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"gradual" coming out?

Started by Kelly_1979, February 20, 2015, 04:27:51 PM

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Kelly_1979

You may have read my other posts but anyway....has anyone of you found it easier for a "gradual" come out over the years? By this I mean over the course of one's self acceptance.

I've technically come out like 10 years ago to my mother (I still live with them), but back then we tried to "fix it". There had been more "coming outs" over the last years but I never really told her (or knew) what I want. [Haven't talked yet directly to my father about what I really want - I find it awfully difficult (we have talked about how I felt, but it was back then when I thought I could forget these feelings)]
I dropped hints (towards my mother) now and then that I didn't know what I would do in the future but not in a sense that "I'm really serious about it - considering transition"

As things are going I find it increasingly difficult to go back into the closet as I feel I'm really in touch with my female persona - to the point I feel I'm pretending when I'm talking with my male voice. So, today I kind of told her there are things I can't tell her because they would hurt too much, she asked me "You mean you want to have a sex change?" and I kinda nodded (couldn't have said it that directly years ago or even months ago). She still said I'm not effeminate at all and quite masculine...

Later she told me that whenever I feel like it she ready to talk with me...so we'll see... (I believe she passed the point of denial)
(*a couple of months before the first therapist appointment (which was about a week ago) when I tried talking to her about the issue she told me I've told her the same things over and over and then got angry)

Wish me luck...
Trying to emerge to my real self
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Julia-Madrid

Hi Kelly

You must of course do things at the speed which is comfortable to you.  From what you have written, it sounds like your mother is perfectly ready to deal with the issues, perhaps more ready than you are?

I guess it boils down to what you want to do with your life, and if you have a gender journey, how long do you want this journey to take?  Personally, I wanted to get from boy to girl in the shortest time possible, and once I'd made my mind up to transition it moved very fast indeed. 

As I said, only you can set the speed of any coming out and subsequent transition.  But I do see some people who are permanently "stuck in transition" for a variety of reasons, some within their control and some sometimes outside of their control. If your mother is perhaps getting frustrated with you, as your last paragraph explains, perhaps she's wanting you to DO SOMETHING rather than permanently rehash things.

I would ask you why you feel the need for what you descibe as a gradual process?  What does "gradual" mean, and how long do you truly want to take?

Regards
Julia
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Kelly_1979

Ok, so, here is the deal

-I don't know if my mother has told my dad the last things I told her but nevermind that (If she has it'll be a huge blow to him)

-I'm halfway through my PhD and unfortunately still financially dependent on them (at the moment that is)

-one reason she shouted is that at the moment I wasn't seeing any therapist (was still searching)

-still not like 100% sure (technically sometimes I feel I am, other times not so much)

-the "first time" I came out (about 10 years ago as I wrote above) I feel that if I had gone to a different therapist I could have started transition then (at a point back then before the first therapist sessions and the drugs he gave me I was pretty sure I wanted to transition)

-It's true that I'm quite masculine and if I transition it'll be very difficult to pass

-I kept thinking and trying of ways to integrate my feelings without doing something drastic to my body. To the point it hasn't really worked.

-I know in a vague sense that I want it, but past years I hadn't thought of it as actually probable. I was/ still am scared. Way less than few years ago though.
I really don't know how long I want the transition to last. If it were possible I would have it done yesterday but that's just wishful thinking. If I start I'll have to do ALOT of lasers etc beforehand (I'm Greek so you can imagine)

*I haven't come out to other people but they may have guessed something (longish nails for example). Apart from that I present as a guy.

*2 perhaps you are right about doing SOMETHING as in "Do. Or do not. There is no try" (Yoda). I know I need to get out my "safe zone" and deal with all this.

That's about it. Hope it made sense.
Trying to emerge to my real self
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Julia-Madrid

Hi Kelly

The Jedi Master said a lot of wise things  :D   Here are some replies for you:

-I don't know if my mother has told my dad the last things I told her but nevermind that (If she has it'll be a huge blow to him) Yeah, it can be a shock, but it's your life, and we only get one of them, so happiness is the key.  Your parents will certainly want your to be happy, but they would also want you to be certain.   

-I'm halfway through my PhD and unfortunately still financially dependent on them (at the moment that is)OK, understood.  This does not preclude you starting HRT and letting it "run in the background".

