Chrissy

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Blog Comments posted by Chrissy


  1. Christy and Monica,

    Just an addition - depending on the type of group, making friends isn't necessarily the main consideration. If it's an actual therapy group there are usually rules against socializing outside of the group (which are necessary to achieve the therapy goals), if it's a support group then there aren't usually those same restrictions, but still the main purpose is to have a safe space to share experiences. It doesn't sound like that was happening, but there are groups out there that do it. It depends very much on the particular members - I've done one group that really did not work out, it was smaller and had a couple of toxic personalities. As facilitator you try to screen that out during the orientation process, but sometimes it doesn't come through that quickly. Another group I recently did went really really well - the members were truly supportive of each other and over time became "self-correcting" (so if one member started in on something inappropriate for the group others would jump in and correct it, but still in a very supportive manner).

    I also wouldn't focus too much on the "why" people or groups are the way they are - people are complex, certainly insecurity drives a lot of maladaptive behavior, but then there's the question of why a particular person might be insecure, and we often have no way of knowing that (even working one-on-one with people in therapy it can take time to get to those answers).

    I don't know how many options are available to you in your area - but if you're looking for a safe space to share then I think the best option would be to find a closed rather than an open group - a closed group is one that typically screens in members, and members are expected to attend each week for a certain number of weeks. Open groups will usually happen weekly and anyone can show up whenever they want. In a closed group you have the best chance for group bonding to happen.

    xoxo

    Chrissy

    4 people like this

  2. Christy,

    I'm curious, you said you had been to this group before, had the experience been very different?  I'm wondering if something was just off at this particular session?  Having said that, it was clearly VERY off and I can see what it would be so disturbing. I've facilitated several trans support groups over the past year and I would never introduce political topics - if they come up we let them happen, just reminding people to "speak from the I" to avoid people feeling targeted.

    I did attend an "open" trans group in NYC several years ago and had a bad experience with that - it was 35-40 people, and there was a lot of aggression going on there. In that case the person running the group was taking a very hands-off approach. I never went back to it (that was what prompted me to look into facilitating groups myself).

    I agree with Emma's idea though, see if you can gather some people for a less formal "group" - Meetup is a great resource for that.

    xoxo

    Chrissy

    4 people like this

  3. Christy,

    It seems like you have a sense of some things that might be generating these feelings, which is awesome (not the feelings, but the awareness). I think it's also important to keep in mind that this isn't always a linear process - you'll try some things, have some doubts, maybe overcome the doubts and move forward or maybe start moving in a different direction. It's confusing, and can be scary, but in the end it's worth it to see where it goes.

    I also noticed that you said expectations might have been high in Orlando - is it also possible that being somewhere different had an impact?  I'm not sure if you go there often or if it was a first time, but being in less familiar surroundings can also play into insecurities.

    I hope you're feeling better now!

    xoxo

    Chrissy

    4 people like this

  4. That is indeed what it's all about :-)

    When you mentioned not wearing foundation every day anymore I thought about my decision last July to stop wearing wigs - it was such a liberating experience. I don't regret having worn them, I think it's what I needed to get where I was going.

    But more broadly I like the idea of not everything being about gender - lately more of my activities at school have centered around criminal justice reform, which is a more important issue to me (not that gender isn't important of course), and I like that fact that I get to do those things and feel comfortable doing them as myself - things that I wouldn't have even considered doing back pre-transition

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  5. Congrats :-)

    It's funny, I came out to my therapist first too - well, I came out to myself first, then the next day to my therapist. We were talking about that in the support group that I facilitate, the idea of coming out in concentric circles to people - starting with those closer, and who you feel will be supportive, and then moving outward from there. So far my sister is the only relationship "casualty" that I've experienced.

    xoxo

    Chrissy

    2 people like this

  6. I think we need to clarify a point here though - being trans does not mean that one was "born" a different gender. I was not born a male, I was born a female with some wrong parts.

    There are differences of opinion on that fact, but I think it's generally safer not to suggest that trans people were born one gender and "changed" into another.

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  7. it'it's definitely true that transitioning doesn't fix everything that might have been "wrong" before, but I think it's also true that living authentically can make it a lot easier to work through those things. I thought back over 2017 myself and realized that where before I just felt "not right" I can now see more clearly what things I need to work on, and also to recognize my strengths, all of which makes me more confident in my ability to grow as a woman and as a person ☺

    Happy new year!!!!

    Xoxo

    Chrissy

    3 people like this

  8. Emma,

    I'm sorry you're feeling down 😞 I certainly don't think you have anything to feel guilty about, moderator or not. Hopefully sharing helped a little, and it will no doubt help others to see the full range of experiences that we go through in transitioning (and life in general!).

    Having a divorce finalized is tough - I went through that awhile back too. In my case the divorce was prompted by my coming out as a gay male, it left me with a lot of guilty feelings.

    I hope you're doing ok!

    Xoxo

    Chrissy

    3 people like this

  9. That was the most entertaining drivers license application story ever 😛

    Possibly also the only one I've ever heard, but still!!! Well told! Bummer about the full name part though 😞 I hated my middle name growing up too, ironically it's now my first name.

    3 people like this

  10. Kitrah,

    I'm so sorry that you have to be going through this without a social support network - it is certainly still very possible, but I understand how much more difficult it can be. And being on a job search at the same time just makes it that much more difficult.

    Perhaps you already have, but have you looked around for any support groups in your area?  They can be hard to find, even in NYC they are few and far between, but a good support group can be really helpful. In the meantime I hope you find some support on this site!

