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"gradual" coming out?

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

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This is an interesting subject.  Like others have said - you need to do things in your own time.

For me it was more like transitioning in slow motion.  I didn't want to be honest with myself and didn't want to risk losing my wife, so I slowly changed ... little things at first, then clothing styles, then earrings.  Eventually I went to therapy because each step I took to ease my need to be me made things even harder for me to deal with ... I was teasing myself.

When I came out to my wife it was across several conversation and many months.  When everything was finally out on the table she decided to stay, but I kept my secret from most everybody. 

Over the next year I told my manager and coworkers that work very close to me.  I told one sister and a couple of my nieces.

When I started estrogen I still hadn't come out to most people.  I had an announcement made at a driver meeting at work and wrote a memo for everyone - at the same time (literally) a brother stumbled across my alternate Facebook page (now my only page) and I was basically forced to be honest with the entire family.

2 days after all these things I was full time ... ugly and not very passable, but full time  :) :)

If I had a chance to redo everything I probably wouldn't change much because everything turned out how I wanted as an end result.


@ Julia (Julia-Madrid):

1) Ok, I had to do this in the evening (since in the morning for some strange reason I don't feel exactly the same). Even now doing this is just a bit nerve wracking ; it involves being completely honest to myself and my brain keeps playing tricks on me. (Until recently I've tried - even subconsciously - to avoid the whole issue like hell).

2) Maybe I could say it to my therapist during next session (although the first paragraph a bit uncomfortable for talking out loud)

I know it's written in a weird way but that's just how my feelings were coming out of my heart. It was difficult cause my brain and heart were fighting each other, but here goes:

Heart (actually it's the limbic system but let's not get into that, since we feel these emotions emanating from the core of our body)->

I want to be a girl. I wanted this since forever. Achieving my oldest wish and dream, one that I would do anything for. My goal is to achieve inner peace, to be able to look in the mirror and say "yes, this is me", as I feel inside me. To be able to be naked and not hate parts of my body.
Not having (at least to this extent) this tremendous envy of girls. I don't just want to "crossdress" (although I like feeling sexy and cute).
I can't go on with these panic attacks every now and then. I want to live without thinking of the time as an enemy dragging me in the wrong direction. Being able to express myself as I feel like. Very important, not looking at the past with regrets and "what ifs".

Brain ->

Well maybe you're not ready for it. Maybe you can find some place midway without having to resort to permanent changes.
You have lived so far as a dude without killing yourself; why risk so many things when you maybe just manage it without changing? Being a dude isn't so bad; you've kinda liked "him" ,until now that is.
Do you even know what you're getting yourself into? How will you support yourself? What if something goes wrong and you die young (or you get killed)? What if you regret about it?


Hope it helps (you and me)
Trying to emerge to my real self


Hey Kelly

An excellent first step.  BRAVO.  I will permit your correction to the limbic system, although I'm interested to see whether any more definitive studies show what the heart's 40,000 neurones actually do.

So, if you've written this, it's exactly what you should take to your psychologist. You don't need to read it - just give it to her.  And, permit me to be blunt, if you're unable to be totally candid and open with her you're wasting your time and money!

Your hopes are those which many of us harbour, as are your fears, and I think highly positively of you for being clear about the concerns from your head.  I do want to comment that there is no pre-requisite for you to hate the boy you are.  I never hated him; I just knew that he was a girl, and he never stopped me from having a successful life.

If you want to move forward, you need a combination of hope, optimism and realism.  I will say that on this site I've seen many examples of very male guys who have become very passable women.  Not beauty queens; just decent everyday girls virtually no different from any other women. 

There's nothing to stop you doing it gradually - in fact there is probably no other way - but you do need a clear resolve to stay the course.  You can easily get rid of your beard, start HRT and work on your voice.  FFS and SRS require more of a commitment. 



Again writing in this thread...

I haven't gone to the next therapist session yet (it's in 10 days) but my mother wanted to talk with me again. Anyway I showed her the text I had written above but there wasn't really any difference, at least according to her. We have talked quite a few times so there was not anything new for her.

We talked a bit about various things like: what could the ill results be because of hormones, that "being an external observer" I have a very masculine body and behavior (or so people have said), she can't imagine me having surgery, how will I support myself etc...

