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#1
Annah

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Ok i just got back from my monthly meeting with my Psychiatrist. We just pretty much shoot the breeze now. I know I need her for papers and she knows this lol but she isn't the type of therapist that keeps the ball rolling without giving me papers.  I should be getting SRS papers in 6 months.

With that said, I told her I just got accepted into Seminary this week and it was an exciting time for me because I can transition full time without fear of hatred or homelessness. (some of you may remember what happened when I came out earlier this year...not good lol).

Anyways the graduate school knows i am transitioning but I told the school I was probably going to be andron the first year with my male name and then second year full time with my girl name (Annah). I am planning on legally changing my name in January of 2011.

My Psychiatrist told me I need to go by Annah from the very first day of the first year.  Going by a male name and then switching to female name would be like yo-yoing and confusing (her words).

I would normally be all too happy to do this but i have a couple hangups about it.  I sorta wanna look more feminine before people start calling me Annah. I have it set up to do electrolysis as soon as i get to graduate school but good lord, I dont know if i want people to start calling me Annah with the potential of a five o clock shadow. Should I just buy derma blend, go by Annah and deal with it?
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#2
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Kareal...

Honestly luv, this is why sometimes I get so mad at the community because, despite MANY great people in it like the people here st TG Guide, still FAR too much focus is placed on the superficial.

My question is simple...

Are you a woman?

If the answer is yes, then why would it need to depend on your looks?  To be frank, I dont think there was *anyone* more paranoid about passing than I was starting out and I too was uneasy about dropping the whole 'new name' on all the people in my life.  Mind you, I *wanted* to be referred to by my female name, but felt I had to reach some idealized point of passing and transition to claim that.  This is simply not true.  WHat your therapist told you is almost exactly what mine told me.

If the idea of being called by a female name feels foreign to you, I'd advise you notify her and explore that.  You see, in the transgendered community, only one thing is clear; the people in it are unhappy withtheir current gender identity.  However, that doesnt mean it is a static male or female for all of us.  For me, yes, I do, and always have identified as a woman, so, when it came time to begin using my real name, not my given birth name, I was elated and all gung-ho for it.  However, I know many others who were uneasy and later, after delving into the heart of the issue, came to realize that they ALSO felt a strict female identity was restrictive ad just not entirely correct when defining themselves.  The problem that arises is similar to the reason people dont come out as trans; fear of judgement.  Only many fear not judgement from the outside world, but judgement from within the community, as many do seem to feel those with static genders are somehow more 'sane' or 'normal' than those who are a blend of various gender traits.

Now, make no mistake, I am not your therapist, and, from what I've read, I'd say you seem a static case; sure that you are 100% female.  However, I only brought up this example because its not always black and white.  Therapy is a time for you to delve into and discover the most hidden recesses of your psyche and desires in life, and drag them out with your therapist as a point of reference.  I know as I've spoke to many girls, that they are afraid to say something that could hurt their chances, but I can assure you, if a doctor has prescribed HRT for someone, that person saying they are more gender blend but still want the body of a female will still be able to go thru all the rigamahroll of transition just as those who identify as  static gender do.

Personally, I can understand you may not feel comfortable changing such a drastic social aspect of your life as your name, but if you're waiting for some magical finish line to signal you to begin living, its never gonna happen.  Its understndable we all want to pass, blend in, and also possibly be deep stealth, as many have done before.  However, the ones who have successful lives, passing or not, are those who simply begin to live the life they were made for the moment they begin transition.

Some may say this is stupid or even angerous, but outside of the dating issue, I highly disagree.


here's my blunt point, its not sugar coated and not personally directed to you, but its a question I'd say every girl at the beginning of her transition needs to ask herself...

"What is my gender identity?"  If its female, then perfect, but women dont wait till they are pretty to identify as women, women dont stop living if God branded them with wider shoulders, deeper voices, or higher hairlines than th rest of the women in the World.  Simply put, if you're a woman, you've made it, welcome to womanhood, so start living!

