Should I go to my local Gender Identity Clinic?

  • This topic has 23 replies, 11 voices, and was last updated 1 year ago by Roz.
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    • #114387

      Hi All

      I’m new to this so I apologise if I say something inappropriate or ramble a bit. I’m just looking for the opinions of people who have been where I am. I can’t decide if I should go to my local GIC but am seriously considering it. I have wanted to be female for as long as I can remember. I think about it every day to the point I’m amazed I ever got anywhere in life with this constant distraction. As a child my best friend was female, I loved playing pretend games with her where I was also a girl and as a preteen I tried doing lots of push-ups in the hope of developing breasts and becoming a girl. I was never keen on playing sports with the boys, looking back realise I was very body self-conscious and shy and often was called a gay boy by the other boys. I’m sensitive and caring and became a medic. My wife is a medic and I have two teenage daughters who do not know but maybe realise I’m not especially masculine. I have always been into cross dressing but never been caught to my knowledge. As a teen it was arousing but now it’s just more relaxing and feels right but I’m depressed when it has to end. I don’t think my family would understand and my with my wife it could go either way but more likely end in divorce. I don’t think I should do anything about transitioning until my kids are adults but recently I’m not coping as well and I don’t know why. Dysphoria seems to be  getting worse. As I medic I probably know or indirectly know the docs at the GIC so I’m scared as to how it could stay confidential. I don’t want to be accidentally outed. My wife trained there for a time so she will know some of the staff. If I were to go, should I tell my wife first or after? I’d rather tell her after but maybe that’s not fair on her? I’m not even sure if I should go as I don’t really have a plan for myself. What are your thoughts? If there are any medics here I’d be especially keen to know what you think as I’m also scared about how hard it could be at work. I’m really shy anyway and I’m not sure I could handle it. There seem to be no good options. Thanks

    • #114625
      Michelle Lawson

      Roz, i have been re-reading your post a few times, trying to find that one, just right reply; and I can’t. This a tough one. One I’m sure you have been wrestling with. Since I’m not sure what the rules and laws are where you live, I suspect that even if the law prohibits telling others, it may just find a way out. And you probably would not finding that working out. So I guess the best I can say is to keep doing your homework and see if you can find a way to get it to work. Nothing in this world seems to have that silver bullet fix, unless you are hunting werewolves….. Michelle

      • #114728

        Hi Michelle. Thanks for taking the time to reply. I’m so pleased to even hear that people understand the problem that helps a lot in itself. I think the first step will be telling my wife at some point. But I might just take it day by day for now, while I do my homework as you suggest, and see if the right time presents itself. The GIC here doesn’t require a referral from a family doctor or psychologist so I know I could go anytime which is very reassuring. The dysphoria or whatever awful negative feelings I’m having about longing to be female and disliking my life/body the way it is seems a bit like stomach cramps –  I mean, like with cramps, it is of varying severity and lasts a different length of time before easing. I keep telling myself it will ease off at some point because it has in the past, and it usually does, but it’s happening more frequently and more prolonged. Although there hasn’t been a day in my whole life when I haven’t Spent time wishing to be female, when I was younger I used to go for a few weeks without feeling I was being crushed by it all. I went out for a long run today which helped a bit. God, what I wouldn’t give for that silver bullet fix. Thanks so much

    • #114629


      I am with Michelle, I can’t say to go and can’t say to not go.  I am literally in the same place as you looking at a leap of faith.

      I do think talking about your feelings and history is good for mental health.  I am looking to go to therapy to help sort me out, as my dysphoria (self-diagnosed) has increased and decreased with intensity since I was a kid (really since I was 13), but it never goes away.  For me, my dysphoria is lower in intensity when I am crazy busy, but lately it’s being sustained and for a longest period ever which has led me to accept I can’t run from it, nor will it go away.  25+ years, a wife, 3 kids, and a career haven’t helped, so I accepted that I am Trans to some degree.  Since I was in denial I never felt this was me, but since accepting it, I am more acutely aware of my dysphoria which is causing me more anxiety and sadness for being completely in the closet,, which as you know us a lonely place to be.  I mean, which CIS-gender Male looks at a woman and thinks, “wow, those are cute heels! And that’s nice they match her Gucci handbag, while her knee-length pleated A-Line dress matches the color of her nails”  – and then wishes I were her…my guess, none.  So I say I am closeted Trans and confused needing therapy.

