Author Topic: Pre-everything and don't pass: what's the point?  (Read 2338 times)

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Offline meatwagon

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Pre-everything and don't pass: what's the point?
« on: February 28, 2017, 07:36:22 am »
so, i'm still pre-everything.  no sign of hormone treatment in the foreseeable future unless there are some drastic changes in my life very soon (i'm hoping there will be, but right now i'm at a loss for how to achieve them, which i guess is another story for another thread).  i've also experienced some serious health problems which led to a lot of weight gain, much of which i am just completely unable to get rid of (my new gp is currently looking into a thyroid anomaly, but i don't know how or if it will be treated).  and i don't know if it's just the timing or what, but not long after the weight issues i also had to get glasses because money for contacts ran out and i started getting "she"'d again almost immediately after the switch, so i'm counting it as a possible factor.  there's also the fact that i moved to a city, where let's just say women who dress like men aren't unheard of or even remotely uncommon.  anyway, the combination of these things--no T, extra roundness everywhere, glasses, location--has made passing impossible for me.  i used to pass a lot of the time before all these things came up, and even so people thought i was my spouse's son, it was better than nothing.  but now, the only time i've been called "sir" is by someone who didn't see my face or hear my voice, and they immediately corrected themselves once they did.  it doesn't matter what i wear or how i carry myself; even if i try to hide my gross body, my face and my voice (if i have to speak for any reason) immediately give me away. 
so i don't pass, not even a little, and there is no hope of me doing so any time soon.
lately, i've been doing this thing where i will find myself looking at prosthetics, packers, binders, and the like.  then i eventually hit a point where i stop, realize those things would only be of use to someone who had the potential to pass, and ragequit.  why do i bother?  why do i keep torturing myself hunting for things i have no business owning?  i already have a binder (don't know how well it fits any more), and the last time i wore it out i was read as female by everyone i encountered anyway.  it just made me feel like i'd wasted the time and effort of squeezing myself into it. 
sure, these things would make me feel marginally more comfortable with my body, but the feeling would wear off immediately after the first "ma'am".  so what's the point?  why do i bother even thinking about it?
should i bother shopping around for stuff i don't even have a use for 99% of the time?  i rarely get to leave the house as it is, except for work or the doctor's office--and everyone there knows me as a female, so no point trying to "pass" there anyway.  i don't know if i would really feel that much better about my body if i did all--or any--of that stuff, but i can't stop thinking about it and reading product reviews and trying to figure out which things would be best for me, etc etc.  but what am i even doing that for? i'm just gonna look like a lady anyway.
 ???

Offline Kylo

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Re: Pre-everything and don't pass: what's the point?
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2017, 08:33:18 am »
You've probably seen the before and after photos of other trans men. A lot of them look absolutely feminine beforehand. They probably thought the same thing as you.

Weight can be lost, it is within your control. T will change your voice and probably make you grow some facial hair if you do get HRT in future.

About thyroid issue and weight gain. I had the exact same issue. Although after some detective work I found out the cause and it was temporary (quitting estrogen based birth control was the culprit); even if it turns out you do have hypothyroidism, you can manage the weight by switching to low-carb diet and forcing the body to start metabolizing fat instead of storing it.
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Offline meatwagon

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Re: Pre-everything and don't pass: what's the point?
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2017, 08:58:33 am »
You've probably seen the before and after photos of other trans men. A lot of them look absolutely feminine beforehand. They probably thought the same thing as you.

Weight can be lost, it is within your control. T will change your voice and probably make you grow some facial hair if you do get HRT in future.

About thyroid issue and weight gain. I had the exact same issue. Although after some detective work I found out the cause and it was temporary (quitting estrogen based birth control was the culprit); even if it turns out you do have hypothyroidism, you can manage the weight by switching to low-carb diet and forcing the body to start metabolizing fat instead of storing it.
my next appointment is tomorrow, so hopefully he'll have some more input on that--but i should probably be watching carbs either way.  i have a lot of dietary hangups that i will need some help sorting out, especially with the added goal of weight loss, so while i've been watching what i eat and not gaining anything lately, i'm sort of stumbling trying to pin down what i can and can't eat (or afford, for that matter lol)  but this is definitely good advice.
i'm curious about the quitting birth control thing.  my memory is fuzzy at best, but i think i did that around the same time frame as i was starting to have problems with another medication i was on.  the weight issue got out of control and didn't stop until they changed my medication, after which i started losing weight almost immediately.  this was several years ago; within the past couple of years i gained a lot of it back due to depression, lost some more of that with a bit of hard work, then got stuck at where i am now and haven't budged in either direction for about a year.  so i don't know if it's just the thyroid thing giving me trouble right now, or a combination of that and other issues, and i doubt the birth control thing would be relevant this much later, but i'd be interested to know if it had anything to do with the initial problem or could possibly have any lasting effects.