I understad this sounds cold and its easy to think 'But Jessica!!!  Thats bull!!!  YOu have NO idea how hard it is!!!"

To which I say, baloney.  I will tell you, out of all the stories and trans women I have met, they all but a select few are SOOOOO terribly focused on being pretty, they forget thats not what being a woman is.  this is where girls get pissed, cause its my opinion that not everyone who transitions is genuinely trans, and will eventually find themselves miserable by the time they are finished.  The understanding men have of women superficially tends to be that they are indeed the fairer sex and that they dress up, are very vain beings by nature, and are graded on looks, not on their personal abilities, personality, and life choices.  

I tell any girl who begins transition the harsh truth.  If you dont pass, get used to NEVER passing.  Sounds harsh and yes, MANY *will* go on to pass; I myself now work and keep a social life as only a genetic woman.  However, it didnt magically occur overnight, and while rare, its still possible.  However, the reason I say 'plan on never passing' is because female culture and culture in general are already too focused on the beauty of women.  There is SO much more to us than our bodies, and while I understand for many these 'tells' are areminder of their past, the truth is, you're born a woman or not.  If you need to be hot to feel like a woman, then you aren't a woman, simply put.

My brother played football all thru his youth and I attended every game.  One of the cheerleaders was a cheerleader for his football tam from age 10 til 18.  She was what many  without tact or heart would call 'a beast of a girl.'  Truth is, growing up, she was larger in stature in every way than most of the football team.  Even in the last two years of HS cheering she did, she was still MUCH larger than the average man, and not just fat, but just her build in general: Wide shoulders, deep, gruff voice, unusually tall for a girl, etc.  However, despite this girl PROBABLY would get clocked as trans by many trans people, she is a genetic woman.  

What's my point here?  Well, simply put, despite knowing she's not blind or deaf  She's aware how she looks, she's aware how she sounds.  She's aware what the kids parents said when they thought she couldn't hear, she
s had years and years of taunting.  However, I *guarantee* you not ONCE did she ever think 'Im not a woman.'  WHy?  Because her identity is female, and regardless what your exterior is, if a person is born female, they will identify as such whether they are pin thin, or bigger than Govenor Arnold. lol  The lesson here is, you came to this site and therapy because you were born a female.  Just because your body isnt in line with it, DOESNT change that you were born female (assuming from your previous posts this is how you identify.)  

So, my question is, do you think a woman needs to fit a stereotypical kind of beauty to own the title of 'woman?'  If you think so, then again, you are not a woman and transition is not for you.  Those who feel they need to look like a model to exist as a woman will never survive transition and are not true females and should be GREATLY DISCOURAGED from transition.  Will you eventually pass as a beautiful girl?  Hell if I know, I was sure I*NEVER* would, and to this day, I have 2546516255355 pieces of evidence each day that not a single soul I meet has any clue.  So life may surprise you.  However, in my mind, I'm still prepared for never passing.  Thats why I said don't make passing a conditional thing when it comes to transition.  If you are transitioning to be a beautiful, knockout woman, then you aren't a woman, you're a man who's fantasy of being a hot woman has gotten entirely out of control (mind you I SERIOUSLY doubt this applies to you, but I mention it merely because its the dark side of truth that isn't but NEEDS to be said to all new transitioners.)


After that long winded thought, my direct advice for this specific case is, you've suffered thru so much life already to make it to where you are today.  Not only should you follow your therapists advice, but I'd say, if you DO identify as 100% female, you should be *excited* to *finally* e recognized as your true gender.

Best of luc and keep us posted!! :)

#3
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Buy foundation, I came out full time on 3/27/08 as Bobbie Jo

Even though my legal doc wasn't changed until 10 months later, I didn't go by the old name anymore.

I also had only been doing electrolysis for a few months when I went full time, so yea, I needed foundation. Get some, and come out full time as the woman you are.

Bobbie Jo

#4
Annah

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View PostJessicaBinx, on 05 May 2010 - 12:37 PM, said:

Kareal...

Honestly luv, this is why sometimes I get so mad at the community because, despite MANY great people in it like the people here st TG Guide, still FAR too much focus is placed on the superficial.

