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 Post subject: Unsure on everything/where do I begin
PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2015 11:49 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2015 11:00 am
Posts: 35
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Gender ID: becoming a man
Pronouns: he, him
Bio: Getting to grips
It's taken me a lot of time to take the first step into signing up for a forum and it's the first time I'm putting my thoughts into words, so please bare with me.

Brief history: Like a lot of FTMs, on and off throughout my life I've felt different, when I was younger did all the boy stuff, felt genderless, I was content, I used to wear my brother's hand me downs and refused to wear dresses, played with boy's toys and was protective over the girls in the playground etc. These feelings of unknowing were there throughout secondary school but I just tried to fit in as a girl (I went to an all girl's school too), when I was 16 the feelings of wanting to be a boy became very strong.

I've been thinking about my future as a woman and I can't see it ever being complete, although I'm not incredibly unhappy, there's a part of my personality missing from the world and that part is only possible when I feel like a man, I don't know if that makes sense either… But I know I can't be a whole person as a female. And I can't fall in love, I can't be in a relationship. I've never really been in one apart from the one I mentioned above. Because it feels wrong, I can't fully describe it, but I'd be lying to myself and to the partner if I was in a relationship, I wouldn't be able to be the role I so wish to be.

So I'm now considering deeply, every day when I sleep or have time alone on the tube or walking, to become a guy. But I am worried. Really worried. I know this is natural, but it is preventing me.

I want to begin my process soon, but I honestly don't know where to begin. I'm struggling most with the idea of starting to present as male in public and most importantly at work. I work in a relatively big open office where everyone knows everyone, it's very inclusive, we have several gay/lesbians and everyone is fine with it. I'm just concerned that an FTM is a step really far forward, everyone knows me as a loud opinionated feisty girl (a lot of which is an obvious mask) and I think would be taken aback by the fact firstly I'd become a boy and secondly the personality change - not completely obviously but like I said, my WHOLE personality would be free.


The other thing is, I want it to be a switch, you know I tell people okay hey I'm FTM and then boom go from one day presenting a girl and the next completely as a boy (hair, binder, clothes etc). But I don't know if this is sensible. And the sooner I start, the sooner I can get an appointment with the GIC (I'll go private because the NHS wait is too much to handle)

Okay, this has turned into a massive brain dump, I guess as the first time writing these thoughts out, they've all just splurged onto the page in no real uniformity.

Right now I'm just existing, not completely unhappy, but not content.

So my questions are:
Has anyone just gone from very female to a guy?
Thoughts on the whole work situation?
Experiences with private and getting your GIC and GP to arrange having a T prescription through the NHS?
Anything else!!

Sorry for the rant and thanks for reading!


Last edited by ponder on Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Unsure on everything/where do I begin
PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2015 12:41 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:36 pm
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Has anyone just gone from very female to a guy?
Not really. I mean, I was obviously not recognised as being male at work, because of my birth name etc., but I've never really been very feminine. When I came out at work it seemed to make sense to most people and some people even commented that they were pleased because they always felt weird referring to me by a female name because they felt it didn't suit me. There will always be people who just can't get their head around it, and would never expect anyone they know to be trans, but you might be surprised at how much sense it makes to lots of people. Also, if your personality changes, most people will probably recognise it as a positive change (noticing that you're more comfortable/relaxed/happy being able to be yourself).

Thoughts on the whole work situation?
If you like your job I think it's always worth at least discussing transition with someone (your HR department, or your boss - someone who can advise you of how it will be handled and will keep everything strictly confidential - other than of course helping you to come out to your colleagues when you feel ready to).

There are obviously things to consider. Your legal name/preferred name (which might be an issue if you haven't changed your name legally before coming out, because even if your boss and colleagues are happy to refer to you by your preferred name, there may be times when they have to use your legal name, for example on your payslips). Your colleagues and clients may find it hard to automatically switch to a new name and pronouns so there'll probably be an awkward adjustment period where people make mistakes, which it's worth being prepared for, rather than thinking you get a completely fresh start straight away and then feeling even more upset when people get it wrong. So you might think that changing your image will make it easier for everyone to just see you in a different way, but tbh I don't think that's particularly likely. And if binding and having your hair cut would make you feel better, do that when you like instead of waiting for 'the reveal' at work.

As for personality changes - usually it seems like the changes are positive (people become more confident and relaxed) so people usually like the changes, and recognise them as being due to a necessary change.

If you decide you'd rather a fresh start elsewhere, it's worth bearing in mind that the same considerations apply (legal name, whether you pass - because it's still going to be awkward if everyone only knows you as David, but someone still can't help referring to you as 'she' - and that kind of thing does happen even though it seems ridiculous that someone might not take the hint). There's also the chance that a new employer would need you to produce a birth certificate (I'm not sure how necessary that is, but I do recall having a job in the past where they needed my birth certificate) which will obviously be in your actual birth name until you get a GRC. From the difficulties in the adjustment period (of starting T) it might be easier to come out at work and go through that awkwardness, in the knowledge that if things don't settle down, you can look for a job elsewhere. My concern would be that, as you've said yourself, if you leave your job TO transition and get a new job, you won't really be able to apply for anything until you've changed your name and the details on your bank account (anything that might out you or confuse matters) and then there's no guarantee you'll find anything quickly. Whereas if you get on with your transition whilst in employment you can deal with your transition AND search for a new job at your leisure.

