Until a couple of years ago I was a cishet man, but then I quite quickly changed and now find myself having bouts of gender dysphoria. I am in my forties.
Has anyone else here experienced a later-in-life shift in gender identity without clear precursor? How did that go and what happened?
I'm quite confused, and don't really know what to do. I cross dress and have stopped identifying as a man, but I also don't consider myself a woman or identify as trans and I am very unsure how to now live my life in a way that these negative feelings go away. I have just started interacting with a voluntary LGBT counselling and support service as the NHS won't place me on the 5+ year waiting list to be assessed by a gender specialist because my gender issues are too recent.
Last Edit: Sept 24, 2020 15:33:46 GMT by pygmalion
Forgive me, now having read this I realise something different from my response to your other thread. I didn't realise how much you are feeling confusion. Having experience confusion myself from other issues in my life, I can understand how frightening and even debilitating it can be. Apologies again.
I can only encourage you to hold on in there and hope that your counselling and support service is of benefit to you.
No need to apologise. I'm confused, but coping, and I've had a couple of years to get used to it now
I don't know if you're UK based, but our NHS is unequipped to deal with mental health issues. For example, it has taken months just for me to obtain a soon-to-be mental health assessment (which I've been informed will likely decide they cannot help me in any way). It is highly likely that the only mental health contact I will have will be one with a volunteer LGBT support helpline (who can only discuss my gender issues with me and not my sexuality) for weekly or fortnightly phone chats for a few months. It seems that the NHS are unable to offer me any assessments to see if I have any neuro-diversity or PTSD issues, and they won't consider putting me on the gender specialist assessment waiting list until I've received some indeterminate time of counselling, and the only thing available for depression is medication which I don't want. The reason I note all this, is that I don't think counselling or therapy are going to be available avenues for me, so I'm kinda having to figure all this out on my own.
Post by truckingxdresser on Sept 26, 2020 10:04:59 GMT
I'll share some of my life and hope it helps in some small way for you. I got hit by a sudden urge to xdress when I was around 37-38. At that time I was very confused and think that I mixed it up with and urge to transition and I thought about this alot. My gf at that time was happy for us to indulge in a bit of pegging, and I managed to convince myself that I was happy with our life together. She had moved countries to be with me and I was under a lot of pressure from this to make the relationship work. It didn't.
Before that I had been a cishet, however I had a massive crush on my best friend (male) between the ages of 12-14, I still think of him from time to time to this day. Sexually (up until this point 37-38) I had mostly been with girls, with one small exception when I was in my early-thirties I did meet a guy and we had a one night stand. The only one I've ever had. He did make it clear that for him this would be a one night thing. I left him that morning, thinking, I'm gay it's ok, I can deal with this. I couldn't and didn't and went back to cishet relationships. None of them worked, and I carry a tremendous amount of guilt for the hearts I have broken in my selfish pursuit of not accepting what I am and trying to be something I'm not because I have just not had the confidence to accept the truth.
So at around 37-38 I'm in a cishet relationship with a girl that has moved countries to be with me, and is totally economically dependant upon me, the job I had at the time was incredibly stressful too. There was a male dominated bullying culture, I've always been a bit camp, and frankly did not fit in at all.
I hid some of my urge to xdress from my partner, and if I did get some time alone, I was in a short skirt and panties asap. I'd always told my partner I was bi-sexual, she was too and had relationships with girls, so outwardly we seemed to fit. In this relationship, and my stress from being 'the provider' in a job that I hated, I felt completely trapped, like a rat in a cage. The relationship ended in December 2019 (I'm 40 by this point). Both my mother and brother were shocked at how happy I was to be free from this relationship, I had also changed my job from worrying about 25-80 trucks to just worrying about 1.
I signed up to a free dating website with a name that suggests you like fishing. And after three months (February 2020) met a guy. Going against all recommended advice around meeting someone online, I went to his flat the same week. I was totally honest about my xdressing and he liked it to be honest and still does.
Now, I know we are only 7 months in, but in those seven months we have had only two weekends that we have not been together. We made our nest in his flat during lockdown, although I continued to work as a 'key worker' (whoever thought truck drivers would be valued in this society??).
In my family I remain completely closeted at the moment. But I have no doubt that the only people that I truly care for (my brother, nephews, and mother) will totally accept who I am when I do feel the urge to come out.
I do still think from time to time about having a female body to go with my female clothes. During my weekends I am always in clothes designed for females. But I have changed how I think of them, because I am a man, and they are my clothes, hence they are men's clothes but designed for a female body. It's worth researching how women started to wear "men's suits" to assert themselves in the workplace. There is also a cute story of male children wearing skirts to school (somewhere in the south west of England) as the uniform policy refused to accept them wearing shorts during the hot summer months (the school changed it's policy). I do not think we should as a society sexualise clothing. Clothes designed for males tend to be incredibly practical but boring, clothes designed for females are often sexy but completely impractical. Why do we sexualise or assign genders to clothing?
I know that this has been a bit long to read, but I hope it can help in some small way. I no longer have any urge to have a female body. I am totally in love with my geeky guy and have found happiness and acceptance during this strange time. I sincerely hope you can too.
Thank you Andy for sharing your story. I'm glad that at the end you found a happy and positive way to live
Humans are so complex in their sexuality and gender and society etc! And the more I speak to people and research the more I think even the experts don't really have a clue and all we can do is try and live in ways that make us happy, though sometimes this can be hard because some issues cannot be effectively solved, or because some societies don't grant us the freedom to be ourselves.
There are a few things in your story that resonantes with me (like the pressure of being a provider and the pain of trying to maintain a relationship that really wasn't 'true' on a deep level). And I like your take on clothing!
You are very welcome to the OutLife Forums. Like Pygmalion, I also very much appreciate reading your story. Most of us have had complex life histories in terms of sex and relationships and none of us set out to upset anybody. It's just life and how it pans out sometimes. It is wonderful you feel you are in a better place, and long may that continue for you.
With regard to men's or women's clothing - absolutely correct. These things are culturally imposed and are not written in stone. However, usually our brains have been imprinted with what our culture has deemed 'masculine' or 'feminine' clothing or accessories, then sometimes specific items become part of how we express our sexuality and orientation. Again, nothing wrong with any of that. It is simply who we are and what we are.
For me, if whatever activity we engage with contributes to wellbeing then go with it. Wellbeing seems to be the best criterion to use for most decisions we make - personal, or regarding others around us. True to say we will often have to hide from friends and family who we are and what we do but that's part of the way things are and we have to work from there. Being open and accepted is a lot of what this forum is about, and I hope it has been cathartic for you to have joined in the conversation.