My question is simple...

Are you a woman?

If the answer is yes, then why would it need to depend on your looks?  To be frank, I dont think there was *anyone* more paranoid about passing than I was starting out and I too was uneasy about dropping the whole 'new name' on all the people in my life.  Mind you, I *wanted* to be referred to by my female name, but felt I had to reach some idealized point of passing and transition to claim that.  This is simply not true.  WHat your therapist told you is almost exactly what mine told me.

If the idea of being called by a female name feels foreign to you, I'd advise you notify her and explore that.  You see, in the transgendered community, only one thing is clear; the people in it are unhappy withtheir current gender identity.  However, that doesnt mean it is a static male or female for all of us.  For me, yes, I do, and always have identified as a woman, so, when it came time to begin using my real name, not my given birth name, I was elated and all gung-ho for it.  However, I know many others who were uneasy and later, after delving into the heart of the issue, came to realize that they ALSO felt a strict female identity was restrictive ad just not entirely correct when defining themselves.  The problem that arises is similar to the reason people dont come out as trans; fear of judgement.  Only many fear not judgement from the outside world, but judgement from within the community, as many do seem to feel those with static genders are somehow more 'sane' or 'normal' than those who are a blend of various gender traits.

Now, make no mistake, I am not your therapist, and, from what I've read, I'd say you seem a static case; sure that you are 100% female.  However, I only brought up this example because its not always black and white.  Therapy is a time for you to delve into and discover the most hidden recesses of your psyche and desires in life, and drag them out with your therapist as a point of reference.  I know as I've spoke to many girls, that they are afraid to say something that could hurt their chances, but I can assure you, if a doctor has prescribed HRT for someone, that person saying they are more gender blend but still want the body of a female will still be able to go thru all the rigamahroll of transition just as those who identify as  static gender do.

Personally, I can understand you may not feel comfortable changing such a drastic social aspect of your life as your name, but if you're waiting for some magical finish line to signal you to begin living, its never gonna happen.  Its understndable we all want to pass, blend in, and also possibly be deep stealth, as many have done before.  However, the ones who have successful lives, passing or not, are those who simply begin to live the life they were made for the moment they begin transition.

Some may say this is stupid or even angerous, but outside of the dating issue, I highly disagree.


here's my blunt point, its not sugar coated and not personally directed to you, but its a question I'd say every girl at the beginning of her transition needs to ask herself...

"What is my gender identity?"  If its female, then perfect, but women dont wait till they are pretty to identify as women, women dont stop living if God branded them with wider shoulders, deeper voices, or higher hairlines than th rest of the women in the World.  Simply put, if you're a woman, you've made it, welcome to womanhood, so start living!

I understad this sounds cold and its easy to think 'But Jessica!!!  Thats bull!!!  YOu have NO idea how hard it is!!!"

To which I say, baloney.  I will tell you, out of all the stories and trans women I have met, they all but a select few are SOOOOO terribly focused on being pretty, they forget thats not what being a woman is.  this is where girls get pissed, cause its my opinion that not everyone who transitions is genuinely trans, and will eventually find themselves miserable by the time they are finished.  The understanding men have of women superficially tends to be that they are indeed the fairer sex and that they dress up, are very vain beings by nature, and are graded on looks, not on their personal abilities, personality, and life choices.  

I tell any girl who begins transition the harsh truth.  If you dont pass, get used to NEVER passing.  Sounds harsh and yes, MANY *will* go on to pass; I myself now work and keep a social life as only a genetic woman.  However, it didnt magically occur overnight, and while rare, its still possible.  However, the reason I say 'plan on never passing' is because female culture and culture in general are already too focused on the beauty of women.  There is SO much more to us than our bodies, and while I understand for many these 'tells' are areminder of their past, the truth is, you're born a woman or not.  If you need to be hot to feel like a woman, then you aren't a woman, simply put.

