Jump to content
  • Welcome to the TransPulse Forums!

    We offer a safe, inclusive community for transgender and gender non-conforming folks, as well as their loved ones, to find support and information.  Join today!

Things I’ve Missed Out On

Samuel William

Recommended Posts

I’ve been making a conscious effort these past few months to take tiny baby steps towards living the life I want. I’m not out, so I do mean tiny steps - things like buying myself sheets I love even though previously I would have left them on the shelf because they’re very masculine looking (I spent a LOT of time in the past trying to find things that were masculine enough to feel tolerable, but still feminine enough to avoid censure from people around me). 

In the process, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the things I stopped doing years ago because of gender dysphoria. For example, last night I wore a pair of shorts and a t-shirt to bed. When I got up this morning and wandered round the house, feeding pets and making coffee, it struck me that I actually really LIKE the feeling of wearing shorts. It’s just something I haven’t done for so long I can’t even remember the last pair I owned. Why? Because I have naturally fairly hairy legs. ‘Girls’ aren’t supposed to let anyone see body hair of any kind, and as a teenager people commented on my unshaven legs when I wore shorts. I hate shaving my legs - it feels wrong, and I see it as a pointless waste of time - so my ‘compromise’ was to not shave my legs, and always wear long pants. As in, I’m the person wearing jeans in the middle of summer, because I won’t wear skirts or shave my legs (both options which are dysphoric for me), but I also won’t wear shorts (because people suck and can’t mind their own damn business). 

I used to enjoy swimming, but I hate female bathing suits, and again run into issues with expectations about shaving. I haven’t been swimming for years. 

I used to enjoy running (not that you’d know it to see me at the moment…..), but never had access to a decent sports bra as a kid and couldn’t stand feeling movement on my chest as I ran. I stopped running. 

I’m not even sure what else I lost along the way, trying to cram my masculine self into a feminine box by choosing androgynous ‘compromise’ options that didn’t quite make me feel right OR make me fit in. I guess I’ve got a lot to rediscover, which should feel exciting - but right now all I seem to feel is overwhelmed and a little depressed about everything I’ve missed. 


Link to comment

@Samuel William I feel you so much on this. You're not alone. I'm happy to hear you're taking those steps for yourself, however tiny - they are significant. 


To relate, I understand your statement about how the compromising cramming into boxes can potentially make you feel worse. It requires so much mental, physical, monetary, and emotional vigilance and effort - not a natural way to live one's life. I used to beat myself up constantly about such things. 


I personally think it's stupid, the body hair taboo. I stopped shaving during the pandemic. In public, at first I felt vulnerable and conspicuous wearing shorts. But, it's gotten to the point where I don't think about it as much. I have not been able to wear a tank top in public yet without a shirt over it - armpit hair on a "female" seems more alarming to society, it seems. I hope to get over that too. 


There are many alternate options for bathing suits these days. They make board shorts for women, for instance. Therefore, whether an afab person wears men's or women's board shorts swimming, although it's not as typical as wearing a skimpier women's suit, I think it would not be as unusual as one might think. These days, I wear a women's "boy short" bottom which is just long enough so that I don't have to torture myself with shaving, and a long sleeve rash guard with a shape wear tank under it. I can't stand any breat-binding garment. So, my strategy keeps the chest reasonably contained without appearing "obscene". In particular, a dark color rash guard further obscures chest curviness as shadows are less prominent on a dark surface. I have a large chest proportional to my frame, but it's the best I can do at the moment. I love to swim and like you, avoided it for a long time because I felt completely panicked when considering what to wear. 


About feeling overwhelmed and depressed. Consider reframing that experience in terms of grief. It's natural to feel overwhelmed as you reflect on your life and wonder about all the various twists and turns your path might have taken. I suggest a remedy is to focus on being present in those moments. Find something, anything to be grateful for in the present and feel that gratitude in your heart. Who is grieving? Maybe it feels like there separate parts of you. The present you who is beginning to take the tiny steps is strong and responsible, like a good parent. The past you, a child, only had what he had to work with at any given moment. As a therapist once told me when I was lamenting not being able to do more to advocate for myself in a past situation - accessing your power to do ANYTHING when there is so much in the way of social normative expectations is like trying to punch through sand. Therefore, any tiny step is a miracle. In those moments when you feel depressed, try to see the present you, the adult, reaching out to comfort the younger you who necessarily did the best he could given the circumstances. Try to perceive that sadness as a solemn tender moment to reconcile the past you with the present you. This will pass, and you will feel stronger and more connected as you proceed with your tiny steps - they add up. 

