No.1437[Last 50 Posts]
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So, I'm not as familiar with the trans world as I would like to be. I'm not trans by any means, but I do like understanding people and their perspectives.
This thread is to talk about transgenderism, if/why you transitioned etc.
I'd really like to understand it. So I have some questions for the transgender folk here in Ponyville (feel free to post anonymously). Forgive me if they're poorly worded:
1 - How did you come to know that you're transgender?
2 - What are some challenges you faced before and after transition? (if you have)
3 - What do you look to get out of transitioning?
4 - How do you feel now that you have transitioned? (again, if you have)
5 - If you have transitioned, what sort of transition have you gotten? (just pronouns? Hormone therapy? Surgery? etc.)
I may ask some follow up questions as well. Let me know if you don't want to answer any more.
Please be respectful in this thread. Thanks! :)
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I suppose most people would answer 1) by citing a bunch of extremely painful feelings of body dysphoria: hating the sight of one's own skin to where looking at the mirror is too much, wanting to shower with all of the lights off, feeling like oils and hairs that the body is coming up with are like alien infections scarring one's skin, and having this sense of like the 'real you' hidden inside is a little being piloting this weird craft. Picture a dystopian, nightmarish version of Pixar's 'Inside Out', I guess. A lot of frustration that sticks on people building up throughout the teen years and into the twenties.
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>1 - How did you come to know that you're transgender?
On some level it just always made sense, even before I learned what it meant to be transgender. I've always been drawn to feminine things, and wearing feminine clothes and looking and feeling girly, and most of my childhood friends were girls. The first time I really explicitly thought of myself as "a girl trapped in a boy's body", I was 10.
I didn't fully realize what these feelings meant, or how they could be addressed, until I was about 15 or 16, and I read about medical research and things like hormone replacement therapy, voice modulation, etc. At the time, I was kind of hooked on escapism and repression (a trend which only continued the next few years, unfortunately), yet it was also when I first felt "legitimate" in my identity. Nonetheless, I doubled down on escapism and repression, because I knew my family wouldn't take kindly to me wanting to transition, and I was pretty scared of poor treatment by society as well.
Cue a few years of heavy depression, suicidality, a brief psychosis, substance abuse, failing out of school, and lots of angry arguments with my parents…but that's all behind me, now.
>2 - What are some challenges you faced before and after transition? (if you have)
Explaining it to my parents, as well as talking about it to pretty much anybody who wasn't on the internet. I'm still largely closeted IRL. I think a lot of progress has been made in terms of societal perceptions of trans people in recent years, but it's still a vulnerable position to be in. Growing up, I was bullied a lot just for being a "wimp" and a "nerd", not even openly transgender.
I'm still not really over my social phobias, but my depression has gotten a lot better.
>3 - What do you look to get out of transitioning?
More self-confidence in my appearance and body image, and thus more comfort in social situations. Also, more…"functional" emotions.
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>1 - How did you come to know that you're transgender?
I didn't for the longest time. I just felt like something was off and kinda wrong. I was 23 when I actually learned what transgender meant.
>2 - What are some challenges you faced before and after transition?
My biggest challenge is just getting people to not call me 'she' or 'miss'. I don't always wear a binder (because I am both lazy and it's not worth it to throw it on if I just have to run to the store), and my beard hasn't really come in great.
>3 - What do you look to get out of transitioning?
I just want to feel comfortable in my skin. Also, a sexy beard scruff.
>4 - How do you feel now that you have transitioned?
Well, I started transitioning with hormones in March. I feel worlds better.
>5 - If you have transitioned, what sort of transition have you gotten?
I'm on hormones now, and I plan to get top surgery next year. Other than that, I don't really feel the need to transition more. I don't need the bottom surgery, that's not what winds me up.
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Thanks for sharing! I hope things work out for you.>>1441>I just felt like something was off and kinda wrong.
Can you expound on that? It's okay if you don't want to.
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It's hard to really describe.
You know that feeling you get when you feel something isn't right? Like you have this anxiety that's running under your skin and you can't put your finger on it and really discern what it is?
It's kinda like that, but every waking moment of the day. And even when you know what it is, that feeling doesn't go away.
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Yeah, I have to second most of this as well for my own case too.
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That doesn't sound enjoyable. Sorry you have/had to go through that.>>1440
Sort of a weird follow up question(s). I hope it doesn't come off as rude. But, what difference does it make for you to say "I'm a girl" as opposed to saying "I'm a boy that really likes girly things"? Is there something besides feeling girly and liking girly things that motivated you? Or is it simply that you feel your personality matches that of a girl more and so that must be what you are?
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Woooo, I can talk about this now. Yay for interesting experiences that offer unique perspective!
> 1 - How did you come to know that you're transgender?
This is kind of dumb, but I had a dream in which I became a woman and woke up with a sense of deep relief that I couldn't ignore. I had repressed it until that point (this was just about nine months ago), and I finally snapped and realized that I had always been uncomfortable with my body but wouldn't allow myself to look too deeply at why. The more I looked at it, the more I realized that it went a LOT deeper than I thought, with obvious signs going back fifteen years to when I was just starting puberty.
> 2 - What are some challenges you faced before and after transition? (if you have)
Well, during transition I lost my job and my partner and I had to move. I'm also probably going to lose my relationship with my dad when I come out to him. Job interviews have been pretty tough, too, since I'm full-time as a woman and interview as such even though I don't pass. I let them know ahead of time to make sure that it isn't awkward, but interviews are self-conscious enough without makeup and heels added to the mix.
I wrote something on reddit recently about why trans people don't frequently answer questions and explain their experiences (it was in a conversation spurred by a pretty nasty anti-trans comic, so much different from this thread). I'll go find it. It's long, but I got a lot of messages from trans people afterward saying that it resonated with their experiences as well.
