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Offline Escher

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Help admitting to my girlfriend
« on: July 09, 2015, 12:46:31 pm »
Hi there,

First of all I just wanted to say thank you to the people who made this site and who keep it up and running. And thank you to you for taking the time to read this. Seriously, I can't thank you enough.

I was raised Catholic in a relatively rural/suburban town. I always knew I was different, but I didn't have the ability to articulate why I was different until about a year ago.

I realized I was trans when I came across videos on Youtube of ftm folks and noticed how much I identified with them. At the time, it was really scary. Actually, to be honest, it still is to me. I tried to convince myself that I was overreacting or just flat out wrong about how I saw myself, my mind and body alike.

I expressed to my girlfriend how I was feeling about myself but she kind of dismissed it. She is a scientist and has strong opinions against hormone therapy. She said, "You're not a boy."
For a long time after that, I just brushed my thoughts concerning being trans to the side while I finished college, got a job, and did all of the normal things little young adults are supposed to do.

I had a conversation recently with my girlfriend about confidence. She said that my lack of confidence affects our relationship in a very real way and that it was something she wanted me to work on going forward. And the thing is... I totally agree! I have been living as someone I'm not for my whole life, and my level of confidence can get to super super super low lows. I guess part of this is due to the dysphoria I feel about my body, especially during sex, exercise, and when I am forced to wear girly-ish clothes (at weddings, funerals, on stage--I'm a musician, etc). Lately, my dysphoria has grown into a stronger type of dysphoria than I have ever felt.

So let's move on to some positive changes I am making...

1.) I realize that I need to make some serious changes if I am ever going to feel okay with myself. haha step 1, i guess

2.) This week, I made an appointment with my hairdresser to cut my hair. I have long, thick hair and I'm going to be cutting it shorter than I have ever had it cut. It will be pixie-ish but I showed the hairdresser examples and I'm confident in her work.

3.) Today I bought my first packer. (!!!)

4.) I'm saving up for a binder. I'll probably be able to go ahead and pick one out by the end of the month. *any tips on binders are welcome* (i'm relatively skinny but my breasts are big for my size)

All of these changes in my thoughts, behavior, and looks will hopefully give me a little bit more confidence in myself. If nothing else, it will teach me something about myself and what I need.

The biggest problem I'm facing right now is how to discuss all of this with my girlfriend. Since I already told her about it before, and she seemed dismissive, I'm nervous about bringing it up to her again. She is dealing with stress of her own (she's applying to medical school) and I really don't want to bring more problems into her life. I also don't think she would support hormone therapy or any of the other big changes that come along with transitioning.

I'd love to hear your story. How did you come out to your significant other? Do you have any wisdom to share for a scared young man?

Escher \m/


"If you're going to walk on thin ice, you might as well run."

Offline Laura_7

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Re: Help admitting to my girlfriend
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2015, 12:53:39 pm »
Hello and welcome  :)

Congratulation on your steps so far  :)

You could have a look here:
https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,180045.msg1658077.html#msg1658077

And some people compare it to a twin... they will be like their male/female twin, with the same sense of humour...


hugs

Offline Escher

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Re: Help admitting to my girlfriend
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2015, 12:58:14 pm »
Thanks for the quick response, Laura. I will give it a look.

Best,

Escher
"If you're going to walk on thin ice, you might as well run."

Offline Contravene

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Re: Help admitting to my girlfriend
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2015, 02:06:29 pm »
You'll probably end up needing to have a serious talk with your girlfriend. I think it would be best to wait until you're both ready so that you can feel comfortable and so she'll be able to process it all without other issues complicating things. This may not be what you want to hear but if she's given you hints before that she won't support your gender identity and expression then you have to be prepared in the event that she decides to leave or you decide to. Until you two talk about it though I think it would be a good idea to try different things like binding (Underworks and GC2B are two good brands) and packing (Mr. Limpy, Masho, and Pack It are common brands for starter packers) and see if that does raise your confidence. If it does maybe you could later experiment with trying to pass as male and see how comfortable you are being read as male by others.

Offline Escher

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Re: Help admitting to my girlfriend
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2015, 02:42:32 pm »
Contravene. I think you may have hit the nail on the head. I appreciate your honesty.