My brother played football all thru his youth and I attended every game.  One of the cheerleaders was a cheerleader for his football tam from age 10 til 18.  She was what many  without tact or heart would call 'a beast of a girl.'  Truth is, growing up, she was larger in stature in every way than most of the football team.  Even in the last two years of HS cheering she did, she was still MUCH larger than the average man, and not just fat, but just her build in general: Wide shoulders, deep, gruff voice, unusually tall for a girl, etc.  However, despite this girl PROBABLY would get clocked as trans by many trans people, she is a genetic woman.  

What's my point here?  Well, simply put, despite knowing she's not blind or deaf  She's aware how she looks, she's aware how she sounds.  She's aware what the kids parents said when they thought she couldn't hear, she
s had years and years of taunting.  However, I *guarantee* you not ONCE did she ever think 'Im not a woman.'  WHy?  Because her identity is female, and regardless what your exterior is, if a person is born female, they will identify as such whether they are pin thin, or bigger than Govenor Arnold. lol  The lesson here is, you came to this site and therapy because you were born a female.  Just because your body isnt in line with it, DOESNT change that you were born female (assuming from your previous posts this is how you identify.)  

So, my question is, do you think a woman needs to fit a stereotypical kind of beauty to own the title of 'woman?'  If you think so, then again, you are not a woman and transition is not for you.  Those who feel they need to look like a model to exist as a woman will never survive transition and are not true females and should be GREATLY DISCOURAGED from transition.  Will you eventually pass as a beautiful girl?  Hell if I know, I was sure I*NEVER* would, and to this day, I have 2546516255355 pieces of evidence each day that not a single soul I meet has any clue.  So life may surprise you.  However, in my mind, I'm still prepared for never passing.  Thats why I said don't make passing a conditional thing when it comes to transition.  If you are transitioning to be a beautiful, knockout woman, then you aren't a woman, you're a man who's fantasy of being a hot woman has gotten entirely out of control (mind you I SERIOUSLY doubt this applies to you, but I mention it merely because its the dark side of truth that isn't but NEEDS to be said to all new transitioners.)


After that long winded thought, my direct advice for this specific case is, you've suffered thru so much life already to make it to where you are today.  Not only should you follow your therapists advice, but I'd say, if you DO identify as 100% female, you should be *excited* to *finally* e recognized as your true gender.

Best of luc and keep us posted!! :)

Trust me. Im 100% female.

The only reason why I brought it up was because I heard so many horror stories of girls rushing their transitions.

I just needed to hear multiple viewpoints on the subject.

I'm pretty much going in as Annah this year. I'm calling my Dean tomorrow in terms of legality issues with registration, etc.
Faith sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable, and receives the impossible.
http://myjourneymytransition.blogspot.com/

#5
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Oh hun, as I said, Im sure you *are* 100% female.  My point was that, alot of people within the spectrum find their identity along the way, and that if its a mid concern, thenI totally understand about the name thing.  I merely mentioned it because I think more people and doctors need to explain to people that you dont NEED to identify 100% one way or another.  Like I said, my lil book above was more about the questions one must ask themselves thru the steps of transition and that its ok if you *weren't* 100% female, but I mean, you are, so enjoy it! Seriously, as I've said, you've waited your entire life for this moment, fearmay make you hesitant, but you've already jumped the cliff so just look ahead to your future and embrace this next step in your transition. :)

#6
Shannon

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Back in the Bad Old Days of gender transition it was pretty much standard practice to require a person to begin their RLT (Real Life Test) at the same time as beginning HRT, electrolysis and any other preliminary procedures. This meant that one had to start living full time in their target gender role immediately, with no preparation, no easing into it, and, in most cases, little chance of passing. Part of the reason for this, I'm sure, was to assess a person's resolve and dedication to their transition. For many it could also be a cruel and sadistic trial, one that thrust already emotionally traumatized and marginalized people into the spotlight of public scrutiny and ridicule. The bright side is, if you survived the ordeal you were rewarded with your recommendation letters for surgery.

Thankfully the S.O.C. has been revised since then, and the rules tend to be somewhat more relaxed and flexible. However, there are a lot of therapists and psychs out there who still cleave to the old school way of doing things, and it sounds like this may be what your psychiatrist is asking you to do.

