Are you “Transgender” or “Woman” (or “Man”)?

If you have transitioned, or planning on transitioning, will you discard and hide your past identity? Or will you openly identify as transgender?

Coming to my reckoning of gender identity late in life, I've been coming out to friends and family, and probably on Facebook to close "Friends" soon. I think of some people I know who are transitioning, whether surgically or not. They have left the old identity behind them, including the identity of transgender. They are now a woman, or if FtM, man. There are advantages to each. At my age, I feel like I can also be a spokesperson and healer in our society (I'm a life coach and HR consultant). If I transitioned and left behind my trans designation, would I be as effective as an advocate? So the question in this poll is to ask YOU what your identity would be if you transition to being identified as one gender. Would you still identify as transgender? Or would that be an unspoken past?

You must be logged in to participate.
  • I admit my transgender designation47.62%90 votes
  • Reveal my transgender identity to a select few.38.62%73 votes
  • Erase my past13.76%26 votes


Viewing 47 reply threads
  • Author
    • #101558
      Mx. Margaux

      I avoid the use of ‘or’ with reference to my own gender or gender identity. Hence, I introduce myself as non-binary person. It is important to point out that ‘transgender’ and ‘transitioning’ do not mean changing from one gender, or one gender indentity, to another (California Law states this). Each journey is different – there are no absolutes.

    • #101554

      I am a woman, I have always been a female.

      However I was betrayed by biology: the sort of body I was identified as having at birth did not match the physiological characteristics traditionally associated with that designation; In the eyes of many in the culture at large, I therefore cannot “really” be a woman.

      I was also betrayed by the culture: when I was identified at birth, I was then shunted into behaviors and roles that did not suit me, and shamed when I dared to suggest I’d rather do something different.

      I am no longer afraid or ashamed, I am now taking steps to bring my uncooperative body more into alignment with who I am.

      Thus I am trans, and proud to be so. I don’t care who knows it. But I am foremost a woman and wish to be seen that way.

    • #100858

      I only ever introduce myself as Polly. If I’m asked ‘the’ question I will say I’m a transgender woman.
      I am a woman now and have been living fully as such for nearly a year now. I start HRT very soon and for me there is no looking back. In all my daily dealings with a plethora of folk I’m Polly and nothing else!

      Love Polly

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #100836

      Except for Mum and one of my sisters we are all 6ft plus I’m the shortest. Even so I’ve had enough lying about my past and identity. If someone asks I’ll tell them, if they don’t that’s good too. So I’m a woman but also transgender, it’s nothing to be ashamed of after all.
      I’ve been presenting female for eighteen months and at work for eight until I took severance. Had exactly one issue with a co-worker, who it turned out, had more complaints on her record than the other 50 employees combined. Being in a union was a fantastic help.

    • #100002

      i am tall almost 6 feet tall but i am very feminine, i drank too much last week and told my boss and his understudy about my desires, my boss knew something already as i spoke to him about it last year, the understudy did not know but was very intriged when i walked in monday morning, i am out but cant just walk in with a dress on, consultation is needed first.


      thanks for listening


    • #95916

      I will definitely identify as transgendered.  I have a 8 year old son so I want him to be comfortable if he still wants to call me daddy if that’s what he is comfortable doing.  I don’t believe you ever stop transitioning.  It is a life long journey.  I’ve always felt like I was put in the wrong boody.  I have always felt that I was ment to be a girl.  But I want my son to make his own choice about what he wants to call me.

    • #95538

      After having revealed my feelings to my new primary physician, I discovered that my official medical record maintained at her practice had been changed to state that my gender is “Female Transgender”. I find it interesting and supportive that today the medical community openly recognizes ladies like us. By the way, doctor told me that being a “FT” is good for me both physically and mentally. That is pretty much a prescription to maintain and pursue my current 24/7 lifestyle. I hope this note provides a bit of encouragement to those who may be reluctant to admit their reality.

