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Spontaneous Smiling Alert



Last Thursday as I was planning my day I knew that that evening I had an appointment with my therapist. I made plans to drop by an Amazon locker to pick up a new top and told some people that I was nervously thinking of putting it on in his restroom and surprising him in our meeting.  At lunch I read some encouragement from Veronica, Bree, and I think others, which just felt wonderful. After, as I walked to get a cup of coffee I suddenly realized I was smiling. I felt so wonderful to contemplate that evening and to receive everyone's encouragement.  Thank you!

Now as it turned out I hit traffic on the way there and was kind of in a rush. I dashed into the restroom, tried it on, and felt that it was too small - I should have ordered the larger size.  But I tried it on today and it is maybe a little small but I think it's okay. I took my photo wearing it along with the leggings I bought last weekend. It feels really good to be wearing it now as I write this.  (BTW: I bought those tulips in the photo for my wife to surprise her for Valentine's. Score!) 

At my therapist appointment we had a nice conversation but I complained that although I'm feeling better these days I still find myself questioning my being transgender. It's as if a part of my brain is stubbornly refusing to let go and I keep on running through a rather long list of history and experiences that make it so obvious that I am trans. His advice?  Stop thinking, and appreciate the fact that Emma is a huge and lovely part of me. Learn to love her and live by following my feelings more than my thoughts. I think that is good advice and I'm really working on it.  

I'm also reading a book called "Who's Really From Venus?" by Peggy Rudd and really liking it. It's basically a book about how to live with yourself as well as a partner when you are transgender.  She has a lot of experience with this, as her spouse is trans. I am about halfway through it now and am at a place where she talks about how to cope with yourself.  Here's what she provides as coping skills:

  • Learn to deal with problems successfully.
  • Define the problem and seek solutions, possibly with the help or input from others.
  • Handle or dissipate the fears and hurts of life in a constructive manner.
  • Recognize yourself as unique.
  • Realize your potential for true inner strength.
  • Develop the ability to move forward in spite of the lack of acceptance.
  • Keep learning from all experiences, both positive and negative.

I think that is terrific advice and the third one is probably the toughest for me. She also writes:

Even if it takes years to find a comfort zone with your own identity, you must keep searching. Acceptance from others will follow. At some time we may need to have the forgiveness of others, but of greater importance is the forgiveness we owe ourselves. Love is not about keeping old wounds open. Love is about healing wounds. It is about moving forward and learning from past mistakes. It is about getting on with life.

We do owe ourselves forgiveness and space to be ourselves. We are all wonderful and loving people who just want to be... ourselves. 

As an aside in case you read her book there is one thing I have a concern with.  She writes everything about "crossdressers" instead of "transgender people." I think that is an important point since I really don't see myself as being all about the clothing whatsoever. It's much deeper than that. Maybe she, given that she is cisgender, doesn't discern the difference or the sensitivity to that word. (Or maybe I'm making too much of a deal out it.) Anyway, I love the book regardless.

Be well, and with warm hugs,



New Top, 20160220.JPG


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emma, it sounds like you are continually progressing in accepting yourself more and more fully as transgender... exploring and even questioning yourself and answering your questions in different ways over and over again is probably part of that process, and especially valuable with the support and validation of others. that's just what you and probably all of us need to help in that process. you seem to usually come away from your therapist with more appreciation of yourself as emma and of course all of us here cherish you that way. I wonder if part of your explorations also involves the uncertainty of to what extent you identify as a female and how far you need and want and can optimally  go in that, which may be two or three or more different things.   

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I wonder if part of your explorations also involves the uncertainty of to what extent you identify as a female and how far you need and want and can optimally  go in that, which may be two or three or more different things.   

​Yes, I'm making gradual progress, thank goodness. A big part of my progress is thanks to my wife's acceptance. Together our marriage is also gaining strength which is delightful.  

As to your query, well, I don't really know. I'm hoping (and I'm sure my wife is too) that what I have now is satisfactory. I think it is. There are times when I wish quite seriously that I could go out and just be Emma all the time. But at those times I also consider that that wish is coming from a wish that I had been born female and since that's obviously not going to happen I'm not convinced that transition would solve as much as I would like while I am sure it would dramatically affect my life with my wife.  So for now I'm taking it a day at a time. There is more for my wife and I to work out. She doesn't know that I have this other name for myself (Emma) and has not seen me dressed in more than my nightgown. Eventually I would love it if we can be comfortable together at home, regardless of my presentation. But that is a lot to ask and it cannot be rushed. She's come so far in the last year and we are both gradually adding confidence in ourselves and each other.  And I do still have my bad days and I'm sure there will be more. Just not today and I'm grateful for that.

Thank you for your thoughtful note. It helps me so much to have my friends here.



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emma, that's exactly the soft, quiet tone of patience, awareness, and caring that I've felt from you before, where you seem to have created a space within yourself and your life and your relationship with your wife that allows emma to be there, even if behind the scenes, without overreaching the limits of what's possible. i admire your wisdom in this, but also know that inside is that sadness for not having been born female, or at least anatomically female, and the loss of everything that might have been that way, and that even with all possible transition it would still never be the same as that. when you feel that sorrow is when you need extra kindness toward yourself and your femaleness and you're still who you are no matter how you're dressed or seen by others. i just realized something interesting and valuable that i have to think about more... while I'm mostly content and appreciative of my dual gender, occasionally i wish for being all female, but I've never wished for being all male. i have to ponder that more.

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Love the top!

I think your therapist's advice was great - "stop thinking" - that came up recently when I was doing my volunteer hours (peer counseling) and the client who came in was "concerned about transgender thoughts" - he was quite smart, a college student, and clearly was spending a lot of time analyzing the situation from an academic perspective - I was trying to find subtle ways to share that same advice, to stop thinking!  I know from my own experience that I can over-analyze and there are just situations where that will drive you crazy ("analysis paralysis" is what one therapist called it)

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