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Chrisssy

How do you accept whats there?

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Chrisssy
Hi,
 
I'm pretty new here, and would like to share some of my ambivalence, and maybe get some thoughts from you nice people :)
 
I struggle with both my sexual orientation and with my gender identity. I am a 38 year old man and live alone, and don't really talk much with anyone about these things.
 
I often see transgender people saying they "have always known", or at least they found out at a very early age. The issue of gender identity first came up for me when I was around 30, right after I started wondering if I was drawn to men. For me, these things came completely out of the blue. Now, almost 10 years later, I haven't gotten too much further. I don't really feel dysphoria in the same way I see many in here describe it, where one is dissatisfied with ones body/bodyparts. I don't really think or feel too much about my body. And I guess I look fairly masculine. But at the same time I do feel like I have much more femininity inside, that is not "let loose". And when I picture myself as a women, a tension (that's always there) in my stomach loosen. I find it really hard to take the next step - which I'm not really sure what should be anyway. I have had this idea that I should try to come to terms with my gender identity and sexual orientation since this first came up. And then I would be able to take further steps. But I just keep doing the same things day in and day out, and the years keep passing. I guess one thing that makes it easy to push away, is the lack of clearcut dysphoria. I am having a hard time connecting to this inner femininity, other than in introspection, and otherwise just feeling glimpses of it now and then (a bit more lately, actually). I see many people talk about repression in here, and I guess that's probably what I am doing. But how do you overcome this? Force yourself to face it? And how do you do that? 
 
 
Christine 

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Jackie C.

Well, the next step would be to talk to a gender therapist. I see that you're in the UK, so the sooner you make the appointment the better. I understand the waiting list is backed up about two years. At least that's what I've been told by other members from across the pond... Well, across the pond from me. The new owner's more local to you. Not that it really matters.

 

So anyway, for me the "Come to Jesus" moment was when I was in a very dark place. I'd been killing myself slowly for years through basic neglect. I indulged in a bunch of bad behaviors that felt good at the time to try to plug the hole inside. Obviously that doesn't work long term. Finally, I hit the breaking point. I bought some cheap clothes and a couple of prosthetics and said to myself, "OK, I'm doing this." I waited until my wife was off at a convention for work and tried living as a woman while she was away. The purpose of the experiment was to see if it made the hurting stop. You know what? It did.

 

Armed with the knowledge of what it would take to finally get over the hump and get on with the process of becoming my best self I did some research online. I found out what it would take to become a woman full-time legally. I talked to a bigendered friend of mine to get their take on things as well. They tried to talk me out of it. While they had some good points, I felt that my choices were basically to continue the slow march to the grave or finally shuck my cocoon and start growing again. From there I started ticking off boxes. Therapist. Weight loss. Coming out. Second opinions. Hormones. Paperwork. Name change. All the things I needed to do to be myself. We're not quite done yet. The whole "End of the World" pandemic has some of the legal stuff on hold. After all, I can't turn in paperwork if the office is closed for the duration. You're never really done with your transition either. I hope that I keep moving towards being my best self for the rest of my life.

 

I don't really recommend my method. Holding everything in until I hit my breaking point wasn't the best plan. It could have easily gone the other way. I'd also recommend having a plan B in place in case the "coming out" phase of the plan goes sideways and your support structure turns their backs on you. Even so, things could have turned out a lot worse. My only real regret is not having the courage to start sooner.

 

Hugs!

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KathyLauren
1 hour ago, Chrisssy said:
I often see transgender people saying they "have always known", or at least they found out at a very early age.
...
I don't really feel dysphoria in the same way I see many in here describe it, where one is dissatisfied with ones body/bodyparts. I don't really think or feel too much about my body.
...
And when I picture myself as a women, a tension (that's always there) in my stomach loosen.
...
I guess one thing that makes it easy to push away, is the lack of clearcut dysphoria.

 

Christine, please don't buy into one single mythology of what it means to be trans.  There isn't one "right" way.  The idea that there is only one way is used by haters to invalidate the experiences of many of us, and it's just wrong.

 

You don't have to have known since you were young.  It is very common for us to figure it out in middle age.  In hindsight, I see signs going back to when I was 7, but that's good old 20/20 hindsight.  I didn't know what it meant at the time.  There is no reason why a person has to.

 

You say you don't feel dysphoria, but I hear you describing it.  That tension in your stomach?  That's dysphoria.  It doesn't have to be clear or overwhelming.  You don't have to hate your body.  For many of us, dysphoria is a steady dissatisfaction that only goes away when we do something to express our true gender.

