- November 8, 2020 at 6:10 pm #90387AlliKatParticipant
As i get braver and braver, i want to encourage myself to be able to just leave the house however i want to. The biggest thing holding me back, is fear of confrontation. I am afraid of things as small as the disapproving glances, all the way to full out physical attack… i am doing everything i can to appear as “natural” as possible before i leave the house in order to hopefully mitigate some of that. I have accepted that much of it will be unavoidable.
I am hoping, that maybe some of you ladies will be able to share some of your experiences with me and how you have made it through some of these situations and/or how you overcame similar fear and what came of it. I am interested to listen and hope that i may be able to learn, as well as glean some wisdom and courage from your experiences. Again, thank you all in advance for your help and support!
- November 22, 2020 at 2:42 pm #90937DeeAnn HopingsAmbassadorAMBASSADOR
While can never control what someone else thinks of us, we can completely control what we think of ourselves. We have a right to be everywhere we need to be. So, the thing is, do what we need to do, relax, look like we belong and move forward.
No looking to see whose looking.
Go about your own business.
Speak when spoken to.
- November 11, 2020 at 6:39 am #90511QuinnParticipantFREE
My experience and approach have been a little different from some of the other women here. I started experimenting with my appearance indoors and then soon after went out fully en femme–but in a nearby city, not in my home area. This was really freeing and educational, since I could do it without having to worry about interacting with people who (at the time) I wasn’t out to. I expanded over time to going out in female mode locally, but only to queer-friendly venues, and since then it’s expanded to almost wherever–although I still seem to find excuses not to be in female mode at the local little grocery store and hardware, which are the kind of places where people know your name and your family. That will be something to get over in the near future.
I think things are made easier for me in some respects (and much harder in others) because I’m bi-gender–in my case, sometimes male and sometimes female–so I don’t always have to choose between the easy way out (going in male mode) and feeling like my authentic self. I’ve also had an easier time than a lot of people because I live in an area that’s (on the whole) unusually trans-positive and supportive–for instance, I go to the same Pride center where Taylor Small, who just got elected to the Vermont House of Representatives, works. The areas I visit (Boston, Montreal, Northampton, etc.) also tend to be “safe” locations for trans people. For people who are feeling extremely unsafe being themselves in public, I even wonder if it’s worth moving to a location like this. I’m sure I would have had a harder time if I lived in, say, some of the cities in the South or Midwest.
I pass sometimes and don’t pass sometimes: maybe I’m passing 10% of the time, maybe 90%–I honestly can’t be sure! While I would *love* to always know when I was passing (at least, I think I’d love to know), I’ve had to make my peace with the fact that I usually won’t be able to be sure–and moreover, there’s no need for me to be.
Another thing that helps me is that I have a lot of martial arts training, which makes me feel like if I were ever physically accosted by someone using anything less deadly than a gun, I’d probably be able to fend them off. I’ve never had to do anything like that, and don’t expect to! But knowing I can defend myself makes a huge difference to my feelings of safety. There are self-defense training classes (SPEAR training is especially good, of the ones I know) that could help with this if it’s a concern for anybody.
So over years of being out in public in female mode, as with Carly, the worst that has happened to me in person is being misgendered–and I can only think of a couple of times that’s happened. The only person who’s ever been rude and dismissive about my gender, honestly, has been a trans woman on a forum, who astonishingly tried to tell me that “bi-gender” wasn’t really a thing and that I was lying to myself and/or others. I was amazed that she did not hear that she was using the exact same nonsense arguments people use to dismiss binary trans women.
Anyway, I generally can’t tell whether I’m passing beautifully or if people are just behaving kindly and appropriately–and the thing I recently decided to try was just not caring. Unless someone’s going to actively try to harm me, it doesn’t matter whether I pass for them or not, and if I don’t, it doesn’t matter whether they like it or not. I’m used to being extremely vigilant, to trying to guess what people are thinking, to worry that I’ve made some choice that makes it harder for me to pass, all of which feels mentally and emotionally exhausting–yet when I make myself give that up and decide to just not care, suddenly my way is much easier, and things feel much better.
All that said, I’m not necessarily recommending that practice! I know that we all have our own unique situations, ways of coping, strengths, limitations, and environments. I have been finding, though, that for me, just not caring what other people think is a choice I’m able to make if I work at it and makes things much better for me.
- November 10, 2020 at 8:37 am #90457Carly HollowayParticipantGOLD
Beyond doubt, I agree with you Sophie. I am remiss for not mentioning that I always call ahead of time if I’m going to a new location. If the folks in the place are okay, then I am willing to go if needed. This has worked well for me at shops, restaurants, even airports and TSA. If they seem hesitant or reluctant, I thank them and go on to find another establishment. And I don’t know that I will ever loose that sense of vigilance when I am out. And, as in any new location using my ‘spider senses’ or commons sense to avoid what might appear to be a sketchy establishment. And, of course, I don’t go much of anywhere alone with very few people about, or during unusual hours. I admit that my life is not always strawberries and roses, nor will it ever be. But I do my best to avoid the thorns that I know could be there. My bad, Alli, and anyone else, if I mislead you about easy transitions. Peace and love.
