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MaeBe's Trail of Discovery


MaeBe

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Not everything needs be public, right?

 

Some things might be worth sharing, so here I will document what I feel comfortable putting out there. There may be someone that finds my story similar to theirs or has a perspective that is augmentative, so I have decided to put ideas and actions to words and put them here. There is some catharsis in that. I am not an overly secretive person and I understand the nature of the Internet. The risks aren't massive, I know, but there are risks. I aim for this to be a thread I will come back to; to add what I've discovered, ponder what I question still, and share nuggets of myself that I feel like sharing. If you're reading this, hello and thank you for being here.

 

Yesterday.

 

I had a liberating conversation with my wife. We talked about where I am and things I've been thinking about. She doesn't seem to have an opinion on this "new me", but states she wants to be supportive and has been. She has bought me mascara, twice, has bra shopped with me online, and been fantastic the whole time--even if this is not the hand she thought she'd been dealt when we married. She is coming to see that something has truly changed and continues to change in me. I am not the same person I was just over a year ago and I am not on any medical therapy that would have made happen. However, I shared I am interested in that yesterday too. So what's happened so far has been organic; a change in hormones or a surfacing of something I never allowed to manifest before. I also shared I wished to have some feminine clothing and shared that I'd been window shopping online. She said we should go shopping.

 

Today.

 

We got to the shops early. We were looking for things for her but at the same time we were shopping for me--maybe an outfit if one could be pieced together, a nice skirt and top maybe. I came home empty handed, she got a few items she liked, and the experience was very affirming; I had no anxiety to speak of. I was in guy mode, but my shirt was pushed out by my small but feminine chest, my eyes framed by a light pass of mascara, and my short but growing hair blown out and styled. No one batted an eye, everyone was helpful, I was very likely seen as the dutiful husband tailing the shopping wife. I asked a few sales associates about items in stock, they assumed they were inquiries for my wife, there was no weird side eye. It was nice!

 

I used to hate shopping. I was the first to state I was a "go in, get what I need, and get out" kind of person. Today, each shop was another opportunity. Each moment one shared in a new reality with my wife. I relished the whole day, even though there wasn't something in my size, or in a color I liked, or that every cute skirt was just too short or way too expensive. I had fun. I would never have thought I would have had fun shopping, or would ever be shopping the women's departments and be comfortable rummaging through racks. I guess I did so under the easily ascribed auspices of the dutiful husband trying to find something "my wife might like", but we knew I wasn't. It didn't matter.

 

How interesting is this...?

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As is common these days, I was thinking about my gender-expansive journey and decided to make some tea. I just set left a couple bras to rinse an I step upstairs. I think about the desire for my breasts, already a shade under a full B cup thanks to gynecomastia, to be larger and how a typical cis man would probably never think that. I toss a cup of water in the microwave, punch in 3 minutes, start it and think I should check the mail.

 

I walk to the front door continuing my thoughts, they revolve around the social aspect of appearing more feminine in shape and presentation, how that would be my biggest mental challenge about all this. I want these things, I want to go on HRT, I want to wear cute clothes, and be more in touch with this part of me that has been tip toeing out. However, the thought of seeing my long-time friends and family as a person they don't know--or might reject--would be so hard.

 

I go back to the kitchen, the microwave beeping telling me my water was heated. I grab a tea bag. I'm getting over a cold so I grab a bag of lemon ginger tea and open the package. I fiddle with the small paper tag as I pull it from the wrapper, I notice the small paper tag on the end was skewed so I looked down to fix it. Gobsmacked, I see staring back at me, "Accept the challenge you are facing. It may become your greatest gift." written on a tag I never pay any attention to.

 

"What do you know, teabag!?"

 

I dunk the bag in and walk back to my computer. "Maybe the teabag knows something?"

 

Maybe this challenge really is a gift.

 

MaeBe.

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Another week, another counseling session. Great conversation and I'm surprised how far I've come along in my journey so far, what I thought months ago is not the same as it is now. I continue to lean into my femininity and each new expression brings more joy. With that joy, I've discovered underlying dysphoria though. I know people struggle with severe, sometimes crippling, dysphoria but what I feel can't be labeled as anything else. This has lead me to schedule a doctor appointment with my PCP to begin an HRT conversation. It's booked, it's in December, I wish it was sooner but it's booked.

