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JJ

For Those Who Aren't Transitioning

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JJ

Today I came across an older post that said what so many here who are not transitioning seem to ultimately feel. That they don't fit here because they aren't transitioning or aren't binary FTM or MTF and I wanted to address it because we sometimes forget that there are those who are looking for other support as well.

First I want to say that even though much of our discussion is about transition and transsexual related that is because those are the people who speak up the most. They come seeking reassurance or sharing a triumph. And I am sorry that there are fewer people in the other trans categories posting but I promise without reservation that you are as welcome and valued here as anyone else. You will receive support as much as anyone else. Maybe we can't always understand exactly what you feel but we do understand the impact being any kind of trans has on your life. We understand the pain and confusion and the isolation. We care. We want you here.

Please don't hesitate to post just because what you have to say is not what most are saying. Or because you don't feel accepted here. You are and what you have to say is important. It may also help others who feel as you do speak up and seek help for their pain or share their feelings. We who are TS talk about what we feel -a lot sometimes -but we are just as happy to hear and discuss what you have to say too.

You are all my brothers and sisters of the heart. I am convinced that is so for the other members here as well

You are accepted, your voice is needed here and you DO belong!

Johnny

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Carolyn Marie

Thanks for this reminder, Johnny. It really is an important point.

When I first got here, I considered myself a cross dresser first and foremost. I didn't post hardly at all, and when a Moderator asked me why, I said I didn't think I had anything to contribute. She assured me I was wrong, and I did start adding my voice to the Forums. The rest is history.

So I do understand the reluctance, but Johnny is right; everyone's voice is needed and desired. Don't get discouraged either if your topic doesn't get many replies. Only about 10 percent of all readers actually post a reply, because a great many who view our posts aren't members, and can't. But your story, your question, can help someone else. You never know the impact that you have on others.

Carolyn Marie

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Guest Elizabeth K

I can't tell you of the hundreds of posts I don't answer, can't add to, usually because what said is so completely right. Maybe I just need to answer a simple - "RIGHT" - so they know.

And I so wish everyone who is a member would contribute - there is so much knowledge, so many inspiring stories to be told. I suppose so many are just a bit shy - and I was like that in the beginning, most of us were.

But Laura's is a good place to be - and everyone needs a chance to put their 2 cents in. I know it sometimes seems those whom are MTF or FTM and transitioning, predominate. I think that is because we are so thrilled and yet so terrified - so we tend to overcome our shyness in desperation.

Personally, so many others not in exactly the same place as I am have helped me so much. I try to help all of us here, and I confess, I really have learned a whole lot.

Diversity!

Laura's needs all of it's people!

Elizabeth K

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MaryEllen

Laura has stated many times that this is an umbrella transgender community. This includes everyone from the occasional cross dresser to post-op men and women and everyone in between. All are welcome equally. Bashing of any one group by another will not be permitted.

MaryEllen

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Guest John Chiv

Johnny,

Well said.

John

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Guest April63

I am not transitioning, but I would not say I feel unwelcomed here at all. I used to post a lot more, but these days, I don't seem to feel that I need to. There are many others who are more qualified to do so. I've been here long enough to answer several questions about transition, passing, HRT, and SRS, even though I've never even put on girls' clothing. I used to answer some of these questions. But now, I don't see the point in doing it. One reason might be because I've already answered those questions before. But another is that I know that I have no experience and others could do a better job. I don't have experiences to share.

I suppose that is not completely true. I can identify as MTM (or possibly as MTFTMTFTCDTMT?TM?.. lol). I say MTM instead of just male, because there was a time when I said MTF. There was a time when I thought that might be right. I do have some experience with gender identity, but not as intensely as many of the other members here. I would like to reiterate that this doesn't make me feel unwelcomed. I just don't feel that I can provide very much compared to many of the others users here.

I agree with you Johnny that this site has a great environment that is open to a lot of different choices and people. I also hope that everyone feels welcome here. But there may be more like me that just don't feel the need to post or have moved on from the site entirely.

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Guest SummerDay

I'm feeling like a day player because I'm still fretting over seeing my doctor to begin the process. But I remind myself this isn't a competition to see who can be the most trans and it's not a race.

