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I am for sure Female...But...


Charleigh Dakota

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So, while I know for a fact I am an AMAB Female.....I am feeling kind of down atm and just need to vent and hope others might can help me clear my head. You see...my head is asking...

 

1. Is transitioning really worth all the pain, frustration, broken/damaged relationships, paperwork, multiple surgeries and expense?

 

2. Am I really being selfish to others....like my brother said...especially to my own wife and kids? (They are accepting and supportive)

 

3. Do I even have enough time left on this earth to justify all of this??

 

4. It is so much easier just to stay a guy...Nothing would have to change...Nobody would lose Charles/Dad/Husband/Man....or my large salary!

 

5. I have survived 48 years in a male role....Should I just keep living as a "male" in the world and just stay a closeted girl instead??

 

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I am sorry that you are having doubts right now.  Most of us have been there.  I cannot answer for you, but I will tell you how I answer your questions for myself.

 

1. Worth it?  Oh yes!  The joy of looking in the mirror and seeing myself looking back.  The joy of being treated as the woman that I am.  There was pain, frustration, paperwork, expense, true.  My wife had to stretch a little bit to accommodate my transition, but she was able to do so, and our relationship is stronger as a result.  No other relationships were harmed in the process.  Granted, YMMV.  But there is no doubt in my mind that it was worth it.

 

2. Being selfish?  I suppose it is.  But we get brainwashed into believing that we must abuse ourselves for the sake of others.  That is nonsense.  I like to point out an analogy to the flight safety briefings on airlines: If the oxygen masks drop, you have to put on your own mask before trying to help others.  Because you cannot help others if you are not yourself fit and healthy.  You are allowed (encouraged) to look out for your own health, both physical and mental, first.

 

3.  Alas, none of us can answer that one.  In fact, meditating on that was what got me off my butt to start my transition.  I could confidently say that I had lived at least 2/3 or 3/4 of my life, and only had a small portion left.  I had no idea how much time I had left, but I knew for certain that I didn't want to be in a nursing home living out my final years as a sad old *man*.  I had to get moving if I was to prevent that.

 

4. Easier to stay a guy?  It might be less investment of work or effort than transitioning.  But it is not easier.  Living as the wrong person is the hardest thing any of us will ever do.  You are right that nothing would have to change.  But that is the problem: nothing would change.

 

5. I survived 62 years in that role.  My meditation on impermanence (#3 above) convinced me that that was quite long enough. 

 

Should you...?  I can't tell you that.  Only you can decide what you should do.  All I can do is tell you what I encountered and how I responded.  The rest is up to you.

 

Good luck going forward.  Here's a hug for the journey:  ((((HUG)))).

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@KathyLauren Thank you so much for what you just said....of course, I do not expect anyone else to answer these questions for me but it truly does help to hear that others have had these same questions and what their own answers were to them. Of course, questioning does not mean I am questioning who I am or what I want to be in life....or even if it is the right thing to do (because it absolutely is!)...just that Im questioning the overall worthiness of all it takes once I reach the end of my journey. Will the benefits outweigh the costs? I know in my heart there is absolutely no way I will ever give up or stop transitioning until I am where I know I need to be....but that doesnt stop me from questioning the costs it takes to get there.

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1. Is transitioning really worth all the pain, frustration, broken/damaged relationships, paperwork, multiple surgeries and expense?

 

Yes it is and you don't have to go through all those surgeries. You do what you want to do. There are some trans women who don't get SRS because of the cost. They would rather get a new car or use it towards something else. You can be trans without taking hormones. They do help though. You do go through a roller coaster of emotions.

 

My wife at the time couldn't accept me. I lost over forty family members. My parents were completely against it! My mom and her pastor were challenging me that it's sin because I'm giving into earthly desires. I fired back at her with the music that she listens to isn't Christian music and it's not giving glory to God, and she got heated! Months after my mom and I have a relationship we agree to disagree. She does say that she loves me. My dad who hasn't done anything in my life other than teach me to play basketball and chop wood. I saw him in December, and he acted okay with me but then the next day I saw him I was in a dress, and he gave a stare that would kill people. 

 

Paperwork wasn't too bad. I got all the bills, driver's license and went to court to legally change my name and gender. I still need to change my birth certificate. I also changed things at the VA. You won't be able to change any degrees to your new name so there will always be something with your old name still on it. I wasn't able to change my DD Form 214 to my name and gender which is discharge paperwork from the military. 

 

2. Am I really being selfish to others....like my brother said...especially to my own wife and kids? (They are accepting and supportive)

 

You are going to get attacked because everyone else is in shock and going through a transition to accepting the real you. As long as your kids accept you that is all that matters. 

 

3. Do I even have enough time left on this earth to justify all of this??

 

There are people who transition in their 70's so yes, it is justifiable in my opinion.