I certainly didn't start immediately living and presenting as a woman the moment I began my own transition - although I was certainly pressured to do so. Had it been an absolute requirement that I did so, however, I'm really not sure how I would have dealt with it. I have little doubt, though, that it would have made my own transition from male to female exponentially more stressful and difficult.

There is a lot of talk in the trans community about being passable. Some will tell you that it is of paramount importance, whereas others will tell you that confidence is the key. While I tend to agree with the confidence line of thinking, I am also quite aware that confidence doesn't just appear out of thin air... and sometimes it needs a little boost. In my case, I wasn't just afraid that I wasn't passable as a female, I was so male-looking that I didn't feel I could even be believable as a female.

As it worked out, I was on HRT for a full five years before I legally changed my name and began living as a woman. During this time I started presenting more androgynously and gradually pushing the envelope ever further, until I finally arrived at the place where I was comfortable with myself. When exactly I did arrive at that place I'm not even exactly sure. It arrived without fanfare or a certificate of completion or anything else. It also came with relatively little stress and without the need for me to make a social pariah or a laughing stock of myself.

I don't believe gender transition is a one-size-fits-all process, and I also don't believe it should be done according to anyone's time line - except your own. Listen to your own inner voice, and share your feelings and concerns with your psychiatrist. If your psychiatrist doesn't listen, or tries to prod you towards something that you're not comfortable with, find a new psychiatrist. In short, it's your life and you have choices. I just want to make sure that you're aware of that before you commit to anything.

~Shannon

P.S. I was midway through college when I legally changed my name and started *officially* living as a woman - and it didn't seem to addle or confuse anyone too badly. Of course, I was training as a graphic designer, not clergy, so perhaps YMMV.
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#7
Annah

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View PostJessicaBinx, on 06 May 2010 - 03:29 AM, said:

Oh hun, as I said, Im sure you *are* 100% female.  My point was that, alot of people within the spectrum find their identity along the way, and that if its a mid concern, thenI totally understand about the name thing.  I merely mentioned it because I think more people and doctors need to explain to people that you dont NEED to identify 100% one way or another.  Like I said, my lil book above was more about the questions one must ask themselves thru the steps of transition and that its ok if you *weren't* 100% female, but I mean, you are, so enjoy it! Seriously, as I've said, you've waited your entire life for this moment, fearmay make you hesitant, but you've already jumped the cliff so just look ahead to your future and embrace this next step in your transition. :)


I understand :)

Sorry for the confusion!
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http://myjourneymytransition.blogspot.com/

#8
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View PostKareal, on 05 May 2010 - 08:40 PM, said:


Trust me. Im 100% female.

The only reason why I brought it up was because I heard so many horror stories of girls rushing their transitions.

I just needed to hear multiple viewpoints on the subject.

I'm pretty much going in as Annah this year. I'm calling my Dean tomorrow in terms of legality issues with registration, etc.


I guess you could say I rushed my transition, from just starting cross dressing in the spring of 2007, to going fulltime less than a year later in march of 2008, to now having my two letters for surgery, and planning my SRS surgery for August of 2011.

Two+ years full time now, and I know it's right for me, and I've never felt better about myself and life in general.

Bobbie Jo

#9
Bonnie

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I don't believe gender transition is a one-size-fits-all process, and I also don't believe it should be done according to anyone's time line - except your own. Listen to your own inner voice, and share your feelings and concerns with your psychiatrist. - Shannon

You make excellent points Jessica but I would go with what Shannon says above.

Bonnie

#10
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Well, agreed.  Again, Im not saying one cannot identify as a woman, see, when I speak of this, sensitivities are SO high, that people place the meanings they want to behind the words I spea sometimes.  I myself would NEVER claim to know if someone were truly a woman.  That being said, there have been ENDLESS cases of trans people who, once stealth ad settled into their female lives, found themselves going NUTS because it wasn't what they expected.  Thats why I said that 'yes, if people are in a gender crisis, then indeed I would qualify them as transgendered.'  However, transgender encompasses a VAST array of identities, not just strictly female.  This is why, many women like myself, who do live in stealth and live and identify as ONLY a woman, don't often find themselves remaining a part of the community.  Women dont have a gender crisis that a transgendered woman who is still living as a man would, so, therefore, the supports they needed early n, arent as necessary later down the line.

