T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 96703
posted 12-26-2012 04:47 AM
I'm a male assigned bigender person, sometimes I feel more male and sometimes I feel more female, but I always feel uncomfortable with how male my body looks. I signed myself up for counseling, but the wait list is something like two months long. I figure if I talk about this stuff here in the meantime, I'll at least have things a little more sorted out in my head for when that happens though.
Without giving you my life story I'll just give you an idea of where I'm coming from, you're welcome to ask questions though! I have almost all LGBTQ or ally friends, so that's good, and I'm out as genderqueer to them. When I was young, I'd say six to ninth grade, I probably had untreated anxiety. I spent a lot of time alone in my room, and sometimes I would feel so down I would feel like dying. I don't know when exactly that stopped, but I think getting supportive friends that I trusted was the main factor. It also helped that they were female friends that more or less considered me one of the girls. In the past two or three years I've been figuring out who I am, and learning to be comfortable with being me. Just in the last year I've started to feel okay about my body. I can say that I think I'm beautiful now, and really mean it. But it still feels wrong to have such a biologically male body, even if I can separate biology and gender in my mind. It seems weird to me that I'm seeking help now that I can manage to be okay most the time, but I just know that it's something that isn't going away and I have to deal with. I have no idea how coming out will go, my mom would be super supportive, but my dad and brothers both use transphobic slurs pretty regularly. Then again, they use homophobic slurs too, and they didn't seem to care even a bit when I told them that I was dating a boy. Do you think there would be any problem with just coming out to my mom, and letting her tell them? I don't know if I could face them and explain all this in front of all of them, so it's that or coming out four times to them each individually. Any relevant links or tips? One main reason I need to come out in the first place is that right now I act like I'm a cross dresser, so I can only really put on makeup ,dresses, etc. when I'm going out. It would be great just to be able to hangout around the house in a dress sometimes. Another plus is that, however it goes, at least they'll acknowledge my gender(s) and not just always talk about me as if I were cis. The other main reason is transition! The idea of transition is both exciting and terrifying. Exciting because of, you know, body dysphoria, and terrifying because I often take the bus at 1 am, and I'm guessing being visibly trans would make that not fun. I know I want to get speech therapy, so that I can develop a female voice that doesn't scream that I'm a man in drag. I want to take antiandrogens, because I'm only 19 so I think my bone structure isn't quite done developing, and I don't want to end up looking any more male. I'd really like to start taking estrogen, but I don't know if I'm ready to deal with transphobic people all the time, and besides I'm sure it would make it hard to find a job. Facial feminization surgery is a long term goal of mine. My face is the biggest source of body dysphoria that I have. I don't think I look ugly, I just hate seeing or thinking about how manly my face looks. I used to absolutely hate my genitals, but I've come to accept that a penis doesn't make you a male. Besides I plan to be nude exclusively in the presence of people who aren't transphobes/jerks. I'm not 100% comfortable with it, but I can work with it. I would really appreciate a better idea of what happens before people transition, and during transition. What counseling and therapy will I be offered? What health conditions could affect it? What are the different processes you go through to get hormones etc? What is insurance likely to cover? (Wow, thanks a ton for reading all that! Just answer what you can, mostly I just need to talk this out.)
Member # 3
posted 12-26-2012 12:05 PM
A lot of the answers to your questions in the last paragraph a) depend on where you are, b) who you are and c) what you can afford, particularly since insurance in most places covers little to nothing when it comes to transitioning. So, some of this will also depend on what your insurance is like, uniquely, and what your plan covers. When it comes to coming out, my usual advice for people, whether they're coming out per gender or per orientation, is to start by picking one person they think is the most likely to be supportive, and who they trust the most. I know when it comes to family it can be a bit loaded to make that determination sometimes, but it also sounds like you already have, and that person is your Mom. I can't say how she'd feel about telling the rest of your family herself, without you: that's something you'd have to ask her about. You might also want to talk to her about how she might be willing to help you to make your house a less transphobic place in general. Are you already connected with trans-specific online communities and websites? If not, those tend to be the best online sources of information with those last questions you're asking, particularly with the range of experiences people have had and are having with transition. If you're not, I'd be happy to gather some links for you.
Member # 96703
posted 12-26-2012 06:14 PM
I live in the states, in Portland Oregon. I'm not sure what you mean by who I am, do you mean that it depends on my preferences and decisions? I can't afford much, the two bucks for a cup of coffee seems like robbery to me. There's a good amount of resources for trans folk here though. I think my insurance plan would be likely to cover some things, simply because it comes from a worker co-op with trans people partially in charge of the health plan.
I could always ask the insurance company what it covers, right? Yeah, I'm sure she'll want to help me how she can. Maybe I won't ask her to tell them for me, telling them with me would be good too. I just would need help telling them in a way that they would hear. I don't know if we can make the house less transphobic, I think she already tries. Links would be awesome, I don't know of any other trans-friendly online communities. Also blogs, informational sites and whatever else you might recommend would be appreciated. I don't get around the net much.
Member # 3
posted 12-27-2012 09:49 AM
By all means, since you obviously intend to at least start counseling, and to transition, I'd say sorting out what you do and don't have access to would be a good idea.
I wanted to also make sure that you knew about Trans Active in PDX: http://www.transactiveonline.org/index.php If not, you should check them out. They offer a range of services, including a youth support group that could probably be an awesome thing for you. I believe they also offer educational and support services for parents, so it might wind up being a good resource for your family, too. I did mean that when it came to the "who" all of this hinges a lot on a given person's individual experiences, preferences and choices. And, of course, economic status, since, unfortunately, support and medical services when it comes to transitioning are one of those things that still isn't as recognized as essential as it should be. In terms of some other links to start with, you might take a look at these: http://www.tsroadmap.com/index.html http://www.mermaidsuk.org.uk/ http://heartcorps.com/journeys/transition_stories.htm More for genderqueer, but think some of this also might work for you, and it's an excellent, safe community, period: http://genderfork.com/ Also, Kate Bornstein has a memoir freshly out, and that might be a really good read for you right now. Another good book -- and one I think might be helpful for you and also a good one for your family, is "Transparent: Love, Family, and Living the T with Transgender Teenagers," by Cris Beam. (And two bucks for a cup of coffee IS robbery! )