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Aro

Scared to be who i am

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Aro

I think or though i was genderfluid but every time i think about the idea of a perfect world where i wouldn't be judged for doing so i levitate towards being a man. I'm scared that maybe i'm actually trans and not genderfluid and this scares me because i already have anxiety issues and i don't know if i could deal with the constant fear and bickering. I don't know if i could handle the sly comments and the hatred even if i knew i'd be so much happier as a man. Even though if i woke up tomorrow with a flat chest i'd be beaming with joy. It'd be so much easier to hide this if i was just genderfluid y'know? I'd still of course deal with the dysphoria but i could keep to being whats normal and just kinda deal with the days where i feel awful. Being african american doesn't help either and it's not just the police i'm afraid of. Its the african american community itself which can sometimes be so harsh and stuckup but dont want to admit it. Slap on tourettes and all my other issues and suddenly this thing i know i want just seems stupid to reach for because i could die trying and i don't want to die. I just want to happy and not hate myself for once. I want to at least experiment, to have friends to tell so in private we can speak that way and i can feel good. I don't know what to do anymore, i'm just stuck i can't move forward i can't be me i have to be stuck as somebody else and i hate that. I want to go to college but i fear that i'll either be sent to the girl dorms or be sent to the guy dorms but be mocked ridiculed and possibly harmed for not being a "real" man. Not to mention it's hard to step outside my comfort zone socially and getting over that hump of male restrooms and male locker rooms absolutely terrifies me. Does anyone have any advice on what i can do to maybe stop caring and just do it? I don't want to be stuck like this forever.

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jo jo

do not be scared come to terms with who you are and your life will become less stressful they're the wronguns not you you are a beautiful person a butterfly waiting to come out of its chrysalis talk to trusted people  hun  love and hugs jo jo xx

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JJ

Yesterday marked the 8th anniversary of my discovery that what I am, and have always been, had a name and that there were others like me. Actually sat up in bed at 2 AM and said out loud "I'm transgender".

I had to go to the internet to look up what it meant and miraculously one of the places I stumbled across was this forum.

But I was 63 years old, 3 years bedridden and dying. It was just too late for me. And I thought I was a mixture of the female I had been socialized to be at best. I was confused and fearful about how I'd end up if I did try to transition.

I feared all the things you listed and while I am not African American I live in what is considered the most conservative area of Arkansas which is a redneck, Evangelical, Conservative state and proud of it. I knew I would face being ostracised and possibly threatened or killed but so would my family. My granddaughter was 10 and my daughter 33. I've co- parented my granddaughter since her birth.

The following January I was making preparations for my fast approaching death (Lupus, heart valve defect and weight ballooned to 350 lbs from being bedridden) when family events made me realize my daughter and granddaughter desperately needed me. I decided I had to try to transition because it was the only shot I had. Started T that March.

Now I hike between 100 -150 miles a month cross country with a heavy pack. My Lupus is mostly in remission and T combined with a 200 lb weight loss made all the difference in my heart.

But even more amazing is what has happened with the people here. And in my family. Beyond expectation they have not only accepted me but included me in activities such as band boosters and the theater as well as church ( United Methodist) more than ever before. All my life I made people uncomfortable except when I doing social work because I myself was uncomfortable. No matter how hard I tried my misery showed. Now I like and accept myself so others do too. And because they like me they set aside their prejudices and bigotry.( I had seen the only openly gay man in the county refused service in 2 stores. ). Once when someone made an anti-trans statement at work my daughter reminded them her dad is trans. The person said they had forgotten but it was different because I'm JJ and I'm cool. Some perople have even argued with me that I am myself because they thought I was dead.

My strength inspired my daughter to go back to school and get her degree - she graduated with honors this year and out of 100 candidates was hired to work for the sheriff's departmentin the neighboring county. And gave my granddaughter the courage to come out as gay. Our county is tiny with only 600 people in the largest town making transition as the only out trans person ever, much more visible.

I never knew or dreamed life could feel this good. Could not conceive of it and had to learn to be happy.

