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Hello.  I am new to the TransPulse Forums.  My reason for joining, and for creating this post, is to describe my life situation and see if anyone here identifies with it.  If any of you do, I would be very interested in hearing decisions you have made and/or actions you have taken to lead a happy, fulfilled life and find meaningful, rewarding relationships.  (Needless to say, I am having trouble with these things, now more than ever.)

I am AMAB, recently retired, having been an IT professional for all of my adult life.  I have a B.S. in mathematics, with some graduate work.  I am a member of two ‘high-IQ’ societies, one of which sets the bar for admission at the 99.9th percentile, so I guess I can claim to be fairly bright.

As a young child, I never had desires to be placed with the girls instead of the boys when children were segregated by gender at school or elsewhere.  What I did have was a fascination with the way women looked and posed in the ads in my mother’s ‘ladies’ magazines.  When I would lie in bed at night, I would try to position my body in a similar way.  For a short while, I even pulled my belt really tight during the day to try and develop a narrowed waist.  (This is when I was 4-6 years old.)

When I got to the age where I was capable of autoerotic gratification, my strongest fantasies had to do with me identifying with a female character in a state of minor peril.  In 5th grade, when the girls started wearing tights and shoes with some semblance of a heel, I had very gratifying fantasies about being forced by the teacher to swap clothes with one of my female classmates.  A few years later, I remember getting a Superman comic anthology with a story about Superboy making sexist comments to a female alien, who responded by turning him into a girl to teach him a lesson; as you can imagine, that provided me with another source of intense gratification.

As a teen, there were random incidents that made me question my masculinity.  One of my aunts told me that my chestnut hair was so wavy and pretty that “I should have been a girl”.  Several times in gym class other guys would tell me that I “ran like a girl” or “threw like a girl”.  Once or twice girls asked me if an unattended nearby purse was “mine”.  Two girls went so far as to ask me to let them put makeup on me; I was so embarrassed that I pretended not to hear them.  I worried that they somehow ‘read’ something in me.

When I was in college and living with my parents, I experimented with crossdressing in private a few times, but then decided that it was ‘unacceptable’.  I continued getting gratification from my fantasies, however.  When I began working, I discovered crossdresser magazines and publications like the Sandy Thomas books, with which I continued to fuel my fantasies.  When I bought my first PC, I quickly found websites featuring pictures of attractive crossdressers, as well as free story sites like Fictionmania.

In many ways I was a late bloomer, living with my parents and remaining a virgin until I was in my early thirties.  I was attracted to females, but I lacked self confidence in social situations.  More often than not natural physical arousal was very difficult for me, so even when a woman was willing to get intimate, I had to decide whether to ‘trust nature’ or trigger myself with my fantasies.  It was hard work rather than spontaneous fun.  Despite these difficulties, I did manage to have three long-term relationships; in all of these, I confided my ‘peccadilloes’ to my significant other when the time seemed right.  The levels of acceptance I received varied; one woman who was interested in marrying and having children said, “It’s harmless,” and even indulged me by whispering things to me during foreplay.  Once I was engaged for a while, but that fell apart over time.

I first learned about transgendered people and transitioning when my uncle made a joke about knowing Christine Jorgensen “after ‘he’ became a ‘she’”.  I asked my dad about it later, and he gave me a very terse explanation.  This new information fascinated me.  Later, when I had a PC, I sought out websites with information about the various steps involved in transitioning.  I became quite an expert.

About 10 years ago, my last relationship had fallen apart.  I was reading articles about FFS, and I discovered that there was a service that could provide a kind of ‘virtual’ FFS based on photographs.  I became obsessed with seeing how I would look with FFS.  I contacted the English transwoman who provided the service (her credentials are very impressive – she did a dissertation on the subject of FFS, I believe), but she told me I was too overweight to get a good result.  My motivation was so great that I dropped 57 pounds in about 5 months.  Then I shaved the beard I had for over 3 decades, had the necessary headshots taken professionally, and emailed them to her with my payment.  The results were very pleasing.  I was also pleased when she told me that I had a brow that was much closer to the female standard than the male, so that I would probably not require correction in that difficult area at all.  At the same time, I started watching videos on voice feminization.  I even bought a set of CD’s from a voice therapist who specialized in voice feminization training.

I sought out a gender therapist in my area and scheduled ten sessions with her.  Her assessment was that I was not transgendered, but rather that I was eroticizing crossdressing and transitioning, and using the resultant gratification (and the endorphin rush that went with it) as a form of self-medication to counteract depression.  I think she was surprised when I cried after hearing her conclusions; I guess I was disappointed that I hadn’t figured myself out after all.  She did impress me in the way that she guessed a couple of things about me.  She asked me if I had experienced some trauma at an early age (I had), and also whether I ever had migraine headaches (I did, from 4th grade until my late teens).

