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Josie Beth

Hello everyone

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Josie Beth

It’s been some time since I’ve been on HRT and I am finally getting to a place where I realize I can’t go on living life as I present now. 15 years ago I was a year into HRT and had every intention of continuing. But circumstances shifted and I had to stop. I could not afford hormones and had no support system in place to provide me with information i needed to hang on. Now I’m discovering that in spite of all I have been through I can’t truly be happy unless I get back on track. I’ve been living a lie for years and afraid to be my true self. I guess emotional and physical abuse from my father had something to do with my fears, and it still does to a degree but I know deep down that I have to do this no matter what it means. I’ve tried to live a life that pleases my father for years and at every turn it has failed miserably. Getting married ended in divorce. Trying to be a man’s man always ended in devastating results, loss of jobs, people taking things away from me that affirmed masculinity. It’s as if the universe itself is saying “hey stupid, quit ignoring who you are! It’s ok to be you!”. Now I’m faced with a new hint nudging me, which is my body. The changes from my first try at HRT never really went away. I still have soft skin and my nipples hurt intermittently. I haven’t thought about a lot of things from a male perspective for a long time but now it’s beginning to be more pronounced even with the absence of taking anything. It’s as if my body is saying “you are not going to get the message are you? Well I’m going to start doing something to remind you where you’re supposed to be”. So this is also a very spiritual thing for me. It’s not going to be easy and I realize that struggles and tears are far from over but I have to follow my heart. It’s the only way I will find happiness. I’m going to be leaning heavily on the information here. I’m also in need of friends who understand and really need to network locally because it’s still dangerous to be trans especially here where I live now. Perhaps it’s becoming more dangerous just because of the way people behave if they feel their leadership supports their actions based on their opinions. I’m concerned about that but it’s not going to change my mind. Anyway, I’m going to do a lot of reading here. Please feel free to contact me if you have any pointers, especially for local resources. I’m also considering relocating just because the lgbtq community here seems to have gone stealth from my point of view. It’s not as prominent as it was even a few years ago. I could be wrong but it seems so. Since I just recently moved back to this area, I have no idea where to start but I can visit the local pflag meeting next month to talk to someone. I’m not sure if it’s wise to wait until then though. 

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DeeDee

Hi Josie! Hope you get some of the answers you are looking for! x

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Josie Beth

I hope so too. I’m trying to reach out locally but so far none of my emails to Glad or any other organization are getting any responses. I’m trying to find support meetings, and other resources here but not much is making itself known. The closest psych doctor for mtf in your database is in Fayetteville Arkansas. That’s a bit of a drive right now so I’m going to try harder to find something else. It’s also the only thing listed at all near me but what about other things like endocrinologists and hair removal? I’m probably going to have to relocate for more comprehensive help. This is something of a letdown because it means I will probably be off balance once again in a new place. I know the lgbtq community here where I live means well and wants to support but I’m getting the impression that a lot of people moved away for similar reasons. Hopefully they can give me some direction. 

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VickySGV

I am in Southern California, so I just had to look up where your city is to even start to think what to say.  I do know that St. Louis has an active LGBT community center where you could probably get a referral to one of their medical providers.  Your part of the U.S. is not really known for being Trans accepting or helpful i am afraid.