 

I'm smiling as I write this.

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3 minutes ago, MaeBe said:

but what I feel can't be labeled as anything else

To clarify, I think it's dysphoria, I am not struggling with depression or other severe ramifications from it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Interesting week so far...

 

Thanksgiving was good, busy almost the entire long weekend, but good. My wife and I cleared our closets and donated to the local Goodwill. I found that all but two of my button ups no longer fit across my chest, yay for non-HRT boobs! I may have to shop the women's aisles for those now; button ups don't do well if oversized for my slight frame. I did get two hand-me-down skirts from my wife in the process, which was very nice of her!

 

Also, I was given references to Gender Care clinics by my counselor last week. I called the closest, but one of their providers is on maternity and the other is moving onto pastures new; I couldn't schedule an appointment. I will continue to wait until my scheduled visit with my, hopefully, new PCP on the 21st.

 

I was long overdue some hair removal, so after a shower and shaving I put on one of my new hand-me-down skirts with a simple blue ladies tee today. Other than the newness of wearing a skirt for the first time ever, I felt super comfortable and, to be honest, very cute. So I put on a little mascara (a little more than usual 😊), worked all day en femme, and made dinner for the family.

 

I don't know if this is a good way to share my experience or if it's just noise on the forums, but even with counseling it feels good to think through things and put them down. Thank you to anyone who stops by. 💜Mae

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Hey there @MaeBe, I wasn't aware of this thread until earlier today so I'm catching up a bit here. I totally understand what you said right at the top, about the catharsis of writing. I think it is very common on this forum and we all benefit from being able to express ourselves freely.

 

What I truly admire is the direct manner in which you are heading down the path to wherever you end up. Shopping with your wife, setting up and attending therapy, critically examining your dysphoria whatever form it takes, beginning HRT to see what it does. You have recognized who you are and you're doing something about it! You're on the highway doing 70 but you're not sure where the road goes yet. At least you're on it; I'm just crawling along the on ramp going in the same direction but not willing to join in yet.

 

What you write is NOT noise!

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I fully agree that 'writing things down' is incredible therapy! 

I don't share on the forums I frequent for others more than I do for myself.  I'll find myself rereading something from last year and saying, "wow, that's where I was."

 

Our experiences help us out just as much as your experience making dinner in a skirt and mascara helps me by reading it. 

 

We are all on this highway with differing destinations, but we all share the road. 

 

The two people in this thread that know me also know that just a few years ago I was hiding myself behind bib overalls and baggy shirts in boy-mode. Accepting myself for who I am released me from decades of internal turmoil and self destructive thoughts. Your stories on the other forum along with the whole lot of them helped me immensely.  

 

Even hearing about the newbie just getting their feet wet can bring back our own memories and experiences. 

 

Thank you so much for sharing @MaeBe 

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Thank you for dropping into my little thread, @Mirrabooka and @Birdie!

 

3 hours ago, Mirrabooka said:

You're on the highway doing 70 but you're not sure where the road goes yet.

Bit terrifying this, but I'm compelled! 😎

 

3 hours ago, Mirrabooka said:

What you write is NOT noise!

Thank you!💜

 

2 hours ago, Birdie said:

I don't share on the forums I frequent for others more than I do for myself.

I was trepidatious posting anything. I thought I'd be veiled and share the minimum, but then it turned into a bit of a journal. 🤭

 

I probably shouldn't be journaling online, but I figured I could provide some comfort in solidarity for some or draw people in to comment on my steps, trips, and meanderings with their wisdom.

 

I hope you both are having wonderful days!

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10 minutes ago, MaeBe said:

I probably shouldn't be journaling online, but I figured I could provide some comfort in solidarity for some or draw people in to comment on my steps, trips, and meanderings with their wisdom.

 

I hope you both are having wonderful days!

Heck, I put down everything because you never know that you might give advice to someone who needs it. It helps me sleep better with the thought of I might have helped someone maybe not that same day but maybe some one in the future. You could be the light of someone struggling in a dark place. 