 

So I see nothing in your description that would make me think you are not transgender.  There is a good chance that you are.  The way to find out, and the best place to start, is to talk to a gender therapist.

 

Regards,

Kathy

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Dana Michelle
1 hour ago, Chrisssy said:
Hi,
 
I'm pretty new here, and would like to share some of my ambivalence, and maybe get some thoughts from you nice people :)
 
I struggle with both my sexual orientation and with my gender identity. I am a 38 year old man and live alone, and don't really talk much with anyone about these things.
 
I often see transgender people saying they "have always known", or at least they found out at a very early age. The issue of gender identity first came up for me when I was around 30, right after I started wondering if I was drawn to men. For me, these things came completely out of the blue. Now, almost 10 years later, I haven't gotten too much further. I don't really feel dysphoria in the same way I see many in here describe it, where one is dissatisfied with ones body/bodyparts. I don't really think or feel too much about my body. And I guess I look fairly masculine. But at the same time I do feel like I have much more femininity inside, that is not "let loose". And when I picture myself as a women, a tension (that's always there) in my stomach loosen. I find it really hard to take the next step - which I'm not really sure what should be anyway. I have had this idea that I should try to come to terms with my gender identity and sexual orientation since this first came up. And then I would be able to take further steps. But I just keep doing the same things day in and day out, and the years keep passing. I guess one thing that makes it easy to push away, is the lack of clearcut dysphoria. I am having a hard time connecting to this inner femininity, other than in introspection, and otherwise just feeling glimpses of it now and then (a bit more lately, actually). I see many people talk about repression in here, and I guess that's probably what I am doing. But how do you overcome this? Force yourself to face it? And how do you do that? 
 
 
Christine 

I did not know I was transgender from my earliest childhood memories. I sort of knew when I was 8 or 9, but I didn't really know until I was 15. My gender dysphoria is not an overwhelming feeling. I started hormones two years ago at age 36, but if I had not worried so much about whether or not I was "really" transgender, I would have started when I was 27. If not for that or anxiety about what family will think, I would have started at 18. I almost brought it up with a psychiatrist when I was 17 but chickened out.


My dysphoria is only about the appearance of my face and body, not the way it feels. That is, I do not feel dysphoric about physically touching my body. A lot of it is that the thought of being female seems like it would make me happy and a dream come true, but having a male body is a big disappointment.

 

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TammyAnne
2 hours ago, KathyLauren said:

 

Christine, please don't buy into one single mythology of what it means to be trans.  There isn't one "right" way.  The idea that there is only one way is used by haters to invalidate the experiences of many of us, and it's just wrong.

 

You don't have to have known since you were young.  It is very common for us to figure it out in middle age.  In hindsight, I see signs going back to when I was 7, but that's good old 20/20 hindsight.  I didn't know what it meant at the time.  There is no reason why a person has to.

 

You say you don't feel dysphoria, but I hear you describing it.  That tension in your stomach?  That's dysphoria.  It doesn't have to be clear or overwhelming.  You don't have to hate your body.  For many of us, dysphoria is a steady dissatisfaction that only goes away when we do something to express our true gender.

 

So I see nothing in your description that would make me think you are not transgender.  There is a good chance that you are.  The way to find out, and the best place to start, is to talk to a gender therapist.

 

Regards,

Kathy

Kathy is absolutely correct. There is no one size fits all in this. I am among those who had repressed who and what I am so successfully that it only would surface as dreams in my sleep. Until I entered therapy and began to peel back the layers, slowly finding myself and finding some peace.

Welcome to the forums. Ask, read, engage. There are lots of good, patient, understanding people here.

TA

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Mx.Drago
5 hours ago, Chrisssy said:
Hi,
 
I'm pretty new here, and would like to share some of my ambivalence, and maybe get some thoughts from you nice people :)
 
I struggle with both my sexual orientation and with my gender identity. I am a 38 year old man and live alone, and don't really talk much with anyone about these things.
 
I often see transgender people saying they "have always known", or at least they found out at a very early age. The issue of gender identity first came up for me when I was around 30, right after I started wondering if I was drawn to men. For me, these things came completely out of the blue. Now, almost 10 years later, I haven't gotten too much further. I don't really feel dysphoria in the same way I see many in here describe it, where one is dissatisfied with ones body/bodyparts. I don't really think or feel too much about my body. And I guess I look fairly masculine. But at the same time I do feel like I have much more femininity inside, that is not "let loose". And when I picture myself as a women, a tension (that's always there) in my stomach loosen. I find it really hard to take the next step - which I'm not really sure what should be anyway. I have had this idea that I should try to come to terms with my gender identity and sexual orientation since this first came up. And then I would be able to take further steps. But I just keep doing the same things day in and day out, and the years keep passing. I guess one thing that makes it easy to push away, is the lack of clearcut dysphoria. I am having a hard time connecting to this inner femininity, other than in introspection, and otherwise just feeling glimpses of it now and then (a bit more lately, actually). I see many people talk about repression in here, and I guess that's probably what I am doing. But how do you overcome this? Force yourself to face it? And how do you do that? 
 