aside from that, i guess i'm just really hoping that the stars will align and i'll be able to start T and get the ball rolling sooner rather than later.  i've seen some really amazing "before and after" pics/videos.  sometimes they give me hope, sometimes they just make me jealous.  :'^) 

Offline Kylo

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Re: Pre-everything and don't pass: what's the point?
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2017, 09:39:59 am »
If you had the 3 month wait between blood tests to see if your thyroid problem got worse or better and if it's improved, there's a fair chance it's not hypothyroidism but medication related.

It was easier for me to figure it out as I'd quit all other kinds of medication at that point and found studies/specialists who linked long term estrogen BC use/quitting and temporary hypothyroidism (my GP knew jack about it, had to go research myself). The exact cause still isn't known but whatever that estrogen was doing, when it was taken away, the body had been using it for so long it wasn't making its own at all. That somehow affected thyroid hormone production as well leading to all classic symptoms of hypothyroid disease as well as all the hallmarks of low estrogen (migraines, pain, delicate joints, etc.) If you're taking antidepressant meds some of those are well known to come with the weight gain and metabolic issues. Lasting effects of using estrogen based birth control is things like "estrogen dominance" which usually means low progesterone and an imbalance of the hormones you need.

At the end of the day, losing weight is win-win, and sensible if you plan on taking T in future, as T won't protect from things like higher blood pressure and heart/vascular strain. It'll be good for you in the long run to make some permanent changes to your diet and lifestyle (temp diets just don't really work). There's also the fact excess body fat produces estrogen itself, making the problem worse (and potentially working against T if you take it). I have approached the whole thing as a no-choice scenario - if I continued not to worry about it and gain any further weight from the screwy metabolism, I'd only be on a path to yet more serious medical problems. If I try to get it under control there's all the benefits to look forward to - less estrogen milling around, looking and feeling better, looking more masculine, perhaps more efficient results when taking HRT. I've just cut out sugars and carb high food, exercise a bit more (not a lot by any means) I lose 1-2 lbs a week and am on target. I could lose 9-10lbs a week as I know that is possible for me but it's best to lose weight slower while exercising or depending on your weight you could end up with excess skin. 

I'm not gonna say it's easy because I have an horrendous appetite and always have, but it's got to a point where I know my thyroid episode ruined my metabolism so much that I'm no longer able to get away with my old habits without causing damage. I just focus on the control aspect and trying to get that in my head that *I* am in control and I am going to call the shots on my body from now on. It's difficult if you're depressed, I know. I've been somehow able to translate some of my anger about it into trying to prove something to myself and get some mastery over the situation. That's really the only way I can manage it.
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Offline TransAm

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Re: Pre-everything and don't pass: what's the point?
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2017, 02:44:17 pm »
Man, I was right there with you a little over a year ago. A little excess fluff, glasses, breasts that pretty much wouldn't bind successfully no matter the **** what, a female toned voice and a round face. But at the time, I was doing everything possible to be read as male. Sometimes it worked and most of the time it didn't (I, too, live in a large liberal city where women dressing like men is common as hell).
It was exhausting, mentally and physically. I clearly remember feeling bogged down, hopeless and generally frustrated 99% of the time.
Looking in the mirror those days, I just couldn't figure out why people couldn't see a man like I could. Now that I objectively look back, however, I understand why.

You're at the hardest point right now as far as any transition goes in my opinion. You see a problem, you recognize what it is and you just don't currently have access to medical intervention. Those were -the- worst months of my life thus far. I'm sorry that I can't really give you any comfort beyond saying that I know that feel.
Stay strong. Stay preoccupied with hobbies, work or something equally as productive. Try to view your current situation as temporary even though it may seem never-ending right now.
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Offline Susan

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Re: Pre-everything and don't pass: what's the point?
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2017, 07:38:51 pm »
Been there done that and got the t-shirt. I didn't pass just over a year ago. Even before my FFS I passed well enough to get compliments from women and even straight men. So don't give up!

