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A recent awakening, and trying to sort things out

Alice K

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Hi everyone.


My name's Alice (for now). I was AMAB, and have spent the better part of the last 35ish years not really questioning that much. But these past few months it feels like a floodgate has opened and I'm being drawn to the feminine side of the spectrum, and I can't stop it, or hold it back anymore. As much as I've tried to not, I just keep thinking about it, keep feeling it, and I can't turn away. And then I stop trying to not think about it, and I do something "girly" like wear a castoff dress, or put on lip gloss or nail polish, and I feel -amazing- and happy and just... better. And then a friend online makes a comment and I have a panic attack and when I look in the mirror I just see a fat, balding, middle-aged man wearing pink lip gloss instead of the happy girl I was for a brief moment. But then, I just... can't stop thinking about it, and eventually I can't deny it, and I'll, like, shave my legs or something and just feel so wonderfully feminine again. And there was one time, before a certain friend I met online knew my secret and what I was feeling, that she invited me to a voice chat with another friend. Since everything had been text based to that point, they thought I was just plain ol' cis female. And I kept muted so they didn't hear my awful man voice and I ruin the illusion (pretended my mic was broken) but they called me Alice, and they referred to me as 'she' and 'her' and it felt so right that I cried.


But, most days, I feel like a fraud. I feel like an over privileged white male with pretensions that I can just 'decide' out of the blue that I want to be a woman, and make it so, and like so many white men before me, trample all over the struggles and trials and harsh realities that other people go through in the name of my own vanity.  And not just the women that I want to be one of, but trans women, trans people in general, who legitimately struggle with things, and don't need me doing whatever the hell I think I'm doing.


I think part of my problem is that I don't have, I guess "traditional" dysphoria. I always read about trans women identifying as girls since they were children. Or of feeling like they have the wrong body. Or heck, even just 'feeling like women'. And I don't know... what that means. I was told I was a boy when I was a child, so I was a boy. Boys have penises, so that all checked out. And then puberty hits but it doesn't feel -wrong-, just awful. Men are disgusting hairy brutes, and I turn into a disgusting hairy brute, so that all checked out. I've always hated my body, but it's never felt like it's supposed to have been different, or it is missing parts, or doesn't line up somehow. And as for feeling like a woman... how do I know what that feels like? I just feel like me. What would it feel like to be a woman?


But then, I think on it, and I've actually spent probably an unusual amount of time in my life thinking about that question. What -does- it feel like to be a woman? To have boobs, and a vagina, and periods, and estrogen instead of testosterone, and to -think- like a woman and have that perspective. I don't think most guys think about that. I don't think most guys want to find out. I don't think most guys, if given a magic button that would turn them into a natural born woman when pressed, would press that button. But I would, so where does that leave me? I poked around on this forum before joining, and I was drawn almost immediately to the HRT section, and what I found even more interesting than the talk about boob growth (sometimes, when I'm willing to admit it, I do feel an ache in my chest like maybe I am actually missing something there), what I found even more interesting than the adverse effects and warnings, is the talk about mental changes from taking estrogen. Changes to emotions, changes to perceptions, changes to feeling. I would never get a tattoo because I don't feel like I could ever pick something that I wouldn't regret, I don't even like drilling holes in things because it's a permanent, irreversible change. But reading that about HRT makes me, just, want to do it. So badly.


So... yeah, I don't know.







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Carolyn Marie

Hi, Alice, and welcome to Trans Pulse.  Your feelings are not unusual, and most of us here have had all of them, or most of them, at some point.  I asked my first therapist point blank if I was just deluding myself.  She assured me I was not.  So yeah, I've been there and done that.


There is a lot to discover among these forums, so I encourage you to look around, ask questions, and post your heart out.  We'll do our best to support you and never, ever judge you.  We are all different, but all the same.  Welcome aboard!




Carolyn Marie

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Hi Alice, and welcome! 


I can totally relate, to the overthinking. When I started questioning my gender again about a year ago, I spent a lot of time thi thinking about it. I still do! I'm so happy and excited to be transitioning. It's like the most exciting thing I've done with my life. I love being transgender, I love our community. I think about it all the time. 


You're not a fraud! You're at the beginning of exploring yourself. Privilege has nothing to do with it. Trans people come from all class, kind and creed of people. We all started exploring in ways that seemed trivial ie dressing up and 'pretending, dipping our toes in the water! There's nothing wrong with that, it's totally valid. Whether you find out you're trans, or non-binary, or not.


You don't need to have dysphoria to be in the transgender spectrum. And it's ok if you didn't know (like as a child). I had a number of moments as a kid that, in retrospect, speak to how I felt not the gender I was born. But I never thought I was a female. I'm just old enough that I didn't openly have access to the information to help me understand (such as is available via the internet today) and as such had no dialogue about it. In my teens and twenties I identified as androgynous, and that felt good! But later in my twenties, I feared I would be discriminated against, so I felt forced to go back in the closet. These things happen. 


I can only speculate from what you said. But just the fact that you're questioning and intrigued to research speaks to your motivation to explore yourself, whether you are or aren't. So don't hold back, explore! I suggest finding a therapist who specializes in gender issues. And having a dialogue with the community, such as ours. Learn from the experiences of others. We're happy you are here with us Alice ?



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Hi Alice, pleased to meet you :) I recognise your struggle - if you go back to the beginning of my blog it echoes much of what you have said above, my gender just wasn't something I thought about until I turned 40 and my marriage dissolved, though I have dressed and "pretended" most of my life in secret, because I was ashamed. From the support here I have found it okay to ask my questions and share my thoughts and feelings - I honestly joined hoping that after sharing my story I would find that I did not fit in, and that the question of gender would go away when I found I didn't belong.

Turns out I am not as alone as I thought I was and there are many wonderful people here who have had their own experiences some of which will be similar to yours but importantly will give you the space without judgement to find out what it all means for you. 

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Hi everyone, and thank you for the responses. Even the limited time I've been on the forums already has been amazingly helpful. I get the feeling that I'm going to be a mess for... a while. This is all new and terrifying and part of me really hates it and wants it to go away. But the genie's not going back in the bottle. This is who I am.


Here's sort of the paradox I'm dealing with right now:

I feel like a girl. I don't know what being a girl feels like.


I don't have the language or frame of reference to even explain that better. I'm not even really sure I know what I'm trying to say.


I know what being a man feels like, whether I want to or not. But then, sometimes that feels like Plato's cave, and that's all just testosterone and shadows on the wall. It's not reality, I just think it is because it's all I know and I've never questioned it. Like ToniTone said, growing up there wasn't exactly an amazing amount of available information. My mom let me watch The Rocky Horror Picture Show when I was probably too young for it, but that's hardly an educational tool even for crossdressing. But that's about all there really was that I was exposed to, and even that was a bit more about ridicule than acceptance.


So I may not know what it's like to be a girl, and I may have been chastised by friends (the one who knows, sadly, but also indirectly several who don't) for tying my explorations to things like clothes and makeup which are "societal constructs and not what being a woman is about". Maybe not, but I feel better about myself when I do it. But even when I don't wear anything girly, I feel better about myself just thinking of myself as Alice, as a girl, as she and her. And today at least, I feel good about that (tomorrow I will probably feel like a fraud again). It's a place to start, and the rest is part of the adventure.



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