Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Can You Help?

Last night at one of our group picnics, one of the other members I have known for a couple years  came up to me and asked if we could talk.

Already, by that point, I knew what was coming. And, there it was, she said she has a 20 something MtF transgender niece who has just decided to begin the coming out process. It sounded as if the transgender millennial has had a fairly positive coming out process, except for a very religious father who still doesn't know.

Fortunately (or not) I am becoming increasingly experienced in having conversations such as these. In the approximately past three months or so, I have had three.

Now, more than ever, I don't sugarcoat the process the transgender person is facing. First of all, attempting a gender transition is a marathon...not a sprint to the finish line. Expect a long difficult path. Secondly, the family has to be very understanding with things such as pronouns and names.

Finally, I said, in a very over simplified discussion, expect many changes along the way, excluding the obvious.

Last night, the woman showed me on her phone, quite possibly one of the best reasons to transition I have ever read.  Very elegantly, the young transgender woman stated the case for transitioning coming down to one simple fact, dysphoria. (Where have we heard that word before?) She explained to the world how she just couldn't live as a male anymore. Plus, it wasn't a choice, she and any other transgender or LGBTQ person was born this way.

Of course, I offered my shoulder to cry on, plus a couple of groups here in the Cincinnati metro area which could be of assistance. Then finished the conversation with each transition is different but I would be glad to help however I could.

It's nice to be wanted.

2 comments:

  1. I was just thinking, the other day, about what the difference might be for those who " just couldn't live as a male anymore" as opposed to wanting to be a woman. Of course, these are not always mutually exclusive, but it goes toward a state of mind as it relates to transitioning.

    My own dysphoria is centered more on being uncomfortable with both my primary and secondary physical male characteristics. It's not so much that I feel I can't go on without a vagina, but I really would like it if I were void of a penis and testicles. Maybe it's because having sex is not as important to me at my age. I would only want to have sex with a woman, but also only AS a woman, myself. If I had had the opportunity to transition earlier in my life, I probably would have had a different outlook, and surgery would have been imperative.

    Giving advice to others can be a bit dicey, as we need to make it clear that, as you said, each transition is different. Still, I begged off giving advice to one person about a year ago because this person's situation was so different than mine. This is the case of a gay man, in a committed relationship, who has begun thinking that he's possibly trans. His partner is the one who asked me to talk to him, and he told me that he was all for whatever would make his questioning lover happy. All I could say was that a desire to wear women's clothing, makeup, and press-on nails does not relate to transitioning in proper. When considering the sexual identity, as it coincides with the gender identity, though, I really can't know what to say to anyone. Being a gay man who decides that he thinks he might really be a woman is a concept with which I cannot relate. What would that do to their relationship, really? In this case, I suggested professional help, both for the questioning partner alone and couples therapy.

    Really, all any of us can ever do is to tell our own story and to be sure it is known that that is a disclaimer. I could very easily talk to the niece of your acquaintance, but I feel that it would be irresponsible of me to try to help my friends. Besides, I had already given them at least an abridged version of my story years ago. The problem now, however, is that they think I don't care as much as they think I should. Trying to convince them that it is because I care so much for them that I don't want to intervene is a more difficult task.

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  2. I agree! And that is why I told her first, every transition is different and at the least her niece is getting a head start on the process!

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