-one reason she shouted is that at the moment I wasn't seeing any therapist (was still searching)

-still not like 100% sure (technically sometimes I feel I am, other times not so much)  OK, this is enormously relevant.  Somehow you need to try separating this into categories so that you can understand clearly what makes you feel trans as well as what makes you feel not trans. May I suggest the following exercise, and do it on paper/spreadsheet: create two main columns - "Life Not Transitioning" and "Life Transitioning".  Under each of these put down all the pros and cons you can think of.  Some pros won't have a corresponding con.  Then try to prioritise them with an importance weighting, where this must be personal to you. Also try to identify ones you can control versus those which are out of your control (your height, for example) 

-the "first time" I came out (about 10 years ago as I wrote above) I feel that if I had gone to a different therapist I could have started transition then (at a point back then before the first therapist sessions and the drugs he gave me I was pretty sure I wanted to transition) Maybe.  Maybe not.  There are plenty people here who could have transitioned many years before they did, but have needed to choose the timing for a number of good and valid reasons - for example I waited 20 years.  But it's important on a trans journey not to spend energy on regret for time lost, as nothing good will come of it.  

-It's true that I'm quite masculine and if I transition it'll be very difficult to pass  Yes, but things can change.  And even then, you'll find many girls on this site who have transitioned and are quite clear that they do not pass.  Many of them are extremely strong mentally, and just don't give a damn about passing.  For them it's the fact that thy are living their internal woman, and doing it as honestly and publicly as they can.  There are also girls here who are obsessed with passing.  To be honest, passing is often a case of attitude over anatomy, and you'll find stories galore here about this.  (I am sure there is a Star Wars quote we could find about this :D)  .  As for being quite masculine, both the physical and behavioural aspects can be modified to a greater or lesser extent.  It's a question of believing! 

-I kept thinking and trying of ways to integrate my feelings without doing something drastic to my body. To the point it hasn't really worked.  Enormously important statement.  Do you consider any type of halfway house which might work for you or do you want your body do be female in as many aspects as possible?

-I know in a vague sense that I want it, but past years I hadn't thought of it as actually probable. I was/ still am scared. Way less than few years ago though.  Many of us go through this type of gradual evolution.  One of my goals on this site is to try help people crystalise their thoughts faster, to confront and understand their fears, and to create a realistic forward-looking plan. 

I really don't know how long I want the transition to last. If it were possible I would have it done yesterday but that's just wishful thinking. If I start I'll have to do ALOT of lasers etc beforehand (I'm Greek so you can imagine)  Yes, your genetic ancestry is not the greatest help, but nor is it your greatest obstacle.  Once you're on HRT body hair often thins out and also reacts well and rapidly to laser.  Facial hair may also react well to laser.  You just don't know.  But this is honestly something you can start doing now.  If you don't like being hairy, well, fix it!  I started laser well before I started HRT.  As for other typically Greek facial features, these can be fixed to some extent with FFS.  The point I'm making is that if you really want this you can achieve it.  But you need to really really want it:  it's long, expensive and painful. 

*I haven't come out to other people but they may have guessed something (longish nails for example). Apart from that I present as a guy.  There's nothing wrong with an androgynous appearance if it makes you feel better.  You may be pleasantly surprised by how people react if you did come out to them.  My friends backed me 100%. 

*2 perhaps you are right about doing SOMETHING as in "Do. Or do not. There is no try" (Yoda). I know I need to get out my "safe zone" and deal with all this.  I guess it's a question of personality, and there's no right or wrong way. I tend to confront issues and demons directly, to understand and then to deal with them.  Other people have different coping mechanisms which are equallly valid.  Well, maybe not equally valid - some are plainly inferior in terms of outcome, but personality rules everything. 

All I will say, Kelly, is that you should try not to waste the precious years of your life.  If now's not the right time to transition, take a different path and make a massive success of the boy who already exists.  Maybe later you will be ready to take the decision, and then you will have the same opportunity, but as a girl, to make a success of part two as Kelly.   There are obviously pros and cons to this, and here I will briefly share my experience:

I knew when I was 25, but saw my masculine face and body as huge obstacles.  I was also terrified about social rejection.  I started a couple of companies, got married to a girl, had a reasonably successful life, but always needed to fill my time with "stuff" so as to avoid thinking about my sexuality and gender.  Four years ago I got divorced, but this was only very peripherally related to my gender.  I then tried fitting into the gay community as a possible halfway house that would allow me to be fem, but it was clear after a few years that my mind is female, not gay.  With my last boyfriend I realised that I wanted the relationship, but I wanted it as a woman.  And so, I was finally ready to start my journey.  I will hopefully complete it, end-to-end, in less than 16 months, and I have no regrets whatsoever.