      Carla [Female Transgender]

    • #95523

      For me I’m transitioning later in life, I think it’s just important to be honest and open. Closeted so long, it’s so important to own me. I also feel that while I feel like a woman, there are woman things I’ll never have the experience to relate to, childbirth, menstrual cycles, etc. I’m good with stating I’m trans. I’m part of a multi binary platform and that feels wonderful.

    • #95401

      I am transgender M to F and have chosen to live my life partially transitioned to female . I have been on hormones and blockers for 3.5 years. I am older , 64, and am married to an accepting woman who loves me just the way I am.I have been married twice before and have raised 8 children.My family knows about me and has for the most part been partially accepting but prefer me to be in male mode when around them. I identify as a female but live my live in both genders , so if I were to be labeled one of the 3 choices , I believe I would be transgender . I do not plan to have bottom surgery but have had a tracheal shave and butt implants along with electrolysis . I have been fortunate that I can pass as a woman and a androgynous looking man.
      Even if I have bottom surgery and chose to be a full time woman , I believe I will always be transgender and would probably not go stealth , but would let people know only on a need to know basis. I do have a long life past history appearing male and that will never be erased.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #95294

      I’m a proud transgender woman, and I don’t think I can identify as anything else. If a vaginaplasty is in my future, I would drop the transgender designation. I’m currently on HRT, and I’m early in my development.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #94852

      I hide my past. I’m not worried about my past at all anymore and have been fully transitioned now for 11 years. I pass as a woman with flying colors and am proud of that and never let anyone know anything. People call me ma’am all the time and I love it because I know I’m doing well. I never felt comfortable in a male body other than having a penis I was always a girl anyway. Not having a penis anymore is nice I feel more like a woman that way.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #94837

      For me, this is more complicated than I ever imagined.  If I can transition, I will finish coming out to my family, a select group of friends and acquaintances, and then move on, both literally and figuratively.  Unfortunately, my past identity overseas, and as a Marine, could lead to some terrible consequences for several friends, family members, and a few comrades in arms.  As much as I would like to just put it out there on facebook or twitter or others, I have to consider the whole picture.  Equally, I just want to be ME.  Being ME means not being identified by my sexuality, genitalia, or other irrelevant norms.  I just want to be Jemma, the old lady next door.  Nothing more, nothing less.  If I develop deep relationships I will be honest and tell them my truth, but for all others…just Jemma.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #94284

      This might not always be a popular opinion, but I firmly believe that after transition we need to stop being trans and experience the true freedom of being who we are. I didn’t go through all the pain and difficulties of transition so I could spend the rest of my life as a trans woman. I am a woman, I have always been a woman, despite the body I was given at birth. I live my day to day life as I choose, just like any CIS person does. I don’t worry about passing any more than any CIS woman does. I am who I am, and there is a real freedom in that.


      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #94452

        Rachel, I wasn’t concerned with whether a perspective is popular or not, I wanted to explore the topic for my benefit. I am in the process of transitioning as to how I identify, tho I won’t be getting any surgeries in the foreseeable future.

        I tend to agree with you in theory, though it may be a while before I would do that for myself. I am currently acting as advocate as well, so it  seems to preclude the option of complete identity change in the circles that I travel in. That being said, people ahve been so accepting of me as feminine that I feel affirmed and free to be my authentic self, and not to concern myself with their ideas of calssification.

        THanks for your thoughts, very enlightening!


        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #94109

      The reason that I picked transgender is, when I come out to my children, it would be ok with me if they still called me “Dad.” I was there for them as their father when they were growing up and I can picture them wanted to refer to me as that after transition.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #93802

      <b>i am a transgendered woman</b>

    • #93569

      I don’t pass as woman or man, presenting feminine (transfeminine), but still looking somewhat and sounding male (assigned male at birth), I can’t hide that I am transgender.

