Questions About Advice & Counsel…

Have You Talked To Another Trans Person:

Basically the question relates to whether or not we seek support, advice and counsel from our peers. Multiple choices are possible. Please post any specifics that you care to share...

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  • About figuring out gender identity?
  • About deciding to Transition?
  • About Transition experiences?
  • And asked for emotional support while you grieved about the changes in your life, family or work situations?
  • And asked for them to just listen while you vented?
  • This topic has 37 replies, 21 voices, and was last updated 4 days ago by Rachel.
Viewing 19 reply threads
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    • #131693

      I am a MtF in her mid fifties that’s in desperate need of some other girls help and encouragement right now.  Part of this I guess is a vent but a great part is it is a coming from a point of feeling scared and not in control.  I’ve dealt with gender dysphoria all my life but for the most part, I’ve been able to deal with them or find ways, more or less.  But over the past year or so, it’s become more increasingly obvious that I am in less and less control of this and it scares me to death. The things I used to be able to do to help control and/or alleviate my dysphoria are no longer working. I’m trying to hold it together for my family but I feel that I’m starting to come a part at the seams.  I had a therapist at one time but in order to see her again, I have to start the process all over again and I don’t know that I would be able to see her even then.  I don’t know what to do, except find a place to curl up and cry.  My emotions are all over the place, but right now while others are around, I’m still able to keep them in check.  My wife knows but thinks this is something that can just be managed and I can still be the person she wants me to be.  She has more or less made it clear that I can’t be anything less or even express it in any way.

      Any words of help and/or encouragement would be greatly appreciated and sincerely coveted.

      Thank you for letting me vent and get this off my chest.

       

      Huggs,

      Claire

      • #131700
        DeeAnn Hopings
        AMBASSADOR

        Claire:

        Rarely are there any easy answers to the situation you describe. As the phrase goes: “It’s complicated”. The thing is that there are differences and nuances in all our lives that makes just about every situation unique.

        However, typically I suggest finding a therapist who has experience with gender issues. I’m not sure what you mean by “start the process all over again”. If you could see the same person again, I would think that all of the notes would still be in place and it becomes a matter of catching up from the last visit to current times. If you saw a different person, I’m not sure how information would get passed to the new person. I would hope that it would be like changing medical doctors where your medical history gets transferred, but I don’t know. Administratively I can see maybe having to go through a requalification process, but that likely varies between medical coverages.

        There are 2 other things that I often suggest. I see that you live in Kentucky. Depending upon where you are, there may be some support groups close by. Also, as a result of COVID, many support groups started having online gatherings. Some have continued in that form and others may have adopted a hybrid structure: in person and online simultaneously. Try a search string such as “transgender resources near me” and see what comes up.

        The other thing that you can do is search the membership to see if there are any other trans people close to you. Perhaps you can find someone who is willing to talk about their experiences, what your situation is and what is going on in your area. Click on Social in the menu and then Member Directory.

        • #131765

          Most of the time I feel isolated and alone, there are no networks or active groups in my region; and I have looked. For me it has got worse the deeper in I get. We don’t have councillors or support groups in the UK really and GP’s aren’t qualified or interested. To be honest I think they want us to man up and be what we were born with so they can spend their time with ill people who deserve help.
          I feel an outcast a pariah more each day. I have only ever met one genuine transwoman, briefly. I go out less and less now. I have a few online trans friends that keeps me afloat…for now at least.

          • #131766
            Rachel
            FREE

            Keep your head up, Alex. The world is changing. Things are getting better for us every day.

            I know for sure that there are many, many trans women out there that would like to meet you. Moreover, plenty of cisgender people would as well.

            Being trans isn’t easy, but it’s doable. You are not alone.

        • #131721

          Thank you DeeAnn.  My goal is to try and see my original therapist again.  I’m just hoping that after going through the requalification process again that I can get set back up with her.  I will look to see if there are any resources near to where I live.  I don’t live near any major cities so my choices are limited.  Right now, just having someone to talk to is very helpful.  As with most everyone who deals with this, we go in cycles and right now I’m bouncing on the major dysphoric side and just need to find a way to ease this back down.