"The 'I shouldn't have to educate you' attitude that I sometimes see bothers me a lot as a trans woman. The only way that we can improve things is to start talking with one another. I do understand where the attitude comes from, though, and I'd like to reach out and relate a bit of what life is like for us.
Being trans is exhausting. As long as you don't pass (and few of us do until at least 6-12 months of hormone therapy), it becomes the focus of everything pretty much no matter where you go or what you do. Most people that you interact with on a day-to-day basis know nothing about gender dysphoria, and they are at best curious and at worst openly hostile. Even in a liberal part of California, I frequently receive stares of disgust while I'm just trying to live my life. People stopped smiling back at me on the street. It may seem minor, but it chips away at you.
Other times, I've ended up spending fifteen minutes explaining transition to a stranger while trying to get some shopping done. Many of these people have never met a visibly trans person before, as well, so you are representing the trans community in every interaction. During a time when you are already incredibly self-conscious and fighting to get over your own insecurities and shame, you now have a spotlight that follows you everywhere you go and makes most people uncomfortable around you before you say or do anything.
Meanwhile, your friends and family are losing their minds over this. Some ultimately are able to deal with it, while some aren't, and sever ties. But because you are the one deciding to take the step of hormone therapy, even those who are supportive often treat transition as if this were your lifestyle choice rather than the only medical treatment shown to be effective in dealing with a condition that makes you miserable. You are now responsible for being patient and understanding as you try to help your loved ones through their own processing, with many of them often saying incredibly hurtful things along the way. It's very common to hear, 'The person I loved is dead, and I don't know if I will love who you are going to become.' I've heard that many times from those closest to me, even though my memories, values, and passions are all still exactly the same.
So you are trying to individually and simultaneously support nearly all of your remaining friends and family (and potentially your partner) as they go through their own grief process, without support and in a hostile society, all while battling your own inner voices telling you that you're a fraud and gross and Christ, you're going out in a dress? Look at you. You should be embarrassed. You'll never look like them. Why are you even trying?
Forty-two percent of all transgender people will attempt suicide at least once. Many succeed. Most of us know someone who has. Studies have identified much of this statistic to be due to social causes, as well, rather than depression. We are significantly more likely to be assaulted, raped, and murdered than any other demographic in the United States. We go out every day and try not to show how those statistics flash in our minds when we catch someone staring at us on the street at night, try not to flinch when the checkout lady calls us 'sir' even though we're wearing our most feminine outfit. Try to pretend that we're confident in who we are. We cry. A lot.
Then you go online, and you see what people post. Reddit, Facebook, news articles. A core aspect of your fundamental identity is considered open for debate and ridicule. You try to engage with it, often starting off constructive because you think that you can help inform people. It doesn't help, though. The flood is still there, and the people you talk to just laugh and call you mentally ill. So then the ten thousandth post like this pops up, a post misrepresenting who we are and what most of us believe (for the record, I don't personally know a single trans person who gives a single shit about assuming the gender of a stranger based on how they are presenting), and you just don't have the energy to answer the same question or refute the same bad science for the millionth time. You are tired, and you are frustrated, and you just don't have it in you to respond constructively. It's not a matter of not wanting to educate others, it's a matter of emotional self-preservation."
This isn't a universal thing, but I think this captures some of what a lot of trans people go through to varying extents during transition.
> 3 - What do you look to get out of transitioning?
I want to be the person that I know myself to be.
> How do you feel now that you have transitioned? (again, if you have)
This is without question the single best decision I have ever made in my life. Even at just four months in, I absolutely love my life and who I am becoming. I've noticed that I am more outgoing, socially active, productive, and my emotional reserves are ten times what they used to be. I can handle an insane amount of stress right now, which I wasn't expecting.
> 5 - If you have transitioned, what sort of transition have you gotten? (just pronouns? Hormone therapy? Surgery? etc.)
I've started hormone replacement therapy, gone full-time as my identified gender with everyone except for a few family members, and plan on getting surgery down the line.
I HOPE YOU ALL MISSED MY TEXTWALLS, CAUSE THEY'RE BAAAAAACK
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Hm… I don't know. A few months ago I just sorta… Knew for sure. I felt for a while more comfortable as a girl… For years, really. As I took in more and more information and was more or less bombarded with…'symptoms' in the months just before I came to understand that it was who I was, I had time to introspect and after about a month I finally… Came to terms, I guess, with it.
Most of my trials and tribulations with it are very… Inside. Like most of my problems, really. I'm what some would call a closet trans because I haven't came out to any one outside of the internet for various reasons. Doing it online has let some people I know in real life know but nothing bad or good has come of it.
My main problems come from having to present as male constantly. I don't really think I have to explain what problems that would bring about.
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I know you didn't mean for that to be a sad post, but I have to be honest-I cried a little. I know it's just something that many people go through, but jesus… I am sorry it has to be like that for trans people, Hawkeye. I know sorries don't really…change much either, but I just needed to say it.
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Ha, I suppose it is a bit dark, isn't it? It's funny how such a fulfilling and positive experience can simultaneously be so messed up.
Things will get better, though. It just takes time.
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Oh snap! That's really insightful! Definitely what I'm looking for. Thanks!>The more I looked at it, the more I realized that it went a LOT deeper than I thought, with obvious signs going back fifteen years to when I was just starting puberty.
What do you mean by that? Could you explain a little bit more?
Like, the same question I asked Starshine: "What difference does it make for you to say "I'm a girl" as opposed to saying "I'm a boy that really likes girly things"? Is there something besides feeling girly and liking girly things that motivated you? Or is it simply that you feel your personality matches that of a girl more and so that must be what you are?">I want to be the person that I know myself to be.