      3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #93910

        Yes, Sharon, I think maybe I feel the same dilemma. And it seems like when I accept it for myself, then others accept it as my authentic self, no excuses needed.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #93535

      I don’t flaunt who I am I dress like me people ask about my past I tell them who I was and who I am now yeah I tell them that’s the old me or that chick left along time ago

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #92766

      Like so many of you, I just want to get to a point that I don’t have an uphill battle to openly be a woman in society.  However, I have a backstory that I will not be able to erase and biological markers that won’t go away.  So, where I want to be at is accepted as a binary woman but not have to fear for my life every time a friend finds out that I might not have been born a woman.
      I haven’t started transition for reasons not under my control at the moment, but I plan to.  The journey to me is affirming and celebrating my unfolding as a woman.  But, the truth of the matter is, no matter how happy I may be, I will be a trans-woman.  Even with the GD right now and all the huge chaos realizing myself as a trans-woman has been and will be, I wouldn’t throw that away.  I’m me and expressing myself, little bit by little bit.  I don’t want to hide things, but I don’t want to flaunt it either.  I didn’t choose to be trans, but I do choose to heal and be wholy myself, which comes with an acceptance that I will leave “footprints” of my transformation.  It’s already cost me some friends and plenty of initial hardship. I don’t have to create more unnecessarily but I am not going to be ashamed of me.
      That sounds bolder and braver than I feel, but I see no better choice than to embrace me, accept that I am a different woman than those born as one and live as the best woman I can be!

      • #94285

        I am a transgender woman as of right now, I am completely out of the closet, I do my remodeling company as a transgender woman, I go shopping, to the Doctors, church and to family events, so that one day maybe I will drop the transgender word, but until time passes and it is no longer new to people who knew the old me get use to the woman I am becoming or became. I know who I am now and have never like who I was, but I love who I have brought to the world, I feel I can breath now, and if someone asks me, why or about my journey, and not rude about it I will talk to them to educate them as much as possible, but most people treat me as any other woman, so I just assume they just see a woman.


    • #92671

      I don’t hide my past, nor do I wave my flag in peoples faces. I figure if it matters they’ll ask, or I’ll tell them. There’s no need to make it a topic.

    • #92289
      Andrea Jayne

      My history is my history.  But I’ve been Andrea all my life.  Only I knew it.  And now my spouse does.  I don’t know if it’s important for a label.  Who I am is my truth.  For now I’m still male.  Andrea is there but not fully out.  My goal is to someday be introduced as Andrea Jayne.  Whether that comes with a clarification will be determined by the situation and my truth at that moment.  AJ.

      5 users thanked author for this post.
    • #92284
      Sandy Wells

      well it was like this for me when i was very young at 4 or 5 i started to have dreams i was girl and i started to sneck and wear my mother panties and would watch my mother closely about how she world dress and do her make up and other things i wanted so much to be like her and over time i keep feeling i was a girl and just always felt like i was one so i would say i’m a women

      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #92279
      Radia KH

      for me its the fact that my experiences are not that of a cis person at all. I will never relate to them. I feel and think completely differently and I do not want to pretend thats how i think and feel. I am proud of being trans despite it all, and am fine with being open with it. I would seriously never choose to be cis. I worked too hard for that. I know some people see it differently and thats okay. perhaps my opinion is because i dont exactly want to be considered either woman or man. I am just a TS/TG person.

      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #91782

      To be honest, I do not like identifying as trans-anything, because it makes me feel very artificial. I want to identify as just being a man. Of course, I will never be a “real” man because I was born female, after all.

      That being said, I feel like a snake, a deceiver, a demon even. I don’t want this and want to fight it, but I think doing that is making me very suicidal and unhappy with myself. I want to be a cisgendered, normal woman…..but I am not.



      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #91690

      Give up my past ?

      Hell no !

      It is what defines me on who I’m today . Events over my  life whether those experiences were positive or negative is where I needed to be at the moment in time . Those experiences from my past aided me in the future when things would get patchy and still do . They are a valuable resource . I forgot about those expiences and outcomes over the years until I found this site , effects of this have already started positive changes creating new experiences and renewed love for my self .