        • #131701
          Michelle Lawson
          MANAGING AMBASSADOR

          Claire, DeeAnn has some very good advice. I did a quick look and there are 172 TGH members in Kentucky. So check them out, make some friends, and you never know, they will probably have some good thoughts and ideas. I also checked out our Local Places, and aside from the clothing, makeup, etc. places, I found the following links for you that might help support wise:

          TransKentucky – https://transgenderheaven.com/places/transkentucky/

          Bluegrass Belles – https://bgbhome.tripod.com/index.htm

          Brenda Morris-Huntoon Psychological Associate, MA, LPA – https://transgenderheaven.com/places/brenda-morris-huntoon-psychological-associate-ma-lpa/

          Mandala House – https://mandalalouisville.com/

          PFLAG Louisville – https://transgenderheaven.com/places/pflag-louisville/

          The Fairness Campaign – https://transgenderheaven.com/places/the-fairness-campaign/

           

          Hugs, Michelle

          • #131722

            Thanks Michelle,  I really appreciate you looking these up and I will look at these resources and see if there’s anything near me.

            I’m so thankful this place exists and everyone I’ve met has been so nice and ready to be there for each other.  Don’t ever stop.

             

            Hugs, Claire

    • #131507
      Barb
      BRONZE

      Oh, where I am today in my transitioning journey is all because of my friends on the trans-spectrum, especially those who have fully transitioned!

      In fact, since becoming more aware of “gender” and “identity” and talking about it with my friends, I’m now in a “holding pattern” with it all. Perhaps a “cautionary tale”?

      I guess I’m trying to decide if where I am now is enough? I don’t yet have an answer. My friends seem to enjoy my company and treat me as one-of-their-own and I’ve luckily never experienced any snobbery like others have. Besides, we like each other for other reasons too and have interests well beyond trans issues.

      We all know that transitioning is a BIG life changing commitment with ongoing medical follow-ups and family breakups. I find that my current little dose of HRT has given me the feminine shape I desire and I could very well be fine with that for the rest of my life. I rarely need to see my GP and I like it that way. Also, my own mind and spirit is female and I’ve been like this all my life.

      The other thing keeping me in a holding-pattern are my current human rights laws here in Canada protecting my right to choose my gender identity and express it with my desired appearance (and I have done so many times without any negativity!). I can legally and literally be the woman I want to be anywhere on the gender-spectrum!

      Barb

       

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #131659
        Rachel
        FREE

        Barb, you are one of the most amazing people I know, and I count myself lucky to be your friend.

        Your outlook on all this is not only insightful, it’s refreshing.  Too many of us are in such a damn hurry to get all changed that we forget what the real goal is: happiness.  I like that you’ve assessed things from the point of view of what it takes to be happy.

        I want you to know that knowing you has made me a better person.  Your counsel has meant a lot to me during my recent struggles.  You’ve helped me see things in new ways, and for that I’m forever grateful.

        I’m really glad I met you.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #131509
        DeeAnn Hopings
        AMBASSADOR

        Barb:

        How we chose to live may or may not coincide with how we need to live. It depends on what is important to us, personal situations, degree of dysphoria, etc. For some, full transition is really the only way to effectively address their degree of dysphoria. There are some, at the other end of the spectrum, like me. I may have a touch of dysphoria, but that’s about it. What I realized in my mid-60’s is that I have never been completely male nor completely female in my thoughts, perspectives, likes/dislikes, etc. When that hit me, I stopped forcing that last bit of posturing towards being perceived as male. I still have moments, but it is just what happens organically. In parallel, I allowed much more of my female persona to be revealed. I probably present as DeeAnn ~98% these days. In the 5 organizations where I hold office and the 3 organizations where I am a member, but hold no office, DeeAnn is the person of record. Very few in my circle of friends and acquaintances have ever met Don.

