So, apparently I'm not as cis as I thought I was............

Page 1 of 1 [ 3 posts ] 

What female name do you like out of these choices?
Jo 25%  25%  [ 3 ]
Jolie 17%  17%  [ 2 ]
Josephine 25%  25%  [ 3 ]
Jolette (like Charlotte) 8%  8%  [ 1 ]
Ashley 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Tara 17%  17%  [ 2 ]
Vanessa 8%  8%  [ 1 ]
Other (post in thread) 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Total votes : 12


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Joined: 7 Aug 2014
Gender: Non-binary
Posts: 1,226
Location: At Duelist Kingdom rescuing my brother.

06 Sep 2021, 8:05 pm

Hello there everyone. I posted a return to WP after a long absence last year basically to help me with some issues I was having, and proceeded to not do that until now. My apologies. This is something I have been meaning to post here for a long time, but for one reason or another didn’t. Chalk it up to life, other priorities, or simple anxiety about being this vulnerable and open to strangers on the internet. I do have this cross-posted in a few places for the widest range of insight possible.

Fair warning this will probably be a long read, and while I’m not 100% sure what would constitute a trigger/courtesy warning, but just to be safe than sorry there will be mention of puberty, issues relating to body parts, political statements, and mental health issues.

In case it would be helpful information, I am an AMAB individual in my late 20’s in the Northeastern United States. I am autistic and am diagnosed with general anxiety, social anxiety, sensory overload issues, and depression. I have also been seeing a therapist and psychologist for my recent bout with depression.

So to get right to the point, as of around the middle to end of summer in 2019 I really started coming to the realization that I am not as heterosexual as I’ve initially thought myself to be. Based on what research I’ve done since then it looks like Gender Fluid is ticking all the right boxes, but more on that in a bit. Thank to Covid I guess I’ve had a lot of time by myself for self reflection and I’ve also realized that this has been around for a whole lot longer than 2019, but more on that later.

I am happy to say that as of now I have opened up to 14 people in total, all who have been incredibly supportive. Recently was a HUGE step forward where on a vacation to Disney World and Universal in Florida with a friend of mine from college (who is one of the 14 who know) I packed one outfit just in case I felt the courage to wear it one day. After a whole lot of thinking and seeing someone who worked at Magic Kingdom who was an AMAB individual presenting feminine, I decided to pick up some nail polish at a nearby Wal-Mart, which would be the very first time I ever wore polish. The next day we went to a park I got a compliment on my nails right at the security checkpoint without having even stepped foot in the park, and that wasn’t the only compliment I received! That emotional high convinced me to wear that outfit I brought to the park and IT WAS SO LIBERATING AND VALIDATING! I loved the experience so much that that night I actually returned to the Wal-Mart and bought a denim skirt, some intimates, and a dress with a matching face mask! So for the rest of the trip up until the day we would be leaving I presented fem in public! I even picked up a few pieces of jewelry at the parks that I liked as well. I loved it so much that I now find myself longing for more. The day before I wrote this post I had the opportunity to go to a zoo with the same college friend and another friend from college who I haven’t seen in a long while (who also is one of the 14 who know) and I did it once again presenting fem with nail polish and what accessories/jewelry I have managed to acquire.

Of the 14 people who I have opened up to, none of them are my parents. I haven’t told my parents, any family, neighbors, or anyone who would see me on a daily basis. Lucky me I live in one of the more conservative parts of my state, and lucky me again my whole family is conservative. While I don’t really think I am 100% liberal, I am by leaps and bounds the closest to one in this whole house. In the case of my mother, the political cable news law of the house is Fox News and every time I see or hear any of the major “reporters” talking, I feel agitated and like because of the information they are receiving I can’t talk to them about this. Aside from my sexuality, the very few times I’ve brought up an issue with current events despite anxiety making it hard for me to efficiently compile and convey clear and unbroken thoughts (I’m not a very confrontational person) it feels like I barely get my thoughts in and words out before they (mostly mother) go on a seemingly unwavering tangent countering what I was saying without even letting me get anything else in, or if I can anxiety is so worked up in me that I can’t even function in that capacity. The most unsettling thing to me is she gets almost this wide-eyed look on her like she’s desperately trying to convince me that what she’s saying is right.

I think the most unsettling thing as it pertains to my sexuality is that I’ve heard some questionable things from them (mostly mother) that even though they’ve told me throughout my entire life that they will always love me, support me, and that I can come to them about anything, statements like these honestly and painfully to me has me questioning that.

