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Coming Out Advice A supportive place to ask for and give advice about coming out. Includes a sub-forum for posting stories about your coming out experiences.

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Old 27th Dec 2011, 11:20 PM   #1
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Default Just when I finally accept myself...

As a few of you know I found out I am a girl in a boys body last month. It took a while to accept it. I knew it. I made a full name for myself (and I love it). But it wasn't exactly enough. A few days ago I finally accepted myself and the day before yesterday I had an online counselling session.

But today I don't know what I am. I don't feel like a boy. But I don't feel like a girl either. Can anybody help me?
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Old 27th Dec 2011, 11:56 PM   #2
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Default Re: Just when I finally accept myself...

I have days like that, but I'm still FTM. Just keep an eye on it and see where it goes... I think everyone has days where they just don't feel any certain gender. Or just don't pay it any mind. Or you could be having doubts, which is natural. There are some days I still wonder "is this right for me?" and I have been on T since... 2008, I think. o.o;
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Old 28th Dec 2011, 01:25 AM   #3
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Default Re: Just when I finally accept myself...

I mean I can relate. I throw on my jeans, my sweatshirt, and what have you. I haven't shaved in probably two weeks. The only effeminate clothing item I ever get to wear is my pink wristband that says hope, but I can't even wear that in my home or when I'm out with my straight friends, so its usually just at class or with my boy friend.

I have an avoidant personality, so I think I usually just try not to think or act upon my gender, and as a result end up feeling just empty.
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Old 28th Dec 2011, 02:34 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J Snow View Post
I have an avoidant personality, so I think I usually just try not to think or act upon my gender, and as a result end up feeling just empty.
that's exactly me sometimes!

Right now I feel like I have no gender.
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Old 28th Dec 2011, 07:00 AM   #5
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Default Re: Just when I finally accept myself...

That feeling of confusion and discomfort is gender dysphoria. In times when you don't know if you are male or female, typically female cues are being cognized in the mind, inclinations, habituations, and ideation, while simultaneously male cues are cognized via the body, environment, the way others interact with you, as well as memory of former masculine self-image.

For me, it's like there is this image of myself that I use when relating to the external world and in self-reflection. It's an image in my mind. The image changes constantly depending on situation, environment, habit, and intent. When my brain is receiving male cues or when it is necessary for me to be "manly" based on social expectation, the image automatically changes to what my mind perceives to be a masculine self-image in order to instruct me to behave and interact in a way that comes accross as masculine.

For example, I'm at my desk at work right now and a moment ago I was on the phone with a woman. I introduce myself and she immediately refers to me as "hello sir". This is a masculine cue. She is responding to my voice and name. Also, when I talk to her I can tell that my voice is lower than hers and obviously masculine. As the conversation progresses the image of myself pops up in my head every now and then based on the cues I am receiving and it feels masculine. As soon as the image arises and I recognize the cues that are being fed to my mind, I recoil. I get sick. I feel confused and unhappy and uncomfortable. I think, "this isn't right, why is she calling me sir, why does my voice sound this way, what is wrong with my head?" This is gender dysphoria.

On the other hand, when I am by myself, or when I am being mindful of the present moment, or when I am receiving external feminine cues (being called ma'am, looking in the mirror and seeing myself en femme, having people call me by my girl name, etc.), or when I am purposely not thinking about my gender in any kind of binary way, then a feminine self-image arises in my mind.

When I feel more feminine and am able to respond to my environment and body in a feminine way, my mind is at ease and I feel "home". It's like my body, my self-image, and my habituation/inclinations have met conguency and I am whole.

However, because I have a male body, this congruency is extremely rare for me and usually only when I am by myself. There are a few times when I am with girlfriends who know about me being trans where I am able to be more comfortable, but the thought of how I look constantly plagues my mind and makes it very difficult to relax. It makes it very difficult to feel "girly".

In times like you have described, where you don't feel male or female, I suggest not thinking about it at all. In the absolute sense of things, there is no such thing as male or female. They are just mental fermentations, constructs, "made things". Self-image is something that is constantly evolving. The times of which you need to be mindful are when there is a strictly defined male or female self-image and how you feel about that self-image. If masculine cues are forcing you to create a masculine self-image that is painful, stressful, and wrong then you need to deminish masculine cues.

It is important to remember as well that hormones not only effect the body but also the mind. When testosterone is constantly bombarding your brain and central nervous system, it makes it difficult to recognize internal feminine cues (female habit/inclination). Everyone I've spoken with regarding HRT have said that the mental effects often outway the physical effects. And considering the enormous effect hormones have on the body, I can only imagine the impact it would have on the mind in effectively treating and eliminating gender dysphoria.

Consider as well that you are still very young and and if you are not sure if you are in fact suffering from GID, then give yourself more time to work things out. For me, there were times when I was growing up where I would wish and pray to be turned into a girl, and it was depressing at times because I didn't know anything about GID or transition so it just felt like this impossible dream that could never be fulfilled. I didn't recognize myself as a girl when I was in middle school and high school because I had been told that I was a boy, so no matter how much I wished I was a girl, masculine external cues propogated a painful male self-image. I hated myself for a long time, and still do, because I associate "self" with this image. It was only recently that I have been able to begin embracing my feminimity and by doing so have realized that I should have been a woman all along. It is liberating and envigorating. There are still frequent times where I am confused, angry, lost, unsure, doubtful, or apprehensive about transition, but when it comes to me being a girl, I accept myself and am ready to take on the challenges necessary to claim my womanhood.
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Old 28th Dec 2011, 11:11 AM   #6
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Default Re: Just when I finally accept myself...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charni View Post

Right now I feel like I have no gender.
Maybe you don't. You may be gender neutral, or maybe you're just going through a phase of feeling a little bit lost. Phases do exist, even though 'ten years of gender dysphoria' is certainly not a phase.

I thought I was gender neutral for a while, but I wasn't. I haven't felt like I was since I transitioned though, just before, during my questioning stage.

I can't say its easy to figure yourself out in this way, particularly as you were sure of something that you don't feel is true anymore, but it can be done. And remember that it doesn't matter who or what you are in the end - you'll still be loved.

You have my best wishes.
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Old 29th Dec 2011, 09:12 PM   #7
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Default Re: Just when I finally accept myself...

I think it's fairly common for people to feel differently about their gender some days. I consider myself to be about as female as it gets and I have always been that way, but I'm currently wearing pretty much the same clothes, hair and makeup as I do for drag, just cos I felt like looking like a boy today. It's more about trends over time....
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Old 30th Dec 2011, 05:35 PM   #8
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I think the fact that I have absolutly nothing to do camping that is girly because I forgot my nail polish and hair brush may have something to do with it.
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