Life dropped a mountain on my head and I've just spent the past few months slowly, slowly coming out of the other side of that. Some of the stress finally began to ease off and now my head has just enough space for something else I got slammed by the transgender thing again as it stepped into that space.

The past few weeks have been a bit intense but I'm slowly getting my head straight. I'm wondering right now if I really need it or if it's not just some self-affirmation thing. When I had a brush with organised religion I had moments of clarity in broad daylight when I wondered what the heck I was doing being involved with a loony tunes religion. As I'm writing this right now from the opposite side I'm wondering if I'm just denying myself.

That's before we get into a big heap of regret over anything else.

Did poor confidence and alienation lead to transgenderism? Did transgenderism lead to poor confidence and alienation? Do they feed off each other? Will dropping barriers and smoothing waters solve one or the other, or both? Will I embrace life more and watch something die inside whether I take the left or the right fork? If I move forward will I stay or will I go?

Oh, sheesh.

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Guest Penelope

Thank you, John, for starting this topic.

I do not see myself as being in transition but I am still learning who I really am and how to accept it.

For most of my life I believed I had a dreadful secret, which I was determined to take to the grave.

By joining Laura’s I escaped an awful solitude. I was able to record and review my experiences in a safe place, and to share and compare my story with others’. I have released the part of me that manifests itself as Penelope. I now do my best to support rather than repress her.

This may not seem much in comparison to many here, but for me it’s pretty radical.

Penny

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Guest Elizabeth K

Thank you, John, for starting this topic.

I do not see myself as being in transition but I am still learning who I really am and how to accept it.

For most of my life I believed I had a dreadful secret, which I was determined to take to the grave.

By joining Laura’s I escaped an awful solitude. I was able to record and review my experiences in a safe place, and to share and compare my story with others’. I have released the part of me that manifests itself as Penelope. I now do my best to support rather than repress her.

This may not seem much in comparison to many here, but for me it’s pretty radical.

Penny

That is a HUGE step!

Good for you!

Lizzy

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JJ

As someone who also had a secret they were taking to the grave I understand what it means to open up about it. To release the part of yourself so long denied.

I think there is no way we can compare ourselves to others on the site. We react to things in our lives in different ways and with different intensity. What may seem distressing but bearable to you may be devastating to me and visa versa.

One thing I learned from the wiser ones here when I arrived (and they are still here dispensing that wisdom) is that there is no such thing as more or less trans. No comparisons in reality. We are all trans. And we have all paid a high price for it. That is our common bond. Just as we are all infinitely different we are also all alike. We are trans. and we need to find ways that allow us to live our lives with it. Whatever works best for us.

Johnny

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Guest Donna Jean

.

It took me 60 years to start to transition...

Was I not trans that long?

No, I was always Transgendered...I just could not transition for one reason or another....

Don't discount yourself

Donna Jean

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gennee

A great post, JOhnny. I'm not transitioning and I'm very happy as a transgender woman. TRAnsition is emotional and spiritual as well as physical. I'm also happy to call you my brothers and sisters. GENNEE

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Guest Millie

Hi.

I know I want to take hormones to feminise myself. However, I cannot see myself transitioning for what ever reason.

I need to become the female I am within but constrained by the bounds of my life. If that means hiding my changes when it is necessary so be it.

I need to know that beneath a male exterior there is a physical female that is me and to be enjoyed in my private time.

Am I still within the parameters of being recognised for whom I am or am I outside all reasonable expectations of what is deemed acceptable?

What do you think please?

Do I cause you to think, this is odd behaviour?

Thanks for reading this post.

Kind regards,

Sarah

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Michelle 2010

Hi.

I know I want to take hormones to feminise myself. However, I cannot see myself transitioning for what ever reason.

I need to become the female I am within but constrained by the bounds of my life. If that means hiding my changes when it is necessary so be it.

I need to know that beneath a male exterior there is a physical female that is me and to be enjoyed in my private time.

Am I still within the parameters of being recognised for whom I am or am I outside all reasonable expectations of what is deemed acceptable?

What do you think please?

Do I cause you to think, this is odd behaviour?

Thanks for reading this post.

Kind regards,

Sarah

Hi Sarah, I think I'm kind of like you. I hope I can make it through life without needing to transition. As I have posted elsewhere, I seek and hope for a kind of balance or equilibrium. I may achieve it and may not as it seems to be fluid and shifting. What I would like to share about is the parts of your post that caught my eye and that I highlighted. I spent most of my life being concerned and fearful of what people would think if they knew the real me. That's the byproduct of life in the closet, I suppose.