- There are the typical “gays already have equal rights; they just want special treatment and privilege at the expense of us, etc”.

- Back when La-La Land came out in theatres, my mother saw it and loved it. When Moonlight ended up winning an award over La-La Land, I remember my mother seated at the kitchen table looking at her tablet and on her phone with someone. The conversation to the person on the other end of the call went something along the lines of “I cannot believe that La-La Land lost. Moonlight probably won because of that Oscars so white nonsense last year. I swear they’re trying to shove this gay stuff down our throats”.

- During some of the best and most peaceful days of U.S. history being the 2020 presidential elections I overheard this conversation. “Could you imagine if that Pete guy actually became president? What would we call his husband then? The first man? I wouldn’t be able to stand it.”

- This is the most recent one happening within the past few months or so. All of us happened to be in the family room and at that moment on the TV a commercial for a new season of a TV show called Dr. Pimple Popper. One of the segments shown was of a drag queen with a large growth on their body and them saying that it made it very difficult for them to perform. Both parents and my brother all chuckled and my dad said “that’s not the only problem you have” all while I was in the room with them…

- While I consider my dad to not be as bad as my mom with this stuff, his sense of humor does sometime rely on older language based jokes (meaning speaking in a manner that is a caricature or stereotype of how certain demographics may speak) that would probably be considered a bit racist nowadays, such as black, Chinese, and of course LGBTQ.

Going back to what I have been feeling, I think these feelings really started coming into play practically the moment puberty smacked me in the face, so this has been something I’ve been dealing with since around 2006-2007 and only having finally opened up to someone about this in 2019. For example in middle school I would look at groups of girls and be envious of them in a way, like how they always looked happy, got to wear really cute skirts (never quite understood the shorts that had words or phrases written on the seat though), and seemed to be enjoying life a whole lot more than I was at the time. During that time was my first real battle with depression so I’m not sure if that had anything to do with it or not. There have also been occurrences even before I reached puberty where I question if those instances were actually these feelings without me being aware of them. Like there was one time I went to a friend’s house and we dressed in some of his sister’s dress-up clothes and really enjoying it. Another was when I was at a house and was organizing the furniture in a doll house that was there.

I hope that I’ve done a decent job of explaining my hesitation on talking to my parents about this or coming out to everyone in general. This whole time I’ve been dealing with this I’ve also been battling a bout of depression. It goes without saying that this has really affected the severity of my depression, and I would go so far as to say that these issues with my sexuality are a huge piece if not the source of my depression right now.

It has gotten to the point where I am having nightmares about it. One which I had a few days ago was I was in my room dressed fem and my brother tried to come in my room, me panicking realizing that I forgot to lock the door rush to keep the door close while he tries to push it open. Another one which was a couple months or so ago was that I walk into my room to find all my furniture rearranged, but worse my bags of clothes are out in the open with some outright missing altogether. Then my family come in and while I don’t remember what it was they are saying, but whatever it was I assure you it was not good if me being somewhat aware of me hyperventilating at least two separate times while asleep is anything to go by. Next thing I remember is lying down in an empty tree house (not at my house) where I was doing everything in my power to be completely quiet so that the people who lived in the house that this tree house was near weren’t alerted of my presence and make me leave. When I woke up I was really having a fairly bad panic attack and it took me 10-20 minutes to calm down.

I say this with pride that I have assembled quite an impressive wardrobe that I have been able to effectively hide without anyone else in the house (except the dogs and fish) knowing that I have bags and bags of women’s clothing that I wear at my leisure or when I think I need to for mental health issues. My therapist has noted whenever my mood has taken a nose dive; usually there was a long period of time where I didn’t wear any of my clothes. It honestly is torturous that unless I have those golden opportunities as I mentioned earlier, the only place I can allow my female side to exist is in my room with a closed & locked door. Factor in the fact that if someone comes home or needs me to do something outside of my room it is a very stressful and panic inducing process to very quickly get undressed and back into male clothing. This is also the reason why I don’t have that much makeup yet or have tried practicing with it, because I can’t risk wearing something that is a process to put on and have to quickly remove. It gets to the point where the stress and anxiety makes it hard for me to even get an outfit out of my hiding space. Usually after extended periods of this cycle and not wearing my clothes, the chances of me having passive suicidal or outright suicidal thoughts increase notably. Thankfully I haven’t gotten so far as to do anything regretful, but it feels like a constant never ending battle that I feel myself getting weaker and weaker to fight against or keep at bay as time goes on.