Hmm… that's interesting. Like, you are you, there is no doubt about it, but like, is it that you want your body and other things to match who you are?
Like… for me, one's body and gender don't change how I see them as a person. If you're a good person, I think you're a good person, regardless of your body, pronouns, and other "external" things. (I think you're an awesome person BTW ;P). Does that make sense?
Or is there more to it than that?>wall of sad text
Aww, man. I sorry you've had to go through all that. It makes me sad that most people act that way around people who aren't quite "normal" (if there is such a thing). I think that a lot of people are just scared, or don't know how to react to seeing transgender people, so they try to avoid the situation. Other people are just stubborn and rude, which… well… is all too common now days.>I absolutely love my life and who I am becoming
Dude! That's awesome! I'm happy for you!>I HOPE YOU ALL MISSED MY TEXTWALLS, CAUSE THEY'RE BAAAAAACK
lol. Dis gun b gud.>>1447>Most of my trials and tribulations with it are very… Inside. Like most of my problems, really.
Do you mean like, with family? Or more mentally/emotionally?>I felt for a while more comfortable as a girl
Hmm… I guess I'll ask you as well: "What difference does it make for you to say "I'm a girl" as opposed to saying "I'm a boy that really likes girly things"? Is there something besides feeling girly and liking girly things that motivated you? Or is it simply that you feel your personality matches that of a girl more and so that must be what you are?">I don't really think I have to explain what problems that would bring about.
Aw, man. Well, I'm sure you can get through it. *hugs*
I hope this isn't coming off as intrusive. I'd just like to get a really good understanding of it.
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I've been imagining myself as female since I was like 10 years old. I don't know what else there is to say about it, really, just a lot of small things adding up over the years that make me wonder if my birth wasn't somewhat inaccurate when it came to gender.
Ultimately, though, I decided not to transition. Going to the doctor just isn't something me or my family does. I can't even be assed to get new prescriptions for my glasses, I haven't seen the dentist in probably 8 years, and I work through illnesses often enough that I can't even tell when it's the wrong choice. The idea of me making multiple trips to a specialist, going through tons of medication and maybe even surgery, paying out money I don't have access to, all to ultimately still fall short of what I feel should've been? It's not in the cards. With how little of my body functions, gender is just another thing I've grown comfortable ignoring.
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i um, suppose i could add my understanding to this as well, though i dont feel nearly as qualified as anyone else to speak on it,since..
>1 - How did you come to know that you're transgender?
…i havent entirely.
ive been stuck in a really painful, back and forth, 'am i or arent i?' for a while over this. sometimes i feel like i cant possibly be trans because you so often hear that people have always known, so i start thinking my uncertainty shows that i am not.
but in another way i feel like, i have always known but not realized what it was. ive always been feminine, got along better with female friends, etc., etc.
the more i hear from others though the more i think this uncertainty is just a part of the process that ive just been stuck in for particularly long, for a myriad of reasons.
>2 - What are some challenges you faced before and after transition? (if you have)
im still in the before of course, so my challenges are minor by comparison. im very closeted, which is kind of a double edged sword. it feels safer, but grossly insincere. even among the lgbt therapy group i sometimes sneak off to im known as a gay male. ive only confided my feelings about it with one person, and even then i downplay it a lot. im a highly anxious person,so i always feel im somehow going to be "found out" and lose everything… and that fear keeps me from finding out how much this is really who i am.for now.. much as ill regret it, im safer this way, until i can get far from where i am now.
>3 - What do you look to get out of transitioning?
if i come to it, i can only dream of the peace of mind it might bring. transitioning obviously isnt an instant cure-all and definitely comes with its own host of new worries.. but the newfound confidence and sense of self that it could come with would help me face those much better than i do anything in my current mental state.
>4 and 5
dont apply for me yet so i wont try to answer them.
i hope that helps at all, i know thats a lot more anecdote and personal story than it is any kind of useful information. who knows though, maybe seeing perspectives from different stages can help you form a better understanding too c:
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You aren't coming off as intrusive at all. I really appreciate that you are asking so many questions to understand our situation better.> Like, the same question I asked Starshine: "What difference does it make for you to say "I'm a girl" as opposed to saying "I'm a boy that really likes girly things"? Is there something besides feeling girly and liking girly things that motivated you? Or is it simply that you feel your personality matches that of a girl more and so that must be what you are?"
This is where it's important to break down gender identity versus gender roles. Gender roles consist of interests, behaviors, and all of that cultural stuff. There are plenty of girly cis men and masculine cis women, because it's perfectly fine for people to play with gender roles and some find that different parts of the roles fit them better or worse.
Gender identity, though, goes beyond personality or interests and into a fundamental mental image of what the body is supposed to look like. The research is still relatively young on the topic, but there are lots of studies showing that certain parts of transgender brains are structured differently or behave differently, in every case more like that brains of the identified gender. More research is showing that this is probably due to abnormal levels of exposure to certain hormones during development that cause the body to sexualize differently than the brain, resulting in the mismatch.
For the record, my interests aren't girly at all. My personality is pretty girly, but even with hormones, I still love drinking my scotch and climbing mountains and using power tools.> Like… for me, one's body and gender don't change how I see them as a person. If you're a good person, I think you're a good person, regardless of your body, pronouns, and other "external" things. (I think you're an awesome person BTW ;P). Does that make sense? > Or is there more to it than that?
There is a bit more to it than that. What you're talking about is how you perceive someone's character (which is something that you would know a lot about, being seriously awesome yourself). That has nothing to do with gender, and everything to do with how they treat others and themselves.
