Miss Laura's TransTerrific Advice Column
Have a question for Miss Laura? Ask her here!
Can Transsexual Drug User be Helped?
Dear Miss Laura,
I'm writing about my brother. He's a 40 year old, married, cross dresser. Our father is the only one who doesn't know about the cross dressing. I have never had a problem with his life-style, in fact I have embraced it and helped him with it. The thing that I don't know how to deal with is that he has cheated on his, then girlfriend, with transvestites.
About 9 years ago he was diagnosed with HIV. To add to all of this he also has a reoccurring drug habit, crystal-meth. I was always really close to him until the last three years or so. He has slowly been pushing the family away, he hasn't talked to my father in at least 8 months. My mother received an e-mail from his wife last week, she's at her wits end. She isn't sure how bad the drug use is, but he has been sneaking out at night in drag to hang out with the transvestite prostitutes that hang out at the corner diner, he started taking female hormones and he is constantly on the computer in chat rooms
(usually sex rooms).
He doesn't care what his wife thinks and is pushing her away as well. I don't know where to start to help him or if he even wants help. I live in NYC, he lives in L.A. and the rest of the family is scattered through the US. My mother, brother and I know the whole story, my father only knows about the drugs, but we all want to help him. Should my father be told about my brothers life-style? Should we be the ones to tell my father the whole story? Where can we start to get help for my brother as well as for ourselves? You are the first person I have written, I just don't know where to start.
Your brother's behaviour is very destructive not only to himself but others as well. The fact that he's engaged in two high risk illegal behaviors shows that. He also doesn't seem bothered by the fact that he may be spreading HIV which is considered criminal.
I agree with you that he does need help. The problem is no one will help him until he gets off the drugs. He needs to get himself into a drug rehab
center immeadiatly. His wife alsso needs to lay down the law and tell him his behaviour is not acceptable and its either drug rehab o else then follow through with it.. If she doesn't do this then he is being enabled. He needs to see how many lives he is in the process of destroying.
He certainly is much more than a Crossdresser and since he is taking hormones is likely Transsexual which means he feels like a woman trapped in
a man's body. It also seems highly probable that he may be engaging in prostitution himself. With HIV he likely feels he has nothing left to loose which is a dangerous concept. If he looses his wife, he will loose a great deal.
Ater his drug use is eliminated then he should see a Gender Therapist to help him
straighten out his life if possible. Certainly he would not be a candidate for SRS Sex Reassignment surgery with HIV. It is possible but not likely. Your brother also may be Obssesive compulsive OCD which can be helped with medication from a Psychiatrist.
Why do you feel your father couldn't handle the truth? I would advise that the transgender person should be the one to out themselves not others because its a personal choice.
We do have meeting for wives and family of transgender in our chatroom every Saturday night at 7:00Pm Eastern time. . Please join us for support.
Please bear in mind that alltransgender don't act like your brother does. I wish you the best of luck and feel free to write me anytime. I care. If your brother needs to contact me he can reach me at http://www.lauras-playground.com/content/contact-laura
Give him the website address as well.
When Your Shape is Rounded Out Instead of In
Dear Miss Laura,
I've been Crossdressing for a long time and while I can get my face and hair to look great my body is rounded out instead of shaped like an hourglass. This is probably due to the rather large amount of beer that I've consumed in the past. I'm Planning on losing wait sometime.
The Pillsbury Dough Girl
Dear Pillsbury Dough Girl,
If you're waiting for the pounds to melt off you'll be waiting a long time. Replace the beer with lettuce, rice cakes, and water. Ummm Yummy! Or better yet try a low carb diet.
In the meantime there are indeed some nice fashionable outfits you can wear besides sweats. When you're round, think long and flowing, as in long jackets or sweaters. There are also some nice one piece blouse and thin jacket combos that'll make you seem to glide as you walk.
Also you could try a corset or laced waist cincher for girls with up to 40 inch waists. Don't cinch too tight at first or you will literally take your breath away.
Another way to compliment your look is to balance your shoulders and hip size. Check out Classic Curves website for help in doing this.
Be sure to keep your h air and nails well groomed and polished and for accessories use a smaller clutch handbag.
Remember, a large woman can be both beautiful and alluring.
Dorothy's Not in Kansas Anymore
Dear Miss Laura,
I have been Cross dressing
in private most of my life.
Now I'd like to go public. Is
there a list of do's and dont's?
