How do I officially start the process?

  • Creator
  • #132849

    I am a 40 year old MTF trying to figure out where to go next. I currently live with my mother and brother, and do not have the financial means to live alone at this time, though I am currently working on that. I have known that was trans since I was a young child. I guess I technically began the process decades ago, but I have yet to actually “come out”, due to my financial situation, as well as the fact that I live in a house full of Trump loving Republicans. I rarely wear any men’s clothing other than shoes anymore, but I don’t wear anything that is blatantly obvious in front of my family. They are aware that I wear bras and panties and I do wear leggings in front of them, but I generally try to choose items that can pass for men’s clothing when I am around them. They simply assume that I am gay, and I have never really spoken openly about the topic with them. I would like to be able to live openly around them and actually be able to wear a skirt every once in a while. I feel that it is time to “come out” so that I can begin to build a new life for myself. What is the best way to approach it with them. My mom will not approve of it, but I think she will accept it in time. I have gradually begun living more openly so that it will not be a complete shock to them, but is there anything I can do to make it easier on them? I have spent a lifetime dealing with it, so I know how difficult it is, and I am trying to keep them in mind as I begin the process.

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    • #134643

      One thing I did was (after finding a therapist I liked) was to do some “stealth” things to help me with my dysphoria. Clear mascara, nail polish, underdressing, hair removal, voice practice. At least for me these helped relieve some of the dysphoria.

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    • #132855
      Dee Astra

      I’m going to echo the previous replies, No.1 before anything else, get a gender counselor / therapist

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    • #132854
      DeeAnn Hopings


      Many members here have found it helpful to work with a therapist who has experience in gender issues as it is very difficult for us to think about potentially life altering issues on our own.

      I also suggest doing some online searching for LGBT resources in you area. The Greater Memphis area is a significant metropolitan area so I suspect that there are trans resources in terms of support groups and mental health services. It’s not unusual that mental health services are offered for free or based on income level by LGBT community centers.

      Anyway, what a mental health professional will do is help you understand what’s going on for you, help you stay focused on what needs to be thought about and help you sort out next steps. There is no cookbook way of doing this as every case has factors that makes it unique.

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    • #132850

      Wow Lufia, those are some tough questions. Your situation seems complex.

      I’d love to offer advice, but these are the kinds of things that can have serious consequences in life. These are not the kinds of decisions one makes based on message board feedback. Have you spoken to a counselor or therapist about all this? If not, that’s a good place to start.

      Coming out to ones family can be really good or really bad, as we all know. Some of us have lost our family ties as a result. Are you prepared for what could happen?

      I’m definitely not qualified to advise anyone on anything, but if a path forward is what you seek, I’d say it likely begins with independence, or at least the ability to be so. You said you were working on that, and maybe thats where the solutions you seek are as well. That’s probably the best way to make things easier on everyone, including yourself.

      Coming out is its own challenge, but you asked about transition. I personally feel that should pretty much always start with a therapist. The next steps after that could be medical, like HRT, but those next steps are best figured out after talking to a professional that can answer your questions, offer recommendations and referrals, and hopefully get you on the right path to happiness.

      Good luck, whatever you do.

      Edit to add: Many of us never come out to our families, and that’s okay. There are a zillion ways to do this thing we do, and not all of them require transition. Many people transition and still don’t tell their families. There are degrees of Coming Out, it doesn’t have to be All or Nothing.

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