This is more about the simple fact that deep down I have felt that I am, and would like to be perceived as, a girl. That shouldn't change your judgement of my character, or even change how you treat me, other than calling me "her" rather than "him". It seems incredibly minor from the outside, but that makes more of a difference than you can possibly imagine.> Aww, man. I sorry you've had to go through all that. It makes me sad that most people act that way around people who aren't quite "normal" (if there is such a thing). I think that a lot of people are just scared, or don't know how to react to seeing transgender people, so they try to avoid the situation. Other people are just stubborn and rude, which… well… is all too common now days.
Thanks, though it's also kind of exciting to be doing this at a time in society's evolution on trans issues where talking with people and reaching out can actually make a real difference. So there is a silver lining in that I get to make things better for future generations just by being me.> Dude! That's awesome! I'm happy for you!
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Thanks!>>1445>what difference does it make for you to say "I'm a girl" as opposed to saying "I'm a boy that really likes girly things"?
It's kind of hard to explain, but describing or thinking of myself, or being described as a boy just…rubs me the wrong way. I think discovering that I liked girly things more than boyish things, and enjoyed the "feminine" aspects of my personality more than the "masculine" aspects, sort of led me to uncover a deep longing to really "be" a girl.
When I was young, I was told that I was a boy, and I didn't really know what that meant – it was just a word to me. So I accepted that. But growing up, I often found myself doing things "boys don't do" and being called out for it, much to my confusion, as well as having a much easier time fitting in with the girls than the boys.>>1446
Wow, what a post.
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>>1452>ive been stuck in a really painful, back and forth, 'am i or arent i?' for a while over this.
I had that too! It wasn't fun. I hope you can figure out where you stand.
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Wait a minute, what? You're a whatever-you-wanna-call-it? When did this happen? You never told me that. Not that it's a bad thing, I guess.
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She mentioned it in her thread. You were probably distracted by arguing about Trump and didn't see it.
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no fun at all. but it does helps to know others have been there and have made it past that loop c:
thank you <3
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That's a fair response. Thanks for being cool about it.
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Huh, I think that's a good way of looking at it. Practical too. Thanks for sharing!>>1452
Hmm.. well, I hope that you can overcome your anxieties and figure out what is best for you! *hugs*>>1453
Nice! Awesome explanations.
Just to make sure I'm getting it right (for you and >>1454
): It boils down to, for you at least, you just deep down feel more comfortable being called and looked at as a girl. And however external or minor a difference it may seem to be externally, makes a large difference internally. Is that correct?
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I was just observing that you said that you wouldn't talk trans issues on Ponychan, and so you recognized that this was a discussion that you didn't want to engage with. That's why I thanked you for being cool about it, since that was a mature response. We don't all need to totally understand one another, just as long as we respect one another.>>1462
On the nose! At least in terms of being perceived by others. I'm also a lot more happy just looking in the mirror now and seeing more of what I feel to be right.
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And that's exactly why I thanked you. We all have baggage, but most people aren't self-aware enough to realize when it's their baggage talking rather than themselves. I appreciate you being considerate about it.
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Wow, you guys go through so much shit.
I gotta say, I'm definitely floored by how much dedication and passion you guys still have for life, even when it can feel like such a hostile environment because of who you are.
I'm really grateful we get to have fun and communicate with y'all in a platform that to some degree provides you a safe space to be yourselves. I think I can relate to wanting to be something that society doesn't see me as, quite a bit, and it's always so hard struggling against collective expectations, and what could make it even harder is if you're struggling against your own biology simultaneously. It's great to see, though, that we're making enough progress as a society that more people can feel safe enough to pursue what they want to be.
as a sidenote, If I don't go the route of a therapist, I've been thinking it could maybe be interesting to go into neuropsychology and start studying the brain makeup of people that experience gender dysphoria, perhaps to develop better medication or treatment, but also just to have more information out there about what causes the phenomenon, and what we can do to make those people happy. Perhaps it could even be a stepping stone towards identifying people in risk of feeling that way earlier on, before they have to struggle too much and feel bad about themselves for being what they are. Every day that I encounter people like you guys fighting to be happy and fit into the world even when it doesn't allow it easily, it makes that option seem more attractive.
What do you guys think, is that the kind of work that could potentially make transitioning and being what you are easier?
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…U-um, well, it's I'm not quite sure about… and I'm pretty reluctant to talk more about it than that…
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I think that that sort of study and practice could be great and would make a world of difference for many people. The best thing we can do to be able to help people is to be able to properly understand their situation first. The more we know, the better, and the more we can do to help, the better.
Helping people is awesome. I say go for it! (if that's the direction you want to go, that is) ;P
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TIL I'm apparently really bad at recognizing trans people.
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That's what I was thinking.
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It's gotten better now that I'm transitioning. My family has gotten much more accepting and with my now-sister coming out in August, I think they all realize that this is not a phase. It helps that I'm 28. >>1466
I think that is incredibly noble.
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>>1437>1 - How did you come to know that you're transgender?
It was a long process that literally took me about 25 years. I could write a life story of sorts, of years of experiences about this, but the best way to summarize it would be to say that it's really a story of years struggling to understand what is essentially a complex set of gut intuitions, involuntary drives and desires, and the cognitive dissonance that comes with them. > What are some challenges you faced before and after transition? (if you have)
I have not transitioned, and I am not really in a position to do so any time soon.
For me the greatest challenge was just trying to make sense of it all. Like I mentioned in my answer to the last question, there was a lot of cognitive dissonance involved. It didn't make a whole lot of sense to me, why I should feel one way and yet reality was another way. I wasn't one of those kind of kids who was really good at articulating what my gut feelings were telling me or even trusting them. I didn't know why I sometimes wanted what something inside really wanted. I knew I was a boy yet felt, vaguely, like I was supposed to be a girl, and that was really confusing.