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5 minutes ago, Ashley0616 said:

You could be the light of someone struggling in a dark place. 

What a wonderful way of putting it!

 

Do you have a journal here?

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4 minutes ago, MaeBe said:

What a wonderful way of putting it!

 

Do you have a journal here?

I need to start one most of my posts are in other forums so I might do it today. 

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3 minutes ago, Ashley0616 said:

I need to start one most of my posts are in other forums so I might do it today. 

I'll keep an eye out for it!

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's not all sunny skies and euphoria, as I'm sure you all know. I had a major bout of imposter anxiety the other night. I woke up in the middle of the night and laid there, brain going in all directions through every negative and worry. "Am I really feeling this way? Is this real? Am I faking this? What am I?" Then all the social aspects, "what about the holidays? How do I come out? Do I have to come out? How would Dad react?"

 

ARGHHH!

 

I somehow fell back to sleep and when I woke up, I walked into the bathroom and looked at myself in the mirror. I didn't see myself until I shaved, moisturized, applied my mascara, balmed up my lips, and blew out my hair. Today, I couldn't go up the road to pickup lunch without shaving my barely visible morning stubble! Which I did after ordering some cute new shoes and a handful of new tops to expand my wardrobe a little (not too much, trying to wait for the post-Christmas sales).

 

The feelings are real. I am what I am. Whatever that is I don't know yet, but I know I'm not what I used to think I was and I shouldn't let that bother me. But it's not that simple. It's hard realizing something was in you all along, but you never gave it enough oxygen/ignored it/buried it and it flies in the face of who you became after 44 years. It's really hard. I have so much respect to all the brave people that have faced their own struggles, owned them, and done something about it!

 

💜Mae

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Yes, leaving boy-mode and going back to the girl-mode of my early teens was quite challenging. I wasn't happy in boy-mode, but I spent about 45 years in it. 

 

I started with the basics, hair, women's rack, lip gloss, etc...

I kept trying things until I found where I'm comfortable. I'm not a Victoria Secret model, but I blend in with all the other women my age around me. 

 

It's all about 'just being you'!

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On 12/13/2023 at 6:48 AM, MaeBe said:

I have so much respect to all the brave people that have faced their own struggles, owned them, and done something about it!

 

💜Mae

So do I!

 

I know that what I'm about to say is wrong, but sometimes I actually wish that my small struggles were more difficult to deal with than what they are. Being forced into a position where I had to make a choice, looking for a trigger, etc.

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On 12/15/2023 at 5:03 AM, Mirrabooka said:

So do I!

 

I know that what I'm about to say is wrong, but sometimes I actually wish that my small struggles were more difficult to deal with than what they are. Being forced into a position where I had to make a choice, looking for a trigger, etc.

I guess it would make it feel "more real", right? If you're really struggling, it's no longer what you want--it's what you need. I think a lot of that is placed on us by society because the binary gate just shouldn't be open unless there's a major issue. Right?

 

Small update while I'm here. I'm wearing a new sweater, jeans, and probably my new cute ankle boots to a friend's house today. My nails a purple and my lashes will be popping. I've had my lashes done over there before, but never have been so open about where I am with them. I expect this will elicit conversation. You could call it "coming out" to them, but I feel like I am just being me. I can't say there isn't a small amount of apprehension, but into the breach once more!

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20 hours ago, MaeBe said:

I guess it would make it feel "more real", right? If you're really struggling, it's no longer what you want--it's what you need. I think a lot of that is placed on us by society because the binary gate just shouldn't be open unless there's a major issue. Right?

This was all heavy on the sarcasm, which does not do well in written form.

 

Update from last night: it was a giant pile of nothing. My friends were like, "OK! We've known you a long time, we're here". 🥲

 

My wife is out of town, so I had to maintain equal conversation with the couple. It was so nice when the husband bopped off and we got a couple seconds of girl talk in, but it was also nice just being accepted and having a night like we've had so many times before; comfortable, conversational, good food, and friendly.

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18 hours ago, MaeBe said:

This was all heavy on the sarcasm, which does not do well in written form.

It's all good, don't worry about it.

