Hiya scarleteen! No idea what I'm doing, but dang it, I'm gonna post anyway. Sorry if it seems repetitive of anything else on the board, and the fact that I'm probably just mostly lonely or something like that, but I just want someone to talk with.
I'm 18 (hope that's okay), in my first year of university, and am a man born in a female body. I've always felt uncomfortable with anything that defined my gender as female in any way (including clothing such as dresses and such) for as long as I can remember, but it's only been in the past two years that I've managed to realise why that is and who I am.
Now I know that I'm a man, in mind if now in body, and have known since I was 16. I've told some close friends, since I trust them, and thankfully they've been very accepting of me. But while I love my friends to bits and can talk to them, since I've moved away to uni I guess I just don't get as much time to talk to them in general as I used to.
Normally this wouldn't be a problem I think, because I still can talk to them over the internet or on the occasions that I go home, and I'm making some new additional friends here. But the main problem is that I think I'm ready to start working towards correcting my body to reflect my actual gender, but I'm not sure if I'm ready to tell my family, I'm not sure I'm ready to tell any newer friends (especially since I don't want to alienate anyone in any way), and I'm not entirely sure how to go about looking for help or treatment towards gender reassignment. Plus there's alway the whole issue of what will my uni and potential employers think, and all that, but I try not to worry too hard about all that yet or I'll worry myself sick. One thing at a time, and all that.
I'm not even sure what I need to ask for specifically, but mostly I just want someone to talk with about this kind of thing. I'm tired of being female bodied, that's for sure though, and really want to start anything to work towards changing that. It's just really depressing sometimes to be having fun or chatting normally with someone, and then have something someone says even off-handedly reminding me of my birth-gender and making me sad. I mean, I can accept being called she and her and things like that, although it still makes me a little sad; but the way I see it, I don't trust people easily, thus haven't told many people, and so it's not their fault at all that they have no idea that such things make me sad. So that kind of thing I can just shrug off and get over very quickly.
But other things bother me, and sometimes it's even the weirdest things. Like, for instance, I'm okay with being called cute, but can't stand being called pretty at all because even though I sometimes use pretty to describe boys myself, I associate it as a feminine word. Then the occasional few times that I've had a guy flirt with me have always felt weird. I tried dating a guy once, because I am still attracted to men, but after the first date I couldn't do it anymore. Basically, even though I still like men, I hate the fact that they see me as a female and expect female behaviour out of me, even though it's my own fault for not telling them at all, and it's just so uncomfortable all together that I want to avoid dating all together until I feel better in my body. Luckily I can still, well, get off while by myself, if I don't think about it and just concentrate on the feeling, so I'm not so frustrated as I could be all things considered.
I think just my main problem is that I know I'm male, I've come to terms with this as part of myself, but I know when everyone else looks at me they see a female. I want to be male in body, but I know the process of reassignment is long, and in the mean time I know that I'm really bad at passing as male (even with a binder). I just think I'm ready to change, and I know how the hormones and surgery and stuff works since I've read up about it, but I have no idea how to actually start the treatment, and I have no idea how or when I can come out as my actual gender in the mean time, or even if I should wait a while despite not wanting to wait at all.
Oh gosh, I didn't mean for that to get so long, sorry! And sorry if it's a bit disjointed or something, I'm just writing this down while I'm thinking before I chicken out.
Posts: 2 | From: South Wales, UK | Registered: Feb 2012
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I am also FtM, and bi-leaning-gay, though I don't know if I'll ever go for hormones or surgery. Welcome. Good to have you around.
My advice is to take your time. You seem to have a very sensible attitude towards all this, and it's excellent that you told friends and they were supportive. Think it over, research your options, maybe discreetly try to suss out your family's attitudes to this sort of thing. There is no massive hurry to do anything.