      I have many fears all primarily geared around losing my wife, my kids, my job, but also know I feel I owe my wife the truth.  Either way, I feel I owe her her chance at happiness, and if I can’t be happy and if my anxiety, and depression get indirectly pushed onto her (which I feel is happening) keeping her from experiencing happiness, it isn’t fair to her.

      I am beginning to ramble, but lately (last 3 months) I feel some degree of pain about this every single day ranging from, “yeah..I want to be a girl” to tearing up about while working and preventing me from sleeping.

      So this my long winded reply to take steps to see how you feel from day to day vs going to a clinic and potentially outing yourself or not.  I think there are online help groups/chats and support numbers you can utilize to help you.

      Take care and wishing you well.


      • #114705

        Thanks Steph. I feel the same as what you described – since I started accepting I might be transgender the overwhelming sadness and frustration (is that dysphoria?) has intensified considerably. And it’s daily. And I know what you mean about looking at other women. I’m also jealous of their hair and clothes and makeup. I’m still very much attracted to women though so I notice the things a CIS male would notice too! That’s partly how I have stayed in denial for so long – I told myself “How can I be trans or gay when I’m attracted to women?”  That was before I learned that gender and sexuality are not the same thing. You’d think I’d have known that! I have been asked in the past if I’m gay. I don’t know how to answer that now. If I’m trans female then I guess I am gay as I’m attracted to women. But the truth is I think I could be bi. It’s so complicated.

    • #114663

      Hi Roz ,

      It’s a catch 22 , damned if you and damned if you don’t . Working in the medical field can be risky for us . Even though they can’t share the info in your file , it doesn’t stop any of the other doctors looking in your file . Either way I would out myself to my wife first before I even told anyone at work . Home life should be a safe heaven . I wouldn’t want my wife to find out form someone else , this will create more emotional pain adding to it even more .

      I have been outed by people before and it’s not a very comfortable feeling at all when one starts this journey . When I first came out to friends I asked them what if you were born the opposite sex , what would your life be like ? What would you do for your career choice ? Would you be married or traveling the world ? What type of hobbies do you think you would be interest in ? Would you be attractive to short or tall people ? Etc …etc …and listen to there responses . It was questions that made them think and I got very interesting responses . Ones that were open and honest in their answers I keep as friends , ones which had a negative attributes , they were no longer friends  .

      I’m not saying this will work for you but I hope it gives you some aid on opening up to your wife , open and honest communication not just with yourself but each other .



      • #114690

        Hi Alexis. Thank you very much for replying. In my heart I feel you’re right that my wife should be the first to hear it. I just don’t know if she will be supportive and it’s possible she might take it very badly obviously. I like the approach of asking friends those types of questions and I hadn’t thought of that. I suspect I already know who my remaining friends would be and it would not be as many as I’d like obviously.
        Thanks again for your advice

    • #114730

      [postquote quote=114690]

      That is a risk we all take on whether our family will be accepting of us . I try to put myself in the other set of shoes and look at the situation with their perspective and weight my options form there . You are going to know your wife better then anyone else and when it comes to things if it’s not a gift such as a gift for christmas dropping hints will leave suspicion and that can be taken in a negative way . Like you have something to hide and this will devalve the trust within the relationship . Or it could be a positive one . Once you have a set plan and you have spoken with her see if she will be willing to go to therapy with you as well . She will have a better understanding what you are going through and it will give her support as well .

      It’s a lot of info at once for our brains to process . It will take time , but the more you talk about it and open up it does get easier .




    • #114733



      Though it would seem simple to say that if you went to seek treatment that it would then be doctor-patient privileged info, I’m sure that there are enough “leaks”, and even if you weren’t named, that others might be able to guess, depending on how much is said. That being said, do you have an option to see a therapist outside of that realm? Someplace where you wouldn’t be known, or at least not very well known. It would seem that starting with a therapist, even before telling you wife, would be a good way to go. That way you will have some help planning your future, and be better able to explain things to her when you do come out. I would caution against going beyond therapy before you include your wife, and get her agreement.

      Best wishes on getting this settled.