The second greatest challenge, once I started to understand it and suspect what it was, was the fear of losing everything should I try to do anything about it. And that's kind of when I started dismissing it, or rationalizing it away, even going so far as to assume everyone felt exactly the same way I did.
The third greatest challenge was finally coming out about it once I stopped rationalizing it away. That was pretty terrifying.
The next challenge I have to face is figuring out just how the hell I am going to do it. That's kind of where I have been stuck for a few years now. >3 - What do you look to get out of transitioning?
Greater peace of mind, greater stability, and perhaps the ability to feel a little more comfortable in my own skin.
Though frankly, I don't think I could get out of it what I really wish I could get out of it. Not all things are possible yet.
I might answer follow up questions. Sorry I am being a bit vague here. Certain details about this are not really things I feel completely comfortable with talking about in public settings.
Also I might go to bed in about half an hour or so, so I might not answer anything else until tomorrow.
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Well, thanks for sharing, even if it is scary. I think that coming to terms with what it is and admitting how you're feeling about it makes it at least a bit more comfortable to live with to some degree, whether or not you do anything about it.
I wish you the best in the future. *hugs*
And I'm heading to bed as well. :P
Nighty night, everyone!
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>>1450>Do you mean like, with family? Or more mentally/emotionally?
I mean I'm not open about it so all my struggles are internal. I don't have anyone I can talk about it one on one with in real life and since nobody knows I don't have to deal with bigotry directed at me personally, I just have to deal with it in general as well as with emotional and mental stuff. Every time someone refers to me as a male, by my birth name, etc it hurts a little inside. When my parents talk about trans people like they are perverts or criminals or sinning against god, it hurts and it tells me that I can never safely come out to them and expect to be accepted.>Hmm… I guess I'll ask you as well: "What difference does it make for you to say "I'm a girl" as opposed to saying "I'm a boy that really likes girly things"? Is there something besides feeling girly and liking girly things that motivated you? Or is it simply that you feel your personality matches that of a girl more and so that must be what you are?"
I mean when people assumed I was a girl online before I came out as trans, when at times someone thought I was a girl from behind because of my long hair (when it was long) and general body shape, when people called me by a girls name online etc. I've ALWAYS been into things that are more coded towards girls, but I always just thought it was the general "sometimes guys like girl stuff, sometimes girls like guy stuff" thing. Because I've always been super accepting and understanding of that sort of thing. But now that I've come to understand I'm trans I realize it was more than that.
There are still parts of me that question if being trans is truly the end all be all for me. Parts of me that are still comfortable as a male that contradict the parts of me that aren't. What it comes down to is how real or acceptable the idea of being genderfluid, demi, etc is. For me, I don't really know. All I know is that the biggest part of me is the part that knows it is female, and that gives me reason to believe that the parts that believe them to be male simply come from being a male for 19 years and my body and mind is used to it.
That's why I'm not transitioning, really. I am a girl, I have body dysphoria, though it is very mild compared to some cases, but I have had a male body for 19 and a half years and I am used to that. And I can deal with it for now. There may come a time when I cant, but it is not here yet nor do I believe it will be for quite a while.
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My first instinct was to get annoyed and i felt a bit like you were intruding, but I recognized this and was able to reason with myself.
My first instinct is to always turn down the discussion of my personal problems and feelings and whatnot and to meet the inquisitor with disgust and disdain, as if to say "how dare you think so much of yourself that I would confide my weakness to you?" It took me a long time to realize that this was destructive and bad for me, and now I try to share more. It is still my first instinct, but I am able to catch it and deter it until I can use reason instead.
So you're good.
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Well I certainly hope I can get into a situation where I can begin to see a realistic plan become possible. Right now I am in kind of a catch-22 situation.
I will be in this thread again tomorrow. Goodnight.
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Isn't that the point?
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Well, I had a good sleep.
Anyone want to keep this discussion going? >>1445>I hope it doesn't come off as rude. But, what difference does it make for you to say "I'm a girl" as opposed to saying "I'm a boy that really likes girly things"? Is there something besides feeling girly and liking girly things that motivated you? Or is it simply that you feel your personality matches that of a girl more and so that must be what you are?
Wanted to comment on this last night but I was too sleepy.
In my experience, and from the stories of other Trans people being transgender actually doesn't have much to do with being masculine or feminine ahead of time. At least, the cause and effect relationship doesn't really quite work that way. One can be a boy and like girly things and one can be a girl and like boyish things and not necessarily identify as trans or as the other gender. What matters is not if
one likes things, or does things, or has a personality more stereotypical of the other gender, but rather why
. A gender dysphoric person feels like they are supposed
to be of the other gender, or at least not of the gender they were born into, that feeling comes first, and it kind of effects their relationship to masculine or feminine things and activities. Many partake in such things as a means of exploring or making sense of their feelings, and for some it's the means by which they discover what their feelings are saying. So I guess to restate in in short, a trans woman is not a trans woman because she likes feminine things, rather she likes feminine things because she is a trans woman.
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So I'm gonna do this now before the thread goes too far and gets autosaged. Due to extenuating circumstances at least some are privy too, Essie isn't around to be able to see this thread, and might not be for some time. I don't have the specifics myself, she may be able to see it right now but she might not and that's the thing that I'm worried about. Essie being trans and having a lot of bundled anxiety about it both internal and external in nature, this thread and the things that have been posted might be some small comfort to her. So on the chance she's on an internet blackout right now, and might be until after this particular thread gets lost to the void that lies beyond page 10, I'd like to save this thread in /arch/ before it comes to that.
Considering the very personal nature of this sort of thread, however, I felt it only polite to ask long in advance of my doing it. This isn't a request from the mod staff as a whole, this is a solitary request from me. Just me. Cards on the table.