I assume you are considering having gender reassignment done on the NHS. If you are, then the first step to take is see your GP, tell them how you feel, and get them to refer you for a psychological assessment. If the assessment goes OK, you get sent to a gender identity clinic. You say you're from South Wales -- I'm afraid you may have to go to Charing Cross in London for this; that's often how it works out. But I believe there are other options too. You then have to do a 'real life test' -- living as a man full-time -- for a while before they will start you on testosterone.
I wouldn't worry too terribly much about uni and employers. It appears that since 2010 in the UK "Gender reassignment is a protected characteristic ... and it protects transsexual people who propose to undergo, are undergoing or have undergone a process (or part of a process) of having their sex reassigned." In other words if they treat you badly because you're FtM you can make a stink and sue them, and they know this and are accordingly frightened.
I am not the person to go to for dating advice, but maybe you could try going to your uni's LGBT society meetings or something? You might find queer guys there who would be accepting if you told them about your gender identity and who you could date.
You strike me as intelligent, level-headed and self-aware. As I said, take your time, think things over, try stuff out, see how it feels.
Finally, two web resources I really like. You may know about them already.
And this is the 'Tranifesto' blog by Matt Kailey, a gay American trans man in his fifties who didn't start transitioning till he was forty-two (told you there's no rush). He has lots and lots of advice if you dig around in the archives. http://tranifesto.com/
Thank you so much for the advice and the new reading material. It just feels so good to talk to someone about this who has some experiance and such.
I know I should take it slow, that that's the most sensible thing. But still, I can't help but feel impatient sometimes. I just want to be male, in the way that I look and am seen, and can be frustrating when I feel that I have to wait just to express myself. But I know I should wait; although I still need to work up the courage to speak to my doctor and such; it's been a while since I saw him, since I very rarely seem to get ill. ^^;
But... I don't know. It's nice to know that I won't get into trouble with my planned job and such because of it, which is such a relief. And I know about the LGBT community here, just need to work up the courage to actually join and go to the meetings and such.
But thank you so much for replying, and for the advice!
Posts: 2 | From: South Wales, UK | Registered: Feb 2012
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Thanks for the thanks! Any time, hope I was useful.
It seems like you have pressures shoving you in opposite directions: one, you find it hard to work up the courage to go to your uni's LGBT society meetings or to see your GP; but two, you really really want to be seen as male. You're torn between those two things, which must be rough.
You know yourself best. When you're really nervous about doing something, is that normal for you and something you get over, or has it often been a warning sign that you should hold your horses for a while and not do that thing until you feel better about it? Because if it's normal for you to feel nervous, then you've not got much to lose by taking the plunge and joining the LGBT society or whatever. But if nervousness tends to be a warning sign for you then maybe you should hold off for a while. In the meantime, you could try doing more stuff that helps your presentation feel more male. You say you have a binder and so on already, so I assume you have male clothing and such as well, but maybe you could look into getting, I don't know, men's underwear or a man's wallet or whatever might make you feel good.
Another thought: if you feel you can't speak to your doc yet, which is totally understandable, maybe go and have a chat with someone at the university counselling service, or call an LGBT youth helpline and chat with someone there, which might be even lower-pressure because it's not a face-to-face meeting. Just getting your feelings out there with an uninvolved third party might help. It could be kind of a dry run for conversations with family, doctors or whoever.
[ 03-21-2012, 04:11 AM: Message edited by: bump on a log ]
Posts: 170 | From: UK | Registered: Mar 2011
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Hm, well I'm totally new to the forum, but I'll reply because I butt in like that
I'm a transman too, 18, going to be going to uni in the USA this fall. *High Five!*
Eh I know what it's like to want someone to talk to. I live in a small town with no real trans community. I'd be glad to be your freeend if ya' want Oh, and there's a great community I'm a part of, Laura's Playground ( http://www.lauras-playground.com/forums/index.php?act=idx ). Lots of resources and very active and friendly people from all over the place.
Posts: 2 | From: USA | Registered: Mar 2012
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