When my dysphoria started becoming too much to handle on my own, I confided in a trans friend. She's been extremely supportive over the last few weeks and I honestly don't think I could have even started to make peace with my feelings without her support.
I'm starting to buy some clothes that I can wear when I'm alone. One of the biggest things holding me back is trying to change my thinking from "I want to be a woman" to "I am a woman." When I'm in girl mode, it's easier to make that distinction.
I've talked to my friend about that and she said she had a similar experience. She asked if I wanted her to change pronouns for me. I didn't at first, but I eventually became comfortable enough. I even started changing to girl mode at her place. When I was able to look at myself in the mirror and feel like I was looking at a woman, I was excited and wanted to show her.
Somehow the topic of dating came up. I've actually had a bit of a crush on her for a while now, since before we started talking about these things. It turns out she felt the same way. We've been dating for about a week now and I'm the happiest I've been in a long time. When we're alone, she refers to me as her girlfriend and uses my chosen name. She cleared all of that with me because she knows I find it difficult to think of myself as a woman, but it's not as difficult when I'm with her. She respects my boundaries and she doesn't push any issues that I'm uncomfortable with.
I'm in a little bit of disbelief over all of this. I was so stressed and miserable for so long, and now I'm in a relationship with an incredible woman, I'm actually happy most of the time now, and I can see she's happy too.
I don't usually like writing about my life if I'm not ending on a question or observation, but right now, I'm giving myself permission to gush a little. I'm a secret lesbian. Don't tell anyone.
I found this site in October of last year during an extended period of confusion and frustration. Fantasies of being a woman are nothing new to me; I've been having them since I was a kid. Now they're on my mind all the time. I've thought for a long time that feeling that way might mean I'm transgender, but I always pushed those thoughts away. I convinced myself that this had to be a secret fantasy and nothing more. It was partly out of fear for what my family and friends would think of me, but for the most part, I think I knew the idea of confronting that reality would ruin the fantasy. In my mind, I can be confident and witty and beautiful. In reality, I've always struggled with low self-esteem and depression.
Eventually, I found I couldn't handle obsessing over these thoughts anymore. Finding this site and talking frankly about my gender for the first time helped a great deal. The thread I started is I think I'll try moving things over to this blog. Maybe I'll post more frequently.
I'm hopeful that things will start to improve. I haven't been feeling quite so miserable lately. Just knowing that my identity is starting to make sense has lifted my spirits a bit, even though I'm still living the same life as always. I find that I still see myself in my head as being male, but when I realize that, the thought doesn't feel right. I don't feel like I am a woman - I don't even know what that would feel like - but I know I want to be a woman. Maybe for now, that's enough to at least start to fill the hole in my identity.