Again she mentioned that maybe if I had grown up with more friends and girlfriends maybe I would be different now (although I have told her so many times that gender identity and sexuality are separate).

She told me she remembers about someone who had transitioned, regretted it and detransitioned. Then I told her I have read about those people but also that most transsexuals who undergo transition under "controlled and stable environments" and do it for the right reasons do not regret it.

I know both she and my father love me unconditionally but obviously she thinks of me as her son. Still, she has said that I should do whatever makes me happy (even if it means transitioning).

She also wants to talk with my therapist so he can tell her something more.

I know she wants my happiness yet this whole thing kind of leaves me "meh". I also know I'll have to base myself on my own devices yet her behavior seems to me a bit frustrating.

I feel so angry with myself right now. I need to calm down. I just wish she could "see me" differently.
Trying to emerge to my real self


Quote from: kelly_1979 on June 01, 2015, 01:26:19 PM
I just wish she could "see me" differently.
Unfortunately, family and parents have a difficult time dealing with this. Some members in my group have parents that took years to come around
.          (Pile Driver)  
(ROCK) ---> ME <--- (HARD PLACE)


Hi Kelly

A couple of comments to you.

If you want to reduce the risk of some of the unknowns, the best way is to test them.  An example: I have a couple of gay friends who like to do the drag queen thing from time to time.  They are unrecognisable once dolled up.  Of course the comparison is somewhat artificial, but if you were to get a professional makeover it would allow you to see how passable you may be, physically at least.

I do have a concern that you have a male therapist.  It is my personal opinion that male therapists are not ideal for MTF transgender people for a couple of reasons.  The first is that most men simply cannot imagine losing their penis, and the whole MTF thing leaves them flummoxed.  The second is that you are talking about changing gender, and people often tend to reflect some of the behaviour of the person they are with.  If you were talking to a woman therapist, this may be easier, both in terms of how you feel and behave during your sessions, and also in terms of pure approachability since she would be a woman and won't have any penis loss issues.  Trust me, when I compare the reactions of my male and female colleages, they are worlds apart.

It does upset me to see you paralysed in pre-transition, since clearly you want this to happen.



Sigh....I guess I still have long to go.

Everybody (Julia too), I'm sorry that this thread is going down this way...

Tonight my father told me "This way you want to follow (regarding transitioning) is a terrible mistake. You would suffer a lot, have lots of problems; societal issues etc. You need/ have to get really hurt (in some kind of way) in order to get back to the right track".

We didn't talk more at the time cause he had to go somewhere. He's a retired medical doctor btw.

I know he wants to help me but maybe he's doing it the wrong way.

Needless to say my doubts are strong again (strong denial again?). Another thing is obviously the financial stability which is a major issue. So I guess the whole thing might have to wait. Still, it's very hard but we'll see.

@Julia: yeah, I might try the professional makeover someday, just need to find a good one and not too expensive

edit: my 100th post, I imagined it more positive...
Trying to emerge to my real self


Hey Kelly

Seriously, this is not the end of the world, and you shouldn't see it this way.  Perhaps you really do need to wait some time.  I waited 20 years. 

From what I know of you, it seems like you're probably heading for a career in academia?  Well, it doesn't matter, but what does matter is to make a success of your life, whatever you choose to do.  If you become respected in your career, if you choose to transition at a future time, you will bring that kudos with you and a transition from such a point will be much easier, plus you will probably have the money for it.

Meantime, there are things you can do.  I have a friend who knows he won't transition for now.  But he's got rid of facial and body hair and has grown his hair really long.  He's a lot happier with himself , and this seems to be an OK point for him.  At least these days you would probably be 100% safe - when I was your age I might have had serious violence wrought against me.

Good luck!


Tomorrow is the next therapist session. I'm going to show him the text I wrote a few posts above. I really want this session to go better cause last one left me with mixed feelings (last things he said were "Well I may want to be a basketball player but I'm not -what you feel is a bit similar) [I'm sorry but it's not].

I probably have written it in other posts but I'm still amazed at how long it took me to accept that it's ok to feel like this and that I need to do something about it instead of trying to "wait for the waves to pass". I don't like imagining myself as an old woman in the future but old man is even worse (while having these feelings). And no, just wearing girl jeans and shirts doesn't cut it. It's deeper than that.