      I don’t disclose who I’m when asked and any male relation I get into I make sure he knows that I’m a  post op trans woman and leave it up him on whether he wants to continue commuicating , if not that is his choice and no skin off my nose . Anything else it’s always female . Even on forms that I have to fill out . Labeling myself is one thing , having others hang a label over me is something totally different .



      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #91329
      Sandy Wells

      i never felt like i was a male in anyway other then having a penis i always would dream i would wake up and be a girl when i was young and i had the dream up entail i came out as a women then i stop having the dream

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #91125

      My dream would be to transition completely and live life fully and without explanation as a woman.  I would only reveal my transition to those I include in my inner circle of true friends and anyone that I might become romantically involved with.  It is already annoying and tiresome to have to “explain” myself using sexual terms and I anticipate the constant asterisk of Trans before woman would be beyond irritating.

      Having said all that, I fully realize that in the strictest sense I will never be a “true” woman.  After all my DNA will not change, and the half century of being a man will leave a most indelible mark regardless of how much I erase.  Because of that, I would feel dishonest in my close personal relationships if I were to not tell the truth.  In fact, at first it was difficult to adjust my voice since it felt dishonest to me.  After years of lying about my identity and hiding my true self, I long for the day that I can just live my life and not have to explain at all other than my choice of shoes!!

      6 users thanked author for this post.
    • #90668

      I am an older trans female and even though I have a male size body I can pass as female when dressed and with makeup on. So to the casual observer I am female. Due to work constraints I have not done my gender marker change yet and so when I have to present my identification it becomes an obvious subject and I have to explain. I look nothing like my driver’s license photo.  But if a person I meet does not know my former life then I am not going to tell them I lived in a male body. I will only tell someone that needed to know.

      Would I tell a potential date? Yes I would if I had not physically transitioned.  I think that a lot of the young trans girls that get hurt when dating did not reveal this information when they started and the guy became angry and enraged when they found out.

      4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #90630
      DeeAnn Hopings

      Typically I say that I identify as transgender and non-binary. I rarely use the term trans woman as I feel it isn’t specific enough for me. It may be for others, but that isn’t my concern.

      I lived 66 years as Don and nearly 6 as DeeAnn. For me it would be silly to pretend that those 66 years did not exist. I can’t see circumstances that would force me to change my mind…

      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #90627

      Long story short,,,, for (Me)- I am (both) !!! When I feel like I want to be Kara I go out dressed up as,, Kara &,,,, I like/enjoy it & in male mode,,,, I like being male also,,, Peace +++

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #90611
      April King

      At 62 I have too much history, my beautiful children and wife and so many good memories to ever want to forget who I was.  As has been said below, I can’t change the past, so why deny it to those who ask.  I want to move forward as the person I want to be, but I love my family and I would never deny our history together.

      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #88318

      Well done Erica. You be who you are. Stand tall be strong. I just getting started. This morning my sister confessed she had told the rest of the family about me being transgender. ftm. She wasn’t to say anything, until I was ready to tell them my self. But she did. To my surprise they are ok with it. And will be supportive, and love me no matter what. She said its ok to talk to them about it, not to be afraid. So I am feeling better about contacting the rest of my family. But I will do it my way, one at a time, as to not overwhelm my self with to much at a time. My sister wants to be there for me when I go for surgeries. We will take it one step at a time, She is afraid of flying so I don’t know if she will go with me when the time comes. But that’s not happening anytime soon. I told her I forgive her for what she did, and family is for ever. I come from a big family a total of 8 siblings 7 still living. And I love them all.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #88314

      I am 3 years into HRT and have been living as female gender for 2 years, but I consider and refer to myself as transgender and always will, even after having bottom surgery (hopefully, some day). This is my own personal feeling and not a judgement on anyone else, but I feel in my case that I love and respect women too much to try to claim that I am just like them. I grew up as a male, so I don’t know what it’s like to grow up female, have never had to deal with menstruation or the possibility of getting pregnant, etc.

