Author Topic: My journey from NB to tomboy  (Read 975 times)

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Offline kellb

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My journey from NB to tomboy
« on: October 02, 2017, 06:11:36 am »
Hi all,

This is a post I've been putting off for a long time... a friend poked me and recommended I finally get on with it, if only because it may be of some value to others here.  I apologise in advance for the garhugian post.

For anyone who doesn't know me (which is most, since I'm a lurker), I showed up to Susans' two years ago as a dude who felt like his genital mental mapping was "wrong" and that female genitalia would be a better fit.  I never had trouble acting the male role - I wasn't very butch and a little femmy, but it didn't keep me awake at night.  I liked pretty dresses and things, and I certainly had a feminine side to me, but I also liked giant robots, fighter jets and militaria.  I did not feel like a man or a woman, and felt I would do a lousy job if I tried to transition... and it just wasn't me.  I figured I was just a non-binary fruity bisexual guy.  So I planned to continue presenting male, seek SRS and live my life happily with no one else any the wiser.  I saw my condition as entirely a medical problem and not a social problem.

After a lot of soul searching and reaching out for advice, I wound up talking to counselors and a specialist GP at the Brisbane Gender Clinic.  Six months of counselling later and my feelings of wrongness (and an increasing recognition of it as 'dysphoria') had not gone away.  My GP recommended I could try anti-androgens to see if it made those bad feelings go away and I figured "Hey, why not - if I can fix these crazy feelings without surgery it's a better result!"... so I gave them a try.

After six weeks on the pills, I was surprised by the change... I felt less bad, and I didn't feel the dysphoria so much.  It was still there, but the edge was off it.  Upping the dosage helped a little more still, and I was left feeling like maybe this was something I could beat, even if my mapping still felt screwed up.  Talking to my GP again, she suggested that, since long-term I can't do without hormones, I try out estrogen.  Hey, why not?  I had some reservations about gynocomastia since I worried it would interfere with appearing male... but surely I could at least give it a shot?

And hoooboy, the difference that made.  Night and day.  Rain and sunshine.  After a week or so on E, I felt my world change - I work up and the sun was shining and the little dark cloud that had followed me all my life was gone.  So, from that point on I knew I wasn't going back.  And this raised some interesting issues - like that gynocomastia thing, for instance.

Certainly, I'd never felt like my body mapping thing was more than just my genitalia - in fact, I would say that I did not want breasts at all.  I did not want to change anything else.  But when I went on estrogen, I noticed that that began to shift.  When I finally started to notice my breasts growing, I had the oddest feeling that maybe that wasn't so bad.  And actually, I began to like them (much to the consternation of my male partner).  I found myself in a strange period of flux where I realised that maybe there was more about my body that I disliked than just my genitalia.

One such thing was my body hair, which I had genuinely loathed since puberty.  With the changes going on, I felt like it was a small simple stupid thing to test - shave my body hair and see how I felt.  I looked at myself in the mirror and I felt great - I was moving away from a masculine appearance that I had no emotional investment in and moving towards... something else?  Such a little thing, but it was just another brick in the wall.  I began to wonder if maybe I was just going to be happier with a female body?  By the time I had the SRS, hair removal, breasts and softening from hormones... what was left?  Facial stuff, perhaps?  Ah - but that would require a social transition, since you can't easily hide all that... can you?  So from this time on, my breasts were getting more noticeable and I started binding at work, or wearing really baggy tops.  It was grating on me a bit.

Around this time, my partner began to get antsy.  We wanted to have children by a surrogate around the end of the year and he was concerned that, even though I'd banked plenty of sperm before starting on hormones, I might not be able to produce as needed in the future.  He insisted that I go off my tablets until my SRS.  I reluctantly agreed... and this was one of the worst mistakes I've ever made.  It was a nightmare, to say the least.  I was angry, frustrated and highly-strung - like my brain, now knowing what it was like to be free of T, was rebelling against it again.  My partner was not supportive at all, and after a month of it, I walked out of the house at 5 am to the nearby bridge to kill myself.

Fortunately, I decided to stop by my work place, which was on the way, to sit and think for a bit.  My partner work up, flipped out and called me - begging me to come home.  I let him pick me up, and I think he realised after this that my hormones and feelings weren't just a passing fad or phase, but something that was really critical.  In retrospect, this whole thing was a complete shitshow and should never have happened, as an intersection between emotional turmoil, hormone withdrawl, unsupportive partner and such.  Partner support is vital.