It wasn't easy . Took my daughter a year to accept my transition. There is that  awful awkward neither fish nor fowl stage. But people don't really care underneath and a friendly smile and eye contact usually caused them to just shrug and go on with their own lives.

All of this is to say that who you are and what you need to be will unfold. Just tell yourself that whatever it turns out to be is okay. Nothing is set in stone. You are not locked in.

But becoming who your are inside is worth it. The awkward, difficult stage seems forever at the time and short afterwards.

And so worth it. For me, and hundreds of others I have heard from, it is beyond comprehension or imagination just how good life can feel. I learned to want to live for the first time at 64. And have lived deeply thankful for every day ever since

Johnny

 

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SugarMagnolia

Johnny, thank you so much for sharing those details of your story. I'm teary eyed right now. It's such a powerful story and so inspiring! 
 

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Aro

Thank you so much johnny. Sorry it took so long to reply, i had finals coming up and was sort of overwhelmed but hearing that helped me a lot. I can't say with certainty i'll start my transition yet because i am still a bit nervous but that definitely gave the courage to experiment a bit more and possibly tell some friends of mine. I'm glad you found peace in yourself finally and i'm happy you're feeling better, i hope you have many more fun free years to come :).

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Annie

Aro,

 

I wish I could offer advice for what you are going through, but as I am not trans, I will leave that to the more knowledgeable people here on the list. But I do want to let you know that there are a LOT of really supportive colleges out there. The college I work at (Reed College - Portland, OR) is very trans-inclusive. In fact, I think I was less surprised by my son coming out because of where I work. Just last week, we had a counselor from our health and counseling center come to give a staff talk and she said that only 21% of our students identify as straight and cisgender. When I first moved here from Texas 6 years ago, the first time I saw a student come into the library visibly in mid-transition, not a single person around me even blinked. I knew I had found my home - finally, a place that was welcoming of difference. Since then, I have witnessed so many students transition and the love that flows around them from other students, faculty, and staff is really remarkable. For example, it is very common for students to come up to MTF students and compliment them on their dresses and their makeup - they just seem to know they need that positive affirmation.

 

I am sure there are jerks here too, but at least they feel like they have to hide, rather than the other way around. This school is far from perfect (none are), but you may be surprised to find that colleges, especially outside of the south, are often true havens for LGBTQ students. If you have any college questions, I'm happy to answer them. I've worked in higher education for a long time and it can be confusing to figure out the right place to try to go, but wow, is it worth it to find a place that will help you grow and develop in the many ways that should be happening when you are in your late teens / early twenties.

 

Best wishes,

Annie

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jae bear
On 5/12/2018 at 11:26 PM, Aro said:

if i woke up tomorrow with a flat chest i'd be beaming with joy.

.

I think this is a very telling statement, I feel very much the same way, simply opposite, and it has been my litmus test for years and years when I considered myself and my gender. I’m so sorry about the struggles that seem overwhelming, I can’t imagine having a community that even is more harsh than the reality I can think of now, it really puts your life into perspective when the fear and danger are very present. After talking with So many people on both the trans man and trans woman side of the spectrum it seems that the danger to one’s life is a bit less on the transman side, which hopefully is a bit of a mixed blessing because I’m very scared of the this very same thing, and I very much understand how you would feel but I’m hoping statistically this would be less dangerous for you, one can always hope and pray and I believe that we all do. Fear is a very large part of my life and I very much understand the Frightening reality of making these decisions, luckily you’re in the right place, this is the one place I go to when my anxiety overcomes me, the one place I can rely upon when I feel like I must hide for a while, however honestly, mostly this is not a place to hide, but a place where loving souls gently nudge me, to put me back where I belong...

Hugs,

Jae

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Aro
18 hours ago, jae bear said:

.

