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DrumbeatAlex

Scared to step forward

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DrumbeatAlex

Hi Everyone,

 

this post is mainly a vent but responses are welcomed.

 

I feel like I've reached a point where I need to take a leap of faith and DO something, but I'm really scared to do anything.

I've started to accept that I may be non-binary or something and I want to take the next step forward. For me that could be therapy, going to the local gender diverse group meetups or maybe coming out to my sister. Part of me wants to do something but another part just wants to keep things how they are because I find trying to work out trans stuff tiring and confusing. Sometimes I just walk away from all the trans/identity related stuff in my life and try to convince myself it doesn't matter or that I'm not really trans...but I always end up coming back, so that makes me think I should do something to find some answers or progress things.

 

Each of the options I could do to move forward are scary for different reasons. Therapy is scary because I probably wouldn't be seeing a gender therapist (at least to start with) so I don't know how the person will react to trans stuff. I'm also scared they'd tell me I'm not trans because..then what? The group meetups are scary because I don't know anyone there, so I'm going to meet a group of strangers in a non-public place (it's like at a house type place) and I can't easily tell people where I'm going because I'm not out. It's also scary because..what if I DO know someone there?! I'm not ready to come out to everyone and it could be weird and awkward if I knew someone there and now they know I'm trans (there is a reasonable chance of knowing someone because my town isn't super large). Finally, coming out to my sister..what if I change my mind. She wouldn't hold it against me and would understand but it might still change her perception of me and our relationship. What if she gets grumpy and vengefully tells our parents?! (she's said before that there are certain things she wouldn't spill even if she was angry but you never know). Also the issue with all of these things is..it makes it real. If I meet people or tell people in real life I feel more committed. It suddenly becomes something that is actually happening. And that's really scary too.

 

The order I do each of these things in makes a difference too. If I come out to my sister then going to the group thing would be less scary (she would know where I was and could even come with me if I asked). If I go to therapy first I might feel more confident in my identity so could deal with coming out or going to group more easily. If I go to group first I could get advice about local gender therapy services (so I could go straight to a gender therapist first thing) and might not feel the need to come out to my sister (since I have other real life people to talk things over with). I honestly don't know which order is best. Quite possible therapy, but I don't know how well a non-gender therapist would deal with gender issues.

 

Finally, I don't even really know what I want to get out of doing these things, I'm just tired of worrying over gender stuff and hiding myself. I want a plan of action, someone to talk to stuff about/be validated by in real life. I want change. Therapy would probably help me work out a plan of action (and if I am actually even trans) but I feel like none of the options for transition fit me (though again maybe talking through this stuff in therapy will reveal otherwise). Like I made someone do a double take of which bathroom today, but using the other bathroom isn't gonna fix that really. and dating is just a mess. Wouldn't it be nice if everyone could just understand each others gender/s and be accepting of it?

 

I feel out of place, but I don't know where my place is. 

I'm not sure if I have much of a place.

 

TLDR; I want to do something to progress my transition but I'm not sure what I should do first: therapy (probably not from a gender therapist straight away), group community meetup or coming out to sister. I am scared to do any of these options.

 

Do you think seeing a non-gender therapist would be helpful to deal with gender related issues (or at least to get information about where to get gender therapy)?

Has anyone been told by a therapist they aren't trans or just felt judged or highly scrutinized by a therapist about being "trans enough"?

Do you ever feel ready for these sort of steps or is it something where you just have to take the plunge?

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DrumbeatAlex

Shenanigans that was long! 😮 

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Robin

Hi Alex,

 

I am in a similar situation to yourself.  I have recently come out to my brother and a few of my friends.  So far, everyone has been fine about it, with no negative comments. 

 

I am planning to attend a transgender group meeting soon, and I must admit that I am apprehensive about it.  I realise that I am probably being silly, but I am scared that the people will not accept me, and say that I am not really trans.

 

The way forward for me will be to just go along and hope for the best.  I am almost certainly worrying unnecessarily, but in the worst case scenario, I don't need approval from other people in order to be me.  Also, I can always try a different group if I don't fit into that one.

 

For some reason, I feel guilty about being trans, even though being feminine feels right for me.  I presume that this is because of the stigma that surrounds our situation.

 

I have spent so many years being miserable, that it would be a shame not to try a different approach to life, that will hopefully work out much better.

 

Robin.

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Jani

Hey Alex.  Thanks for checking in.  I think going to a local gender diverse meeting would be a good experience for you.  I remember my first meetings and they were enlightening as it opened up new possibilities that I hadn't seen or thought of.   Plus you get to meet others that are like you.   You could call or email the group leader to get some idea of how it works in order to ease your mind a bit.   You could invite your sister but you might feel more inclined to participate (if you want) with no one there that knows you personally.  

