Author Topic: 8 years post op, thinking of giving up stealth  (Read 12954 times)

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Offline Ritana

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8 years post op, thinking of giving up stealth
« on: June 10, 2017, 07:18:30 am »
Hi everyone!

First, I don't want this topic to be a conflict around stealth vs no- stealth. I am going through a difficult period, and Just want to talk about it and possibly get your different insights into the situation.

I am 30 years old this year, and I'm 8 years post op, Since the begining of my transition, and up till now now, I have always lived a stealth lifestyle, with the exception of the first year shen I wasn't fully passable.



Over the last couple of years, I have been feeling the weight of the pressure caused by living stealth. I have had a few boyfriends who didn't know anything about my past. One of them however did have doubts as he noticed the discreet and almost invisible v shaped scars on my vagina, but I was very  quick to dismiss his concerns when he asked me.


For the last 11 years, I've had numerous surgeries to look and sound as passable as possible. These include ffs, srs, fat transfer to hips and bum, 2 ba's and vfs. I rarely wear heels, and I akways keep my make-up to a minimum to avoid the <not allowed> look... anyway, that's to say, I have done everything possible to live as a regular, normal ciswoman.



Not.sure if it's because of the fact that I I am getting wiser, but lately I have come to the conclusion that throughout our transitiong, many of us develop a form of transphobia, generated by the hostility and stigma attached to being transgender by society. I remember feeling happy,  positive and somewhat proud of being  a transexual at the very beginning of my transition. Sadly, my vision has since  changed and I have become an internalised transphobe if this makes sense??? I created a world for myself, which is 100 percent trans-free, with the exception of my orange dialator which I keep in a secret cupboard for my monthly use.

The question asked by my last partner regarding my trans status caused me a lot grief and anxiety. It made me realise that after all, I am still a post-op transgender woman, and that I have created another closet world for myself in which I am leading a secret life that is putting me a lot of pressure, which in turn is causing me to lead an anxious  and unfulfilled life.

I am thinking of giving up some aspects of my stealth lifestyle, especially with prospective partners and in some other social situation. In other words, I am have not thinking of coming out to everyone, but simply be somewhat less ashamed of who I really am if this makes sense.

I have come to the conclusion that unless you really love yourself and are proud of and at peace with who you really are, you will never be truly happy.

What are your thoughts on this?

Many thanks in advance!

Ritana
« Last Edit: June 10, 2017, 03:58:36 pm by Ritana »
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Offline Maybebaby56

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Re: 8 years post op, thinking of giving up stealth
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2017, 07:45:04 am »
Hi Ritana,

I liked your post very much. I am not post-op; I am having SRS in August, but the issues you raise are something I have thought about quite a bit, and they have surfaced from time to time on this forum.

I consider myself a transsexual female. I always will be. Not "just a woman, thank you very much", a transwoman. I started my transition at age 56. I spent a lifetime as a male. Nearly all my professional associates knew me as a man. I got married, I have kids.  The point is that the male part of my life is just that - part of my life. It's how I got here. 

I have a boyfriend now, and he knows my story from A to Z.  I don't know if he will end up being my life partner, but whoever that ends up being will know my story as well. They will have to know and love me, not some image of who they think I am.  I am not at all ashamed of who I am.  It took incredible determination and courage to get to where I am now. If no one else wants what I have to offer as human being, then so be it. I am completely comfortable with my decision to transition, and I look forward to the rest of my life.

I think you are very wise in coming to the conclusion you did.

Blessings to you,

Terri
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Offline SadieBlake

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Re: 8 years post op, thinking of giving up stealth
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2017, 08:09:39 am »
Ritana, as a late transitioning mtf, passing/stealth isn't part of my plan. I could in fact  choose to present and pass as masculine. I'm choosing to be out and as far toward femme non-binary as i can manage. I think it's the reciprocal choice to the one you're considering.

Being visibly trans is a part of that for me.
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Offline Doreen

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Re: 8 years post op, thinking of giving up stealth
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2017, 08:19:33 am »
To be or not to be... or in this case to stealth or not to stealth?

