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Thread: How to afford gender identity help

  1. #1

    Default How to afford gender identity help

    I've struggled with wanting to be a girl for a while now, but I'm not sure how I can even start to get help with these feelings. My main hurdles for this right now is figuring out how to afford getting help as well as how to deal with the possibility of losing my job, friends, family etc.

    First, I'm trying to decide exactly where I fit in. I know that I have some form of gender identity problem, but what degree I think I have of this varies. I do find women attractive, but there is often a side of me that wishes that I were that Victoria's Secret model that I am looking at. I do wear panties a bit and have often wished that they looked the same on me as they do on the model (you know, without that extra bulge). I've even gone as far as wishing I could have a period, even though I hear that they suck, just to feel more like a woman. Other times, though, I'm okay just with cross-dressing and imagining that I'm a woman. Often time this leads to arousal followed by feeling disgusted with myself and purging all my women's clothing. And to be quite honest, there are times that I'm fine being one of the guys. It's not like I'm completely disgusted with being a guy which often times leads me to think that I may really be somewhere in between.

    I contacted a gender therapist last summer. They mentioned that they would work with me on cost, but after hearing the base rates they charge, I chickened out fearing that what I could afford is only a very small fraction those amounts. I just got done looking up my city's LGBT support site, but only found stuff on the LGB part, nothing on financial support for transgender/transsexual. I currently do make a decent living and have a good job, the problem is after I have paid student loans, rent, bills, grocery and gas, I have little left for myself. I kind of like having what little is left over for fun stuff like eating out and some of my other interests.

    I'm also afraid of what could happen if I do decide to transition. First, I know the upfront cost is going to be high to purchase a whole new wardrobe not to mention hormones and surgery if I decide to go that far. Also, I kind of like the job I have now as well as my close friends. I know a lot of people aren't accepting of this lifestyle and I'm not sure I would want to lose these things.

    I know this is a lot, but any help would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2

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    The costs associated with gender therapy, hormones, and SRS are phenomenal. I'm not sure what you're situation is right now, but it's worth looking into any possible back routes into getting part of the expenses covered. If you're a student, some school healthcare plans will cover part of the expenses. If there's any way you can get under your parents' healthcare plan (provided, of course, that they have a plan and that it will cover you), that's another route. Other than that, there unfortunately isn't much to do outside of saving up and taking out loans.

    In the interim, you sound like you're at the start of it all, still trying to figure out exactly what you want to do. I think your instinct to look into local LGBT groups is right on target. Hang out with other transpeople, go to a trans support group -- it's no substitute for a good gender therapist, but they can really help you sort things out since they've all pretty much been there and done that. They can also probably give you some good advice about how to make it affordable.

    Also, be aware that you don't have to transition to be trans, and transitioning doesn't have to involve hormones and SRS. You can totally be non-opt or find non-transitioning ways to express your femininity without going under the knife or publicly identifying as a woman and still be legitimately trans. The most important thing is that you find a point at which you can be at peace about your body and your gender, and that could be anywhere on a long continuum of options.

    A good test to help you figure things out: get together some trans friends or allies, dress and present yourself as a woman, and go somewhere that's LGBT safe like a gay bar. Hang out, present yourself as a woman, and see how you feel. That's probably the safest way to get your feet wet without outing yourself in a dangerous way, committing to anything, or doing anything expensive/irreversible.

    Good luck! *Hugs* Be safe, be careful, and be happy.

  3. #3

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    hi hun!

    first off, don't be scared, you'll be beautiful and amazing no matter what you decide to do! <3

    second off, identifying as trans isn't the only option! there's also genderqueer! Genderqueer is where a person identifies as something in between "perfect male" (aggressive, socially dominant, other stereotypically masculine things) and "perfect female" (submissive, emotional other stereotypically feminine things). Genderqueers can identify as a third gender (separate and different from male and female) a mixed gender, or no gender. There is also genderfluid. This is similar to genderqueer in that it's for people who fall outside the gender binary (the gender binary is the social idea that there are only two genders, the previously mentioned "perfect male" and "perfect female") but who don't identify as a fixed point. Like one day they may identify as very feminine and the next as very masculine and the third as something completely different!

    Some people who fall into the genderqueer/fluid category prefer the alternate pronoun Ze/Hir (pronounced zee and here). Examples of usage are:
    - Ze brought a lunchbox to school today.
    - I kissed hir.
    - Hir head hurts.
    - Ze bought hirself a new hat.

    Now some major cities (such as seattle, portland, san francisco, new york) have gender centers that offers free support groups for alternatively gendered people. These centers also usually have information about receiving therapy and the transition process according to your local state laws.