It's only these times when I feel OK with myself, NOT looking at my reflection that for a brief period of time I can actually feel happy and carefree.
Trying to emerge to my real self


Hey Kelly

Go for it tomorrow in your session.  Honestly, you don't need to have any goal in mind, just to let yourself be free and honest and deal with whatever comes from the session without trying to impose too much reason upon it.

It's funny what you said about imagining yourself as an old man:  along with other things, this is what motivated me to transition.  I was in the gym, looking at all these 50-something guys, and I remember the absolutely clear thought:  I do not what to be a man at their age.  I cannot imagine being a man in his 50s.  I resolved not to let it happen.



I just like writing....

4th session:

It was ok-ish, better than the previous one. When I got there the psychiatrist got out and there was only an assistant female psychologist. We talked about my changing feelings, my sexuality and my difficulty in making friends and partner.
Then I gave her the text I had written (see above) which (at least she said so) helped them (psychiatrist and psychologist) to understand a few more things about me.
She said that (obviously) I have a intense yearning to be a woman and that my doubts are healthy and well considered.

Then the psychiatrist got back in and she recapped what I said to him. Btw my mother wants to see him so she'll come to the next session (after my session obviously).

I tried to ask him what I could maybe try to help myself and alleviate my feelings but he didn't say anything. (Actually he said it's too early for my mother to come to a short session but I told him it would be like 5-10 min so he agreed).

Basically both he and she asked questions but didn't offer any suggestions (are they supposed to?). I would really like some suggestions from him but I guess I'll have to try certain things on my own.

Forgot to say, during the session I referred to me mainly using the male adjectives but I don't know if that's so important.

So that's about it.


A bit different subject; common too; but I remember some thing concerning the passage of time:

Sometimes it's like the years I was in high school ('91-96) recent. The feelings of wanting to be a girl and trying to suppress these feelings among other things are like almost yesterday. I mean to the point if I woke up and somebody told me I traveled back to being a 11-14 year old it wouldn't seem that weird.
I would probably have some difficulty fitting in but it wouldn't be that difficult [the 2000's seem like a blank decade – although it included all my bachelor, master and part of PhD years).
I try to shake off this but it's still difficult. I know we should focus on the present but I still feel like a teenage girl.
Trying to emerge to my real self


Hi Kelly

When you say you referred to yourself mainly using male adjectives, I'm guessing that you were speaking Greek?  No matter, this does take some time, as do other self-references.  It did take some time for me to say "Oh, you stupid girl" to myself when I'd done something silly at home, rather than the alternative.  It's part of an evolution of self-image, and that will come when you're ready to accept this evolution.  Surprisingly, it didn't take much effort for me to switch to female adjectives etc., in Spanish, which is what I use at least half the time.

I'm not sure what suggestions you could expect from your therapist.  As I may have commented before, a good therapist is like a sherpa - they help you navigate the difficult terrain, but you must set the goal. 

In my opinion you're doing ok.




Yes it was in Greek. Another thing I need to do is train my voice,  which proves to be hella difficult.
I don't know either what suggestions the therapist could give me.  I guess I should try things by myself.
As you may have read I was in Aveiro, Portugal for 3 months (Erasmus+) so I still remember a few words.

So, Muito obrigada Julia!
Trying to emerge to my real self


Aaargh, yes, voice training in tough, but in many cases possible.  Listen to how women speak on the radio, and imitate them as much as you can in tone and inflection.  Maybe work on singing scales that will gradually allow you to shift your pitch upwards.  And most of all, use your voice.  It will be very fatiguing at first, but will gradually get easier.  I've ended up with a voice where the fundamental pitch is higher than that of many of my female friends and colleagues, but it has no power - ok for meetings, but bad for noisy bars and restaurants.

Keep going Kelly... small steps...! :D

Martine A.

I have two blockers to come out to everyone I know. The first is I am not yet ready to lose job over transition. The second one is it is not yet good time to tell mom. The latter is cooler, since mom is living far away and all we have is emails and skype audio. The former is an issue. So, projected, it is less than 4 more years wait until I can start hrt. I plan to start sessions with the doc & a therapist accordingly, so hrt hits the end of that period.