My point was, if you TRULY are female and an entire gender transformation is what REALLY is the solution, then this time should yes be a lil scary, but MUCH more exciting and calming.  I wont lie, I was nervous for most of my first 6 months, but I was elated that I could live as a woman, even if back then people could tell I wasnt born one.  As I began to pass seamlessly, this didnt bother me, rather, it helped me adjust to the point I m today where, unless asked or prompted about it, most days when I wake up, I forget Itrans and just live as if I had always been a woman because, for me, I always *have* been.  

See, thats what I meant in that piece.  Many men do not like the restrictions of their gender, and wish to explore their femininity.  Thats great!  However, most of these people tend to still have very male centric minds and therefore view womanhood from more of a fantasy or envious standpoint  However, once in transition, they get inklings they arent totally satisfied as 100% female either, but fear that 'rocking the boat' will affect their chances to remain on HRT so they push the concerns under the rug.  Then, 5 years later, when they marry a man they dont love and live a life they hate, they realize they had not been prepared for just exactly what a woman's life is.

The truth is, Men and women, for the most part, barring few social minutia, are one and the same.  If you had big bills to pay when you were a man, those bills will still remain.  If you felt socially underdeveloped transition will only really exacerbate that issue, not aid it.  The real differences are not what most men think, which is why I believe many supposed trans women transition due to a desire to express more femininely their personality, only to find that they are just a sensitive man with a fantasy of what it'd be like to be a woman.  As anyone who is living full time as a woman can tell you, what men think is 'so great' about being a woman is superficial, something *actual* women think very little about, and completely a bad trade off for the perks of malehood  For example, yes, as a woman, we can get pretty, dress up, wear makeup, etc.  However, I'm a woman, and I can tell you, when Im by myself, or around family, I wear a tshirt, sweats and no makeup lol.  Women get dressed up not usually for themselves but for the men we wish to attract.  However, many men's main motivation is rooted within clothing and dressing up, despite the fact that most who are guilty of this get borderline violent in their defense of that being untrue.

Again, I wasnt accusing anyone here of not being a woman, just saying that there are varying degrees on the trans scale, and that NONE of the identities are superior or inferior to any others.  However, they ARE different.  I can tell you, out of meeting well ovr 30+ transgendred women in transition, maybe, *MAYBE* one wa ANYTHING like an actual genetic female.  Again, what I am dsaying is NOT that they SHOULD be, but quite the opposite.  I think people are SO afraid to admit they arent identifying as 100% male OR female, for fear of judgement, so they hide in the gender they *think* they will be most happy with.

However, most people did not grow up as I did.  Most transgendered people remember having an enjoyable childhood and young adult life as males who were, for the most part, relatively unhappy.  Its not always that they KNEW it was a gender issue, but they knew they were't happy.  Now, for me, since age 5, not only did I *know* I was trans, as many in the community claim, but I had also told all my friends and was actualy, until about 4th grade, *viewed* and *treated* by my peers as a female.  Growing up I was always friends with girls, despite being male.  Now, Im not claiming Im the only one with such insight, but Im saying that it should be openly accepted that gender queer or gender blend is NOT aproblem and is *equally* acceptable as male or female.

Again, as I told Kareal, Im pretty sure, by what I've read, she DOES identify as 100% female.  However, I only made the initial comment because, honestly, if you are a woman, then you are a woman.  Whetheryou are 5'2" and 110lbs or 6'8" and 330 lbs, youre still a woman.  This is why I think alot of trans people arent exactly as clear cut as a total gender dysphoria because while yes, most women care how they look, then do not make their looks the qualifier of the quality of their being and identity.  I can tell you that all my life, just like most here, I hated my body and everything about it  However, that being said, I NEVER identified as ANYTHING but 100% female, regardless of how I looked.