Ultimately its up to you.  As I don't have multiple male partners that isn't a concern there.. why should I need to spill the beans about what I call my 'birth defect'?  Honestly in all my years NO ONE has ever asked me.  So I don't care to share... is that living 'stealth'? Maybe? I don't think so.  In the end most people, other than passing morbid curiosity, don't honestly care in the end.  We all live in our own little worlds and silos, and rarely go outside of it to get to know people.   This doesn't change really whether your cis, trans, straight, gay, w/e.  In the end outing yourself to folks will only serve to ostracize you from those that are inevitably bigoted.  Of course there will be some that accept you... there will also be a staggering amount of people that will shun you too.  Unless you're hanging out in the LGBT area, understand people are people... for all their faults 

In the end, the choice is yours.  Do you see yourself as trans?  Or a female?  Personally I see myself as female, with a birth defect that was fixed eons ago.  Be yourself, whatever that 'self' is, and the choice is ultimately yours to make, for better or worse.

Offline Wednesday

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Re: 8 years post op, thinking of giving up stealth
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2017, 08:41:11 am »
Sounds wise. Dunno, call me weird, but I wouldn't want to take the burden of anxiety for life due to living stealth. If you're able to live without anxiety, sounds good, but if you're suffering... doesn't look like a good idea.

And I know some girls will throw at me things like "but you say that because you're unable to pass", "you look trans", etc. Even if passable 1000000% in any kind of situation, I wouldn't take the anxiety, no thanks.


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Offline KathyLauren

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Re: 8 years post op, thinking of giving up stealth
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2017, 08:48:03 am »
I have created another closet world for myself in which I am leading a secret life that is putting me a lot of pressure
This is why I am not planning to go stealth.  I spent 62 years in one closet; I am not about to go right into another one.  Besides, everyone in my small vlillage knows about me, so I'd have to move to go stealth.  The logistics would be a nightmare, but the big reason is to avoid being closeted again.

I am really enjoying the freedom to just be myself, warts and all.  I do like it if I pass well enough that people gender me correctly at first guess.  But if someone 'clocks' me (and I know they do sometimes), it's not a big deal as long as they remain polite.

Of course, I realize that I am spoiled by where I live.  I realize that there are parts of the world where my attitude would be more problematic.
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Offline KayXo

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Re: 8 years post op, thinking of giving up stealth
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2017, 09:13:09 am »
Excellent post Ritana, thanks for sharing, I'm sort of in the same situation and can completely relate to what you're saying. I hope the coming months and years will be more fulfilling for you and less anxiogenic. Good luck, lots of love. ;) Hiding is NEVER fun.  :(
I am not a medical doctor, nor a scientist - opinions expressed by me on the subject of HRT are merely based on my own review of some of the scientific literature over the last decade or so, on anecdotal evidence from women in various discussion forums that I have come across, and my personal experience

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Offline Dayta

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Re: 8 years post op, thinking of giving up stealth
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2017, 09:24:23 am »
Hi Ritana,

Stealth wasn't really a good option for me, so I didn't really think about it much.  I can tell you that since I came out, I haven't had any of my old anxiety dreams about being found somewhere naked or in my undies, or in a skirt, and being embarrassed about it.  Raising my secret up for everyone to see was freeing, and has left me much calmer, and more satisfied in general.  I don't think this is universally true about secrets, but it's probably true most of the time.  Hope you find peace in your decision. 

Erin





Offline Janes Groove

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Re: 8 years post op, thinking of giving up stealth
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2017, 09:25:46 am »
It's weird. I came out as gay back in 1994 after a lifetime of living in the closet.  At no small cost to me personally.  By that time the gay community been thru the gay liberation movement begun at Stonewall, the AIDS crisis of the late seventies, and the political backlash of the 80s. Most of the gay men I knew back then were out of the closet and publicly identified as gay.  If you were gay and weren't out you were considered a "closet case."  So when I came out as trans I expected a similar dynamic. Boy, was I surprised!  The way I see it the gay movement won the right to marry and other civil rights by being out, loud and proud.  Not by hiding.

Having said all that being out and trans is definitely different.  The stigma of being trans is like the stigma of being gay times a factor of 10.  And being out as gay is not something that EVERYBODY and his brother can see in less than a second by just looking at you.  But still.  I lived too much of my life in the closet to EVER want to go back there.  Even in my bedroom I don't have closet doors.  I took them down.  I honestly can't stand them.

Offline Ritana

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Re: 8 years post op, thinking of giving up stealth
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2017, 09:35:40 am »
I agree with you to some extent, Doreen. DoreenIn fact, the arguments you mention in your reply are the ones that led me to  decide to live as stealth. However, it is my conviction that we remain transexual women and not cis-women. That is a fact no one can deny. Giving up some aspects of extreme stealth allows you to ease the pressure and be at peace with yourself. Remember, I am 8 years post-op and I've been there. The decision is yours of course!