 

That said, I would hold off on telling your sister until you are a little more sure of what direction this may take you, if any at all.   Pandora cannot go back in the box.  

 

Concerning therapists...

8 hours ago, DrumbeatAlex said:

I'm also scared they'd tell me I'm not trans because..then what?

Only you can know if you are transgender.  Others may be able to point out signs.  The knowledge is within you.

 

A non-gender specific therapist may help but you should try to find one who understands and sees clients for gender issues.  It would be more beneficial.  I am certain there are some that practice in the area you reside in.   

So all this is scary but not to worry, it evens out as you get involved in your discovery.  It's exciting and the stress will melt.  All my best, 

Jani 

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DrumbeatAlex

Thanks for the reply Robin. :) It's good to hear other people's experiences, particularly when they are relatable! I'm glad your coming out so far has worked out well. When/if you do end up going to a group meet up I'd be interested in hearing your experience. :) 

 

On 9/21/2018 at 7:06 PM, Robin said:

 

The way forward for me will be to just go along and hope for the best.  I am almost certainly worrying unnecessarily, but in the worst case scenario, I don't need approval from other people in order to be me. 

 

I like this attitude!  I am probably worrying unnecessarily too. Worries can be hard to overcome, but I might take your approach and just go along with things and see how it goes. :) 

 

On 9/21/2018 at 7:06 PM, Robin said:

For some reason, I feel guilty about being trans, even though being feminine feels right for me.  I presume that this is because of the stigma that surrounds our situation.

 

I have spent so many years being miserable, that it would be a shame not to try a different approach to life, that will hopefully work out much better.

 

There is still a lot of stigma isnt there? :/ but yes, some risks are worth taking. :) 

 

I hope your transition continues to run smoothly and that I can get up the courage to follow in your footsteps!

 

-Alex

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DrumbeatAlex

Thanks for responding Jani. :) 

I think I'll try to get up the courage to go to the next appropriate event run by the group. I'll make sure I have some time to relax and mentally prepare beforehand too.

 

I have messaged the group leader before and they sounded really friendly. They also said that most people are shy when they first come but that people are friendly (which probably means they'll understand my fears/shyness). That did help calm my fears to some degree. I'm still worried I'll know someone there though. :/  Your points about my sister are good. I hadn't really considered that I would feel more comfortable talking about gender stuff at the group without my sister there, but you are quite possibly right (I'll definitely be able to be less filtered about what I say, if I don't have to worry about follow-up questions or changes in perception from her).

In regards to coming out to my sister, you are also probably right. I haven't told her up to this point for that very reason (I can't UNtell her). and I agree it would be best to continue to wait for a bit more certainty. 

 

16 hours ago, Jani said:

Only you can know if you are transgender.  Others may be able to point out signs.  The knowledge is within you.

 

I guess I'm just worried they'll look at my experiences and say "no, that doesn't mean anything" :/ 

 

I'll probably talk to people at the group about gender therapy options. I only know of one option in the area I live (plus another one which is willing to talk about gender stuff but not specifically gender therapists, and also has a long wait-list). Thanks for your advice on therapy. :) I now think group and therapy are probably my next steps, so hearing people's opinions about different types of therapy is useful.

 

I hope the stress starts melting! 

Hopefully there'll be a post from me soon about my first group experience. :)

Thankyou for the encouragement and advice. 

 

-Alex

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Robin

Hi Alex,

 

I have just attended my first meeting of a transgender support group.  The people were generally friendly and helpful, and it was good to actually meet other trans folk face to face for the first time.

 

Unfortunately, the problem of "not trans enough" was an issue for me.  I was dressed in my usual male clothing, and it was pointed out to me that this was not considered appropriate.  Nobody could understand how I could say that I was a woman if I didn't dress like a woman.  One person even made a point of calling me a man, even after a lengthy conversation, during which I had explained my identity. 

 

These people seem to think that everyone has to be either male, or look exactly like a very feminine cis woman. Apparently they have "male mode" and "female mode", and one has to wear the correct outfit to suit the occasion.  I only have one identity, and I still feel female, regardless of what clothes I am wearing.  They have obviously never met a butch lesbian.

 

I am sorry to sound really negative, but I am rather upset that my cisgender friends believed me without question, and the transgender group didn't.

 

Robin.

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DrumbeatAlex

Hi Robin,

 

congratulations on getting up the nerve to go to a group!

 

thankyou for being honest about your experience too. I find it useful to hear about a variety of experiences even if they aren't all positive.

That said, I'm sorry the group you went to wasn't very accepting. 😕 Your opinion on clothing makes sense to me. I mean, if you can be a cis-women and wear pants and guy-ish clothing, why can't you be a trans-women and do the same? (I don't know if you identify as a woman but that is just an example. Clothing doesn't determine your gender at all). It's a pity the people at your group didn't see it that way.

