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secondlook

Deep breath ...

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secondlook

As of today, the only person who knows that I am transgender is the therapist I'm going to speak with two days from now. Oh, and now you, whoever you are, reading this post right now.

 

To the eye and to everyone who knows me, I'm as masculine as any red-blooded American male could ever hope to be. I'm burly, broad-shouldered, bald and goateed. I have a deep voice and was historically a big sports fan (although in recent years that interest has waned). On top of all this, I belong to a family that is superficially loving and sweet, but that harbors a deep intolerance of any kind of societal nonconformity. I can easily summon to mind the looks of disgust on their faces anytime an LGBT topic arises.

 

And yet, I know that my true self is female. When I finally, fully embraced it just a short time ago, I realized that I always knew this, I was just afraid to confront it. The truth is that the parts of my personality that I have always liked are my feminine aspects, and the parts of me that appear masculine have always been forced on me by outside influences. And as I've gotten older and more and more comfortable with who I am, I've become more and more connected to my feminine side.

 

My wife is the one person in my life who MIGHT accept me. She's a gentle soul and accepting of life in all its wondrous variety. I only fear that the revelation of my true gender will feel like a betrayal to her, like I've been keeping something from her. I hope that my therapist can help me communicate this important life change to her in a way that is respectful and kind. We always make big life decisions together, she and I, and this feels like I've made a huge decision unilaterally. It's got my stomach in knots, thinking about how this might hurt her.

 

And yet, I've got to do it. I know now who I am. I'm just at the very beginning of my transition journey. I know I'm going to lose 99% of my family members' love, but then again, if they never really knew me, and if they choose not to know the real me, did they really love me?

 

My name is Michelle, and I'm delighted to meet you all.

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Jackie C.

Salutations Michelle! It's good to meet you.

 

Congratulations on the superficially kind and loving family! Mine is spiders all the way down. A lot of us hit a wall where we can't hold down the need to be our true selves anymore. Coming out to your family, especially when you think one or more members might be hostile, is one of the biggest hurdles we get to face early on. Usually. We still haven't told my father in law. I've been myself in front of him, gone shopping with him, slept on his couch and made him breakfast for Father's Day, but we haven't told him. I have no idea what he thinks.

Sorry about the hair. I got alopecia for my 39th birthday. If nothing else we cal talk about wigs. 😁

 

Welcome to the site! We're a friendly bunch. Poke around and don't be afraid to ask questions. Mind the rules of the site. You'll find us to be accepting and supportive community.

 

Hugs!

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Rowan

Hi Michelle! Welcome! Around here, you'll find that there are tons of us with similar stories as yours. You aren't alone. My therapist was absolutely essential to my journey, and coming out. Hopefully, yours will be just as helpful. I hope to see you around more. Once again, welcome.😊😊😊

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secondlook

I love the "spiders all the way down" comment, that's hilarious. My family will pretty much literally give you the shirts off their backs if they approve of your lifestyle, they can be truly selfless and genuinely nice people. But I guarantee they will ostracize me when the truth comes out.

 

As far as hair goes, as long as I was forcing myself to live as a dude, it wasn't on the top of the list of my struggles, and I lost it by age 22, so it's been this way more than half my life. I suppose in some ways it was one of the biggest things that kept me in denial about my true self. But now that I actually want hair for the first time in more than 20 years, I intend to look into hair transplantation options. I'm probably a fringe candidate (pun intended) but if there's any hope, I aim to give it a shot!

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TammyAnne

Welcome secondlook!

You're among friends here!

TA

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Romilly

Hi Michelle!

 

I'm new here myself, but I feel for your story. My family (of one person, my mother) is super supportive, but I have a lot of the "superficially kind and loving" friends who... well, we'll see how they take it. I've had arguments with my "best" friend over whether transgender is even a -thing- or not, so I don't expect a lot from that quarter. I know just what you mean about 'did they really love me, if they don't accept the real me?'.It's sad, but I think it's a struggle we all have to come to. I'm on the fence about whether it's fortunate or unfortunate to not have a SO of my own to trouble with this, but with my dating history it's probably better off not having a wife to explain this to. Hopefully yours will be loving and understanding when you do tell her.

