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  • #374792
    Lorie Peace
    Participant
    Registered On: October 13, 2017
    Topics: 55
    Replies: 189
    Has thanked: 649 times
    Been thanked: 1054 times

    (I didn’t know where to put this letter, but since it was my introduction to about 80 of closest Facebook friends, I thought it might belong here.)

    Gender Reveal
    (This is a long post, but it’s important to me. This did not go out to my entire list, just a few for now.)
    Gender Reveal parties became all the rage. A huge celebration and anticipation. Which would it be; Pink or Blue? Before the child is even born, there’s a mad dash to put the child in a box of one destiny or the other, where expectations of conforming grew and multiplied with the birth of this unsuspecting soul. For the most part, this works out just fine.
    But what if the kid doesn’t fit in the box? Can you really tell? As we’re finding out, the usual signs are not always the only indicator. Oh, it would be so easy if it were.
    For the child who doesn’t fit into the “original equipment” box, it’s a life of compromise, confusion, and, quite often, shame.
    Similar to sexual orientation (though having nothing to do with each other), gender identity is a spectrum like a bell curve. Not everyone is at one end or the other.
    As science has evolved its study of gender, they’ve come to a point of discarding the term “disorder” when referring to transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC) persons. As most indigenous cultures across the globe acknowledged for eons, science has recognized that TGNC is not a problem; It’s healthy and natural, unique to each individual.
    What does TGNC mean for a person on their discovery journey when first questioning gender identity? Well, for young people it can be a time of shame; or it could be a time of affirmation. It could be a time of ridicule, or a time of love and support. It could be a time of judgment or a time of celebration. From a practical sense, it could be like being forced to use your right hand when you were born left-handed.
    For those whose discovery journey starts later in life, it’s often a time of judgment (self-) and shame, ingrained from repeated exposure to transphobia. All the public signs, movies, and off-hand remarks of ridicule toward TGNC as the butt of so many jokes over decades have left a flashing red light in the brain that screams “HIDE!”
    Some would say it’s not rational to feel that way. But the evidence in the world doesn’t seem to align with reason.
    Some will go to their grave with the sign still flashing. Some will find moments where they can cover the HIDE sign, block it out for a few precious moments. Some will dare to turn the sign off for a select few friends or family, sharing this deepest secret, risking rejection or finding acceptance.
    This is the point when my heart is pounding, my hands are sweating, and my eyes are leaking. I’m scared. But I‘m tired. I am tired of Hiding. I am tired of caring so much about what people think of me.
    I started this with the gender reveal party because I want to celebrate my own: I’m transgender/gender non-conforming. I’m on the transgender spectrum. I’m still figuring it out. (Throughout my life, part of the confusion was that I’ve never been attracted to men. Is that a thing; trans but not gay? Yes, it is.) After 4 years of honestly exploring my gender identity, I don’t feel I fit in a box.
    You may know my friend Kim Belew. Two years ago (June 15 actually – you can look it up) she offered her own gender-reveal party on Facebook with a “Confession Friday.” Some of what she says in that post is true for me. I most identify with “genderfluid” or nonbinary. There are times when I am male, but more often I’m female. And times that I’m both. And times that I’m neither. Confused yet? Yeah, me too. For about the last 50 years.
    So, for most of my life, my conclusion was; I’m just weird. That’s when the red sign flashes HIDE.
    If you’d like to see a powerful documentary on the trans experience, watch “Disclosure” on Netflix.
    I’ve shared this with a few people, and they are supportive and accepting. Some people said, “I knew that!” I guess I’m the last to know.
    But maybe this aspect of me makes some people uncomfortable. Can’t say I blame them. I’ve had to deal with my own internalized transphobia through this discovery journey. Just know that you don’t have to “get it.” Please message me if you’d like to chat about it.
    Why am I celebrating this reveal with you? So that you know if next time you see me presenting in a non-traditional way (feminine or androgynous clothing or makeup), it’s just me being me. I’m still the same person. Still an introvert. Still a creative. Still spiritual.
    Like Kim, I’ve eventually accepted this as a spiritual gift to be able to experience both genders. Some of our greatest gifts in life are unfolding mysteries, gradual steps like fractals, adding and growing until true beauty of the whole is revealed. Those moments of authenticity are described as gender euphoria.
    I’m so grateful that I discovered my authentic self, grateful for the acceptance of friends, grateful that I’ve been given a chance to be who I really am. Thank you for being part of my gender-reveal celebration!
    Peace, Loren
    • This topic was modified 1 month ago by MacKenzie Alexandra. Reason: Move to a more appropriate forum
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    • #378942
      Laura Lovett
      Participant
      Registered On: March 26, 2020
      Topics: 6
      Replies: 316
      Has thanked: 857 times
      Been thanked: 1328 times

      How. Did. I. Miss. This?

      Beautiful unpacking of one of the big issues.

      So well considered and researched – a very beautiful and important work.

      You are amazing, Lorie!