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Tomorrow is the day with my new PCP/GP. I haven't met the woman before, but she's going to get one heck of an introduction to me!

 

I have a couple minor (🤞) concerns but the main thrust of tomorrow's meeting is to see if I can start HRT through the clinic. I am apprehensive I can, so I am not planning to come home with a prescription (wouldn't that be great?!), but maybe I can get my baseline labs done and get a referral if they don't do that out of that office. I figure they handle hormones in some fashion, the clinic specializes (outside of family practice) in women's health, so there may be a chance.

 

I am thinking I prefer to go the mono therapy route, avoiding T-blockers if at all possible (spiro is right out unless I want to change medications that are working for me presently), and progesterone down the line. I have a pretty clear vision, but naturally what works best for me medically is what I will do.

 

Today I hope to clear the side effects of the COVID vaccine from Monday, maybe get on the bike for a workout if I feel up to it, and go to bed relatively early. I probably won't sleep well being so giddily anxious, it almost feels like Christmas may come a few days early!

 

 

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Good luck @MaeBe. Even getting baseline labs done will let you know where you are now and maybe why things are what they are.

 

The anticipation of getting some E into your body must be a delicious thought! One I can only dream of for myself, but a thought nonetheless.

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Up at 3am.

 

Fever broke from the vaccine blues, the sweatiness likely was the cause, but now that I’m awake…there’s that self-doubt and questioning again.

 

They stem from a devil-on-the-shoulder internal countering vs. my general happiness and forthright willingness to undergo HRT; then after reading the shared story from PA re: a trans activist who is both a victim and a charged perpetrator of crimes, I began to fixate on the impact my decisions will make on the family and my life.

 

Am I allowing myself to get carried away in all of this?

 

If it feels so right when presenting to the world this side of me, if I can feel comfortable in heels and makeup with friends, if I stare down at my chest and wonder why they just aren’t bigger—or my hips and butt aren’t fuller, that I feel the need always to hide my “junk”, if I can’t look at myself in the mirror normally but can’t stop if I am feeling pretty made up and in feminine clothing, if I feel pure joy in engaging my female friends in girl talk, if I can’t wear boxy men’s clothing without feeling “meh”, if I can’t help but love that I ugly cried watching a movie the other day, if I keep listing these things can I…be wrong about this?

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No, you're not wrong. You're like the person in the ad running along, burdened by all the crap on the exterior, then suddenly it explodes away and not only have you won, but you are free!

 

Looking in the mirror, heh. I have already imagined myself at some stage in the future looking in the mirror totally naked and crying uncontrollably. Why? Grieving for the person who was, and loving the person who is.

 

I have had 'mirror moments' before, not to the extent that I just described, but catching my reflection in candid moments that affirmed who I am.

 

GO FOR IT.