Dorothy from Kansas
Dear Dorothy from Kansas,
Be sure to wear your Ruby red slippers so
you can click your heels and wish your way
home if you need to. Seriously though,
There is a list of do's and don'ts.
First: its important to try and look like a
lady, not a man in a dress. Believe me, this
will save you loads of aggravation and
anxiety later on.
Second: You should get a second opinion
of how you look. The best place to do that
is to join your local transgender group. If
possible confide in a GG (genetic Girl) friend
and ask for a second opinion.
Third: Practice your female voice. Record it
and listen to how you sound. If you need
help, try this link:
Fourth: Dress conservatively and don't
overdo the makeup. Sometimes less is
more. Remember that 5 o'clock Shadow
has a time limit. The clock on your pumpkin
ticks faster than you think, even with a
beard cover. Note that most women wear
the pants these days.
Fifth: For your first public outing go with
someone you know. Preferably a GG. You'll
feel more comfortable. Also try the mall for
the first time instead of the bars. Save that
step for when your confidence starts oozing.
Sixth: Above all stay safe. Watch those
around you. if there's trouble just click
those ruby slippers.
Remember, this isn't Kansas any more.
Telling Friends and Family
Dear Miss Laura,
I am transitioning soon
from male to female so I need to
tell my family and friends. I dread
this task. How do I break the news
to everyone. I'm planning on
transitioning no matter what they
Marcia on the Obstacle Course
Sure, ask me an easy question. I'll be honest with you many Transsexuals
will tell you that for most the hardest Part of transition is coming out to
friends and family. While some have no problem at all and are accepted
easily, others are greeted with anger and denial. Usually some will accept
you warmly and some will reject you. The ones you think will be the most
accepting may not and others will surprise you.
Since you seem to have made up your mind to transition anyway your best
bet is to plan for the worst case scenario. The thing to remember is that it is
YOUR life not anyone else's. You are not disappointing them, you are
becoming you. They can't possibly feel your pain and anguish so don't expect
them to. They are more shocked that they didn't see it coming since they
thought they knew all about you. Surprise!
Your best bet is to get involved with groups of people like yourself and make
a few good friends first so you have someone there for you if the worst
happens. Some have tried letters with facts gathered on the Internet to help
explain your position. A couple of weeks after sending your letters or e-mails
try to see your family and friends to see where they stand. You might as well
find out who's with you and who's against you. Bear in mind that others may
come around eventually even if they are against you today.
Hang in there Hon and I'm sure you'll dodge whatever obstacles they throw
at you. Good luck.
Alone and Depressed
Dear Miss Laura,
I am a transgender Girl. Most of the time I feel very alone and depressed. What's worse is that every other minute or so I seem to be changing my mind, whether I'm feeling male or female. My brain is buzzing from the constant conflict within me. Please Help me.
Alone in my own Universe
First things first. Before you can start working on being transgender you need to be screened for any underlying causes. That means getting a physical and mental evaluation. While I'm not a psychiatrist, I can only talk from my own 55 years of experience.
You need to be screened for depression and possibly OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. These diagnosis's are quite common in transgender folks. Its possible that all you need is the proper medication to help you stop the buzzing in your brain.
After that is solved and your brain becomes your own again will you be able to make the decisions to solve your transgender dilemma much more easily.
Next, you should see a gender counselor. Also start visiting transgender Forums and chat rooms to find someone you can talk to. One word of caution: Stay away from bitter people who have nothing but discouraging words for you. They may not have solved their own psychological dilemmas yet. You will find plenty of warm hearted people to chat with. Don't forget to listen as well as talk though.
Remember you are NOT alone. Lots of non-transgender folk have underlying depression and OCD. Don't forget that
Transgenderism is not YOUR fault. It is not a lifestyle choice as some would have you believe. Eventually, you WILL solve these problems. After that You'll know what you need to do.
Good luck and get going
Can I Be Myself?
I'm transgender and having trouble being myself. I'm afraid to present myself as my true gender. What should I do?
Two Voices, One Body
Dear Two Voices,
Fortunately for you There is a night this month that's the answer to your problem. Its Halloween. While Many on this night are pretending to be something else this is the perfect opportunity to go out as yourself without fear.