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I agree with the caution, but I like that idea. And for others too, being so open may be a comfort worth remembering on days when it feels impossible.
This comment is pretty much only directed at you and is otherwise just taking up space, so please delete it whenever. I don't want to leave clutter.
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>>1474>it hurts and it tells me that I can never safely come out to them and expect to be accepted
Aw, dang. Sorry about that. They probably just don't understand what it's like to have those feelings. A lot of people think it's an intentional choice, which can really warp the way they look at it.
I hope you can one day find a comfortable way to express yourself.>And I can deal with it for now.
That's good. I hope things work well for you then.>>1475>So you're good.
Thanks. I really don't mean to be intrusive. I just want to understand so I know how to talk about it and interact with others, especially being friends with so many transgender people and having transgender family members as I do.>>1479
Huh. So it really is a sort of internal mental/emotional sense. That's interesting. Good to know!
Another strange follow up question, it'll be hard to word so…: When someone feels transgender, is that feeling more about who they see themselves to be, or who others see them to be? Or both? Or is it different for each person? How is it for you, specifically?>>1463
Same thing I asked Andrea: When someone feels transgender, is that feeling more about who they see themselves to be, or who others see them to be? Or both? Or is it different for each person? How is it for you, specifically?
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Well, I got confirmation from Essie that she'll be able to see the thread anyway so… I can retract my request.
Good timing, really.
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Well obviously they don't. Most hatred comes from ignorance. But not everyone is open to becoming educated on the subject.
One would think that once someone knows a person, such as their own child, who is trans (or gay or whatever else that's not the norm) they would make an effort to understand and help them. But the literal hundred of stories of people being mistreated, hurt, or intentionally worked against by people they know and love show that is obviously not the case in many situations.
I believe I am in one of those situations. I have no way of knowing for sure how they would act or what they would do, but given what I DO know and what I HAVE heard I am not willing to hedge my bets on things going well. I'm not one for confrontation.
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I think it should be arched eventually, like when it does automate. Depending on how it goes, anyways.
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Agreed. Until then however, I will limit my involvement from this post on.
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Hi Essie! We miss you and hope you're doing better!>>1479>a trans woman is not a trans woman because she likes feminine things, rather she likes feminine things because she is a trans woman.
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Go through and screencap it for her. Then you can just send it to her.
I think it depends on the person. For me personally being recognized as female isn't really an end goal in itself but rather a means to an end, that end being the mitigation of cognitive dissonance. A lot of gender dysphoria is really a kind of cognitive dissonance, a conflict between our gut feelings of what sex we should be and the recognition of what sex we are in physical reality. For most of us, the way we deal with that is to learn how to ignore that part of physical reality, not deny it, just ignore it. So when someone uses male pronouns on me, it kinda makes me aware of physical reality and just kind of exacerbates the cognitive dissonance. It's like someone saying "you are now breathing voluntarily", someone calling me "he" "him" or sir is kind of like them saying "hey, you have a penis, remember? You're actually a boy". Which just reignites that internal conflict.
But like I said I think it varies from person to person, mostly based on how intensely they experience that dissonance. For me, I think the terror of being androgynous in a world where there are people who would lash out violently against such ambiguities outwheighed any anxiety I would feel from dysphoria. I have a naturally androgynous appearance, and while I never quite felt right when people would use male pronouns, I was more scared when they used female ones without any effort on my part, so I used to actually overcompensate for a long time and wore a big beard on my chin
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So, I hear a lot of talk that moving to a kind of left-wing bubble city is a great thing for self-esteem and all, that being in a really socially tolerant area is like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly.
And I wonder to what point it's really applicable to everyone. But it could apply to me. But is it really such a big deal? How much does being in a strongly 'blue' area really matter in you guys' own personal lives?
Locally, it's pretty depressing because while the multiplex is generally really tolerant, some of the politicians coming into power close-by are extremely awful. One particular douche-bag made an issue about how much he'd like to physically beat up LGBT people. And he, of course, won.
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>>1491>But is it really such a big deal? How much does being in a strongly 'blue' area really matter in you guys' own personal lives?
I barely leave the house, and when I do it's pretty much just to the grocery store. It's difficult for me to imagine any sort of public assaults taking place in a restaurant or something.
Now, if you are
in a place where people are publically assaulted then of course it would be fantastic to get out of there. Don't live somewhere where people assault you.
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Yeah, the thing is all of these are true:
1)I live in a multiplex where many local senior officials in law enforcement are on the record of saying horrific things, beyond just political rhetoric to essentially 'Boy, I sure want to beat up LGBT people'.
2)I'm a shy and introverted person with a strong tendency to be scared and timid to the point that I know– I really 'know'– that it's depressive paranoia.
3)My specifically local area where I live is considerably safe, crime-wise.
4)The places that I drive to where other family lives, where I go to buy things, etc have a lot of problems, particularly in terms of street crime.
5)Mass shootings are very rare; you might as well be afraid of being struck by lightening.
6)This multiplex is one of those that was indeed recently struck– with our shooting making international news.
So, well, I don't know. I have some loyalty to DFW, but not that much. Ugh.
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Well hey, I'd bet you $10 you'll be happier living somewhere without mass shootings in your apartment.
I mean, that stuff didn't literally happen beside my apartment complex, but it DID occur in a public plaza that just a bit of months ago I was there to participate in city artistic stuff. And I was thinking of going back soon. So, to see on the news…
It felt as if the news was saying:
-> "Hey, fox, remember where you thought about taking friends to hang out outside, see the orchestra, et cetera? Where you wanted to go back too soon? A crazy fucking sniper is brutally murdering people there! Eat it, sucker!"