        As I thought more about it, I also realized that I was this walking bundle of contradictions. In a speech that I gave a few months ago (check an article here on TGH called “From THERE To HERE…” ) is this passage:

        “What I’ve learned is that in many ways I have always been more aligned with a feminine mindset. Yes, I do view much of the world from a technical viewpoint, but it is significantly tempered by a feminine perspective. It’s the only way that I can reconcile the divergent activities of watching a Formula 1 race featuring extraordinary drivers in 1000 horsepower single seat race cars while also surfing the Etsy and Poshmark web sites for dresses and silk blouses. I have to admit that it does make me chuckle a bit sometimes.“

        Physical transition is often an arduous and expensive proposition. Fortunately my psychological situation does not demand that I do that. I am not planning any surgeries or HRT. However, my social transition is essentially complete. The only significant thing to do would be updating my documentation, but the effort/reward equation doesn’t work for me. I’ve found my groove and it seems to be pretty comfortable for me. It is my sincere hope that you find yours also…

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #131514
          Barb
          BRONZE

          That was quite a finish at yesterday’s F1 Montreal Grand Prix, eh?

          ;B

          • #131520
            DeeAnn Hopings
            AMBASSADOR

            Yes, it was!!

            I rated Sainz really close to Verstappen when they were at STR. If he continues to have the same focus as he did yesterday and if Ferrari is on top of their power unit issues, he could be a contender. Glad that Mercedes had a good day; about time! Wasn’t sure how Hamilton would fare considering how beat up he was after Azerbaijan, but he looked much better after Canada. Tough day for Williams, Haas, Alpha Tauri, McLaren and Perez specifically. I’d like to think that Mercedes has gotten a handle on things, but that’s what we thought after Spain and we saw how that turned out.

            Silverstone is a fortnight!?!?

    • #116976
      CJ P
      FREE

      I don’t know where I would be without the ladies (whom I call my sisters) in various support groups. When I first started my transition, I had done a lot of research about my new look that I wanted, like the style of clothes, how to look as sleek as possible even with the extra pounds, and the types of wigs I wanted. But in that excitement, I really didn’t think about how to find a trans friendly nail salon, or how to sit like a lady. things like that. I formed a close circle of friends and we exchanged advice on everything. At first they were the ones sharing everything with me, since I knew so little, but as time went by, I also started having tips and experiences to share. This made me feel like I was really in the process of arriving! I am proud that I was the first one in our group to discover putting castor oil on the eyelids to make your lashes grow longer. LOL

    • #103235

      I was just starting on getting out and hitting trans support groups . And how a found them was just typed in trans support groups Maine that is where I live . And all the information came up hours and where the groups where .  They also had groups for trans and allies .  When the pandemic hit they went to Zoom . I am hopping they go back to in person groups soon I will be there and I love meeting trans friends . Also just before the pandemic hit I went to First Event in Boston and was in the fashion show .  At First Event I felt at home with so many people just like me . I have met a lot of transgender people but I don’t have a trans friend that I could spend time with or give a call .  I am rarely looking foreword to life getting back to normal .

       

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #103237
        DeeAnn Hopings
        AMBASSADOR

        The interesting thing is that many who come here say something like:

        ”I don’t know what to do or who to talk to.”

        They don’t stop to think about doing an online search. I think what happens is that their current level of distress blocks or interrupts their usual intelligence. When someone writes the line I mentioned above, I will do a similar brief search and pass along some of the results that look promising. The idea it that it will hopefully “prime the pump”.

        For me, it is almost second nature to do a search for information that I need to know. Yesterday my Oximeter crapped. After I took it apart to see that there was nothing obviously broken, I could only assume that there was an electronic fault. So, the next step was to search for recommendations as to the best ones on the market. For me, that’s how it works…

    • #93216
      Anonymous

      For those who are trying to sort out their gender identity or those who are considering or starting transition, have you ever sought the advice of another trans person who has been through what you are thinking about? Also, it doesn’t have to be specifically about advice. It could be a shoulder to cry on or someone to listen while you vent…

      I have talked to many for support and gave support. Over my many years I was a loner, I didn’t want to share, I just wanted to be by myself.

      My second wife told me what a fool I was about not telling my story. She told how are going to help others, if you don’t open your (blank) mouth. There are people out there fighting them battles, just like you did. I bet they could really use the advice you could give. You have been through it, and still going though. Tell them about your ups and downs, what you do and didn’t do, what works and doesn’t work, and you’re a mountain of knowledge. So why don’t you share that knowledge, stop being so hard-headed and open up.