      • #114821

        Hi Evelyn.
        You are absolutely right about there being enough leaks to get me outed inadvertently. I know a quite a few psychiatrists, GU medicine docs, even breast surgeons, urologists and healthcare system managers who ultimately could all be involved in treating me/approving treatment if I go down this route and it’s that which scares me. Repeatedly being judged and talked about. But is that just something I’d just have to accept, I suppose so. Is it really fair to put my wife and kids through that as well? I’m not sure it is – it would make me feel very very selfish to make them pay some of the price socially for me. I’d realistically not have any control over any of that at all. Some people just can’t help themselves with juicy gossip, including some doctors sadly. I feel like I should relocate somewhere first but it’s a small world and I’m not sure that would help or is even particularly realistic. I have considered going elsewhere for a GIC but I’d have to go quite far and my wife would want to know why I was going to another city (she often tracks me on my iPhone I found out). There is certainly benefit in getting a professional’s advice on how to speak to my wife and even to get an external confirmation as to whether an independent doctor/psychologist thinks I am or am not transgender at all. I’m not even sure. I’m rambling now, sorry. Thanks very much for your advice. I’m going to further look into less local options for therapy.


    • #114753

      I really like the advice given in finding a therapist, a professional to help guide and support you at first.
      I just can’t imagine moving any further without telling your wife, and hopefully a therapist could ease you through that awkward and scary conversation.

      • #114811

        Hi Rei

        I have to say I agree that there isn’t any way of moving forward without speaking to a therapist. And my wife too. Except I don’t want to have that conversation because that’s really admitting it to myself fully isn’t it? I realise I’m still trying to deny it. I don’t want this to happen to me. I keep putting reasons not to deal with it in front of myself. I keep telling myself it’ll be easier to keep ignoring my feelings and continue hiding and then I hate myself for not owning the issue and being more mature about it. Thank you for taking the time to give me your opinion.

    • #115719
      DeeAnn Hopings


      Here is something to consider about coming out…

      One of the most important things about coming out is that you get to tell your story, your way and in your own words. You also get to think about what you are going to say beforehand. What this means is that you get to define how you have felt getting to this point, where things sit for you now and what you need to do going forward. The problem is that when you get outed, what gets told is someone else’s perception about what’s happening. It is called Losing The Narrative. Once you lose the narrative, it is VERY hard to get it back. You are instantly thrown into a defensive posture and it becomes reactionary from there on.

      The only real way to combat this is to come out on your own and get ahead of things. You say what you need to say. People may be upset about what they hear, but they cannot say that you lied…

      • #115901

        Thanks DeeAnn. I can see the logic of that. I have got an appointment to see a therapist on the 20th of August. That’s the first one I could get with a therapist who specialises in gender dysphoria issues amongst other things. I’m hoping she can help me with what I could say and also help me with self acceptance

        It’s kind of you to give advice and I have so much appreciation for the help all the girls have been prepared to give

        me here.

        • #115916
          DeeAnn Hopings

          Not a problem!

          Many here, including me, talk about the benefits of working with a therapist. The deal is this…

          You’ve probably heard the term Prime Directive from the Star Trek shows and movies. Basically, it is a concept that is fundamental to how things are supposed to work; in this case, do not interfere with other peoples and cultures.

          Well, our minds also have a Prime Directive. It is to protect us, keep us safe and out of danger. But, there is a problem. Coming to understand our gender identity and our sexuality causes a MAJOR shift in how we think of ourselves and what we need to do going forward. It is a source of a lot of stress and difficulty. However, in order to keep us safe and free of stress, the mind will attempt to avoid the consideration of such things. This is how we get to denial. There is great fear of falling into the unknown and trying to bring about change. So, we don’t let ourselves think about these things that would cause a great upheaval. What a therapist does, among other things, is help us stay focused on what we need to think about and work through those forces that make us want to avoid thinking about difficult things. This is stuff that is very hard for us to do on our own….

    • #115794

      [postquote quote=115719]

      It’s like keeping the statis que



    • #117244

      Hi Roz

      If I’m not too late I’d say certainly Yes. As you are both ‘in the trade’ I’d suggest booking the appointment then having THE conversation with your wife as soon as possible. She may well think something is wrong already as she’s tracking your phone. My ex-partner is a nurse (formerly QMC Nottingham now in Australia) and humans are humans so they do talk shop, if she finds out like that you’ll do well to get out alive.

      I took the afternoon off cleaned the house, did the chores, ordered her favourite meal from the restaurant and bribed the kids to give us the evening.

      I needn’t have bothered, I practiced my pitch (I strongly suggest you do this too) and just started when she cut in ‘I already know, you’re transgender aren’t you?’ I was utterly pole-axed. So much for keeping up an act. I am very fortunate but got bonus points for the care I’d taken to tell her.

      One thing is that this isn’t anybody’s fault – you have a previously unrecognised condition and are seeking a professional opinion to move forward. However you may find that you lose everybody and nearly everything you currently have, if that doesn’t deter you then it’s a real issue that needs attention or you’ll be heading into dark and horrible spaces. I’ve been there and it nearly killed me, don’t do the same.

