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DonnaBall

Coming Out At My Condo

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DonnaBall

Hi Everyone,

 

It's been a while since I posted here on Transpulse.  During that time I was waiting for my wife to move out as we were legally separating and it finally happened 7 weeks ago.  She moved out because she could not tolerate any crossdressing, even when she was not home.

 

Since she left, I have been living as full time as possible when I am at home and going out for shopping.  The only time not being Donna is when I am helping my wife get settled in her new home.  One problem that I have is that I still have not come out to the people at my condo, where everybody knows everybody and we see each other whenever coming and going .  I have not gone out to my car as a woman but have been changing clothes in my car or at a nearby family restroom.  I feel that once I decide that I want to do this permanently, then I WILL come out to the people at my condo, but until then I have to hide my transgender.

 

So I am really close to making that decision and I had a meeting with a counselor that is the best at helping transgender in my area.  I wanted to know HOW to come out to the closest friends I have here.  The counselor suggested inviting them one at a time to my home and telling them I need to talk to them.  When they come over I am dressed as Donna. She also said that a good way to approach the surprise is to ask them for help in getting acceptance from some neighbors that may not be too happy about my actions.

 

She said that writing a letter is not smart because you never know where else that letter would end up or who else would see it.  Telling them over the phone might make them imagine that I look like the sensational transgenders they have seen on TV (Jerry Springer, RuPaul, etc.) , so better to see me as a normal woman dressed casually.

 

This all made sense to me but I would like to get other opinions on how to come out to my neighbors.  One thing that I don't want to happen is for the people that know me best should not be surprised by seeing me as a woman for the first time just from walking by.  Some of the people that know OF me but I seldom talk to, I don't care if they are surprised, but the ones I care about will be surprised enough if I invite them over to talk, but there will be opportunity to talk ,explain and enlist.

 

Donna Ball

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Summer A

Hi Donna,

 

As you already know, coming out can be hard! I feel that every situation is different.  When I came out to my mom (who is the most important person in my life), I did send a letter and pictures.  I told her to read the letter first, then when she was ready, top open the pictures.  I went very well and we are closer than ever. Hope this helps! Best of luck!

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Susan R
53 minutes ago, DonnaBall said:

I have not gone out to my car as a woman but have been changing clothes in my car or at a nearby family restroom. 

Oh this is what I did for a few weeks. My wife and I talk about how difficult it was back then. We came out months earlier than we wanted more for reasons of convenience and ease than anything else. We had some funny moments getting me dressed in the car and doing makeup. In some ways, I miss those days. We laughed a lot.

 

53 minutes ago, DonnaBall said:

The counselor suggested inviting them one at a time to my home and telling them I need to talk to them.  When they come over I am dressed as Donna.

Your counselor’s suggestion was good. I did this in a similar way except I didn’t want to shock them at the door by presenting female. I invited them all one at a time with my wife and I. We had each neighbor/guest sit down and read the very short but vague letter that I had sent each of my family members to ‘set the stage’ for my ‘soon to be sent’ coming out letter (a pre-coming out letter).  Then I had them read my coming out letter with images of me presenting female. It went very well even with the two devout Christian neighbors until they saw me working in my garden a week later presenting as myself. Other than those two, everyone in our neighborhood has been extremely accepting beyond what I thought possible.  Even those two anti-trans neighbors have since become somewhat civil to me.

 

Donna, I have to say...I really like your new avatar. You look wonderful and very happy.

 

My Best,

Susan R🌷

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KayC

Hi Donna
I am fairly new, so I don't think we have met yet .. but now that we have.  Nice to meet you! 😊

 

First, I am so sorry your wife could not support your need to be yourself.  I hope you both can find happiness in your new, separate paths.

I have not come out to anybody but my wife and I am not able to fully transition yet, but this challenge of "How to" is a similar anxiety for me.  I really like @Susan R's method she used.  I would not want to shock family or friends presenting full-on without warning.  So I think very nicely posed photo/images to provide after "the talk" or the letter would be better.

Then, once you get a feel for their level of acceptance (or not) you might feel comfortable to invite them for a follow up visit where you can fully and naturally present as yourself.

That's the best I can think of, but I really appreciate you asking this question... because Now!  I have a plan❣️
 

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Jani
12 hours ago, DonnaBall said:

When they come over I am dressed as Donna.

If you want to control the narrative I wouldn't recommend this method.  As soon as they see you their mind will be racing.  Telling your story (as Susan relates) is how I did it.  Only later did I change my presentation, after the news had sunk in.  But only you know your neighbors and friends so I am sure the direction you choose will be fine.  Remember you can always adjust your approach as you go.

 

Jani

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DonnaBall

I really appreciate everyone's input and I think it is ALL good.  It gives me a lot to work with and I hope more girls add to it. 

Jani, can you expand on the mind racing thing. 

I like Suzans method of a picture that

would be good enough to keep their mind on the right track without the shock of seeing Donna for the first time. Also reading a narrative of what you want to say is great too as you won't forget to explain everything you want to say. 

