Coming out is hard

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    • #117845
      DeeAnn Hopings
      AMBASSADOR

      Erin:

      Yes, coming out is hard for many reasons; internal ones and external ones.

      Internally, it goes against all of our conditioning and requires a lot of effort to work against that for many of us. In spite of the fact that many of us will say that they have always thought of themselves as female, it is unlikely that they behaved as such in order to fit in and hopefully be safe. They may also be some unconscious things at work like male privilege that need to be understood and different perspectives taken.

      Externally, there is the issue of being in public as your authentic self. It is important to understand the females function very differently in social settings compared to males. Understanding that makes a big difference and is a great help towards settling in. Finding people and environments that are understanding and welcoming can also be a challenge, but will always be good to do.

      From my experience and from what I’ve seen, conscious thought and coming out on your own terms is always helpful. If you are outed by someone, it tends to put people into a very defensive situation and and it becomes very difficult to tell your story. It is called Losing The Narrative. Once it is lost, it is VERY hard to get it back. Another thing that can happen when you’ve been outed is that people will tell your story, their way. People will mix in their opinions, prejudices, misinformation, etc. such that is won’t be your story. That’s another reason to be proactive.

      Rachel Maddow has an interesting quote about coming out

      “The single best thing about coming out of the closet is that nobody can insult you by telling you what you’ve just told then.”

      Anyway, it is a process that should be done on your own terms…

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #117873

        Earlier this year I was with a girlfriend (friend that’s a girl…mtf here) of mine and after we got done with dinner at a restaurant I asked if we could take the long way home (back to the apartment complex where we both live in separate units) and I rambled on around the moment of coming out for about 50 miles of driving, cried a lot off and on, then detached myself from reality and allowed my body to just say it…I’m transgender. The bandaid was off. All was good.

        Nothing like when I came out in 2011 when my family (who I don’t talk to anymore) didn’t take it well causing me to go back into the closet for another decade while progressing down the path of suicide ideation and almost alcoholism. I’m now on anti-depressants and don’t allow alcohol in my house or body.

        My parents and siblings rejected me and I cut them off. The friend I came out to this year is super cool about it and spent the evening helping me shop for makeup for the first time.

        What finally pushed me over the edge into the I HAVE to come out as soon as I can work up the nerve, which I WILL zone was something I heard somewhere. Imagine being on your deathbed right now. What do you regret? Now stop that regret from happening. I actively thought about that for a year before I had a very serious life is too short moment and came out. You only get to do this once…no second chance…stop wasting it, NOW!

        3 users thanked author for this post.
        • #117877
          DeeAnn Hopings
          AMBASSADOR

          Hillary:

          What many have found, including me, is that there is a great unburdening and release from doing the coming out process. The quote that I posted above from Rachel Maddow is powerful and exactly true.

          Keep moving forward!

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #117894

            Unburdening. My entire soul breathed a sigh of relief!

          • #117880

            Unburdening. Yes. Its unbelievable how unburdened I feel…and like ALL the time. I thought I knew exactly how hiding everything made me feel. Post coming out yo pre coming out…wow, did I not realize how miserable I was. I was stuck in c’mon, one more thing, just one more mode. You know, like you’re waiting for one more thing to push your buttons so you can go all hulk smash on the world. That state of being is gone. 100% gone. Forever.

            1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #117882
            DeeAnn Hopings
            AMBASSADOR

            Consider this…

            One of the things that make us feel better is the we no longer have to devote the energy to keeping up appearances, so to speak. All that energy that went into living the lie can be put to MUCH better use…

            1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #117838
      Terri Anne
      AMBASSADOR

      Hi Erin,

      Welcome to our wonderful, accepting, loving, helpful community where you can be safe and be yourself.

      You can read about the knowledge and experiances of others on a similar path by reading articles and in the forums and chatting in chat rooms.
      My hope is that you will become comfortable here and make many new friends.

