Any tips for pre everything guys with lots if anxiety over passing?
Zak: This, but to distill the most important parts: confidence is important and if you’re misgendered it isn’t a personal failing or always something within your control.
Is it normal to feel slightly uncomfortable being called by your preferred pronouns/name when you've just come out? The name I go by is the name I want to go by and I am most definitely FTM trans, but hearing my parents refer to me as my chosen name is odd. I'm not sure if it's because they overdo it by tagging my name at the end or beginning of every sentence, but I feel considerably uneasy about the whole thing at the minute and I'm not sure what to do. It might be because of dysphoria though?
Zak: I definitely also experienced that when I first started going by my chosen name. Part of it I think is, like you mentioned, that some people go out of their way to use it and awkwardly emphasize it. It sucks to be treated differently, and people bending over backwards to show that they are being supportive can feel uncomfortable because of that. Another part of it, for me anyway, was just getting used toy new name and pronouns. You spend your whole life going by something else, so it’s normal to take some getting used to.
Do you all know of anyone who has lost part of their areola (but not necessarily the nipple) during top surgery? I'm pretty sure this is what's happened to me, and I would like to find other people's experiences/pictures if possible, but I haven't been able to find anything about it.
Zak: I only know of one person who has lost a nipple, and I don’t believe it for the situation you’re describing. I’m really unsure. Definitely call your surgeon as soon as possible, though. They also might be able to give you a better idea of what is happening and let you know about other people who have gone through this.
Callen-Lorde is the facility in NYC!
Thanks, the name was just escaping me for a moment! I know people who have gone there and they’ve all had good experiences.
How do I find out if my state requires therapy before getting hormones? No matter how I google it I can't seem to find answers. I don't suppose you just happen to know how one can get hormones in NYC, do you?
Zak: That isn’t a requirement set by states, at least as far as I’m aware. Instead, individual doctors and clinics decide whether to require a letter from a therapist or operate under the informed consent model. The majority of states in the US have at least one major clinic that operates under informed consent. There’s definitely one in New York City, though I don’t recall the name.
im planning on coming out at my school very soon, and im extremely terrified. my school, while rather small (around 60 in my year group), is very conservative due to the area i live in. im a senior this year, and i KNOW the teachers will be totally accepting, but im scared of my classmates. My friends are fine, and most of them already know, but there are people who will definitely pick on me more than they already do. im not very assertive either, and im scared i'll just back out. any advice?
Zak: Well, the really good thing here is that you know the teachers will be accepting. You might want to start there and come out to them. Seek out a trusted teacher’s advice on how to come out to your classmates and what to do. Perhaps your teachers could even help explain things to the class for you and set a positive example by calling you by your preferred name and pronouns in class (after you’ve come out, of course). It’s also good if you can get reassurance from the teachers and other staff that they’ll do what they can to protect you from bullying.
Having a good support system is invaluable, and it sounds like you have that. Your friends will hopefully provide emotional support and perhaps even a buffer against bullying. It’s definitely difficult to be assertive and scary to come out when you know that not everyone will be accepting, but it sounds like otherwise you’re in a really good place (with friends and teachers, that is).
If you back out, that’s not the end of the world. Don’t get down on yourself if you’re just not ready to come out to the whole school. There isn’t anything wrong with you if you’re feeling nervous or if you back down. Maybe you’d feel better coming out slowly, for instance telling some acquaintances who you think will respond positively now that your friends already know. As I mentioned before, you could also tell some teachers or a school counselor and see how they recommend you proceed. There isn’t a rule that says that you need to come out all at once!
If you do want to rip the band-aid off, though, I’d recommend coming out on Facebook and then letting people you aren’t friends with on Facebook find out through the grapevine. This avoids the awkwardness and potential confrontation of face-to-face conversations or standing up in front of a class and explaining things. Social media in general is a surprisingly effective soap box for sharing important information like this from the comfort and safety of your own home. If you go this route, invite your friends over the night you do it so you’ll have support if people leave rude comments or if you generally get a poor response.
Good luck and I hope it all goes well!
I've always wanted a career in the military. My parents approve of me joining the National Guard when I turn 17. In fact my dad was even the one to suggest it, which was surprising. I really want to pursue that. But at the same time, I want to come out and I want to start hormones after I'm 18. Obviously that would cause problems if I'm in the military, because of their current policy. What should I do? Is there a disadvantage to starting hormones later in life? I'm so torn.
Zak: First off, I’d recommend checking out transmilitary which is the Tumblr of a trans guy who, if I’m not mistaken, transitioned while in the U.S. military until he was outed and discharged. He talks a lot about trans issues in the US military and answers a lot of questions very similar to this one.
Ultimately it’s your decision what you want to do. I don’t consider myself to be particularly in the know, transmilitary has frequently stated that he puts his guess on a change in US military policy in regard to trans people at 3-5 years away. Given that along with reading about his experience being outed and discharged, I’d say that both physically transitioning and joining the military isn’t really an option at this point and won’t be for at least a little while. You are the one who has to choose because you are the one who has to live with the decision. Joining the military as female and having to delay physical transition might be totally worth it to you, on the other hand you might find that your dysphoria makes it hardly even a viable option. Everyone is different, and you need to weigh the pros and cons for yourself.
As for whether or not there are disadvantages to starting hormones later in life, it depends on what ages we are talking about. Hormones can give but they can’t take away. So, if you’re not finished developing certain secondary sex characteristics (such as breasts), than yes, taking testosterone and halting their development would be advantageous. Is there a major difference between starting testosterone at 20 versus 25? I doubt it. What about 20 versus 35 or 40? I don’t know, but I would guess the physical disadvantages would be slim to none. I’m not positive, though. Emotionally and socially I think it is often easier to physically transition at a younger age because going through a second puberty as an adult can be awkward and frustrating. Again, people vary, though, and you have to figure out what would be best for you in your particular circumstance.
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Thank you for your help!