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Offline Vincent J

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Re: Pre-everything and don't pass: what's the point?
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2017, 12:54:26 pm »
I have no advice for the weight thing... Hopefully the weight issue gets fixed, and I hope  it's nothing too serious.
As for glasses though, you probably have the wrong shaped frames; round framed glasses tend to only compliment a round face by making it look even rounder, which can totally make a face look more feminine. You should try a more square shape for glasses, and perhaps thin wired as well. The right frame on glasses can totally help with any face shape and the square frames may help you look more masculine.
As for your voice, I thank vocal lessons for this info: women tend to speak more with their throats and men tend to speak more with their guts. Try a couple of breathing exercises by rasping your voice in deep sighs. Pay attention to the expansion in the rib cage and stomach; if you're doing it right, you should feel them both expand and you should hear a deepness in your voice. There are also other methods that are really meant for voice deepening though -You could also try humming, and while you hum, slowly move your head up until you are staring at the ceiling and then slowly move your head back down and repeat. One last tip  I can give is using the same method with humming, but instead repeat the words "ting tong - king kong-ding dong". Doing thoe exercises daily (and perhaps alone lol) will help deepen your voice.

by the way, don't give up! That feeling of being trapped in the wrong body, it hurts. We all know this, so don't give up on being the man you should be! Keep on going bro: I know you can do it. Be a fighter ok?~ And like others said, T will help you a lot when you actually can get to it.

Offline tehuti

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Re: Pre-everything and don't pass: what's the point?
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2017, 07:43:02 am »
I'm pre everything as well so let me hop onto that boat along with you. It feels overwhelming, no? While I don't have an issue with weight, I do have large boobs and very feminine features so there's no hope of me passing, even with binder/packer/or short haircut... and I would feel ridiculous at this stage of my transition to front up to work with a packer. HOWEVER.. getting a short hair cut has worked. I feel more confident in general. There's no illusion I am passing as male but it has made me feel better. As has picking up a few items of men's clothing that make ME feel more comfortable as well as scouring for tips from those who've made the journey before us.

And speaking of tips:

You could also try humming, and while you hum, slowly move your head up until you are staring at the ceiling and then slowly move your head back down and repeat. One last tip  I can give is using the same method with humming, but instead repeat the words "ting tong - king kong-ding dong". Doing thoe exercises daily (and perhaps alone lol) will help deepen your voice.

This. This is gold. I have been doing it infrequently as it's not a daily habit yet but when I do remember to do it, it shows me that my voice CAN go deeper now. It reminds me to modulate my tone when speaking to others and getting used to hearing the lower version in my own ears. When I -do- remember to use my deeper voice, it's an absolute delight and I just want to give myself a mental high five  ;D

We are at the same stage, we want to change, we want that change now and patience is so hard.

As someone said earlier, weight is something that you have some control over. My biggest influence has been thinking to myself: if I had a male body, what would I want it to look like? What effort would I be willing to put in to make it that way? Would I sit on the couch all day, wallowing in wine and depression (basically my life for the past couple of years)? No, if I had the male body I desire I would be out running with my dog, going to the gym and lifting weights, and admiring my ripping six pack in the mirror. Yes, I am vain. But this was also a realisation, I don't have to wait to achieve a leaner body and more muscles. This is somethign I can do right now. And so I did. I made changes and am finally starting to see some results.

I sincerely hope you will find a similar inspiration within yourself.

In the magical words of Alessia Cara:

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No better you than the you that you are

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« Last Edit: March 13, 2017, 03:15:50 pm by ElizabethK »

Offline meatwagon

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Re: Pre-everything and don't pass: what's the point?
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2017, 09:28:09 am »
sorry for such a late response; i kind of lost my nerve and ducked out for a little while.  but i want to say thank you to everyone who's replied so far.  everything from tips to support to just listening and understanding is really appreciated.  it's something i'm not used to getting most of the time, so i don't always know how to respond to it.  but i'm happy you all took the time to read my complaining and give me your advice and encouragement.

ok, sappy stuff over with.  time to address some of the key points.

weight/body: for now, i've just about given up on doing anything beyond making sure i don't gain more.  the doctor finally got the results of the second thyroid test and said those were normal as opposed to the previous one, which meant it was just some kind of temporary inflammation.  i don't know if that means i'll have an easier time losing weight now or not, but either way it's all i can do most days just to get through the day.  i still watch what i eat and avoid the big no-nos for the most part, and at least three (or four, depending on what month it is) days out of every week i'm busting my ass at work walking/being active almost nonstop for 8+ hours--though i think that's also part of the problem.  work affects how much i eat, when i eat, and what i eat.  i'm still in the process of figuring out what works best for me, but the current schedule of "wake up, force myself to eat something small before work, eat a lot of food at lunch because i'm starving to death by then, go home and eat dinner directly before going to bed" probably isn't helping much.  i just don't know what to do about it right now because going to bed earlier/waking up earlier is out of the question.  i do want to start getting off my ass more when i'm home, even if all i can manage is a walk or two around the circle (it's an even mile around).  that one will require some motivation, which is a huge problem for me and has been more and more so over the years.  while i am tired and sore from work on the first day off, after that point it's mostly just loneliness (that and frequently feeling sick/unwell, which would be less of an issue if my pharmacy would ship my medicine on time...).  i stay inside on the computer because it's the only way i can keep in contact with anyone or be able to do anything.  the most i can really do by myself is walk around the neighborhood, and that gets boring/lonely.  but i can try to just make myself do it, and hopefully i'll feel a little better for doing so once i actually get started. 

