Category Archives: dysphoria

You don't have to hate me

You don’t have to hate me. Because I am not trying to stand on any ground you claim as yours.

You don’t have to hate me because I have always been taught to hate myself. I can take it from here. Ever since I was four I felt I was somehow wrong and when I expressed that in words that made sense to me I was punished.

As I got older my body and my mind didn’t fit with each other. I didn’t know why. I wanted them to, I prayed to God and asked God to change my body. I wished on every star and birthday cake too.

I asked my parents for help but was ridiculed and endured a punishment and re-education programs. I learned to shut up and conform. I knew I was a freak. I was sure I should hate myself. I didn’t know why this was happening to me and I felt so confused and scared. I hoped it would go away when I got bigger so that I could be like how everyone else seemed to be. Accepting of their own skin. How I longed to have that.

I learned to be what I needed to be. To say the right things, to behave the right way. But it never did go away and puberty started changing my body, making it even more wrong, ever more disgusting. My desperation grew and my desire to go on living ebbed away. At nineteen I tried to end it. Alone and gently weeping in a student dorm room I wrote my farewells to my family and swallowed pills.

I woke to the reality that I hadn’t died and spent the next day waiting to see what happened next. I read the letters I had left and realised the devastation my death would bring. I didn’t want to die anymore. I chose to try to build a life that put my feelings to one side if that was possible. I chose life.

Over time it slowly became easier for transgender people to come out and transition. I regularly re-assessed my position but always felt that it was not possible for me. I knew my family would never be accepting. I knew society was still basically intolerant and I knew as I got older my chances of transitioning succesfully diminished.

That’s why I am no threat to you. That’s why you don’t need to hate me. I will live out the rest of my life and never attempt to encroach onto your territory. Your restrooms and changing rooms are safe from me, I have no interest in them. I have no interest in them because I am not a sexual deviant or a sexual abuser.

Every space you believe is sacred is safe from me. Just like the stigmatised and abused gay men of the 50s,60, 70s and 80s who were accused of being child molestors and paedophiles I am not a sexual predator and neither are the vast overwhelming majority of my transgender bothers and sisters.

We are a marginalised and vulnerable minority. We are the targets of violence and intimidation not the perpetrators. We ask to be given rights to protect us from those who hate. We ask that those rights are not taken away just because a criminal element have sought to exploit our status for their own advantage.

A society is judged by the compassion it shows to its minority communities. Compassion is all we seek.

A coming out letter to my wife

A friend online recently suggested I should write a “coming out” letter to my wife even if I had no intention of sending it to her. They thought it would help.

After pondering the idea and thinking about what I might say in the letter I decided to do it.

After much agonising over the words and many, many revisions I finished it and actually posted it as a private post to this blog.

In the end it looks like every other coming out letter you have ever seen on reddit. It’s my version of what I hope is true. It’s probably horribly manipulative and unfair.

I did apologise though. I apologised for not giving her the opportunity to walk away at the beginning. I hate myself for that. I hate myself …

Writing the letter has made me feel rather unsettled. It makes me feel there could be a chance that I could come out to her successfully and then even start my transition with her blessing. I daren’t even think those thoughts.

As wondeful as that would be it’s very much plan B. Plan A is unfortunately still, hide in the closet until death.

I hate plan A.

Could I really come out though? The virtue signaller in me says that I can’t come out to her because that would destroy her and my son’s happy life and bring embarassment and shame upon them and I must protect them. The realist in me says that I can’t come out because I am a coward and probably am not even sure I am even transgender enough to transition anyway. So there’s that …

You cannot allow yourself to end up like me. The later you leave it to transition the harder it gets. Gender dysphoria doesn’t lessen with age, it gets worse for many people. Don’t start a new relationship without telling the person the truth about you first because you can end up becoming trapped in limbo.

Believe in yourself and who you are inside and believe that your dream is possible. Most importantly, do as I say not as I do 🙂

Colateral Progress

Over the last six months I’ve actually made some progress.

I’ve been taking Finasteride 5mg on medical advice. (As I am sure you know, Finasteride blocks the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone and is sometimes used as a weak anti androgen in trans patients)

It’s to treat a prostate issue but it has also had an effect on my gender dysphoria because for the first time in many years I have begun to feel more at ease with myself and even more able to cope. My anxiety also seems to have reduced and I feel calmer.

I know this could be placebo effect but it does feel real. It makes such a difference though. I feel like I have room to breath for the first time in a long while.

I think it may have also affected my facial and body hair. I have never had dense facial hair but I noticed after a couple of months, normal growth had slowed. I still need to shave but it takes no time at all. My body hair has similarly reduced markedly.

It’s amazing how good this feels and I am thankful. I wish I could achieve more but this is more than I ever thought was possible.

Life is strange and it has a subtle sense of irony.

Why I stay hidden?

I know my wife isn’t in our marriage to support me in my life choices or to help me live an authentic life.

She has always sought a place of safety. A place of financial, physical and emotional stability for herself and our child. She wants to know I will support her and protect her. She needs me to be a good provider and a father. She wants me to listen to her stories of anxiety both personal and professional and be supportive. She wants me to validate her decisions and life choices and be there for her.