As amazing as being able to go out into the actual world in women’s clothing has been, since then I’ve been having stronger and stronger feelings of “what if I present female one day and decide that this is where I want to stay 24/7 for the rest of my life”. This has been something that has been on my mind for quite some time now, and while I definitely had some issues with my body before the trips, they’re much stronger now. When I’m feeling fem, I do not like the amount of body hair I have on my arms, legs, and elsewhere. I’ve already gotten the courage to be okay with shaving some of the hair on my chest, but I can’t get myself to remove the rest of it because chest hair isn’t as noticeable or apparent that it’s now missing than it is with the arms and legs. The last thing I want is to have to explain myself to my parents why I decided to shave my body. I also really feel uncomfortable sometimes with that distinguishing male feature that makes me really conscious of my body and how it looks when I am feeling feminine. What doesn’t help is that it on occasion gets stiff which just puts those negative feelings into overdrive. I also really wish that I had more on my chest to fill out my bras. I hope I don’t sound creepy or perverted for saying this, but I would gladly put up with that pesky occurrence that happens once a month if it meant I had a real female body. I’m at a point where I’m not even sure what I’m supposed to be when male anymore. I mean, I do enjoy traditionally masculine activities like automobiles and working on them(I am currently installing a custom stroker engine into my 1986 AMC Eagle), tools and building stuff with them, and I’m more than capable of putting in a hard day of physical labor if my 10 years of working in agriculture & horticulture are anything to go by (despite the physical and mental wear they’ve been putting on me in recent years, but that’s something for another post). Overall, while Gender Fluid still seems like the likely thing at this point, I am really feeling lost as to whether I’m Gender Fluid or if I’m actually a Trans woman.

I’ll also mention that sometimes when I am dressed feminine I can imagine myself being in a relationship with a man, in terms of actually feeling aroused or having romantic feelings for anyone, it at this point is strictly women that I feel romantically attracted to.

So after all of this, this is the advice I really am hoping someone out there can enlighten me to.

- What are some ways that I can come out to my parents?

- Are there any suggestions on what I can do in regard to my body issues?

- Do you think I might have body dysphoria?

- How can I convince my mom that I like my long hair? Would wigs be a suitable alternative?

- Should I talk to my pastor about this? The two I’ve had over the years definitely aren’t the stereotypical bigoted Christian and had actually expressed some relatively forward thinking views on occasion. With that being said, when this came to me as I was writing this a big wave of emotion hit me which nearly made me start crying. Granted it didn’t last more than 30 seconds, but take that as you will.

- Do you think that I am unquestionably Gender Fluid, Trans, something else entirely, or that I really need to do more experimentation and comfortably expressing myself?

- Am I putting too much emphasis on labels?

If you’ve made it this far, you have no idea how much this means to me that you’ve read through my ramblings (tears coming, telling them to go away so I can finish) and are offering wisdom if willing. In the past two years or so that I’ve been questioning I have come to learn just how warm and welcoming the LGBTQ community is, even if it still hasn’t fully registered with me that I am not straight.

On a lighter note, if it’s not too much trouble to ask, I’ve been thinking of names that I can use when I am presenting female and would love to hear your opinions. I set up a poll, so feel free to answer if you want! I look forward to hearing them. :)

Again, thank you so very much for being here for me. I hope to one day do the same for someone else.


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Joined: 25 May 2008
Age: 31
Gender: Non-binary
Posts: 6,621
Location: Brisbane, Australia

06 Sep 2021, 10:56 pm

Congratulations and Hi.
I am writing this as someone who only fairly recently when approaching 30 realised that I was not as cis or straight as I thought I was. I recognised some non-binary traits that I currently would go as genderfluid, and it was only after I started questioning that part that I had been in denial most of my life about being bisexual.

Straight up you have probably gone much further than me, getting a bunch of feminine clothing, while honestly I have been afraid of crossing a boundary where I am probably going to be judged as a guy crossdressing, so well done on being brave. Although I have grown out my hair and been rather adamant about how short I was always made to have it cut always made me feel pretty bad.