At work, I am doing things "gradually", like getting the body hairless and expressing some habits in my voice as part of adapting it to my gender. Putting on a female t-shirt sometimes (in reality I just run out of men's stuff to wear). Still, when the day comes, it will be a sharp change on the work, as everyone perceives me as a man due to lack of hair.

For mom, it will be either when she decides to visit me or after my bro gets a kid. If I decide not to come out to some people, it is to avoid getting her in situations she'd consider embarrassing.

Once the two have been breached, I couldn't care less for what other ppl think.
HRT - on the hard way to it since 2015-Sep | Full time since evening 2015-Oct-16
Push forward. Step back, but don't look back.


Kelly : I have just reviewed the entire thread and it has greatly changed what I was going to post. It is pretty clear to me you will not be happy in your current role and some change is needed in your life. If it is just cross living or all the way, only you can determine that. I was slow to get started because I thought I would have more time and I didn't have the resource to draw upon that are available today. Yes there was fear of the unknown as well because I had never appeared in public before starting the transition. To me you also have that fear because I am seeing others on this web site that once they start moving, nothing is going to stop them. Some of them are moving so fast I am having a hard time keeping up with them and no, it's not my age. Tell that logic side of you that the heart side of you isn't going to change and will not allow you to rest until you are moving forward. You need to accept that the only way to be at peace with the inter you will be to transition and the sooner you do that the sooner you will end this turmoil that is going on inside you.

Once you have come to a decision to move forward, you need to face your parents and tell them you have two options. One is to live as a very unhappy male and the other is to live as a very happy female. There will be no third option. Will they accept this, probably not but they will understand the ground rules. I only learned a short time ago long after my fathers death that he never accepted what I did. My mother took many years to wear down and sometime she doesn't understand me but she does accept me.

Now I can understanding you wanting to finish school but there is so much preparation you can do before hand. A big one is electrolyses as you need about 3 days growth before treatment. I am not familiar with laser removal but I suspect it has ground rules for growth. It's really hard covering 3 days growth with makeup. You can work out your look and work on the voice. In addition to school, you have many other things to learn.

It is your decision but that's my take on it.
Rebirth Date 1982 - PMs are welcome - Use [email][/email] or Discord if your unable to PM - Skype is available - My Transition
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Ok, so my mom lately keeps telling me every day that I need to cut my hair (at least the sides).
She said "It looks like a brush. You have straight hair and long hair doesn't suit you. You were handsome before. Now you look uglier. There is beautiful and ugly" (Ok actually I don't like how my hair looks now but I'm fed up with having it short since I always wanted long hair).

Another argument she used was that she has short hair so why can't I too. She even said "If you keep growing your hair I'm going to leave the house" (I doubt she actually meant that).
After that "I understand how you feel but you need to look nice. You can do whatever you want but please not something that people see" (Yeah if you REALLY REALLY REALLY UNDERSTOOD maybe you would be just a tad different) (or maybe she understands well but is very afraid that I will destroy myself if I follow that path).

Sorry to rant like this but the moment I think she understands, BAM! It's like after these months we talked about my feelings (not counting previous years) she was accepting (at that time I was going to the therapist) and now again backwards....

The phrase "Everything gets worse before it gets better" comes to mind concerning how I feel.
I try to forget all these things she tells me cause otherwise I'll go crazy.

edit: my hair just covers my ears so I'll have to wait like a year to even think of a ponytail.
Trying to emerge to my real self


Quote from: kelly_1979 on July 28, 2015, 12:21:52 PM
Ok, so my mom lately keeps telling me every day that I need to cut my hair (at least the sides).
She said "It looks like a brush. You have straight hair and long hair doesn't suit you. You were handsome before. Now you look uglier. There is beautiful and ugly" (Ok actually I don't like how my hair looks now but I'm fed up with having it short since I always wanted long hair).

Hi Kelly,

Perhaps the answer to this is go to a hair stylist to clean up the long hair.  By the way many men have long hair.  Perhaps the stylist could suggest an androgynous  style for your long hair or get a feminine cut but be able to hide it by wearing a pony tail.   Women with long hair still get hair cuts to keep their hair from getting unruly.