 

Nice to meet you!

hugs,

Milly

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SaraAW

Welcome Michelle!  I think you’ll find lots of folks here that share in at least a part of your story.
 

I am out to my docs, therapist, the folks here and my wife. I can tell you they all went well, except with my wife. Things are getting better with lots of therapy for me and long conversations with my wife. She definitely still feels betrayed that I kept this from her. I came out to her a few months ago and about a year prior to myself. Looking back at my life now, I can see there were some signs that I chose to ignore, but can see them for what they were now. My wife likes to focus on this as  me marrying her knowing I was trans, even though my self revelation didn’t happen until almost 10 years after our marriage. All I can say is be prepared to go through lots of ups and downs, many tough conversations and some sob feats. although, lots of folks have come out to SOs with very little issue.
 

Having a therapist is key for me, I wish my wife would leverage one, but she’s not ready to admit she needs one and not just for this issue. It’s great you’ve got one to help and to listen. Hopefully you click, if not don’t be afraid to find another. 
 

it’s good to be prepared for the worst with the family, but you may be surprised at who chooses to accept you for you. I know a few folks who have been pleasantly surprised. My wife and I are both not yet ready for me to come out to more folks, me for fear of losing the small social circle I do have and my wife I think for shame and not still fully accepting me. 
 

Thanks for sharing your introduction. 

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ShawnaLeigh
1 hour ago, SaraAW said:

Having a therapist is key for me, I wish my wife would leverage one, but she’s not ready to admit she needs one

This is my experience too.  MY GT has been wonderful and has taught me so much about myself and who I am inside.  He is helping be that women on the outside too.   My wife is accepting and very supportive but will not cross a line to be in a lesbian marriage.  I've gone around and round with her that it does not make her lesbian but she will not listen.  Deep down I believe she fears what others will think or say.

 

1 hour ago, SaraAW said:

it’s good to be prepared for the worst with the family, but you may be surprised at who chooses to accept you for you. I know a few folks who have been pleasantly surprised.

I may be one that Sara is talking about.  I had tremendous fear and anxiety about coming out.  Every person was a mountain to climb.  To date of all the people I have come out to only my mothers is not accepting it and I have a brother who I just told a few days ago who is having a hard time.  Though I feel he will be ok after a while.  The rest, some 40 people now, have been extremely accepting and supportive to my utter amazment.  To include the four big burly lumberjack type male friends of mine.  Those guys blew me away with being accepting and encouraging.  

The point is you can think and worry yourself to death wondering who will say what or how they will react.  Only after you tell them will you know.  Even then it may take time for some.  Others are immediate.

Good Luck!

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Timber Wolf

Hi Michelle,

Welcome to Transpulse. I'm glad you're here!

 

A great many of us, myself included, fought our true selves tooth and nail before acceptance of who we are. I lived a woodsman's life. You are definately not alone!

 

Lots of love and a big welcome hug, 

Timber Wolf 🐾

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Jani

Hello Michelle and welcome.  Remember when you start talking with your therapist that this is your personal journey and you only need to proceed as fast and far as necessary to bring you happiness.  If losing your family would be hard then possibly you could forge a path that did not entail telling them.  There are many people who live as they have while effectively managing their dysphoria.  Please enjoy the visit later this week and be open and frank as you can to ensure you get the most from the session.

 

Jani

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secondlook

Sara, a lot of what you said really resonates with me. There are so many signs from my life that shout that this is the right choice. I feel like once my wife gets over the initial shock of it, there's a good chance that she's going to see what I see, that this is something that was always going to happen and makes perfect sense. For instance, we've talked extensively over the years about how one of the things that bonded us was our shared passion for women's rights issues. Of course you don't have to be transgender to be a man who is passionate about women's rights, but on the other hand, I suppose it doesn't hurt, either!