Link to comment

I never missed out on some of this stuff, even as a girl.  I never took up shaving my body hair even with the social pressure.  I went all through high school sports with hairy armpits and no bra.  😆


One thing I do now is totally reject feminine underwear.  Always hated it, but wore it at parents' and GF's insistence.  Gave the last of it to my female partners and told GF I just wasn't going to do it anymore.  My "girl parts" are a lot larger than most, and I'm delighted to no longer feel all that pinching, chafing, and rubbing.


In recent years I have been comfortable outdoors shirtless, and I've even played adult intramural sports like that with no problems.  But now that I am more comfortable in my boy form, it barely even registers in my mind that anyone would have a problem with it.  I look like a "pretty" teenage boy instead of an early 30's girl, and I enjoy it 😇

Link to comment
13 hours ago, Vidanjali said:

To relate, I understand your statement about how the compromising cramming into boxes can potentially make you feel worse. It requires so much mental, physical, monetary, and emotional vigilance and effort - not a natural way to live one's life. I used to beat myself up constantly about such things. 

Absolutely - SO much energy wasted in mentally reviewing every step before you take it. Ooh, I like that shirt - but will it draw undue attention? This is a comfortable way to sit - whoops, people will look at me funny. I’m working on switching that anxious inner voice off, but boy, is it hard work, for two reasons. 

Firstly, I was an extremely shy teenager who found high school very, very difficult - in hindsight, I can see that’s where so much of my hypervigilance about this stuff began. High school in Australia goes from year 7-12 (so roughly 12/13 year olds to 18 year olds); in my first year, I was still struggling with my developing body, thrown into a much larger social setting than I was used to (among a bunch of teenagers who hadn’t known me since I was 6), and forced into a dress for the first time in years (compulsory school uniform - blessedly that changed after a few hellish months, and I was back in pants from then on). I can still hear the voices of some of the kids who tormented me in those first couple of years, before I finally managed to develop a decent friendship group - and definitely some of the comments were about things like my short hair (‘You look like a boy!’ - simultaneously very affirming and confusingly unpleasant, because it was so clearly said as an insult) and failure to shave my legs/wear makeup/whatever else I’d failed at that particular day. 

Secondly, while I have come a long way from that miserable, frightened teenager, the other voice in my head comes directly from an extremely opinionated family member….who I currently live next door to, and who feels the need/right/obligation to offer opinions on pretty much everything I do. I second-guess myself a LOT based on comments she has made/might make, and then get annoyed at myself for doing so. Eg, I can guarantee you that if I put a pair of shorts on and went outside with my unshaven legs, she’d comment on it - quite possibly more than once. I need to get over this knee-jerk reaction to avoid her disapproval, but it’s a challenge. 

So, in the meantime, I keep taking my hidden little baby steps, while I work on evicting all of the inner voices that aren’t mine. I might choose to wear jeans in summer anyway, but damn it, I want that choice to be based on Samuel’s voice - no one else’s. 

Link to comment
6 hours ago, awkward-yet-sweet said:

@awkward-yet-sweet, I wish I’d had your confidence as a teenager! I also totally relate to the underwear thing - I never found girl underwear physically uncomfortable, but my body and mind both relaxed when I replaced them with boxers. I didn’t even realise how much I needed that change until I did it - for years, I kinda liked the idea of boxers, but wouldn’t have said the other underwear bothered me that much. Once I wore boxers for the first time, though, I couldn’t get rid of the others fast enough!

Link to comment
11 hours ago, Samuel William said:

@awkward-yet-sweet, I wish I’d had your confidence as a teenager! I also totally relate to the underwear thing - I never found girl underwear physically uncomfortable, but my body and mind both relaxed when I replaced them with boxers. I didn’t even realise how much I needed that change until I did it - for years, I kinda liked the idea of boxers, but wouldn’t have said the other underwear bothered me that much. Once I wore boxers for the first time, though, I couldn’t get rid of the others fast enough!

When I was a teenager, I was fortunate to have my sister backing me up.  There's less than a year of age difference between us, and we went to school together and played on teams together.  We also look very much alike and had the same style.  It helps to not be alone.


I wear boxers most of the time.  Actually, around the house, that's about all I wear.  I really dislike clothing of any kind in warm weather, so about the only thing my partners can get me to wear is shorts and a t-shirt.  One layer, nothing underneath.  I can be pretty stubborn about things like that.


A lot of the time, I wear basketball shorts.  Silky texture, good at sweat wicking.  If I have to wear a shirt, I often use ones that have the arms cut out.  Anything to stay cool in summer.  Bonus is that it is androgynous looking or even masculine. 

