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Thread: FtM transitioning. In a bit of a dark place.

  1. #1

    Default FtM transitioning. In a bit of a dark place.

    So I am in an area where I'm fundamentally uncomfortable with being called "female". I don't know if this is the "foot down" point, but I may have to "step back", if you know what I mean.

    I'm going through the phase where I don't want to appear in person in the off chance that it would leave me misgendered by different people. That I would go to a new club or new restaurant or a new job or a new training facility and just be eased in as a "she".

    A lot of the SJW extremists tell me I should just sue the world and lash out and get upset and quit my job since they misgender me and misgendering is an "act of violence" and they're not giving me "basic human respect".

    A lot of the people doing this are on the other extreme. I'm in Baltimore, and there's a culture of conservative misogyny here. Parts of the city are EXTREMELY anti-woman and transwomen are seen as targets. It is hailed as one of the most unfriendly cities for transpeople. TransMEN, such as myself, don't exist, because in the eyes of "opinionated people", "a woman could never do what a man does, a woman should never play dress up as a man," and for older conservative men here, "you've just had your heart broken and need a nice dick to turn you". Fucking disgusting honestly.

    This DOES tend to extend to all corners of the state, MD is regrettably one of the ugliest conservative states there is. The country folk are conservative and fundamentalist to a degree of them being almost mentally ill. I've seen women MY AGE disagree with cashiers of a different demographic and call them a harsh racist slur, or the "go back to whatever country you came from," and there will be cheers. This is the kind of environment I'm in.

    When co-workers refer to me in the third person as "she" I get eye-rolls as I correct them and they'll say "Whatever, YOU," or even worse, "Whatever, SHE."

    My therapist and I cover this topic often. When others refer to me and see me as how I want to be seen, it's like busting through an egg shell and the real me is able to hatch. Until then, I am living a "diet" life, or a ghost life. I am far more sensitive and hypervigilant to gender discrimination than I EVER thought I would be. As a female, I considered it as part of the package and just took it in stride. As a FTM, I ABSOLUTELY will NOT be buying into your shit... I am NOT your next victim and I am NOT your gay training wheels and I am NOT your target to "convert" back to a woman.

    Telling others that "I go by sir" is borderline /almost/ putting my personal business out there, and it spells trouble for me. For me, handing over the keys to that is a level of seeking external validation. We've got uncomfortable and off on the wrong foot because you used a "pronoun" something as casual and commonplace as "Are" or "the" or "go", incorrectly, and now I seem like a fussy drama queen for correcting you.

    These are the "rules" of the chess game I play with people.

    Generally - call me a fucking "she" all you want, I've removed my gender as your ammunition and it's back in my court. To me, you're just another stranger and I won't see you again. If I work with you, or work out with you, or will be seeing you frequently enough where you wold be considering a friendship with me, you have to know the truth about me before we move on.
    Inquiring about my gender identity- I will tell you I'm transitioning into a male.
    You intentionally misgender me - I give everyone basic human respect and you blew your chances with me. You are now neutral negative and if our interaction goes any further, its in a negative direction. We go no further than here.
    You misgender me, unintentionally or intentionally I will probably stop coming around. If you intentionally misgender me, and I have to be around you, I will do my business but all interaction of you and me will be shut down via my own iron curtain. If you do it unintentionally, I'll still stop coming around. Not because you're a scumbag like the people who do it on purpose, but eventually the thing I'm doing will simply become a chore rather than an enjoyment, and I'll just leave.
    You hold me to a feminine standard, and you flirt with me, touch me inappropriately, or tell me something I've heard above - This is what the kids call "Triggering" these days and I will become very mentally ill. I will endure flashbacks to sexual assault and go through a period of PTSD decompression. My therapist and I are mindful of this and I know every step I take through the storm and what it looks like. Sometimes I disassociate, other times, I have stress dreams and wet the bed, or worse, all of these are far from "normal" behavior. I am a very steady and stable person.


    People do stare at me everywhere I go. I am now some kind of "in between" that draws stares. Contending with this and a brain that is being shaped by pubescence... and the only options people are giving me is "SUE THEM. YELL AT THEM. CRY. TAKE THEM TO COURT. GET VIOLENT. GET UPSET. RUN AWAY. QUIT YOUR JOB. RUN AWAY FROM HOME." Uh, haha, yeah. Right. lol

    I feel as though I am far too old to be this mentally unhealthy. I'm trying to come together as a wholesome man that serves as an upright moral compass/emotional rock for others when no one else can do that job. This whole voyage into another gender has just removed a veil of blissful ignorance. That, actually, you are not a person, you are a gender role, and I will bury you under that until you quit your job, leave, are just otherwise ejected from the interface of social darwinism.