    One thing you can do is like slim suggested, take a friend or two that is LGBTQ supporting and accepting and go out to a trans bar (not a lesbian bar because some lesbians have problem with trans-women) and present yourself as female and use female pronouns and such. This will give you an idea of how it is to be received and present as female outside of your home.

    if you have any other questions don't be afraid to PM me!

  4. #4
    AmbezeSubHealth

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by Ponyprincessboy View Post
    I've struggled with wanting to be a girl for a while now, but I'm not sure how I can even start to get help with these feelings.
    I except you as a girl even if you choose to keep the penis.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleMiss View Post
    Some people who fall into the genderqueer/fluid category prefer the alternate pronoun Ze/Hir (pronounced zee and here). Examples of usage are:
    - Ze brought a lunchbox to school today.
    - I kissed hir.
    - Hir head hurts.
    - Ze bought hirself a new hat.
    Ugh... I hate these. I think I could get used to ze, but I hate the sound of hir. Him and her use lax vowels ([ɪ] and [ʊ]), but hir has a tense vowel ([i]). It just sounds wrong to me. That, and it doesn't make sense for pronunciation, since hir should be pronounced the same as her if you're following English grammar and spelling rules. Like I said, I could get used to "ze", but for some reason that makes me think of aliens. O_o

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zephy View Post
    Ugh... I hate these. I think I could get used to ze, but I hate the sound of hir. Him and her use lax vowels ([ɪ] and [ʊ]), but hir has a tense vowel ([i]). It just sounds wrong to me. That, and it doesn't make sense for pronunciation, since hir should be pronounced the same as her if you're following English grammar and spelling rules. Like I said, I could get used to "ze", but for some reason that makes me think of aliens. O_o
    It takes some getting used to, but I have several friends who use alternate pronouns (like ze/hir) and one who doesn't use pronouns so you get used to it pretty fast when you're using it on a day to day basis

    Yeah the pronunciation bothered me too but like I said you get used to it after using it :p and ze/hir isn't the weirdest sounding one...there's a whole lot of them that are a lot harder to keep track of than ze/hir.

  7. #7

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by LittleMiss View Post
    hi hun!

    first off, don't be scared, you'll be beautiful and amazing no matter what you decide to do! <3

    second off, identifying as trans isn't the only option! there's also genderqueer! Genderqueer is where a person identifies as something in between "perfect male" (aggressive, socially dominant, other stereotypically masculine things) and "perfect female" (submissive, emotional other stereotypically feminine things). Genderqueers can identify as a third gender (separate and different from male and female) a mixed gender, or no gender. There is also genderfluid. This is similar to genderqueer in that it's for people who fall outside the gender binary (the gender binary is the social idea that there are only two genders, the previously mentioned "perfect male" and "perfect female") but who don't identify as a fixed point. Like one day they may identify as very feminine and the next as very masculine and the third as something completely different!

    Some people who fall into the genderqueer/fluid category prefer the alternate pronoun Ze/Hir (pronounced zee and here). Examples of usage are:
    - Ze brought a lunchbox to school today.
    - I kissed hir.
    - Hir head hurts.
    - Ze bought hirself a new hat.

    Now some major cities (such as seattle, portland, san francisco, new york) have gender centers that offers free support groups for alternatively gendered people. These centers also usually have information about receiving therapy and the transition process according to your local state laws.

    One thing you can do is like slim suggested, take a friend or two that is LGBTQ supporting and accepting and go out to a trans bar (not a lesbian bar because some lesbians have problem with trans-women) and present yourself as female and use female pronouns and such. This will give you an idea of how it is to be received and present as female outside of your home.

    if you have any other questions don't be afraid to PM me!
    Since you mention it, I think that there is more of a likelihood that I'm genderqueer instead of transgender or transsexual. I do have interests in both masculine and feminine things. So far, my gender expression has been occasional cross-dressing in the privacy of my apartment. I have considered a few things to express a bit more femininity, but I don't think that going to living full-time as a woman is the right thing for me at this time. I've started a regular routine of shaving my legs and have worn panties for a few full days. I also do take scented bubble-baths, which I enjoy and have found to be very relaxing. I've been considering lately maybe making wearing panties full-time as well as using a few more feminine bath products like shower gel and such.

    I also have My Little Pony as a way to somewhat openly express my girly side. My best friends already know I like the show and are accepting (in fact, one of those friends got me into watching it). I've recently branched out on this interest and have started buying some of the toys. So far, I have a Pinkie Pie and a Fluttershy, but I intend to have one of each of the "Mane 6" (and probably a Princess Celestia) here some time soon.

    Anyways, I don't think at this time that I'm fully transgender, but at the very least, I do have a term that I feel that I can identify with. I don't think I'll go to using the alternative pronouns you mentioned since I don't have any issues with who I am around friends. Thanks for posting that, it really did help me some in clearing up some of these feelings.

