Community Conversation > Transgender talk

At a crossroads

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Terra:
This is perhaps the first time i've ever publicly said this, but i think i may be a girl. This brings lots of problems i hope someone can help me with. As you may have guessed from my name i'm in the military, wich brings me to a crossroads.

If i stay as i am, i will have my friends, family, and a job i truly love, i could always put this away for later, but if i do that i'lll be 27 by the time i could even start the process. If i stay though i'll be guarennted a job, but always be unhappy.

If i decide to persue this, i'll be discarged medically, wich means i could still work. If i wait till i have served two years i'll get money for college, and hopfully have at least $14 thousand saved for the process. But i'll have to give up my job, possiblly my friends, and maybe even my family, who i've tried to tell over the years, but either have not wanted to or unable to accept my claim.

I really feel lost here, i truly feel i need to do this, but i'm afraid that i'll start and someone, like the shrink, won't believe me. Again I hope for some imput. Thank you.

Cassandra:
Hi again Sailorgurl,

Decisions, decisions, desicions. Seems life is always full of those, some easy some life changing. Have you ever thought about the eagle. Now there is an interesting bird. One thing they do is they mate for life not only that when two eagles do the deed they fly really really high up into the sky. Then they copulate, plummeting toward the ground as they mate. They must complete the act and then seperate before hitting the ground or both will die.

Another thing about the eagle is when they are young and begin molting they dash their beaks against the rocks in order to break the old beak off so the new one can take it's place. Do you see were I'm going with this?

The biological drive of the eagle to mate is so strong that they will risk everything including death to do so. As they transition from fledgling to full blown eagle they endure great pain and suffering to achieve it, and nothing will stop them from doing this.

For the transsexual person it is much the same deal, you must be willing to risk everything including death and endure great pain and hardship. It requires a high level of commitement and a, if you'll forgive the Farragut reference here, "damn the torpedoes full speed ahead" attitude.

You have decided or you "believe" you might be a girl. That is your starting point, you still have a ways to go just to begin to understand and to determine if you really are and if you really want it bad enough.

Take your time, don't make any rash decisions. Yes the clock is ticking and the longer you wait the harder transition becomes, but then you don't want to find out later you made a really big mistake. Find a good therapist who is knowledgeable about transexuals and will not make judgements but will be a confidant who will listen and give helpful advice.

Susan's is a great place for you to come and talk and learn from others. Your situation is not that different from everybody else here. We have all at one time or another had to decide now or later, to be or not to be, etc. We are here to help and guide. Explore, and try to have some fun along the way.

Good Journey,

Cassie

amberctm:
Hello Sailorgurl,
I understand your difficult situation, because I was once there myself. I used to post in the old forum but have yet to in this one. So, to those that remember me, Hello and to those that are new, Hello, and I'll post an intro later.

Back to the topic. Before you consider talking to a military shrink, you MUST contact Soldiers Legal Defense Network or SLDN for short. It is IMPARITIVE you do this. They will advise you of your rights and help you make the right decision. They are a not for profit organization, so you don't have to pay them. They are great, they advised me of my rights had it come down to that. Luckily it did'nt.

It's a hard choice, but your chain of command has direct access to your medical records.

I hope you find this useful.

http://www.sldn.org/templates/index.html

Cut and paste it if you have to.

Amber

Terra:
Thanks for the responses! It really means alot that people like all of you will listen! :D

I guess my first question is the most obvious one. How do I start? I'm guessing the shrink is the first stop but how can i get one and, more importantly, how do i tell him/her? How much money will this cost me? And who, if anyone, should i trust? I'm going to contact those legal guys Amber, but should i worry about it coming back somehow? Gah, i'm beggining to get more questions then i started!  ;D

stephanie_craxford:
Hello again sailorgurl.

Amberctm's advice is right is right on the money, do that before you make any decisions to reveal any of this to your chain of command.  I am a 30 year veteran, a retired paratrooper from the Canadian Armed Forces.  I served with the Canadian Airborne Regt, and did tours with your own 82nd Airborne, and 101st Airborne.

Here in Canadian Forces it is quite legal to be gay, bi, trans, or lesbian.  However having said that, there was now way that I was about to reveal to anyone that I was trans.  I had to supress it for years, it almost did me in, but not as fast as if I had told anyone in the military, even with the so called safe guards and laws that would have protected me, the only person who knew was my wife.

I don't think that you have the same protections in the US Forces, so it is imperative that you carefully consider your options, the pro's and cons of each before you decide on a course of action.  Of course you must be sure that this is who you are, as you don't sound too certain at the moment.  While transitioning when you are young is preferrable for the most part, it is not the only way, you can wait.  Get yourself a private therapist, not one involved in the military, and see what transpires, before going forward.  Hopefully an retired vet from the US Forces may be here who can better advise on this than me.

How about Amberctm??????

Hope this helps to get you started Sailor.  :)

Take care.

Steph

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