Since then, I’ve been kind of ‘stuck’.  A therapist I talk to occasionally said that the only “anchors” I had in life were my last girlfriend and my job.  Now that they’re gone, I am adrift without sufficient activities or social interaction.  Because of my fixations, I feel isolated from people.  My only friends are from high school and I only see them a few times a year.  I wouldn’t dream of confiding in them or my relatives about my secret inner life.  I took a look at FetLife and Alt.com thinking I could find some kindred spirits, but I feel uneasy about the people that frequent those sites.  I don’t actually crossdress (not outside of my mind, anyway), so I don’t think I’d feel comfortable at Tri-Ess meetings or gatherings like the Southern Comfort Conference.  I have toyed with the idea of going to one of those crossdresser makeover services and seeing what happens, but that wouldn’t really address my deep loneliness.  I still have faint hopes and dreams of meeting that miraculous, attractive person who is on a par with me intellectually and could accept me completely for what I am, but they are fading.  I know there is a part of me that finds it very hard to accept myself.

Please forgive the length of this ‘brain dump’.  I hope someone out there has a similar story but has found a way to get to a ‘happy ending’.

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  • Admin
VickySGV

It sounds very familiar to me, and I am 72 and 7 and a half years Post Op and 11 years out of the closet and living full time as myself with a corrected Birth Certificate as well.   I would highly recommend going to one of the conferences once they can safely happen again.  I went to Southern Comfort Conference from 2009 until 2016 when the hurricane hit their time slot.  Even if you do not dress the first time, the conferences are very accepting, and who knows what you may put on when you get there.  Trans spaces are always safe havens in my experience (I have helped a couple be that way as a volunteer staffer.)

 

Closer to home I would suggest finding a local LGBTQ center and going to their Trans and Non-binary support groups, many of which are on-line these days.  Not quite the same crowd as at a MENSA meeting, but you may find yourself legitimately among peers there.  I am on the Board Of Directors of one LGBTQ center and working with the others is a lot of fun and not nearly the stress of other "Cis / Straight" groups. (I am retired and volunteer as a staff member here as well..)  Join in and don't worry about writing a lot.

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Carolyn Marie

Welcome to Trans Pulse, Jacqui.  I'm glad you found us.  Your story and mine have some parallels, but also some differences.  I transitioned at the age of 57, but knew I was different around the age of 6-7.  I didn't do anything about it until I was nearly 55.  In my case, though, my wife of 20 years (then) gradually accepted me and we are still together.

 

I think you might chance searching out a different therapist, because I have doubts about the one you mentioned.  She could be right, but it would benefit you to get a second opinion.

 

Please have a look around and post wherever you wish.  We are here to answer any questions, large or small.

 

HUGS

 

Carolyn Marie

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Hi Jacqui!  Nice to meet you, and Welcome!
Well .. Yes, your story sounds familiar (.. actually VERY familiar) to me, but obviously we've lived different lives.  But, I am in the same place of Questioning and just getting started, but as you can see from my profile I have (for now) labeled myself Transfeminine ... well, because that's how I feel.

 

I just started therapy, and one of my fears was that my feelings could be dismissed as auto-erotic fulfillment (because that has been a part of my story too).   So far that has not been the case, but like I said ... just getting started.

 

I agree with both @VickySGV and @Carolyn Marie ... find a good support group of like-minded people because you will probably find (just like on this Forum) WE come in all shapes, sizes, and flavors (Hah!)

 

And if my therapist gives me the same diagnosis as your received I would be thinking .. "OK, well .. what now?""  I would probably seek a second gender therapist/opinion and somebody who has experience helping someone through a full transition (even though that may not be your goal) just to be sure.

You will find a lot of experience and similar stories here in the Forum.  So, I hope you can stay with us and help us learn and grow together.

 

Deep breaths ... one step at a time❣️

 

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Hey Jacqui

Unlike you..I am properly have the IQ of bed bug. However, like the previous beautiful women( Vicky and  C.M)  before suggested, I too felt diff from the age of 5 and did not start Transition until 54. I am 2yr on HRT, have my vocal surgery in 2weeks and have being CD full time for 7yrs. I have no idea what Vicky and you mean bye Southern Com conf....But they sound fun.

