Author Topic: atypical trans narratives  (Read 6792 times)

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Offline secondo

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atypical trans narratives
« on: March 03, 2013, 07:20:39 pm »
it seems like everyone in the world "knew" since they were very young. i always seemed to get along better with girls than boys (although looking back i always felt "funny"), but i never thought i could ever be a boy. boys were very intimidating to me (and even now its still a little odd to be lumped together with them). i'm also kind of fem and take more interest in "feminine" things. i only really came to identify as ftm after i started experimenting with my gender a year ago (i thought i was agender/genderqueer at first). before that, i never would have guessed i was ftm
anyone else out there who didnt have that typical trans narrative?

KayCeeDee

Re: atypical trans narratives
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2013, 07:23:21 pm »
There are lots of us that don't, and it isn't healthy to get caught up in "trans math" where you try to score yourself based on some sort of stereotypical narrative.

Offline secondo

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Re: atypical trans narratives
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2013, 07:28:32 pm »
i was interested in hearing the stories of those who don't, since what i usually read here doesn't show that.

KayCeeDee

Re: atypical trans narratives
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2013, 07:30:16 pm »
Well a lot of us "late bloomers" didn't always know, but we figured it out usually due to some stress or something else that made everything sort of "click".

Keira

atypical trans narratives
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2013, 07:56:28 pm »
You could read my story on my blog here. It's on Skye's Blog under, "Strange feelings" or something like that.

Offline Darrin Scott

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Re: atypical trans narratives
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2013, 08:10:41 pm »
My story is a-typical. I didn't know as a child and I didn't transition as a teen. I'm 27 and started transition at 25 and physical transition at 26. I too am a little tired of the same story. I understand that this is the reality for many people, but I want to hear other stories. I want to hear stories like mine more.






Offline Proton

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Re: atypical trans narratives
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2013, 08:24:50 pm »
Growing up I didn't feel entirely comfortable in my body, but I didn't feel uncomfortable enough to question why I felt that way either. I just assumed everyone felt a little off.

I also didn't actively start questioning my gender until I got my hair cut short a couple years ago and had people start reading me as male before I had actually put things together for myself.

Offline Nero

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Re: atypical trans narratives
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2013, 08:48:45 pm »
Well, in some ways my story is untypical. I was never a lesbian for one. For two, I was an uncoordinated, clumsy, myopic kid who couldn't catch a ball. So, I wasn't a tomboy in the sport sense. I did however, get along better with boys and was pretty physically (not to mention sexually) aggressive. By contrast to your experience, it was girls I was intimidated by. Ironically, women are nice to me for a change now I'm a man.

I kind of wonder though, if you're intimidated by guys why did you want to join them? I felt the same way about girls and have nothing in common with that world. At least not as a girl. Now I'm slowly finding it a bit easier to talk to them.
Nero was the Forum Admin here at Susan's Place for several years up to the time of his death.

Offline CursedFireDean

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Re: atypical trans narratives
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2013, 09:32:27 pm »
I didn't figure it out until I was almost 15. I did have a few clues I guess, but they'd be perfectly logical for a girl to do as well. My first thoughts about being trans were when I was 13ish and I saw the episode of Degrassi where Adam is outed to everyone as an FtM, and throughout the entire episode I connected so much with him. But at the time I had some stupid notion in my head that I couldn't be a transguy because I liked boys- after all the ONLY exposure I had to trans people was from the show. Then I didn't think about it again for at least a year. When I discovered that my best friends were all lesbians or bi, I began questioning my own sexuality. I remember thinking to myself several times 'If I could be a gay guy, then that's what I'd be' and when researching, I realised that it's perfectly okay to be a transguy that likes guys.
 
