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Author Topic: Just generally confused.
Deborah_20
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Alright so here's my situation. Lately I've been wondering if I should of been born a girl. It's weird, because I do like typical "guy" stuff, like sports, and video games. I play hockey, and to everyone else, I'm just one of the guys. But I can't deny this feeling, of femininity, this wanting to be one of the girls instead. I love make-up, and girls clothes interest me way more than guys clothes, my favorite piece of clothing is this skirt I made out of old gym shorts. I keep my hair as long as I can, and I started shaving my legs. And this all feels good, it makes me happy to a certain extent. Also sometimes my body just feels wrong, like I don't feel comfortable with the parts I have. Or the way my body is shaped. I'm attracted towards girls, but now instead of just feeling sexual attracted when I see a cute girl, I feel this feeling of wanting to be her. It's the weirdest feeling. I really don't know where these thoughts are coming from, I mean I was born a boy, so why don't I feel like a boy. I feel like I relate to girls better than guys, and the whole "masculine culture" that guys are forced into really rubs me the wrong way. I really don't know what I'm asking here, but I need some sort of advice, from someone. It's not like I'm gonna talk about this to my parents, or friends.
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Starfire&Shadows
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Girls play videogames and sports and hockey too. Most of my friends play video games - a lot of First-Person Shooters and MMORPGS. That includes the girls, too.

There's a lot of different stuff that gets mixed together when people talk about "men" and "women" - The Body stuff, the clothing and hair and makeup, and all the activities that are supposed to be Manly or Not.

My favorite thing to do is cooking, and I sew. I'm also sort of soft spoken. So it's been really confusing for me - thinking that I should look and move more like a guy and having my body feel wierd.
Not that you are necessarily the same.

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Heather
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Because the spectrum of gender is so wide, and because ideas about what "girls do" and "guys do" often don't include a whole lot of people who identify their gender that way, how about we talk about how you experience your own gender and how it feels for you, rather than your behaviors or how you or others perform your gender?

It doesn't make much sense to think about how you "should have been born," because all of us were born however we were born when it comes to our bodies and our chromosomes. However, our gender is something constructed, and while society and culture has their own gender constructs, individually, it's something we construct ourselves.

Do you feel like you'd feel more comfortable, like it would feel more authentic, for you to identify as a girl?

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Deborah_20
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I'd probably be more comfortable with myself, I feel like there's this part of me that I have to hide. That I can't let anyone else know about, and if I were able to be a girl that I could express that part of me. I guess the weirdest part of all this is that sometimes I feel uncomfortable with my body. Like with the parts I have, it's not all the time, but sometimes I just wish my body was female.

And about how I experience my own gender, I've never really felt male, nor female. I've just been me. I mean I've obviously been grouped in with the boys most of my life, but I feel like I relate to girls better. I think it would be easier for me to identify as female rather than male, but its hard to ignore these parts I got.

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Deborah_20
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So I've been reading up on other trans people's experience, and I find myself relating to alot of them. I'm still kind of ignorant on the whole transition process, and don't even know if its for me. But I would like to talk to someone about this. I'm wondering if anyone here has some info on some therapist's who specifically deal with gender issues in and around the Atlanta area? I don't have healthcare at the moment, so no rush, but I would like some names for future reference.
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Heather
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Sure thing. [Smile]

Here are a few listings LGBT-friendly therapists in Georgia: http://www.familyequality.org/wiki/index.php?title=LGBTQ_Family_Friendly_Doctors%2C_Therapists%2C_etc.#Psychotherapy

There's also a trans support livejournal group for Atlanta you might find helpful: http://community.livejournal.com/trans_atlanta

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hellohellogia
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I have a 22 year old brother who came out to me about three years ago. Ever since we were very young children, we would find a hiding place to play with barbie dolls. He's always given me fashion advice and has done my hair and make up. He never really cared for sports, but he loved playing with pokemon cards and all the super hero toys (batman and all those guys). Today, he is very open about what he likes. He loves things that were- as per society- were made for girls and he likes things that were made for men. He's made it clear that he has a great appreciation for the female body but wouldn't want to be one. Sometimes he'll make remarks like "I wish I was a girl so I could wear that dress". From what he tells me, seriously, he was a born a male and just because he is more attracted to "female" things it doesn't mean he wants to be one. What I'm saying is, you could like anything in this world...what matters is if you're comfortable with yourself. If you feel like becoming a woman is what would make you happy then you should look into that. I think it's important to be comfortable with yourself, and sometimes that means letting who you are inside reflect on the outside as well.

I personally am a huge fan of the female body to the point where it turns me on. I've fantasized about women, but I love having sex with men. It's also okay to be attracted to both sexes, even if you don't want to act upon a fantasy...after all it's a fantasy for a reason!