Many a transgender person has chosen Halloween as their first night to come out. Any mistakes made won't be likely to be noticed
Good luck and get going
Scared and Transitioning
Dear Miss Laura,
IM A 32 YO CROSSDRESSER WHO IS SECRETLY WANTING TO BE THE WOMAN I AM 24/7 BUT AM SCARED AND DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO ABOUT STARTING MY NEW LIFE AS A WOMAN. IM A SIZE 5 IN WOMEN'S CLOTHES AND AM VERY PASSABLE AND AM JUST CONFUSED ABOUT HOW TO START LIVING AS A WOMAN LEGALLY. PLEASE HELP ME OUT.
Secretly A woman
A size 5? You lucky girl you. The goddess is smiling on you hon.
You'll need to take the following steps:
Get help from a gender psychologist since you will probably need a letter stating that you intend to live in a different Gender. This will help later.
Start electrolysis (Beard removal) as soon as possible. You'll have to grow your beard stubble in between treatments. Usually this is a first step before you start living as a woman.
See an Endocrinologist for Female Hormones. Your Psychologist may be able to help with a recommendation and letter.
Join a transsexual/transgender Support Group. Develop a female voice.
Think about how you're going to approach family, friends and your employer if you are planning on transitioning on the job
Apply to the courts for a legal name change. Later you'll need to change bank records, credit cards, Social Security, Driver's License, medical records etc.
Usually you must live one to two years as a woman before surgery, depending on the surgeons requirements.
Research the Internet Trans sites for links to gender change surgeons. The best of luck to you.
Cross Dressing Husband
Dear Miss Laura,
Hi. I need advice and insight. My husband has the sexual desire to dress like a woman and doesn't understand why i am not sexually turned on by it. I have tried to understand and it has caused many problems - me being physically abused, etc. He says now he will quit, but i don't know if that's possible - and i didn't know this was a desire prior to getting married - i stumbled upon it. please give me some information to help me, b/c i feel like i am crazy and i am going nuts....
Dear Going Nuts,
Your husband appears to at least be a Crossdresser at this stage on the transgender Spectrum.. The thing to realize is that this is not his fault or yours. Often this is something that is present at birth not because of something you have done. The problem of course is the secretive nature of the phenomenon.
Many Crossdressers live in a constant state of the fear of being discovered and ridiculed. This means that they rarely confide in anyone, which is sometimes an unbearable burden for them. Often they don't know why they do it.
If he has the desire to BE a woman, this of course is higher on the spectrum and needs more immeadiate attention, and perhaps treatment from a gender professional.
In any event his Physical (or even verbal) Abuse is not acceptable in any way. You may present him with a choice to either get help in private or let the courts do it for him. Above all keep yourself safe even if that means a trial separation.
Its also possible that his hormone levels may be off which is something that can happen to men over the age of 40. Changing hormone levels can cause a profound impact on the brain and behaviors.
- He should get a physical exam to rule out Hormone deficiencies or anything else.
- He should see a Psychiatrist to rule out mental problems such as Depression, Bi-polar Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and other mental ailments.
- He needs to see a gender counselor to at least accept what is happening to him.
- If the first three steps don't bring him some relief then he needs counseling for his behavior or marraige counseling for the two of you.
- He should check out transgender sites (not sex sites) for information and to discover he is not alone.
What can you do:
If you don't wish to be a part of his cross-dressing that's OK. Just recognize that he may need to have some private time to himself.
Reassure him. If you love him tell him so.
Realize that you have to give him a little leeway. Dictating that he has to stop will only cause problems for him and you. Besides almost all that purge and swear to stay straight end up going back to it at some point usually worse than before.
Read all you can on Crossdressing and Transgenderism in order to understand it. There are several chat rooms and groups for the Significant Others of Transfolk. Realize that you are not alone.
Get Professional help yourself. You need to talk to someone.
If he is just a crossdresser you have an excellent chance of saving your marraige through compromise and understanding. If he is higher on the spectrum it will be much harder but it can and does work for some.
You are not crazy and you or not nuts. This doesn't mean though that he is. Realize that His pain is real too. No one asks or chooses to be this way.
FTM Transsexual Child
Dear Miss Laura,
My daughter is 9-1/2 years old and has always identified as a male. As she grew older, my husband and I thought she just wanted to be like a boy, but she has made it very clear over and over again that she wants to be a boy. She tells me that in her heart and in her head she is a boy but she was born into a girls body. We only shop in the boys section for clothes and recently I gave in and let her have a boys hair cut. All strangers just assume she is my son. My husband and I have stop correcting people and our daughter Tifanny now goes by the gender neutral nickname- TJ.
My child through the age of about 5 to present has been very angry, agressive and depressed. She has had suicidal ideation a couple of times and has been under the care of a psychiatrist since the age of 6. She is on antidepressents, but even though the depression has subsided, the need to be a boy has not. They have been addressing her "gender identity" issues, but it's only been within the past month that I have met with a gender pychologist who will be helping my child. I have also met with an endrocrinologist who is willing to put her on hormone stoppers so that she doesn't develop into a female. This will put her development in a state of limbo until she is older and able to make a more informed decision.
Is my child too young to really know she is transgender? Will my husband and I be making a mistake in allowing our child to make a transition at such a young age? Is there any way she'll wake up one day and say "I hate my parents for letting me turn into a boy?"
Thanks in advance for your advice,
Dear Loving Parent,
Believe it or not you are doing what every transsexual person wishes his parents had done for them. I'm sure this is tough for you.
By delaying his development you are leaving the ball in his court. You've given him a great gift in letting the choice be his/hers. The worst thing you could do is make the choice for him and you are not doing that.
One of the unifying trends with transsexuals is that almost all report that their first memories were of being the opposite gender, usually about the age of five. Unfortunatley, that feeling almost never goes away.
While he may be to young to understand the word transgender he certainly knows the meaning. So, no, he's not to young. He's already known for some time.
Its good that he is on medication for depression. Just be sure to monitor him for any side effects. Teenagers on anti-depressants can require closer monitoring. I doubt he'll ever hate you as you are leaving the decision up to him when he's better able to handle it. The hormone stoppers are a great idea.
The gender counselor will help him decide when the time is right to transition.
I do hope you realize that this is no ones fault, especially not yours. It is something that we are born with. No female to male (FTM) transsexual could ask more of their parents than you are already doing.
I do have a Female to Male section on the site
In the ftm Links section check out the FTM personal web pages. Most will be happy to share their stories with you.
transgender Teen Horror Stories
If you need to write again please don't hesitate. God bless you and good luck to you and your family.
My Wife Caught Me Crossdressing
Dear Miss Laura,
I've been Crossdressing on and off since I was a child. I've binged and purged dozens of times. I've tried to stop dozens of times, but I always return to it.
I'm married to a wonderful woman who loves me dearly. I never told my wife about my crossdressing because I felt she wouldn't love me anymore and would leave me.
The other day she caught me dressed en-femme. She hasn't talked to me since. I'm devastated and depressed. I'm terrified I'll loose her. My worst fear seems to be coming true. What should I do?
Dear Losing It,
First, don't panic. This problem is solvable, despite how it seems now. Eventually this happens to all Transfolk sooner or later.
You are extremely vulnerable right now and you are not in a position of strength. Your secret has been found out so your wife obviously has the upper hand.
Bear in mind that your wife is upset that you never told her about this. She feels deceived and betrayed. If you have children she is terrified that they will find out. That's where she is coming from. She may also think you are gay and that somehow she is not satisfying your needs. She may even feel inadequate as a wife and a woman. You are going to have to reassure her about these issues.
Somehow you have to get back on equal footing with your wife. Explain to her that you love her and that she is woman enough for you. Tell her that you are not gay and are not treating her as a lesbian. You are totally male when not dressed. This issue has been with you since childhood and you thought you had things under control. Explain that this is merely a side of you and that you don't want to be a woman, just express that side of you. Above all don't feel guilty. This is not your fault. You've had this since childhood.
Now its time to compromise. Don't ask for too much at once. Tell her that you need some private time to dress and express yourself. Try for an hour or two at a time at first. You'll both have to set some rules. She may not want you touching her clothes. Tell her you'll need to get some of your own things.
Don't expect her to join in with your crossdressing or go shopping with you. Use catalogues at first to buy what you need. If you find that you need to go out dressed join a transgender Club. Most major cities have one.
If you're still having problems try and find a gender Psychologist or one who at least understands Crossdressing. After a few sessions suggest Marriage Counseling.
Read what you can on the Internet about crossdressing. Join a forum and ask questions. Join a transgender Chat Room where you can express yourself.
The good news is that most Crossdressers stay married but compromise is essential and remember to stay on equal footing with your spouse. This is one of your needs and it makes you feel better.
The best of luck to you.
SRS Not Possible
Dear Miss Laura,
I am a Male to female Transsexual. I have known all of my life that I was born into the wrong body. I have delayed my transition for years because I thought I had plenty of time. Now that the kids are grown I am ready to become a woman.
