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Are there barriers to you transistioning? What is your greatest one? Poll is available till Jul 20, 2024

  
  
  
  
  
  
  

Transistioning Barriers

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Posts: 57
Member
Topic starter
(@mistressb)
Estimable Member     Australia, Queensland, Brisbane
Joined: 1 month ago

See poll above.

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Member
(@sashabennett)
Joined: 4 weeks ago

Eminent Member     United Kingdom, Caithness
Posts: 25

@mistressb A big question with a complicated answer. I could tick all of the first three boxes & add age & any number of other reasons to that list.

Access to medical care - pretty much non existent where I am.

Money - The cost of everything I would like would be very much more than I have to spare.

Fear - Would I pass? - no. I've heard all the arguments on this topic & I understand that many don't consider it important but I very much do. I don't need to look like a supermodel but I would consider it to be the whole point of a physical transition to be passable. Spending all of that time & money to end up looking like a guy in a dress would be mortifying.

Family & friends - Some would be fine with it I'm sure, equally, some would be anything but. My oldest & dearest friend would not be OK about it, I know how he works & what he would think. With time we could probably find a new level but I like the way our friendship is & don't need the hassle of changing that

I think that the main reason though is that Mrs B would be unhappy if I took things to their logical conclusion. I'm certain she would be supportive if I did go all the way. She always has been so far, but there would be a point where things changed. It's not a hard limit but our relationship has been the anchor to my life for so long that I'm not willing to risk changing that. I don't intend to make the love of my life unhappy for what I see as purely selfish reasons.

At the end of the day I have asked myself "what would I have to gain by this" You would probably say something about being your true self but I would reply that I am my true self. What is on the inside is really the important thing to me & that is where I am right now.

In a perfect world where no one was bothered I would certainly jump at the opportunity to transition, this is, unfortunately not that world & so, for now at least I have found an acceptable compromise.

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Managing Ambassador
(@emilyalt)
Joined: 5 years ago

Estimable Member     United States of America, California, North County San Diego
Posts: 111

@mistressb 

I'm almost 3 years into transition and don't have any significant barriers to overcome.  Zero boxes today.  That's mostly because I overcame what was holding me back for decades - fear, perceived lack of support, and difficult spouse. 

So yes, 10 years ago I would've checked those boxes.  And that's how I voted.

The difficult spouse is long gone.  A mistake I never should've made.  Fate fixed that.

I've known I should've been born a girl since I was 4.  And I hated myself for that.  I feared becoming the person I suppressed for decades.  I refused to accept that's what I needed....until I couldn't refuse it anymore.

When my egg cracked 9 years ago, I feared not having the support of everyone I knew.  I feared being utterly alone.  Fortunately, I had a good therapist who suggested I find girls like me.  I figured why not.  Nothing to lose.  That's how I landed here and CDH.  To my amazement, my world got a lot bigger.  I found a community and I found myself.  And I discovered my family and friends are a lot more accepting than I gave them credit for.

Life is pretty damn good today.

/LK

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Ambassador
(@flatlander48)
Joined: 5 years ago

Noble Member     United States of America, California, Cathedral City
Posts: 1803

@emilyalt 

Isolation is such a powerfully negative force in our community. Unfortunately we create all sorts of reasons to keep ourselves separated  from our peers. Anything we can do counter to that will always be a Win.

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Managing Ambassador
(@emilyalt)
Joined: 5 years ago

Estimable Member     United States of America, California, North County San Diego
Posts: 111

@flatlander48 

Agree DeeAnn.  All that bad stuff on heavy rotation in our heads....it usually doesn't happen.