Can you elaborate a little bit about experimenting with trying to pass as male? Unfortunately, I have a (very) feminine body. I don't think it would be possible for me to pass at all without T. Do you have any other tips beyond binding and packing be more stealth?

PS. I was happy to see you mention Pack It as a good packer brand. Mine should be arriving here in about a week. :)
"If you're going to walk on thin ice, you might as well run."

Offline Contravene

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Re: Help admitting to my girlfriend
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2015, 11:41:16 pm »
Contravene. I think you may have hit the nail on the head. I appreciate your honesty.

Can you elaborate a little bit about experimenting with trying to pass as male? Unfortunately, I have a (very) feminine body. I don't think it would be possible for me to pass at all without T. Do you have any other tips beyond binding and packing be more stealth?

PS. I was happy to see you mention Pack It as a good packer brand. Mine should be arriving here in about a week. :)

Good choice :) My current packer is a Pack It Lite. They're a little on the bigger side compared to most brands so be prepared for that but I think they're a lot more realistic than some of the other inexpensive ones.

There are a few different ways you could try passing. If you don't think you would physically pass as male in person yet you could see how you do socially by doing something like joining an online chat, forum group or an MMO style game, basically anything where you can casually talk to others while identifying as male. Of course, online is a lot different from interacting with people offline so I wouldn't take it too seriously but it can be a good and anonymous way to get more comfortable with being read as male to see how it makes you feel.

Another thing you could try if you haven't already is dressing as male. Even if you don't have any male clothes or don't want to/aren't able to buy any you could always go to the store and pick out some things to try on. Finding a masculine style and fit that compliments your body type can also go a long way in helping you be read as male. If you're like me and have a feminine body fat pattern (in other words, hips lol) then losing weight will help a lot with getting a more masculine body shape but that's more of a long term type of goal.

It may be worth looking into seeing a therapist in the future too, it just depends on how you feel about things in the long term. Some people find it helpful to talk things out if they're questioning their gender identity. I've always found this sure to be helpful too, feel free to ask if you have any other questions.

Offline tjack77

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Re: Help admitting to my girlfriend
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2015, 12:27:26 am »
The most important thing, you need to be yourself!  In my story, although my wife is now fully support my transition and she's seeing the positive changing out of it such as confident level and more outgoing, she still self identifying herself a lesbian, and I'm not forcing her to change that.  She admit that she is attracted to women with me as an exception (if it make sense).

Before I start my transition, I had a long serious talk with my wife.  She was unsure about taking testosterone if it's gonna do more harm to my health and become aggressive.  I reassure her that my personality will not change, I still gonna be who I always am. 

I was always masculine and I've had my hair cut short men style since I was 15.  Still remember the first time I met my wife, she thought I was a dude until I started talking!  ::)

I bought myself a binder like 7 years ago, way before I decided to transition, just to ease my chest dysphoria.  My wife actually encourage me to getting the binder because she knew how I was uncomfortable with my chest and always have a hard time layering up to hide them.  I believe that bought myself some time on going fully transition.  I was a little more comfortable in public but a couple of years later, I realized it's not enough.  Plus I really can't stand the heat and binder and summer just doesn't go very well.  :laugh: 

One day my wife and I were looking for some fun toys online and came across some packers!  >:-) I told her what they're for and she told me to get it if I think it'll help myself to feel complete.  Ever since, I had ordered 5 other packers, (STPs, Pack n Plays, etc) 

At the end of the day, your girlfriend will stand by your side if she loves you for who you are.  Just be honest and truth to yourself and your feelings! Good luck!

Offline Escher

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Re: Help admitting to my girlfriend
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2015, 12:33:12 pm »
tjack, I'm so glad to hear things went well with your wife. Thanks so much for sharing. You're honesty with her is inspiring! I hope to exhibit the same kind of strength as you have.

Contravene, thanks man! Great advice. I really appreciate your generosity of your knowledge. How far along are you in your transition?

I'll give online chat a go. (Actually I did a little bit last night and it was pretty fun. It felt good and natural, albeit my natural awkwardness in online chat haha!).
 
This site and others have some pretty cool resources for exercise plans that compliment a more masculine shape. Looks like it helps to get the BMI down to 20% or so.  If there are other guys out there reading this, here is a good weight training resource: http://man101.tumblr.com/post/25509153487/body-workout-shoulders

Well.. Looks like the next real step for me is therapy, regardless of all the other changes I'm making on my own.