glasses: i am really overdue for a new pair (though i would prefer contacts if possible since i don't like wearing glasses, period).  i got my current ones several years ago, from the men's section.  i think they were the first "men's" item i got, not including a t-shirt or two.  they're sort of rectangular, wider than my old "girly" pair, but sort of rounded, with medium-thick black frames.  i think they look pretty neutral; they'd probably do just as well on a woman as a man.  i think just having glasses at all hurts me in this regard because they sort of draw attention to my eyes, but maybe a different frame would ease that problem a little.  like with the exercise thing, finding an eye doctor and making an appointment is gonna take some motivation.  i think there's one near me, but for some reason i just haven't wanted to go. 

voice: i've heard about the training exercises; it's pretty neat.  i mostly forgot about that until now, though.  since i do spend so much time alone most mornings, maybe i should test it out.  my voice is one of my biggest "triggers" when it comes to dysphoria, so i'm a little scared to do this even while alone, just because it means paying attention to the way i sound and having to be aware of it.  if change, however small, would come naturally without requiring an active effort to put on a "voice" while speaking to others, though, it would be worth a shot. 
« Last Edit: March 13, 2017, 10:38:24 am by meatwagon »

Offline meatwagon

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Re: Pre-everything and don't pass: what's the point?
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2017, 12:36:07 pm »
i didn't want to make a new thread for basically the same purpose as this one, so hopefully it's ok for me to just add on here.

a lot was addressed, but the initial question still remains: is there any point in buying packing/binding equipment if passing is not an option? 
much as i love to daydream and be hopeful for "the future", that's likely very far away right now so i wanna be realistic.  and realistically speaking, no amount of binding and packing is gonna make me look like a man any time soon.  it would be purely for my own personal benefit, but i'm really unsure of whether it would make dysphoria better or worse in the long run. 
Initially, i'd see it being better: having those things in place would at least make my body *feel* closer to how it's supposed to be. 
But i worry that being called she/ma'am/etc while wearing them would shatter the illusion and make me feel worse than if i'd just gone without.  i have been called "girl" while binding in the past (this was back when i still occasionally passed, so i actively tried to do so, unlike now), and it did make me feel worse because at least if i hadn't been trying to pass, it wouldn't feel like i had failed because i didn't try in the first place. 
That said, if i was doing it for personal comfort without any expectation of passing, it might not be so bad.  I just don't know for sure, and of course I can't really know how i'd feel about that situation until i experienced it. 
And that's the problem: this stuff costs money, and I don't like spending money on a "maybe".  I don't have much to spend, so i'd like to be a little more sure about whether it's worth it before i go shopping for anything.
Would it be worth it to try?  Would it just make things worse?  Is it a stupid idea that i need to just quit thinking about and focus on spending my money on things that actually make sense? 
i honestly wish i could stop thinking about this and window-shopping, but as with the rest of the gender "issue", it's just not going away, so i don't know what else to do.  i wish i could just see a doctor already; at least if i was on T i wouldn't feel like binders and packers were out of my league.



Offline Susan

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Re: Pre-everything and don't pass: what's the point?
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2017, 12:43:15 pm »
    You need to do these things for yourself, and not because of how others see them or you. So if it makes you feel even slightly better then it may be something you want to do.

    Do your breasts bother you if so binding them may help, even if it doesn't yet get you to the point of passing 100%.

    Make a list of the thing you need to do to get from female to male. Bust big items up into smaller steps when possible.

    Then sort the list by what you can do now, vs what you can't.

    Here's an example.

    • Get a therapist
    • Talk to therapist about gender issues
    • Get comfortable with my self:
      • Cut hair
      • Change wardrobe
    • Improve myself:
      • Stop smoking
      • Diet
      • Exercise
    • Talk to therapist about gender issues
    • Get letter for HRT
    • Find a doctor to prescribe HRT
    • Talk to therapist about gender issues
    • Come out to family and friends
    • Talk to therapist about gender issues
    • Come out publicly
    • Talk to therapist about gender issues
    • Change name
    • Get identity documents updated
    • ...