 

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU EVERYONE. 

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Erikka

Donna,

sorry your wife does not want to be a part of your journey. That is hard.

 I live in a small apartment complex of six units. I first started dressing androgynous and as my confidence in my transition strengthened I began to dress more and more feminine as time went on. First to the communal mailboxes hoping someone would see me and that could start the conversation and then dressing to go to therapy and sneaking out to the garage and finally one by one introducing myself to my neighbors. I have not experienced any negativity from any of them. All is good with them. In fact I know my neighbors better now than I did before I transitioned. Even the evangelical in the next apartment to mine we are now on a first name basis.

It is scary at first but it gets easier as you gain confidence in who you are. For those with religious convictions, God doesn’t give a -crap- which side your buttons are on.

Velsignelser 

Erikka

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Joanna Huston

Donna,

Your doing just what I what to do. I want to live full time as Joanna but I just don't know how to go about it and what I would have to do to live full time as a woman ! So can you tell what I need to do to live full time as a woman ?

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DonnaBall

Joanna that's a hard one to answer, not knowing anything about your situation.  How old are you, do you live alone, what do you do for work?

 

I am 74 years old and retired so I can do whatever I want without any other obligations. 

Can you give me more info.  There are many more girls here with a lot more experience that I do with my 7 weeks of living full time as a woman. 

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DonnaBall

Susan, I forgot to thank you for the comment on my picture.  It gave me a big lift when I read it. 

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Carrie

Hi Donna

It is difficult to say for sure people have offered you good advice.  I think I would think about the person you are closest to as a man ask them what they think and if they would like to meet Donna see what reaction they have and  how they think you could share with others. It might give you a better idea about what the others will think though everyone is different.

Wish you luck with that.

When I came out it was sort of forced on me because someone had noticed the changes to my body.  I actually came out as Carrie 9 months after starting HRT.

Yes you do look lovely in your profile picture. 🙂

Carrie

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Alex C

Hey Donna first, as always, Susan is on point. As for me I pull the band aid and came out as Alex on FB. However, i did apply  Errika  method for a bit. But for a long time i was a CD girl of means. So i was either come or going fully made up and ready for action. My N.Bors never ask and i never gave a Dep. 

 Like Patti said it hard, but if the Condo you live in dose not have moral cause in the bye laws , that state they can force out for your sexuality change or choice. I say F them but you. Your 74 and retired enjoy your life. Be Proud and KICK ASS

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DonnaBall

I appreciate your input Alex.  The situation here is that we are a small condo association with close contact and everyone is friendly.  There are only 11 units in my building and we see each other occasionally when going to our cars which are all in one carport.  Additionally there is a Happy Hour once a week in the club room and it would be hurtful to be left out of the social activities.  People are friendly and when you need help people are eager to help. 

There is no moral clause in the condo docs and besides I am on the board of directors and treasurer and there is no one else that can replace me or wants the job. 

That said I am prepared to be isolated if that happens but I want to get as much cooperation as possible. 

One fly in the ointment is that my wife, even though she moved out, is getting together with the ladies once a week.  I am afraid that they will be mad at me because of what they perceive I am doing to her, causing her to lose her husband and having to leave.  One mitigating fact is that I heard from one lady that she speaks very kindly of me because of all the support I have been giving her getting settled in her new condo and taking care of the "man" stuff. 

Right now I am very scared to pull the trigger and hesitating. All of my close lifelong friends know and I have lost every one of them. First I want to have a talk with my wife that I am going to come out at the condo so she does not hear about it from someone else first. Then I have to decide when to do it. 

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Jani
20 hours ago, DonnaBall said:

Jani, can you expand on the mind racing thing. 

@DonnaBall I think that you will open the door to let them in as Donna.   They won't know what to think, is it a joke, are you ill, or crazy!  You only get one chance to make a first impression.  I'm not sure many people would think, oh you're transgender as it's not on most folks radar, less so in our age demographic.   

 

A note of invitation that says you have something personal to share about what's going on in your world, would be a start.  If during your meeting you sense a positive vibe you might suggest that Donna would like to be there.  You could go quickly change.  My friends and family didn't see me until later, after the news had set in and they were ready.  

 

All my best.

Jani  

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DonnaBall

Yes Jani, I agree with you. 

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Susan R
3 hours ago, DonnaBall said:

Right now I am very scared to pull the trigger and hesitating. All of my close lifelong friends know and I have lost every one of them. First I want to have a talk with my wife that I am going to come out at the condo so she does not hear about it from someone else first. Then I have to decide when to do it.

Donna, one of the key points to make with these condo neighbors is that you have been wanting to live your authentic self for years if not you entire life. When telling your story, make sure they follow both your logical and emotional reasoning for each choice in your life. If they follow along well enough, you can put these individuals in your shoes, so to speak. Once they see the difficulties and struggles you’ve had to overcome to get to where you are at that moment, they might have some empathy and compassion. Understanding someone is the first part of accepting them.