 

4. It is so much easier just to stay a guy...Nothing would have to change...Nobody would lose Charles/Dad/Husband/Man....or my large salary!

 

That I won't be able to answer because that is up to you. First talk to a gender therapist. There are some people who detransitioned because they had a lot of issues that were never resolved. Beginning the transition has irreversible effects after time on HRT. About six months in you won't be able to have kids unless you froze your sperm. It's not something that should be taken lightly. I'm not saying you aren't trans because I'm not you just a lot to consider. I have seen some people do it because this is the latest trend apparently and they then regretted it after. 

 

5. I have survived 48 years in a male role....Should I just keep living as a "male" in the world and just stay a closeted girl instead??

 

You should do what makes you happy. This is again nothing that anyone should convince you to do one or the other. Take things slowly and make sure this is what you want. I knew I was trans before I even know what the word was. I have felt that way since I was 7 and I'm 39 now. 

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2 hours ago, Ashley0616 said:

Yes it is and you don't have to go through all those surgeries. You do what you want to do. There are some trans women who don't get SRS because of the cost. They would rather get a new car or use it towards something else. You can be trans without taking hormones. They do help though. You do go through a roller coaster of emotions.

Thanks....but not having GAS is not an option for me. I must have at least bottom surgery and possibly top surgery (depending on if Mother Nature continues blessing me like she has so far). I fortunately and currently have the ability to get these but I do understand what you are saying...we all have our own needs to feel complete and for me, those needs include at least bottom surgery. 

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2 hours ago, Ashley0616 said:

I wasn't able to change my DD Form 214 to my name and gender which is discharge paperwork from the military. 

Yes, as a Navy veteran myself...I am planning to do this as well....I do not recall who it is on here but someone on here said they were able to update their DD-214 so we both should do some research or ask them how they did it (if I can remember who it is)

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2 hours ago, Ashley0616 said:

That I won't be able to answer because that is up to you. First talk to a gender therapist. There are some people who detransitioned because they had a lot of issues that were never resolved. Beginning the transition has irreversible effects after time on HRT. About six months in you won't be able to have kids unless you froze your sperm. It's not something that should be taken lightly. I'm not saying you aren't trans because I'm not you just a lot to consider. I have seen some people do it because this is the latest trend apparently and they then regretted it after. 

Oh sweetie...I am most certainly female....there is absolutely no doubt and I am also most certainly not one to care what the latest trend is or about being cool. I had a vasectomy several years ago anyway so Ive been done having kids and Im 2 months on HRT and already have irreversible and very noticeable changes up top...I may have worded this question weird but by no means am I questioning IF I am a girl or even IF I should continue my transition....not a single doubt in my head...they are more rhetorical questions just intended to I guess "reassure myself" as I already know the answers to each of them....which are the same as they were before I asked them. I was born a girl...undisputedly...and I will do whatever it takes and pay whatever price it takes to fully realize that in body too. The only regret I have is I didnt do it in my 20's...

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2 hours ago, Ashley0616 said:

You should do what makes you happy. This is again nothing that anyone should convince you to do one or the other. Take things slowly and make sure this is what you want. I knew I was trans before I even know what the word was. I have felt that way since I was 7 and I'm 39 now.

Like I told my therapist...I have known I was a girl since I was at least as young as 10 yrs old....and I am 48 now...I just didnt know what to call what I was feeling or what to do about it except write it off as a "defect" in my wiring...which of course, absolutely is not...but I didnt know that back then.

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16 minutes ago, Charlie Dakota said:

Yes, as a Navy veteran myself...I am planning to do this as well....I do not recall who it is on here but someone on here said they were able to update their DD-214 so we both should do some research or ask them how they did it (if I can remember who it is)

I already tried. I would love to know who did it

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24 minutes ago, Ashley0616 said:

I already tried. I would love to know who did it

Just found out...Gender is not listed on the DD-214, only the name used when entering service....but your name can be changed on military records, including the DD-214. Here is the link to the info to make that happen...directly from the VA. 

 

https://www.va.gov/womenvet/docs/summitNationalBreakoutSessionLgbtVeterans.pdf 

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1 minute ago, Charlie Dakota said:

Just found out...Gender is not listed on the DD-214, only the name used when entering service....but your name can be changed on military records, including the DD-214. Here is the link to the info to make that happen...directly from the VA. 

 

https://www.va.gov/womenvet/docs/summitNationalBreakoutSessionLgbtVeterans.pdf 

Starts on page 5 of the PDF

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Just now, Charlie Dakota said:

Starts on page 5 of the PDF

thanks I guess I was lied to 

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Just now, Ashley0616 said:

thanks I guess I was lied to 

Yes, seems likely....sorry. But that doc is a VA doc so I would trust it myself. But if you find out anything different from the VA please let me know! Thanks girl!! *Hugs*

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6 minutes ago, Charlie Dakota said:

Yes, seems likely....sorry. But that doc is a VA doc so I would trust it myself. But if you find out anything different from the VA please let me know! Thanks girl!! *Hugs*

Thanks I really do appreciate it. Now if only I could get my name changed on my high school diploma. lol

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Dear @Charlie Dakota,

1. Yes it IS worth it! The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step!

2. Not at all! If anything it is actually quite self-LESS to put others' needs ahead of yours - which is what not transitioning would be, an act of self-sacrifice.