She needs me to be a man.

I knew all of this at the start and there is nothing wrong with her or any other woman having these wants and needs?

Coming out

The one thing I know, beyond any shadow of doubt is that I could never share with her how I really feel about my gender identity and the path I would like that to take. There would be no point because I love her and don’t want to lose her or devastate her life.

My Place

I understand what I am to her, I know where I stand. I have a defined set of roles, responsibilities and expectations. Her love for me is somehow linked to my role and status. Sadly, in my case, I don’t think it’s a love for my soul or of who I am. It’s fragile and precarious as non blood relationships are.

I continued our relationship even when knowing the limits of her love for me.

Aftermath

She would not see my “coming out” as an opportunity to show support and compassion for the person she loved. I know she would view it as a betrayal, a disaster and most likely the end of our relationship. She wouldn’t tell me it was over until she had an exit plan worked out and a new life to go to. But exit she would.

I can’t bear being this person any longer but equally can’t bear the thought of being responsible for destroying their world which is how it would be perceived by everyone.

Responsibility

I didn’t tell her about me right at the beginning of our relationship. That was the lie, the betrayal. I am responsible for that and I don’t claim innocence. I just wanted a normal life. I thought I could live a normal life with her.

But dysphoria doesn’t go away and you can’t hide who you ate from yourself.

The truth is I should have been honest with her and allowed her to make her own decision about whether our relationship should have continued or even started. I made her choice for her. That was my mistake, my deception and the price we all now pay.

For now

For now they seem happy. I try every day to make them happy. I hate myself for where we are.

The future

There is no chance I can come out to her and then hope that she accepts me transitioning .

I must end our relationship or wait out the end of my life.

What to do …

I’m not exceptional

I’ve always been pretty average. Average intelligence, average academically, at sports. Same goes for drawing, painting, singing, dancing. The list goes on.

So why am I telling you this? It’s because I have always hated myself for not having the courage to transition. I talk the talk (in my head mostly) but … you can guess the rest.

I’ve realised something that I think kind of lets me off the hook. Transgender men and women who transition are exceptional people. They are not average Joes/Janes they are people of extraordinary courage, determination and fortitude. Whilst I admire and love them, as much as they inspire me, I remain average and sadly way below exceptional.

It got me thinking though. How many hidden transgender people are there out there lacking those exceptional qualities necessary to change their lives for the better?

An inspirational woman

I had a meeting yesterday with a wonderful person. After interacting with her via email for a while, when she was visiting from the US she wanted to meet face to face.

As I met her in reception I realised she was transgender.

She was confident, gregarious, happy and outgoing. She is also very successful. I found her truly inspiring.

Throughout the meeting I just felt so distracted. She must have thought I was a complete dummy.

Sat in front of me was a happy, successful, confident transgender woman just getting on with her life. I think the reason I was so distracted was because, similar to how it would be for me, she didn’t pass that well. But she didn’t let that stop her living her life as herself.

I’m just so happy for her. I admire her courage and strength. I’m so glad I met her.

At home, once everyone had gone to bed that night I stayed up. I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep. As I sat there thinking about the day tears rolled down my cheeks but I’m not quite sure why. I think it may have been frustration or even just self pity. I just felt emotional I guess.

More of our transgender brothers and sisters are finding the courage to live their lives their own way. They inspire others to do the same sometimes without even knowing it.

And so it is

I’ve not posted in a while because to be honest I have been feeling much more able to cope and feel less need to vent.

When I get these brief periods of respite it makes me feel like I can make it. Maybe I can get to the end of my life without anyone close to me knowing or me having to do anything

But it is such a waste of life. I wouldn’t try to end my life again but I yearn to be free from all of this. After I took those pills when I was 19 the feeling of relief was so powerful. My awful knawing dread and hate for myself lifted. I felt so free, so calm. Is that how it feels to not suffer this curse?

 

5 things I would say

There are five things I would like to say to myself at eighteen years old.

  1. Don’t feel ashamed of who you are
  2. You are not crazy, worthless, deviant, insignificant or hopeless
  3. No matter how hard you try, no matter what you do, there is nothing that will ever make you a man
  4. You can’t hide from this it will always be there. You will never out run it
  5. Don’t be the person others expect you to be, just be you

A basic sense of self

I have come this far. I think I have worked through a lot of self hatred and denial. I can accept who I am. I think I even understand some of it.

Talking to some of the wonderful, beautiful people who have contacted me has helped me to realise that it’s possible for there to be a life without this awful dysphoria. I smile whenever I think of that. It makes me feel happy to know that many of you will get there. It may be a journey of a thousand miles with bumps along the way but you will, get there.

It’s important for you to know whenever you doubt. Your cause is just. Don’t delay, don’t wait. Summon your courage and pursue what your heart and mind tells you to be true.

What you seek is what everyone else takes for granted, a comfortable basic sense of self identity. We build our lives on this foundation and without it our lives become a maelstrom of doubt, fear and unhappiness.

Everyone has the right to be who they are, live an authentic life and seek happiness.