The problem is that I am 55 and now I have heart and lung problems. My doctor says that I would not be able to endure General Anesthesia which cancels my dream of SRS (sex reassignment surgery). I had an angioplasty to remove a blockage and my heart is fine now but my lungs are not.
My Gender Psychologist says I should look into alternatives but noone can tell me what those might be. I know I can't stay like this. What can I do.
First let me say I'm so sorry about your health.
Second, I am not a doctor.
You might try contacting Dr Preecha in Thailand. He reportedly handles some of the more difficult SRS cases that other doctors won't. He could tell you if a local anesthetic is possible since I really don't know.
Yes there are alternatives. Probably much of the cause of your distress is Testosterone related. So an Orchiectomy might help you somewhat. This operation removes the testes and the source of the male hormone. This can be done under local anesthetic. As a result your doctor would be able to use a much lower dose of estrogen and more inclined to do so. Ask him if this is possible.
You would still be able to go through the cross-living phase of transition and live as a woman. While I understand its not the perfect solution it does work for those who for some reason can't have SRS.
Your inability to have SRS in no way makes you any less transsexual or your Gender Dysphoria any less real.
The best of luck to you,
Obtaining Hormones Illegally
Dear Miss Laura,
I am a transgender Male to Female MTF) who wants to grow breasts and retain my Male function. I guess you could say I want to be a Shemale. What drugs do I need to take so I can order them through an overseas pharmacy. I live in the US?
You do realize that the question you ask has started more flame wars then a close encounter with a volcano. Its not so much that Transsexuals wants to keep this information secret as it is a matter of grave Philisophical differences.
The hormones I've been prescribed are listed in various articles on this site. So its easy to find out what I take but of course that doesn't mean that what I I take is right for you.
I know you don't want to hear this but you should only take prescription hormones under a Doctor's care. Why , you ask? Because they can cause some adverse reactions. One is Blood Clots. Before you say that this won't happen to you, let me tell you it happened to me. My Docotor treated the clot, and stopped my hormones for a while. If everything goes right I hope to restart soon. The point is I would've died if I was not under a Doctor's care. Other effects could be liver toxicity.
If you live in the US it is illegal to obtain prescription drugs without a script. That doesn't stop people from trying it anyway.
Here's one possible outcome. I'm assuming of course you want to remain to remain stealth and keep it quiet.
You paid your money to an overseas Pharmacy and they ship your order. US Customs intercepts the order. They then ask you to provide proof of a script. If you don't answer them they have been just returning packages to the pharmacy, so you try again.
With the shameful way government has been treating Trans people lately here's another possible outcome. Customs decides to enforce the law, so they show up on your doorstep this time. If you can't provide a script you could be arrested so now everyone will know. You've just effectivley been outed by the government. Plan on at least a night in jail. Don't count on the government following policy and placing you in a women's facility. Do you really want to be a transgender person in a men's jail?
At this point I'll just leave you with your worst nightmare come true.
Do yourself a favor. Do it the safe and legal way. Obtain a Gender Counselor who will recommend and Endocrinologist to provide you with prescription hormones and follow the course from there. Its certainly better then being a prison girlfriend for a couple of years.
So the choice is up to you. I certainly know what I'd choose. What about you?
Dating Female to Male
Dear Miss Laura,
I am a woman dating a Female to Male Transsexual. I knew about his being FTM before I dated him and there are only a few selected individuals that know that he is, so I have only him to talk to about it. And there are some things I just can't talk to him about.
Like sometimes I wonder since TECHNICALLY he is a female as of right now- does that mean I'm a lesbian? I mean I don't really see him as a she any more..but we do keep our realationship a secret because noone knows he is what he is yet...and is it normal for me to sometimes wonder what I am giving up?
I love my boyfriend more than I can possibly imagine (we even plan on getting married at 24) but I still have that ache to be able to carry his child, though I never will, is it normal for me to wonder about these things or am I just being selfish? I'm sorry for bugging you, I'm in just desperate need to talk to someone about this besides just him. Thanks for your time but ...
What am I?
Dear What Am I,
MTF partners have a lot of the same concerns you do about what their roles are and what to label it. Transition is the time that blurs gender lines the most. This is because there are actually three transitions going on. There is the emotional transition the pysical transition and the mental one. Don't forget that the time between stages is when gender blurs until transition is completed. What he is does not affect what you are.
The ftm is and has always been a man in mind and spirit but not in body. Usually its the inner person that attracts a partner. After transition if the FTM is still attracted to women they are considered hetrosexual.
So it depends on what stage your partner is right now, what label you could put on your relationship. Your best bet is not to put a label on your relationship until changes are completed and the gender blur becomes more clear.
Is your boyfriend out now as a man? If not, is this possible to achieve? College is sometimes a tough place to transition , though its been done. You'll need a tough skin though. You're not being selfish. Its your life too and you have a right to be concerned about how things will effect you. Many female partners of FTM's consider artificial insemination as a means to
It sounds like you two have a very supportive love for each other so remember its the person you love not just the man or woman. In time he will become a man and everything should come together for the two of you.
So keep your goal in mind and I have no doubts that you two will be alright together. Remember, love conquers all.
Where to Dress When You Can't
Dear Miss Laura,
I am a 45 year old crossdresser. I came out to my wife because I couldn't take it any more. I've given her books and articles on the subject but she is oppossed to letting me crossdress in the house. She says she is concerned about our children 10 and 12 years of age. I need to dress. What can I do?
Belle of nobody's Ball
There are places you can go where you can dress safely without harrassment. These are crossdressers Groups which usually meet once a month or more. They are located in large cities and some medium ones. Here's a List.
Groups usually accept members from all groups on the transgender spectrum. Many have places for you to change so you don't need to go out in public dressed en femme. You'll meet many friends who all share a common bond.
For the longer term you do need to compromise with your wife. Remember you too are a partner in the relationship. You too pay the bills and this is part of you.
With young children in the house many couples opt for a day or a few hours where the children are someplace else. Grandma's is a good place or even if they just spend time with mom out somewhere. Either way you both can set the rules as to when and where you crossdress.
Transsexual's Wife's Odds of Surviving Marriage
Dear Miss Laura,
I'm the wife of transgender man (born male), who recently found out that my husband wants to be a woman. When we first got together, everything was wonderful, he was everything that I could ever ask for in a mate. A month before our Wedding, he told me that he has gender identity disorder and it's a posibility, but not likely, that he may want to transition; but he would more than likely just cross dress. The shock of finding out that my fiance thinks about being a woman lead to a lot of crying, a lot of talking, and a lot of fear.
But being very much in love and reasurred that we'll get counseling - we went on with the wedding. I'm pretty open-minded and I know that this is real and that it's not going to go away. I also understand his position and try to be as supportive as I can. But over time, he told me that he wants to be a woman, but he'd keep his body. Then he told me that being able to pass as a woman will be the only thing to make him happy, so he shaves his body hair (MAJOR shock to me, I was really attracted to it!) and tells me that he wants to start HRR (hormones). Now he says that he was born in the wrong body and that he wants to transition!
I worry that in the end, I won't get what I want and/or what I was promised. I am afraid that if he becomes a woman then I won't be attracted to him anymore. Not only am I still in love with my husband but I'm attracted to my opposite sex. I told him that I want him to do what makes him happy. But I'm afraid that in the future - I won't be happy. We started counseling and stoped because he thought that he "came off too macho" (meaning that he won't get diagnosed the way he wants). Money is tight so we haven't been able to start with a new counselor yet, we're working on it though.
I don't think that I would have a problem with him being a cross dresser or being a woman part time, because I know that underneath it all he'd still be the man I fell in love with. But things have getting pretty shaky here, I know he loves me a lot and the thought of me rejecting him scares him quite a bit. And I also know that I am still very much in love and the thought of losing him is much worse than of me being hurt. So for my sake, I'm going to stay with him and try and work it out. But not knowing the future is terrifying.
Dear Transsexual's Wife,
Being transgender is often very confusing. So much so that we often don't really know for sure what we want until a solution comes into sight. It is something that begins at very early age and almost never goes away. In fact it usually gets worse as we age.
It doesn't sound as if your husband isn't being very co-operative in marraige counseling. Trying to behave differently for the counslor will not help her or you.
By becoming female she will dramatically change your life so you certainly should have a say in this.
Being 19 you may have thought of children. If she takes hormones this will be almost impossible as once she is on Female Hormones she will be permanently infertile. You need to think of banking his seed.
After she takes hormones her mind may change further. After a while it is possible her orientation will change no matter what promises are made. Nothing is for certain even if the promises are sincere.
Love will certainly help but there's no way to predict how this will turn out. You will have to decide if you can live with a very uncertain future.
I wish you two the best of luck.
Suicide Prevention for Transsexuals
Dear Miss Laura,
I am a Transsexual girl. I've known I was a girl since my first memories. Lately I can think of nothing else but being a woman.
I have done research on the Internet and have found there is a solution in the form of (GRS) Gender reassignment surgery.
I am not very passable and the few times I've been out dressed as myself have been met with taunts. One person even threw things at me.
I have told my family and some of my friends but they are not supportive at all. They seem more concerned that I am turning Gay, which I'm not. They have no idea of the pain I'm going through.
I have met with one Psychologist who admits very little knowledge about Transsexuals.
My apperance in the mirror distresses me. I fear that I will never be able to be a woman. The expense is too much for me. I have been distressed most of my life and have attempted suicide several times
Now I think of suicide as the only possible solution. I don't think I'll ever just be myself.
Is there any hope for me?
Dear Depressed Woman,
Yes there is a great deal of hope for you. Your first step is to get help from a gender therapist. Seeing a specialist is imperative. Bear in mind that your depression needs to be dealt with first. Medication may help and will be precribed as necessary.
The suicide rate for pre-op Transsexuals is the highest of any group. Estimates are as high as 50%. In many cases the problem that leads to to suicide is not the Gender Dysphoria itself. Rather it is the conflict of non-supportive family and friends. Discrimination and taunts from the general public don't help matters either.
Bear in mind that there are many who can't afford surgery. Many find relief in living the role by cross-living. Your Gender therapist can help you with this.
Please don't give up Depressed. There is help available to you if you seeks it.
Mom Worried About Transsexual Child
Dear Miss Laura,
I believe my son is transgender. It has been extremely difficult trying to deal with this in the right way. I am Catholic and somewhat feel that gays are condemed. on the other hand, I have watched my eight-year-old grow up and what he is experiencing is not a choice. He has said he wants to be a girl ever since he was born and loves to dress-up. Every aspect of his life is affected by this. He feels so awkward around boys and girls because he is not sure who will accept him and who will make fun of him. We are very lucky that our extended family accepts him, but now that he is getting older we are terrified of what puberty will bring.
We have taken him to several councelors to help him with self-esteem (not to try to change him), but not even the professionals know how to deal with this. Me and my husband are desperate for some kind of guidance! We don't know anyone who has gone through this and we are afraid that we are doing the wrong things. We want him to be true to himself, on the other hand we live in a small town and we are afraid for his safety. He knows that when he grows up he can start dressing like a woman, but while in school it is too dangerous. Is there some one we can go to for advice and mentoring? I thank you for your beautiful, clean web site.
Worried Mom of a Transsexual Child
Dear Worried Mom of a Transsexual Child,
My heart goes out to you. Your son is lucky to have such accepting parents. I have several teen members on the site whose parents refuse to even discuss the matter. All are very suicidal. All these kids need is the opportunity to be themselves when ever possible.
The key to transsexualism seems to emanate from the very early age at which these children are affected. It can happen to both boys and girls. A male bodied transsexual would be a male to female (MTF) and a female bodies transsexual would be female to male (FTM).
There fortunately is a lot that can be done. Obtaining a Gender Therapist that deals with Gender Dysphoria would be the first step.
Puberty can be delayed with available drugs. Hormone use though varies from state to states as to the age they can be introduced to them. With a therapist behind you it is possible that crossliving can be done even in school depending where you live of course. Sometimes this can result in unwanted publicity though. it takes careful handeling.
I've written an article on Teen Puberty in Transsexuals. Another article entitled The 11 Year Old That Wants A Sex Change is from the Oprah Winfrey show where you can obtain the tape or transcripts.
With support your son is not likley to have the depressions of others like him. Listening is the key. It sounds like you've done what you can and for that I commend you.
We do support parents on our site in either Live Chat and the Forums. So please feel free to join us. The best of luck to you. Feel free to write me any time.
Hormones and SRS Questions
Dear Miss Laura,
I had a few questions to ask.
Where can I buy the female hormones pills? Do I need my therapist's prescription to buy hormone? And what can I do to decrease male hormone in my life? Do I need to avoid certain food?
I heard that I need to go through electrolysis or laser treatment to get rid of my hair. Because I am an Asian decendent, I don't have as much hair as caucasians do. Which one do you think I should go through?