    It's easy to get frustrated when you are not seeing signs of progress so do the easier stuff early on, to give you momentum that will help overcome inertia.

    Lastly accomplish these items one at a time. If you get stuck on one switch to another for a while and come back to that one later on...

    Don't worry about passing, that will come with time. Just work on being the real you as much as you can.
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Offline Pao

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Re: Pre-everything and don't pass: what's the point?
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2017, 05:03:13 pm »
Hey man. I am right there with you. I am Pre-everything. I also day dream, and endless search FTM stuff. Then rage-quit.

Things I have been doing. (They help me, dunno if they would help you.)

1. I shave my face. I have ZERO dark facial hair. I could be a friggin Peach. But Occasionally I do it anyway. Sometimes I feel a bit of a twit afterwards, but doing it is kinda meditative. It also changes the way my face skin feels, just a little.

2. I say buy the binder. I have a couple. They don't get me flat, and I don't pass. Actually I get ma'am'd more, cause I think people are trying to convince themselves. BUT it makes me feel a little better. I can only wear them occasionally, 'cause I have lung back issues, but everyone in my house knows when I've got my binder on I am dysphoric, and are extra careful with pronouns.

3. I watch RuPal's Drag race on Amazon. It is funny, and makes me feel so not alone.

4. Maybe an STP device would help. Even if you just use it at home. I don't have one because we have been going through a lot of financial stuff, but I have figured out how to stand to pee without one. Sometimes it makes me feel better. Also if money is an issue, there are all kinds of DIY and low cost stuff out there.

5. I finally called some clinics to find out what I need. I was on the phone for an hour this morning with my insurance company trying to find out if they would pay for labs or hormones. (Probably not, but I forced myself to ask.)

6. High Fat Low Carb for the win! seriously I lost 60lbs. No exercise. I always felt full. I learned tons of ways to satisfy my sweet tooth Low Carb. (Swerve sweetener is a life saver) I also confront temptation with "Do I want to have tits?" or "FAT makes Estrogen, and round faces" But the HIGH fat part is sooooo important. I was doing low cal forever, and doing what they say is right veggies, whole grains, fruit, no red meat, and was gaining. That said I'd have your doc check for PCOS. For some reason even if you don't test glucose intolerant, if you have PCOS you can still have major issues processing carbs.

7. I started exercising. It boosts Endorphins and makes me feel a little better.

Offline WolfNightV4X1

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Re: Pre-everything and don't pass: what's the point?
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2017, 05:36:25 pm »
Hey man. I am right there with you. I am Pre-everything. I also day dream, and endless search FTM stuff. Then rage-quit.

Things I have been doing. (They help me, dunno if they would help you.)

1. I shave my face. I have ZERO dark facial hair. I could be a friggin Peach. But Occasionally I do it anyway. Sometimes I feel a bit of a twit afterwards, but doing it is kinda meditative. It also changes the way my face skin feels, just a little.

2. I say buy the binder. I have a couple. They don't get me flat, and I don't pass. Actually I get ma'am'd more, cause I think people are trying to convince themselves. BUT it makes me feel a little better. I can only wear them occasionally, 'cause I have lung back issues, but everyone in my house knows when I've got my binder on I am dysphoric, and are extra careful with pronouns.

3. I watch RuPal's Drag race on Amazon. It is funny, and makes me feel so not alone.

4. Maybe an STP device would help. Even if you just use it at home. I don't have one because we have been going through a lot of financial stuff, but I have figured out how to stand to pee without one. Sometimes it makes me feel better. Also if money is an issue, there are all kinds of DIY and low cost stuff out there.

5. I finally called some clinics to find out what I need. I was on the phone for an hour this morning with my insurance company trying to find out if they would pay for labs or hormones. (Probably not, but I forced myself to ask.)

6. High Fat Low Carb for the win! seriously I lost 60lbs. No exercise. I always felt full. I learned tons of ways to satisfy my sweet tooth Low Carb. (Swerve sweetener is a life saver) I also confront temptation with "Do I want to have tits?" or "FAT makes Estrogen, and round faces" But the HIGH fat part is sooooo important. I was doing low cal forever, and doing what they say is right veggies, whole grains, fruit, no red meat, and was gaining. That said I'd have your doc check for PCOS. For some reason even if you don't test glucose intolerant, if you have PCOS you can still have major issues processing carbs.

7. I started exercising. It boosts Endorphins and makes me feel a little better.

If youre calling clinics and you have a job (or someone does) You can actually skip the insurance since they might not even pay it or wont pay it. I paid for my stuff out of pocket, and I went to a clinic that let me off with a cheaper cost based on my income (relatively cheap, its was a lot but I put it my card and paid it down). You eventually dont have to pay for clinics because after a few months on it it's not a priority to keep checking you.