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this is a great thread! i read many of the longer posts and tried to take in most of it but i really need to get some sleep in and get back on track with things. i was at an inpatient clinic for a few days after the hospital (i am physically okay and it was all voluntary) and while it did a lot to help me i got sick, i barely slept the whole time there, and i am just run down in general.>1 - How did you come to know that you're transgender?
this is a hard one for me, because there is still an uncertainty there for several reasons. one is because being trans where I live is simply unheard of, so it takes an extreme amount of courage to step up and take it upon yourself to basically be who you are in a situation like this. a part of me continues to tell me i'm misguided or just looking for answers that aren't there. my identifation of being trans started with crossdressing, which was a hobby at first and I really felt nothing of it. it was distinct from who i felt like as a person. i can't give a timeline of how anything changed but i guess from the start there were psychological aspects of feeling more comfortable with woman-ness in comparison to man-ness. A friend mentioned I looked more "natural" as a woman and that was probably the catalyst for all the further thoughts I had to take it seriously. it's not a physical thing, though, and that is part of reservations i have going forward. i think everyone worries about how we look and how it was compare favourably or negatively to the self-image we have in our heads. it's difficult. on top of that, with the problems i've had with mental health, it's easy to put yourself down and reduce it all to being "mental illness", somethineg someone else mentioned being a popular putdown both online and in real life. i feel my feelings on being trans changed as people online began to see me more as a woman online and i'd say i was simply genderfluid or something similar. there is a definite comfort of femininity, for me. i don't like to use the word "shame" to describe my feelings towards my male-ness because not only is it inaccurate but it also gives credence to alt-right nerds who reduce the trans community to people with an axe to grind against their own gender because of feminism (mtf) or "daddy issues" (ftm) or other convulted reductions. there's simply not the same level of comfort - i feel more guarded and less inclined to share "myself" as a man, and it's not really because of any embracing of gender roles but rather because in a way, I feel so far removed from male-ness as an experience. I don't even think I am particularly feminine - as far as I'm concerned, I would be fine as a bit of a tomboy. As a guy, having long hair and wearing different clothes has done some to help, but there's still a desire to present differently, to feel more attached to the inside feelings. long hair isn't the same as hair that makes you feel happy and confident, or having more androgynous clothing may not necessarily help either. there is an appeal to some degree of androgyny, though.
i've not yet transitioned or really even come out of the closet very much, but at this time it's simply something i don't feel i can roll with. i don't have the strength or the courage right now, or the financial stability, and i think that's okay. i have had the feelings, now i am developing an understanding. once i understand it, i can begin to formulate actions. it's a scary prospect but no matter what, i like to envision a confident me who is fearless about who they are and is strong enough to ignore those who want to tear them down or abuse them for realizing themselves
2 - What are some challenges you faced before and after transition? (if you have)
3 - What do you look to get out of transitioning?>>1481
thanks chrome, i appreciate you keeping me in mind!>>1488
thanks! i missed you guys too and i am doing better mentally, just not doing the best physically for a couple of reasons, but that should improve with time
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I know that Essie and I are "closet trans" because of where we live and whatnot, but Hawkeye and Sherlock are both transitioning and living as their true gender.
you keep it to yourself or online.
but people around you probably won't know
You mean keeping it in the closet?
Well, personally I label myself as being transgender here as a way of being partlly
out of the closet.
Labeling oneself here as transgender doesn't usually result
in people going into the closet, but is often a result of having already been there to begin with. Coming to this community didn't make me realize I was trans, I sort of knew that to begin with for … well for two and a half decades beforehand really. But the spirit of this community (back when it started at least) was enough to make me less afraid to be open about it somewhere and to someone.
Also, the reality is that no one is ever completely out of the closet about it. Many might be out of the closet about it to people whom they know personally offline and to people online, but few are totally out to everyone in the world. In fact, unless you just don't pass at all after you transition, the stage of transitioning is really the only period in which a person is openly transgender. Once one transitions and passes, one doesn't necessarily
remain openly transgender.
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i think most people are in the closet at some point - it's not really like homosexuality or bisexuality in that you can be "open" about it yet more or less incospicious in the vacuum of, say, walking down the street. to be fair i am fairly blessed in terms of my physique minus maybe my shoulders which might clue people on, but my voice especially would be a barrier - i can't talk like a woman, and i wouldn't be comfortable speaking in my normal tone of voice as a woman as a general rule in public. it something that takes other changes in my life and time, unfortunately, before i can really be fully open about it.
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I'm kinda partially closeted.
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>1 - How did you come to know that you're transgender?
Was around… 8 years old, I think? Being a guy just didn't feel… right. When someone looks in the mirror they can usually say 'Hey, this is me.'. I couldn't do that. I mean sure, I KNEW it was me, but it didn't feel like it was me. I never played with action figures or really anything that was stereo-typically guy-ish. On the other hand, I never played with anything girl-ish. Was always more… gender neutral stuff like Legos or K'nex. Although I did like RC cars.
Anyways, at the time I didn't know that there was such a thing as being 'transgender' so I tried putting off my feelings as just a phase or my poor self esteem. By about 16 I think I had suppressed it almost completely. Took about till… last year iirc that I started to seriously question whether or not I was trans. I asked myself whether I was happy being a guy or not. Of course that ended up being that I was not happy. Buuuuut I could still pin that on self esteem and such, so I asked myself a different question. If you saw yourself as a girl, would you feel more comfortable in your own skin? (not necessarily happy, but comfortable) I answered 'yes'. The more I thought about, the more I thought about how I felt in my childhood relating to it, the more I realized that I was trans and that I couldn't suppress those feelings any longer. The less I suppressed those feelings, the more right it just felt.