      ======== TGH Membership PLANS ===================
      https://transgenderheaven.com/choose-your-plan/#link_acc-1-3-d

      =========== TGH How-to Navigation ============================
      https://transgenderheaven.com/forums/topic/member-howto-for-navigating-the-tgh-website/

      Glad you are here. Looking forward to more sharing,
      Regards,
      Terri Anne, Ambassador

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #117796
      RozH
      SILVER

      Hi Erin

      I completely understand how you feel. I have a daily period of consideration of the way in which I should come out to colleagues at work. For some reason that feels more stressful than coming out to family, which I haven’t done either. Only my wife and my therapist know that I’m trans. I’m working with my therapist on my fears and my barriers to coming out. Small steps at a time. I hope to get through full transition eventually. A friend here recommended the Dr Z PHD videos to me which has been helpful. Expressing my inner woman privately helps me stay balanced. I really struggle when that’s taken away. Stay safe and feel free to chat to me anytime

      Hugs

      Roz x

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      • #117874

        I just started telling people it was she/her now and waited for followup questions. Worked very well. It lead to one of the most meaningful conversations of my life with one of my colleagues. Not everyone had follow questions but they all indicated they’d respect my pronouns. I’m very open to anything anyone asks in seriousness, but not everyone is interested in everything…so, let me know. For me l, it was the best way to go about it.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #117792
      Autumn
      FREE

      Hi, Erin. I’d love to come out full time, too. But I don’t even know how to begin to go about it. Maybe I’ll get there someday, maybe I won’t. But right now, I’m really enjoying being able to be myself in the privacy of my home. Shaving my legs, painting my toenails, putting on lipstick, dressing the way I want, in clothes I actually enjoy wearing, that make me feel good about who I really am inside. It all comes together when I’m at home and free to be Autumn. I hope you feel just as good about yourself when you’re being who you really are inside as I do.

       

      Hugs

       

      Autumn

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #117769

      Hello Erin…I know what you mean…
      I FEEL THE SAME…
      Been Dressing ever since I was 10 years old… But One Day…
      I will Full Time…until then…
      We have this Wonderful Site…
      To Make Friends…who understand..
      Talk to you soon…Be Safe…
      Be your True Self 💕

      6 users thanked author for this post.
      • #117900

        Many of us have begun to transition, and my doctors office tries very hard to make it fun. So I decided to play along, by arriving at my twice monthly appointment as myself, emfemme. And they enjoy it, giving me compliments on purchases of attire they find very attractive for themselves. One of my biggest hits was my women’s white Brickenstock tennis shoes; I happen to wear a women’s size 10 Narrow.
        So it’s fun for all of us, got my last appointment, they had a party favor table for their patients: I got a little pink box truck full of hard candies, and a miniature blow up flamingo flat with a miniature Ocean Organic Vodka.

         

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #117901
          DeeAnn Hopings
          AMBASSADOR

          Several years back it occurred to me that I needed to do my various medical appointments as me. When the question comes up about how I would like to be addressed, I give them my business card as a Commissioner of our Public Arts Commission. Specifically, it has the desired spelling which may not be obvious by hearing. My GP, rheumatologist, vascular doctor and blood work lab technicians have all been told. So far there has been no resistance. I have yet to bring my neurologist up to speed, but that is only because I haven’t seen him in some time. By design I won’t attend eye doctor appointments dressed. If I am dressed, I always do makeup with no exceptions. Unfortunately that will leave makeup smudges on their equipment, which to me, is a bit tacky. When I have scans (MRIs, etc.) I don’t dress as I cannot wear my hats and my remaining hair line is decidedly non-female.

          2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #117875

        For me it was full time or nothing. Nothing wasn’t an option. It’s all about what’s right for yourself. If I’m not working at it as a major, major, major part of my life then I know I’ll have trouble attaching the importance it deserves to it. And besides, I’ve been so jealous of ciswomen for years that after coming out, being accepted, and thus having permission to move forward publicly (and wear all the pink blouses I want) I was like, I get to show off my pretty toenails as soon as I get some sandals…FINALLY, WHERES THE CLIFF CUZ I’M DIVING OFF!!!

        3 users thanked author for this post.
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