                           As for meeting Mrs. Or Mrs right( depending preference) I have found that extremely difficult. Most sites are not trans friendly, or just filled with creeps or a total cash gardens. I should know as I made my  share of roses a while back.

All I can say is that TP is a great place for research, sharing and exploring. This place has help me immensely provided me with an honest prospective, aloud me to stop working for roses, candy etc and finally look at myself. TP gave me the courage to find a TG therapist , made me feel like i was not a freak and help me with other issues. So look around , writing what you want( but read the bye law first ) and enjoy.

  

 

 

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Hi Jacqui, Parts of your story seem familiar to me. While not belonging to any high IQ societies, I have always tested very high and all through school attended classes for high performing students. I did not feel out of place in typical boy groups growing up, but neither did I feel particularly comfortable. I was always teased throughout primary and secondary school for my intellect and also for my appearance. I was very thin and tall with a body looking much more femme or andro than masc. I had similar taunts of being a girl or girl-like. I did experiment a little with CDing throughout the years, but more as a sexual fetish, or so I thought.

 

In my 30's is when I really started to realize something was not right, it wasn't until 38 when I put all the pieces together. A very good friend of mine had a stepchild come out as a trans boy. Well this sent me down a research rabbit hole, to try and learn about transgender folks and how to be supportive. It was through the research that I finally had the knowledge and language to identify that feeling I had over the years. I am an analyst, so I always like to do my research and do it thoroughly.

 

I then tested my hypothesis through several experiments, identifying as female online, cross dressing more often, giving HRT a 3-month test run (now past 6 months), experimenting with various pronouns online, studying men and women around me and doing thought experiments with my observations. Everything came back to I am much happier as a woman. I don't believe confirmation bias was an issue as I my original hypothesis was that I was not trans.

 

I also had fantasies about women, but not the damsel in distress, more of the lesbian kind. It makes sense now, as I identify as a trans lesbian or transbian. I was projecting my female self into my fantasies.

 

I also have isolated myself over the last several years, while I struggled with who I was/am. As result, I had very few folks I could lean on. I have started to remedy that by coming out to my wife, who is semi-supportive, several family members, who have all been very supportive, and through online communities, such as this one. I have made friends with people around the world, but also in my backyard, so to speak. Once the pandemic is behind us, I hope to meet these folks in person, where possible.

 

I have no doubts now, after my research, introspection, practical experimentation and gender therapy. One thing that resonated with me, early on in my self-discovery, was the oft repeated phrase that most cis folks do not question their gender. They are content as they are. It is likely you are not cis, based on your intro, as to how you identify, that is entirely up to you.

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16 hours ago, SaraAW said:

One thing that resonated with me, early on in my self-discovery, was the oft repeated phrase that most cis folks do not question their gender.

That's a great observation, Sara.  I feel the same way (and as you know our experiences are very similar too). 

 

I hope Sara's comment helps you @Jacqui

If you don't feel comfortable in a cis-role, there is no need to question your gender dysphoria.  Its real.  I hope you can find a therapist that can help you with that reality and find a path forward❣️

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Posted (edited)

Thanks to all of you who responded to my post.  I appreciate your kind words of welcome as well as your thoughtful advice.  I am pleased to meet others who feel some degree of commonality with my experience.  The whole Transgender Pulse community seems to be composed of extremely nice, supportive people.

 

Based on your suggestions, I have made an appointment with a different gender therapist for a second assessment.  I have also reached out to two transgender discussion groups within the LGBTQ centers local to my community.

 

Kay, if you feel comfortable sharing, I would very much like to hear about how your therapy turns out.

 

Sara and Kay, the observation that most cis folks do not question their gender was indeed helpful.  I thought about it for a while, and then realized that the next thing I had to admit to myself was the very strong possibility that I am transgendered.  When I did that, I felt a very strange mix of emotions, one of which was a kind of relief.  It definitely took my head to a different place.

 

I spent some time a couple of days ago watching YouTube videos by gender therapists addressing a plethora of topics and questions, as well as videos by people who have successfully (my oh my -- how VERY successfully) transitioned giving advice on how to approach the various steps involved.  I must have overloaded on those videos, because I wound up with feelings of deep, deep despair, chiefly due to the following thoughts:

  1. If this takes me down a certain path, what a jarring displacement it will be to the person that the world and I are accustomed to seeing as "me".
  2. Why did I have to wait so long to be proactive about this?  (I know the rejoinder to this and accept it, but still . . .)
  3. I feel as if I am at the base of a mountain 10 times higher than Everest, and I am faced with the prospect of having to climb it to the top.