    I spent a full 3 or 4 years without all of this "angst", but I feel as though I am falling apart and "regressing" to a 13-year old mindset. I never felt so trapped and misunderstood and forced and punished and in dark times as I did in middle school... and that feeling is there again.

    I don't know why I'm posting this. But I just feel like I am doubting myself not in terms of gender, but in terms of character. I told myself I would NEVER let trite shit like pronouns trip me up but now these small elements are woven into the control-pit of my self-respect. It's reinforcing misanthropist views that made me very, very reclusive and very, very ill.

    I know this is best suited for a journal entry and not a forum of discussion somehow, but I just need help. More help than I'm getting...
    Last edited by Reaper; 17-Feb-2017 at 21:00.

  2. #2

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    A few notes here...

    Until you posted and mentioned such, I simply assumed you were male. It's how you come off. I think you're quite correct in finding your gender identity, FWIW.

    As a MtF, I've been living a rather parallel ghost life myself. It eventually brought me to a breaking point, and by now I don't give a shit if my colleagues at work look down on me for "being gay." That's their interpretation of my more feminine characteristics which I am no longer bothering to mask at all. They aren't quite perceptive enough to notice the gradual loss of facial hair... idiots.

    I think you're posting all of this because you really need to vent and have some support. And that's entirely understandable -- and nothing to do with "being a man." Lots of guys -- yourself included it would seem -- like to feel that they can handle anything, that they are more-or-less infallible. But it's not the case... social support is EXTREMELY important. Being accepted for who you are is EXTREMELY important. I'm not at all surprised that being misgendered has come to bother you so much... especially if people are as obnoxious about it as you describe. Some people just need a fist in their face. >.<

    Never EVER think that you're a reject. You're a very intelligent person, and a very interesting person, and if most others around you are too dull to take an interest in you and in the person you are, just leave them behind. You clearly don't need that kind of crap.

    EDIT: If you're in Baltimore, don't miss Otakon this August! ^_^

  3. #3

    Default

    oh gosh SJW's are the worst just bring up that you are transgender and that you prefer to be called by male pronouns im sure most people will respect your wishes

  4. #4

    Default

    Hi,

    The level of your anger here seems to suggest a whole lot of ongoing frustration, and from what you say of your personal experience, it seems justified. I'm so sorry you are surrounded by people who are jerks who don't know how to treat you with respect. It's unfortunate that you seem to find so many examples around you that perpetuate the attitudes that justifiably upset you. Your post lays at least some of the blame on Baltimore and Maryland for their lack of respect for trans rights, but research suggests you are not correct in that. The latest (2015) statistics show Maryland to be the #16 state for trans people to live in, and Baltimore to be the #5 city. (Don't blame me; I'm just the messenger.) I know the city has a very active GLBT community and even a Trans-Masculine Alliance. Since I don't doubt your experiences, this suggests to me that you must be in the wrong part of Baltimore; perhaps some of your problems might be resolved by seeking out these communities if you have not already done so?

    I know how hard it can be to be misgendered. The level of irritation can be overwhelming. But you have to trust that it is a temporary situation: the longer you are on hormones, the better things will get in that regard. With FTMs especially, this rarely fails to happen. Meanwhile, try to seek out your friends and just hang with them. The idiots of the world just are not worth it.

    Good luck.

  5. #5

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    Living in Virginia, I understand what you're saying about Baltimore. Now imagine living in Lynchburg, VA a few miles from Liberty University and Thomas Rd. Baptist Church.

    I taught in a junior high school for 12 years before I retired. I worked with an English Teacher who is a lesbian. She has a son who was a student at the school and she is married to her female partner. Eventually she and her spouse no longer felt safe in Lynchburg because of all the hate rhetoric coming out of Jerry Falwell's homophobic mouth and so they moved to Portland, Oregon. I've know a lot of gay people who've moved to California, Portland, Ore. and other more accepting states. The South is a rough place to live if one is a free thinker. My wife and I are always frustrated listening to all the conservative hate speech that surrounds us. It was employment that moved me and my family to Lynchburg, but it's never felt like home and I've been here for almost 37 years.

  6. #6

    Default

    Hi, Reaper,

    I'm posting a link from the John Hopkins University with resources for the Trans community in Baltimore.

    http://studentaffairs.jhu.edu/lgbtq/...n/links/#trans

    I imagine you're probably aware of whatever support is available, but I wanted to send it just in case, and because there is so much more I wish I could do to help.