- November 10, 2020 at 3:42 am #90446Carly HollowayParticipantGOLD
Alli, I lived with the insecurities and anxieties about myself, my safety and social rejection for far too long, with the effect of limiting myself to zero public appearances. Since committing to my true self, I have found that those fears and limitations are not a real concern for me. Bear in mind that I am never going to “look” like a genetic female, so I am sure that I am read by others regularly. However, in the last year since transition began, I have not experienced any of the conditions that worried me. No one has openly confronted me in any negative way. My worst experiences have been being called “sir” when going about my life. Well, if That’s the worst, I can cope with that and smile. If I can conduct my life unimpeded, you can call me anything you want. It really doesn’t matter.
Maybe I’m just strange that way. Maybe it just that people don’t really care whether I am male or female. Either way, my life is richer and more fulfilled now than ever before.
- November 10, 2020 at 5:51 am #90450SophieFRParticipantAMBASSADOR - EDITOR
Hi Allikat and Carly,
I feel your anguish and concerns Allikat and understand what you are going through.
Carly, you reply too is clear to understand, however I think we have to bear in mind as much as possible always to avoid going to places where we know a confrontation is likely until we are more empowered to deal with the situation. Pehaps taking differnt routes to places you wish to go or changing precisely where you go if there is a good alternative. Don’t be stuck in a routine of behaviour, make conscious choices about when and where you go anywhere until you feel more able to with it all. Small steps can create a magnificent creation if you go about things in a clear and deliberate way. Focus on not being confronted anywhere when you go out, walk, talk and act with total confidence. You may find that by projecting that energy enough to signal to others pay respect to your choice to be you.
If you go out expecting confrontation and problems you will most certainly find them even if you don’t want them. It will not happen over night but don’t loose hope, just persevre in you focus of thought and self confidence and it will happen.
If you do the same things in life, you will get the same results – unitl you’re able to change your own behaviour and thinking
Love and hugs
- November 8, 2020 at 7:47 pm #90395Jamie HarrisParticipantFREE
Thanks for your reply. I normally don’t mention I was in the Navy in my profile so I guess I am being more open here. I will add you as a friend. And maybe we can chat or talk. I really don’t have too many restrictions on my time so I am available most of the time.
- November 8, 2020 at 7:19 pm #90391Jamie HarrisParticipantFREE
I do not think that there is a quick answer to your concern about leaving your house/apartment and I would need to know a little more about your situation to give some specific suggestions. Your profile says that you are male but you are gender questioning.
Most of us start dressing as the opposite gender in the privacy of our house and then we graduate to leaving our house in unisex clothing and then finding an empty parking lot to change in. As time goes on we advance to dressing as our desired gender but wearing a coat over the top of other things. And after doing that for awhile you move on to not caring about what the neighbors think and just leave as if it is completely natural.
Some of the reduction in stress may not come initially but will after having female attire that looks good together, growing your hair longer and being on hormone replacement therapy for a year.
Most men go bald over time (I don’t have that problem) and so they wear a nice wig. When I say nice I mean spend at least $200.00. There is a big difference between it and a $30.00 wig. You also need to learn and practice makeup techniques. YouTube is a good place to learn some techniques.
As far as trying to decide if you are transgender we usually see a gender therapist. Those visits can drag out and are not cheap so not everyone can afford them.
One of us could help you a lot more either in a chat session or one on one over the phone. We are definitely not therapist but if you are just wanting someone that has gone through all of this to talk to we can do that. Look at my profile and let me know if you want to chat. One think that my profile does not show is that I spent a career in the Navy and so I can relate to military life.
- November 8, 2020 at 7:40 pm #90393AlliKatParticipantFREE
Thank you for your thoughtful and caring reply! Your profile does actually say you had a full career in the navy! Haha Thank you for your service.
Yes, the wig i bought is about $300, so i know what you mean. I am not really the “graduating” type. Meaning, in general, i know what i want and i do it. If i feel like i am fully prepared to leave the house fully dressed as i please, then i will. If i don’t feel fully prepared, then i wont…
<p style=”text-align: left;”>I am overjoyed at the prospect of making some real friends who would be willing to help and guide me through this stage in my life. I find myself at a point where the most down time i have is actually on breaks at work, but i am usually fairly good at answering messages, emails and texts 🙂 as much as i would love to be able to offer phone calls and meet ups, even my family has to accept that those are really only holiday things. By all means, add me as a friend and stay in contact! I would love to talk with you more.</p>
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