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Baby steps!

Discussion in 'Gender Identity and Expression' started by staticinmyattic, Sep 15, 2021.

  1. staticinmyattic

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    I posed this question already to a friend on EC, but I’d be interested to hear some thoughts in general.

    My strategy for denial and repression of gender identity has been a life of overcompensation. I’ve avoided outward feminine expression to such a degree that I get paralyzed trying to do things that are typically considered gender neutral because my own personal motivations are feminine. For example, no one would bat an eye if I groomed my body hair, cis het men do that all the time. But because I know that the idea is exciting for me because i perceive it as feminizing, I lock up.

    That’s the bad news. The good news is I have a helper. My wife is on board to explore with me. I know I shouldn’t need permission to express myself, but that doesn’t change the fact that I’m paralyzed without it. So I’ve got permission, and I can start. In fact, she wants to join me and explore an interest in androgynous/masculine gender expression that I had no idea she had. Im really excited about doing this together, and that the last barrier to exploring is lifted.

    So… now what? I didn’t have the experience of experimenting on my own, I just tamped down the desire to. Can anyone recommend things to try first? So far, every barrier Ive broken has made the next barrier easier to break, so I have a feeling that just getting started is what I need to find my courage.

    Any suggestions?
     
    #1 staticinmyattic, Sep 15, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2021
  2. Rayland

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    I am really happy for you that you two can explore this together now. It’s excellent news, that she wants to explore too. I really don’t have any good suggestions though. First thing for me was cutting my hair shorter and only that made me feel good and made me feel like there is progress and I already own some male clothes and products, but that’s it so far. Maybe try start doing your nails and see how it makes you feel and experiment with make up? Maybe your wife can give you some tips on make up and try on different wigs, to give you different looks. That’s the first thing that popped into my mind.
     
  3. Katelyn93

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    What a journey to be on with your spouse, it's pretty neat that you two get to and want to share in it. Your story so far has been exciting and inspirational, a reminder that it doesn't have to be doom and gloom.

    I think a good question is what have you done and tried so far to experiment and go from there.
    I started with basic clothing that I panic bought, then shaving my body from head to toe (and again and again and... my hair is persistent and annoying) followed by grooming like shaping my eye brows and tinting them and my lashes. Then painting my nails (which work then told me to remove because our clients suck and management has no backbone to defend their staff with) and coloring my hair something other than black. I had my ears pierced and have a collection of pretty earrings that are clearly not masc or plain I wear daily. Eventually I tried makeup. I asked friends and family to try and use my preferred pronouns and new name. Then I wore some of my fem clothing and jewelry and makeup in small combinations out in public. And then went to a few socials and lgbt bar dressed up as far as I was comfortable to see what it felt like to be me to more than just the mirror. My voice has been the weirdest thing for me because trying to intentionally change that and getting ugh results makes me cringe a little hard.

    But that was my road so to speak. You'll have to see what interests you and draws you. What do you want to try and express or experience? Just let your mind go and make note of what all comes up, then prioritize it and tick off one thing at a time maybe?
     
  4. chicodeoro

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    Hi Static - finding your own style is one of the most exciting parts of being a newly-out trans woman. You're in for a treat!

    Make up is something that you just have to dive in and try - it took me about six months to get the hang of it. One essential would be to find a foundation that matches your skin tone. Painting your nails - yes, I love it. Would love to do it more but like Katelyn I have had to be 'male' for work for the past 18 months.

    Clothes - I was lucky in that a friend of mine took me shopping early on after I came out to her. Have acquired a semi decent wardrobe over the past year. Your wife, I'm sure, will give you good advice on this.

    Accessories - necklaces, earrings, hair accessories, brooches etc - all provide the finishing touches to an outfit. If you're like me you've always deep down envied cis women who have been able to wear these. Well, now you can too!

    Beth
     
  5. CharlieLuca

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    Firstly, I'm happy for you that you have an exploration partner ... Sorry I couldn't resist. Seriously though, I am happy for you, and your wife too.

    I agree with what the other members who have replied are saying.

    I really think the best first steps are hair and clothes. And makeup too.

    Whatever you choose to do to embrace your feminity, I hope you enjoy. And embrace it, don't be afraid of it. :slight_smile: