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Internet Kraken
Apr 24, 2010

slightly amused


I really don't feel like I should post this but I feel like I need to talk to another human being about this and have nowhere else to go. I just need to vent cause it feels like I'm about to explode.

So for my entire life I've been a man. I've never liked myself. I've never thought I was handsome or any other kind of positive physical trait you would associate with a man. Every time I look at my body I hate it. I hate that I'm overweight of course, but more than that I hate that I'm covered in so much hair. I hate how masculine my body looks and I feel a lot more drawn to a feminine appearance.

Now up until the last few months I thought this was a sexual thing. I'm firmly attracted to woman, so naturally I find feminine features appealing. I never once thought about applying them too myself. But for some reason lately I've been thinking about feminine features applied to myself. What it would be like to wear a dress. What it would be like to put on makeup. How it would feel to have someone say you're "cute" or "beautiful" rather than "handsome". I never thought about this kind of stuff before. I've always tried to push anything related to this to the back of my mind because I thought I didn't care about it and it would just add unnecessary complication to my life.

But today out of curiosity, I tried doing more research. I tried looking how how transgender people felt. What it means to not fall into binary genders. And now I'm freaking out because so much of this stuff applies to me. In particular I read this article and was shocked by how much of that applied to my own life;

quote:

my experience all my life has been that the thought of existing was intolerable, and that I wanted to imagine I had no existence, no sense of self. Seeing myself in the mirror or remembering my sense of self caused me an intense mental jarring, a feeling of wrongness.

This describes how I've always felt perfectly.

I feel overwhelmed. I feel horrified. I can't be a transgender right? I've always been a man. That's what everyone calls me. That's what my family calls me. Even if I hate being a man, I thought that was just because i hated myself. But for some reason the idea of being more feminine makes me feel weird now. Makes me feel happy. It feels like something I'd actually want people to think about me rather than just ignore my existence.

But how can I not be a man? I'm attracted to woman completely. There's nothing feminine about my body. Nobody would ever consider me a woman. My family would find the notion ridiculous. Even my sister, who is herself transgender, would probably say I'm just being a stupid weird creep. I just don't know what to do. My head is swimming, my cheeks are tingling, I feel like I'm falling apart in confusion.

I don't even know why I'm making this thread. I guess i just think talking to someone about this might help, but I can't think of anywhere else to go. I know the first response to this will be "get therapy" and I'm definitely going to look into a therapist tomorrow when I've hopefully calmed down. But right now I just don't know what to do.

Please don't call me a freak or hold this post against me if I'm just being a weird goon.

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DJ Fuckboy Supreme
Feb 10, 2011

And when you stare long into the abyss, you become aggressively, terminally chill



If your sister, who logically has been through a similar situation, calls you a creep, I'm sorry for your family.

It sounds like you might benefit from exploring cross-dressing or at least considering it. My local drag circuit has a very welcoming and accepting amateur night, maybe your city does as well?

Fwiw I has a similar examination of my own identity and decided that I like queer as a label. Like you, I'm primarily attracted to women but honestly beauty is beauty and I don't have any problem admitting that I'm attracted to some men. Confiding this to my friends has been a scary thing and I am glad that they have accepted me for who I am.

Good luck my goon. I imagine better people than I are better suited to giving you the words you are looking for.

Scudworth
Jan 1, 2005

When life gives you lemons, you clone those lemons, and make super lemons.


Dinosaur Gum

Internet Kraken posted:

I feel overwhelmed. I feel horrified. I can't be a transgender right? I've always been a man. That's what everyone calls me. That's what my family calls me. Even if I hate being a man, I thought that was just because i hated myself. But for some reason the idea of being more feminine makes me feel weird now. Makes me feel happy. It feels like something I'd actually want people to think about me rather than just ignore my existence.

You can be feminine without being trans. You can enjoy wearing women's clothes on a normal basis or be into full-on drag and not be trans. Men wear dresses. Men wear makeup. Men are pretty and cute. You can shed any need to perform as a male is expected to present and perform in society and still not be trans. Or you could be trans.

Go buy a cheap dress at a thrift store and see if this clears anything up for you.

SUPERMAN'S GAL PAL
Feb 21, 2006

Holy Moly! DARKSEID IS!


You're not being a weird goon. You may be trans, you may be non-binary, you may be agender. And it's completely valid to still be attracted to women if you yourself are something other than a cisgender man because who you're attracted to is different than what gender (if any) you are.

It's very tough to navigate, especially as an adult that probably had no knowledge or access to resources concerning anything outside the binary gender. When you look for a therapist look for an LGBTQ specialist, that's what I did a few years ago when I confronted my own anxiety and trauma.

All the best to you!

Internet Kraken
Apr 24, 2010

slightly amused


Sorry for freaking out last night. I've calmed down now and done a lot of thinking.

Cross-dressing is something I've thought of before; while I'm not sexually attracted to men I find something appealing about a man who can pull of cross-dressing really well. That boldness in spirit to appear the way they want and not conform to societie's standards impresses me. I don't think it would be the right fit for me though just because I hate my body so much. I like dresses and other women's clothing, but I'd look ridiculous in it. Even with makeup I couldn't change the more defining masculine features of my body that bother me so much. At least, I don't know of anyway to change that.

I don't really know what's going on and what my true identity is, but I'm tired of being a man. At least to the degree where I associate myself with all the typical masculine traits. The more I think about it the more sense it makes. I dunno if that means I'm trans or gender fluid or whatever, all these terms are overwhelming honestly, but I've never liked the mental image of a man I think of when I think about myself. So I definitely need to do some soul-searching and most importantly find a therapist to talk about this with.

So I guess that's where I'm at right now. My big question is, should I be looking for a normal therapist or specifically a gender therapist? I've talked to therapists all over the course of my life but never seen one that specializes in gender.

DJ Fuckboy Supreme
Feb 10, 2011

And when you stare long into the abyss, you become aggressively, terminally chill



It strikes me that you're asking a question with an obvious answer. Yes, in my opinion you should seek someone who specializes in gender identity. You'd likely benefit from them over a generalised therapist.

Bobbie Wickham
Apr 13, 2008

A redheaded hussy who ought to be smacked and sent to bed without her supper



You can also start playing with your appearance without jumping right into women's clothing. Think David Bowie, Annie Lennox, Grace Jones, Prince--the androgynous look, which I agree can be very sexy. You can do things like remove your body hair, change your wardrobe, start a workout regime to have a more slender frame. I think that taking some measure of control to bring your body in line with how you feel, would be good for you, even in small steps.

This is the FabGoon chat thread in CCC. It has lots of people who have been in your position, and they're a supportive bunch. Also nthing the recommendation to see a therapist who specializes in gender issues. You're not weird or messed up or anything, this is just a really difficult issue. Happy clothes shopping!

Internet Kraken
Apr 24, 2010

slightly amused


DJ Fuckboy Supreme posted:

It strikes me that you're asking a question with an obvious answer. Yes, in my opinion you should seek someone who specializes in gender identity. You'd likely benefit from them over a generalised therapist.

Yeah I figured, but I've been looking at therapists and all the ones that specifically specialize in gender issues don't accept my insurance plan

Bobbie Wickham posted:

This is the FabGoon chat thread in CCC. It has lots of people who have been in your position, and they're a supportive bunch. Also nthing the recommendation to see a therapist who specializes in gender issues. You're not weird or messed up or anything, this is just a really difficult issue. Happy clothes shopping!

I think I'll lurk around in there. Maybe I can learn something.

DJ Fuckboy Supreme
Feb 10, 2011

And when you stare long into the abyss, you become aggressively, terminally chill



Internet Kraken posted:

Yeah I figured, but I've been looking at therapists and all the ones that specifically specialize in gender issues don't accept my insurance plan

I know what it's like to be financially limited; I hope you can find the capital to use that resource. Good luck.

Thuryl
Mar 14, 2007

My postillion has been struck by lightning.


Internet Kraken posted:

Yeah I figured, but I've been looking at therapists and all the ones that specifically specialize in gender issues don't accept my insurance plan


I think I'll lurk around in there. Maybe I can learn something.

If you can't find a therapist who specifically focuses on gender issues and is covered by your insurance, call around to the therapists who are covered and ask if they have any experience with trans clients. Also, check if there are any websites that post reviews of therapists in your area. Don't take everything you read as absolute truth, but it can be useful for getting an idea of who might work well with you.

Devils Affricate
Jan 22, 2010


Wow OP you mean to tell me that instead of being a fat hairy guy you'd rather be a cute sexy girl? I'll write your name down in my tiny book of extremely unique people as soon as I can get my monocle to stop popping out

Bobbie Wickham
Apr 13, 2008

A redheaded hussy who ought to be smacked and sent to bed without her supper



Devils Affricate posted:

Wow OP you mean to tell me that instead of being a fat hairy guy you'd rather be a cute sexy girl? I'll write your name down in my tiny book of extremely unique people as soon as I can get my monocle to stop popping out

To be fair, most men who aren't happy with their appearance don't want to be women, they want to be better-looking men.

Tiresias2
May 31, 2011

A SCREAMING COMES ACROSS THE SKY. It has happened before, but there is nothing to compare it to now. It is too late. The Evacuation still proceeds, but it's all theatre.

Devils Affricate posted:

Wow OP you mean to tell me that instead of being a fat hairy guy you'd rather be a cute sexy girl? I'll write your name down in my tiny book of extremely unique people as soon as I can get my monocle to stop popping out

I'm tall and fit and have a square jaw, yet I went through something similar. When I brought up to my therapist that it might be the result of a lack of self-knowledge she was pretty keen on affirming it. Yet, I have, in my mind, a clear causal factor. I LOVE novels. The books I read had a tendency to effect me profoundly, and in relation to feeling "womanly", though it's not as if it had never happened before, I had just finished reading Pride and Prejudice.

So these are my questions to the OP: Do you introspect a lot? Do you tend to identify with things that are on some level clearly not like yourself a lot?

Internet Kraken
Apr 24, 2010

slightly amused


Devils Affricate posted:

Wow OP you mean to tell me that instead of being a fat hairy guy you'd rather be a cute sexy girl? I'll write your name down in my tiny book of extremely unique people as soon as I can get my monocle to stop popping out

This is why I'm not sure about this and I feel like I'm just being a pervert sometimes. Its like because I'm so unattractive to myself and others I'm defaulting to wanting to be what I find most attractive.

But even if I was a woman I don't think my ideal body for myself would be what I find attractive in other woman. I also have no desire to be "sexy", I just want a body I can look at and not be repulsed by.

Bobbie Wickham posted:

To be fair, most men who aren't happy with their appearance don't want to be women, they want to be better-looking men.

Yeah, but I've never liked masculine beauty ideals. I didn't think that meant I could be trans but the more I think about it, I can't see myself being happy with my body. Pictures of what I'm supposed to aspire to as a man don't appeal to me at all. They never have, but I didn't think the appeal of the feminine form was anything other than a sexual thing for me until recently.

Tiresias2 posted:

I'm tall and fit and have a square jaw, yet I went through something similar. When I brought up to my therapist that it might be the result of a lack of self-knowledge she was pretty keen on affirming it. Yet, I have, in my mind, a clear causal factor. I LOVE novels. The books I read had a tendency to effect me profoundly, and in relation to feeling "womanly", though it's not as if it had never happened before, I had just finished reading Pride and Prejudice.

So these are my questions to the OP: Do you introspect a lot? Do you tend to identify with things that are on some level clearly not like yourself a lot?

I'm not sure what you mean exactly. I do a lot of introspection and have a fondness for a lot of stuff that isn't like me, but I never thought that had any relation to gender identity. Sure, I find what is generally considered to be feminine more appealing than masculine stuff, but there are plenty of men like that.

Tiresias2
May 31, 2011

A SCREAMING COMES ACROSS THE SKY. It has happened before, but there is nothing to compare it to now. It is too late. The Evacuation still proceeds, but it's all theatre.