My parents are not really conservative, but they have shown some ignorance over trans people, specifically saying some awful things about a trans man who might not always be the nicest guy. Being open was something that took me a lot of courage to work towards, and I kind of just made a decision on a birthday to make it a Facebook post, that should lead to my family seeing it. Granted I did have to tell my mother to read it, and it was a few months later I had to make it clear to the rest of the family that it was a thing. It was a bit of a thing at that point, when I had to interfere in their transphobic comments about the trans man, that some of my fears came true that they didn't understand. I got a bit of that "I will always love/accept you for who you are" mixed in with "you will always be my son".

In my case I think there was a bit that they just had no exposure to trans and non-binary people (by the way, genderfluid is a part of non-binary, and non-binary is trans), and I think that they had to unravel this idea of who I am. So I think that it might be a lot to come out as everything at once, and they might not be entirely reasonable to just expect them to get the right idea. I do think that it is a good idea to correct them when they say something transphobic, which might be a rare occurrence, ease them into it. Such as if your father said “that’s not the only problem you have”, you could ask him what he means, just to clarify what his point of view is and give what is more correct. Winning some debate is probably not the right frame of mind to have, chances are no one's point of view is going to change from just one argument from another person, but if you can say you support it might be enough to give them one lingering thing for them to ponder.

You do you have "that is how I feel" in your back pocket to back up the idea of that is just how some people are, only after you are sure that you are actually not in danger from your family, such as they won't kick you out or something if they found out. Your best bet is to convince your conservative family that it is not just a sex thing, which maybe is difficult when both those sides of your gender and sexuality were being repressed during your puberty, lord knows I had some unpacking with myself to do. And although I am not an expert and I don't really know you, it kind of sounds like some of it is mixed around since as you said that you have an easier imagining yourself with a woman, unless you are in femme mode which you can imagine it. I know thoughts can be confusing.

Whether you have dysphoria, I don't know if I can really help you. All I could say was that ideas of being forced into a hyper masculine image has made me feel bad before, otherwise I am mostly fine. It really is not needed to be trans, and the gender euphoria is probably a better measure, that things that make you feel good are cooler than things that make you feel sucky. If you are feeling bad about a "distinguishing male feature", I think it is okay to take notice of that, but also that part doesn't make you a man, woman or enby. Some chicks have dicks, some dudes have (whatever the right word is that is not offensive), and genderfluid enbies are whatever they are regardless of equipment.

The best ideas are still to experiment with whatever you feel fits you, and there are no deadlines on making a decision on a label, and you can even change if you find something better, because things can change. Although I can understand a want to have something definitive when coming out to people who might think it is some sort of attention seeking thing. Experiment with what pronouns and and names feel like for you, even if you might not get an answer straight away. I myself feel lucky because my name is a masculine name but with apparently an androgynous spelling, which I liked since I found out that part. Could be some ideas to try names that are androgynous and feminine to figure out what feels good.

Also, you can change your avatar on this site and your gender. Non-binary recently became an option if that is what you want to try out along the way of figuring out if you are binary.

Through dream I travel, at lantern's call
To consume the flames of a kingdom's fall

Emu Egg
Emu Egg

Joined: 26 Sep 2021
Age: 48
Gender: Non-binary
Posts: 7
Location: Akko, Israel

26 Sep 2021, 6:51 am


Let me start by commending you on taking the time to be honest with yourself. It takes a lot more to come out to yourself than to other people. The biggest thing is to be true to yourself.

I am not exactly cis-gender. I am straight up attracted to men in all things but even though my biological sex is male, I have never felt male. I consider my self to be masculine presenting a-gendered. This has brought on a lot of issues, the biggest being body disphoria. It was actually the bdd that led to my autism diagnosis in 1987 at the age of 13. At that time i had become severely dispondant and hated my sexual anatomy to the point that I tried to make myself "as anatomically correct as a Ken doll" to quote the Metatron form Kevin Smith's Dogma. My parents thought it was a suicide attempt and i was committed to a local mental health facility. I'm thankful my therapist withheld the BDD dx and the fact that I am only attracted to men because I would have been given the boot. My family, like yours is extremely conservative (Mormon/US military). So this is what I have learned:

1) Don't come out to them until you can sustain yourself. I made the mistake of believing the "I'll love you no matter what" mantra. At 16 I was caught kissing another boy and was disinherited and landed homeless in the street. I was homeless for about 6 months before I was taken in by a friends parents. During that time, most of the kids i knew living on the streets were lgbtq+. I'm not saying that this will happen to you but have the resources available to support yourself, even if its social security disability or other such payments, is vital. If you do find yourself disinherited make sure you have copies of medical insurance cards if you are dependent on your parents for medical insurance.