When I was a kid, it seemed like there wasn't much of a difference physically between guys and girls; it wasn't until puberty kicked in that things started to make more sense. For a while, I was actually really excited about puberty starting because it meant I was growing up. And when you're a 6th grader with barely an AA, there still isn't much difference between you and the guys. The first time I was truly bothered by being biologically a female was once the rest of puberty kicked in. That's when the boys and girls really started to differ. :/

I also don't have much dysphoria. At least, not chest dysphoria. I've been luckily gifted with a chest MUCH smaller than the rest of the women in my family and it doesn't usually bother me because there's not much there. There's enough to get some dysphoria, but the large part of my dysphoria is lower, and I can usually solve it by packing.


I wrote out a story of coming out to myself but I can't find it right now. If I find it I think I'll post it. I planned on posting it online when I wrote it because my story seemed so different than others, but I never actually did.





Check me out on instagram @flammamajor

Offline insideontheoutside

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Re: atypical trans narratives
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2013, 09:41:15 pm »
My story is untypical in that I'm not transitioning, but not because I'm not male. There's a number of reasons but I somehow made it through the teens and 20's without killing myself, spent years trying to "fake it", but now my goal is to just be myself. Some may think that's a little weird that I don't feel the need to transition at this point in my life, but whatever.
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Offline ford

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Re: atypical trans narratives
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2013, 09:47:10 pm »
*waves hand

Oh, me! ME!

My parents let me be whatever I wanted growing up. I was a tomboy for sure, but no issues that I was aware of. Ironically (now) I would get misgendered in women's restrooms as a kid. I just looked like a boy, but it never occured to me I might be one. I was pretty happy with myself.

After puberty I got really depressed...just a really intangible 'ball of sadness' that got worse and worse as I aged. Self harm, suicide attempts, the works. I got married, and the bad feelings skyrocketed as suddenly I was a woman, seen as a woman, and expected to do womanly things. I was in a terribly way, but I had no idea what it was. All I  knew for certain is that my life was spiraling downward, and I knew I was headed for something BIG, but I had no idea what. I assumed suicide. Figured it out last year, age 27, after (this is true) a frantic internet search of 'why do I feel like a gay man in a female body'. Turns out this 'sadness' has a name: gender dysphoria. I had never heard of it in my life. But I knew instantly that that was my problem.

Also atypical is that I'm pretty much just into guys.

So yeah...we're out here. Don't let the 'typical narrative' get you down.

Also, I recommend reading 'Whipping Girl' by Julia Serano. It focuses on MTF, but it's a really good discussion about trans-ness from an 'atypical' point of view. The author is a lesbian MTF who discovered herself a little later in life. Brilliant book.
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Offline Nero

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Re: atypical trans narratives
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2013, 10:10:30 pm »

Also, I recommend reading 'Whipping Girl' by Julia Serano. It focuses on MTF, but it's a really good discussion about trans-ness from an 'atypical' point of view. The author is a lesbian MTF who discovered herself a little later in life. Brilliant book.

Love her! That's probably the first and only trans book I've read. She's brilliant.
Nero was the Forum Admin here at Susan's Place for several years up to the time of his death.

Offline spacerace

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Re: atypical trans narratives
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2013, 03:47:07 pm »
"how could you not know?" seems to be a part of the typical trans narrative. I didn't know because I didn't have a label for it. It was a subconscious nebulous concept floating around in the back of my brain that needed a definition to coalesce. 


Offline AscendantDevon

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Re: atypical trans narratives
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2013, 09:27:13 pm »
 For years I hated my body and didn't know why, I vaguely understood that FTMs existed, but I never figured that it could be me. I was living in this really deep denial where I hated my stupid curvy body, and because of it I felt completely trapped, like transitioning just wasnt an option, I couldn't force myself into someone better. I was just tricking myself with weird self hating mind games.
I have never been into sports, I never really thought twice about hating being female, I guess I just figured that everyone hated it? The only 'guy' thing I like is computers, and gaming, and I've had plenty of both female and male friends. I only became aware of my feelings of dysphoria when my partner started transitioning, and it sort of clicked with me what I've been feeling for years. I dont mind wearing things that are a little feminine, which was another thing that managed to set me back, but now that Ive started transitioning I feel like I can't because it prevents me from passing and that sucks. I just want to be a guy in a cardigan and skinny jeans, but its impossible for me. *sigh*

