What about the forgotten transgender women?

Recently I received an email from a reader that gave me pause. It brought into stark contrast the duality of the transgender blessing and the transgender curse. I haven’t heard back from her giving me permission to share, so I won’t post her verbatim words.

But I think her story is one that many can identify with. Living in a small town with precious little transgender support, without the financial means to change her life. Wondering whether death is the only release from the torment of trapping the woman inside for so many years.

Before I comment, I want to say thank you. Thank you for reaching out. Thank you for opening the dialog about a topic that is so important to many in the transgender community. Sometimes the transgender hardship is easy to forget for those of us in our 20s and 30s who live in a large west coast city. We’ve all felt the shame and confusion of being transgendered. Yet we may take for granted the plethora of transgender related resources at our fingertips, and our growing acceptance in society.

It can be even harder when you see other’s who fully express their inner selves while being unable to express yours. Whether it’s the town you live in, your financial means or social situation that prevents you from becoming who you are. Sometimes it may appear that death is the only way out. I can say with firm resolve that suicide is never the answer. You may feel trapped, you may feel that noone cares – but there is always a way out. Please seek help from a doctor if you’re contemplating suicide.

Hon, my heart breaks for you, for the situation you’re in. You have my empathy. Yet I guess there is still a male part in me dying to offer some suggestions and advice. I share it humbly, not knowing the full details of your situation, and not having lived a life as long or full as yours.

First, I encourage you to focus on what you can do. There may be no help where you live, but perhaps you can meet up for an evening with some girls from a nearby city, or attend a transgender event. You may not be able to present as a woman full time, but perhaps you can wear subtle makeup in guy mode, or woman’s jeans. You may not be able to become a woman, but perhaps you can work on improving your posture, movement and voice to better convey femininity.

Second, find a reason to hope, something to look forward to. Often the mountain before us looks insurmountable, yet each step along the path is well within our capabilities. The first step may be talking with other transgendered girls on the Internet for encouragement and support.

And finally, I believe that being transgendered is just one aspect of a person’s life. It has proved to be a crucial aspect of who I am, but it is not my sole endeavor. I have a career, hobbies, friends, family and God. While I would love to weave a transgender thread through all of these, I derive pleasure and satisfaction from each area of my life whether or not I engage in it as a woman.

My dear, I pray God’s richest blessings on you. That in your time of trial He will see you through, and what the world has meant for harm, may He turn to glorious good.

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7 Comments
  1. Lynn Jones 10 years ago

    >I believe that being transgendered
    > is just one aspect of a person’s life

    It is, although to be trapped in a situation where it feels you’ll never be able to express that is, I think, hellish.

    When you are in that pit of despair, it feels like there is no way out. But Time and Fate are funny things, they can surprise you.

    Please, please – if you do think you can’t carry on, do go and see someone: your doctor, a priest, a friend, your teacher; anyone! Sometimes talking about it can help.

  2. salexis 10 years ago

    I wish the rest of the world would just try to fix the real problems and stop worrying about what I do in the privacy of my life. I finally found a woman who is supportive of my life I work and pay the bills on time and buying a home, so who cares if that money is from a cross dresser or a transgendered person. No one ever gave me back money from all the bills I pay because they thought it was from a transgendered person.

    Keep up the dream.
    Alexis Santos

  3. leona 10 years ago

    I can truly relate to u.raised in acoalming town bacj east.always finding yourself alone confused and afraid. Please please if u need help because there seems there is no hope please seek help. U havebeen created to live the life uchoose from expreiance myself I have been where u are rihgt now.you must resole in ur convictions of who u are.U will see that ur life and our world will benifit for ur courage. Iknow how hard it can be but be at peace U are who u are and really the path is exiciting. Leona

  4. Carrie Wyson 9 years ago

    I read your article, it was very interesting. It brought back memories of my younger youth.

    Probably when I was younger and not understanding my transgendered self I probably thought about suicide as the only way out. But that was because I was unsure of my feelings and couldn't understand what I was feeling. Then it was unheard of being transgendered and being from a small town were you knew everyone, that making things harder. However growing up and becoming a professional in the health care field changes occurred. Learning about myself and who I was the understanding of my inner self I gradually came to acceptance. I don't feel trapped now, especially because of a special friend. And those friends I chat with have helped me grow and be the person I am now

  5. Bobbie 9 years ago

    I to feel that I cannot live without hurting those I care about the most. Yet to keep them from harm would mean I could no longer exist. I feel that I'm in a lose lose situation with no way out I can not keep like this.

  6. Robert (melodie) 9 years ago

    I know this is an article on those who have been lost or forgotten in the transgendered world. I myself until recently did not know of an organizarion even existed. I suppose they (the Veterans Administration) are hoping it will go away along with the hula hoops of yesteryear. If you are an American Armed Forces Veteran there is an organization called T.A.V.A. (tava.com). They are an organization the aids and assists transgendered veterans. YOU don’t have to be out of the military to join. I would suggest that all transgendered veteransgo to their website. They have chapters all across the United States. It is bad enough to be forgotten by your sacrifices for our country, but to be or be forced to be excluded from other veteran affairs because of your transgenderism is intolerable. I know the military is changing from its’ Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell policies, but more has to done. They act concerned as to the high number of suicides, but how many were caused by transgendered issues. They don’t want to address this issue, why God only knows. I was in the military (69 thru 74), I saw upfront how they cruelly handled GLBT issues, trust me it wasn’t pretty. Even if you are not previously in the military, I urge you to write your congressperson and advocate a better acceptance of the GLBT issues. WE need to stop the discrimination NOW.

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