 

Do you think you will try a different group? I think (hope) that there are groups out there that would be more wide minded.

 

Please keep us updated if you want to (I am interested in hearing how things go for you).

 

-Alex

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Robin

Hi Alex,

 

Thank you very much for your reply.  It is great to have someone to share my experiences with.

 

I feel depressed and humiliated at the moment.  It is good that I found this forum, and did much other research on the internet, before attending that meeting.  The people there did not appear to be like those on here. 

 

I do indeed identify as a woman and, as you quite rightly say, clothes do not determine gender.

 

The concept of a female mind in a male body, or vice versa, seems straight forward to me, so why can't other people believe it.  When those people take off their wigs and makeup, they will look just like me.  Maybe they just don't want to be reminded of who they really are.

 

I am not sure what to think or do now.  I was just beginning to feel happy about myself, and now I have been made to feel unacceptable again.

 

Robin.

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KymmieL

Alex,

I am just about in the same boat as you. I am consistently rethinking things, also. Am I really transgender, fear is a powerful force and can affect judgement. I do look at the markers of gender dysphoria the more I learn about it I see myself having it.

  However I came out to my counselor just the end of last month. I was so scared to do it. but after doing it. I found support and nothing bad. She even got me with another counselor a more specialist in LGBTQ. I had my first session with her last week.

You are at least lucky you have a trans group to go too. Even with our states university here I have yet to find one. Remember that all the people at your group are trans as well. Some may even be scared and closeted too. Even if you do recognize someone. they are also in your shoes. The leader should always start by mentioning. What you see and hear stays here.

 

Robin,

That is truly sad what happened to you in group. No one should ever say that to anyone. The group leader should have said something. right then and there.  If you have it contact the group leader and voice your outrage ( yes it is outrageous to be singled out like that.) Not presenting as a woman, whither or not you are dressed as your identified gender shouldn't make a hill of beans. Just being there is sign enough. I have never heard of "not being trans enough"

 

Kymmie

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Robin

Hi Kymmie,

 

Thank you very much for your support and reassurance.

 

Maybe I should turn up to the next meeting wearing a burka.

 

Robin.

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BrandiBri

"Not being trans enough"? Bulls..t!!! There is no such thing as not being trans enough. Sadly, as I have read some older threads I have seen that there are people who do believe that nonsense. The sad part of that is they are usually trans themselves. I would hope that no one here would consider me as not being trans enough just because I have not had GRS, just as I don't consider that I am more trans than those who are not on HRT. No matter where we are on our journey, when we feel that we are trans*, then we are trans*.

As a side post,  I wonder if anyone has ever been accused of "not being cis enough" because of not wearing the "acceptable" clothes for their anatomy.

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DrumbeatAlex

Hi Robin,

 

no worries! I agree, its really good to have people to talk to about this stuff (especially people who can relate). :) 

 

Yeah, it is really good you found transpulse. :)

 

I guess different people go through these things differently? Idk, it does seem like a pretty straight forward idea to me. 

 

Try not to let their unaccepting attitudes bring you down (tricky I know). :( Its hard when you go looking for acceptance and they give you the opposite, but that doesn't influence your validity as a woman at all! It just means that that small group of random people don't understand you after your first meeting with them.

 

We'll always be here if you need support. :) 

-Alex

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DrumbeatAlex

Hey Kymmie,

 

glad to hear I'm not the only one questioning my "trans-ness". You're right fear can definitely influence our thoughts. 😕 

 

thanks for telling me about your counselling experience! Was your first counselor just a normal counselor (did they know much about LBGT stuff?). I'm glad your coming out went well. :) How is the new counselor? 

 

That's true. I am lucky I even have the option to go to a group. You're right, the people at the group will be in very similar shoes to me and probably won't do anything negative even if they know me. Yeah, confidentiality will hopefully be a given. 
I'm not sure how structured the group is, like I don't think its the type of group where you sit in a circle and talk about stuff (necessarily). But still privacy standards will surely exist. And if I recognise someone maybe I'll just make sure to tell them I'm not out and would appreciate them not telling anyone at the moment. :) 

 

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DrumbeatAlex

hehe, very nice post BrandiBri (and valid points ;) )

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KymmieL

Alex,

While my original counselor isn't a specialist in LGBTQ she is knowledgeable in the subject. I found out before coming to WY. She was on the planning board for the San Fransisco pride fest. and her 15 yo daughter just came out as Bi. My new counselor is great I hope she can guide me to being able to come out to my wife. Unfortunately she is looking to move out of state with in the next couple months. I will be asking her to refer me to another. One who maybe help with everything including transition if I decided to go that route. the lean is that way though. Depends on how my wife takes it.

 

Kymmie

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Robin

Hi Everyone,

 

I have decided to try another transgender support group that is fairly local to me.