The dark feelings passed after a day or two.  I decided to give myself permission to try a crossdresser makeover at a place not too far from me; their website says they will reopen in late September.  I find myself motivated once again to diet in earnest in preparation.  I may even buy a couple pairs of heels in which to practice walking.  Right before I go, I may visit a 'trans-friendly' salon for a full body wax and a mani/pedi.  I am committed to an authentic presentation.  I think it will help me to see this other person that I have kept in the shadows for so long in a full-length mirror.

 

By the way, the profile picture I have uploaded is not from the virtual FFS I mentioned.  It is basically a picture of me from 10 years ago pushed through the 'gender swap' functionality of FaceApp.  The fidelity to my face shape and features is quite good, and I was surprised that "she" is rather attractive.  I spent a lot of time looking at the slightly wry expression on "her" face.  I decided that I like her and that, one way or another, she deserves to be set free.

 

Edited by Jani
spell correction req'd
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6 hours ago, Jacqui said:

Kay, if you feel comfortable sharing, I would very much like to hear about how your therapy turns out.

Hi Jacqui.  I will! (probably will share with everybody!) but might take a while .. just started, and after short Covid delay, 2nd appointment next week.

I am so happy to see that you completed quite a journey of self-discovery over the course of this week and you have a great plan for how to move forward.  Specially a new gender therapist.  Hope you can share too?
 

6 hours ago, Jacqui said:

I feel as if I am at the base of a mountain 10 times higher than Everest, and I am faced with the prospect of having to climb it to the top.


I think most of us have felt the weight of the same challenges in front of us ... but you know what?
When you get to the top of that mountain, you will be 10 X HIGHER than Mr Everest.   Think of THAT❣️

Look forward to you reaching all your goals, Jacqui (and you are gorgeous in your profile pic)!

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Oh!  And @Jacqui please read the linked article @RhondaS posted above my post ... The Null HypotheCis

Its probably the best article I have read that sums up how probably many of us feel (including myself).  Thank you Rhonda for sharing.  I wonder if @Carolyn Marie might want to share with the wider Forum?

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Posted (edited)

Hi Kay!  Thank you for your encouraging words and very sweet compliment.  I will definitely share the conclusions from my assessment.

 

Hi Rhonda (and welcome, although I am just as much of a newbie as you).  I read "The Null HypotheCis" with some interest.  Just to be clear, when I started this post I wasn't really looking for affirmation or proof that I was anything.  I just wanted to hear what actions people with a similar life experience had taken to get to a happier place than I was at.  Be that as it may . . .

 

One reason that people may need to find some outside confirmation that they are transgendered is . . . the investment!  It costs a bundle in time and money to address the condition.  Being cis is free.  (Yes, I know -- what price happiness?  But still . . .)

 

From within the article, "Well, maybe… if proof of being trans was even really something possible . . ."  Well, I'm not sure if anyone disputes it, but check this out:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fefu33e8O-0  (go to 14:00 within the video).  Since I saw this, the thought of getting an MRI scan has occurred to me.  (And yes, I did see paragraph 16 in the article.  The evidence mentioned in the video sounds like a lot more than a variation suggesting a mere predisposition.)

 

I suppose I should post these observations in the blog where the original article appeared as a reply, but I thought I'd comment here for now.  I hope this doesn't get me branded as some kind of negative-minded contrarian :?.  (What am I saying?  I love being a negative-minded contrarian :lol: -- albeit a nice, polite one.)

 

 

Edited by Jani
edit req'd
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Hi @Jacqui -- that's a great video you posted.  Im in middle of watching, might have to finish later but its facsinating.

Thank you❣️

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15 hours ago, Jacqui said:

If this takes me down a certain path, what a jarring displacement it will be to the person that the world and I are accustomed to seeing as "me".

I think you will find that other than those close to you, most folks will be rather apathetic. Yes, there will be those bigoted idiots, but they are rare in comparison.

 

15 hours ago, Jacqui said:

Why did I have to wait so long to be proactive about this?  (I know the rejoinder to this and accept it, but still . . .)

I think we've all been there, I know at times I wish I dealt with this many years ago. I didn't have the awareness, language or knowledge to even think of this as an option for many years. The what if game is one you'll never win. 

 

15 hours ago, Jacqui said:

I feel as if I am at the base of a mountain 10 times higher than Everest, and I am faced with the prospect of having to climb it to the top.

Well, it helps to have a sherpa or two for the climb.There are many on this site and elsewhere that have and continue to provide me with guidance. I did find that I gained momentum the further I climbed, the pull of gravity lessening with each step up.

