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my body feels right, but my social self doesn't

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Hi everyone! I'm looking for a little advice.


I've been on T for a little over a year. I just turned 24. Im in South Ga.  I have supportive friends (most of which are trans as well), I've had a couple partners in the past year (also trans), and I'm generally holding a good life together. I'm encountering an issue now that I'm having trouble turning to anyone I know about, and I'm hoping y'all can help. 

I look in the mirror when I'm not wearing any clothes and I see myself, I see a man, I see someone worthy of desire. But as soon as I start to put on clothes or think about going out, I lose it. I don't feel attractive, I don't feel seen, I don't feel like myself.

I pass about 80% of the time. But I've never had any of the moments my other transmasc friends have had where they've been hit on, or felt fully seen, as men. Just a hot guy at the bar kinda thing. I've always been trans first. "That's Theo, he's trans, look how cute, what a sweet boy" - but there's an unspoken 'no one will bring him home, no one will be his friend in public' type thing, chasers not included. 

Anyway. I'm having trouble aligning my self with my public self. I see a man in the mirror when I'm alone - separate from the social performance of fashion, dress, and interaction. But then I go out and I stress about every nuance.I stress about holding my shoulders right, about speaking the way I should. I dress well enough, I'm hip, I'm collected enough to be attractive-adjacent  by current standards. But I'm still not seen in a way that makes life easy. I'm always on guard. I want to move with an easy thoughtlessness, but I'm hyper-aware of every moment. My depression is getting worse and it feels linked to this dysphoria. 

I don't know how to exist.  I'm tired of being opted into my battles rather than choosing them. 


Idk even what I'm really asking. I guess I just want to feel seen. 

If anyone has any advice about encountering trouble a year into T and a few years into social transition I'd appreciate it!


Love always,


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NB Adult

As a fellow human being and long time trans person, let me assure you that there is nothing wrong with you, and I'm basing that on your description of your physical self. I think what's ruining it for you is your hypersensitivity over how you are being seen by others. That in and of itself can be devastating to one's public persona. I was friends with a very passable post-op MtF and whenever we went out in public she would begin to look furtively around to see if anyone was staring at her or whispering, winking at eachother or nodding as if they had read her, she was so self conscious that she actually drew attention to herself which only served to out her to others and left her feeling devastated. I'm sure that this is exactly what you are doing inadvertantly, you can work your way past it on your own or discuss it with a counselor who might even fix you up with a hypnotherapist who can get you past it. Good luck my friend!

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NB said it as its what I was thinking too while reading your post.  You sound like a confident person and then your brain gets in the way.  

Maybe some counselling or time with those who truly see you as the man you are.  At some point you will see that you are you and your good at it.  It will be natural. 

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