      That being said, I am proud to call myself transgender and am not afraid to proclaim it or talk about it with anyone. I must add that in my case it’s hard to do otherwise because I’m 6’4″, broad shouldered, with big feet and a deep voice, so I stand out at a distance as trans, rather than cis gendered. This fact prevented me from summoning up the courage to transition until fairly late in life, but now that I have made that decision I know that it is the best decision I ever made. So, I can’t ever “pass”–okay, I have long since made my peace with that. I don’t give a damn what other people may think of me. I do my best to look as feminine as I can whenever I walk out my door–clothes, hair, make up, jewelry, etc. , and actually get a surprising amount of compliments, although almost exclusively from women. Many guys seem to be rather uncomfortable around me, but despite living in a very rural and fairly conservative area, no one has ever hassled me. The only time I’ve ever been insulted to my face in the 2 years since I came out was in liberal Portland, Oregon–go figure!

      4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #88262
      Rami Love


      I could not find better words to better express my exact feelings.


      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #88243

      You go girl! Own it like  the proud lady you are. 🙂

      • #88268

        I love myself transitioning. Its natural to me and I feel its the right thing.I know iam a good healthy person.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #88241

      I will never deny my past. That said, I don’t feel the need to tell the world either. My past is what brought me to where I am today, and to deny my past is to deny who I am. I am proud of the person I am now, and the person I was before Jenni. But my past does not dictate my future interaction with the world, I do and my future belongs in the hands of me, Jenni, the woman I have, in truth, always been.

      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #87571

      Hello My name is Jace Valen Wesley I am Transgender man. And I to am  gender identity late in life, I’ve been coming out to close friends and family. I live in Thunder Bay Ontario Canada. Right now I am getting very frustrated trying to find doctors to talk to to help me get started on hormone replacement and to have top surgery done as soon as possible. My life is a night mare coming out this late in life, makes me feel like I am running out of time to enjoy the rest of my life as the real me, Being unhappy for 50 years, hiding who I am was not fun. I just want to be me to be happy I could live another 40 or 45 years, and I do not want to live it as I am. I need help any one who can point me in the right direction to get it. Would be very much appreciate. I need a friend

      Jace Wesley

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #87567

      Hey everyone. I have tried to leave my past behind but people just won’t leave me alone. All of the born females I know fully accept me and really make an effort to accept me. Honest help with make-up and clothing are the biggest plus, but it all comes down to you have to be who you are. I help with legal hasssels some of my friends have and put them in contact with resources as much as I can (I am also a social worker). Any time you challenger the status quo you can be assured you will have problems. Just be you.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #87551
      DeeAnn Hopings

      While I have no plans to physically transition, my social transition is essentially done. The only thing left would be changing my personal documents, but I don’t see a lot of benefit in that. The vast majority of people that I have met since I retired and relocated to the SoCal desert only know me as DeeAnn. Very few have ever met Don. I do leave my house sometimes as Don, but that is rare and usually due to expediency. Occasionally someone will ask about being transgender and I will answer accordingly, unless someone wants to ask medical questions. Unless you are a medical professional and I’m in your office, I will not answer those questions.

      Anyway, when asked about pronouns, I always say she and hers.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #87171

      I am transitioning late in life. My old friends have given me constant rebuttal. It has not changed my ultimate. Once I came out to them it was very liberating. I only go by Cindy now. I listen to positive affirmations and now have more confidence. I’ve had my moments but since I started HRT, the SWORD of Damocles no longer hangs over my head. Just enjoy your real self.

      5 users thanked author for this post.
    • #86803

      I love your comments! As one who started her new journey in the later stages of her life, I find it very difficult to hide my past when so many knew my former self.. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!!