 

7 hours ago, Jacqui said:

but check this out:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fefu33e8O-0  (go to 14:00 within the video).

There is some literature for this, but lots of science still remains to be done. Will Powers does seem to have some interesting theories and treatments (not fond of this word, as we are not sick and so not in need of treatment, but am having difficulty finding an alternative word at the moment), I look forward to these being tested in rigor through more scientific study.

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You make very good points, Sara.  Thank you for sharing your insights and providing some encouraging words.

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Hi Jacqui,

You can read my own story several posts before yours. While I didn't reach any resolution on my own yet, and our stories do not sound very similar (though I'm also high IQ and have migraines) - I recommend you read the book man trapped in man's body if you haven't yet. It talks about autogenophyles which is a controversial term in the trans community, but for me the book was a real eye opener. The author describe several narratives which closely resemble yours - losing virginity at 30s, difficlties in creating intimacy with women despite being heterosexual, forced feminization fantasies, not feeling like a woman trapped in mans body, and of course the gender dysphoria and possible transition.

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Hi aggam,

 

Pleased to meet you!  I am aware of the concept of autogynephilia and the sometimes acrimonious debates over the validity of Blanchard's transsexualism typology.  However, I wasn't aware of the book "Men Trapped in Men's Bodies" (which I ordered from Amazon a few minutes ago).  Thank you for letting me know about it!

 

I am especially excited that the book has several narratives that closely resemble my own.  One thing I noticed about the kind people who replied to my initial post is that, unlike me, most (if not all) of them seem to have managed to fall in love, get married, and have children.  I was concerned that this difference might have some significance; now I can review the accounts in the book and add that data to the feedback received here.

 

Personally, I would not be troubled if therapists told me that I am definitely autogynephilic (from the definition, I suspect that I am).  It wouldn't even bother me if I was told that my autogynephilia was the primary driver for my transgendered state.  After all, Blanchard himself agrees that any transwoman who would benefit from sex reassignment surgery should receive it, regardless of the underlying etiology.

 

I have been doing a little thought experiment (maybe playing a little mind game would be more accurate) based on the following assumptions:

  1. I am told by therapists that I should definitely NOT transition (that is, no hormones or GRS).
  2. I respect the therapists' recommendation.
  3. I am very rich.

What would I do?

 

The answer came to me almost immediately.  I would diet down to the correct female weight for my height (5 feet, 8.5inches); pay for permanent removal of my body and facial hair; and get FFS, a facelift and probably (given my history of rollercoaster obesity and dieting) a body lift (leaving my 'moobies' alone however, except perhaps to reshape them to look more feminine).  Then I would book as much time as necessary with a leading voice therapist specializing in voice feminization, as well as time with a woman in New York who specializes in female comportment lessons for transwomen and full-time crossdressers (she is very thorough, and also helps with makeup and wardrobe).  In short, using myself as raw material, I would 'construct' the perfect toy for an autogynephiliac.

 

I would probably spend most of my time in "girl mode" since, with maturity, I have lost those false feelings of protectiveness toward my masculinity and male ego which impeded me for so many years.  I would derive satisfaction (and authenticity, I guess) from being as pretty and feminine as I possibly could.

 

I would "come out" to my friends and family, but respect the wishes of those who only wished to interact with me in "boy mode".  I might have a little fun watching my relatives try to determine whether willingness to see Uncle J in "girl mode" would buy them a bigger slice of my estate.

 

Oh Jacqui, sometimes you can be so . . . evil!

 

 

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Although I ordered a copy of the book "Men Trapped in Men's Bodies", I got so impatient to read it that I found a pdf copy on the net.  There is a lot to get through, so I jumped to the sections with content I thought would be most relevant and binge read them this morning, and . . .

 

Wow.  Just wow.  It's a real eye-opener.  I do see close matches between my own story and many of the narratives in the book.  I guess I find it reassuring in a way.  I don't want to take sides in the autogynephilia debate; at any rate, I don't interpret the theory to be invalidating for any particular category of transwomen (maybe I'm just being naïve here . . .).

 

The book says that there are four major subcategories of autogynephiliac, and that certain subcategories are more likely to benefit from transitioning than others (I may have misinterpreted this in my haste to get through certain sections).  I know which categories I think I fit . . . all I can say is, I hope the gender therapist I am going to see is a good one!  (He is one of four identified as a qualified gender therapist in my state by the WPATH online resource directory.)

 

This feels so complicated.

