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[Coming out trans later in life] Can you tell me your story about you realising you're transgender?

Discussion in 'Gender Identity and Expression' started by Alex33121, Aug 27, 2021.

  1. Alex33121

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    Hi all!

    Lately I've met a lot of people of 30+ years coming out as trans late in life. We all have similar stories. I would love to known your story about how did you realised that you're trans and why do you think you didn't came out before.

    I will start.

    I'm AFAB and the first time I took time to think about me being transgender I was 14yo. Before that I was this little weird kid who was constantly fighting with his parents and society because I didn't want to use earrings, dresses, pink, etc. I rejected the idea of everything that was feminine. I thought I was going to grow a beard and a penis so I kept watching my father to learn how to shave (and tried with 5yo but cut my face in the process), I also started using my dad clothes when I was 12 but myself and all around me assumed I was just a Tomboy. Then I saw this movie at school "Ma Vie En Rose" and realised that little girl and I were very alike. Unfortunately the following week I watched another movie "The Party" about transsexuals dying because of AIDS and since that day I prayed every night that I didn't wanted to be transgender. At the end I promised I would never, ever talk about it or think about it anymore and embraced my woman life burying all this memories until years ago.

    Fast forward, 8 years ago I started playing a web based role playing game were I had a polygamous and bisexual female character. I started experimenting my sexuality in that fantasy way and for the first time accepted I might not be as heterosexual as I thought although I didn't let me try role-playing as a male until months ago (when my dreams about being a male started getting not so sporadic). I started playing a transgender male and everything felt so fucking good. Then, talking irl (In real life) with one of the puppet masters I use to play we started talking about chauvinism and trying to fit in society and without thinking too much I said I might be transgender. Then the idea kept popping in my mind and in conversations with her so I decided to let it flow. All the memories came back, the feelings, everything so this girl started talking to me as a male and everything felt "so fucking good". Since then I've been working towards a full acceptance of myself and even though it's hard sometimes because it's a long journey and many days I wake up full of doubts, I finally can say that for the first time I can picture myself as a happy human being in the near future.
     
  2. Rayland

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    I can relate to you. I am 30 and as well just not too long ago realised who I really am. I always had thoughts of me being someone else, but it all seemed so ridiculous to me and was very confused of why I even think that way. I don’t know exactly what changed, but I couldn’t get these thoughts out of my system and it all was super scary and confusing. Then I just started thinking about my childhood and everything just seemed like it has always been that way, that I just suppressed my feelings and acted the way society expected from my gender. I liked many things boys liked and played with boys, way more than girls. I always felt I was different, but I couldn’t really express myself. I did know from the start that I liked men and after realising I was trans, then I was still certain I would still like men and that is also the reason I was scared. Imagining myself as male brought me euphoria and I even came up a male name for myself (not my username) and I have experimented a bit with it and it feels good when being called by that name. It also feels good wearing male clothing and make myself look more like a male. So I totally can relate to you. It is a journey. Even now, when I know I have to hide it I get sad and cry, because I can’t be my true self, but I still hope the future will be better and hope it will be more accepted by the society, so this helps me to be strong, also knowing that I am not the only one thinking like that.
     
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  3. Alex33121

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    Thank you for sharing your story with me, I can definitely relate to you in every aspect. I've started coming out to my closest friends and their view of my young self has been very reassuring. Some of them have started calling me with male pronouns without asking and has been amazing. And also, the euphoria of imagine myself as a male helps me to keep going. Do you have someone in real life who you can be your true self?
     