    I'm not a trans person myself, but I know what it's like not to feel accepted in society for trying to be who you are. I spent nearly a decade of my younger life working in the federal government which was a very conservative environment. It was during the late 70's and early 80's and I was a gay person living in the closet, or at least, I was doing my best to remain hidden and stay off the radar. I wasn't always successful. Occasionally one of those gay 'mannerisms' would surface and I would be the brunt of jokes and people talking behind my back. I faked it as best I could, trying to put on a straight fašade but I was never entirely successful. And gays were despised during that time. It was during the advent of the AIDS crisis and there were jokes about it all around the office; What do you call a fag on roller skates? Answer :Roll-aids. Laughter all around. It wasn't until I left the government that I slowly started to have the courage to accept and be myself.

    When I look back on those days, I realize how miserable I was because I wanted their acceptance, and the only way I could get it was by not accepting myself. It took time to get over it. I was able to find a small group of friends who I learned to trust ands support me and help me through some tough days. As I get older, I've found that negative, ill-informed judgements really don't bother me anymore. They occur less frequently as people get older since most adults really don't seem to care as much about another person's sexual orientation or identity. I think overall society is changing,, albeit very slowly, and we are gaining more acceptance. The ones that can't accept it are the ones who get left behind.

    I've often said that the gay and lesbian movement was several decades behind the women's movement, and that the trans movement is several decades behind the gay and lesbian movement. We won't arrive until we all arrive... but we will get there. During those miserable days of being a closeted gay man working in a homophobic work environment, I never could have imagined that, twenty years later, our country would be one of the first in the world to legalize same-sex marriages.

    Just keep getting support wherever you can get it, and get as much of it as you can. You have a lot of courage in facing ignorance and intolerance, and you certainly have the right to be angry. Just don't let that anger consume you or define you and use it instead to be an educator and a proponent of change.

    Stay strong, friend. It does get better.
    Last edited by HogansHeroes; 21-Feb-2017 at 04:31. Reason: thread split

  7. #7
    MarchinBunny

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by Reaper View Post
    So I am in an area where I'm fundamentally uncomfortable with being called "female". I don't know if this is the "foot down" point, but I may have to "step back", if you know what I mean.

    I'm going through the phase where I don't want to appear in person in the off chance that it would leave me misgendered by different people. That I would go to a new club or new restaurant or a new job or a new training facility and just be eased in as a "she".
    Being transgender myself, I can tell you it can certainly be tough, however ... I think it's important to come to a bit of a compromise. Being misgendered does indeed bother me, probably just as much as it does for you, but I have come to terms with it, so to speak. So even if I get misgendered, I may correct the person but beyond that I will not do anything else. I find it's more stressful to try and force people into it. Not only that, but it can turn people away and make them feel uncomfortable because they fear they may slip up.

    I find most people don't do it on purpose, or they simply just don't know and I think that is fine really. When I get called a "he" ... I don't blame people for doing so. I look like a he. I have not transitioned at all, and so I think it's a little bit much to expect them to gender me correctly even when they do know. So even if it bothers me, I am not going to growl at anyone for slipping up.



    A lot of the SJW extremists tell me I should just sue the world and lash out and get upset and quit my job since they misgender me and misgendering is an "act of violence" and they're not giving me "basic human respect".
    Ya, I remember seeing a video about it being an "act of violence". Can't remember who it was .. Milo Stewart maybe? Ehh ... I honestly think that is being too drastic. It's really hard to call it violence espeically since most misgendering is done by mistake. That isn't to say it doesn't happen when someone will purposefully do it to upset you. I have met a few who have done that, but they were not people I spent too much time with for obvious reasons.



    A lot of the people doing this are on the other extreme. I'm in Baltimore, and there's a culture of conservative misogyny here. Parts of the city are EXTREMELY anti-woman and transwomen are seen as targets. It is hailed as one of the most unfriendly cities for transpeople. TransMEN, such as myself, don't exist, because in the eyes of "opinionated people", "a woman could never do what a man does, a woman should never play dress up as a man," and for older conservative men here, "you've just had your heart broken and need a nice dick to turn you". Fucking disgusting honestly.

    This DOES tend to extend to all corners of the state, MD is regrettably one of the ugliest conservative states there is. The country folk are conservative and fundamentalist to a degree of them being almost mentally ill. I've seen women MY AGE disagree with cashiers of a different demographic and call them a harsh racist slur, or the "go back to whatever country you came from," and there will be cheers. This is the kind of environment I'm in.
    That does certainly sound terrible. Sorry to hear where you live is so bad like that o.o.

    These are the "rules" of the chess game I play with people.