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  • Posts

    • MaeBe
    • Sally Stone
      I liked it, Mae.  No apologies necessary.  
    • MaeBe
      Sorry for the schlocky poetry, feeling a little moody.
    • Sally Stone
      Post 13 “My Compartmentalized Life” In the interest of “full disclosure” I thought I should point out that my part-time life is also a very compartmentalized life.  Long time friends and close family don’t know Sally.  Most of the acquaintances I have made as Sally, have never met my male persona, and only a few close friends, know both personas.  It sounds complicated, I know, but it happens to fit my current transgender lifestyle.  But, how did I get here?   It started years ago when I didn’t know why I felt like a girl.  The only choice I thought I had, was to keep my feelings, and the crossdressing that went along with it, a closely guarded secret.  My Army career forced me to be even more guarded, so the need for secrecy became a habit.  Later, I wanted to emerge from my closet.  I wanted Sally to experience the world but because I still didn’t understand my true transgender nature, I wasn’t ready to share my feminine side with people I knew.    As Sally’s social life expanded, it was only natural that her circle of friends and acquaintances would also expand.  This resulted in a situation where suddenly, I was simultaneously in and out of the closet.  My transgender life had become compartmentalized.  Again, because I didn’t know where my trans journey was taking me, keeping my feminine side a secret from close friends and family, was still the logical choice.  I knew the situation might change if my destination was going to be full transition, but I decided to cross that bridge if or when I came to it.   It would be many more years before I understood completely, my trans nature.  When it became clear to me that I could be happy and fulfilled living my life as a part-time woman, I didn’t have to cross the full transition bridge.  And, because I had become quite adept at keeping my two lives compartmentalized, I saw no benefit to changing things.  I was walking in two completely different worlds.  My male persona had his world with his acquaintances, and Sally had her own world, with her own acquaintances.  For a very long time those two worlds didn’t overlap, but a few years ago, that changed.   Through my New Jersey dinner group, Sally became close with a couple, one trans, the other her spouse.  My wife became good friends with them as well.  We went out together often, and because our friends only knew me as Sally, I always presented to them that way.  That was until one time, when my wife and I had a commitment earlier in the day that made it impossible for me to transform before we were scheduled to meet our friends for dinner.  My first reaction to the situation was to cancel.  I had this overpowering aversion to letting them meet my male persona.  My wife convinced me that my concern was silly.  Still, I was so spring-loaded to maintaining my compartmentalized life, I actually called my friends to ask them if they would be okay meeting my “alter-ego.” As if they would have said no.  It was a ridiculous concern, and of course, they were actually perfectly happy to meet my “other half."    It turned out that letting our friends meet and interact with my male persona wasn’t as terrifying as I had imagined, and since that initial reveal, I have come out the same way to more of Sally’s close friends.  It’s easier now, but still not natural for me.  I’d still rather Sally’s friends interact only with Sally.  I guess all the years of compartmentalizing my two personalities, has formed a habit that I struggle to break.    When it comes to family and longtime friends, they only know my male persona, and based on my current trans lifestyle, I have no plans to introduce Sally to them.  There just isn’t anything about the way I live my life right now, that would make it necessary.  I won’t deny that sometimes, because I’m hiding a big part of my personality, I feel like a bit of a fraud. After all, they aren’t seeing all of the real me. I do sometimes struggle with this conflict.  On the one hand, I want everyone to know the real me but on the other hand, why run the risk of alienating family members or long-time friends when it isn’t absolutely necessary?   Believe it or not, there have been some in the trans community, that have argued I’m not actually trans since I haven’t gone through the ordeal of coming out to family and friends, that I haven’t experienced the one true transgender right-of-passage.  I know it has been way more difficult for those who have had to face the coming out challenge with friends and loved ones, but the level of difficulty one experiences doesn’t define someone’s level of transness.  In a future post, I’ll reflect on an incident when I was called out publicly for not being trans enough, and how it affected my confidence and self-worth.   I do have some family members and longtime friends that I have seriously considered coming out to, and I may follow through at some point. But again, because I am part-time, the timeline for doing so is really up to me and my comfort level, instead of a matter of necessity.           It’s obvious that unlike so many in our community, I haven’t had to “face the music.” I know how gut-wrenching and life changing coming out to close acquaintances can be, so I do consider myself fortunate.  It is important to note that I have not chosen a part-time trans life just to avoid the pain and tribulations of coming out.  Living part-time honestly has to do with not having to choose between one personality over the other, because ultimately, I could never be happy or fulfilled if I had to choose only one.   Yes, my life is seriously compartmentalized, with Sally in one compartment and my male persona in another.  Based on where my trans journey has taken me up to this point, and where it looks like it is headed in the future, I don’t anticipate much of a change. Walking in two worlds is a choice that works for me.  I know I am different, but each of us is, so I don’t think I need to make any apologies for living my life this way.    Hugs,   Sally       
    • MaeBe
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    • VickySGV