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  4. staticinmyattic

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    Thanks for your story. AMAB here. Last night I wrote down all of the “moments” I could remember when I suspected. As the list got longer and longer, it started to appear funnier and funnier (and waaay sadder) that I’d ever ever been in denial. Here’s how denial worked: total, rigid, strictly enforced compartmentalization. My depression and self loathing went in one compartment. My desire to have a body (and more importantly, social role) that matched my spirit went in another. I convinced myself that the two were unrelated. When my identity as female started to flex, my depression took over. My depression manifests as a male voice, specifically an incredibly cruel, abusive man. I used this cognitive habit to convince myself that the problem wasn’t my body, but my spirit. My body didn’t have to change, my mind didn’t, but my spirit did. As Billy a organ (ahem) “sang”: “Destroy the mind, destroy the body, but you can not destroy the heart.” He’s absolutely right. Once I allowed myself to see that the Venn diagram of my depression and gender identity was all middle, I couldn’t look back. I broke my system of denial and despite my best efforts, I can’t really fix it. So now my mind alternates. The vestigial habits of my decades in denial are still there, and still take over. In these times I feel genderless, and become withdrawn. Other times, I just feel like myself (a woman). I walk through the world like a person in disguise, with a sly smile that comes from knowing I have a secret that, for all the pain it brings, I actually like very much.
     
  5. Rayland

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    You’re very welcome. I can’t really be myself, because there are a lot of people around me who have really traditional views. It’s really difficult to come out, because I know many would start ridicule me (even inside my own family) and others are chatty and I am afraid, that they can’t keep secrets. I can be a bit myself on this forum and chatting others and this gives me strength as well.
     
  6. Rayland

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    I get that too. When I look into the mirror for example, it feels like my eyes don’t really belong to the person, who’s reflection I see and that’s terrifying.
     
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  7. staticinmyattic

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    I get something like that. Every now and then, it’s like a catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, the sound of my voice, a gesture, even a thought. Not the actual reflection, but the actual self. In those moments I think of myself “There she is!” and I feel recharged for a little while. I’m feeling more and more that if I look really hard, squint, and use some imagination, “I” am in there, hiding somewhere just behind the reflection
     
  8. staticinmyattic

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    I’m sorry to keep being self referential in my replies, I’m too new to this to know anything but my own experience. That said, I know the fear you mean, but I’m starting to feel it erode. The idea of presenting myself as a trans woman (not necessarily passing as a cis woman) as opposed to a cis man is starting to sound appealing. It feels like when I enter a room, my face, body, voice, and clothes tell a big lie to people and sets an expectation that I’ll be a “certain way.” When inevitably I fail to meet those expectations of masculinity, it’s like people get freaked out. “Wait, you look like a man! Why don’t you know how to fish/talk about trucks/like sports?” THOSE are the time when I feel like I’m not passing. Instead of appearing as a man who exists in the uncanny valley and makes people uncomfortable for reasons they can’t quite put their finger on, I’d rather announce with my appearance who I am. Whether they know it or not, every opinion ever formed of me has been an opinion of a trans woman.

    My anxiety over being misgendered is steadily increasing, while my anxiety about how people would respond to my first steps toward presenting as female is decreasing. People can be mean and hurtful, but to think that they will be more cruel to me than I am to myself is starting seem like an irrational thought. No one can hurt me as well as I can. I say let them come at me, I’ve survived so much worse.
     
  9. Rayland

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    Oh no don’t be sorry to self reference. I am quite new too, so I keep referencing my own experiences as well and this is the only way I know maybe giving some reassurance to others, so that they know, that they are not alone. It’s awesome that you share your story. That’s very true. I do get what you mean. Maybe my fears are irrational, but at the same time I feel like there is this wall, what I can’t break and this is what is stopping me from being true to myself. I have been thinking about transitioning, because I feel like I would be happier this way, of course I know that it won’t solve any of my problems. It just would help me be myself and be happier and then I get anxious over what others say, because I am very social person and the thoughts being all alone scare me. I do also get what you mean when you say people get freaked out, when you fail the expectations of masculinity. I get that too. I am not a very feminine person to begin with and people say that I look like a man with short hair and I don’t mind that. I mind, when people say long hair suit you so much better and you look prettier like that. I don’t want to look prettier and I like looking like a man.
     