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Josie Beth

I know right? I lived in St. Louis a few years ago but I would probably say Kansas City or Columbia are bigger trans communities or possibly more visible. I’m not too keen on staying in my current location. But I’m not too eager to move back to St. Louis either because I never got to really learn the city and most of the time I was working. Just a few years ago the trans community here was significantly larger and to my knowledge most have moved because of police treatment, (putting trans women in male general population for even minor offenses) the local general intolerance, which to my surprise was even sometimes expressed by gay men that I was aquatinted with, and of course I can’t forget the murder and dismembering of a local teen trans girl who attempted to make friends and hang out in a town south of here. So yes the fear is real. There’s always Martha’s Vineyard, a local lgbtq bar, but I’m not sure they have been as busy lately. Its almost looks vacant these days. I’m half tempted to find a city that the cost of living is similar but has a much larger lgbtq population. I’m sort of a private person and the last time I felt somewhat anonymous and mildly comfortable was in Detroit when I first attempted HRT. You just kinda get lost in a sea of people and nobody really cares much about what you do as long as you don’t hurt someone else. And there’s more people to make friends with. Here it’s kinda like a city with a small town feel and of course conservative people tend to want to “help” by sticking their noses in where they don’t belong. So I try to avoid that crowd and that’s part of the reason I avoid my own family. My father especially who punished me severely as a young teenager for even wanting to explore what he did not understand. I’m not even going to get into that here. It’s for another thread. I guess I’m going to keep looking around. 

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Timber Wolf

Hi Josietg,

Welcome to TransPulse. I'm glad you came along!

 

I live in a more dangerous area too, right in the heart of the conservative area of Michigan. Hopefully people even in our area's will begin to get more enlightened soon. But we will survive!😄

 

Lots of love and a big welcome hug,

Timber Wolf🐾

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Josie Beth

Thank you all for the welcome. I used to live near the UP in Wisconsin back in the 80’s so I am well aware of the general attitude towards us around there. I think had I gone to Minneapolis or Madison instead of where I did out of college I may have gotten over my fears much earlier in life. But we each have our own journeys. I don’t feel as intimidated after reading the transgender survey of 2015 though because there’s just about an equal spread of transgender people in each age group sampled. It’s encouraging to find that out.

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Josie Beth

Lately I’ve been going through my memories and realized that there were a couple of other signs I was trans way back, both around puberty. I used to shave my legs before I got a lot of body hair and then wear my mothers pantyhose and even tuck in secret. They were usually ones she discarded so she never knew. I also remember looking in my grandmas bathroom drawers and asking her about estrogen suppositories which she said she didn’t use any more so when she threw them away. I rescued them and began taking them in secret. The effects didn’t last very long because there were not many doses in the package but I was still subconsciously trying to be estrogen dominant. It’s probably worked in some ways to limit my male characteristics and keep me somewhat youthful over the years. I was always a small slender youth and now I’m a below average height and weight or leaning toward androgynous. I’m probably more comparable to a younger trans man than a typical male. It’s strange to look back and see now where all the obnoxiously obvious neon signs were, yet I still suppressed them. 

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VickySGV

The severity of GD can make many of us do very risky things, such as taking other's medications at one time or another -- yeah me -- and we hopefully learned that it did no good without doing any harm to us.  A big problem with the GD can be that it hides many positive physical characteristics from us, that actually will be an asset when we begin our transitions.  Your mention of your physical shape and size will be a real asset when you feel ready to start clothes shopping.  It was not  until I had come out and was thinking of FFS that two doctors pointed out where my facial bone structure was not that masculine, so why waste my money and their time.

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Josie Beth

That’s something I have going for me, my facial structure is not as manly as some, however I know some things need changing, like my upper lip and maybe brow ridge. I’m not one for getting all the surgeries or injections. I’m more concerned about other things like my teeth and skin health, growing hair again, hair removal where I need that. I’m going to be excited about my first pedicure in ages. Nail salon I got my eyes on you, yes I do! 

 

The reason why I’m admitting these things is because I have to get them out, and it helps jog memories I’ve suppressed so I can tell my full story in a clinical environment. The more things I remember, the clearer it becomes in hindsight that it was in my face and I was in denial because I either didn’t know what to call it, or felt that I was just a failure even at transitioning. 

 

It’s a way of remembering all the things I did to try and express my female identity, no matter how insignificant it seemed at the time. 

 

I’m glad there’s no judgment here and I’ve got so much more to share. Some of it will probably be reserved for my therapist because it’s either embarrassing or just not discreet. 