Internet Kraken posted:

I'm not sure what you mean exactly. I do a lot of introspection and have a fondness for a lot of stuff that isn't like me, but I never thought that had any relation to gender identity. Sure, I find what is generally considered to be feminine more appealing than masculine stuff, but there are plenty of men like that.

I know it's gonna sound like I set you up, but I think the introspection thing is more complex than a yes or no question. There are details, like how much of your life do you remember, can you make coherent narrative out of it, are there gaps, sex life, how many things do you remember specifically in relation to gender identity and so on. It seems counter-intuitive that you would have introspected enough to be certain about these things and yet still have an identity crisis, yet at the same time, it could be that it is precisely that self-certainty which is the basis for the feeling of wrongness.

As for masculine stuff, how sure are you of your concept of masculinity? Is it broad but vague or narrow but certain? Are you ignorant of some of its manifestations? It's understandable that you would be repulsed by a given representation, but have you looked at Greek statues for example? Do questions of effort and difficulty come into play? What do you consider to be masculine?

You say that you find feminine things more appealing than masculine things, and at the same time seem to explain it as away as a perversion. If that's not the right explanation, then what is? Disregarding the intensity of your current moment, how do feminine things apply to you?

Internet Kraken
Apr 24, 2010

slightly amused


Oh, you mean introspection specifically about this issue.

Well I never really thought about it before a few days ago, but obviously I've been doing a lot of thinking about it now. I don't really want to jump to conclusions but there are things in my life I never understood that would make a lot more sense if I wasn't cis. I talked about it more in the trans chat thread, but basically I've always had this weird numb and tingling feeling sometimes pop up on my chest. Its roughly where breasts would be if I was a woman. I've noticed that feeling has gotten more intense the more I think about this stuff. I also realized that my entire life I've bunched stuff like blankets to my chest for comfort to help soothe that feeling. I heard some trans people experience a "phantom limb" regarding parts of their body their brain thinks they should have but they lack. I thought maybe that was what was happening to me.

As for what I find masculine...I guess my immediate thought is of a man with a strong, chiseled physique. Very defined and powerful muscles. Also tons of body hair. That's what I think of as a masculine body and I've never liked it. The feminine form is more appealing to me, not on a sexual level, but on an aesthetic one. Way less hair with less defined muscles even in fit women. I always knew that but I never really thought of applying it to myself. My whole life I've hated my body for one reason or another but I thought that was just because I was ugly.

I'm not sure how feminine things really apply to me because I've never been bold enough to explore them in real life. I've always found stuff like women's clothing more aesthetically pleasing and generally lean towards things that are more, for lack of a better word, "girly" than other stuff. But I've never tried to express it outside of my art. I'm too much of a coward to express myself in real life when it comes to anything really.

Sorry if I this is a bad answer to your questions but I'm having some trouble understanding exactly what you are saying.

DJ Fuckboy Supreme
Feb 10, 2011

And when you stare long into the abyss, you become aggressively, terminally chill



There's no bad answer to that question as long as you're answering truthfully my goon.

From another opinion, I've always been disenfranchised with typically masculine ideals - namely the whole beard thing, which might spawn from my inability to grow one. As a queer man who lifts on the daily, I like the aesthetic of a powerful body, but I've never felt like that was an exclusively masculine ideal. I find a lifter's build on women very attractive, however I tend to think that that devotion to building one's body is a unisex trait.

Additionally, I like beautification rituals. My best friend is a makeup artist and I will often get her to do my face if we're going out dancing. I'm not saying this applies to you, IK, however queer for me means a rejection of "typical" beauty ideals. It's 2018, and I like what I like.

I don't mean to make this about me while I muse, I'm just glad to be part of a discussion. Maybe similarly to you, this part of my identity is new and still to be explored. To be honest, I'll thank you for providing this space. I recommend you embrace these feelings and explore them yourself. Try something that scares you, because if you don't challenge yourself, even in mild ways you feel less scared by, you won't grow as an individual

Tiresias2
May 31, 2011

A SCREAMING COMES ACROSS THE SKY. It has happened before, but there is nothing to compare it to now. It is too late. The Evacuation still proceeds, but it's all theatre.