Offline ataraxiamachine

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Re: atypical trans narratives
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2013, 12:02:06 pm »
I identify with a lot of what's been said here.  I was much more the young James Joyce than Hemingway, as a kid, and always off in my own head somewhere.  I liked to climb trees as long as I had a book in my back pocket; I wore ratty old cutoffs down my shins and waded around in the creek behind my house, pretending to be Tom Sawyer; I waited up late into the night for my "real parents," (likely royalty, imprisoned by some evil, usurping tyrant) to show up and collect me.  Being in academia, though, (arguably, especially in the English dept.) my childhood narrative doesn't differ too terribly much from most of my male colleagues', most of whom also felt mislabeled/misunderstood as children.

I didn't really have any friends until the 8th or 9th grade.  From what I can recall, my biological family took my "idiosyncrasies" pretty well--I remember my mother going out and buying a miniture pants suit for a school trip to the opera in the second or third grade, because the thought of wearing a dress was so humiliating.  I do know that I did the whole, "but look at me, I'm a boy!" think quite young, but don't remember anything really coming of it.  I mean, it was the 80's, and my parents were high all of the time, anyway.  They probably just laughed it over with their friends and forgot about it.  I'm not even sure what I would have meant, exactly, with that statement...that's something that I still struggle to understand.

I was also a member of that last generation to grow up without readily available internet, and computers never really interested me, anyway.  Until I was well into my twenties, if you said "computer," I thought, "Oregon Trail--so what?" you know?  So, looking back, I do wonder if I would have understood myself better, had the appropriate paradigm been available to me. 

Around puberty I began to suffer from prosopagnosia (inability to recognize faces), though I didn't know what it was until it was featured during a show on NPR a few years ago.  I just know that one day I looked up across the room to notice a pretty young girl staring at me; I had walked towards her to introduce myself before realizing that I was looking into a mirror.  I do wonder how that has affected my being trans*, or it taking me so long to put the pieces together.  Also around puberty I began a pretty standard program of self-destruction..certainly nothing atypical about that, I suppose.

I was taken in for an "exorcism" around this time by a foster parent who read my journals and came under the impression that I was a budding lesbian.  That really threw me, I think, and I spent a lot of years trying to be a lesbian just to get back at them, lol.

I had two children pretty young, that's difficult to explain to people at times.  My body was pretty miserable at being pregnant, and there were complications all the way through, but now that my guys are 10 and 12 I feel so incredibly honored to have them in my life.  My partner has taken great delight in teasing me: aww, you guys can all go through puberty together!  (Yeah...)  Because I was in such a precarious place, emotionally, it was a struggle, early on, to read the often strongly-worded opinions of other men, regarding pregnancy. 

I've caused myself a pretty hefty substance abuse problem.  Somehow don't read a lot about that on these kinds of forums.  I suspect that everyone's trying really hard to seem really mentally stable?  Or maybe it is just me ;)  I'm working on that one, still. 

All in all it's been messy, sure.  But that's how I know something's real.  I don't wonder that the narratives which seem to get told the loudest are those that could be construed as fitting some "ideal" situation.  We've all spent years looking for our tribe, right?  The thought of being rejected now is scary. 

-Jake
-Jake

Offline Padma

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Re: atypical trans narratives
« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2013, 12:47:36 pm »
I didn't know because it wasn't safe to know (abusive childhood) so I didn't start coming out to myself until I'd definitely left home. And then I repressed it again until my late 40's, because I needed to sort out all the abuse stuff first.