I read through this thread and I have one question for you.  You say you are quite masculine.  What exactly do you mean by that?  Sometimes we think we're more masculine than we really are.   If you look at some of the transition pictures it can be quite remarkable how taking hrt can change your appearance.

Speaking of hrt, have you read the threads about low dose hrt on Susans?  Perhaps that be a path you could consider.

Good luck with your journey,
Paige :)


As I'm burning to come out but can't now (so many things to do first) I feel I need to keep dropping some hints (ofcourse I could simply not say anything but the whole thing is overwhelming). As I've mentioned before there is this female "coworker" (actually PhD student) that I'm somewhat closer (even though she has a serious boyfriend). Past months I've dropped a few hints like commenting on her hair, her nails, me wearing girl jeans etc.

Today I noticed she had somewhat longer manicured almond shaped nails. During the day at a point when we were the two of us in a room I asked her if her nails are gel or Shellac.
Me: "I see you have almond shaped nails. Are they gel or shellac? Cause it's a bit difficult to have this kind of nails with regular polish."
Her: "They are gel nails. They last about 20 days (regarding manicure). I remove them by acetone and foil..."
Me: "You know, you should be careful because gel nails for too long can weaken your natural nails"
Her: "Hey "Male name" how come you know so much about this!?" (I had it coming)
Me: "Mind your own business..." I then got out of the room to continue what I was doing.

(Point taken :p)

Dunno if she's gonna tell somebody else (maybe, maybe not – I hope not people where we work). Of course you could say "Well, you're asking for it". Right now I'm sort of stuck in the middle of pretending to be "that guy" (at least to most of the people and leaving these hints to certain people, which obviously mean I'm not exactly "that guy".
Trying to emerge to my real self


So since I noticed I am loosing my hair I got anxious, stressed and felt "betrayed by nature".
Anyway my mother asked me if I wanted to talk again about the whole trans issue but as the 3 of us (mother and father that is). Keep in mind we hadn't really had a "complete conversation" with my father.
I told them again how I felt all these years, what I want to do and tried to explain in detail my feelings. At first I tried to control myself but my parents kept telling me what could have "caused" this, I felt really angry and shouted at them. I know, my bad, I shouldn't have shouted but I felt like bursting.

My mother told me she can't pay for anything trans-related because we don't have enough money. She told me she understands what I'm going through but that I need to adapt to the circumstances and do what's possible ("We all have wants and dreams but we have to stick to reality"). She also said the last therapist (weird sessions etc) told her I'm a man and have Asperger (dunno if I do, maybe to some degree).

My father (who is a doctor) said he believes hormones will wreck my body and doesn't want me to destroy myself. He told me he remembers me being happier some years ago and that I wasn't always like this. Both also reminded me that the previous therapist (10 years ago) told them (apart from me not being trans) that it was very wrong I grew up with my grandmother and mother in the house only - since my Dad back then was working until late.

They still believe I was somehow "influenced" by not really having a man at the house then. Also that it was wrong I was without friends and girlfriends as a teenager. My father commented again that I need to get really hurt to "snap out of it" but when I asked him to explain what exactly he meant he didn't really answer. I even mentioned that there may be some brain differences between cis and trans people but the brain measurements (dissections) were done post-mortem and he said "another reason I can't believe you're trans".

Oh I forgot - I tried to explain to my mother what dysphoria feels like "I look at the mirror and see a stranger (or hate what I see)" and she replied saying that it's like some psychological disorder.

Fair enough, I know it's my fault for believing the first therapist and my parents telling me I can "win" this and most importantly not being self sufficient after school (not having a job and preferably moving away from my parents). I believed that they would understand me but I guess it was so naive of me. I feel so stupid for relying on them and not having acted on my own but what's done, is done.

On the other hand, I can somehow understand them since they still see me as I physically am and it's almost impossible to understand the real me. depends on the parent I guess. Bleh...

I just wish they would understand the real me and not try to look for "causes".

So I guess it's only up to me (I had guessed it but I had some dim hopes they would actually help me).
Lately I've been really depressed and end up crying randomly - yesterday I started crying while I was driving but after a few mins I was ok-ish.

I know I sound so desperate and sulking but I'm just pouring my feelings out.
Trying to emerge to my real self