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  • #396568
    DeLora
    Participant
    Registered On: October 15, 2019
    Topics: 59
    Replies: 282
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    Do you suffer from “Internalized trans-phobia”?

    I have always considered myself very open minded and ready to accept people for who they are, LGBTQ2S+, even the weird cis-gender straight people, I don’t really care as long as you are a nice person.

    A few weeks ago I heard a discussion about internalized trans-phobia and it got me thinking…
    I have questioned my gender identity since I was maybe 8 years old. I didn’t know what gender identity was but I know I didn’t fit in with the rest of the boys. I also didn’t fit in with the girls. As I grew up things really didn’t change, I just got better at fitting in. In recent years I came to a point where I just wanted to be me, but I have been acting for so long that now I have to explore to find the real me.  For many years I have carried this fear that I may be transgender. I have nothing against trans folks, absolutely nothing, they are part of the diversity that makes life interesting. However this fear of the potential trans within was always there..
    Since starting to come out I have been trying to understand exactly where I fit on the spectrum. reading discussions on CDH has helped me a lot. My experiences seem more in line with what most CDs go through and different to trans folks. So my confirmation bias kicks in and I can say phew, I am not trans!!

    So now hearing about internalized trans-phobia  was a bit of a kick to the “confirmation bias”  Do I have internalized trans-phobia?? is this why I am so ready to accept any evidence that suggests I am not trans??

    I am pretty sure I do have it, I don’t want to be trans, mainly because I have a life built around being male and I don’t want to change that. However, I know I wont be happy unless I can be my authentic self. So with this knowledge I can be aware of my bias and be more mindful as I discover who I actually am. For now I have no label, I am just a human on this spectrum of gender identity.

Viewing 17 reply threads
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    • #398326
      Ashley
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      Registered On: May 25, 2019
      Topics: 4
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      At this point I’m pretty sure I have it as well. Even in my times of my thickest pink fog, the idea of taking the steps of coming out to everyone I know, living as female full time and doing permanent things to my body is terrifying. I know these are huge and scary steps even to people who know they want them, but for me, at least so far, they feel insurmountable. Mostly because I still do have a certain attachment to my male self and identity and I’m scared of not finding a place to fit in and giving up an already established identity and trying to create a new one. Sometimes I think I will start to think about transitioning if I’m sure I’ll eventually be able to pass as a cisgender female, (I doubt very much I ever could) but that’s not supposed to be what being transgender is about is it? It seems like its about being accepted as a trans person rather than passing as a cis person, and I don’t think I want that for myself. Passing as a cis male is nice and easy for me, but I realize thoughts like that and other thoughts I have that affirm my male side are things I may just be holding on to so I don’t have to think seriously about the question of whether or not I’m transgender. At least for now, I feel like it’s best for me to stay in a place where I know I fit in, as awkward as the fit may be.

      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #397198
      DeeAnn Hopings
      Participant
      Registered On: November 10, 2019
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      NOTE:

      In spite of the term Transvestite falling out of favor in the US, it is still a widely used term in the UK meaning crossdresser. As always, two countries separated by a common language.

      In speaking about transsexuals (and perhaps a more modern term is transitioners), there are many who are candidates for transition, but do not. I remember reading some time back that only 30% of those eligible actually have affirmation surgery. Reasons being cost (if you have no insurance and cannot self fund), can’t take ~6 weeks off from work or if you are a caregiver for someone and can’t be away, a poor medical risk for surgery or the idea of fairly invasive surgery is not appealing.

      The reason that some consider crossdressers to be under the transgender umbrella relates to the word being defined as crossing gender boundaries. Crossdressers do cross that boundary, but it is back and forth. For those who transition, there is only one direction.

      4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #397161
      Deborah Sullivan
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      Registered On: February 27, 2020
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      The term is fine with me. My perception is that we cds are as much a girl when we want to be as any gg or transexual. Only difference is they live in a permanent state as one gender and we delightfully can move back and forth as non binary.

      4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #397013
      Sharon Wiltshire
      Participant
      Registered On: July 27, 2020
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      That pretty much sums up how I feel.

      I can accept other people being gay or trans, but had a real issue with myself, but it is getting better as I find acceptance from my wife and son.  Not sure what the rest of the world thinks of me yet.

      I now accept that I am probably transgender (umberella), non-binary (not man, but not sure I am woman either), transfeminine (more feminine than masculine).  I hate my body hair, and need to feminise but not sure I need hormones or surgery to be myself.  But then last year I didn’t need to dress full-time, but now I do.

      I have been reading oh, so many, books on the subject, both bio and academic, to try and understand where I fit in.