Comments?

xxx
J


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Felix

I came out gradually. My statements and presentation didn't actually seem to much affect most other people. Many of them acted like they didn't notice anything until I beat them over the head with it. Even those who did notice my transition often waited to react until I said in no uncertain terms that I was transitioning.

Gradual coming out was really helpful for me and how I felt, but it didn't seem to matter much socially.

Do what feels right to you, and trust yourself. You can't be sure of what matters to anyone but you. Good luck. :)
everybody's house is haunted
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JoanneB

Gradual?.... A slug's pace is more like it if you by the first "official" coming out when I told my still wife nearly 40 years ago about my GD. About 5 years ago I dropped the T-Bomb on her after I realized I needed to take this on for real or......

Between the slow pace of self acceptance and even slower un-learning all the defensive or denial measures I used for decades to live as a male, the real me has been coming out though I still present as male. HRT has been a big part of the process between the emotional relief I've often relied on over the decades of very short term low dose, and the physical changes full dose is giving me. I am, for the first time ever, happy being in my own skin. With the other ball juggling I need to do in my life between an invalid wife, career, and finances, it may be a few more years before I can voluntarily go full time.
.          (Pile Driver)  
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                    ^
(ROCK) ---> ME <--- (HARD PLACE)
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alexbb

I could see no benefits in coming out gradually so told everyone I knew and just started wearing womens cloths pretty much all the time. Clocks ticking, Ill be 40 in 8 years and I want to be fully transitioned before then. id like to find a partner and have or adopt kids and live to see them have their own so... tick tock.

Kelly_1979

Yesterday evening I had forgotten the PC on this forum and my father by accident saw it... so much for gradual coming out. we still haven't talked about it although my mother told me he had a hard time sleeping last night...
Trying to emerge to my real self
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alexbb

probs for the best to be honest.

Julia-Madrid

Quote from: alexbb on February 22, 2015, 01:01:13 PM
Clocks ticking, Ill be 40 in 8 years and I want to be fully transitioned before then. id like to find a partner and have or adopt kids and live to see them have their own so... tick tock.

Hell baby, if you're 32 you could be fully transitioned and over on the other side by the time you're 34.  Plenty of time to find someone and make your life!

Xxx
J
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alexbb

i dont dare believe it!! its too good. im ratcheting expectations down to living as an obvious >-bleeped-< for years then maybe... maybe...

Kelly_1979

Minor update.

We talked with my mother again. Obviously she would like it if I could remain as I am. I told her again how I feel and she replied she understands (although it's very difficult to). She said she loves me no matter what but she still thinks I'm too masculine and have "masculine" behavior.
We talked quite a bit and she pointed out that the psychiatrist/ therapist will help me to understand what I need to do. She asked me again about my sexual orientation, I told her and she replied "at least you're not gay". I then asked her why she was saying that and also if she thought being mtf trans is better than just gay and staying a guy. She still thinks that if I find a good girl to be with, I'll be happy. I insisted that it's just one part of happiness. Of course I want to find a good person to love but it doesn't change how I feel. Anyway, it was more or less an ok conversation and I feel a bit calmer now.
Trying to emerge to my real self
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genderirrelevant

Haven't told my dad yet but there was a major item on the news tonight about transgender people that we watched (e.g. Will people be as accepting of TG people in a few years as they have rapidly become more accepting of gay rights in Canada?). I made a couple comments that I wouldn't have a year ago but I don't think it was anything to tip him off. I felt tempted to come out then but I'm pretty sure I won't tell him until I have a surgery date.

On FaceBook I haven't come out but I've joined/liked a couple pages and I've posted a couple links to TG new items. For International Women's Day I posted "Allies don't have to be women" in reference to myself but I don't think that's anything that people will pick up on.

I've only had one (positive) comment since I started binding and I think they were just assuming I'd lost some weight. If I lose some more weight before surgery then when I return it will probably just look like I've continued to slim down.
My non-binary transition blog:
https://www.tumblr.com/blog/genderirrelevant
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Kelly_1979

I know it's kinda boring writing the same things over and over again but it's funny how parents can be so blind.  Although both really love me they don't want me going down that path.  Despite telling my mother the results of the 2nd therapist session she still insists I cut my hair and be a handsome guy.  She believes I have a very masculine appearance and way of behaving.
I mean WHY does she still not accept it? Maybe it's too hard for her so see under my external appearance?  I don't know but it's driving me crazy.
Do I need to do something more drastic (I am keen in making tiny baby steps ). Maybe I'm too shy in trying new things. Maybe it doesn't matter. I just don't know.
Trying to emerge to my real self
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Kelly_1979

Darn, I just had a disturbing dream (more like nightmare). It was that my dad had serious heart problem and he had to go to the hospital (he's quite old but otherwise in good health) and I was thinking I still haven't told him plain and simple how I feel.