    I'm also totally with you on the idea of being "gender fluid" - I fully identify, and am, female, nothing fluid about it :-)

    xoxo

    Chrissy

    4 people like this

  11. Michelle,

    I think it's to be expected that your interest in the chat room - and in other areas - will fluctuate depending on where you are in your own journey, or even how you feel that day.

    Earlier this week I went to a bar (gay bar) that I hadn't been to since July. I went because a drag queen who I love so much was back, with a show again. She was the one who used to let me guest perform pretty much whenever I wanted which helped SO much in my "transition." I loved seeing her again, but at the same time felt like being there wasn't right for me anymore. 

    As a member of the trans support group I facilitate said yesterday, even good change is an adjustment and can be difficult.

    I may have gone away from responding to your point ☺

    Xoxo

    Chrissy 

    3 people like this

  12. You both really do have a lot going on, that can be really taxing (to say the least) - and personally there is very little that I'm happy about at 8:15 a.m. :-)  (unless it's Sunday, then I'm good).

    I'm wondering - for both of you - if you have people to talk to? I mean therapy would be great, but difficult if you're going on the road, but even just close friends who you can talk to individually. Working together through all of this is great, but you do both have individual needs as well.

    And with HRT, typically they'll do blood work first, so you'd have to wait a little anyway. And my own experience with it was that I did feel it, but it wasn't very disruptive. As I recall I just started noticing that I felt all emotions a little more than I had been (happy, sad, angry, etc., they were all just a little stronger). They also start you slow. I did accidentally double my dosage once - the pharmacy had changed the pills so that they were double what they had been and I kept taking the same number - once I realized (about a week) I went back and realized it had been having a pretty big impact - so the moral of the story is "stick with the correct dosage!"  :-)

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  13. I've definitely moved around on that one - from being fine with transgender woman, to trying to ignore the transgender part - where I am now is that I am a woman, and I am transgender. I personally don't want to have the transgender or trans put in front of the woman. To me I think it suggests some "other" type of woman in a way that other modifiers don't do (like talking about someone as "white woman" or a "black woman" is never thought of as suggesting that they aren't women, just a particular intersection - putting "trans" in front feels like it suggests that we are somehow less than a woman - and people like Jenni Murray reinforce that feeling).

    I think that's reinforced by the idea that - as opposed to "white woman" or "black woman," you don't hear people talking about being a "cisgender woman" (I mean you do hear the term, but few people would just randomly say it).

    I was actually going to use that very point in response to her comments too - the fact that I don't want to be referred to as a "transgender woman" doesn't mean that I'll object to an organization using that term where it's appropriate - I might ask them not to refer to me that way, but I understand that it is an accepted term.

    One of the better responses in our discussion to JM's complaint about language - and this applies to other (usually conservative) people who complain about new terms, is that "that's what language does! It evolves!" Which is so very true, language changes and adapts to new situations or new ways of thinking, and that's a very good thing, even if it gets a little confusing sometimes :-)

    2 people like this

  14. Emma,

    I have to say I disagree in part about Jenni Murray. I don't disagree about her specific point about the language, but she was being a little deceptive with what she was doing. The point started with talking about the BMA using "pregnant people" instead of "pregnant women," and she made it sound like she was being expected to refer to herself that way, but that simply wasn't the case. The BMA was trying to find language that would cover everyone they were working with, they were mandating that all pregnant people be referred to that way. So at best her point was simply stupid, at worst is demagogic in that she probably very well knew what she was doing right there.

    I agree as far as the vicar, she might very well have been in an early stage of transition in which - some/many - of us do focus a lot on clothing and make-up. Her thoughts on women's place in the church were really unrelated to her own gender identity - which is true of anyone, the fact that I'm a woman doesn't mean that I now understand every issue relevant to women.

    A bigger take-away for me, in watching the Jenni Murray video and then immediately the little girl (Tuesday was the first time I actually watched them back-to-back) was thinking about how happy the girl is now and how JM would want to take that away from her. Beyond any specific thing she said that makes her overall commentary very cruel.

    xoxo

    Chrissy

    2 people like this

  15. Monica,

    That seems like it might have been a little while ago? From what I've learned there aren't any time limits. What matters is how much, if at all, the grieving process is interfering with daily living. It can certainly go beyond 2 years (my parents died 13 years ago and I still have moments of grieving)

    Chrissy

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  16. You never need to apologize for feeling sad or down. Grieving isn't a predictable or linear process, it's completely natural to feel it for almost any length of time. I can imagine how getting checks with just your name could trigger it.

    It's good to hear that writing about it helps. Keep writing! It's also perfectly normal to want or need some sympathy - so don't hesitate to say when you're feeling down.

    Xoxo

    Chrissy

    2 people like this

  17. Emma,

    Enjoy the talk!  I have to admit I wasn't thrilled by her new book, but I loved the first one and have loved her every time I've heard her speak (never in person, just on TV).

    On the topic of community - I think for me it was important to (finally) realize that I could shift my social priorities away from the trans community without cutting myself off from the people and issues of the community. So I keep doing the support group, and I work with some trans identified clients at my internship and on a volunteer basis, etc.

    xoxo

    Chrissy

    2 people like this

  18. "It's tight enough--breathing is an issue--but it definitely makes you feel womanly."

    Exactly ^_^  Comfort doesn't seem to be a top priority in women's attire.

    Congrats on passing the exam!!!

    Xoxo

    Chrissy

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