Support

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    Topic
  • #102381
    John Mars
    Participant

    Hello,

    I have a very good friend, who has been struggling for a long time it seems, I’ve only just found out that he is transgender. I am using he, because he still currently identifies himself as he, out of fear of ridicule. I am not looking for harsh comments to my posts, understand,  I myself have a firm belief there are only 2 genders…period. That does not mean I dont support peoples right to do what makes them feel comfortable in his/her own skin. He says he wants to embrace this and no matter what he chooses,  I want to be as supportive as I can, despite my own personal beliefs. He has been through many really tough breaks, and hates himself as a man. I want him comfortable in his own skin. I told him that I cannot go with calling im she/her, that I dont use “preferred pronouns”. Not really a fan on anyone trying to dicate my speech or tell me how to interpret reality. I dont mean to be disrespectful to anyone. It does not mean I dont validate someone’s existence, its just how I feel. He seemed to be fairly understanding.  Despite my willingness to be supportive,  I cannot begin to understand everything he is going through.  And I try not to judge on things I don’t understand.  Is there any actual objective advice that someone can offer me? I also want to help him find support groups, and some like minded people. He is conflicted on whether he would want to try and transition or sort it out as a man. I dont want people to try and throw politics into the mix, I dont want someone to lie to him and tell him that its easy, and its the best thing ever. I want someone who could talk to him objectively who has dealt with it and honestly advise him of risks and benefits. I truly do want whats best for him and want him comfortable in his own skin. Thank you for you time in reading this.

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    • #102527
      DeeAnn Hopings
      AMBASSADOR

      John:

      We work very hard to keep this a safe place for all who come here. This is an important thing because if people do not feel appreciated and respected, they won’t come back. That would be very unfortunate because isolation is a big problem in our community. Also, we don’t do politics here. Not that we couldn’t, but we don’t as it helps keep the stress level down.

      As a reminder, don’t conflate sex and gender. Regarding sex, there are those who are assigned male at birth (AMAB) and those who are assigned female at birth (AFAB). Somewhere in between are people who are intersex. It may not not be obvious that someone is intersex because it may be at the chromosomal level without any external evidence.

      Gender turns out to be a spectrum. When ones gender aligns with ones sex, it is known as cisgender. As a prefix, cis is Latin for “one this side”. When ones gender does not align with ones sex, it is known as transgender. A good way to think about it is: Sex is between your legs and Gender is between your ears. It is not exactly known why this misalignment happens, but some differences have been noted in brain scans. Still, it isn’t understood why the differences happen.

      The significance of pronouns is this. It says that we see a person as they want to be seen. We have no right to define someone as we think they should be defined. That is up to them; not us.

      One the things that will be difficult is where you live. Resources for trans people will likely be found in Dallas and Houston, but probably not your town. At this point in time, it sounds like your friend would find a lot of benefit from working with a therapist. However, it is very important to find someone with experience with gender issues. The problem is that the consideration of possibly being transgender is an intersection of some very difficult things to think about. Often we just let these things built up until they appear to be insurmountable. A good gender therapist can help keep focus on what needs to be thought about and the possible decisions that may come up.

      Be reminded that this is a deliberate event. There are no style points for haste. Think of it more like a marathon and less of a sprint. Along the way what we learn needs to be mentally processed and internalized. It is not the work of a minute because running headlong into things only to regret it later is not helpful…

    • #102397

      Hi John, maybe in yourself it’s more of an issue that you may get societies cruel flack upon yourself  if you show a genuine real support by starting to use the gender pronouns like her/she etc. and the change in the person will be monumental and without this any friendship will die – if you really care you need to have the guts to take some of societies flack on the chin also if your true and a real friend for someone that wants to be who they feel in there soul being female , a women – you hold a lot of the Gold in your hand that can make a difference only if you  have the courage to help and accept.

    • #102383
      Michelle Larsen
      AMBASSADOR

      John, I do understand your position, and while I may not agree, I do respect your right to feel, and think, the way you do. You are correct in the ‘no one size fits all’ understanding. We do not force anyone down any certain path. That is for them to travel, and with the help of medical professionals. We are not medical professionals, but people that have a wealth of knowledge and life experience. We do not guide anyone down any path. But we will help them talk about who they are, and what makes them who they are. We help them find resources that can help them navigate through life, and down the path they are comfortable with. Opening up and taking those steps is up to your friend. I hope this has helped, even if only in a small way. Michelle

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