...that's assuming you have an income. But even a little income can go a long way so if you dont have a way to earn money there's one goal right there.



Offline Kylo

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Re: Pre-everything and don't pass: what's the point?
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2017, 05:39:05 pm »
i didn't want to make a new thread for basically the same purpose as this one, so hopefully it's ok for me to just add on here.

a lot was addressed, but the initial question still remains: is there any point in buying packing/binding equipment if passing is not an option? 
much as i love to daydream and be hopeful for "the future", that's likely very far away right now so i wanna be realistic.  and realistically speaking, no amount of binding and packing is gonna make me look like a man any time soon.  it would be purely for my own personal benefit, but i'm really unsure of whether it would make dysphoria better or worse in the long run. 
Initially, i'd see it being better: having those things in place would at least make my body *feel* closer to how it's supposed to be. 
But i worry that being called she/ma'am/etc while wearing them would shatter the illusion and make me feel worse than if i'd just gone without.  i have been called "girl" while binding in the past (this was back when i still occasionally passed, so i actively tried to do so, unlike now), and it did make me feel worse because at least if i hadn't been trying to pass, it wouldn't feel like i had failed because i didn't try in the first place. 
That said, if i was doing it for personal comfort without any expectation of passing, it might not be so bad.  I just don't know for sure, and of course I can't really know how i'd feel about that situation until i experienced it. 
And that's the problem: this stuff costs money, and I don't like spending money on a "maybe".  I don't have much to spend, so i'd like to be a little more sure about whether it's worth it before i go shopping for anything.
Would it be worth it to try?  Would it just make things worse?  Is it a stupid idea that i need to just quit thinking about and focus on spending my money on things that actually make sense? 
i honestly wish i could stop thinking about this and window-shopping, but as with the rest of the gender "issue", it's just not going away, so i don't know what else to do.  i wish i could just see a doctor already; at least if i was on T i wouldn't feel like binders and packers were out of my league.

But only you know if it'll make things worse for you or not.

One thing you should think about is not allowing other people's words to influence your sense of self. Transition is generally a road "for life", you're going to have to deal with what other people say or if they read you wrong, especially at first.

If you're feeling unsure wait until you are on T. I did not "try" to pass for quite some time because I didn't think there was much point in trying to with a voice that wasn't masculine. Not everyone does this but that was my view. I saw no point in going out of my way and worrying about how much I was if I couldn't open my mouth. I was taken for male on sight some of the time anyway which is fine but not while talking, obviously. On T that looks like it's about to end. On the other hand actively taking steps to pass before taking any hormones may be a good indicator of how well it's going to work early on HRT and beyond. If you can handle the fact other people don't see a man yet, which is rather to be expected for most people pre T, then it's largely only a matter of time. And you will have to learn to be patient. Even T works slowly.
"If the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."

Offline The Flying Lemur

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Re: Pre-everything and don't pass: what's the point?
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2017, 11:32:49 am »
Hey, meatwagon, I know how you feel.  I'm pre-everything and can't pass either.  Also, hormones and surgery are out of reach for the foreseeable future because everybody wants me to lose weight before they'll do anything.  Even still, I found that little things helped me feel better, like cutting my hair, getting a few items of guys' clothing, and ditching the purse for a canvas camera bag.  (I carry slightly too much stuff to jam it all into my pockets.)  I'm ordering a binder as soon as I have the money to do so, even though I know it won't help me pass, partly just to feel at least slightly better about my body shape, and partly because I want to feel I fit in with the local trans community.  I've made connections with them and see the start of some promising friendships.  Having accepting people around has made a huge improvement in my dysphoria.  Even though I pass approximately 0% of the time, I have people who call me by my chosen name and use male pronouns for me.  True, I'm missing the experience of being gendered male on sight by strangers, but strangers don't mean that much to me.  Family and friends are much more important, and I've been fortunate enough to be blessed with good ones.  If you don't currently have anyone in your life who will call you by your preferred name and pronouns, no matter what you look like, I recommend finding a trans-friendly support group who will.

I agree with Susan that transitioning has got to be something you do for yourself and not for others--particularly not for strangers.   
The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are. --Joseph Campbell

Offline meatwagon

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Re: Pre-everything and don't pass: what's the point?
« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2017, 08:01:33 am »
Thanks, y'all.  these responses really helped a lot. 

i guess i am just used to shoving my personal feelings aside and calling them irrational, and avoiding doing anything that feels pointless.  But in an effort to take my own comfort into consideration, even in a small way, i decided to go ahead and buy a new binder.  I was going to try on my old one, but it seemed too small, so I went ahead and ordered one that will hopefully be the right size (not to mention a better color lol). 
I realized i already sort of do this with other aspects of my appearance; years ago i stopped wearing all the frilly things and women's clothing and switched to men's clothes, and even without any hope of passing i haven't gone back to wearing women's clothes.  So why worry about whether or not doing other things for myself will affect how i'm perceived?