  10. QuietPeace

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    I do not use the label transgender but I am a woman who was assigned male at birth. I have actually known that I was female pretty much all of my life. My struggle was trying to get the courage to live as my true self despite family, churches which I have encountered and society in general being entirely hateful towards me living as my true self. I first came out and started living my truth in 1986 when I was 23 but was shoved back into the closet because of a relationship plus all of the others that I listed. I tried again a couple years later but was again shoved back into the closet, conversion "therapy" this time. Finally in 2006 after being single again I restarted and made the final legal change in 2007. Despite hate crimes and other things I refuse to go back into the closet ever again.
     
  11. Utachiyo

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    Hi. I think my story is pretty weird, to be honest. I'm 42 and one day not long ago I joked to myself that I must be a gay man in a woman's body...but then I was like "Wait, what?! Oh (insert 4 letter word here)!". It seems like most people can trace these feelings back to childhood but I never thought about it until now. And, I don't have any body dysphoria. I've been in this body for so long, it's like, meh. It is what it is. But I know if I'd been born male, I definitely wouldn't be wishing to be female. I like my female name (I actually chose it a few years ago when I became a citizen this country) and my second language doesn't use pronouns much, so no problems there either. My problem is feeling like maybe I'm not trans "enough" . Like this is all some kind of midlife crisis or something!
    I think I'll feel better if I can meet more people like me, but most get-togethers are cancelled due to Covid these days.
     
  12. Rayland

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    It’s not weird at all. I have read other stories similar to you, so you are not alone there. I always thought being gay man in a woman's body was totally ridiculous too.
     
    #12 Rayland, Aug 28, 2021
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  13. Alex33121

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    Thanks for your story. I too have a list of moments where I suspected or that from my point of view are situations that leave no room for doubt about me being transgender, even though I still decided to ignore them or justified them to keep me in denial. In fact that's something that I still do. Somedays I wake up feeling that I'm self-deceiving (I don't know if this is the word in english) right now and not before, like having a middle-age crisis and that tomorrow I realise I'm the most cis woman in the world (I've never felt that way but...), then I come back to that list and realise that it's just the fear talking to me again because as more days pass, more I can see that I will need a full transition and I'm really scared. Most days I can't even look at my reflection, others I feel empowered and can go as you said, with a half smile knowing I'm more than anyone can see.
    Sorry for the late reply, I moved contries the last week. I hope I can be around more often from now on.
     
  14. Alex33121

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    I think you are very brave and that's not fair that society has kept you inside the closet many times. It's an unfair world for all of us but I can see now that many things are changing in the new genations and that we are walking towards a more respectful and less restrictive world. Also I do understend how living with ASD can make this situation more difficult to navegate.
    Thanks for sharing!
     
  15. Alex33121

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    I can relate to you a lot, I think there was little to no information before about genders. It was just homosexual, transexual and heterosexual which was mainly related to sexual orientation and not gender. For may years I did'nt realise I was a transgender because I didn't fit in any of those labels, specialy because my idea of being transexual was like dressing as the opposite sex and "pretend" that you were that gender, was until many years later that I understood the different possibilities and then everything started to get obvious for me. Many moments in the past that I considered like just weird moments weren't. Me dressing with my father clothes, trying to shave, or hating every single girly thing weren't just part of my tomboy personality, it was just me being male, cuz that's what I am.
    Thanks for sharing!
     
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  16. staticinmyattic

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    You know, in our pride over the good times and our desire to give empowering and inspirational messages to others, we often ignore the ugly. I think this gives the impression that we don’t struggle. I was glad to talk about my “sly smile,” but I’m a little less eager to talk about running out of a bakery without my already paid for purchase because a panic attack set in suddenly and hard. I’m going to come on here and share how GREAT I feel after a wonderful therapy appointment, but I’m not going to log on to share the ugly-crying session that came first. When my gender isn’t at the front of my mind, I think I must be a fraud. How can I POSSIBLY be trans if I’m only thinking about it 80% of the time? Well, do cisgender women spent 80% of their time thinking about “being a woman”? No, and I doubt men think that way about being men (unless they’re, you know, trying really hard to cover for being trans). I think the same principle may apply to you, genders reversed. Being trans is exhausting. It’s a just a lot. Forgive yourself if your body and mind are telling you “I need a break from thinking about my gender.” Jenny Boylan, in her book “She’s Not There,” describes transitioning as freeing her of a lot of distracting thoughts. Gender was in the front of her mind because she DID NOT acknowledge it. As her body came to match her spirit, thoughts and anxiety about gender faded. Being trans doesn’t mean I’m really “into” my gender or want to spend time considering it. Quite the opposite, im ready to stop thinking about my gender so much, and a path toward that goal is coming into focus
     