After visiting a gender therapist and starting to attend a support group @ May 2010, I am gaining acceptance of who I am. External validation and fear of condemnation are receding. Today who I am on the outside is more closely aligned with who I am on the inside. I don't go around town in dresses and makeup but I have adapted some androgenous and feminine external markers (fancy terms for earrings and long hair lol!), as well as womens shorts and T's. No one hasstles me.

The point is I had to get over my fear of being treated poorly. This came about through letting people in my group get to know me and taking baby steps outside the group. Gradually I started building positive experiences, instead of worrying always about what folks would think. People think about us a lot less that we realize! I've also started coming out to a few friends, but I had to have some time realizing I was OK before I could ask friends to accept me as OK. If I didn't believe it myself, it would have come across when I told people, so self acceptance had to come first.

If I am misinterpreting what I see in the post I apologize. I just want to share the good feeling about being ok with ourselves, and a little on how I'm doing it.

Best wishes

Michelle

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Guest cerise

At my church they welcome the Gay , Lesbian and Transgendered community .

Transgendered is not broken down into it's various sub groups . It is a very warm place ( although I wish they would turn up the heat sometimes ).

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Guest Micha

I have though a lot upon what transition means. First impression was seeing a gender therapist, hormone therapy and then surgery, and that anything less was not a transition. Yeah, I admit, pure ignorance on my part, and it had nothing to do with anything anyone said outright. It just seemed to be the common vein of experience, if people weren't doing this, they wanted to. Foolishness on my behalf.

Greatest revelation to me was the idea that people transition in so many different ways, and not least of all psychologically.

Physically there is not much for me to do. I can look into these hair treatment that reverse balding, I can get into shape and such, there might even be a surgical operation that would make me feel better about my body. These things though will not make me truly me. I'll look the part, but the biggest and most difficult thing I can do is psychological and emotional. You can't really see the changes I'm going through in a picture, you'd have to talk to me, and compare the experience to what it was even a year ago. I am transitioning, and I'm doing so without taking the steps I used to think defined transition.

So I guess my purpose is to say that transition means more than hormones or surgery, and maybe for some (or most?) these things are not enough, but they are something. Honestly I feel the mental transition is the most difficult (save for financial means). There's no patch or injection to take away however many years or decades of forced and false conditioning, no surgery to remove the external influences on ones consciousness. You have to do all that yourself.

PS Not digging the new quote appearance, makes it tricky to tell where the quote ends and the response begins. Now a signature is more important.

Much love,

Micha

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Guest Wendae

I have always felt comfortable here and am glad to add my 2 cents worth. I'm also very much in awe of those brave enough transition and a bit envious as well. :wub:

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Guest Marlenx

Good day,

thanks for the post, after registration I was a little bit confuse.

I came from Europe (just move to Ottawa), and in many cases w have a different way of handling our relations also on the site.

For instance, I discover my female site quite late, I am 48 now, but when I really become aware I was 38 and I was already a father.

Discussions after discussions with my wife, we finally agree on mid approach not changing sex in full but try to balance the roles. What I mean is that I am/feel as women for great part of my day, but still need to look like something I was.

Right or wrong this is the way it is for now, and I am happy to be able to manage my kids also if I cannot do as ... Marlen but as a Male. Wife side she knows, accept and in many way we share common interest, so at the end we go shopping together, we discuss thing some time as two friends more the a couple, and we are in love (a lot) and accept mine and her difference in all aspects.

But at the end when I am Marlen outside I need to dress as Marlen, and not be in full 24/7, also many doctors told me that it is too late for any transition, at least in Europe, so who am I trans/trav/cross.

I don't think it is really relevant, I am what I feel the most, and I really feel scared of being labeled.

Anyhow, I am here to say that sailing the many places on the web, looking for a community on the other side of the ocean, I have found you, and from what I have seen so far you are the one I was looking for.

Given I was looking for:

- friendship

- support

- interactions

And last but not list practical advices given I feel really disoriented in Ottawa, seems to me to be in old 15th century, for many aspects. But probably because we just move and still not able to see how to move.