I agree that doing little things to make myself feel better has helped, even if they don't entirely "fix" the problem.  So i guess i have no real reason to avoid them aside from years of conditioning.  But maybe the more small steps i take, the easier it will be to live with this and let go of all the fears and start putting myself first.  Maybe eventually i'll start seeing myself as a person.  that would be nice.  I'm really tired of feeling like a nothing/in-between all the time, so i guess the least i can do is not treat myself like one when i don't have to.  It's just really, really hard to accept.

I have at least a couple of (mostly online) friends who know my situation and accept my identity, but no one that i see on a regular basis.  Because of my situation (things like transportation, money, and location), I don't have much contact with people aside from family who doesn't support me and coworkers who don't know but probably wouldn't be keen on supporting me either if they did.  i don't get to go out much, though I'm working on getting my driver's license.  it's just very hard right now because with my schedule, i can't get in enough time to practice driving to be able to pass the license test.  But hopefully when i do get that done, which should be by the end of this month at the very latest, things like support groups or something will open up to me as options.  Having a couple of friends i can sometimes talk to about things is nice, but there's no one I can really see and communicate with in person who has similar experiences or helpful advice on these matters.  I never really wanted to be in a support group, honestly, but as time goes on i start to think more and more that being able to share with people that i can actually see and getting to know people outside of my almost nonexistent social circle could be a good thing.

As for weight and health concerns, i had considered PCOS as a possible factor when i first started having the weight gain problem, but my mother totally dismissed it because I wasn't growing a beard, and I figured that even if that was the case, there was no treatment except to be put on birth control to give me a more "normal female" experience anyway, and I definitely didn't want that.  I'm not sure what happened with my weight, exactly.  I got off of a hormonal birth control implant and got put on a new medication for autoimmune disease at around the same time, and was also under a great deal of stress.  Gaining the extra weight so suddenly and rapidly, and having everyone i talked to just blame it on me when I knew it wasn't my fault, of course only added to the stress.  I was threatening to quit my medication and risk being put back in the hospital by the time they finally took me off of it--and they didn't do that because of the weight issue, but because the stuff they had initially put me on was no longer working properly.  As soon as they changed my medication, i lost a lot of that weight, so i could only assume the medication had been the cause all along.  But i'm not really sure; all I know right now is that I'm having trouble getting rid of what's still left of it.  Everything else (like loss of period and extra hair growth which happened due to the weight gain) has since gone back to normal.

I know a couple of other people now who swear by the low-carb/high-fat kind of diet.  I don't know how well I'd be able to manage it with my Crohn's, since it prevents me from having things high in fat or fiber most of the time, but I'll do some more looking into it and try to see what kind of dietary changes I can make to help facilitate weight loss... because counting calories and having a physically demanding job hasn't done anything but leave me hungry at the end of the day.

i know i keep saying it and not doing it, but exercising a little more on my days off would probably help me out, too.  even if it's just a walk or two around the block.  i know this, just like i know taking the time to complete projects instead of leaving a bunch of unfinished work laying around would also probably help me feel better both inside and outside... it's just one of those things i really struggle finding the motivation for in the first place. 
Any advice on getting motivated--and not letting myself be overwhelmed by loneliness, boredom/apathy, or feeling like i have too much to do and not enough time to do it--would be appreciated, as well.