As FDR said, the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

/LK

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(@tsu)
Joined: 5 days ago

Active Member     United Kingdom, Derbyshire
Posts: 10

@mistressb I guess I could tick 3 of those boxes - I’m very much still in the closet. I have to hide everything from my wife. I would leave but I know it would absolutely destroy her & we’ve got to the point where I look after the house & cook, while she works. So financially I’m completely dependent on her. Which I sometimes feel she engineered. So fear in that respect is a massive barrier & I guess spouse being difficult could also be wrapped up in that too. 
Definitely lack of support from family and friends. I was gaming the other night & one of my “friends” made quite a derogatory remark. Which made me immediately put my barriers up. None of my friends know & I’m not sure if I want to tell them either. They’d probably just laugh anyway because that’s not the persona I project online. 
It’s why I need somewhere like this, to be my true self. In here there are no doubts but everywhere else in my life I have my mask on & the doubts are there.

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Member
(@mistressb)
Joined: 1 month ago

Estimable Member     Australia, Queensland, Brisbane
Posts: 57

@tsu It's really helpful to find a local support group where you can actually talk to others face to face. Groups like TGH are good but they are not a substitute for sitting down with a group of like minded individuals.

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(@tsu)
Joined: 5 days ago

Active Member     United Kingdom, Derbyshire
Posts: 10

@mistressb I appreciate that and I think chatting with people & finding myself in here will eventually lead to joining a group. But if I think about doing it now I get a huge knot in my stomach.

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Member
(@mistressb)
Joined: 1 month ago

Estimable Member     Australia, Queensland, Brisbane
Posts: 57

@tsu Yes, it's one of the many "coming out" experiences. The good thing about it, is that you are surrounded by like individuals. I remember the first trans group meeting I attended in "boy" mode and was told next time I had to come in "girl" mode. It was just the motivation I needed, but boy I was so frightened walking down the street to the coffee shop where we would meet.

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(@tsu)
Joined: 5 days ago

Active Member     United Kingdom, Derbyshire
Posts: 10

@mistressb you are soooo much braver than me

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Member
(@mistressb)
Joined: 1 month ago

Estimable Member     Australia, Queensland, Brisbane
Posts: 57

@tsu Yes there is fear of coming out, but it pales into insignificance compared to the desire to stop hiding who your are and the loathing of yourself for being trans. I lost so much coming out, but I would do it all again in a heartbeat. To repress who you are is a nothing more than a pressure cooker waiting to explode. Sooner or later .........

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(@tsu)
Joined: 5 days ago

Active Member     United Kingdom, Derbyshire
Posts: 10

@mistressb you’re right of course but it has to be small steps for me x

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Member
(@mistressb)
Joined: 1 month ago

Estimable Member     Australia, Queensland, Brisbane
Posts: 57

@tsu Small steps are fine as long as they take you towards the right destination. The most common thing I hear and concur is "I wish I had done this earlier". Life is short and you don't really start living it to its fullest until you come out completely.

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Posts: 126
Bronze
(@charlenev)
Estimable Member     United States of America, Illinois, near Chicago
Joined: 3 years ago

Once it was fear, but working with my therapist I have come to truly believe, 'I can do this." And trust me I so ever want to.

But as we all know, "no man is an island." The "collateral damaged," at this point perhaps only personally perceived, to those I love and who depend on the male me is something I choose not to be faced with nor to ask those others to endure. 

Perhaps that will also be overcome by therapy but as of now this damage in whatever form it may take is not the proverbial a cat I care to let out the bag.

The other is my deep Bible based Christian faith. I have not yet reconciled my own personal transition with my understanding of the Scripture. That is not to say others can't transition while maintaining their faith, but for me that is a barrier still standing solidly strong.

Kindly,

Charlene 

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3 Replies
Member
(@mistressb)
Joined: 1 month ago

Estimable Member     Australia, Queensland, Brisbane
Posts: 57

@charlenev I'm sorry to hear that. I was able to have a full life (crazy full) but once the kids left home the pressure to come out just built up and built up. For two years I dressed exclusively at home and then I attended a group meeting where one of the long term members just told me to grow a set and become the woman I was always meant to be. Kind of a strange comment, but it worked. Sometimes you just need a push.