Wish me luck.




"If you're going to walk on thin ice, you might as well run."

Offline Contravene

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Re: Help admitting to my girlfriend
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2015, 05:52:45 pm »
tjack, I'm so glad to hear things went well with your wife. Thanks so much for sharing. You're honesty with her is inspiring! I hope to exhibit the same kind of strength as you have.

Contravene, thanks man! Great advice. I really appreciate your generosity of your knowledge. How far along are you in your transition?

I'll give online chat a go. (Actually I did a little bit last night and it was pretty fun. It felt good and natural, albeit my natural awkwardness in online chat haha!).
 
This site and others have some pretty cool resources for exercise plans that compliment a more masculine shape. Looks like it helps to get the BMI down to 20% or so.  If there are other guys out there reading this, here is a good weight training resource: http://man101.tumblr.com/post/25509153487/body-workout-shoulders

Well.. Looks like the next real step for me is therapy, regardless of all the other changes I'm making on my own.

Wish me luck.

I'm not quite as far along in my transition as I would like to be. I had been planning on starting T sometime next year but I have to keep postponing it for different reasons so I'm still pre-everything but starting to save up for top surgery. I've transitioned and pass socially though. My girlfriend is really the only one who knows I'm not biologically male, I'm stealth with everyone else and they have no clue haha. The only place I still sort of present as female is at work because a few people in the company knew me when I was a kid and I don't want the stress of coming out to them right now.

I'm glad my advice was helpful and I hope everything goes well for you!

Offline FTMax

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Re: Help admitting to my girlfriend
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2015, 07:49:16 pm »
I wasn't dating anyone at the time I came out, but the first person I told was a recent ex that I still spent a lot of time with/was hoping to get back together with. She is very queer-positive and affirming, so she was nothing but supportive. I basically just brought up all of the issues in our relationship (my confidence, intimacy issues, discomfort with nudity, etc.) and said that I thought I had figured out what the cause of those issues was. She agreed, said she had thought that might be it, but didn't want to put the idea in my head if it wasn't already there. She's been an excellent friend and ally ever since.

Since it sounds like your dysphoria manifests in a very similar way to mine, I would recommend approaching the conversation that way. It frames things in a logical way, which may appeal to your girlfriend. It also provides a clear path forward.

On a realistic level, you do need to understand that if your girlfriend's views don't change, you will probably have to choose between her and transitioning. As difficult as that might seem, there are plenty of fish in the sea who are willing to date transfolks, and many of us get into relationships during or post-transition.
T: 12/5/2014 | Top: 4/21/2015 | Hysto: 2/6/2016 | Meta: 3/21/2017

I don't come here anymore, so if you need to get in touch send an email: maxdoeswork AT protonmail.com

Offline Escher

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Re: Help admitting to my girlfriend
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2015, 04:29:37 pm »
Thanks for your responses ftmax and Contravene. Disclaimer… this post could trigger some dysphoria.

A little update:

A couple of nights ago, my girlfriend confronted me. She asked if I wanted to be a guy. She could tell that I've been upset. I explained that I didn't want to be a guy, but that I feel like I am a guy. This escalated into a long conversation about confidence, dysphoria, the works... I think it is an ongoing conversation.  While she's still feels strongly against HRT and other permanent physical changes, she said she supports me and wants to help me figure out what I need. She commented that she has never looked at me like I was a man so it is difficult for her to see what I see.

I can tell she is making an effort to see me, which I appreciate in a real way. It makes me nervous that she is still so adamant about not making any physical changes.

I'm trying to stay positive. Actually, it might be more accurate to say that I'm clenching to stay hopeful. I'm holding on tight, guys. Thanks again for the advice and support.
"If you're going to walk on thin ice, you might as well run."

Offline Laura_7

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Re: Help admitting to my girlfriend
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2015, 04:52:41 pm »
You could have a look at this:
acceptingdad.com/2013/08/05/to-the-unicorns-dad/
Well its up to you if you want to show parts of it...
TW This is really emotional stuff... if you feel like it call or chat on one of the helplines...
for example glbthotline.org/hotline.html or translifeline.org

well it might take a few days and a bit of understanding for her.
Concerning physical changes most people seem to see themselves changed, their own femininity changing...
its different with you since you feel a man inside... maybe you could find a way to talk with her about it...
and the changes might be over some time... its not all of a sudden...

hugs

Offline Alexthecat

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Re: Help admitting to my girlfriend
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2015, 05:32:21 pm »
If that was my girlfriend I would be like "yo this is my body, and I do what I want with it." It is one thing to take into consideration what a partner likes but she isn't the boss of a body that isn't hers.