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    • VickySGV
      I for one am actually pleased with how this one played out.  Local issues need to remain local and I am not on the States Rights bandwagon for all cases.  The facts of the matter did not constitute a case or controversy since the plaintiffs did not show actual or immediately impending harm to their children.  Now if the parents can show that the child had developed some type of sleep and eating disorder because they were in a bathroom with a Trans child or are involved in self harm over the idea (which is probably the parent's doing and not the school) then there might be something of a case or controversy for the court to take up.   I have six text books on U.S. Constitutional Law grinning down evilly at me that all say the SCOTUS should avoid this type of case, and shows where they have done it consistently for a couple of centuries. 
    • Ladypcnj
      When I was a kid growing up, I was considered the baby sibling of the family. I was often the last to know of everything, and since I wasn't old enough just yet to stay home by myself, I had to tagged along with my family members who drove their cars, this included going to church. I never knew other religions existed; all I knew was about the teachings of Christianity. It's easy to join a church, but what if things aren't what it appears to be than what is preached? Strange things began going on at the church in which group leaders didn't want the news media to know about it, such as an almost drowning during a baptizing among other things. The preacher/minister began to sense I wanted out of the cult. Followers that was nice to me in the beginning, was now talking behind my back, not encouraging me to find another church that I would feel more spiritually connected to.     
    • Ivy
      An option to opt out is one thing, but removing the content entirely (for everyone) is something different.  I don't think it's beneficial to isolate one's kids from the broader culture since they are going to have to live in it eventually.  If something about it bothers you, you need to explain why.  Pretending it doesn't exist is a disservice to them.   In my (and my ex's) more conservative past, we considered homeschooling.  But we also realized our kids had to live in the broader culture and needed the socialization. Two of my adult children do homeschool now.  I have mixed feelings about that. Another of them is a public school teacher.   I personally would prefer that scarce resources not be diverted from public education.  The current move against public education bothers me.  For many kids it's all they have. 
    • April Marie
      Looking in the mirror brings joy.   The woman smiles back at me.
    • Charlize
      Perhaps a bit of light might exist if i look at this as a further verification that simply disliking the existence of a school's policy is not a reason to sue.  The rights of these parents or their children are not harmed.  They simply cannot dictate policy because of dubious beliefs.   Hugs,   Charlize
    • Mmindy
      Life has its twist, and who knows what the future holds. She may only want to know your family and medical history’s long term chronic health history. Then again she may become your biggest supporter in your current life situation.   I am an optimist. So much so that if you put me in a room full of puppy poo, I’m going to look for the puppies.    Hugs and best wishes,   Mindy🌈🐛🏳️‍⚧️🦋
    • Charlize
      Managing a support group takes a great deal of work.  When i found this site there were ,to my knowledge, only 2 sites that supported anyone whose gender was out of the "norm".  I had searched before and only found porn.  i'd almost given up. I hope that you are finding what you need here.   Hugs,   Charlize
    • RaineOnYourParade
      This also isn't necessarily trans-positive in itself. They're just saying the case doesn't have strong enough ground to sue because the plaintiff didn't bring enough evidence to court. Basically, that could mean that, rather than not wanting to do the case, they feel that there is insufficient information given to do so. By leaving the suit be, it also leaves no precedent for future cases to be built off of. This just leaves holes for court to get messier in the future. Precedent is essential in all types of cases. Giving a ruling, one way or another, would be pretty essential to building cases of the same nature in the future. By letting this go, they aren't really supporting trans people -- they're just dismissing the issue all together, which, in reality, doesn't help either side of it. 
    • RaineOnYourParade
      I don't personally agree with people opting out of LGBT education, but I suppose it would depend on the context it was taught in. Parents do have the right to opt their children out of sex ed and such for various reasons, so if it was taught in line with sex ed (which would make sense, as those classes also cover puberty as well as sometimes relationship health, so it would be about in-line with how heterosexual students are taught about their own types of relationships), I would understand them then being able to opt out. Similarly, parents often have options to opt their child out of reading books with "disturbing" content, so if the novels chosen for LGBT discussion have a large focus on homophobia/etc., an opt-out option might be made available due to the intensity of the content rather than the content itself. I've seen these for books like To Kill a Mockingbird and All-American Boys that discuss racism in-depth, as some parents might not be comfortable with their child/teenager reading intense content. I disagree with the choices to opt-out of reading these books since I think they're important, but I do understand why they're provided.   So, I think whether an opt-out option would be provided for these topics would depend on the way that they were presented. I didn't see anything in the article saying where the topics were being presented (though correct me if I'm wrong). Are they being talked about in sex ed or in content that may be considered disturbing? In that case, it wouldn't necessarily be LGBT-phobic legislation, per se -- It's about in line with what is in line for dozens of topics. 
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