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Just FYI, I cancelled out of my assessment appointment with the gender therapist.  Less than a day beforehand, he sent me a ton of forms to fill out, asking a lot more information than I felt comfortable providing.

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That's unfortunate @Jacqui.  I hope you can maybe find another clinic or therapist? 
My experience for my clinic was mostly online profile that needed to filled out, and information for medical billing.  Not too much other personal details about my gender situation other than whatever I wanted to provide the therapist ahead of time. (but not required)

IF they were asking for personal information in writing about your emotional state or gender dysphoria, that would seem inappropriate to me too.  That's what in-private, confidential personal meetings are for.

 

Don't give up❣️

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@Jacqui Welcome to TransPulse. As I read this thread, one phrase kept going through my head.

 

"Get out of my head"

 

As you've seen here you are among friends with like experiences.

 

Hugs and best wishes,

 

Mindy???

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Thanks, Mindy!  It means so much to me not to feel alone.

 

I am continually struck by how kind and friendly everyone here is.  Simply the best people one could want to meet.

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1 hour ago, Jacqui said:

Simply the best people one could want to meet.

While we are separated by geography, and currently by ourselves, we're not alone in our thoughts and feelings.

You are worthy, loved, and valued.

 

Digital >HUGS< are still from the heart,

 

Mindy???

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well, I've got an appointment with a gender therapist for an assessment.  I'm staying open-minded about where it will lead.