Internet Kraken posted:

Oh, you mean introspection specifically about this issue.

Well I never really thought about it before a few days ago, but obviously I've been doing a lot of thinking about it now. I don't really want to jump to conclusions but there are things in my life I never understood that would make a lot more sense if I wasn't cis. I talked about it more in the trans chat thread, but basically I've always had this weird numb and tingling feeling sometimes pop up on my chest. Its roughly where breasts would be if I was a woman. I've noticed that feeling has gotten more intense the more I think about this stuff. I also realized that my entire life I've bunched stuff like blankets to my chest for comfort to help soothe that feeling. I heard some trans people experience a "phantom limb" regarding parts of their body their brain thinks they should have but they lack. I thought maybe that was what was happening to me.

As for what I find masculine...I guess my immediate thought is of a man with a strong, chiseled physique. Very defined and powerful muscles. Also tons of body hair. That's what I think of as a masculine body and I've never liked it. The feminine form is more appealing to me, not on a sexual level, but on an aesthetic one. Way less hair with less defined muscles even in fit women. I always knew that but I never really thought of applying it to myself. My whole life I've hated my body for one reason or another but I thought that was just because I was ugly.

I'm not sure how feminine things really apply to me because I've never been bold enough to explore them in real life. I've always found stuff like women's clothing more aesthetically pleasing and generally lean towards things that are more, for lack of a better word, "girly" than other stuff. But I've never tried to express it outside of my art. I'm too much of a coward to express myself in real life when it comes to anything really.

Sorry if I this is a bad answer to your questions but I'm having some trouble understanding exactly what you are saying.

No, I think you nailed it. Dr. Me prescribes experimentation and introspection on the issue until the until the weird feelings stop. But Dr. Me isn't a licensed professional. Also I totally want to see your art (if that's okay with you).

Internet Kraken
Apr 24, 2010

slightly amused


Tiresias2 posted:

No, I think you nailed it. Dr. Me prescribes experimentation and introspection on the issue until the until the weird feelings stop. But Dr. Me isn't a licensed professional. Also I totally want to see your art (if that's okay with you).

All of my art I put on the internet can be found on my tumblr: https://internetkraken.tumblr.com/

At least that's the stuff I'm willing to show people. I have art that's more personal I drew to try and work through mental stuff, both my current feelings and past ones. Most of that has been deleted though.

Whitlam
Aug 2, 2014

Some goons overreact. Go figure.


This is very unrelated to the thread but the coconut and accompanying backstory is delightful and adorable and I just thought you should know that.

AlbieQuirky
Oct 9, 2012



Grimey Drawer

Internet Kraken posted:

But how can I not be a man? I'm attracted to woman completely.

You could be a lesbian. Lesbians exist.

Gnossiennes
Jan 7, 2013

i like chairs

Internet Kraken posted:

My whole life I've hated my body for one reason or another but I thought that was just because I was ugly.

this is how dysphoria manifested for me. I constantly felt really fat even though I knew I wasn't fat, and binding for the first time was a weird religious experience -- I looked at myself and suddenly didn't feel fat.

I hate my body a lot less now. Hormones & top surgery helped a lot. I still have feminine aspects that I hate, but overall, I'm a lot more comfortable in my skin.

also ye, lesbian, gay, queer etc trans people exist. I'm a queer-but-mostly-gay trans guy. only something like 25% of trans people (in the us at least) identify as straight, so that leaves a whole lotta queers my friend

Skylark
Apr 27, 2007



Internet Kraken posted:

Now up until the last few months I thought this was a sexual thing. I'm firmly attracted to woman, so naturally I find feminine features appealing. I never once thought about applying them too myself. But for some reason lately I've been thinking about feminine features applied to myself. What it would be like to wear a dress. What it would be like to put on makeup. How it would feel to have someone say you're "cute" or "beautiful" rather than "handsome". I never thought about this kind of stuff before. I've always tried to push anything related to this to the back of my mind because I thought I didn't care about it and it would just add unnecessary complication to my life.