Offline Escher

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Re: Help admitting to my girlfriend
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2015, 10:25:47 pm »
Thanks for sharing, Laura. I appreciate the helpline resources too. Patience is definitely a virtue in my case, and in a lot of trans guys cases I'm finding.

Alexthecat, as with everything, it is complicated. I love my girlfriend and she loves me. Our individual life decisions are no longer individual choices. They are conversations we have with each other. We make decisions together and we discuss that concept openly.
In an "easy world", I would totally jump on ship with what you're saying, but in this case, I think the "easy world" would be a selfish, lonely world and would probably cause me more pain than dealing with my situation openly with her.
"If you're going to walk on thin ice, you might as well run."

Online Dex

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Re: Help admitting to my girlfriend
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2015, 12:59:48 pm »
Hi Escher,
When I first had an inkling I was trans, I was in a long term relationship with a woman who identified lesbian. She had a trans friend but had tons of negative things to say about it. So I never vocalized anything to her, I knew what the response would be. Our relationship wasn't good in a lot of ways though and we didn't talk about hardly anything important.

After that relationship ended (for a lot of reasons) I met a woman who had only ever dated men. I didn't come out as trans to her, I still hadn't sorted it out completely yet. So it was very confusing for her too since she had never seen herself being attracted to (what appeared to be) a woman. About 2 years into our relationship, I told her the truth about how I felt. We have 3 kids from her marriage before me, so at that time I said I could never do anything medically since I thought it would be too hard with her ex and the kids and their school and her family... All the usual excuses. About 2 years ago (6 years into our relationship and 1 year into our marriage) I changed the game again and told her that I thought I needed to take steps to fix my body... I was drowning. Honestly, she is the best thing that has ever happened to me all around but especially with her support of me in my transition. She was scared about hormone therapy. Mainly because her brother is on hormone replacement therapy due to testicular cancer and him not being able to produce enough of his own T.  When he started injections, he changed. He just was a roller coaster. Completely different circumstances but that was the only thing she had to compare to experience wise. None of her fears were realized and I'm now almost 20 months on T.

It is a difficult thing when one partner changes the relationship the way transition changes the relationship. But if you are open and honest and vulnerable and willing to listen to each other and support each other, it can definitely work.

My wife and I did go to therapy together to talk about our fears and brought our kids as well to make sure they adjusted and understood. Even though this transition is for me, it does have an impact on those closest to you and I wanted to make sure I approached it considering their feelings as well.

Offline Escher

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Re: Help admitting to my girlfriend
« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2015, 10:29:52 pm »
Dex. Thanks, man. Your story is inspiring. What would you say are the biggest changes in your relationship with your wife? Is there anything you wish you would have known going into your transition in regards to your relationship?
"If you're going to walk on thin ice, you might as well run."

Offline tjack77

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Re: Help admitting to my girlfriend
« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2015, 11:35:12 pm »
I love my girlfriend and she loves me. Our individual life decisions are no longer individual choices. They are conversations we have with each other. We make decisions together and we discuss that concept openly.
In an "easy world", I would totally jump on ship with what you're saying, but in this case, I think the "easy world" would be a selfish, lonely world and would probably cause me more pain than dealing with my situation openly with her.

I agreed that since you are in a relationship, your individual life decisions become decisions of both.  However, I do not believe that "transitioning" is in a "easy world" and "selfish". 

About a month ago I brought this topic up with my parents who are not exactly supportive about my transition, but they did not "dis-owned' me.  My folks still have a hard time using male pronouns.  Anyway, I told them that I felt somewhat selfish that I'm basically forcing everyone (my wife, my parents, and my brother) to deal with the stress of me transitioning.  Surprisingly, my parents told me that my decision is not "selfish", be yourself is the basic rights that every human being.  My father actually told me that he couldn't imagine what I had been forcing myself to accept who I was.  Since I started T almost 5 months ago, I've never been happier in my life!  My confidence is clearly improved which leads to a more outgoing person.

