now wants me to be myself, not be afraid of the world, do the things I want to do (so long as I wasn't hurting anyone willfully)


I don't think this will help you in any means but just sharing that you are never alone and others have also had to find balance, walk their own path.


Stay true to yourself. There are many ways to express your inner beauty. Femininity after all is not just appearance. Those will fade. I wish you all the best from the bottom of my heart.


Yours truly.












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  • Forum Moderator
2 hours ago, KayC said:

Thank you for sharing this, @swallow.  I connected deeply with your experience and realizations ... and it did help me. 🙏❤️

@swallow, I also thoroughly enjoyed reading your perspective on this difficult issue. I understand the great sacrifice you made for your dearest wife and children. It was heartfelt and I thank you so much for posting this.



Susan R🌷

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I'm somewhat humbled by this thread. @StarryNight@swallow Thank you for sharing your stories. With the help of therapy and challenging myself, I have recently come to come accept myself as transgender.  As part of this growth, I have come to feel self worth and love myself. I am now trying to choose my path forward. I have a desire to transition but I don't feel that I need it. I am 68 and have been married for nearly 44 years and we are still madly in love, I am struggling with fear, guilt and most of the other emotions I see on this forum.


I hope to find the wisdom and strength to choose a path rather than default to one. There are many practical matters, such as impacting my spouse's retirement. It is so comforting to come here and know that I am not struggling alone as well as see success stories no matter the personal choice.


I'm in tears, not of sorrow but of thanks. Thank you all, your kindness in baring your own struggles gives me guidance and hope

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