I guess the comment was fr two intentions:

First, to ensure her that it IS ok if she feels leery and not all 100% sure about appropriating a female life; as I said, MOST people have only lived a male life, and,outside of looking in from the outside, have ZERO understanding of what TRULY changes when someone goes from a male life to a female life.  The things lost when doing so are so great that many dont deem them worth losing, which is fine.  However, if someone is worried about losing their power or male identity, they are not female.  Its not to say they arent trans, but it is NOT a case of clear female brain male body.  Because so many see this as a thumbbing at people who identify totally as one or thre other, many are made to feel it 'isnt ok' and I wanted to make it clear that you should follow your heart, and not other's opinions.  I had trans women telling me everyday Id never pass, that I'd get read at least by some, and that Id never be a woman.  However, as proven by my current life, all their words were nonsense.  So, my point there was 'if you are uneasy about being called a female name, explore that reason because I would think ANY woman forced to live as a man, no matter how manish she looked, would be GUNG HO about finally being recognized correctly.

Second, I wanted to ensure that she knew that, as Bobbie Jo Said, if you are waiting for a sign, or some signifier to begin or that you've made it, you'll be waiting a life time; it never comes.

Either way, Im sure she's a big girl and can handle it but in the end, my advice stands, be proud of your new name and dont worry about haters.  They WILL come, and there IS no safe way to transition.  No matter who you are, or how well you eventually pass, you WILL get teased many times, you WILL spend a god portion of about a month for that first year, crying.  Not just sobbing, but 'OMG my eyes are gonna fall out' crying.  Its part of the territory and par for the course.  However, as I said, if someone is *truly* female, none of these obstacles will matter nor keep her from seeing the big picture, and keeping her eye on the prize.

#11
amie

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It seems to me that our name says a lot about how the new people we meet will identify with us.  Over the years if someone introduced themselves to me with an obvious female name I would take for granted that they were a woman unless they had some characteristic that really stood out like a low deep voice and a heavy beard.   I have watched people closely over the years because I have been in the public for so much of my life.  There are definately subtle cues that tell a person they are talking to a man or a woman.  I am not saying the cues are always accurate but there are cues.  To me when someone tells me their name they are saying a lot.  They are trying to tell me how they want to be addressed.  It is important to respect someone from that very first impression.  To me, the name is the most difficult milestone to pass because it is then that people will have to remind themselves and others that something has changed about me.  And if they are my friends or loyal business relationship they will respect my wishes and call me by my new name.

I have also realized that if I recognized someone as possibly cross-dressed or transgender I would never say anything to them I would not want to insult them or hurt their feelings.  So I am not sure how any of us could ever say we pass as 100% woman.   I may feel 100% woman but getting down to reality there is no way for me to ever know how many people see me say "thats a man in woman's clothing"  Laugh to themselves and move on.  For the most part respectable people keep to themselves and say absolutely nothing unless there is a good reason to do so.  The real point here is that if we all just mind our own business, we go on with our lives.  The people causing the greatest problems are the obnoxiously vocal and rude people who think that by yelling out sarcasm they some how make themselves look better.

Jessica said that you don't have to get all dressed up with make-up and jewelry to be a real woman I would agree, but I found it a little confusing when she talked about if you are someone who dresses up to be hot that somehow you are not a full woman.  There are real women who want and like to dress for themselves and their own happiness.