      6 users thanked author for this post.
      • #397144
        Erica Inside
        Participant
        Registered On: April 10, 2018
        Topics: 4
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        I have dealt with this issue. and still do. but back about 5 years ago I was reading bios and medical books. so I liked some I hated. some helped. I thought I must be transgender and will probably have to transition at some point. The best thing I learned is that you can be who ever you want to be. Gender identity and gender expression are 2 different things.  it’s gender dysphoria. people cope with it in many different ways. We just need to find ways to satisfy our needs. and for some people they need to transition. Redefining Realness by Janet Mock is an amazing story of her self discovery and transition. her follow up book Surpassing Certainty talks about how the Sex business helped pay for her transition and tries to remove the stigma from the sex business. Alice in Genderland is written by a Psychiatrist that is a woman on certain days and a man on certain days, dating men when living as a woman and married to a woman the rest of the time. one of my all time favorites is Sissy a coming of gender story by Jacob Tobia. I highly recomend this book. Our world is moving more and more to a more accepting place. but for me I have been living as a man for 50 plus years it is hard, I am a man learning to not be afraid of my feminine side.

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    • #396976
      Marlie Shyly
      Participant
      Registered On: January 26, 2020
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      Aoife

      I think I also wouldn’t “pass” as a woman and therefore would be relagated to being a trans-woman trans-man. Either way, srs is not on the horizon. I am comfortable being half of both. I don’t fit in with the men, and women don’t want a guy hanging around with them. So I will be content to fit into no-mans land.

      Marlie

       

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    • #396831
      Celeste Starre
      Participant
      Registered On: June 26, 2018
      Topics: 26
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      I don’t think it’s trans-phobia to not want to be trans. Being trans is a much harder road to travel than being CD. Personally I’m very glad not to be trans.  The support group I used to attend pre covid  was all trans except me.  It’s funny but I think they were actually  little CD-phobic. I’m not sure how many times I heard the phrase  “I used to think that I was just a cross dresser.”  but it was more than once. I don’t believe they were being insulting to CD’s but I think they felt somehow superior or more legitimate than CD’s after all the pain and expense that they have to go through to alter their bodies. They are all very nice women and I like them. I don’t get a whole lot out of it other than social and mainly went to support my friends but I’m still very happy it’s not my road to travel.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #396828
      Araminta Purdy
      Participant
      Registered On: January 23, 2020
      Topics: 1
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      I don’t know. I do not think that I have any subliminal biases concerning gender presentation or sexual identity. I do admit that, in my youth, I was gullible enough to accept the ‘authority’s’ stipulations that homosexuality was a mental abnormality, perversion and criminal act but that acceptance was rather quickly obviated by the rather obvious inconsistencies; not the least of which is that calling someone ‘homosexual’ is based on false premises so the related conclusions are inaccurate.

      On the other hand, and something else that has always disturbed me, is the vehemence with which many people accept the worst about anyone ‘different’, especially in terms of gender and sexuality. I am convinced that many people feel that they have an open-mind until it ‘happens’ to them. The female who states that she has no difficulty with feminine males and that some of her ‘best friend’ are _____. And then she find that her husband is a cross-dresser and freaks out. The clergyman who preaches Love and Compassion for all and simultaneous fulminates against ‘sexual deviance’. So, yes, I feel that transphobia is far more prevalent than is readily evident and it is the (possibly subconscious) recognition of this that keeps many cross-dressers from being open even with their nearest and dearest. This means we fear the labels, contumely, disparagement and hostility that our society often inflicts upon the ‘different’ and we could see that fear as being some degree of bias within ourselves as well.

      What really gripes me is that if all of that nonsense had not existed, say, 50-60-years ago, my life may have been very different. Certainly I could have interacted with people more favourably and pleasantly. I also might have called out the obvious homophobia that was often displayed in my presence.

      The point that we are tribal is well-taken. I admit to having instinctive prejudices but at least I recognize them and can deal with them. The solution, I guess, is openness, expression and discourse. As here, for example. You need to shine a light to be illuminated.

      Araminta.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #396825
      Marlie Shyly
      Participant
      Registered On: January 26, 2020
      Topics: 0
      Replies: 26
      Has thanked: 133 times
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      DeLora
      Wow! I felt like I was just reading my own bio. So many similarities between us. I am also trying to figure out who I am and how bad I want it. The label doesn’t bother me but I do have ITP.

      Love to chat more,
      Marlie

      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #396815
      Aoife
      Participant
      Registered On: October 11, 2018
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      I’ve definitely questioned this a lot, but usually dismiss it. What I have definitely felt a lot is knowing that I wouldn’t fit in were I ever to start identifying as such. I have always been distrusting of “welcoming, accepting communities,” and the LGBTQ… one has never been an exception. Were I ever to really see myself as a trans woman and identify myself as such to others where would I fit in? Every time I see that world I just think, “I’m not a nerd, I could never be a part of this.” Now, that may seem superficial on my end, but what’s more certain is how much I chose to not dip my toe into the gay world because I’m too fat to ever be accepted there and that’s something you’ll hear confirmed pretty quickly!