2) Get a locking chest/footlocker If you have a lot of gender non conforming items such as make-up, clothing, literature and other media, it serves you better to have a locking container to store them in. Parents snoop its a fact of life. Even if you are over 18, they will still snoop. Placing sensitive items in a locking container allows you to maintain sole access. The benefit is that it also keeps pets from unwittingly pulling something you want to remain hidden into a public space. This is the model I most often recommend cabelas 108 qt plano sportsman tote. They are durable and can survive 10 weeks of tent living at Sebago Lake, well technically Panther Pond, Maine.

3) Try gender affirming or androgynous undergarments In todays commercial market there are plenty of sources for "down low" gender affirming undergarments and/or colors. By starting with daily wear of gender affirming undergarments you can "hide in plain sight." Most companies such as Hollister, The Gap, American Eagle will sell mens undergarments in traditionally feminine colors. Bikin briefs are also a way to wear "feminine" undergarments in plain sight. Prints also can be gender affirming. Shop around and find menswear that appeals to your feminine side. Some of these products will even allow you to "tuck" giving you a more feminine appearance. For me this allows me the illusion of gender nullification while I wait to get authorization for surgery.

4) Learn to tuck Another way to hide in plain sight is tucking. Similar to breast binding for Female to Male trans individuals, tucking allows a feminine appearance by rearranging your external genitalia to present the appearance of labia. In summer it can get to be uncomfortable. If you you are susceptible to sensory overload this my be a challenge. I used to do a ken doll tuck when I lived in Maine. But the humidity, tape, pulling would get a bit much. Add in sea salt from the ocean and it could cause a melt down. If you do decide to try this, make sure the entire area is well shaved, especially if using tape to secure the tuck instead of a bikini brief. I personally recommend the bikini brief as its easier to undo. Alternately, if finances are NOT an issue research prosthetics. If you are over 18, i'd be willing to discuss this option more through direct message.

5)There is no magic way to come out to parents Coming out to parents is a major challenge. My parents were/are foxaholics. I said earlier I made the mistake of coming out at 16 unprepared. In my field, I'm a forensic psychologist, the issue is constantly researched. Sadly, what we've learned is that its a 50/50 draw on whether parents will panic ostracize or affirm. Pay attention to language. Is the language they use harsh or is it just dismissive? Do they espouse views that lgbtq+ people should be criminalized? How do they feel about bathroom bills? Also look at how they respond to minor behavioral differences. Are they quick to forgive or are they austere disciplinarians? How long do grounding/restrictions last for minor infractions? This will be an indicator as to how they will respond to major disruptions. If coming in late lands a month grounded, they probably won't take well to coming out.

Long hair on guys is a little more acceptable even to conservatives. With the likes of kid rock and Ted Nugent endorsing GOP and Fox favored candidates, you might have an easy go at this one. It all depends on how adamant they were on haircuts they were in your adolescence. I know i wouldn't have dared to try it in my youth but the two dominating cultures were absolutely "off the collar; off the ears" cultures. I've seen plenty of youth who were cismale and born to fox families that had hair down to the middle of their back. If your folks are "off the collar; off the ears " types, wigs are a viable option. Just avoid thrift store wigs and try to color match to your natural hair color unless you really do want anime purple, then go for that.

You said you've been in the workforce for 10+ years so I'm assuming you are of the age of majority. This allows you a lot more leeway than if you were a high school junior. Utilize that and gently remind them you are over 18 and do have some say in how you live your life, especially if you live outside their home.

On a similar thread, talking to a pastor can be a catch 22. Try as you might, even the friendliest and most compassionate can do a 180 if something challenges their dogma. If you ABSOLUTELY trust them than confide otherwise try and find an affirming church. There are resources such as that can help you find an affirming congregation near you.

6)Don't fret over labels. Labels can often lead to further distress. As humans we struggle to solidify an identity rather than just be. I was this way for years and it led to many issues with my autism. Now that you are aware, allow things to germinate. Trust yourself, trust your body.

This is the best i can offer at this time without knowing more information. feel free to contact me via direct message if you feel comfortable.

PhD Criminological Sociology
SciD Forensic Psychology
MS Psychometrics
MS Forensic Psychology

Your broader autism cluster (Aspie) score: 169 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 33 of 200