Lots if love

Ritana


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Offline Karen_A

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Re: 8 years post op, thinking of giving up stealth
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2017, 09:39:27 am »
First, I don't want this topic to be a conflict around stealth vs no- stealth. I am going through a difficult period, and Just want to talk about it and possibly get your different insights into the situation.

I think what you are asking for is a discussion of the practical/emotional pluses and minuses  of stealth vs out rather than than  teh morality or politics of it ... Is that right?

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I am 30 years old this year, and I'm 8 years post op, Since the begining of my transition, and up till now now, I have always lived a stealth lifestyle, with the exception of the first year shen I wasn't fully passable.

Well you started early enough to be stealth...

I will be 19 years post-op this summer but at the same time will be turning 62 (SRS was one week after my birthday). In addition to SRS I too had FFS and BA as well as  voice surgery (I am curious about the fat transfer procedures - never considered them as I had heard years back that it was only temporaray)

But I have never been stealth and it's something I always wanted very much... but certain physical issues as well as staying married has made that impossible... So I am coming at it from the other side...

Quote
For the last 11 years, I've had numerous surgeries to look and sound as passable as possible. These include ffs, srs, fat transfer to hips and bum, 2 ba's and vfs. I rarely wear heels, and I always keep my make-up to a minimum to avoid the <not allowed> look... anyway, that's to say, I have done everything possible to live as a regular, normal ciswoman.

One question I have is are you out to anybody in your life that you are close to?

Anyway I think the only sane way to be stealth is to do everything you can to pass... and then just live your life without worrying about it or thinking about it...

And if something comes up as with your boyfriend,  deal with it in the moment,  but don't dwell on it... that can be crazy making (believe me I know!)

If you can't be like that, then stealth is likely not for you IMO...

As much as I want stealth and understand why some are even stealth to spouses, I think that would-be a mistake as for some of the things you are feeling now...

While I don't see an issue with being stealth while dating if one passes well enough for that, if marriage ever comes into the picture, I have to think staying stealth would put a huge strain on the relationship in the long run.

Quote
Not.sure if it's because of the fact that I am getting wiser, but lately I have come to the conclusion that throughout our transitiong, many of us develop a form of transphobia, generated by the hostility and stigma attached to being transgender by society.

We are social animals so unless one is a sociopath how one is seen and treated by society matters and affects us. We know a lot of it is based on a gut level misconceptions about transsexualism because sex is such a basic thing about a person.... but because of that, being out has an affect on our relationships and the texture of our lives.

Not wanting that is not transphobia, it's not wanting to have this condition we were born with define our lives. For those that say people know and it does not matter, what do you think the reaction of those people would be if you were trying to date their son, brother or best friend...

Would they feel they needed to tell them if you did not right from the start? I actually asked that of someone who was very accepting... and they felt that the person needed to know so they would tell them... 

To me that tells me many, no matter how accepting, many see TSes  as "other".

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I remember feelinghapoy,  positive and somewhat proud of being  a transexual at the very beginning of my transition. Sadly, my vision has since  changed and I have become an internalised transphobe if this makes sense.

I think maybe you lost perspective between who you are and what society thinks of transsexuals. We know we are woman - which is why we walk this path,  but we also know we have special challenges both internal and external to who we know we are... It totally is unfair but it is what it is...

In another place i was talking about the pain I feel not being about to be stealth, to to be able to be just seen an interacted with in society as normal woman and not an an oddity because of things I can't change.

I was told that I should not be ashamed of being a TS (by someone who is stealth BTW)... The thing is I am not ashamed of being TS... making the decision to transition was the hardest thing I ever did, and I did it knowing that I likely could never be stealth.

Having been born with this condition is NOTHING to be ashamed of, and getting through it is a significant accomplishment.. But as i said  do we really want that to be what defines us in societies' eyes?

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I created a world for myself, which is 100 percent trans-free, with the exception of my orange dialator which I keep in a secret cupboard for my monthly use.

I think part of the issue may be that you were too emphatically stealth and too worried about maintaining it... which is unhealthy I think... If you are the type of person who keeps obsessing and worrying after you have done all you can, then it's not healthy for you...

If stealth is a closet for you or not, depends on your emotional ability to deal with the difficult parts,  and how you see yourself, and your ability to just relax into it, and deal with bumps in the road.

Not everyone has the emotional makeup for healthy stealth no matter how they see themselves. Some are Ok with dealing with being seen as a woman with an asterisk, and some thrive that way. For some it is intolerable.

As I said, while it's totally unfair - and more so than it has to be in an absolute sense=  being born TS makes us have to make very difficult choices and often forces us to have to make compromises in our lives most other people do not have to make.