 
Christine 

 

 

I like to think about being trans, as you having to transform yourself into your final form. Like a butterfly or moth, trying to get to the warm place you need to reach. Your body is yours, you dress however makes you you. But if you feel you don't need surgery, that's always fine and better with less knives, great! I'd like bottom surgery. But it's what you need that's driving you to want to go that extra step to be yourself so you don't lie and hurt the ones you care about.

Beware and careful of following flocks and herds, they can easily drive you to bad places and your words matter little cuz you're following not leading. You want to lead, you need to be strong and stand a pillar of yourself as yourself for whatever tide come to live and protect what you claim dear. Not everybody is strong and sometimes you have no choice to follow cuz you're human and can only do so much against misconception. But we lean only for support and support is always welcomed.

5 hours ago, Jackie C. said:

Well, the next step would be to talk to a gender therapist. I see that you're in the UK, so the sooner you make the appointment the better. I understand the waiting list is backed up about two years. At least that's what I've been told by other members from across the pond... Well, across the pond from me. The new owner's more local to you. Not that it really matters.

 

Hugs!

I agree.🤗Hugs

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Mary Jane

if you still dont know well you don't need to know right away you could also just settle for a gender that fits you the most i still dont know my gender ive always felt not exactly a boy or a girl but still felt like i had a gender best fit? well at first it was transgender my main reason was video game characters maybe its just preference but it might now be next was genderfluid because the feeling of me being a boy or a girl kept changing and last bigender the one ive settled on because well it fits most

 

i still dont know my gender but still young and going to try to figure it out soon you should try to figure it out too by searching the genders maybe trying on clothes talking to a gender therapist or something else

 

im 16 now never really cared about my gender till about grade 8 and i didn't and still dont know my gender but going to try to figure out this is mary jane signing off (just said "this is mary jane signing off" because its pretty cool for me)

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KymmieL

Christine, I got you beat I didn't realize I was trans and really a girl inside until I was 53. Then reading things online the light finally flickered on;  Hey dumb arse you are really a girl. It actually helped solved so many unknowns in my life.

 

I was seeing a counselor at the time about other mental problems ( Shut Up, Shawna)

She introduced me to a gender therapist. I haven't stopped. I have slowed down, some but with some soul searching with my therapist stopping or going back would be detrimental to my well being. Now all my health care team call me, Kymmie and refer to me in female pronouns. I have a highly respected GYN monitoring my health.

 

I would get on the list for an appointment with one asap. It wouldn't hurt to talk to one.

Also We are here and will give guidance or a virtual hug when needed.

 

Kymmie 

 

 

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Emily michelle

Hi Chrissy welcome, you don’t have to know at a young age. It doesn’t matter how old you are at all. I’m 32 and I have recently started hrt. When I was growing up I knew I was different but I never had the words for it and my family would not have accepted it if I did. I did my best to hide it but it just kept coming back. It had gotten to the point that I had had a break down and couldn’t hide it anymore. I would recommend finding a gender therapist and talking with them.

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KayC
14 hours ago, Chrisssy said:

I often see transgender people saying they "have always known", or at least they found out at a very early age

Hi Chrissy, and Welcome!
I think you can see here that everybody's story is both different and in unique ways the same (just different levels and timing).
I put myself here as Gender Fluid because I actually don't truly know yet, don't really care for labels, and need to get into gender therapy asap to help with that (working on that) as others have recommended.

I cannot say "I have always known" ... but, I do know from a young age I felt like I was different han others boys, and then later men. 
I am pretty sure my parents/family were concerned about my "differences" but in 60s/70s those things weren't discussed or supported. 

Started secretly crossdressing as a teen but feelings of guilt, then college, marriage, kids, career ... put those feelings in a box and tucked them away until like @Jackie C. mentioned a dark period in my life brought them ALL back to the surface as unfettered feelings of gender dysphoria (the anxiety kind of dysphoria, not body image).  I have lived so long as a "man" it is not difficult to play that role ... but not comfortable anymore either.