    You misgender me, unintentionally or intentionally I will probably stop coming around. If you intentionally misgender me, and I have to be around you, I will do my business but all interaction of you and me will be shut down via my own iron curtain. If you do it unintentionally, I'll still stop coming around. Not because you're a scumbag like the people who do it on purpose, but eventually the thing I'm doing will simply become a chore rather than an enjoyment, and I'll just leave.
    See, I don't think I would ever leave when someone does it by accident. I feel like it's just too much to expect from someone. You have to consider people see with their eyes. It's very very hard to gender properly at times when someone does quite yet fit that roll. Even I have slipped up, and to be honest, slipping up doesn't make anyone a bad person. In fact, you will be distancing yourself from good and supportive people over a simply misused pronoun. Sometimes the support you get from these people can be far more important than the occasional slip-up. Especially when going through transitioning.



    People do stare at me everywhere I go. I am now some kind of "in between" that draws stares. Contending with this and a brain that is being shaped by pubescence... and the only options people are giving me is "SUE THEM. YELL AT THEM. CRY. TAKE THEM TO COURT. GET VIOLENT. GET UPSET. RUN AWAY. QUIT YOUR JOB. RUN AWAY FROM HOME." Uh, haha, yeah. Right. lol
    I would never recommend any of that.



    I don't know why I'm posting this. But I just feel like I am doubting myself not in terms of gender, but in terms of character. I told myself I would NEVER let trite shit like pronouns trip me up but now these small elements are woven into the control-pit of my self-respect. It's reinforcing misanthropist views that made me very, very reclusive and very, very ill.
    I do have a feeling a lot of you feelings has much to do with where you live. I mean, I have run into people who have even called me disgusting, but it was never a common occurrence. I imagine if your environment makes things like that common, it can eventually get to you. Things you thought would not bother you, eventually, will. It's like that whole water and erosion analogy. It eventually eats away at you little by little.

    I am sorry, you are going through this and I hope things get better.

  8. #8

    Default

    Speaking from a cis perspective, when you have known someone who was female and then they soon come out as male and they decide to "change" their gender and go by a new name, that is very awkward for us. In our minds we still see you as female so it's going to take us a while to get used to seeing you as male and not someone who is female that is living as a male and wearing male clothing and going by a new name. It's like trying to break a habit and it takes a while for someone to break a habit they have developed. it has nothing to do with discrimination or transphobia because this is not done intentionally. I still find myself making these mistakes on transgender people when they have come out as male or female when I have known them by the gender they said they were before they came out. I even find myself calling my ex a he or him still sometimes when I sometimes talk about her. But what do you do if your partner was male at the time you were together so you talk about your past relationship? If you refer them to the gender they are now, people will think you were in a relationship with another female and that isn't really accurate because mine was still living as a male at the time and hadn't come out yet as trans. I just remember to write in my posts sometimes "he then" in parenthesis so people know I was in a straight relationship, not a lesbian one.

  9. #9
    MarchinBunny

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by Calico View Post
    Speaking from a cis perspective, when you have known someone who was female and then they soon come out as male and they decide to "change" their gender and go by a new name, that is very awkward for us. In our minds we still see you as female so it's going to take us a while to get used to seeing you as male and not someone who is female that is living as a male and wearing male clothing and going by a new name. It's like trying to break a habit and it takes a while for someone to break a habit they have developed. it has nothing to do with discrimination or transphobia because this is not done intentionally. I still find myself making these mistakes on transgender people when they have come out as male or female when I have known them by the gender they said they were before they came out. I even find myself calling my ex a he or him still sometimes when I sometimes talk about her. But what do you do if your partner was male at the time you were together so you talk about your past relationship? If you refer them to the gender they are now, people will think you were in a relationship with another female and that isn't really accurate because mine was still living as a male at the time and hadn't come out yet as trans. I just remember to write in my posts sometimes "he then" in parenthesis so people know I was in a straight relationship, not a lesbian one.
    This is exactly what I try to consider as well. So when someone misgenders me, I realize it's not the easiest thing to all of a sudden switch. I think it's important many transgender accept that this is just the reality of the situation. Being misgendered is going to happen and likely will continue to happen. Coming to accept it, is much easier than trying to fight against it. Eventually there will be a point where it will become very rare though.

  10. #10

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    That's tough.
    I think if someone doesn't know your pronouns, or if they clearly just forgot, it's not something that should be held against them.
    But it sounds like the OP is dealing with a different situation. He's telling people his pronouns and they're deliberately misgendering him. And that is abusive.
    I'm cis, but I've been aggressively misgendered online, while playing a video game. (There's a segment of the gaming population who believe that girls never play video games, and even a person who is playing a female character and explicitly describes herself as female is actually a guy in real life.) It pisses me off. And I don't get it every day, or IRL, like trans folks do. It must be way more frustrating when it happens all the time. Even something that you'd normally shrug off as no big deal can become a big deal if it happens too much.
    I don't have any suggestions for you, OP, but you do have my sympathy.

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