It often comes down what compromises give you the best quality of life - and the wisdom and  courage to make them (something I lack).


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I have come to the conclusion that unless you really love yourself and are proud of a.d in peace of who you really are, you will never be trully happy.

That is obviously true... And as I said being TS is nothing to be ashamed of ... but being TS is only one part of you ...  we are social animals and know most others can't understand why we do this and who we are because of that...

How we live our lives has a lot to do with how we deal with that conundrum... and not one size fits all... So you need to find the best compromise for you,

- Karen
« Last Edit: June 10, 2017, 02:23:18 pm by Karen_A »

Offline Dena

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Re: 8 years post op, thinking of giving up stealth
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2017, 10:39:23 am »
I am on a need to know bases. I don't discuss that part of my past if it's not important but if it's needed in the conversation, I am willing to discuss it. While this is a choice for me in my day to day life, where I sexually active, I would need to disclose because my bottom would out me to anybody playing doctor.

I think that going stealth would be extremely stressful as there is no way to 100% burry the past. There is always the possibility that something will surface at the wrong time. Early on, I have had a few events in my life where the past poked it's way in to the present so it does happen.

I don't recommend that you tell everybody you know but you need to find a balance in your life that you are comfortable with. Currently your doctors should know and beyond that, it's up to you as to who should be included and when. In my case, the only one who knows at work is my mother because it's not important for anybody else to know. Outside work, it's family and a neighbor. Because I moved a few years ago my circle is pretty small however I can see that over time, additional people will be added.
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Offline Rakel

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Re: 8 years post op, thinking of giving up stealth
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2017, 12:05:50 pm »
I am on a need to know bases.

This is how I feel. If I am personally involved with someone, I need to be completely honest.

For everyone else, What you see is what I am!




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Offline Ritana

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Re: 8 years post op, thinking of giving up stealth
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2017, 03:49:38 pm »
Many thanks for sharing your different perspectives, girls!

I think some of you have mis-interpreted what I said. I am not intending to totally give up stealth. I  just wanna be relaxed about being trans. For example, with my last bf, since he questioned me about the scars on my vagina, and whether I had a surgery down there I became too anxious and depressed. I couldn't stay with him much longer as I knew that deep down he still had doubts. For example, two weeks after he questioned me about the scars, he asked me how come I didn't have any photos of my childhood. Had I been relaxed about being trans, I would have told him as soon as the relationship became serious.

Extreme stealth does have its consequences throughout the years. Subconsciously, we know we are not ciswomen. We have to tell a few lies to corroborate our "claim/ assertion" that we're cis such as talking about having a  period,; the reason why we don't have/ intend to have children. It has been my experience that lies are difficult to sustain in the long term. Plus, lies breed more lies and create a pressure to stick the story as told and not slip up....


Anyway, at this stage I haven't told anyone yet. However, I decided to be honest and tell my next bf when the relationship becomes serious. I have recently started seeing a guy who seems very open-minded about life in general. I don't wanna have to live in the closet anymore as far as relationships are concerned. Anything outside a relagionship that may t require disclosing, will be considered individually. Whatever the decision , I will have to be happy and ralaxed about it. After all, that is all what matters in the end.

Hugs,

Ritana

« Last Edit: June 10, 2017, 04:49:57 pm by Ritana »
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Offline HappyMoni

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Re: 8 years post op, thinking of giving up stealth
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2017, 04:33:59 pm »
Ritana,

   I preface this that I am not stealth. I think what you are saying makes great sense. You shouldn't have to feel obligated to tell anybody. If you find a person who you have intense feelings for, I would think you wouldn't want that secret. It has the danger of creating a separation between you and them, doesn't it? Of course, there is always risk if that person turns out not to be trustworthy. You said that you had replaced one secret with another in a sense. I do think being stealth would have a certain pressure that goes along with it, but that is a guess on my part.
Moni
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HRT June 11, 2015. (new birthday) - FFS in late June 2016. (Dr. _____=Ugh!) - Full time June 18, 2016 (Yeah! finally) - GCS June 27, 2017. (McGinn=Yeah!) - Under Eye repair from FFS 8/17/17 - Nose surgery-November 20, 2017 (Dr. Papel=Yeah) - Hair Transplant on June 21, 2018 (Dr. Cooley-yeah) - Breast Augmentation on July 10, 2018 (Dr. Basner in Baltimore) - Removed bad scarring from FFS surgery near ears and hairline in August, 2018 (Dr. Papel) -Sept. 2018, starting a skin regiment on face with Retin A  April 2019 -repairing neck scar from FFS, great repair.