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Josie Beth

I’m prompted to write about this because of the relationship thread I just read and realized I was going through my thoughts on transitioning early in my failed marriage. I was still in the army at the time and my then wife was beautiful and outgoing. I probably was not truly in love at the time and admit getting married was more due to my attempt to please my parents, like “look, I’m fitting into a gender normative role just like you want me to do”. But it didn’t last. I expressed my feelings to my then wife and she reacted with fear, denial, and slurs. I still remember her saying “our kids will end up gay and I can’t live with that!” And it hurt me in so many ways that she didn’t truly understand what I was going through and it had nothing to do with being gay. Over the next few years the marriage deteriorated, we separated twice, and I even went through my own period of depression, burning myself, alcoholism, cutting myself and trying to make things work in spite of all the signs that it was over. Once I finally accepted it was over and agreed to a divorce my family tried to force me to reconsider and I told them to get out of my business and my life. It’s like they could not see that I’d tried to do everything I could think of to salvage the marriage and my spouse was not cooperating. I tried explaining that but to no avail and so I decided to distance myself from my family for sanity’s sake. Then I tried covering up my grief with several flings because I was too afraid to look at myself and my gender identity. One of those flings turned into something more serious with a woman I thought would understand me. Four years in my honesty with her was also met with confusion, acting out, denial and flat out dishonesty. First she tried introducing others into our relationship, but she wasn’t really thinking about how it would benefit both of us, it was more like payback for my honesty and I guess a way to hurt me because I was again misidentified by her as gay. She brought a lesbian home one evening and not only was her motive dishonest with me but she was dishonest with the girl she brought home. The poor girl was so uncomfortable and she didn’t like that I was there (even though I showed no interest in her and was not thrilled with my gf pulling this stunt) so the girl ended up fleeing and my gf chased her down the street pleading with her not to go. Then she blamed me for not going along with her scheme. Later her failed pregnancy with me and resentment caused her to keep finding ways to get back at me for being honest. Eventually she had several affairs which I became aware of later but the one that hurt the most was when she told the guy I was her gay roommate and she had to get away for the weekend so I could have company. I had to work that weekend so I was not going to have company, but on my last day I came home and was alone relieved that I could sleep in the next day. She told me to expect her back that morning but failed to show up on time. I didn’t think anything of it until the guy she spent the weekend with keep calling to get a hold of her and she was not back yet. I politely asked him to wait til she returned so I could relax and he didn’t get the message. So that’s when I confronted him and it all came out, how she had lied to him about my sexuality and slept with him that weekend. When she did finally return with a smug look of retaliation on her face I told her that the cheating was not what upset me the most but her dishonesty and misunderstanding my identity was a huge issue and because she failed on both and continued to punish me it was over. She could not say anything after that and even though I asked her to leave after 90 days so she would not have difficulty finding a place she left after a week and I was alone again where I had to confront myself head on. That’s when I realized that I had to make a change and began my first attempt to really transition. It was a wonderful year where I experienced so many new feelings and discovered men, some better than others, and felt content for the first time in my life experiencing life as a woman. I wasn’t 100% passable, and just barely got to the point where I was called miss by most people when I had to abandon my transition. So many crises happened at once that I was blindsided. I lost my job, could not find another, and eventually lost my apartment. I ended up homeless in another city looking for work and miserable because I could not be me. What scared me the most was the idea that my only option would be sex work and I decided getting a disease or killed was not a good idea. So for the next 10 years I tried living as a man and have even been misidentified as gay several times and even hit on repeatedly by gay men who are not my type. But never truly understood. Some gay men have even expressed disdain for transgender women and accuse us of living a lie which has hurt a lot. I’m already down on myself but living as female for me is not a lie, it’s about as genuine as I can be. So I don’t really have any friends and gay men have been less than sympathetic to my truth. I’ve never had any relationship with any man who identified as gay and constantly have to reject their advances. I’m not interested in being with anyone who tries to define me according to their preference. I want acceptance and help to realize my dreams even if it’s only moral support. So I’m gladly single while I search for a way to begin again. The next relationship will be based on truth and acceptance instead of on lies and manipulation. 

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