Long story short .. my expectation and desire at this point is HRT, MtF transition and living predominantly as my true self as a woman, at least on the inside, even if I chose not to fully transition on the outside.  I may continue occasionally with my male persona when needed, but full time woman is my end goal.  Sexual orientation is a different criteria, and I don't expect my attraction to women to change, but maybe I might be more open to explore also.

For everybody in this Forum its a journey .. with lots of bumps, hills and valleys.
So, happy to have you here to enjoy the "ride" with us
hugs

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Chrisssy
On 5/17/2020 at 5:51 PM, Jackie C. said:

So anyway, for me the "Come to Jesus" moment was when I was in a very dark place. I'd been killing myself slowly for years through basic neglect. I indulged in a bunch of bad behaviors that felt good at the time to try to plug the hole inside. Obviously that doesn't work long term. Finally, I hit the breaking point. I bought some cheap clothes and a couple of prosthetics and said to myself, "OK, I'm doing this." I waited until my wife was off at a convention for work and tried living as a woman while she was away. The purpose of the experiment was to see if it made the hurting stop. You know what? It did.

 

Armed with the knowledge of what it would take to finally get over the hump and get on with the process of becoming my best self I did some research online. I found out what it would take to become a woman full-time legally. I talked to a bigendered friend of mine to get their take on things as well. They tried to talk me out of it. While they had some good points, I felt that my choices were basically to continue the slow march to the grave or finally shuck my cocoon and start growing again. From there I started ticking off boxes. Therapist. Weight loss. Coming out. Second opinions. Hormones. Paperwork. Name change. All the things I needed to do to be myself. We're not quite done yet. The whole "End of the World" pandemic has some of the legal stuff on hold. After all, I can't turn in paperwork if the office is closed for the duration. You're never really done with your transition either. I hope that I keep moving towards being my best self for the rest of my life.

Wow, that's some story. A lot of pain, but I am really glad it's going so well. Made me smile 😊 I can certainly relate to parts of what you are saying. I have some destructive behaviour myself, but it's not really making me spiral downwards. It just keeps me afloat, keeping my life flat and meaningless.

 

As I wrote the original post, I almost got a feeling that I was lying when I said I have never really felt dysphoria, and that I never knew before I was 30. It's like I have this silent voice inside going "nope, that's not right!"

 

I really want to take some steps, but I see I'm far off from where you are @Jackie C.(and many of you others). Sometimes it feels really hard to know the way forward is so long. But it helps to read these nice stories.

 

Also, thanks to everybody else who has responded to my post, I really appreciate it 😊

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MetaLicious

@Chrisssy, you are not alone. KathyLauren is correct in that we all experience these phenomena in individual ways. I had my first inklings when I was 7 or 8, but I didn't feel like I was a girl, I was simply jealous of girls. I didn't give it any thought until my early 20s, when I realized I was still jealous of women and wanted to be one. Like JackieC, I pursued a self-destructive course for nearly 30 more years, and simply didn't think of it. At 51, I only now realize that my jealousy was how dysphoria manifested for me.  I never hated my body, nor felt it was wrong - I simply felt put off by never having been given a choice, and that I would have chosen different if I had been. The epiphany I had was that I do have a choice, since then, I have chosen to be the me I always wanted to be, rather than the me I settled for. 

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Tori M
On 5/18/2020 at 12:48 PM, Chrisssy said:

It's like I have this silent voice inside going "nope, that's not right!"

 

Hi Chrisssy.  I'm brand new here but have been on the roller coaster of gender identity for 40 of my 54 years.  This remark you made seems so significant to me.  That voice... that sounds to me like an onion that needs to be peeled with a good therapist.  That voice may have more to say if you can let it talk.  There you might find your answer.  A therapist or understanding person could provide a safe place to let that voice out.  I don't think putting it off is going to help.  Making this post means you want to know, that you're tired of this nagging at you.  Congrats on a brave step.  This looks like a great place for you and I to be.

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KayC
1 hour ago, Tori M said:

That voice... that sounds to me like an onion that needs to be peeled with a good therapist.  That voice may have more to say if you can let it talk. 

That's great advice, Tori .. and a great way to put it.

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sleepinflame
On 5/17/2020 at 11:37 AM, Chrisssy said:

The issue of gender identity first came up for me when I was around 30, right after I started wondering if I was drawn to men.

I started figuring something out at about the same age, but I'm attracted to women, so I didn't think about it for the next 23 years or so.  But other than the orientation (who you are attracted to), I feel a lot of the same things you do.  Why don't I have dysphoria about my body?  Why don't I feel compelled to cross dress?  But I have such an affinity for women, romantic and non-romantic!  What's that all about?  -- Grace.

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