I think this is a very telling statement, I feel very much the same way, simply opposite, and it has been my litmus test for years and years when I considered myself and my gender. I’m so sorry about the struggles that seem overwhelming, I can’t imagine having a community that even is more harsh than the reality I can think of now, it really puts your life into perspective when the fear and danger are very present. After talking with So many people on both the trans man and trans woman side of the spectrum it seems that the danger to one’s life is a bit less on the transman side, which hopefully is a bit of a mixed blessing because I’m very scared of the this very same thing, and I very much understand how you would feel but I’m hoping statistically this would be less dangerous for you, one can always hope and pray and I believe that we all do. Fear is a very large part of my life and I very much understand the Frightening reality of making these decisions, luckily you’re in the right place, this is the one place I go to when my anxiety overcomes me, the one place I can rely upon when I feel like I must hide for a while, however honestly, mostly this is not a place to hide, but a place where loving souls gently nudge me, to put me back where I belong...

Hugs,

Jae

 

Thank you jae, I did see from doing research that it does seem that the violence is more on the mtf side of things which of course is awful and disgusting and sucks and it's a bit of comfort in the fact i'm statistically less likely to get more than a slur thrown at me but it still doesn't make violence against the community right. I'm glad you can come here and feel comforted and safe. Wish you luck on your journey and i hope things get better :).

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BrandiBri

First, Johnny, your story touched me deeply. I am glad you made the decision that you did. You are are a valuable asset to these forums and a special person.

Aro, I too understand your fears. I am not African American, and do not want to die either. The fear of what other people think, of getting beat up or killed is crippling. For 58 of my 70 years on the third rock from the sun I let that fear rule my life. Last year I finally decided that my fears were not going to stop me from being the person that I am. I would suggest that if there is a good gender therapist in your area that you cold talk to that would be a good place to start. If you are still in high school maybe you could talk to the counselor or one at the college you want to attend.

Best wishes on your journey,

 

Brandi

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MarcieMarie12
On 5/13/2018 at 2:26 AM, Aro said:

Does anyone have any advice on what i can do to maybe stop caring and just do it? I don't want to be stuck like this forever.

 

Well, the first thing that happened to me is I stopped caring what others think. I then began looking at how I felt, and not rationalize things. It helped to some degree as didfinding a good gender therapist to help me through this process. The hardest part about all this was  being honest with myself. First I had to tune out others trying to influence me one way or the other. Even from those that loved me (or at least professed to). The second part is discover what transition meant for me. The third part was taking the time to figure out how each step in the process of my transition felt to me.

 

As to college, I would ask about LGBT housing. Especially for transgender person. Most colleges I know have an LGBTQ group that you could join.

 

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Charlize
9 hours ago, MarcieMarie12 said:

Does anyone have any advice on what i can do to maybe stop caring and just do it? I don't want to be stuck like this forever.

 

I certainly agree with Marci.  Therapy helped me a great deal.  i also found that opening up here as you have already begun to do helped me discover myself.  I read about others and saw similarities and differences between how they felt and my experiences.  Funny how over time that has helped me know myself better and at the same time find a feeling of family with others who have gender issues regardless of the path they may take.   As far as college goes many now have gender friendly groups and programs.  My old school has an LGBTQ center that has a staff of very supporting people.  At one point they had a seminar for the LGBTQ university family including graduates.  Well over 600 of us came and it was awesome.  The students had even  painted the risers on some stairways in the colors of the rainbow.  It is an IVY league school and considered quite conservative when i attended so the change is so gratifying.

Please let us know how it goes.  We are here to help as we can and have your back as you find your path.

 

Hugs,

 

Charlize

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Guest Rachel Gia

In the process of getting to where I am today I just did what I could or felt comfortable with at the time as I went along.

Sometimes that just meant presenting as myself while I was at home and spending as much time that way as possible. I started shopping for clothes first at large second hand stores where I would go unnoticed, sometimes online, and then moved on to shopping at retail stores that did not make me feel unwanted or shameful.

Not being able to talk about what I was feeling was probably the biggest problem and although I found some respite here for the last ten or so years, it was when I talked to my doctor, did my intake, and was  referred to a support group (while waiting to see a transition doctor) that things got a lot better.

I was lucky I had been in AA as there were meetings that were LGBTQ that I could go to and further connect verbally and spiritually with others. Pretty much all spectrum people go through the same feelings of discrimination and disrespect so it was not even necessary to connect with specifically trans or non binary people.

I can't say how wonderful it is to be able to talk openly with others about my struggles and  triumphs face to face.

Much Love Rachel

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