Maybe I was lucky that my wife grew up with a cousin who is MTF so she's more understanding the mental issue of trans.  At the beginning, she was somewhat against HRT, she worried that T will affect my physical health as well as aggressiveness.  So we had a deal, if T affect my physical health and/or make me become aggressive, I'll have to stop HRT.  Originally I have top surgery scheduled on July 20, but something came up with my surgeon so it's delay till December, my wife told me she has mix emotions about me having top surgery.  She loves my chest the way it is but she understands how difficult it is for me to bind everyday.  She sees me put on the binder for the past 7 years, and sometimes she has to help me to take it off.  She knows I can't keep binding forever and when my surgeon had to prospone my surgery date, she was disappointed.

If the reason your girlfriend against your transition is your health issue, you can try to make a deal like mine.  But if she's against your transition because she says she's a lesbian, then she's the one being selfish.  If she loves you for who you are, than be the person you are. 

Absolutely agree with Dex, on being open and honest and vulnerable and willing to listen to each other and support each other.  Escher, you can make it work!

Offline Escher

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Re: Help admitting to my girlfriend
« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2015, 11:58:18 pm »
Wow, tjack. I really needed to hear that. Thank you.

Your description of the selfishness you felt resonates with me deeply. Your parents seem like wise people. I know that being transgender isn't my fault. I know that the dysphoria isn't my fault either. But part of me feels like if I insist upon transitioning, somehow all of it becomes my fault. I'm acknowledging it and introducing my pain to the people around me, causing them pain in return. haha I think I found a thought/issue that I need to work through.

I love love love the deal idea. Seriously awesome! I'm so glad you mentioned it.

I'm sorry about your surgery being pushed back, but congrats all the same! How exciting! December will be here soon, man.
"If you're going to walk on thin ice, you might as well run."

Online Dex

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Re: Help admitting to my girlfriend
« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2015, 10:36:56 pm »
The biggest changes for us are mostly social. Honestly, we have not experienced anything negative. We both have great support systems. Her family doesn't really understand, but they accept and respect me enough to try.

We are in a (relatively) conservative area so before my transition, acting like a couple in public meant stares and pointing. Getting used to "blending in" was interesting. I had lived 15 years appearing lesbian to the outside world so it took me a while to not worry about not blending in.

Within our relationship, though, not much has changed. I still throw cheesy lines her way, she still teases me about my nerdiness. I had to relearn how to navigate my emotions, which was probably one of the more challenging parts for me for the first year. I still feel as deeply and as broadly as I always did, but the feelings just... Came to me differently... Present differently in some way. It's hard to describe.
 
I guess, because of her brothers cancer recovery, we were expecting huge mood swings, personality differences.... A huge difference. And, truthfully, it hasn't been that for us. Our relationship is different... I'm more confident, and maybe approach things differently sometimes than I did before and I can pick up heavier things, lol. But I can't really put my finger on anything specific or substantial other than what I already mentioned. The changes that are the biggest are the fears, the evolution of your coming into who you were meant to be, and the journey you are asking them to take with you. Standing at the edge of it all, before you take that plunge... It is daunting, overwhelming, the unknown is petrifying... It takes a lot of teamwork and honesty to keep it together and it takes a willingness on their part to understand that the world will see the two of you differently than they did before. For some people (my wife and I included), it has been a scary but wonderful journey. I know not everyone has that same experience though.

Offline Escher

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Re: Help admitting to my girlfriend
« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2015, 11:33:09 pm »
Dex, that's awesome! It seems like you have a supportive, solid relationship. Thanks for sharing.

Hah! I'd love to pick your SO's brain. I've kept my feelings (in regard to being trans) hidden for so long that it is a bit unnatural to be wholly open about everything, although that is the approach I am taking now. I assume it will be easier as we both improve our abilities to articulate our fears and concerns.

Dex, were there any specific things you kept to yourself along the way in your transition? Or maybe things you spoke with a gender therapist about as opposed to bringing it up to your partner? I guess I'm not sure if there is an unspoken etiquette you keep to talking about certain things.

I just scheduled my first gender therapy session. We'll be meeting next week, which I think is pretty darn cool!
"If you're going to walk on thin ice, you might as well run."