Eventually, we smoothed it over and he got onboard with me - it was a huge wakeup call to both of us.  I felt more empowered to express my fem side.  I began to resent being on the "wrong side" of the clothing divide.  I love beautiful gowns and dresses and skirts and it bugged me... I wanted to have that kind of thing, but I felt a huge mental pressure against it - that it "wasn't -for- me" - inculcated by formative experiences in my Christian Fundamentalist upbringing.

But I am not the sort of person who lets things hold them back.  I sought specialist counselling to break down that barrier.  If I wanted to wear pretty things, I was not going to let anyone stop me - even myself!  Surprisingly, after only a few sessions I managed to identify solutions and worked it out.  Once the barrier had a crack in it, it tumbled completely and I was regularly wearing ladies clothes at home, by preference.

So, I found myself wanting SRS, a feminised body and wearing womens' clothes at home... but I still didn't really -feel- female.  I was fine interacting as male at work and, though I really enjoyed interacting as female around my friends, there wasn't any particular pressure to transition socially.  But over time... I felt like female expressed me better - I felt more at home in it.  I didn't hate being male, although I grew to resent having to wear male clothes, I just didn't feel like it reflected me.  But... does that make me a woman?

I call this "The Duck Problem": if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, acts like a duck, quacks like a duck - is it a duck?  Or perhaps some sort of goose?  In the end, it's a question without a clear answer.  So many trans girls seemingly have this mystical, transcendental conviction of their own inner gender... but I was tragically born without this.  I don't feel anything like that - I can imagine what it would be like to feel it (and sometimes I think feel it in my dreams) but it isn't there like it seems to be for everyone else.

The pragmatist in me, however, realises that eventually I will be dissatisfied with continuing to wear male things and, after getting a full suite of treatments and surgery, will not even especially pass as male anymore.  There is also the pickle that it is far easier to be a tomboy than a sissy.  As a male with feminine interests, I expect far more scorn than even as a transgirl with masculine interests if I was every public about it.  The world is oddly sexists in that way... so I may as well make it work for me.

And thus, it brings me to where I am now.  I still rather identify as a non-binary (and hormonally intersex) person, but the reality is that it's much harder to pull that off than to just "man up" and transition socially.  This is quite in opposition to the classic "trans narrative" of I've-always-felt-like-a-woman-trapped-in-a-man's-body; that simply isn't me.  But I can write my own narrative and get what's truly important to me.

I have had people telling me that I'll never be accepted or even treated by medical professionals as a non-binary guy who feels he should have a vagina.  That is wrong and I am pleased to report that those people did not know what they were talking about at all.  With adequate research and a little help, I found the people who were able to help me as a non-binary male-presenting person.

Now, as I've experienced changing feelings from hormones and through my life experience, I'm leaning very strongly to doing a social transition and presenting female.  Now that's a huge upheaval and not one to undertake lightly... but it's also, in its way, one bourne of convenience: wearing what I want, behaving more fem, and enjoying things publicly that are not gender appropriate for a male.  And this without experiencing the opposite consternation in reverse as a tomboy.  And that's ok - I can rock that.  And maybe, just maybe, in time that little lightbulb will go on in my head and I'll wake up one day and feel fully female inside and out.  And that's also ok.

If there is one thing I have learned through all of this, it's that it doesn't have to be "one size fits all" and nobody should ever tell you that you have to conform to the mould or else you'll be sad forever.  You can choose what works for you.

Although I suppose I still technically count as non-binary because I don't have any commitment to a particular gender, right now I'm choosing what gets me what I want and what's "best fit".  Don't be afraid to change, or reevaluate yourself.  The labels are just that: labels - they don't define us.  We, ourselves, define us.

So, from this point on I'll wear a "F" tag for my gender.  That may not really be "me", but it's close enough for now.

tl;dr: Guy thinks he's non-binary and seeks SRS, gets counseling and hormone therapy, discovers he is increasingly happier being/presenting female even if 'he' doesn't feel it, and decides to re-brand as "female" for convenience.  It's ok to change; you do you.

cheers,

-Kell
One day they woke me up; so I could live forever.

Online AnonyMs

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Re: My journey from NB to tomboy
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2017, 03:25:49 pm »
Thanks for posting that. Its very interesting reading and I've no doubt it will help others.

Offline Tessa James

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Re: My journey from NB to tomboy
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2017, 04:53:17 pm »
Good for you Kell,  I consider transition to be a journey of self liberation and you have described that very well.

Life on and in your own terms with labels be damned.  Sometimes the labels are easier and convenient as gender seems so terribly important to some of us. 

Tomboy, sure, why not leave them guessing?
Open, out and evolving queer trans person forever with HRT support since March 13, 2013

Offline Charlie Nicki

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Re: My journey from NB to tomboy
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2017, 10:20:37 pm »
I loved your story KellB, I don't fit into the "woman trapped in a male body/person who hates their male body" narrative either so seeing someone like you go through such a different journey is refreshing and inspiring.