    #16 staticinmyattic, Sep 1, 2021
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  17. Katelyn93

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    I'm not very old, likely I'm young enough for it to be concidered young and fortunate enough to have figured it out early but it feels like is taken me so long and I've spent way too much time obsessing over it and going back and forth through the motions before deciding to do something about it. I'm 28 this year. I started my transition this year but it has been a push and pull for the past 12 years and I'm not publicly out yet or at work and it's making it kinda hard to live the double life. At home and around family and if I concider a space safe enough I am me and most everyone knows and I've been lucky enough to be accepted. But that's off topic.

    I had a sort of accidental discovery, I didn't always know and some days I'm still kinda masculine in a few ways but I didn't always feel like I belonged either. So during my teens the cleaner decided that a bright red g-string belonged in the cupboard of a teenage boy and that took me down a curious path. My family has an odd sense of humour and it wasn't uncommon to hear phrases like being a lesbian in a man's body as joke meaning they really liked women, it hits a tad differently now. Either way. Forward two or three years and I'm visiting an aunt and uncle, and in the room I slept there was clothing that interested me. So I got dressed up the one morning very early thinking that everyone was still asleep, which was the wrong assumption as I discovered when the laughter came from the doorway. She kinda pointed me towards questioning. I just thought I was a pervert.she apparently knew other trans people and crossdressers and drag Queens previously and gave me a tad bit of guidance.

    Shortly after i was in the road to self discovery and had an idea of how to experiment and figure it out and all the lovely things, while fighting myself as well all the way through as is customary, and then I met my now ex girlfriend. Those six and a half years she helped me push it as far back as I could by guilt tripping me and telling me I would make an ugly girl and all sorts of stuff while I was all too eager to believe it because I didn't want to go down this road. I just wanted to be normal. I couldn't help but have it seep out now and again though. I love my long hair. I admired the cute feminine dresses. I rode my motorcycle singing along to girl bands that made me feel girly. I felt envy over the transition time line videos I binged. And when I tried to take private time to dress up alone it made me depressed because I had to feel guilty and disgusting at how much more I liked myself when I felt and looked feminine.

    Eventually it collapsed. That being last year October. I went through the breakup miserable and morbid. It ate at me and was my sole focus for more than a few months. Once it eased up though a familiar theought and some associated feelings cropped up and I had the realisation that I could finally be me. Initiate binge purchase mode of clothing that are ill fitting or don't look good or whatever just to help me emotionally. And then telling friends and family and even some colleagues and joined a support group and started presenting fem at home and then to a local lgbtqi friendly bar and then in the car to shops and then met my now girlfriend who embraces me and then I found an informed concent clinic and... Well yeah it's been 4 months since starting HRT and I can't believe how embracing this has made my depression so much less frequent and less severe. I can't believe I finally wake up wanting to be alive and want to have a future and do well.

    Weird how the doubts are less but still there though it's getting better.

    Sorry for the long text. I got carried away
     
  18. staticinmyattic

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    Thank you for the long text and for getting carried away, I now feel a lot less self conscious about my own long posts. Your story is encouraging, I’m glad to have read it
     
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  19. Katelyn93

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    I text like this as well, I enjoy writing and telling people stuff I guess. But I often feel so guilty for dropping walls of text on unsuspecting peeps. Thank you for reading an