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Member
(@judith)
Joined: 2 years ago

Eminent Member     United States of America, California, Los Angeles
Posts: 40

@charlenev On the "question" of religion...may I make a suggestion? Have you ever encountered something called the "Nag Hammadi Library?" This is some scripture that was jettisoned back when they were "figgering out" what to include in the Christian canon, which miraculously appeared in the mid-twentieth century. A good way to begin study of this (really lovely and inspiring) content...is to grab a copy of "The Gnostic Gospels" by Elaine Pagels....for a few bucks. ;  )

https://www.amazon.com/Gnostic-Gospels-Elaine-H-Pagels/dp/B0006E1I42/ref=monarch_sidesheet_image

Another thing to mediate upon--perhaps--is that in Jusdism (and Rabbinic literature) is a figure representing the "feminine principle" called the "Shekkina."

The Semitic root from which shekhinah is derived, š-k-n, means "to settle, inhabit, or dwell".[8][9] In the verb form, it is often used to refer to the dwelling of a person[10] or animal[11] in a place, or to the dwelling of God.[12] Nouns derived from the root included shachen ("neighbor")[13] and mishkan (a dwelling-place, whether a secular home[14] or a holy site such as the Tabernacle[15]).

In Judaism

In classic Jewish thought, the shekhinah refers to a dwelling or settling in a special sense, a dwelling or settling of divine presence, to the effect that, while in proximity to the shekhinah, the connection to God is more readily perceivable.[16] While shekhinah is a feminine word in Hebrew, it primarily seemed to be featured in masculine or androgynous contexts referring to a divine manifestation of the presence of God, based especially on readings of the Talmud.[16][17][18] Contemporary interpretations of the term shekhinah commonly see it as the divine feminine principle in Judaism.[19][20]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shekhinah

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Bronze
(@charlenev)
Joined: 3 years ago

Estimable Member     United States of America, Illinois, near Chicago
Posts: 126

@judith Hi. Thank you for your suggestion and  the information. I understand the shekhinah glory and its significance to the Hebrews.

As far as other extra-biblical literature, I am  aware of it, but my faith rest solely in the preserved words of God as preserved for English speaking people in the King James Bible. 

Yep pretty narrow aren't I. No apologies. 

Straight is the gate and narrow is the way. Christ Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.

Kindly,

Charrie 

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Posts: 137
(@alexl)
Estimable Member     United Kingdom, Wiltshire, Marlborough
Joined: 3 years ago

This will be an interesting Poll Mistress B!
I found the access to medical help the only one really, but I got past that. I think there is always a way if you are determined enough. Thinking outside the box is a must though. Usual channels aren't much use here in the UK.
There are more answers and information here at TGH than most anywhere else and it is first hand. 

Alex

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Member
(@mistressb)
Joined: 1 month ago

Estimable Member     Australia, Queensland, Brisbane
Posts: 57

@alexl I must say that if I was in the UK ATM I would be greatly concerned over the proposed changes to the gender equality act proposed by Rishi Sunak. I can't believe anyone would endorse such a retrograde piece of legislation. I feel for all the transgender individuals that could be impacted. Thank goodness Australia has very strong antidiscrimination laws.

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Ambassador
(@alexl)
Joined: 3 years ago

Estimable Member     United Kingdom, Wiltshire, Marlborough
Posts: 137

@mistressb Well, politics is smoke and mirrors; what they propose and what they delivery are very often different things. it would of course require the Sunak government to be re-elected in a few weeks time and that possibility is extremely unlikely. The oppositions intentions are a little unclear but shy away from drastic steps. The whole debate is a minefield of genetic and gender issues, it would take a while even if it was proposed.

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Member
(@sashabennett)
Joined: 4 weeks ago

Eminent Member     United Kingdom, Caithness
Posts: 25

@mistressb Here in Scotland there was, for a while, a better future on the legislative front (the one good thing Nicola Sturgeon managed to achieve) before that future was snatched away by Westminster. The current SNP leadership have very right wing leanings so I think we are unlikely to see much in the way of improvements in the near future. It will be interesting to see how the next government deals with TG issues. I think they will probably kick things from pillar to post & generally fudge things in the hope that it will all just go away.

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Member
(@sashabennett)
Joined: 4 weeks ago

Eminent Member     United Kingdom, Caithness
Posts: 25

@alexl Interesting reply. How does one "get past" medical help if I may ask? That sounds like a whole topic on it's own.

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Ambassador
(@alexl)
Joined: 3 years ago

Estimable Member     United Kingdom, Wiltshire, Marlborough
Posts: 137

@sashabennett An encyclopedia Sasha. All I will emphasis is that you look at the options and experiences found by others you can trust. As an example to visit your NHS GP and then sit and wait for a referral in England isn't going to get you anywhere for many years. Going private is the only sensible option at the outset at least. Scotland and Wales are different I concede. I only answered from my position. Gender GP for one was (though that was a couple of years ago) a very good option, I went there before moving to GenderCare. Also taking options abroad.
It's expensive. I remember reading when I first began it was quoted £30,000 is about what the ballpark cost of MTF would be. I was shocked...but it was for me too, pretty close I would say.

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Member
(@judith)
Joined: 2 years ago

Eminent Member     United States of America, California, Los Angeles
Posts: 40

@alexl I'm very sorry to hear about the barriers, including monetary ones. I consider myself very fortunate that (in Los Angeles, USA), there are more oppor-tunities. I'd heard that the L.A. LBGT Center was a valuable resource. When I first interviewed with them, they basically said that they prefer that insurance cover their services, but that--usually--they'd "figure out a way to handle the costs." As it turned out, my (MediCare-MediCal) insurance has covered everything...including clinic visits, HRT...counseling...and--after about three --years I achieved my first (BA) surgery (about three months ago)...which I've found IMMENSELY gratifying..and validating.

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Posts: 197
Ambassador
(@reallylauren)
Reputable Member     Canada, British Columbia, Victoria
Joined: 2 years ago

I have transitioned, and live and work as a woman full time. But, my transition is social only as I can't do hormone treatment because I'm a cardiac patient and one of the possible side effects of HRT is blood clots. I have always been very feminine, in mannerisms, physical attributes and feminine facial features. This allowed me to transition without medical help. I did find out last year that I am an intersex person, my chromosomes are XXY, and I have what is referred to as Partial Androgen Sensitivity Syndrome, I am actually a female, a woman. So I guess that has to be one of the most effective ways to transition - be born that way!

Hugs,

Ms. Lauren M

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Posts: 57
Member
Topic starter
(@mistressb)
Estimable Member     Australia, Queensland, Brisbane
Joined: 1 month ago

Hi Lauren,

I have heard that old chestnut many times why girls can't take HRT. The reality is that there is practically no reason you cannot take HRT in the right form. It's true that oral estrogen is particularly bad at increasing the likelihood of clots however if taken parentally ie not involved the GIT tract it does not increase the likelihood. I should know because I have a clotting disorder that has hospitalised me on more than one occasion. My options were Gel absorbed through the skin or injections. Now here in Australia injectable estrogen is almost never percribed however if you assertive enough you can really push, and that's what I did. Been on injections for 7 years, no issues and labs are perfect. How did you find out your chromosomal variance? I have wondered about mine all my life as I have some very atypical male attributes.

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Ambassador
(@reallylauren)
Joined: 2 years ago

Reputable Member     Canada, British Columbia, Victoria
Posts: 197

@mistressb Hi, this is a bit of a lengthy answer to your question.

In order for me to arrive at the precise moment, and meet with a doctor who took the time to read through my medical records, I had to come down with a medical condition common to women, a serious urinary tract infection. But let me back track a bit.