 

I have emailed them to ask whether it is acceptable to wear "male" clothing, and they said that it will be ok.  I have tried to explain that I am still trying to work out the best way to present myself.  I realise that many trans people view me in the same way that feminists view them.  If a "man" can say that he is a woman, that undermines the feminist identity as a woman, and if a "man" can identify as a trans woman, it undermines the identity of "real" trans people.

 

The meeting is tomorrow, and I am nervously awaiting the reception that I will receive.  I will let you know what happens, if I have not been murdered.

 

Robin.

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Jani

Best of luck, you'll be fine. 

 

Jani

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Robin

Hi Jani,

 

Thank you very much.  Hopefully I will meet some people that are happy to talk to me. 

 

Robin.

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Lorraine

Hi Jani. I am a bit late to this discussion but l can certainly identify with your confusion when it comes to anything "trans".

When l found myself at a point where l honestly had no idea what was going on with how l felt, or what to do about it, there was literally no where to turn; no one to ask. There was no internet. The only two cases l could find in my University library was the Christine Jorgensen, (1954) and Lily Elbe, (1938). Neither of those situations bore any resemblance to mine. The whole celebrity thing with the Jorgensen case was an anathema to me.

The only "support" group l could find was Tri-Ess, a support group founded by Dr. Arnold Lohman, a dentist, aka Virginia Prince, for heterosexual transvestites who despised people like me who felt very strongly that we had been born in the wrong body, and thought we were simply crazy.

This whole "coming out" thing makes no sense to me. Why do you need the support/approval of others. Either you are who you are...or you're not. I cannot imagine having others tell me who l am or how to dress.

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tracy_j
18 hours ago, Robin said:

 

 

I have decided to try another transgender support group that is fairly local to me.

 

Robin.

 

Just for info as I presume you may be aware, but I did locate a support group in Norwich. I have never been as they meet in the evenings (or did when I found them - I  presume they still exist) and it is a long way from me.

 

Tracy

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Robin

Hi Everyone,

 

I have received another email from the support group.  They have now decided that their group would not be suitable for me after all.  That is because I told them that I am unhappy with my only options of being seen as male, or passing as a cisgender female.  I explained that I am exploring ways of accepting myself as a female brain in a male body, without having to modify my appearance too much.

 

It appears that support groups only want people who are fully transitioning, or who cross dress.  Just becoming happy with the way that I was born is unthinkable.

 

Am I right to consider other options, or am I just being stupid?

 

Hi Tracy,

 

Thank you for letting me know about the group in Norwich.  I don't know whether they would be any different from the people in Huntingdon or Boston.

 

Robin.

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Robin

Hi Everyone,

 

Here is yet another update of my story. 

 

The support group has contacted me again, and one of the committee members has offered to have a chat with me at their meeting in November.

 

That is great, as now I don't have to feel quite as rejected.

 

Robin.

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Jani

It does seem quite odd that they would not have you because you're just at the start of the journey.  Weren't they at this point at one time also?  I hope your chat goes well, but I would still look around for other groups.

 

Cheers, Jani

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tracy_j

It does sound most unhelpful to me too. I would have thought a support group is at it's most important in the early stages. The one in Norwich has a prescence on Facebook Robin. If you wanted to enquire, but cannot find it I will look it up. Please let me know. I was not aware of one in Boston, which would be a lot closer to me, but am Ok at the moment. Huntingdon is a long way from me.

 

Good luck with the meeting :)

 

Tracy

 

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    • SusanMtF
      Ashlee, I'm about 6 weeks behind you on HRT but I ask myself questions regarding my timeline periodically.  I'm much older so I doubt I'll have as much change as you have experienced.  As some have mentioned to me, the changes sometimes dictate the speed of one's transition and their "coming out" timeline.  I was really hoping I wouldn't have to make any big decisions til 2019 as to coming out to family.  I'm not sure if that'll be possible or not..if things start to change as rapidly as they did in your case.  I'm sort of playing it by ear but right now only my wife knows anything at this point.  I hope I have a little more time before I'm forced to share with my family and friends..but who knows?   SusanMtF
    • SusanMtF
      I am so happy to hear about this.  I applaud your courage & willpower and wish you the very best.  I bet you'll feel wonderful after the initial shock calms down a bit. Communication is a main key to most if not all good relationships.   Im very happy for you! SusanMtF
    • Susan
      I will never vote democrat!!!!!!! I don't like their policies!!!! But I don't vote either. never have and never will!!!! If i were to. I would be an independent. I am not really a fan of trump but i do like some of his policy when i relates to the budget and military and immigration. Sorry but This is how i feel. And i don't think impeachment is in the cards. You can't impeach a president if he has done nothing wrong. Again, I am NOT a trump fan!!!
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