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  • #117693
    DeeAnn Hopings

    To me, one of the most significant issues that trans people face is isolation. In its simplest form, it is a lack of contact with other trans folks. I suspect that a number of folks here have had the experience that there is no one like you and there is no one to talk to who would understand your situation. There are various ways this can happen. It may be due to living in a small town away from any metropolitan areas. There can be fear as you may not know who you can trust with this very deeply seated information. You may be ready to discuss your situation with a therapist, but some may work in the health care field and news may travel fast if seen in a certain place or talking with a certain person. Owing to you your circumstances, you may feel very restricted in how you express your gender identity.

    So, for people who are currently experiencing isolation, or have in the past:

    • Describe your situation.
    • How have you managed to deal with isolation so far (or not)?
    • How do you see things progressing in the future?
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    • #118624

      Oh my, this hits so close…and everyone that responded seemed to have different feelings about how they feel or even define isolation. I use that term all the time, feeling as Haley is sometimes so alone and isolated, not even receiving much acknowledgement that she even exists. I didn’t understand for so many years, thought hooking up would make me feel less alone and would somehow validate her existence and femininity, when all it did was exacerbate my loneliness. As a man, everything is wonderful…family, friends…but very few know Haley. Maybe a dozen, maybe. But I am learning to talk to others about how I feel, I have a couple of allies that I share my pics, thoughts, feelings with and they in turn accept me, mostly because they too believe  that gender is not as defined as some would like to think it is. Isolated…maybe for now but I am slowly awakening.


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      • #118625
        DeeAnn Hopings

        Haley Ann:

        You bring up an interesting point. Isolation can look very different, depending upon the circumstances. We can be isolated because we live in the middle of nowhere. We can be isolated in a crowd of people. Once again, there is no one road to town and we all have to deal with these situations as best we can…

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    • #118518

      I’m naturally a shy person, very introverted. So that’s part of why I’m isolated. But it’s also about trust. I knew from an early age that I could never share who I really was with anyone in my family. I think that’s the reason I’ve always felt I had to keep so much of who I am to myself. After all, if I couldn’t even trust my family, the people who were supposed to love me unconditionally, how could I possibly trust anyone else? I never even shared who I really was with my ex-wife. I’ve never shared who I really am with anyone in person. This site and Suicide Forum are the only places I’ve ever revealed Autumn. Part of me feels like I have to protect her, and part of me feels like it’s too big of a risk.


      I often fantasize about having friends who accept me for who I really am. Maybe it’s easier for me to fantasize about something like this because I have no friends. No social life. The only time I leave my apartment is for work and groceries. People at work are not friends, they’re just coworkers. I’m always guarded, never revealing any more than I have to about my life, so people know very little about me. I basically live in a shell all the time. Always on guard. Except at home. Where I can be Autumn.


      So for me, I guess I’m able to handle the isolation because in isolation I’m able to be myself, and I love it. As far as the future is concerned, I don’t know. Right now, the social life is a fantasy.


      Hugs everyone,



      • #118620
        DeeAnn Hopings


        I understand and I have some parallels. While I did all of the expected things: married, kids, college, career, I was also very careful to appear to be as expected. For years I knew something was going on with me, but I suppressed any thoughts about trying to figure it out. It’s like being afraid to open a door because you fear the worst about what might be on the other side. My life was good, but there was always this secret that required a lot of vigilance to keep hidden; or at least attempt to.

        I have a bit of an odd personality in that, when I’m done, I’m done. A clear and simple example of this is when I quit smoking in April of 1988. I attempted to quit 2 or 3 times in the 2 years or so before, but it just didn’t work. Finally, something flipped for me. One night I crushed up the last half pack of cigarettes I had, threw them in the trash and went to bed. The next day was Saturday. I went to the grocery and bought a bag of cashews and a bag of butterscotch morsels. I had some for home and some for my desk at work. A few months later, I had to slow down with the candy and nuts, but that was easy by comparison.

        I came out publicly, in a similar fashion, on October 10, 2015. For a year before that, I had been attending a trans and crossdresser social evening once a month in a city that was 95 miles from where I lived. Twice a month I attended a support group that was 50 miles away. Again, something clicked for me. I had been a member of our LGBT employee affinity group for 12 years. They knew me as a bisexual. But 2015 was the year that we brought in trans man comedian, Ian Harvie to perform for our yearly public entertainment event. I took it as a golden opportunity and volunteered to be the Mistress of Ceremonies as DeeAnn. It turned out to be in front of about 130 people.

        While I don’t recommend this as a way to come out, I think it does relate to how we can just run out of stories that we tell ourselves and just quit. As I said, it takes a lot of energy be guarded about what we say and do. I guess it just got to the point where I was no longer willing to invest that energy.

        In the beginning, it can be difficult to find the right situation where we can feel safe, but that is VERY important. Not sure about what is happening in Tennessee at the moment, but many support groups are conducting virtual meetings these days. That can provide an additional layer of safety while you get comfortable with the whole idea.

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    • #118425
      Michelle Lawson

      DeeAnn, I must confess that I have actually read this topic several times, and each time I just couldn’t figure out what to say in responding. Not that I couldn’t relate to what you wrote, I just didn’t know how to phrase it. So, part of me wants to say that if I focus on just contact with other transgender people, then I would wonder if I’m putting myself in a box like you hear so many happen…. Hmmmmm. But since I have always been quite happy in the world I developed around me, going out to social things has never been an issue. And then there is the ‘location, location, location’ thing…. Where I live there isn’t a whole lot to do, social wise….. But all in all, even if there were, I’d probably shy away anyway. I’m more of the stay at home-body mom type….. I guess that is about it…. Hugs, Michelle

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      • #118443

        I think that way too Michelle, my closest friends (women) have embraced me as female and can answer almost all of the problems and questions I have. I do seek their advice and help…that is my way forward. They are very protective of me and I really feel safe with them. Girls really do look out for each other.
        I get what DeeAnn is saying though, sometimes in the dead of night I wish I could talk to another trans…just to share, and banish the gremlins. Those are the ones perhaps only trans people truly understand. So in most ways I’m one of the girls…but to have a close trans friend would be nice.There may well be a conflict though as I am attracted to TW so friendships could get complicated lol.

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