Although I was AMAB, I knew when I was three years old that I was supposed to be a girl, and that thought and accompanying feelings never left me throughout my entire life. I have always been visibly feminine which often made life difficult as it resulted in being singled out as such and teased, bullied and also the focus of much attention from various doctors as I grew.  I often had periods of intense pain in my lower groin area, enough pain that I would curl up into a fetal position in bed to find a bit of relief. I spent numerous hours being poked and prodded and being examined in

various ways. Nothing was ever explained to me as to what was happening or what was wrong, my parents were also very quiet but, at the same time often taking peaks at my private parts.

When I hit puberty, my body developed in decidedly different ways from what is ordinary for a male. I grew boobs, my bum, thighs and hips got bigger, my voice hardly changed at all, I never developed an Adams apple, and...my private parts never grew at all, they remained the same size as they were prior to entering puberty.

So, yes, I knew I was definitely different, feminine, attracted to all things feminine, and that I was supposed to be a girl.

I grew up in a time period where boys were boys and expected to act accordingly, be rough and tough, strong and able. I wasn't!

Almost all of my friends were girls and I was comfortable being with them, identified with them and had no interest in hanging with the guys. There was, at that time, no terminology to describe who I was, nobody had heard of being Transgender or intersex and I was simply called a sissy, fag, or girly boy. I was told I throw a ball, walk, talk, sit, stand, and act..."like a girl."

So, I was different, didn't know why, but accepted that and went on with my life.

I dressed in my mother and sister's clothes and felt completely natural doing so, these were the clothes I was supposed to wear, I was crossdressing when wearing male clothing. I did get married to a gal who was actually attracted to my gentle nature, had never had a relationship with a man so didn't notice my unique physical attributes, and we had, and successfully raised, two kids.  Even then, I was always aware of my feminine longings.  By then the world was aware of transsexuals and transvestites, who we now call crossdressers. I figured I was a crossdresser and left it at that. The whole concept of being a transsexual and actually becoming a woman was a fascinating but, seemingly impossible, dream.

My wife lost her battle with cancer and my kids already had their own kids, so I was alone. Again, my mind was aware of her, the voice of who I referred to as, "The Woman Inside." She had always been there, whispering to me over the years, and now she wasn't whispering but being more persuasive.

It took needing heart surgery for me to finally listen to my heart. While recovering I finally came to the realization, and accepted,  that I was not a crossdresser but a transgender woman.

I "came out" to the world and where I work, that I was transgender and would be transitioning to living and working, as a woman. That was almost three years ago.

I have been involved with a long term study on aging. I was selected 12 years ago to be part of this study, and every three years I go for a very thorough medical exam. They check vision, hearing, bone density, grip strength, mobility, mental acuity, lung capacity, measure height and weight, blood pressure, give you an ECG and take 9 vials of my blood. My last examination was two year ago, and I had transitioned to living as a woman. They were keenly interested in seeing the differences and said it was obvious that the change was having a positive effect on my health. This time I inquired about what they check when doing my blood work. She said, "...this time we're going to check absolutely everything."

Fast forward to last year, arriving at the local ER because I had blood in my urine. I had already changed my gender and am viewed as a woman in the province I live in. I had lots of tests, was asked lots of questions, and then sent into the waiting room where I waited for almost 5 hours. I was finally ushered into a cubicle and a lady doctor came and introduced herself. She proceeded to ask me many questions about myself, my past, and growing up. She told me things about myself I wasn't even aware of. She explained that she had spent several hours going over my medical records, and there was a lot of information and notes written about me over the years. One item often mentioned was the size of my privates, and my "unique anatomy".  She asked if any doctors had ever mentioned 'intersexuality', I told her I couldn't recall such a question.  She said it was obvious that my previous doctors had noticed things but hadn't said anything.  I told her that I had noticed many times where doctors had been "scratching their heads" and I would ask what was wrong. The reply was always that it "wasn't important".  She laughed, and said, "Well, it actually is quite important." You came in here identifying as a trans woman, and, due to your unique anatomy developed a condition common to women. You have a urinary tract infection and have what is known as a micro penis. Your records show that your chromosomes are XXY, you have high estrogen levels, that, along with your physical attributes, shows us that you are an intersex person. She placed her hand on my knee and said, "Lauren, you are a woman!"