Link to comment
14 hours ago, awkward-yet-sweet said:

When I was a teenager, I was fortunate to have my sister backing me up.  There's less than a year of age difference between us, and we went to school together and played on teams together.  We also look very much alike and had the same style.  It helps to not be alone.

Yeah, I can see how that would have been a positive! My siblings are all much older than me (I’m closer in age to some of my niblings  than to my siblings!), and my sister is super feminine and very opinionated. When I was a teenager, she was more likely to be pushing me to do things she ‘knew’ would be good for me (by making me fit in more, by making me more sociable, etc) than backing me up in my own brand of weirdness. 

As a side note, I always find it interesting how many people praise ‘individuality’ as a concept, yet try to dissuade individuals they know from being different in any way. The body hair discussion from this thread is a perfect example. It literally causes no harm to anyone or anything if someone who is AFAB walks around in public with unshaven legs, and it’s completely illogical that ‘male’ hairy legs are seen as acceptable and ‘female’ hairy legs as unacceptable. Yet there’s an enormous weight of social pressure/expectation out there which lands on anyone who doesn’t conform. 

At least now - as an adult, accepting myself as a trans guy - I can see things more clearly than my confused younger self, who vacillated between desperately wanting to wake up in a male body one day, and wondering why I was such a failure at being a teenage girl when it seemed to come so naturally to the girls around me. 

Anyway, I seem to be rambling again (sorry about that - so many thoughts tumbling through my head, and this forum is the only place I feel comfortable airing them right now). It’s awesome to hear about people who had support to be themselves when they were growing up, and I hope that becomes more and more common as people become more aware of gender identities beyond the binary.  


Link to comment

@Samuel William I get what you're saying.  I think I gave up early on fitting in because I realized that no matter how hard I tried, it wasn't going to happen.  I think my parents had a lot to do with it.  They wanted me to be a certain way, follow a certain education/career path that was totally alien to my nature.  I never did the typical rebellious teenage stuff, but I resisted stubbornly in my own way.  With my sister doing likewise, we were just kind of impossible to change. 


I've always thought that desiring to fit in and do what everybody else does...its like it originates from a place of self-centeredness.  What allowed me to be comfortable with hairy legs and hairy armpits and such was the realization that people really don't care.  Aside from any unpleasant comments to the contrary.  My body and my choices don't matter to others because I'm just not significant.  I find social media hilarious, because it runs on the assumption that the world cares about my posts, my pictures, or what I had for breakfast. 


The reality is quite different....and in a self-centered world that can be an uncomfortable thought.  But once I embraced my own insignificance, it was mostly liberating.  If I don't matter much, then nobody will mind much. 

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Who's Online   8 Members, 0 Anonymous, 56 Guests (See full list)

    • VickySGV
    • Hannah Renee
    • KathyLauren
    • StephieGurl
    • Colleen Henderson
    • tsenjoyeer__
    • awkward-yet-sweet
    • Kasumi63
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
    • Total Posts
  • Member Statistics

    • Total Members
    • Most Online

    Abigail B
    Newest Member
    Abigail B
  • Today's Birthdays

    1. Aria357
      (18 years old)
    2. Azrail
    3. Cutmeupcookmeandeatme
      (28 years old)
    4. ImAva
      (15 years old)
    5. Trina
      (75 years old)
  • Posts