      Love Laura

       

      4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #378927
      Lorie Peace
      Participant
      Registered On: October 13, 2017
      Topics: 55
      Replies: 189
      Has thanked: 649 times
      Been thanked: 1054 times

      Thank you all for your responses, you are a loving bunch.

      The response was wonderful, lots of support. In Facebook, I used Custom for the audience, and chose a select group of my 83 closest friends on FB, lol. If there was anyone uncomfortable with my reveal, they didn’t say anything.

      After I posted it, I felt a sense of relief and confidence. Honestly, that confidence comes and goes, but because most of the People were from my church, I decided ot dress en femme as Loren at church the last few weeks. It’s been so liberating. Not much time to chat after service bc of social distance, but it’s been great to go out or talk on the phone to share more of my experience.

      One friend says she can accept it, but she didn’t seem to really understand it. She said “I can see where you might choose to be a girl or you might choose to be a man, but what is it when you are both? I thought, “Choose? That’s not it. It’s not a choice. It just is.” But if it’s been baby steps for me, it will be baby steps for others, sometimes, too.

      Another cis woman told me they had a trans woman hired at work, and she said she would get into conversations where she wanted the tg to ADMIT they were trans. She said she is fine with it but she needed the TG to admit it. I tried to explain that she is a woman, period, but my friend did not accept that. Baby steps.

      The most common question I get is, “So how do I talk to you? Which name do I use? Which pronouns?” I say, “I’m still workiing on it.” lol.

      One man (whom I didn’t know was gay) asked me “Why do you dress up? I assume its to attract men, right?” I said, “No, I dress up because this is how I feel natural and feel like I’m being me. It feels like I am complete.” (I’m sure there are plenty of cds and tgs who DO want to attract men, that’s cool.)

      The most important thing is that I’m feeling so much more comfortable in my “skin.” More gender euphoria.

      Hugs, Loren.

      4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #375246
      Jennifer McCrennaugh
      Participant
      Registered On: July 18, 2019
      Topics: 7
      Replies: 127
      Has thanked: 2222 times
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      Lorie,

      Thank you SO much for posting this. You write eloquently about a subject so very difficult for many of us to even talk about with our friends and family.  I pray your message is well received by all and brings you only blessings.

      -Jen

      4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #374809
      Autumn Valiant
      Participant
      Registered On: July 14, 2019
      Topics: 28
      Replies: 1080
      Has thanked: 15030 times
      Been thanked: 2573 times

      Hi Lorie!

      I believe putting this testimony of incredible bravery in the introductions forum is quite appropriate.

      You knocked my socks off. This is incredible and you are amazing!

      Hugs

      Autumn

       

      4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #374808
      Teralynn Loving
      Participant
      Registered On: October 17, 2019
      Topics: 2
      Replies: 942
      Has thanked: 4819 times
      Been thanked: 1416 times

      Hi Laurie, Teralynn here. Even though you have been a registered member for quite a while now, this gender reveal party post is sort of like a an introduction so why not here? I did not find out about Teralynn until I was 51, and now I am almost 71! I never had any gender dysphoria when I was young or felt the need to embrace a feminine persona until the knowledge about Teralynn was given to me during meditation.  Once I dressed completely in feminine attire and took a look at myself in a mirror I knew they were right. Teralynn had been there all the time just patiently waiting to be recognized! Now I am comfortable as John or Teralynn and for me it is situational. There is times when my wife needs John to step forward and do some of the things that he always took care of in the marriage. At other times Teralynn is free to dress in feminine attire and be the loving compassionate being that former Marine John normally was not. I had no trouble to adapting to the idea that both personas were me! After all, every once in a while a being has to think “outside of the box” in order to make sense of it all! After learning about Teralynn I did a lot of research on crossdressing and related matters and stumbled across something I found very credible called “cell memory” that offered me further proof that what I was told about Teralynn could very possibly be true! Sometimes you feel a thing is true but can provide no evidence that it is! Then there is a scientific breakthrough that provides you with a way to prove what you felt was right all along. I found nothing about your post that was objectionable or inaccurate. However I find no fault in a family enjoying a gender reveal party as long as they pay attention to the child after birth and recognize the child may not fit into society’s normal box. What the heck is normal anyway? Some psychiatrists may diagnose me as schizophrenic- Do you understand that you cannot be John and Teralynn? My reply would be -? Oh yes I can! I recommend that you do some research on “cell memory” yourself. I think you would find it fascinating! If you are interested in doing that send me a private message and on the subject line put “Cell Memory” and I will send you the references to check out! Thanks for providing us with an interesting and thought provoking post! – Blessings from Teralynn

      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #374794
      Laura South
      Participant
      Registered On: June 22, 2020
      Topics: 0
      Replies: 14
      Has thanked: 2 times
      Been thanked: 43 times

      Wow that’s interesting reading  very thought provoking.

      Thankyou for sharing.

      3 users thanked author for this post.
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