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      I posted the stock photo of these booties in the "Payless Back to Life" post here in the Fashion forum, but I thought it might be helpful to anyone considering them, to see what they look like on a real woman's feet (and yes, the woman is me).  They are black, so they don't photograph too well.  I adjusted the brightness of the photo hoping the details would stand out a little more.  These booties are so cute.   The Payless website states that these booties have four-inch heels, but that is clearly not the case.  They are actually just a bit over three-inches in height, so they are really comfortable (well, for me anyway).  I walked in them all-day today and my feet still feel great.    
    • Jackie C.
      I'm thinking that a communist country like the old USSR fell down the same rabbit hole that the US did. The critical problem with Marxist communism has always been the part where the ruling party steps back and just lets the workers do their thing. That never happened because, well obviously. The democratic component was never considered. There was one party. Period. That party worked to enrich itself at the expense of its people. The result was bread lines. Democracy makes the difference. The quality of life in Europe where democratic socialism is currently working is better than ours on all levels. Better education. Better healthcare. Better security. Happier citizens. Nobody's perfect, but a blended approach seems to be working for other people. It seems like a good idea to try. We'll need our own take on it, but we should be able to build a society that works for everybody if we want it. I want it. Do you?   I'm pretty sure the rich won't pay their fair share actually. They're pretty good at hiding money and there are too many people in government at the federal level that want to hide their own money too. I'm going to ask you a question though. If the rich weren't concerned with higher taxes, why are they fighting it? I think that with appropriate leadership and funding for our institutions' (like the chronically underfunded IRS) we can reduce the amount the very rich hide away and smuggle out of the country. No tax system is going to be perfect. The one we have now is killing the middle class and the younger generations. I refuse to sit by and say, "Why bother," because I know that a segment of the population is going to cheat. That's why we have laws and law enforcement. It is your duty as an American to use what power you have to make the country better.     Bad faith argument. "Things suck and they've always sucked so don't try." Yeah, we have a real corruption problem in the federal government. That doesn't mean that all politicians are corrupt. Some absolutely are. I can name names, but I think we all know who they are at this point. Do I think Biden is beyond it? No. I think unless there's a huge blue wave he's not going to be able to get half the things he wants done. Mostly because I've seen it before. The opposition party blocked Obama for his entire second term because they could. Joe is too interested in reaching across the isle when the people across the isle have repeatedly shown that they're not willing to compromise on lining their own pockets.   Again, one side has shown that they REALLY want to be the Communist party we remember from the 80's. I don't want them to seize power. They're really close right now. So please, vote. I'm going to end on a song...     Hugs!    
    • Mia Marie
      Jackie, did you forget the history of the cold war. Russia was a socialist country built on communist thinking. That is where this country will be heading if Biden and Harris win. I do agree with your definitions but what is authoritarianism without socialism. One can't work without the other. Do you really think the rich will pay their fair share of taxes? I know they won't. If the rich were to pay all the taxes they really owed to the government they could move the deficit out of the trillions down into the millions. The plan Biden has proposed which would make the rich pay more taxes will never see the light of day. Non of the taxes collected will become social nor physical country improvements. They will be used to line their own pockets. Always have and always will.
    • Jackie C.
      I agree with this part. We disagree about how we're going to reach our goal.   I'd like to introduce you to Rosemary Ketchum (Wheeling WV City Council), Pluto (Chair of Indiana Green Party) and Christopher Kalcich (Selinsgrove PA Borough Council). I agree that there should be some of us in the federal government as well, but hey, one step at a time. Politicians on the federal level usually get their start in local politics.   Socialism: A political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.   Nobody is advocating for this. People are advocating for more socialist programs. The goal here is to provide needs (housing, food, health care, education) to people that might not otherwise have it. Every American deserves to reach their full potential. People can still be rich, we just want people who were born poor to have a chance too. Nobody should have to choose between living indoors and buying medicine for their children.   What you're describing -     - Is actually Authoritarianism.   I will point out that there two forms of socialism. One (the Nazis) happens when you take things away from one group and give them to another. The other, (the one I'd like to see) happens when you try and lift everybody up regardless of the color of their skin or what's in their pants.   Authoritarian: Favoring or enforcing strict obedience to authority, especially that of the government, at the expense of personal freedom.   It also happens to be the style of government practiced by some of the best buddies (North Korea, Russia, etc.) of our current ruling party. It's also part and parcel of our current system where the government bails out big businesses so they continue to stagnate and keep new, small businesses from sprouting up. It also helps concentrate money into the hands of people who are already very, very, very rich.   I would like to see that stop. Back in the 50's, we understood some things that we've seem to have forgotten. An average adult can work about forty hours a week before productivity starts to suffer, the number is closer to thirty if the job requires a lot of brain work. We understood that the CEO making about twenty times what the lowest paid worker in their company made was sustainable. Our education was top-notch. Most people could get a job with their high school diploma and work within that company for the rest of their lives. The company valued their workers, and helped to take care of them. Civil rights was garbage back then, but we had worker's rights mostly figured out. Now I'm not going to try and tell you anything, but I want you to think about who has been defunding the things that made that possible. Who is attacking the structures who made those worker's rights a thing. Now I want you to think about who made the advances in civil rights and who keeps patching the economy back together every eight years.   For my entire lifetime, there's been a repeating series of recessions. They happen about four years into the reign of one of our political parties. Every time. Then the other party gets into power, and just about gets everything running again. It's running worse, but it's headed in the right direction. The opposing party gets into power, claims credit for everything the previous party did and then promptly drives us off a cliff again. For my entire lifetime, one party has had our military engaged in petty bully wars with tiny, weaker countries to further the interests of our big corporations. For my entire (adult) lifetime, I've seen my tax dollars go to bail out failing corporations while the CEOs that drove it into the ground fail upwards.   This needs to stop. Both major parties are complicit, but only one of them has a faction within it that is saying, "No more." I stand with them.   Hugs!