Thank you again.

Marlen

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Guest Diva D
Greatest revelation to me was the idea that people transition in so many different ways, and not least of all psychologically.

...

These things though will not make me truly me. I'll look the part, but the biggest and most difficult thing I can do is psychological and emotional. You can't really see the changes I'm going through in a picture, you'd have to talk to me, and compare the experience to what it was even a year ago. I am transitioning, and I'm doing so without taking the steps I used to think defined transition.

So I guess my purpose is to say that transition means more than hormones or surgery, and maybe for some (or most?) these things are not enough, but they are something. Honestly I feel the mental transition is the most difficult (save for financial means). There's no patch or injection to take away however many years or decades of forced and false conditioning, no surgery to remove the external influences on ones consciousness. You have to do all that yourself.

This has to be one of the most relevant posts to how I've felt about everything the last couple of years. I had been preparing myself to start "Transitioning" up till the start of last year. But then my life went to pot. Lost my house, got moved around at work, and had to make some major changes to my life. Since then I've grown more mentally than I ever had before. I've started on the path to going where I want to career and life wise. At the end of the day though, actually presenting as female is going to be hard, as I'm moving into an extremely homophobic profession, and spend most of my time in remote/rural areas where even homosexuals are actively discriminated against. It doesn't mean I don't want to, I'm just cautious about moving that way.

Mentally though, I have come so far since I lost my house it's not funny. I've always been a shy person who tends to keep to myself. I can only take talking and being with others for only so long, then I need to get out, and be on my own. I am a true introvert. Part of the reason I have been an on and off poster has been due to time restraints. I used to be active on many forums, but with all the changes over the last 3-4 years, I find it hard to have the time to always check forums, let alone reply and keep active.

Cheers

Diva_D

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Guest Juniper Blue

I feel very welcomed here. Thank you Johnny and everyone for making the effort to include me and show your support. I was on another site before this and repeatedly, my threads were ignored ... I made two introductions and both were ignored while I saw that other introductions and threads (posted on the same day by trans men) were responded to.

Here, everyone has been warm and very kind.

It is not easy living as androgyne. Sometimes, I feel so sick of being not quite one yet not quite the other ... I seem to get a lot of negatives, homo phobia, trans phobia, misogyny, andro phobia, man haters etc. etc. sometimes all in ONE DAY!!! Sometimes I think ... if I could just fit into a category, it might be easier!!! ... but I tried to be female and could not "pass" and I know that if I tried to be male, it would not be right either. I don't know why this is so, but I seem to be a blend of both sexes and have been my entire life.

Surprisingly, IRL, I have found friends who love and support me and I have an amazing partner who loves me unconditionally ... Unfortunately, none really understand first-hand my perspective (in my off-line life.)

Here people understand ... oh ... wow .. I am crying now .... well ... it just means a lot to me. I can't believe I am crying.

Thanks,

- J

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JJ

Though I am binary myself-the longer I go in transition the more I discover I am smack up against the wall male in spite of what decades of socialization and estrogen did to me :)-but I have so appreciated those who are not binary and experience gender in a different or more fluid way being here and explaining their perspectives and perceptions.

You have aded to my understanding of the diversity and complexity of life and I hope broadened my horizons as well. I pray one day we really will see a time when we aren't expected to fit into gender roles based strictly on birth or anatomy but celebrated for wherever and however we are on that spectrum.

I believe those who are not binary have a lot to teach us all.

Johnny

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Guest Juniper Blue

I'm with you 100% on this Johnny ... we are one community yet we are diverse ... we make each other stronger.

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Guest Sheri-bi

My desire to change physically is not very strong. If I could click my heels and be a woman (and it was free....and didn't land me in Kansas--sorry, no offence :), I would. I would prefer to pass as a woman, but accept that I will always be viewed as a man by most. It is not a perfect situation, but it is good enough.

Accepting that I'm a woman mentally has brought me great joy. I feel tremendous relief that I no longer have to "be a man." Mental transitioning is more important to me than physical transitioning. I respect that others want to change their hormones and body to feel more whole. It is just not something overwhelming for me. If I was younger (I'm in my late 50's), I might feel differently. It took me a long time to accept my mental femininity, so right now I feel very thankful for that. Physical femininity would be icing on the cake, but the cake by itself tastes pretty good, too.