 

3 hours ago, DonnaBall said:

One fly in the ointment is that my wife, even though she moved out, is getting together with the ladies once a week.  I am afraid that they will be mad at me because of what they perceive I am doing to her, causing her to lose her husband and having to leave.

This is one other thing I wanted to ask about but I don’t know the details regarding how you and your spouse left your relationship. If she stormed away and is bitter and resentful than I wouldn’t consider what I’m going to suggest. If you're both still good friends or close enough, is there any way you could speak to your spouse specifically about your concern with her future visits to see her lady friends in your complex? If she has love for you as an individual, I don’t see a problem with having a short discussion but it may help her understand that what she says to your neighbors could have an affect you. Just letting her know it’s a slight concern, might keep it ‘top of mind’ while she’s visiting them.

 

I am sure everything will be fine coming out to your neighbors especially once everyone gets to know the ‘real you’. People will not give this topic a second thought in half a year or even less.

 

Best of Luck,

Susan R🌷

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Jani
11 hours ago, DonnaBall said:

All of my close lifelong friends know and I have lost every one of them.

Then they weren't really friends...

Friendship-small.jpeg.3a2698c6737c0f235d463ee03fc1fd69.jpeg

 

8 hours ago, Susan R said:

If they follow along well enough, you can put these individuals in your shoes, so to speak. Once they see the difficulties and struggles you’ve had to overcome to get to where you are at that moment, they might have some empathy and compassion.

I think this is important.  You need to let them know that you are happier now.  You might have seemed so earlier but there was this facet that kept you from being truly happy inside.  Obviously you don't have to go into great detail about personal matters but through your words you can help them walk in your shoes.  Hopefully their minds will be open enough to see you are still the person they know.  

 

I agree with Susan about speaking with your wife so that she can help you better assimilate with your neighbors.  I hope she loves you that much.

 

Jani

 

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DonnaBall

So I guess what you are saying is that even though my long term friends have shunned me, I should reach out to them? 

They have maintained contact with my wife, inviting her to their home.  They were my college and work friends so she was part of the friendship through me, but they have dropped me from the group. 

I know through one of our friends that still does not know that I am trans but separated from my wife, that she speaks kindly of me so there is no reason not to believe that she speaks kindly of me to my condo neighbors. 

We are still very good friends and do things together such as bike riding, playing tennis once a week with two other people and going out to eat.once in a while.  I help her a lot getting settled in her new home. I don't know what will happen when I take the big step of openly living full time as a woman. Will the neighbor ladies take sides?  Will that end our frieldly relationship?

 

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Carrie

Hi Donna 

I have found that most people simply don't care so long as there is no impact on their lives.  You will find some to be friendly but some may distance themselves from you.  With you you might even meet new friends through what you are doing.

I am sorry there is no positive way to know how people will react.  At it is much more out there now that will help.

Live your yourself

Carrie

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Jani
3 hours ago, DonnaBall said:

So I guess what you are saying is that even though my long term friends have shunned me, I should reach out to them? 

No.  I don't use the term "friends" lightly.  My point was since they abandoned you they weren't really friends after all.  

 

I'm sorry about all the pain this has brought into your life.  It shouldn't be this hard.

Jani

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KayC
4 hours ago, DonnaBall said:

We are still very good friends and do things together

Hi Donna
Obviously your relationship with your wife is something you still cherish, even if you have chosen separate lives. 

I don't know where the relationship with my wife will end up, but its very possible it could be like yours .. living separate lives physically, but hopefully emotionally connected and supportive of each other to the end.  If that is the same for you, then I would not worry about what other "friends" think. 

 

You know who is important in your life and who isn't.  Extend your greatest efforts to those that mean the most to you.

Hugs❣️

 

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Jani
11 hours ago, KayC said:

You know who is important in your life and who isn't.  Extend your greatest efforts to those that mean the most to you.

Great advice @KayC!!!

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DonnaBall
13 hours ago, Jani said:

No.  I don't use the term "friends" lightly.  My point was since they abandoned you they weren't really friends after all.  

 

I'm sorry about all the pain this has brought into your life.  It shouldn't be this hard.

Jani

I think that they care about themselves more than they care about my feelings, and you are right, that is not the kind of friend you want.

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Carrie

Hi Donna

Unfortunately a lot of people think about image. They seem to think A trans person what will people think.

It doesn't matter what others think just what you think.

:--)

Carrie

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DonnaBall
13 hours ago, KayC said:

Hi Donna
Obviously your relationship with your wife is something you still cherish, even if you have chosen separate lives. 

I don't know where the relationship with my wife will end up, but its very possible it could be like yours .. living separate lives physically, but hopefully emotionally connected and supportive of each other to the end.  If that is the same for you, then I would not worry about what other "friends" think. 

 

You know who is important in your life and who isn't.  Extend your greatest efforts to those that mean the most to you.

Hugs❣️

 

Although I think she loves me now, I'm not sure what she will do when I tell her that I am coming out to the neighbors.  She does not really know, that I am living full time and going out as Donna all the time, nor does she ask what I am doing now.  That reality will hit her when I tell her about coming out to the neighbors.

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