       

      The conclusion it all just leads to time and again is being attracted to women, I will always be better off a maladjusted, eccentric straight man than any kind of “other.”

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    • #396799
      Molly
      Participant
      Registered On: October 22, 2018
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      Delora;

      Thanks so much for voicing this.

      I find that I’m very close to these sets of feelings myself.    In the last year or so, I’ve got to the point where I realize that I’m probably more scared of ruining my male life by admitting anything which might indicate that I’m trans.   Simply because the next question is “Why aren’t I being true to what I am?”

      Still don’t know, Still wondering and struggling with the question.    Not at all sure if it’s internalized transphobia or just being too stubborn to let logic dictate that I should probably take that path.  Or if it’s a path I shouldn’t take.     I’m absolutely unsure of how to test myself.     It really is a one way door.

      -Molly

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    • #396766
      Maria Pink
      Participant
      Registered On: October 18, 2020
      Topics: 3
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      I sympathize with you as I find myself having some of the same internal battles as you describe. I have a male life I have built for others but I have the girl inside wanting out. I could go on for pages about what I think about labels but to the point labels don’t define us, they limit us. I have to agree with Brianna’s  post on thinking beyond societies views and labels. As I was making a decision on what I wanted to be and who I was, one label did not fit all of who I was. We all at times look to others for their approval and acceptance. That can make us fear the consequences of their reactions and make gives us do a phobia like feeling whether it is fearing a label or being shunned by society. It takes courage to even stand up to yourself and say this is who I am an not a label. I think most of us have that courage if we just know where to look for it. To me it all comes down to my favorite Shakespearian quote “To thy own self be true”. If you do that then no matter what label society places on you or one you place on yourself, you are you and that’s all you can be.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #396764
      DeeAnn Hopings
      Participant
      Registered On: November 10, 2019
      Topics: 11
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      Internalized sexism, racism, homophobia, et al, has to do with agreement with all of the negative things said about a group.

      For example, some of the negative things that are said about women are: too emotional, less intelligent than men, not able to make the hard decisions, not risk takers, etc. Basically the messages are intended to point out the inferiority of women compared to men.

      As a woman, if you agree that those things are true, that you are in fact inferior, you have internalized sexism. “-isms”, if you will, attempt to define reasons why a given group is inferior to another. The concept is the same, independent of the group; just substitute the name of a different marginalized group…

    • #396760
      Brianna S
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      Registered On: June 17, 2019
      Topics: 1
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      I like thinking beyond what society  tells me to think.  If you don’t fear other trans or out of the norm people are you truly trans-phobic?  Or is it society-phobic?  Your more  worried about how you will be perceived  by society  than actually  having a trans side to you.  There is nothing wrong with that.  Society as a whole is cruel and we have a need to protect ourselves even if its by denying who we are.

      Over the weekend I got my first mani-pedi and loved it.  The color on my hands ended up being more visibly pink than I wanted.  I told myself whatever, I love it.  But as I keep it on I find myself trying to hide it.  Not because I fear it, but I fear others thoughts on it.

      To cut this short dont be so hard on yourself and make yourself feel worse for being something you are not.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #396750
      Stevie Steiner
      Ambassador
      Registered On: June 11, 2020
      Topics: 26
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      I have discovered since joining that my label would be transgender, and I’m happy with that.  Feeling quite content actually.

      Stevie

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #396637
      Abby M
      Participant
      Registered On: October 7, 2020
      Topics: 2
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      I also feel like this I guess. I identify as male and I’m attracted to women, but I feel like I have been true to myself in that I feel like I’d like to and have cross dressed. However, I hear a lot of people on this site talk about a girl mode and I honestly haven’t experienced something like that. I feel I ultimately identify as male. It’s just confusing.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #396632
      Sa•man•tha
      Founder
      Registered On: January 21, 2018
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      I’ve seen this fear of being transgender mentioned about before, but never really understood it.  Internalized transphobia makes sense I guess.  Dysphoria isn’t really a choice but not everyone has that.  So how you want to identify or proceed with it is kind of up to you.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #396587
      Rei Durden
      Participant
      Registered On: October 11, 2020
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      This really resonated with me, some heavy thoughts to digest.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #396583
      Candy Can
      Participant
      Registered On: October 19, 2018
      Topics: 33
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      Has thanked: 226 times
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      Thanks DeLora for a thought provoking post.

      I actually think these days western society looks far too much to labels, and we are becoming divided into tribes, based on politics, gender, race, socio-economic position, and more.

      I  like your idea – “For now I have no label, I am just a human”.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
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