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Offline Ritana

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Re: 8 years post op, thinking of giving up stealth
« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2017, 04:53:43 pm »
Great input, happyMoni. This is much appreciated!

Hugs,

Ritana
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Offline Ritana

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Re: 8 years post op, thinking of giving up stealth
« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2017, 05:03:06 pm »
Excellent post Ritana, thanks for sharing, I'm sort of in the same situation and can completely relate to what you're saying. I hope the coming months and years will be more fulfilling for you and less anxiogenic. Good luck, lots of love. ;) Hiding is NEVER fun.  :(

Thanks hun!

Can you explain your experience with living stealth and the reasons why you maybe considering giving it up?

Ritana
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Offline Gail20

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Re: 8 years post op, thinking of giving up stealth
« Reply #17 on: June 10, 2017, 05:18:26 pm »
I’m older and in an interesting situation. When I first came out full-time over 10 years ago I was willing to tell everyone about myself and fill in there understanding about it. Then I met someone who didn’t know. I was passing at times and no one was more surprised than I was.

I noticed right away that those who thought I was natal female treated me differently; there was a closeness I’d never experienced before and loved it. It was standing closer together, non intimate touching, deeper conversations. I wanted more of this. I quit telling people and let them figure it out for themselves, but I would talk about it if they asked.

10 years later I have a huge number of friends and acquaintances and have found virtually total acceptance in the Lesbian community. Some know and some do not. Unfortunately some who know tell others who didn’t know. I could come out to all but that “closeness” I experience with women who don’t know is like a drug and I don’t want to give it up . . . .
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Offline HappyMoni

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Re: 8 years post op, thinking of giving up stealth
« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2017, 02:07:30 pm »
I’m older and in an interesting situation. When I first came out full-time over 10 years ago I was willing to tell everyone about myself and fill in there understanding about it. Then I met someone who didn’t know. I was passing at times and no one was more surprised than I was.

I noticed right away that those who thought I was natal female treated me differently; there was a closeness I’d never experienced before and loved it. It was standing closer together, non intimate touching, deeper conversations. I wanted more of this. I quit telling people and let them figure it out for themselves, but I would talk about it if they asked.

10 years later I have a huge number of friends and acquaintances and have found virtually total acceptance in the Lesbian community. Some know and some do not. Unfortunately some who know tell others who didn’t know. I could come out to all but that “closeness” I experience with women who don’t know is like a drug and I don’t want to give it up . . . .
I totally get this. I am known to most everyone at work from coming out to everybody in a meeting last year. There are those there now who never knew my previous incarnation. There is definitely a different vibe from them which I crave. I don't even know if they know I am trans (I suspect they do) but I really understand wanting to be around those who see only female when they look at me. Thanks for posting that. I could never be stealth as at my age I am not starting over with everyone I know becoming estranged or gone from my life.
Moni
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"Moni" is pronounced like "Bonnie"

HRT June 11, 2015. (new birthday) - FFS in late June 2016. (Dr. _____=Ugh!) - Full time June 18, 2016 (Yeah! finally) - GCS June 27, 2017. (McGinn=Yeah!) - Under Eye repair from FFS 8/17/17 - Nose surgery-November 20, 2017 (Dr. Papel=Yeah) - Hair Transplant on June 21, 2018 (Dr. Cooley-yeah) - Breast Augmentation on July 10, 2018 (Dr. Basner in Baltimore) - Removed bad scarring from FFS surgery near ears and hairline in August, 2018 (Dr. Papel) -Sept. 2018, starting a skin regiment on face with Retin A  April 2019 -repairing neck scar from FFS, great repair.

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Offline KayXo

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Re: 8 years post op, thinking of giving up stealth
« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2017, 02:57:06 pm »
Can you explain your experience with living stealth and the reasons why you maybe considering giving it up?

I think it's more just living without being afraid that any behavior, gesture, sound, physical characteristic will "out" me. Not wondering anymore, not being paranoid. Just being, living freely and if it happens that someone figures it out, let it be, I just don't care. Not making an effort to hide my past nor making the effort to make it known to the entire world that I'm trans. Just living and going about my business without worrying.

I think the key to getting there comes down to accepting oneself as who we are. If we're ok with that, then we're free. :)
I am not a medical doctor, nor a scientist - opinions expressed by me on the subject of HRT are merely based on my own review of some of the scientific literature over the last decade or so, on anecdotal evidence from women in various discussion forums that I have come across, and my personal experience

On HRT since early 2004
Post-op since late 2005

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