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #86796

      Its a great question I believe I will always be a transgender woman. This life long battle has just worn me out. I was not born with the body that matched my brain. I have to accept I will never be considered a “woman’ by society in general. It is enough that this community does accept me . I no longer have any shame about who I am. That was huge for me . Trying to explain to others out side this community WHY I feel this way is just getting tiresome. I know they will never understand. How could they? It must be wonderful to be born with a body and brain that were in sync with each other . No matter how much success I ever achieved in my life, my gender identity always came into question by me. I hid it from most and only expressed it when i got tired of hiding. That should of been settled at birth so long ago. I guess I am still a little angry about having to still deal with this issue. It just will not go away. Maybe the reason for these feelings i have are getting so much more intense is a reminder that this issue needs to be resolved. I have no problem defending or even advocating for those who have our issue because these feelings are real and you in this community are proof. We do have to work together an support each other so that future generations that may have to deal with this issue can get the help they need before their bodes start to change. Just a few thoughts Luv Stephanie

      4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #86795

      Wow such great comments so far. I especially like Joy’s line about seeing a stranger in the mirror in male mode. I have those feelings as well, and when I look at JaiymeLynne I see myself, if that makes sense. I think people from my past will have to know, then if they accept me, I will accept that. New people in my life, as I get to know, build relationships, if I get close enough I think I would come out as transgender. If Iwere to have GRS, then I believe I am a woman then, and would live as and be a woman to everyone. Not sure if that is in my future, but things change as we move along the path.

      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #86792

      Great poll question. This is a question hugely on my mind right now. I’m known to a lot of people in my community and people are going to notice as my changes take place. I think it would be easier to leave the past behind if I could but that might hurt the people I’m close with and in my case it’s not really possible. I’m 6 weeks into hrt so trans here I come!

      4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #86659
      Miss Cloé

      I have no problem revealing my being transgender, but it’s not my lead story.  Basically it’s on a need to know basis.  If it somehow builds up a relationship either business, friend, romantic or otherwise then I will likely reveal it.  If it could be destructive of such then why do it?  But, to the question about community.  I have no problem representing community as a member, whether I do it as an advocate I’m not sure.  I’d need some convincing to go there.

      4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #86645

      I think there are many answers that could be made here.

      My transition is not complete and still waiting for the virus chaos to end so it surgey can be scheduled. Three appoinments canceled in the past three months for the run up meeting with all staff involved in the procedure.

      When I found it essental to tell my family, and specifically with my son and daughter, I told them that I can only be their father until the day I die albeit I didn’t wish to be ‘outed’ in public by using that word. In private my daughter will call me Dad. My son cannot agree to meet me in person and the present situation keeps it from being possible in addition. But I have good relationships with both as with the whole of my family.

      I have no issue discussing who I am with anyone if they approach that with respect. I divulge my history to those I like and want in my life and only them. I know that a number of people are aware I am Transgender and fine with that being the case.

      My perspective is that no other person goes about thier daily life feeling they need to explain who they are! Why should I? While I use the word Transgender to describe myself to many, I am a person who has made my choice of how I choose to life it.  By subscribing to ‘Tags’ we play the game os isolation, division etc and one which I have contenton with. A tool of the media and ruling forces that can plant concepts and bad thoughts about u and other sectors of the humanity. Watch the documentary Disclosure,about and made by trans people, to see what I mean for yourself. Imagine what a powerful force we could be if we were able to unite as one, we would be a very large and powerful group to face with and try to control
      Stay strong ladies and have faith and belief in yourself xx

      5 users thanked author for this post.
    • #86013
      Dawn J

      With transition, I would consider myself, fully, a woman and that’s how I would present & identify with new contacts. However, there is family & there are people with whom I would still need to associate that knew me as male. I’d have no choice but to identify as transgendered with them.

      4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #85977

      I am me. who I was will never change, but who I will be always is changing. I cannot change who I was born as, and I have to accept it.

      That being said, even after I transition, even if I have bottom surgery, I will prefer to be referred to as who I am then, but willing to be open and honest about who I was.

      I cannot change who I was. I can only work to change who I will be.

      6 users thanked author for this post.
    • #85913

      I am who I am. Labeled male at birth but female in my mind and heart. I just want to be who I am without the pressure to ‘pass’ because when I look in the mirror and see Joy I smile and say I like you. When I’m in ‘guy’ mode it feels like I’m looking at a stranger.


      7 users thanked author for this post.
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