This sounds like textbook autogynephilia. It's not very uncommon for heterosexual males to find the idea of being a woman appealing, because of their attraction to them and their notions of what being a woman is like which are informed by a misogynist society. https://www.amazon.com/dp/146145181...a_kd.jBbQQVZAX4

Gnossiennes
Jan 7, 2013

i like chairs

Skylark posted:

This sounds like textbook autogynephilia. It's not very uncommon for heterosexual males to find the idea of being a woman appealing, because of their attraction to them and their notions of what being a woman is like which are informed by a misogynist society. https://www.amazon.com/dp/146145181...a_kd.jBbQQVZAX4

yeah nah autogynephilia is bullshit

http://juliaserano.blogspot.com/201...ia-deniers.html -- has a decent amount of info on that subject in the form of linked studies/articles.

Bobbie Wickham
Apr 13, 2008

A redheaded hussy who ought to be smacked and sent to bed without her supper



Beware of Tumblr, OP. Down that path lies madness, and morbidly obese fuckwits with embarrassing hair.

Devils Affricate
Jan 22, 2010


Bobbie Wickham posted:

Beware of Tumblr, OP. Down that path lies madness, and morbidly obese fuckwits with embarrassing hair.

But in exchange you will be assured by hundreds of BPD teenagers that you are the prettiest princess just for tossing a yarn wig on your head

Dare you accept this Faustian bargain, OP?

Internet Kraken
Apr 24, 2010

slightly amused


Bobbie Wickham posted:

Beware of Tumblr, OP. Down that path lies madness, and morbidly obese fuckwits with embarrassing hair.

I only use tumblr to post my art. Its helpful to have an online repository for it and I dunno where else I would go for that. Also following other artists on it is nice since I get to see some cool stuff that way.

I have no interest in using it for socializing much beyond just talking about art.

Skylark posted:

This sounds like textbook autogynephilia. It's not very uncommon for heterosexual males to find the idea of being a woman appealing, because of their attraction to them and their notions of what being a woman is like which are informed by a misogynist society. https://www.amazon.com/dp/146145181...a_kd.jBbQQVZAX4

So what, I am just a pervert then according to this?

Ytlaya
Nov 13, 2005


Gnossiennes posted:

also ye, lesbian, gay, queer etc trans people exist. I'm a queer-but-mostly-gay trans guy. only something like 25% of trans people (in the us at least) identify as straight, so that leaves a whole lotta queers my friend

This is very interesting. Is there any theory about why this is the case?

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Gnossiennes
Jan 7, 2013

i like chairs

Ytlaya posted:

This is very interesting. Is there any theory about why this is the case?

why there's only 25% of trans people who id as straight? I mean, there's not exactly a ton of data on trans people.

I have spent a bit of time around other trans men/transmasculine folk though, and there are a couple of things I've seen -- some trans people are uncomfortable with being straight because of having strong ties/histories in lesbian (or gay) communities, or because of being uncomfortable being seen as not-queer (especially if you've had harassment issues from straight dudes, you know? you don't want to be that). Also, some trans men i've met have had a opening of or a shift in their sexuality on hormones (which happens for trans women on hormones as well).

It's also worth understanding how heteronormativity and trans history has shaped it -- by that I mean, it was nearly impossible for gay trans people to be allowed to transition until the late 80s/early 90s, and even now, there's still an assumption (imo) from non-queer people that being trans is some kinda hyper gay. So, gay trans people were not considered "correctly" trans, basically (e.g. autogynephillic ). Being "straight" was (and still is) seen as the correct way.

But, it's gotten a lot easier to find trans people talking on the internet and get information if you have questions about it. and more importantly, accessing trans-specific healthcare (especially hormones) has gotten easier over the years. so, people who may have been gatekept from getting care for not having a proper trans narrative (e.g. being straight), are less likely to get gatekept in that way now, and so there's more non-straight trans people than the early gender clinics first assumed.

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