      I’m still on very good terms with her mother and apparently concerns had been raised some months before, my ex- had gone through the ‘he’s having an affair’, ‘he’s gay’, ‘he’s got something horrible and/or terminal’ and ‘he’s got a terrible secret’ routines before getting to the TG conclusion. Once we accepted that it was nobody’s fault acceptance was easier and here I am now.

      Good luck and I hope you get a good outcome too.

    • #127205

      Hi Roz,

      Not knowing how it all ended, l just wanted to say you were lucky to get an appointment so fast.  I had to wait for over two years to finally start seeing a therapist.



      • #128464

        Hi Marianne

        I’m not sure what aspect you’re referring to specifically as lucky. I paid privately to see a psychotherapist in the first instance who isn’t a gender therapist. This was for depression and anxiety primarily. It is clear to me that was due to dysphoria and I then paid privately for flights to the US to attend the Powers Family Medicine GIC. It has cost a fortune so I don’t feel that lucky yet! Hopefully I’ll get to chat with you soon xx


    • #135766

      your wife will take you quite seriously regardless once she is told.  You attending will not change her having questions to be answered. It might help her in determining whether or not she can handle moving forward in an altered relationship. Remember, she never signed on for a threesome or a possible lesbian relationship.  I think its more important she learns about it from you and the educational part comes from you next followed by hopefully, over time, acceptance to some level. Your marriage will get tested for sure. For me the result was positive so why not you too. It sounds like you are attempting to soften the blow of telling her out of fear which is normal. Either way, she will have alot to learn about you.

      • This reply was modified 1 year ago by Jill Lacey.
      • #135774

        Hi Jill

        Thanks for your recent reply. I’m now 19 months on from having written that question. I did tell my wife. She refused to accept it and refused to let me get treatment. She became verbally and physically abusive and started gaslighting me. It’s fair to say it couldn’t have been a lot worse. We got legally separated in October 2021 and I started my transition in December after being suicidal for 2 months and nearly (accidentally) taking my own life.
        I’ve now been on HRT for over a year and have GCS in 2 weeks. My wife and I haven’t spoken a word to each other since May last year and I only occasionally see my children as my wife has manipulated them into not wanting to spend time with me (they started out very supportive). I have been with a new partner for a year now who is the kindest, loveliest and most supportive person I could ever imagine, and also a work colleague.
        I contribute to the STA, volunteer at LEAP Sports, an a member of the LGBTQ cross party working group with the Scottish government and am a member of the Glasgow Sunglowers (women’s baseball team).
        so lots of good things and many sad things too. My family have all been supportive, and work have been amazing. Friends went different ways, some supportive, some not.
        Overall I’m happier and I know I’d be dead if I hadn’t transitioned.
        so that’s me for now! x

        • #135775

          I’m so happy for you moving forward and are happy. The loss of your wife and particularly your kids is sad but understanding. Many x’s try to turn the kids against the spouse to punish the spouse. Many times, the kids decide to make up their own minds and reach out to their parent to re-bond. they do not feel hatred so try to stay connected as best possible with the kids without being pushy.  They may just reach out in time. They need to understand you had to do what you did, not wanted to. It was a matter of life or death.

          Hugs, Jillleanne

    • #136559
      cathy davis

      <p style=”text-align: left;”>I am new here also ,and have felt the same way as Stefanie  has talked about  I alway wished I was a girl from about  10 years old  haveing got caught by my mother with women clothing and mailings about transgender surgery  back in the 1970s ,trying to make my self more of a man to date women and eventually  getting  married ,in the back of my mind being female was always there now after 37 years ,2 children  grown  up  ,I have done 6 months of HRT but stopped for awhile may restart soon ,haven’t said anything  to my wife ,I feel If I say anything  it will be calling me everything  under the sun and in divorce  court ,at times I think I should suppress  my feelings  and live quietly not saying  anything  ,Cathy</p>

      • #136979

        Hi Cathy. Of course you can keep suppressing your feelings as long as you don’t have significant dysphoria. I managed until I was 45 and then I lost the ability to suppress it and lost my ability to cope with it. Dysphoria destroyed my mental health, what little was left of my marriage and lost me my children entirely. So my advice would be not to trash your life if you’re coping fine. On the other hand, now that I have transitioned I can say I’ve never been happier in myself. But the price is high. If I hadn’t transitioned though I’d be dead. Good luck and stay well x

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