I also really feel like i NEED to find a doctor so I can start getting treatments.  Like the other stuff mentioned here and just doing little things in the meantime to make myself feel better, this is one of the things I know I can't be happy just waiting for.  I'm tired of putting it off, even if the reasons for waiting are legitimate concerns like time, transportation, and money.  I will have my license soon, and even though I'd be VERY afraid to drive across the state to see a doctor, going into unfamiliar territory and being completely alone for a very long drive over highways and whatnot, i don't think I can/should just hold off until I live closer to the clinic.  I need to find a way to actually make an appointment and get there, because even doing little things isn't going to be enough.  It might help, but i need to feel like I'm actually ON the road to making progress before I can accept that I'm "just not there yet". 
I don't know if it would be better to go by bus and stay in a hotel overnight, or to brave driving by myself.  I also don't know if there is anything closer to me that I'm just not finding, or whether i should trust whatever I do find if it's that much harder to dig up than, say, Planned Parenthood.  PP is the only place i know of for sure that offers that kind of treatment, but it's very far away.
Another thing I considered but am not sure of is seeing a therapist/counselor specifically for gender-related issues.  I feel like i've already talked the issue to death between myself, my closest friends, and a previous counselor i spoke to for other reasons who brought the gender thing into the foreground when she realized it was a likely contributor to some of my problems.  I've been aware of all this stuff for years, and I have no question about how or whether to transition.  I don't know if there would be any point in paying a therapist to talk about things I've already known and talked about for so long; I'm not questioning any of that now.  I just don't know how to access the treatment I know I need, and I wonder if a therapist would make that easier for me by being aware of resources that I have yet to find on my own.  PP does informed consent; a letter wouldn't be necessary.  While having someone to talk to would be nice, a therapist isn't really a friend... but maybe they could at least be a resource.  I just don't know if it would be worth it for that.

Breaking things down into smaller steps definitely helps, though some things I'm not sure either how to tackle them or whether they should go on the list at all.

Offline Susan

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Re: Pre-everything and don't pass: what's the point?
« Reply #16 on: May 03, 2017, 09:20:46 am »
For the things you are not sure how to handle, talk about it with your therapist or on here.
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Offline Kylo

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Re: Pre-everything and don't pass: what's the point?
« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2017, 09:25:57 am »
Quote
Any advice on getting motivated--and not letting myself be overwhelmed by loneliness, boredom/apathy, or feeling like i have too much to do and not enough time to do it--would be appreciated, as well.

For the record I hate exercising, especially working out and anything repetitive and indoors. My advice would be to do something that is exercise but is interesting in other ways, or some sort of competitive game. If you don't have anyone to compete with try something else you are interested in alone. I have full time self employment and a part time uni course on my plate right now but I still find time to freedive in the mornings for a couple of hours and it gives me more energy through the rest of the day. My location makes that possible, granted, but if you live in a town/city there are bound to be a wider variety of recreational things to do. In the past I tried indoor climbing walls, swimming, joined a potholing club, and a paintballing one for a while when I was living in a small city in Snowdonia. A lot more fun than busting my ass in the gym. It will also improve your social circle to join some sort of club and do things with it. 

If you don't get out much it's no wonder you feel crap. The desire to stay indoors creates itself by not getting out there, so get out and try a few things, don't allow yourself to make excuses not to.
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Offline meatwagon

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Re: Pre-everything and don't pass: what's the point?
« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2017, 01:51:10 am »
For the record I hate exercising, especially working out and anything repetitive and indoors. My advice would be to do something that is exercise but is interesting in other ways, or some sort of competitive game. If you don't have anyone to compete with try something else you are interested in alone. I have full time self employment and a part time uni course on my plate right now but I still find time to freedive in the mornings for a couple of hours and it gives me more energy through the rest of the day. My location makes that possible, granted, but if you live in a town/city there are bound to be a wider variety of recreational things to do. In the past I tried indoor climbing walls, swimming, joined a potholing club, and a paintballing one for a while when I was living in a small city in Snowdonia. A lot more fun than busting my ass in the gym. It will also improve your social circle to join some sort of club and do things with it. 

If you don't get out much it's no wonder you feel crap. The desire to stay indoors creates itself by not getting out there, so get out and try a few things, don't allow yourself to make excuses not to.

the problem is i really just don't have any such things around that i could do, never mind affording them.  the best i can do on my own is take walks, which i guess is better than nothing but it doesn't really do much for me.  and not trying to make further excuses, but doing everything alone really gets to me.  even if i found and had money for some kind of public/group thing, i don't think i'd be able to bring myself to do it.  i feel like i would just constantly be reminded of the gender issue, being seen and heard by a bunch of strangers.  same as it is when i'm at work, basically: even if i'm on good terms with a couple of people there, i can never really be comfortable or feel like myself, and i try to be noticed as little as possible. 
but again, i really just don't have anything like that around that i can do because of money, time, and transportation.
it's pretty much walks around the neighborhood or nothing, and lately i've been choosing nothing because i've been sick.  if/when i start feeling better, i'll try to start walking again.  right now i can barely manage to make it through my work days.

For the things you are not sure how to handle, talk about it with your therapist or on here.
i don't have a therapist, and not really sure if i can or should at the moment, so i guess i better start talking about things where i can.  it's hard sometimes to even want to bring this stuff up, with a lifetime of being made to feel bad about having any complaints or to feel stupid about not having all the answers.  but i'm glad people here are willing to listen; it makes it a little easier. 

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