And is it possible to have a surgery on the lower part (get rid of male sex organ/gland) and have breast surgery later? (I am planning to have the surgery outside of the US)
And I heard a weird fact. Is it impossible to have an SRS if a M2F transgender is grown up and had a sex with a woman because she would have too much male hormone in her body??
Is it possible?
Dear Is It Possible,
Yes it certainly is possible.
Female hormones can only be obtained legally with a prescription.
A therapist that uses the WPATH Standards of Care that most MTF surgeons would require would write a recomendation for Hormones if you qualify. An endocrinologist would then write the prescription. Some family doctor's may prescribe with a letter from the therapist as well.
Yes electrolysis or laser would be needed to remove facial hair. Laser to be effective only works on dark hair. Electrolysis is the only hair removal deemed permanent.
Because your beard may be light in density lasar may well work for you.
Yes you could have lower Surgery (SRS) first and add breast implants later.
The fact you heard is false. Whether or not you have had sex will not ruin your chances for SRS. Remember when receiving Female Hormones you will also be put on a testosterone blocker.
Father is a Crossdresser
My father recently informed me that he enjoys cross dressing. He began a few years ago but has only now felt comfortable enough to share with my mother and sister. I'm not sure exactly what I'm looking for by writing you. I guess just someone to understand. My dad began cross dressing at 70+ years of age so you can imagine the shock. My sister is handling it well, she's had a couple of weeks to get use to the idea, I've only know for a day. My mom worries me. I've not had a chance to discuss it with her, but I'm afraid she will take it personal. My dad is still my dad and I love him no matter what. Anyway, I thought you would understand and have probably had letters like this before. I want to understand and be able to help my mom deal. Thanks for listening.
I know its a shock. Many older men start dressing later in life. Its really quite common. In most cases they dressed as children or teenagers, grew out of it and supressed this side of themselves for many years until family obligations were completed. I might add its very difficult not to express this is someone is a crossdresser.
Most people are a blend of masculine and feminine on some scale. The crossdresser is merely expressing a feminine side of themselves that's always been with them. While no one objects to a woman wearing male cloths it is unfortunatly not accepted for men to express the feminine side in any way.
The good news is that your father probably does not wish to be a woman. He's all man. Crossdressers also are usually not gay, but hetrosexual, so his dressing is really not a reflection on your mother.
Dressing relieves stress for most CD's.
Some researchers point out that a man's testosterone level at the age of 55 is very low and Estogen levels are higher then most menopausal women. This may make it easier for him to express this side at such a late age.
Normally crossdressing isn't a serious problem as long as the CD has some private time to dress. Believe it or not this feminine side of your father though supressed for many years is what makes him the person you love. Crossdressing is noones fault and the tendacy to be CD is often Inborn.
Be supportive as you can. Besides, now you have more possibilities for him for Christmas.
I do have a support forum on my site for family's and Significant Others on my site. http://www.lauras-playground.com/index.htm as well as a chat room.
Good luck to you and your family. Write again if you have questions.
I should have replied before, but life gets in the way. I'm so gald you were able to point out the obvious to me when I was in a bit of shock. The whole thing seems so silly now. My dad didn't change who he is, he just shared more of who he is. That is the most intimate gesture one can do. It has been a wonderful journey getting to know a new side of him. My mother still struggles, but is learning to deal. My brother is angry and I don't know if he will ever be able to deal. It is the most unfortunate, as he is missing the last years of my fathers life.
Anyway, I thought of your insiteful words while picking out a beautiful scarf for my dad this evening. I have not had the opportunity the see him, in the new duds, (I live several states away) but my sis tells me he is beautiful. He often tells me what he's wearing and I know he feels happy, beautiful and at home with himself. I'm glad he told me, happy that he felt he didn't need to hide anymore and love him more for being honest.
Thanks for being so helpful. I have surfed your site and learned much. Feel free to share all or parts of my e-mails with anyone who may benefit. I appreciate your candid information and tact. Life is a wonderful journey just open your eyes.
Thank you for your follow up letter
Time has a way of healing everything. Once your father was able to be himself she blossomed forth. Now step back and watch the wonderful fireworks put on their awesome show.
Supressing one's self is a depressing way to go. When we finally break free of our bonds we find a new world of possibilities at our feet. Only by being our "True Selves" can we live up to our potential to be all we can be. The benefits will spill out and bless everyone around your father including his loved ones.