      Well that time came about the year 2016, I have talked to many in chat, in blogs, forums and who knows what else. I may not be the next Hannah McKnight, but I am giving back and doing my part.

      If it was not for my wife, you might never have heard of Hippie

      Hippie

      4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #91783
      Anonymous

      I personally do not know any trans people in real life. I imagine it would be very empowering and helpful to my situation. Until I meet one, I am very grateful that TGH exists.

      Phoenix

      6 users thanked author for this post.
      • #92498
        DeeAnn Hopings
        AMBASSADOR

        When I hear about what someone else is experiencing, I think of it in terms of a data point. Some data points are positive and others not so positive. But, the interesting thing is that virtually all data is useful and that negative outcomes have nearly as much to teach us as positive outcomes. Anyway, that’s where being open-minded comes in and hopefully gets us to think about the information that we have instead of dismissing something outright that we don’t like…

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #91756
      Anonymous

      Very hard for me as I know no other Trans and friends are anti trans in quite a big way, hence one reason I have joined TGH.

      I will need to talk to someone at some point in future that I do know

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #91757
        DeeAnn Hopings
        AMBASSADOR

        When I asked the question, what I was thinking about how folks connected with their peers. Certainly supports groups have significance, but I think some things work better in a 1/1 situation. Very different proposition confiding in one person compared to a group.

        I hope that over time you will develop relationships with other members that will allow you to freely discuss what’s on your mind…

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #90445
      Carly Holloway
      AMBASSADOR - EDITOR

      Hi, DeeAnn.  I had to stop and think a minute on this one, and my response is yes and no.  I never dreamed at seeking help for years while I was in stealth and “paranoid” about being found out.  I did seek information in written form during those years and wished for help, but told myself it wasn’t realistic.  One year and a half ago,  i summarilt chose to transition during a crisis stage of my life.  At the moment I made that decision, I knew I had to find help in order to make a safe and health transition.  I sought a therapist, a doctor, and found this site in very short order.    I would love to meet others in the flesh for support, advice encouragement, and I’m sure I will as the pandemic permits.

      4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #89609

      I’m so fortunate to have a good friend who is transitioning f2m and is so willing to listen to me when I need advice or just to vent.

      I’ve crossdressed off and on for several years, but now I’ve been wondering about HRT. Between my friend, wife and therapist I feel supported in my decisions.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #92454

        Way to go!! Awesome!!

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #92467
          DeeAnn Hopings
          AMBASSADOR

          Hi:

          Glad you found us!

          I encourage you to do an Introductory message and also to complete your Profile page. Both help other members to understand how things sit for you and how your journey is going…

          1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #86229
      Michelle Lawson
      MANAGING AMBASSADOR

      Wow, that is a big question that could take a book to explain. The transitional light bulb came on slowly for me. Then it got to a point where I was realized that something with me changed. So I started to try to figure out what had changed, and maybe the reasons behind the change. Then they all started to point to the same thing; I wasn’t male. Not in, I was born a woman inside a man, but as in, I’ve grown out of the cocoon I was born in and have morphed into something different. Then it was time to hit the books so I could cross the T’s and dot the I’s. Along that path I started to try out small things to see how they fit in my new existence. And then it was go and find the right people to help make what I knew needed to be done happen. Makeover specialist. HRT therapist. Therapist to help get the paperwork in order. Surgeon to start the physical changes that medicine would not work on. Put them all in a timeline, and start checking off the boxes as they get completed. Not fully there yet, and I’m not sure I will ever be ‘fully there’. But then, the journey is most of the fun anyway. Hugs, Michelle

    • #80244
      DeeAnn Hopings
      AMBASSADOR

      I marked all of the above!  Throughout my time after coming out, I met with many different people in different stages of transitioning.  I had 101 questions for each of them.  The biggest problem I ran into was asking those who were full time, bar GRS, who had such a large ego that it was impossible to get any good information out of them.  They would rather shun people who weren’t transitioned as far as they were.  Believe me, it does go to their heads!  Confidence is one thing, but snobbery is over the line.

