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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Gender Issues » Introduction and The Issues I'm Going through

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Author Topic: Introduction and The Issues I'm Going through
Lily Luna
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Hi, I'm 16, 17 in the summer, I'm introducing myself, a friend on IMVU reccomended me here. I decided I'd join and get some help. I'm going through tons of Gender Issues. Hence, the Trans in my name. I have a taste in music that's commonly unbecoming of a girl. Hence, the metalhead in my name. The Reason I'm here is to get help and insight and sort out these issues. I lived me whole life so far as a boy and realized I just pretended to like it. Well, I'm sick of pretending, I can't live like this anymore. This is why I need help and insight and support to get me where I need to go. I've already decided to go to counselling for transition at 18. I just wanna know more about myself so I can accept myself better. Some resource links and possibly book recomendations would work.

I have 1 roadblock. I have a girlfriend who just doesn't completely get what I'm going through. she tries to to understand and accept it but she just can't. She has a habit of thinking ahead, she's already thinking about marrying me in the future and always pushes me into answering yes to her. She's sort of a pushover about that. She keeps begging me to back away from my decision and saying she'll keep me happy. We got along fine until I discovered my Gender issues. But there's a spiritual difference between our countless similarities. she's a devout Christian and I'm a strong Athiest. She's making me choose between her choice or my choice and it's upsetting and if she really loved me she wouldn't do that.

She keeps telling me she'll make happy if I marry her in the future but there's 2 reasons that wouldn't work out.

1. I might not see her again

2. How could she make me happy if I'm not happy the way I am. (She's happy with the way I am but I'm not, those are 2 different things.)

These gender issues tore us apart and now the relationship isn't what it used to be in its first 3 months. Well this is me in not so much a nutshell.

Sorry for the huge Wall of Text.

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How can we have others make us happy?? If we are not happy with ourselves, first??

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Welcome. [Smile]

You know, plenty of cisgendered women and girls like metal. That isn't to say that's any sort of proof of what your gender is...but it is to say it's no sort of proof what someone's gender is. In fact, with ideas like that, we learn a lot more about assigned gender roles than we do about identity. [Smile]

You're right: your girlfriend marrying you or not -- or doing any given thing beyond accepting you as who you know yourself to be -- isn't going to be some sort of magical fix to make your gender identity different than it is. If you've felt and identified yourself as female through as much of your life as you can remember, there's nothing she can do to change that.

Obviously, she does of course get to have her own gender identity and sexual orientation: if she's hetero and you've been ID'd as a boy to her all along, and she's read you that way, she does get to decide if she just doesn't want to date a woman, even if she knows that woman already to some degree. But that's something she needs to take ownership of -- that this is about her beliefs and preferences -- rather than making it be about your identity and choosing to explore what you feel is best for yourself, including when she isn't around.

Do know, though, that few relationships are quite the same after the first few months: that's a period of time when we're just getting to know one another. Once we know each other more deeply, we are likely to see some changes, especially since a lot of what another person knows is their idea of us, rather than who we really are. When their idea clashes with our reality, you're right...things often do tend to get rocky and can result in relationships just not working out. It's also pretty extreme to be talking about marriage in the first few months of dating.

Sounds to me like right now, it's pretty vital that you're in environments of acceptance so that you can get started with your counseling and decide about, or go into, transitioning. Given this is a very new relationship, it seems like having choices about your whole life and history be very strongly influenced by this relationship isn't very sensible, especially since this sounds like someone who is not likely to ever be able to understand you in a very big way.

Can I ask why she's such a big factor in all of this? You say she's a roadblock, but with this new of a thing, sounds more to me like a bump in the road.

In terms of books, have you read any Kate Bornstein, Patrick Califia or Leslie Feinstein? If not, those are three good places I'd suggest starting.

[ 03-19-2008, 07:59 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Lily Luna
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The Thing is, I don't want her to make me choose, but I don't want to lose her either, I'd still love her no matter what decision I made, I told her that. I'm just really confused.

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How can we have others make us happy?? If we are not happy with ourselves, first??

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Heather
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It'd be easier for me to help and try and suss out the situation if I had a better idea of why someone you've only been dating for three months (if I'm understanding right that that is the case) is such a big factor, and why it's so big for you that she likely is just not someone who has the kind of point of view or perspective where she's a good relationship fit for someone who is either transgender or not going to be the gender she wants to date.