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Gia

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Heather
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Hey, Gia: I just want to make clear, especially in threads where someone is looking for support because they feel they may be trans gender, that people who suspect they may be trans -- and certainly for people who are trans -- they *are* expressing feeling like it's not even that they WANT to be a different gender, but feel very much like that is what they are. It's also often very much not just about appearances.

Not suggesting you're being nonsupportive here at all, or that you intend to be, it's just that for trans people, when someone immediately goes to saying they might NOT be trans while asking few questions about that person and their experience with gender, it can sometimes feel like...well, how it tends to feel when a straight person tells someone queer they're probably just going through a phase, if you get me.

Gender issues also aren't often the same as sexual orientation issues. While someone grappling with gender can also be grappling with orientation, our sexual orientation often doesn't tell us anything about our gender identity, because whether we are cis gender or trans gender we can be anywhere on the orientation spectrum.

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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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Ecofem
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[Hey Gia, also to share a resource: we have a thread on supporting LGBT family members that I think you might be interested in: Looking for support in accepting LGBT friends, family and partners? [Smile] ]
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Deborah_20
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quote:
Originally posted by Heather:

Gender issues also aren't often the same as sexual orientation issues. While someone grappling with gender can also be grappling with orientation, our sexual orientation often doesn't tell us anything about our gender identity, because whether we are cis gender or trans gender we can be anywhere on the orientation spectrum.

I can attest to this, while I may be questioning my gender, I've never really questioned my sexuality. I've always been emotionally and physically attracted towards girls, and can really only see myself in a relationship with a girl.

Oh, and thanks for getting that list of therapist for me [Smile]

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Heather
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How is everything going for you, Your Star?

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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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Deborah_20
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quote:
Originally posted by Heather:
How is everything going for you, Your Star?

I just feel very lonely. I really have no one to talk to about this stuff, in real life, or online. Just not talking about it can take a toll. But I can deal I guess. It's just still very strange to me, this is not something I thought I would have to deal with. These feelings of wanting to be a girl are just so intense sometimes I can't really wrap my head around it. I feel so fake sometimes. The thing is I like me, the person I am inside. I'm really no big fan of my body, but I like me. I still don't know if transition is right for me, but I don't feel like I fit in the male side of the gender binary that most people accept. I'm still quite confused, but I feel like I'm learning about myself which is good. Just I wish I knew more.

And thanks for asking [Smile]

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Heather
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Want to talk this out some more?

One thing I want to fill you in on is that the notion of binary gender is SO problematic, just as you're experiencing. A LOT of both cis gender and trans people don't fit in it. Unfortunately, for a long time -- still now, but this is changing -- for trans people to qualify for SRS they had to prove they fit that binary, that they could "pass" in the most stereotypical ways when it came to gender.

But like I said, that's changing, albeit slowly.

One of the hardest parts of this issue and this conversation is understanding that there really isn't any one way of "feeling like a girl" or "feeling like a guy," because gender is so, so varied. For instance, as a cis gender women, my way of feeling female and of experiencing and presenting my gender is, I know, very different from the way plenty of other people experience that. For example, for me, high-femme presentation feels like drag. Now, every now and then, drag is fun for me, but if I were to do the makeup, heels, etc. thing every day, I would literally feel like I was in drag every day.

However, I have high-femme friends (be they cis or trans) who by no means have that experience: for many of them, that doesn't feel like drag at all, but feels very authentic.

And yet, here we all are "feeling like a girl." Know what I mean?

To give you another example, with male-identified and male-bodied people I have dated, and there have been many, very, very few of them ever "fit" (or wanted to) the stereotypical version of "male" that's often presented as what male is, be that in appearance, behavior, atitudes. That doesn't fit even many male-bodied, male-identified people.

The thing is, you don't have to fit anyone's binary or idea of what that is, especially since it's such a false construction. You just have to find your home in yourself, and then figure out -- a process which may take a long time -- what would feel like home to you, and how you want to present and identify. I don't mean to make that sound easy, I know that it's not.

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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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Heather
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By the way, have you been to Genderfork yet? If not, I think it might be a great extra place for you: http://genderfork.com/

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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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Deborah_20
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quote:
Originally posted by Heather:
Want to talk this out some more?

The thing is, you don't have to fit anyone's binary or idea of what that is, especially since it's such a false construction. You just have to find your home in yourself, and then figure out -- a process which may take a long time -- what would feel like home to you, and how you want to present and identify. I don't mean to make that sound easy, I know that it's not.

Thank you for wanting to talk more [Smile] I truly appreciate it.

This last paragraph is rather comforting. To think that I can find myself, and not have to fit in a binary. Though when society pushes that binary on us since we are kids it's hard to not think that there is one.