How I had always felt, what I had always "known," was true! I am a woman. I have said, in several versions of the story of my journey, that it was as if all the missing pieces of the puzzle of my life, finally fell into place. I have found out that I was born with what is called Partial Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome, which means my body, while still in the womb, was resistant to androgen, the male hormone.

My journey continues. Intersex people are, quite literally, born that way!  There is nothing "wrong" with us, we are "biological. We just happen to be natures way of poking huge holes in all the binary theories that are being talked about in the media. We are ordinary people who are a bit different and unique, and we just want to live our lives and be accepted.

Hugs,

Ms. Lauren M

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Member
(@margprodue)
Joined: 2 years ago

Estimable Member     United States of America, Wisconsin, Madison
Posts: 106

@reallylauren  Great reply Lauren.  I like to think of us as similar to hybrid cars....as an intersex person I'm just a hybrid human, similar but different.  Hugs, Marg

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Member
(@judith)
Joined: 2 years ago

Eminent Member     United States of America, California, Los Angeles
Posts: 40

@margprodue Pretty cool "version" of our status. And, 'tis well to remember that Dr. Jung maintained that ALL homo sapiens are a mixture of "male" and "female." Finally, I've long enjoyed reading about how many indigenous cultures have acknowledged a "third gender" (sometimes referred to as "two-spirited"). Moreover, this "gender" was often accorded special roles...e.g., as a healer or counselor. When I first encountered this idea...it TRULY blew my mind!!

As one might expect, US Christian missionaries were horrified when they discovered this reality (probably most especially in that--typically--these people were "female-oriented" (and often had male mates), which they viewed as an abomination.

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Member
(@margprodue)
Joined: 2 years ago

Estimable Member     United States of America, Wisconsin, Madison
Posts: 106

@judith Hi Judith,  There are some sections of the Intersex Community that regularly prefer to use the Two Spirit  title as opposed to Intersex.  It's good now that we have much more information.  I give local and national presentations on what it's like to live an intersex life and will speak next at Atlanta Comfort Conference.  It always amazes me how little people know about us.  Hugs,  Marg

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Member
(@judith)
Joined: 2 years ago

Eminent Member     United States of America, California, Los Angeles
Posts: 40
Member
(@judith)
Joined: 2 years ago

Eminent Member     United States of America, California, Los Angeles
Posts: 40

@reallylauren WOW, what a story! And, I certainly agree that there are problems with the "binary" way of viewing gender.

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Member
(@judith)
Joined: 2 years ago

Eminent Member     United States of America, California, Los Angeles
Posts: 40

@mistressb I've been on HRT (E & P) for some three years, w/o any apparent problems.

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Posts: 18
Member
(@kaydee65)
Eminent Member     Canada, Ontario, Hamilton
Joined: 2 months ago

For me it’s Fear of losing my wife of 43 years married. She has made it clear that she won’t live with me as fulltime women. She won’t be present with me as femme so I have started social transition as KayDee in public as I have found a great group of CD/TG gals locally to socialize with twice a month and I have gone out now five times. Two planned for next week. It is euphoric for me and very affirming.

So for now a dual gender life is what is possible. Although if I could I would be on HRT and live fulltime as me.

KayDee

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Posts: 96
 Lir
Member
(@inuyasha)
Estimable Member     Canada, Alberta
Joined: 2 years ago

Personally, I don't think I have barriers to transitioning. But I selected fear in the poll because I am nervous about all the anti-trans laws being passed and what it will be like to travel once I start HRT.

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Posts: 40
Member
(@judith)
Eminent Member     United States of America, California, Los Angeles
Joined: 2 years ago

@mistressb "Grow a set." What an interesting suggestion (and with multiple meanings)!! ;  )

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