 

When it comes to my family, it's a very strongly hierarchical group -- everyone takes their cues from my father, regardless of what they might feel inside. A quarter century ago it was my grandfather who held that role, and in another 15-20 years it would be me ... except I'm now deciding not to take up that mantle. I think this will be good for the family, to not have one person at the center of all decision-making, but they'll see it as a step toward the disintegration of the entire family. Maybe years from now, after my father's grip on everyone's lives starts to fade a bit, some of them will feel inclined to invite me back in. But in the short term, excommunication is highly likely. Regardless, I don't see any point in forcing a confrontation anytime soon. For now, my wife is the only person who needs to know, there are a lot of steps that have to take place before anyone else would even have an inkling.

 

As far as therapy, I have had one exceptional experience with a therapist many years ago, who helped me get control of serious anger issues; otherwise, my history with therapists has been pretty poor. So I'm pretty well acquainted with the range of outcomes. I'm very optimistic about tomorrow's appointment, but if it goes poorly and I need to seek a different counselor, that's not going to surprise me or stop me.

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TammyAnne

Michelle,

Definitely yes on a gender therapist.

TA

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SaraAW

Michelle, I hope your appointment goes well today. *hugs*

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secondlook

Would you believe that my therapist canceled on me 10 minutes before my appointment was set to start? Unreal. I'm trying to be chill about it, so far that's working, but we'll see how soon I can get rescheduled. Good thing it wasn't an in-person appointment.

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Jackie C.

Ugh, I'm sorry to hear that. I've had that happen before, but it was always an emergency out of their control. Deep breath and remember that therapists have lives and obligations too. Last time it happened to me, my therapist's firstborn was in the hospital so yeah, I cut her some slack. I'm cool like that.

 

I'm sure they'll reschedule you as soon as they can. Hang in there, it'll happen.

 

Hugs!

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secondlook

Totally agree. I figure, I've been waiting 40-plus years to get this stuff figured out, what's another couple days?

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Jackie C.

That's the spirit! Also a good attitude when you're waiting for anything else you care to do while transitioning like getting approved for HRT or bottom surgery if you choose to pursue either of those things. Probably FFS too, but I haven't signed up for that one. I don't want to get TOO pretty. My friends would be jealous. 😘

 

Hugs!

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Susan R
On 1/21/2020 at 1:13 PM, secondlook said:

To the eye and to everyone who knows me, I'm as masculine as any red-blooded American male could ever hope to be. I'm burly, broad-shouldered, bald and goateed. I have a deep voice and was historically a big sports fan

Hey Michelle, the heavy dose of masculinity you quoted above reminds me so much of myself and where I came from.  The description is slightly different from mine in detail but very manly, none the less.

It sounds like you’re able to look past these male features to see and feel the real you. It was easier for a time growing up to conform to the expected standards set before us but as you and I have both found, it doesn’t last forever.  Eventually, a good number of us see through the mask we put on and start to take control of the situation despite what society or culture dictates.  I congratulate you on getting to this very important part of your journey.  It will make things even better if your wife accepts you as you and becomes a vital support in this journey too.  I wish you the best in either case.

 

Susan R🌷

 

 

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secondlook

Thank you Susan. It has taken a fair amount of imagination, to say the least, to picture the person I want to be when all is said and done. But when that moment hit me that I COULD imagine it, it was quite the revelation, like a thunderclap on a clear blue day. And it's fascinating the ways I've already changed since the realization. I feel a sense of optimism for the future I haven't experience since I was a teenager and a confidence that I'm on the right track that I've never had before.

 

Second attempt at therapy is set for tonight, and if that goes well, I might try to talk to my wife this weekend. Keeping her in the dark is the only real aspect of this whole process that's really bothering me.

 

Thank you all for the positive vibes and messages, it is making a big difference. It's great that there's a place like this where we can share these journeys.

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Jackie C.
39 minutes ago, secondlook said:

Second attempt at therapy is set for tonight, and if that goes well, I might try to talk to my wife this weekend. Keeping her in the dark is the only real aspect of this whole process that's really bothering me.

 

This was hard for me too. My therapist suggested that I take it slow and start with explaining my behavior away as cross-dressing and telling her it was completely sexual. I did not do that. PRO TIP: Do not open with a joke. It might seem like a good idea to break the tension, but it really, really wasn't.

 

Hugs!

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