Sexuality and relationships are a problem. As most single people on this forum knows, finding a partner is especially difficult for transgendered individuals. I find it difficult to explain my sexual orientation to myself, much less to others. Am I straight, bisexual, gay, or whatever? My sexual orientatation has transitioned along with my gender identity. My male attraction was formerly limited to male genitalia, but as I embrace my female identity more, I'm more attracted to the entire male body and energy. My feminine energy would like very much to find a matching masculine energy. Formerly, it was limited to dominant women; now, it would like a dominant male. But the odds of finding a suitable match seem pretty remote to me. I will continue to look, but I'm resigned that it probably will not happen. I'm happy as a single person, so it is not something I get depressed over.

Transitioning mentally has a lot to do with acceptance. Dropping society's (parents, siblings, friends, peers) limited roles has been a very difficult and a very long process. We are all rejection-sensitive. Unless you are blessed with a strong ego, substituting self-acceptance for society-acceptance can seem an impossible task. Sadly, for some, it is. But I'm glad that I did not given up when I was very young, when I first intuited that I was different. Denial (of my difference) was, strangely, a great gift. It allowed me to stay in the game. Part of me knew that "it will get better." But denial also slowed down my self-acceptance; I didn't have to "face reality." Eventually my ego-strength grew enough so that I could accept myself as a rare flower. Still fragile, but also beautiful to behold--at least mentally; physically...oh well.

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Guest Robin Winter

Your post reminded me of the quote in my signature :)

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Guest Sheri-bi

So true, Shilo.

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    • Jackie C.
      A little? I get where you're coming from. There's a lot of history bound up in your name and it feels like you're letting that go. Not something I really dealt with myself because my birth name wasn't something I was enthusiastic about to begin with. Towards the end, it just felt like an anchor around my neck. I still cringe when I hear it, which is a pain because I share it with two close friends.   It's also perfectly normal to question yourself during the process. It's a huge step and it's completely valid to have second or maybe third thoughts about the whole thing. "Am I making the right decision?" "Will people accept me?" "Will I regret this? (Which should be a big one in FtMs in my opinion. T-changes are a BEAST, you should be absolutely sure.)   That said, you're not really leaving any of that behind. I can still tell stories from the "before time," I just switch up the gender pronouns. It's more like you rotate. Parts of you move to the back, while your true self moves to the fore. Even so, like I keep saying, be sure before you do anything you can't take back, OK? We just want you to be comfortable in your own skin. Don't let anybody pressure you into taking any steps you do not want to take.   Hugs!
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    • Confusedconfusedconfused
      Hi there,   My name is Jude. I've recently realized I am non-binary or FTM and I have a question or two about name changes. Everything I can find on Google is about the legal aspect of name changing, or how it feels to be dead named.   My birth name is who I have been for 21 years, and because of this in certain moments I feel a little sad. It's not a painful sadness, or a negative sadness, but more a sadness because socially changing my name to Jude feels like a real step in leaving the past behind. All the nicknames my family and friends have for me, the history behind what my parents named me at birth, etc. By changing my name, I am letting go of this. It's not that I'm sad to let go, because I do feel like I can be more true to myself as Jude, but the act of letting go in itself that is sad. I'm also at an early stage in discovering my gender identity.   I'm excited most of the time, but these sad moments can be really invalidating. I don't see anyone talking about feeling this way online.  Is this feeling common, or can others relate?  
    •  Kylie
      @Beverly Wonderful news! I had sought out care with UNC HealthCare but they were unable to work with my insurance, partly due to me working with another Health Care Organization in the state. Plus they had limited luck with Cigna in the approval processes. A bunch of red tape and factors of cost! So, that is why I came to Texas for my GCS. My surgeon actually told me last week the surgeons at UNC Health did their training with her and her partners! How cool!   Best of luck in your recovery. I look forward to following along with your progress!    Kylie
    • Jani
      @Beverly this is great news!  It sounds like your experience was delightful all around.  Good news about your insurance.  Rest well and enjoy your new figure! Hugs, Jani
    •  Kylie
      Right @Shay! i love the taste of it first thing in the morning! My boyfriend said he is going to wake up early every day and get me whatever kind I want once I can have it again! Such a sweet man!    
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