      Yes, I would posit that there are 3 groups as far as transitioners go:

      • Those who transition and remain an active part of the community
      • Those who transition and leave the community
      • Those who transition and feel that they are at the top of the food chain because they transitioned and have no problem with telling you that.
      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #80121

      I marked all of the above!  Throughout my time after coming out, I met with many different people in different stages of transitioning.  I had 101 questions for each of them.  The biggest problem I ran into was asking those who were full time, bar GRS, who had such a large ego that it was impossible to get any good information out of them.  They would rather shun people who weren’t transitioned as far as they were.  Believe me, it does go to their heads!  Confidence is one thing, but snobbery is over the line.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #62454

      Having been well out of the closet for about 22 years, I would have to say that most of my friends fall somewhere under the Transgender umbrella. I have both chatted and met in real life gals from all over the world. For the most part, we pretty much have many of the same issues which is one of the greatest reasons we are able to form such a strong bond in friendship.

      Michelle Jacqueline Renee

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #62215
      Sarah P
      FREE

      I’ve only chatted with a trans woman online.  I would love to meet a local friend to be able to talk to just have not been able to make the connection.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #62208
      Janice Emory
      SILVER

      Since coming out I have met and become friends with a few transwomen and they have been very helpful with advice and encouragement, as well as, their own experiences, I am no longer afraid to transition.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #54290

      Not in real life only on line. I’d like to find someone local who I can go out with and dress and get moral support for/from each other though.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #54220
      DeeAnn Hopings
      AMBASSADOR

      I had a particular reason for posing this question. There is a phenomenon in our community regarding people’s continuing attachment to the community. I find it sad that, after transition, many separate themselves from the community. The reasons that are offered include: “I just want to get on with my life and live as the woman I am.”, “I’m not (or don’t wish to be) an activist.”, etc. I understand that as transition is a long and difficult road. However, I liken this situation to when a good and experienced employee retires or leaves the company. If you haven’t made any effort to capture at least some of that information and experience, it just walks out the door.

      What we know is that in ANY endeavor, those who come after stand on the shoulders of those who came before. Even if we don’t directly access those people and that information, it is a comfort knowing that it is there if needed.

      Now, I’ve had some people tell me that they don’t want to do anything that would shine undo light upon them. They are passing and don’t want to be subjected to embarrassing questions. But here’s the rub: there as MANY activities that don’t require being seen! That says to me that someone was just throwing out an excuse, and a weak one at that.

      Anyway, I would ask, and encourage, people to think about how they can become involved and support their local communities.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #54201
      DeeAnn Hopings
      AMBASSADOR

      Dennis:

      I’m curious. How would older family members not know about your situation? The only thing that comes to mind is that if they lived at a distance and had minimal contact.

      Thanks,

      DeeAnn

    • #54192

      i am  transgender MTF.  i am engaged to  transgender FTM.  We are both out. Currently planning our wedding.  What we both wonder  should our ceremony be private or open to all our friends and families?  Some know we are transgender some do not.   We want day of happiness but NOT the condemnation of the few who do not know or accept.  The problem is that the people who do not known or who would condemn are the senior members of both our famlies. So leaving them out would be disrespectful to say the least.  Any suggestions?

      • #92457

        Y’all just go gettem darling!!

    • #54180

      When I was in my twenties I had a friend who was transitioning and I fell head over heels with her. We lived happily together as two woman for a couple years and she mentored and educated me to the feminine ways I had not yet learned. We experimented with everything life has to offer and when we broke up, I was heartbroken!! I also spent 3 years in school studying psychology but lost funding and never made it back to school. Bad mistake!! But since that relationship I have had a few trans girlfreinds but never one as close as I was to her. Personally, I have had a hard time finding transgender friends who stay friends. A lot of girls I have met are looking for a sexual relationship and/or suffer from emotional and trust issues and are unable to hold a friendship for very long, or live too far away. I wish all the time that I could find a trans girlfriend to talk to, go shopping with and just hang out and support one another.

      4 users thanked author for this post.
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