See what I'm asking? I agree: it stinks to be asked to choose in this situation, but for someone who just doesn't get this at all -- and clearly, she doesn't -- or has no interest in getting it, it's not all that surprising. It also sounds like if she's talking marriage that the drama (and lack of really being in touch with reality) is pretty high-key right now.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Heather
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P.S. Someone who is always pushing you into saying yes to her -- who seeks to control a partner -- is also not likely someone with whom you can have a healthy relationship.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Lily Luna
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I forgot to Mention, I'm more into the more extreme forms of metal such as, Gothic Metal, EGM, Dark Metal, Avant Garde, Black Metal, Death Metal, Doom Metal, ect.

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How can we have others make us happy?? If we are not happy with ourselves, first??

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Heather
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There are girls right there with you. In fact, a longtime user of ours, Irmelin, is super-duper-crazy for all of that, and she's also seriously femme.

(And heck: I'm a cisgendered woman who grew up in the 80's mosh pit punk scene in Chicago. I don't mean to be a fogey, but I've heard a lot of these metal genres, and I think often that old punk was even harder. There really is no such thing as music being gendered: it's just that in a culture which still likes girls in pink and boys in blue, plenty of people with limited ways of thinking, or who like to segregate gender will present it that way. But it's pretty darn silly to do.)

But your taste in music still doesn't tell me anything about the import of this particular relationship, so when you can clue us in, I think we'll be able to help you more.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Lily Luna
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I think it's been going on for 4-5 months now, I go to church things to spend time with her cause they do fun stuff like eat out or go to the movies. But it's hard for me to sit through the hour+ of worship, no offense to any but I feel like I'm being brainwashed in that room.

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How can we have others make us happy?? If we are not happy with ourselves, first??

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Heather
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So, you have two huge things where you have big divides: in your spiritual beliefs and practices AND in your ideas about gender, and, from the sounds of things, her orientation if and when you transition.

Those are pretty big divides, TransMetalhead. All would certainly prove to be huge ongoing challenges in your relationship if it continued, no matter what you chose to do.

In other words, from the sounds of things, while you obviously have feelings for her, between those divides and what sound like control issues on her part, I'm just not seeing a lot of mileage in this relationship.

There's also something to be said for partners having the emotional maturity and real acceptance to accept when a partner needs to just explore something without being too invested in or afraid of the results. In other words, if my partner says (as he likely will someday: he's an independent filmmaker) that he needs to go fill out living in L.A. for a while, knowing that is so not a city I will live in, it's going to be in both of our best interest to let him just go see if that's even something he needs or wants to really consider. I'd miss him, for sure, and some of that would be scary, by all means, but if it's a very big deal to him and he feels he needs to find out about it for himself and to know what direction his life might go, me making him choose between me and a huge part of his life doesn't make sense, since if I love him, I love who is is, including that part, and love isn't really about keeping someone stuck to us like glue or keeping them the way we want them to be for our own reasons.

(But expecting that from very young people or a very new relationship is expecting an awful lot. In new relationships, we're feeling out if everyone's basics work with our needs before getting super-invested. You two are still in that part, and clearly in the thick of it right now.)

Now, for someone who had a long-term, really enriching relationship with someone where they really connected in these kinds of deep places, I can make sense of having a big conflict in a situation like this. But if you feel profoundly gender dysphoric, not being seen and treated for that, and depending on how you feel, potentially transitioning, is something that could negatively impact the whole of your whole life, which she's not likely to be around for given your ages and these divides. having taking care of this big part of yourself be something you're not considering doing because of a relationship like this, which is also very new, just doesn't strike me as sound.

Why don't you try this: can you visualize yourself having a partner who did not try and control you, who accepted your gender no matter what it was, and with whom you were on the same page spiritually? If you were either with a partner like that, or not in a relationship at all, what choice would you make as far as starting with this counseling?

If that doesn't work, what advice might you give someone else in the same situation who wasn't you?

[ 03-19-2008, 08:50 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Lily Luna
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Ok, sorry to be offtopic but I'd like to meet this Irmelin user, she sounds like she has alot in common, is she very active???

Now on topic, know any good web resources??

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How can we have others make us happy?? If we are not happy with ourselves, first??

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-Lauren-
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(I'm also a pretty ultra-femme totally into European industrial/doom metal, and will be traveling to follow the scene, in fact. :))
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Lily Luna
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That's cool. I happen to know so many bands, I'm like a walking talking band database.

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How can we have others make us happy?? If we are not happy with ourselves, first??

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