  8. #8

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by Zephy View Post
    Ugh... I hate these. I think I could get used to ze, but I hate the sound of hir. Him and her use lax vowels ([ɪ] and [ʊ]), but hir has a tense vowel ([i]). It just sounds wrong to me. That, and it doesn't make sense for pronunciation, since hir should be pronounced the same as her if you're following English grammar and spelling rules. Like I said, I could get used to "ze", but for some reason that makes me think of aliens. O_o
    I agree, "hir" is really clunky. Oh well, if it does catch on, it'll probably just end up getting reduced and sound almost the same as "her." A better vowel would be "ɛə" as in "their" minus the "t," making it sound identical to "hair." That vowel combination, at least, is already comfortable to use in a pronoun, and likely wouldn't occur a context where it could be confused with "hair." But I digress. I'd rather be inconvenienced and support someone's gender expression, so if someone wants to go by ze/hir, I respect their request.

  9. #9

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by Ponyprincessboy View Post
    I'm also afraid of what could happen if I do decide to transition. First, I know the upfront cost is going to be high to purchase a whole new wardrobe not to mention hormones and surgery if I decide to go that far. Also, I kind of like the job I have now as well as my close friends. I know a lot of people aren't accepting of this lifestyle and I'm not sure I would want to lose these things.
    I know this sucks, but I don't think there's any getting around needing a ton of money for the process. Gender reassignment is expensive to you even with fantastic insurance coverage. There are people who do it piecemeal- top surgery this year, vocal chord surgery two years later, bottom surgery two more years later, etc- but that's an extremely difficult purgatory to put yourself in. I honestly think the most important thing you can do is to keep working on your career to improve your insurance coverage and discretionary income.

    That said, it certainly could be worthwhile to start on the counseling before you have the money to go forward with surgery. For one, the pre-surgery portion of the process can take years to complete. It's also possible that just being in the process helps you deal with things better, and perhaps even you come to a conclusion that you can be satisfied without the trouble and cost of surgery (this was where I ended up; I'm MtF non-op). You also suggested you might be more genderqueer than transgender (if I understood your later comment correctly).

    So I think your best short term goal is focus on advancing your career- I think the amount of discretionary income you have plus health coverage is the first part of the process you need to work on. It's your step one in a many-step process.

  10. #10

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by Ponyprincessboy View Post
    I contacted a gender therapist last summer. They mentioned that they would work with me on cost, but after hearing the base rates they charge, I chickened out fearing that what I could afford is only a very small fraction those amounts. I just got done looking up my city's LGBT support site, but only found stuff on the LGB part, nothing on financial support for transgender/transsexual. I currently do make a decent living and have a good job, the problem is after I have paid student loans, rent, bills, grocery and gas, I have little left for myself. I kind of like having what little is left over for fun stuff like eating out and some of my other interests.

    I'm also afraid of what could happen if I do decide to transition. First, I know the upfront cost is going to be high to purchase a whole new wardrobe not to mention hormones and surgery if I decide to go that far. Also, I kind of like the job I have now as well as my close friends. I know a lot of people aren't accepting of this lifestyle and I'm not sure I would want to lose these things.

    I know this is a lot, but any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Sliding scale can vary the price dramatically. For example my friends therapist has a base rate of ~130 an hour, but their appointments were only 30. Therapists, especially the ones who work with GLBT as a focus, really do want to do everything they can to make access to mental health care affordable.

    Really, therapy is probably the least of your worries cost wise.

    As far as your work and friends that will also vary. I have zero problems because I work in a state were trans statuses are protected, at a very liberal academic job, and I had long created an extended network of friends that I made sure would have been ok from the start. YMMV, I have heard a huge range of stories related to coming out and transition and there is no single neat, fit response. I have known people disowned by their atheist liberal parents and people completely accepted by their ultra conservative southern baptist families.




    Quote Originally Posted by Ponyprincessboy View Post
    Since you mention it, I think that there is more of a likelihood that I'm genderqueer instead of transgender or transsexual. I do have interests in both masculine and feminine things. So far, my gender expression has been occasional cross-dressing in the privacy of my apartment. I have considered a few things to express a bit more femininity, but I don't think that going to living full-time as a woman is the right thing for me at this time. I've started a regular routine of shaving my legs and have worn panties for a few full days. I also do take scented bubble-baths, which I enjoy and have found to be very relaxing. I've been considering lately maybe making wearing panties full-time as well as using a few more feminine bath products like shower gel and such.
    Transgender is an umbrella term. If you identify as Genderqueer, you ARE transgendered. Just like lesbians are gay, but not all gays are lesbian etc.

    Also you are reading way to much into hobbies and behaviors. That has pretty much nothing to do with "the trans." Everyone has masculine and feminine interests. You can be the girliest, prissiest person on earth and still identify as a Man. Bubble baths and panties don't have anything to do with being a woman.

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