I guess, like you said, the hard part is finding that comfort zone. I just don't really know how to explore my gender without getting chastised for it. Gender variance is often met with criticism, and hate, and I'd rather not deal with that. Especially since gender is such a very public thing I'm at a loss for how to experiment. I mean, I'm not going to go out in public with a skirt without taking hormones to feminize my body, but taking hormones isn't really something you do when you're questioning. Also it's probably a while till I have access to a therapist.( I have no insurance and were not well off) The only thing I've really done is shave my legs, and I don't really plan on stopping since I enjoy it, and I can "get away" with it so to speak. I'd just like to know some safe ways on how to explore my gender. If there is any.

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Heather
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I hear you, completely.

How about times when you're home alone, at least? Are you able to make time for yourself, even if it's just in your room, to present your gender the way you'd like to?

With the therapists, did you call any on that list and ask if they'd be willing to help you pro-bono or at a reduced fee? If not, it's worth a call: plenty will have a limited number of patients they'll do that for.

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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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Deborah_20
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quote:
Originally posted by Heather:
I hear you, completely.

How about times when you're home alone, at least? Are you able to make time for yourself, even if it's just in your room, to present your gender the way you'd like to?

With the therapists, did you call any on that list and ask if they'd be willing to help you pro-bono or at a reduced fee? If not, it's worth a call: plenty will have a limited number of patients they'll do that for.

Yeah, that could work. I actually did make a skirt a while back. An old pair of shorts and some scissors and bingo [Big Grin] I think I could elaborate on that some more. Maybe with some makeup or other clothes. Now all I gotta do is get the courage to by that stuff.

And about the therapist, I haven't called them yet. I would really like to to see if I could get something like that. But the thing is I still live with my parents, and my only form of transportation is our truck. It's the only thing we have, and all the therapist are more than an hour away, and they wouldn't let me have it for that long without knowing where I was going. And I really don't feel comfortable telling them this right now. I asked for that list because I hope to move out soon, but that all depends if I get accepted into the schools I applied too, and get the needed financial aid.

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Heather
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Are you out to any of your friends with your gender? If so, you might have an ally who you could go shopping with if you want. Also? Thrift stores are not only nicely inexpensive places to shop, a lot of people buy clothes for costumes at them, so they don't tend to think twice about people buying clothes of a gender that they might figure isn't yours.

With the therapy, are you right in the city in Atlanta? I ask because if so, might public transit be an option? (I haven't been that way in over a decade, but remember the transit between burbs and city as being sucky.)

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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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Deborah_20
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I'm not out to any of my friends yet sadly, but the thrift store is a great idea. I'll try it out when I have some free time. And I've been thinking I could buy the makeup from a store with a self checkout place. I'd feel comfortable with that.

Also I don't live in the city. I used to live closer, but we had to move due to financial reasons, and now I live basically in the middle of nowhere. Where not that far from the interstate but it's still too far to go without my parents getting curious. Especially on a regular basis. It's something I really wish I had access too, but I just don't see it happening right now sadly.

I do spend alot of time in Atlanta still though, but mostly with friends and family , and only really for hockey games. So I can safely tell you nothings changed, MARTA still sucks!

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Heather
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I understand.

You know, I just put something out to the twitterverse, too, which is a question about if anyone has ever organized a way for some of us to send hand-me-downs to trans or genderqueer people who don't feel safe buying them or don't have the cash.

If I hear of anything, I'll let you know. otherwise, it may be high time to figure out a way to organize this.

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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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Deborah_20
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That sounds like a great idea. I hope that works out well.

Oh, and I have to say thank you. You've been great today with responding to my questions, and this site has been a Godsend. Thank you [Smile]

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Heather
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Hey, anytime. And please do know this is somewhere you can come talk about this online. We're always glad to listen and respond.

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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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Deborah_20
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I will, if I have anymore questions or concerns this will be my first stop. Again thank you.
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Deborah_20
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So, I've been doing alot of research about the medical side of transition. But I am using the internet, so I'm always a little wary of what I read unless it's a reliable source, and alot of what I've found have been from personal sites, and I'm just wary to trust them. So I was wondering if you or know of any reliable sites that have info about stuff like hormones, and what will they exactly do to my body. Also about SRS, and is it possible to have any kind of sexual pleasure after the surgery. Also I keep hearing about this "Standard of Care" but haven't been able to find the exact wording of this "Standard". Or how it affects people's transitions. Is it considered law among doctors, or is it just a guideline.

Also, I went to check out the library in my new town, and I met this girl there. We talked it up, and I told her I was new in town, and she gave me her number, and offered to show me around town. Now, I'm thinking she is expecting this to be more of a date than just a social outing. Now usually I would be very exciting for something like this, but with my recent questioning of my gender I really don't know how to approach this situation. I mean, it's not like I don't like her, we really hit it off, but I don't know if it would be responsible to get into a heterosexual relationship right now while I'm male bodied. When in a few years, I could possible be a female bodied person. Any advice?

[ 05-04-2010, 10:59 PM: Message edited by: Your Star ]

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