    • Mmindy
      Good afternoon and Welcome Ay-la. As you've seen by the responses above, you're in a safe place to be who you really are.   Best wishes, stay positive, and motivated.   Mindy🐛🏳️‍⚧️🦋
    • Marcie Jensen
      You have all prompted me to do some research. Being of Scottish descent, I went in that direction and learned a bunch of things, some of the most unusual were:   On Christmas eve, the children leave a slice of mince pie and a shot of whisky for Father Christmas.   A rowan twig is often burnt on Christmas to restore good relationships between neighbors, family members and friends.   And, most unusual of all, Christmas wasn't celebrated openly by Scots from 1647 until the 1950s. Originally, this was because of edicts under Cromwell's rule and later the Presbyterian Church of Scotland discouraged the practice of celebrating Christmas. 
    • Hannah Renee
      With respect to the second sentence, my mother treated me and my three siblings - especially me - rather poorly. None of us kept up with her much in adulthood. I moved away from her and my siblings at 13 to live with our dad. 'Tis why I avoided having children until I was 50, when I was "certain" I wouldn't be like her.   She did, however, if even accidentally, I still in me a love of different types of music.
    • Marcie Jensen
      Krampus is another different tradition. I first learned about the character on an episode of General Hospital several years ago.
    • Marcie Jensen
      @miz mirandathank you for adding to the Christmas Traditions list. Again, it's very interesting. As is the story of the actual Saint Nicholas, bishop of Myrna and Bari, the precursor of Santa. I've gotta say, I think I'll pass on the fried caterpillars though.
    • KathyLauren
      LOL.  When I was a kid, there was an even worse variation of it, to the same tune, called "All I want for Christmas is a Beatle."  Click at your own risk... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ozoaBftyjI
    • MaryEllen
      Another oldie but goody       
    • awkward-yet-sweet
      In German traditions, St. Nicholas is accompanied by a an imp or mildly evil fellow named Krampus.  St. Nicholas hands out sweet treats and fruit to good children, leaving the treats in a shoe.  Krampus beats bad children with a stick.  
    • Davie
      SZA's new album, SOS, finally out. " Blind" song. Been a long-time fan since her first demos. 
    • Carolyn Marie
      This was popular when I was a kid.  It sucked then, and it sucks now:  "All I want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth."  Spike Jones and the City Slickers did the first recording of it.     Carolyn Marie
    • Carolyn Marie
    • Abigail Eleanor
      That Yule Cat in Iceland!  I love it! 
    • miz miranda
      some strange Christmas Traditions   Italy: The Christmas Witch In many cultures, Santa Claus is the person that travels around the world and delivers gifts to deserving young boys and girls on Christmas Eve. Kids are told to be good because Santa is watching them and will know if they behave! On Christmas morning, good kids are rewarded with gifts from this iconic figure. But in Italy, there's someone else delivering gifts. Befana is the name of a witch in Italy who is said to travel around Italy on Epiphany Eve (January 5th) to deliver gifts to children all over the country. If the children were good all year, their socks are filled with candy and gifts. But if they were bad? They get nothing but coal.   Iceland: The Yule Cat Animals are a big part of a lot of the mythology and traditions of many countries. In Iceland, there's a special Christmas tradition that involves a very special cat that roams the streets one time per year. But this cat isn't the cute, friendly, four-legged friend that we might imagine roaming the streets of Iceland. According to myths and legends, the Yule Cat is a ferocious creature that wanders around during the winter time and eats anyone who hasn't gotten new clothes to wear on Christmas Eve.   Japan: Kentucky Fried Christmas Many families have a tradition of getting together on holidays like Christmas to enjoy a meal together. Whether it's turkey, ham, or a secret family recipe, enjoying dinner together is a huge part of the holidays for many families. This is also true in Japan! Even though Christmas is celebrated a lot differently and has only started to be celebrated in the past few decades, it's still popular for a lot of people. So, what's the special meal that people eat during Christmas in Japan? KFC! In the 1970s, KFC in Japan started advertising a special campaign during the winter called Kentucky for Christmas. During Christmas, KFC sells a special range of family dinners meant to help people celebrate the holiday together.   South Africa: Fried Caterpillars There are some foods around the world that are slightly strange to people that don't live there. Some of them are surprisingly delicious once you give them a chance, but then there are others that we could never imagine trying. In South Africa, there's one really unusual food that tends to be eaten during the Christmas season. It's fried, crispy, and they say it's delicious. What is it? Fried caterpillars! On Christmas Day, people in South Africa snack on deep-fried caterpillars.
    • Delcina B
      Welcome Ay-la! Glad you're here! Happy for you having your family's support. Hope you find the wonderful support, advice & acceptance here as I have.   Hugs! Delcina 
    • Ivy
      I think this is true.  But I don't think that our core beliefs can't evolve as we grow in knowledge and understanding.  For myself, I had a core "belief" that I used as a lens to interpret my experiences and everything else.  There were times when it took a bit of mental gymnastics to pull it off - which bothered me.   When I was finally forced to drop that, it opened me to be able to interpret my realities in a new way that made a whole lot more sense.   Sure, I'm still looking at things through a lens.  But at least it's my own lens, and that lens can be modified as I grow and learn even more.   This doesn't mean that there is no such thing as "truth" or reality, it's just that we are seeing more of it, and hopefully that, more accurately.   I don't know.  Perhaps there is a time when our reality has to crumble and be rebuilt on a different foundation.  And perhaps it's not a one-time thing.
  • Upcoming Events

Contact TransPulse

TransPulse can be contacted in the following ways:

Email: Click Here.

To report an error on this page.


Your use of this site is subject to the following rules and policies, whether you have read them or not.

Terms of Use
Privacy Policy
DMCA Policy
Community Rules


Upstream hosting for TransPulse provided by QnEZ.


Special consideration for TransPulse is kindly provided by The Breast Form Store.
  • Create New...