My mother was obviously a gentic woman.  She was a girly girl at times.  I would like to point out that dressing up is not just about showing off to others, and not just about getting the guy.   There are many women who enjoy making themselves pretty with make-up, jewelry, clothing and high heel shoes because they like it and it makes them feel special.  My mother was one of these woman who dressed for herself, and she had a lot of style.  Some of the comments earlier make me feel like I am somehow less of a woman because I like these things.  I used to think that until I worked around Dancers, and Pageants and saw that some of the women really do enjoy the glamor and glitz.  It is not just to show off or to entice.  Some women simply like to take that extra step to do something that makes them feel special.  Yes some women will struggle to be pretty but it can still be important for a woman to feel special inside by having various products and services available that pamper them a little.  If you enjoy having more variety as a woman, whether or not other people like your choice in clothes or shoes should not keep you from picking what you like.  However, sometimes what we invision in our minds of how we look isn't exactly what others see.  Taking a picture of yourself and having a friends give kind advice may be very helpful in appearing more natural in public.  I agree with Kareal when it comes to the beard.   It is so unnatural to see woman with a heavy beard and heavier body hair that is it certainly a confusing cue for anyone passing by.  Again no matter how obvious a persons gender identity may be we still have a right to live out our own personhood and find ourselves despite what anyone thinks.  I think Jessica would agree that it is common sense to follow dress codes when appropriate and think about how ones actions can affect the relationships around us, but ultimately we have to live with ourselves.  For me living with myself is that I physically want to feminize my body to match my mind because that is who I am.  I personally will be more comfortable as soon as my facial and body hair are gone or at least reduced to match more closely that of a woman.  No one can condemn you for changing your name, even if you dressed as a male there aren't any laws I know of that say you can't have a woman's name.  It all has to do with you being ready and then go for it.  

From what I have learned about your life Kareal, If you feel like you have hit bottom, what better time to give yourself a lift.  Take some time to really think about the name you want and go for it.  Be bold, go out there and be yourself!   When you believe in yourself of who you are, others will have no choice but to accept it or walk away.   For myself, I am Amie on this website but I have not asked too many people to call me that yet.  I am thinking about two other names yet that may suit me better, as a few people around here changed their names at the end of transition it is certainly an important step to take time for and think about.  

Amie

#12
amie

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Why is there such an emphasis on the 100%.   I think there is going to be a point where we simply must recognize that you don't have to be 100% one way or the other to be more comfortable in one body form or the other.  what if you 60/40 or 80/20.   What about Males who are happy being male but have 90% female brain.  Doesn't it all come down to what body are you comfortable in.  What body is right for you.  Yes we have limitations but if you love yourself then everyone else will just have to deal with it.  A real balanced and compassionate human being will be able to see the whole person you are and look passed that which is unusual or different.  Sometimes it is exactly that which is different that will draw other people to us who actually like us for our uniqueness.  I find all this talk about absolutes and issues about passing very troubling.  If the laws of this country offered full protection for allowing us to be ourselves than none of this should matter.   There are so many words; so much conversation about this.  

I came out to my father about a week ago.  He didn't understand what I was going through but he said to me.  "What do you care about what others' think"  Go out there and be yourself.
When you come to the water and your wondering how cold it is going to be, sometimes the best way to find out  is just to jump in.  It hurts at first if it is really cold but then your body eventually adjusts.  I am interested in knowing what legal rights I have in my home town thinking about the possible consequences and outside of that I want to tell people who I am and move on with my life.  

Amie

#13
Annie

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Annah--

I agree with your psychiatrist. Go by your real name from day one.

My transitionibg at work was hindered by everyone there knowing me as my birth name. One inflexible assistant manager continued to use it even after the legal change, liked to embarrass me by calling it out across a crowded store just to see me squirm. I was passing pretty well at the time and her nasty pranks did lead to a lot of heads turning and whispering among customers. These abuse, and an insane workload, contributed to my meltdown at that job.

I know your situation is rather different, yet they still can't call you a name they've never heard.


Annie
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#14
Hotlips

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I found this thread very interesting. Certainly the need to look inside yourself and ascertain your true motives is good advice I think, I'd love to be a woman, but I don't want to be a castrated man. And I suppose, when it's all over and finished, the Holy Grail achieved, you'll either feel like one or the other. That's when you'll know. A high price to pay for knowledge, but wasn't it ever thus. Any doubts, don't do it. Forget the hot women, one day you're going to be an old woman, Would you rather be an old woman or an old man? Answer this question truthfully and you'll know where you're going.
First - looking for a husband, second- looking for a boyfriend - third, looking for a casual acquaintance, well I am a bit lonely.




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