Are you still with your male partner? Did he identify as gay or bisexual?

Offline kellb

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Re: My journey from NB to tomboy
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2017, 07:03:54 am »
Thanks everyone!

Charlie: Yes, we're still together - he's even going to Thailand with me!  He considers himself bisexual, although he's really much more interested in guys.  But as he says, he's interested in me most of all!  He's very sweet when he tries. :D

-Kell
One day they woke me up; so I could live forever.

Offline Charlie Nicki

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Re: My journey from NB to tomboy
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2017, 05:50:36 pm »
Thanks everyone!

Charlie: Yes, we're still together - he's even going to Thailand with me!  He considers himself bisexual, although he's really much more interested in guys.  But as he says, he's interested in me most of all!  He's very sweet when he tries. :D

-Kell

That is awesome! Congrats on having such a supportive partner.

Offline kellb

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Re: My journey from NB to tomboy
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2018, 09:47:25 pm »
And here we are on the other side!

I am now the proud owner of a shiney new Suporn-brand vagina - and it's everything I hoped it would be!  It's hard work caring for it, but that doesn't matter.  I did it!

So a shout out to those who want to take a unconventional path.  You can do this too!  Too many people say you can't, but I'm here to say you can!  I still present male at work; I had no RLE, only a year of hormones, and professionals telling me to give up.  But I also had an understanding psychiatrist and a burning desire to make it happen.  And I think that's what made the difference - a refusal to give up, even in the face of overwhelming negativity.  I never had to lie to anyone, or pretend to be anything but myself.

You can do this, you weird, beautiful girl/guy/both/other, you!  I believe in you!

Let nothing hold you back.

All the love!

-Kell
One day they woke me up; so I could live forever.

Offline Tessa James

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Re: My journey from NB to tomboy
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2018, 01:01:14 pm »
Congratulations Kell!  As you note, persistence pays!
Open, out and evolving queer trans person forever with HRT support since March 13, 2013

Offline punky_glitter

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Re: My journey from NB to tomboy
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2018, 04:44:47 pm »

If there is one thing I have learned through all of this, it's that it doesn't have to be "one size fits all" and nobody should ever tell you that you have to conform to the mould or else you'll be sad forever.  You can choose what works for you.

Although I suppose I still technically count as non-binary because I don't have any commitment to a particular gender, right now I'm choosing what gets me what I want and what's "best fit".  Don't be afraid to change, or reevaluate yourself.  The labels are just that: labels - they don't define us.  We, ourselves, define us.

I really needed this. You are so strong and inspirational to me, thank you so much.
He/Him
I'll keep my eyes fixed on the sun
They can take your bathrooms, they can take your binders, the can take your makeup
but they can never can they ever take who you are.

You are always valid


Offline punky_glitter

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Re: My journey from NB to tomboy
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2018, 04:47:34 pm »
And here we are on the other side!

I am now the proud owner of a shiney new Suporn-brand vagina - and it's everything I hoped it would be!  It's hard work caring for it, but that doesn't matter.  I did it!

So a shout out to those who want to take a unconventional path.  You can do this too!  Too many people say you can't, but I'm here to say you can!  I still present male at work; I had no RLE, only a year of hormones, and professionals telling me to give up.  But I also had an understanding psychiatrist and a burning desire to make it happen.  And I think that's what made the difference - a refusal to give up, even in the face of overwhelming negativity.  I never had to lie to anyone, or pretend to be anything but myself.

You can do this, you weird, beautiful girl/guy/both/other, you!  I believe in you!

Let nothing hold you back.

All the love!

-Kell


you make me so happy I seriously think you need to have a movie or book or something because you write wonderfully first of all and second of all have brought me to tears with your inspiration and persistence. I will persist just as you have. Thank you so much.
He/Him
I'll keep my eyes fixed on the sun
They can take your bathrooms, they can take your binders, the can take your makeup
but they can never can they ever take who you are.

You are always valid


Offline kellb

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Re: My journey from NB to tomboy
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2018, 10:53:13 pm »
you make me so happy I seriously think you need to have a movie or book or something because you write wonderfully first of all and second of all have brought me to tears with your inspiration and persistence. I will persist just as you have. Thank you so much.

Oh, gosh!  That's awfully kind of you, thank you!  I hope that your journey brings you as much joy, and that when you finally feel whole, you can write here and tell the next person the same thing to uplift them.

Love!

-Kell
One day they woke me up; so I could live forever.

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