However, one thing did get in the way (least internally, not something I really talked about). I wasn't into girly, pink, fru fru like stuff like most MTF trans individuals I've known. So I thought I might then not be really trans. Buuuuuuuut, as many different types of guys and girls out there, there must be many different types of transwomen out there too. So I slowly accepted I was a tomboy. Funny, I should've just looked at the pony I post as most. lol
>2 - What are some challenges you faced before and after transition? (if you have)
I'm pre evvvvvvverything. No money or right healthcare to do anything about it at all. Because of this, I'm a closeted trans IRL as I don't wanna change pronouns or what have you until I can actually do something about it. Not to mention how dangerous in general it is to be trans in society. I haven't even told my therapist yet 6_9
>3 - What do you look to get out of transitioning?
Comfort in my own skin. Being able to look in the mirror and think 'this is me'. Gaining self confidence/self esteem. Being able to wear clothes that feel more… right.
>5 - If you have transitioned, what sort of transition have you gotten? (just pronouns? Hormone therapy? Surgery? etc.)
Obviously haven't, buuuuuuuut, I'd mainly just want HRT. No surgery for me down there. However I won't rule out chest surgery. Pronouns I really don't mind, but I won't know how I really feel about that till I do transition.
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Just got back from the post office. Strangers nowadays almost always avoid gendered language to refer to me since it's clear that I'm transitioning, but the guy helping me at one point looked up at me and then started finishing every sentence after that with "sir".
I think that it's a sign of progress that this made me angry rather than depressed. Still, what the hell? It was humiliating to have him saying that over and over in front of a bunch of other people while I was standing there with a purse and makeup on.
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I hate those sorts of people.
He probably posts on 4Chan and complains about Tumblr SJWs on a daily basis.
I don't know how people like that exist. It literally costs 0 dollars to call someone what they want to be called. It literally takes 0 effort to be nice to people.
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Maybe he's just jealous for not having a purse like yours.
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And honestly, I don't even ask or expect strangers to call me "miss" or "ma'am". I know what I look like, and I know that those words don't exactly spring to mind for most people right now.
But it's also clear that I'm trans. I have boobs, for Chrissake. Is it too much to ask that people not intentionally misgender me in public?
It continues to boggle my mind how nasty some people can be about a topic that they have clearly put literally zero effort into learning about.>>1508
Thanks Dizz, this made me smile. Dude wishes he could rock all of this fringe.
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People are only becoming more accepting of trans-gendered individuals, so even though there will be some people like that, I think things will get better, and people will compliment you on your purse instead of lashing out in insecurity of their own inadequate purses. He probably just had a normal wallet, the poor guy.
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You have always been beautiful Hawkeye and now, you shall only become moreso! It is something to be very proud of.
It is not quite the same… but you know, you are a minority now. And that comes with its own heritage but also it's own baggage. Closed minded people shall always find ways to subtly poke at that heritage, but they act out in such ways because they have no other power over you but to poke.
I hope you shall feel confident in that beauty - the beauty that makes you who you are at your very core! And let those who would poke and insult do so in vain.
I feel I should also say that one thing the internet taught me was to never assume an action was done in malice when ignorance suffices for an explanation.
I know, for me at least, I knew very little about Trans stuff before discovering the internet and ponies myself. And there is still much I do not know, but am learning.
I feel like pre2011 me might have been confused and might have been less sensitive not out of dislike, but because I would not know how to be sensitive yet or even ehat that means out of not yet understanding :(
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This is probably why that post office had bullet-proof partitions between the costumer side and the employee side.>>1511
Yeah, we've definitely come a long way from even just five years ago. It'll be interesting to see where we are in ten more.>>1512>>1513
Thank you, Moony! These are wise words. I give people the benefit of the doubt as a rule because life is a lot better that way, which is why I almost always just shrug it off if a stranger calls me "sir". This time was pretty obviously intentional, though.
And I've experienced bigotry before due to my sexual orientation, but definitely never had to deal with my minority status being something so polarizing and so visually obvious. You're right that there will be people who want to poke at that baggage because they have a bone to pick - there always will be. And most of the time it won't bother me, but sometimes it will, and that's fine too. I've found that I'm most confident in my identity when I give myself room to be not confident from time to time.
I used to tell myself, "Their reactions shouldn't bother you." But then a day came when they did bother me, and I ended up feeling even worse because I was trying to deal with my feelings by invalidating them rather than working through them. So I changed the mantra to, "Their reactions don't need to bother you, but it's okay sometimes if they do." I've found that to be a lot more effective, and actually to be a great general life lesson.
Anyway, those are my musings for the moment. Already feeling better.
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Oh shit it does?
Ours doesn't. But our post office people aren't jerks so I guess they don't need it.
Also is it SWORD PROOF????
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Yeah, my neighborhood was pretty bad not all that long ago. It was kind of weird seeing that in the post office, since I'd also never been in one with bullet proof glass. It's like…what the hell happened
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>>1505>However, one thing did get in the way (least internally, not something I really talked about). I wasn't into girly, pink, fru fru like stuff like most MTF trans individuals I've known. So I thought I might then not be really trans. Buuuuuuuut, as many different types of guys and girls out there, there must be many different types of transwomen out there too. So I slowly accepted I was a tomboy. Funny, I should've just looked at the pony I post as most. lol
This is probably a lot more common than you might at first think. I certainly thought I couldn't have been trans for the longest time because of the fact that I never really had all that much interest in explicitly effeminate things. Maybe a curiosity at best, but hardly anything I would consider affinity. >>1506>tfw you aren't even transitioning and people get offended like this simply because you look androgynous
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Well, based on sentiments that were aired after my request, I will now be moving this thread to /arch/.