I really should tell him. Still, he still has to go to the doctor for a check up on his eyes (he recently had eye cataract surgery) so I don't want to tell him these days.

Should probably have again a talk with my mother who still doesn't think possible of me transitioning. Anyway, I don't know how much difference that could make since we have plenty of talks lately where I told her how I feel and what the therapist told me.
Trying to emerge to my real self
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Julia-Madrid

Hey Kelly

Family can be very supportive.  It's my experience that loving parents whose heads aren't controlled by dogma will do whatever it takes to see that their kids are happy.  If you think that you'd be happier as a girl, and you think that your dad would react ok, it gives you an immensely powerful and valuable support base. 

Oh, I couldn't help but noticing your one byline "Warp 9, engage".... Are you sure you're not on Impulse power ?  ;D   What would it take to get you to bend space-time?

Hugs
Julia
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Kelly_1979

Actually, it's more like "Take us out, thrusters only". The warp 9 is more of wishful thinking...
Trying to emerge to my real self
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Kelly_1979

I know I've been saying the same things over and over but I needed to write. I admit that this is partly my fault since it's so difficult to decide what to do.
One issue is with my therapist who advised me not to do anything permanent....i feel i'm going backwards again.

Second issue (i kinda understand it) is my mother still believing I should continue as a guy. She keeps telling me to cut my hair, believes I was somehow influenced to feel this way and "disapproves" my taking part in transgender forums.

I'm saying "a bit my fault" because these days I don't feel comfortable talking with her about my issue.
Trying to emerge to my real self
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alexbb

#18
i still wear jeans and a tshirt for convenience, but so far ive really been enjoying small steps; lasering my beard off, learning make up, getting my ears done, going to job interviews and other professional engagements or industry conventions in girl mode... try it? ive found not being horribly unhappy all the time improves every aspect of life; people seem nicer, food tastes better, the world is full of beauty. and you know, more people than youd think are very supportive and cool. give it a go its addictive!!!

oh, re explanation, i found this helpful
ive no idea or interest in what 'causes' tg-ness, presumably some combo of environmental chemical pollution, genetics, whatever. mundane, arbitrary, unhelpful. the dealer and the pack of cards your hand is dealt from are just agents of chance. what was important to me in making my decisions was the future; the prognosis.
this article showed i was in fact quite normal as mtf tgs go, and explained this in clear terms. it then went on to map out likely futures; a pretty happy life during and after transition, at least with regards personal gender identity and relationships and so on,  or a continuation of the abject despair i felt in the closet ending in eventual suicide or stress related illness. seeing the two futures laid out so clearly, the decision was a no brainer, and this logic was convincing enough that my family and friends were onside immediately once it was explained.  it sounds like your mum just wants the best for you; with some education she could be your greatest ally and help you enter girlworld smoothly using her lifetime of experience to guide you.
worth thinking about anyway.
i scraped some of the particulaarly germaine parts and put them in a single blog post but i recommend reading the whole thing.



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Julia-Madrid

Quote from: kelly_1979 on May 25, 2015, 10:19:43 AM
I know I've been saying the same things over and over but I needed to write. I admit that this is partly my fault since it's so difficult to decide what to do.
One issue is with my therapist who advised me not to do anything permanent....i feel i'm going backwards again.

Hiya Kelly

I'm going to side with your therapist on this one, and here's why.  From the history of this thread, it's still rather clear that you are pretty undecided about what you want, and no therapist would advocate moving forward in such a situation.

A good therapist is like a sherpa, in that the person will guide you towards where you want to go, but they will never force you to take a certain path.  I'm guessing that you've expressed many doubts and very few positives to your therapist.  There is nothing wrong with this - far from it!   But if you feel like you're going backwards why is this the case?

Here are some exercises for you to do:  I'm asking you for two paragraphs:

1.  What does your heart fervently want for you?  When you answer, fly and be free.  Say it the way your heart would desire it to be.

2.  What does your head say in response?  Reduce it to 8 sentences.

Over to you...

Julia

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