    • Mmindy
      Good morning/afternoon wherever you are. Hugs for y’all.    “Sometimes a moment of survival is about navigating between rage and joy” ― Malebo Sephod #JoyPublicity
    • VickySGV
      Suspicion and fear of the "different" is the root of more human error than as of yet been given a quantity.  One of my college professors in Behavioral Science who emphasized the Scientific Method of research had a poster in the classroom that asked us "Are you the measure of humanity or the measurer of human behavior?"  His point was that we needed to include ourselves as subjects of our own research, and spent time with each of us discussing an assigned research project to get us to know what we were taking into the project of ourselves and our preconceived ideas about the subject.  At the end of the project we sat down again and subtracted anything that looked like it mirrored the preconceptions.  With those gone, we wrote the projects up for grading.  My response was a little more full than many, but still pretty darn short.  Two of my classmates who wrote "I learned a lot about myself, but almost nothing about what I studied" actually got very high grades.  I got an 85% or high B grade and it had been brutal. 
    • Shay
      I think we have felt the need sometimes and sadly many take their lives because they are unable to handle the pain - but I applaud ALL OF YOU HERE AT TP - myself included - that we fight through the pain - and take what we've been given and conquer our fears - treat yourself extra special today and be proud of all you have managed to overcome and carrying the load you've been given - a load you never asked for. Even The Pain Richard Page Three long years now Since I've seen her face Three long years now Since she left this angry place Her destiny called her But too soon for her age If I'd only listened She might be here today And we're all gonna ride this river And we're all gonna feel the rain And we all take what we're given Even the pain Cold, tired and hungry Now she's movin' with the wind And all I do is worry 'Bout the pain she must be in If only I could see you Tell me why you didn't write Now there's no one to defend you And I can't sleep at night And we see that light before us Through the darkness and the shame But it all breaks down Even the pain So roll on mighty river Take us down to the sea Wash away the muddy water And set us free    
    • Shay
      for all us here at TP
    • Mia Marie
      Let me explain socialism to everyone. Socialism is where the government tells you how to live where you can live, what you can do, basically you will have no choices in life. A socialist government will set up what is called station and you will not be allowed to live outside of the station you are born to with the exception of certain circumstances with which the government allows you to move. Personally I don't need or want anyone making decisions for me in any way or form. You won't have the right to choose the field of work you want. You wouldn't be able to go into business without government permission and they would never let a new business open that endangers the finances of a large business already making millions. This would no longer be a free country where you would be able to walk down the street without fear. I don't need that kind of control nor would I ever want that kind of fear. I don't fear the way this country has been growing. A vote towards socialism is a step backwards. We need to grow in the right direction and we need a true voice, a transgender voice, in government seats. We need a transgender person in one or more government seats. Only then could we get heard. We don't need someone to make our choices for us.
    • Jandi
      I doubt that anyone enjoys paying taxes.  But most folks do enjoy decent roads and the rest of the infrastructure that enable us to function as a society.  These things are also necessary for businesses to operate and prosper.  Elizabeth Warren pointed out that even the wealthy depend on these things to increase their wealth.  A factory cannot function without the working class, why is it too much to expect them to have secure lives? I personally don't expect much from a Biden administration.  But just a little less hostility would be nice. We don't really have a progressive party in this country, only far right, and center-right. Using the label "socialist" as a smear is useless as it can range from gulags to the Nordic Model". And as a veteran, I am offended when it is implied that wanting to improve our country is unpatriotic.   Okay, my rant is over.
    • Shay
    • Jackie C.
      Torn. I like having it available, but with my browser/computer/settings the bar obscures the first part of whatever post I'm trying to read so I've got to scroll up after the site jumps me to the post I wanted to read.   Hugs!
    • Jackie C.
      I think your nails look way better than mine. I need professional help.   Honestly, I don't think 90% of guys would so much as notice your nails if you didn't draw attention to them. Men are kind of oblivious. They usually notice that you HAVE hair, but not so much that you have it styled. They realize that you're wearing clothes, but not that it's a new blouse/skirt combo that looks super cute. Unless you did something super obvious with your hands, I don't think most guys would pick up on it. Even less of a chance if your nails aren't painted.     I love the way you phrase that: "I'm... I'm more than just a crossdresser. The power... it frightens me. My female side... she's breaking free! Oh no! Run! I'm changing!" I'd buy that comic-book. Of course I've also thought that "Coming Out" stories should be called "Origin Stories" so there's probably something wrong with me.   So yeah, give me a little hint. What's the dilemma? The whole point here is doing whatever it is that makes you happy and comfortable in your own skin. If that's painted nails and dresses full-time with nothing else, that's a perfectly valid way to be. If you feel like you want HRT and/or surgery to feel more authentic, that's OK too. It's just about making yourself happy and making life a little easier to deal with.   Hugs!
    • Shay
      This song does it for me     Kyrie Mr. Mister Kyrie Eleison Kyrie Eleison Kyrie The wind blows hard against this mountain side Across the sea into my soul It reaches into where I cannot hide Setting my feet upon the road My heart is old, it holds my memories My body burns a gemlike flame Somewhere between the soul and soft machine Is where I find myself again Kyrie Eleison, down the road that I must travel Kyrie Eleison, through the darkness of the night Kyrie Eleison, where I'm going, will you follow? Kyrie Eleison, on a highway in the light When I was young I thought of growing old Of what my life would mean to me Would I have followed down my chosen road Or only wished what I could be? Kyrie Eleison, down the road that I must travel Kyrie Eleison, through the darkness of the night Kyrie Eleison, where I'm going, will you follow? Kyrie Eleison, on a highway in the light Kyrie Eleison, down the road that I must travel Kyrie Eleison, through the darkness of the night Kyrie Eleison, where I'm going, will you follow? Kyrie Eleison, on a highway in the light Kyrie Eleison, down the road that I must travel Kyrie Eleison, through the darkness of the night Kyrie Eleison, where I'm going, will you follow? Kyrie Eleison, on a highway in the light Kyrie Eleison, down the road that I must travel Kyrie Eleison, through the darkness of the night Kyrie Eleison, where I'm going, will you follow? Kyrie Eleison, on a highway in the light Kyrie Eleison, down the road that I must travel Kyrie Eleison, through the darkness of the night Kyrie Eleison, where I'm going, will you follow?
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