3. Yes it IS enough time. No one knows what the future holds, but why not change the future to something you look forward to?

4. But would it really be easier? See #5.

5. Definitely no! Your choice of the word "survived" says it all, and using quotes around "male" says it too. Easier? I doubt it.

 

Stay strong! 💕

 

Love,

~Audrey.

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13 minutes ago, Audrey said:

Dear @Charlie Dakota,

1. Yes it IS worth it! The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step!

2. Not at all! If anything it is actually quite self-LESS to put others' needs ahead of yours - which is what not transitioning would be, an act of self-sacrifice.

3. Yes it IS enough time. No one knows what the future holds, but why not change the future to something you look forward to?

4. But would it really be easier? See #5.

5. Definitely no! Your choice of the word "survived" says it all, and using quotes around "male" says it too. Easier? I doubt it.

 

Stay strong! 💕

 

Love,

~Audrey.

Thanks @Audrey I appreciate your words...as well as everyone's that have been so kind as to reply. Everyone's positivity was just what I needed!! **Hugs to Everyone!!**

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Well, I'm AFAB... and that does seem to make a difference regarding social acceptance.  So my experience (what little there is of it) might not be relevant at all.  But I'll toss a couple of furballs into the mix...

 

1.  From what I understand, everybody's transition looks different.  Mine is a "light" version of it for multiple reasons.  No surgery, no HRT, no changing my IDs.  A bit of localized changes, a bit of change in dress and hair.  My biggest risk was my relationship with my husband, and that risk paid off.  We're closer than before, and he doesn't mind my "boy form."  For me, it has been worth it.

 

Two of my friends are AMAB, and their process has been more involved.  No surgeries for either of them, but HRT and medical bills and paperwork.  And some lost relationships, social awkwardness, and employment issues.  They feel like it has been worth it.  Just remember that your process (and the extent of it) is unique to you.

 

2. Maybe it is selfish, maybe it isn't.  I can't really address that.  I have partners, but no kids of my own, and my changes haven't been that drastic.  The kids understand that I'm just a bit different from their other parents, and they are OK with it. 

 

3. Not sure how old you are, or how long you expect to live.  I think life expectancy is kind of relative, and we always end up with something other than what we anticipated.  My GF expected to be dead by age 30, and so she lived a really crazy, dangerous life in her teens and 20s.  Now she's in her mid 30s and a mother of five.... no sign of stopping.  I never had much of a plan for my life, and in my craziest dreams I never would have imagined the life and family I have now.  I wouldn't put yourself in a box based on age or situation, because we just can't predict the future. 

 

4. Sounds like your male life is pretty well established.  Transition might be tougher for you than some others.  My AMAB friends started their process in their teens, and while it interfered a bit with education and/or career in their 20s, the lifestyle disruption probably isn't as great as for somebody older and more established. 

 

5. I suppose the answer to this one is to analyze your expected discomfort in each scenario.  If you stay in the male role, will the discomfort of closeted femininity exceed the discomfort you'll endure with medical and/or social transition?  Only you can do the cost/benefit analysis. For me, I didn't change all that much and so I didn't expect to suffer very much.  I figured my employment was safe, and I figured my family was safe.  I ended up getting assaulted and injured, and the injury resulted in a loss of employment.  Not something I would have anticipated.  Even when we think we know the answers, life has a way of bringing out surprises. 

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On 1/19/2024 at 11:20 AM, Charlie Dakota said:

. I have survived 48 years in a male role....Should I just keep living as a "male" in the world and just stay a closeted girl instead??

 

I was raised as a 'tomboy' by my grandmother until my early teens (I'm intersex). Sewing, knitting, making wedding dresses with her, and catering weddings. 

 

Late teens my father took over my upbringings, and boy-mode began starting with two years of testosterone to try and stop my developing breasts and wide hips. 

45 years of boy-mode later and I regret all of it. I should have just been myself all those years. I'm still that 'tomboyish' little girl grandma was raising down inside, and that will never change. 

 

Late in life breast growth meant the girls could no longer be hidden (C cup went to a D, and I'm now a DDD), and my dear wife couldn't handle the embarrassment, she moved on. I still have a great relationship with one of my stepdaughters (maybe closer now).

 

Going out everyday in girl-mode has caused some challenges, and continues to do so (I live in Texas).

All on all, the benefits outweigh the burdens. 

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