And then when I did start to deal with it, I too at first felt unsure whether I was "really trans" because I didn't fit the Standard Revised Version. I'm pretty non-binary, except where my anatomy is concerned - essentially, I'm a very genderqueer woman with persistent male genitalia (due to do something about that later this year). I didn't think of myself as "wanting to be like the other women" as a kid, because the women I most wanted to be like were the least "feminine" - what I call the Trouser-Wearing Adventuresses like Amelia Earhart. Looking back now, it's really obvious, but it doesn't matter that it wasn't.

There are as many stories as there are trans people. Certain traits may be more common, but that's different from "more normal". Atypical just means that - less common. Essentially, if some kind of transition (and there are as many of those as there are trans people) alleviates your gender dysphoria, then that's all the information you need. The more trans people I get to know, the less relevant it seems to me to think of transition in terms of from-this-to-that, and more about transitioning from someone who has gender dysphoria to someone who doesn't - and there's no reason why that should demand any obvious traversing of assumed gender borders.
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Offline FullThrottleMalehem

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Re: atypical trans narratives
« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2013, 06:22:12 pm »
There's nothing wrong with being a late bloomer. As a child I felt androgynous more than anything but my play style and interests were more suited toward the cis male children. I was raised to think there were only two sexes, only two genders and that if you were born with certain parts you were one of those two. I started feeling awkard during puberty but passed it off as lack of self esteem and because I didn't look like a female model. But I didn't even know I was trans or male until recently. For awhile I went into a denial stage and insisted on buying feminine accessories, though I didn't dress over the top girly. I didn't even know trans was a "thing" until just the past year or so.

Offline Liminal Stranger

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Re: atypical trans narratives
« Reply #17 on: March 05, 2013, 06:39:36 pm »
Puberty triggered it for me and I started going into inconsolable fits of rage over my body, once running away during bedtime rituals (unfortunately it hit way too early to give me a chance to realize on my own) and screaming at my mother not to look at me. But I pushed everything into the closet and bottled everything up until I couldn't take living a double life anymore and I wanted the girl everyone saw in me gone. It took me a long time to know something was up, a while more to realize what it was, and longer still until I was okay with it. I've only finally become comfortable enough to say it without cringing.




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Offline democration

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Re: atypical trans narratives
« Reply #18 on: March 05, 2013, 07:56:39 pm »
I think that I first figured out what "transgender" was when I was fourteen and in my first year of high school. I don't remember how I came to the point of Googling all this, but I was pretty adamant at that point that I was going to start testosterone and everything as soon as I was of legal age. I didn't even really consider coming out to my family, though I did come out to one friend.

After that, I'm not really sure what happened. Everything else in life took over and I wasn't even really thinking about my identity in that way again until the end of my senior year. I'm sure it came up at random points in between, but I don't really remember anything particularly traumatizing.

I've been out to my family and friends for about six months now, on testosterone for one. I honestly didn't have that much dysphoria before I came out and started to transition. I've got some trouble with that because my boyfriend is also FtM and I feel like I'm insensitive sometimes towards his dysphoria, simply because I didn't experience it the same way. I'm trying to work on that.

That sounds fairly typical, I guess. Minus the dysphoria, maybe? I'm more dysphoric now, though. It was easier to ignore that kind of thing when I wasn't trying to pass for male, but now I feel like more is expected of me. I have to do things a certain way or it just won't work out. I'm not actually really dysphoric of my chest, but I wouldn't go out without binding anymore.




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Offline JenSquid

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Re: atypical trans narratives
« Reply #19 on: March 05, 2013, 07:58:32 pm »
Secondo,
Your situation sounds a lot like my own, only going in the other direction. While I was always a bit odd, I didn't experience gender dysphoria until puberty. When I did experience it, I would think "I wish I had been a girl," but never that I actually could be one. I have more male friends than female, both from having mutual hobbies (mostly gaming), as well as experiencing sexual tension (nervousness) when around women my age. Even though I've found it easier to identify with women for years, I only recently came to the realization that I am MtF. Even now, I still have some days where I feel more androgynous than anything else. From what I've seen around here, this sort of narrative is not that uncommon, it's just not The Dominant Narrative.

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