Experiences with private and getting your GIC and GP to arrange having a T prescription through the NHS?
I can't speak from experience because I transitioned on the NHS, but I know that it is possible to get shared care (where your GP prescribes for you), but I think it's up to your GP whether they're happy to do that (and it's worth bearing in mind that you won't be able to have any surgery on the NHS if your approval is given privately).

You also mentioned not knowing where to start:
As far as I'm aware, if you go privately they won't necessarily make you live RLE before prescribing T, but obviously it's better to come out to the people you know before starting T, because once your voice starts breaking and you start to look different, you're going to be sort of forced to explain. And often it's better for people to be prepared, I think. Although it's ultimately up to you, of course, if the private GIC is happy to prescribe before you come out to anyone. I'm not sure exactly what private GICs rules are on these things. I also think that RLE can be beneficial in that it helps you come into yourself (and experiment a bit with what kind of clothes work for you, and thinking about names if you don't know yet what name you will go by) rather than trying to change yourself over night.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsure on everything/where do I begin
PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2015 1:02 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2014 10:43 pm
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Location: Wales
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Gender ID: Male
Pronouns: He/him/his
I can relate to several parts of your story, as I'm sure a lot of the guys here can too.

Although it might feel like you're currently living a double life (between your current reality [being female] and your desire to be male), I'm not sure I'd advise intentionally living one by "switching" between male/female as and when it's convenient. More than anything, I'm sure it's difficult and perhaps even psychologically unhealthy. Coming out is always going to be hard and challenging, sometimes it's not even taken seriously until physical changes become apparent, but it's got to be better than expecting misery living in a way you don't feel is right.

You obviously won't know who is/isn't supportive until you do, and you therefore won't know what (if any) action you need to take to mitigate any unfavourable responses, at work, at home or socially.

Perhaps with work, if your employers and colleagues are supportive, they'd help you phase out the clients you currently interact with and pick up some new ones in your male identity - when/if it comes to that?

There's a long period of time between going to your GP and getting to see anyone at a GIC (even if you go private and self-refer there's a decent waiting period, I believe), and a lot of talk and time to consider your feelings in between, so I wouldn't delay with that if you're quite sure this is the road you want to go down. You're under no obligation at any point to undergo treatment, so there's no harm in getting the ball rolling in my mind.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsure on everything/where do I begin
PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2015 5:57 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2015 11:00 am
Posts: 35
User Type: Member
Gender ID: becoming a man
Pronouns: he, him
Bio: Getting to grips
Thank you both for posting, it's really reassuring to know someone is there on the other side, I had this niggling fear I'd write everything and never get any sort of response - you never know how up to date things are on the internet. Anyway I'm feeling more calm having read your responses which is a lovely feeling to have.

N.B. I'm not sure I'm going to be very good at directly replying as I'm a bit of a rambler and go off tangent and so I think this will be another brain dump, I just need to continue to get it all out there out of my head.

So I went out after writing my first post, which was nice, gave me time to digest and continue to collect my thoughts a little, honestly I had no idea writing it down would help so much.

Anyways, as I was out, I had some time on public transport (of course!) where I just sat and thought again. I think the biggest hurdle for me is the initial transition from presenting as female to male. I'm not too worried about my parents, family and colleagues in terms of their accepting, I think my colleagues will just be confused and my parents/family won't be entirely sure what to say or do at first but once I push them to think back to my younger days they'll know. It's almost more my own mind and ability to cope that worries me. Like you know when you have a tiny spot and you think EVERYONE notices it and you get very self conscious and start to really worry, even though no one cares and you know you wouldn't care if it was on someone else? I try to avoid feelings of anxiety and stress as much as possible as they're not good for my physical health (I have a condition which can trigger things if I'm crazily stressed) and obviously it effects my performance at work massively, especially because I'm in a creative role and any of that sort of mental strain/stress kills that ability to think creatively.

So moving on, I'm a serial planner, having no structure stresses me beyond belief and I'm trying to think of a loose plan which puts me at ease a bit and I know what will 'come next' as it were, I don't know if that makes sense at all but I'll run you through my initial thoughts:

The first step I think would be to tell my parents/family and help them to understand. Then the next stage would be to start the initial transition (apologies by the way if this isn't the right terminology, but it makes sense in my head!). Like I've said this is what I'm most nervous of…so I was wondering what you all thought about starting the initial transition over the summer in the holidays, have like 3 weeks off and let HR know that I'm FTM and let the news circulate whilst I'm off. I figure that way I can ease in and feel comfortable and the people at work will have a heads up and time to get round it. I figured then I could also spend time with my family (I'd be on a family holiday) and they could adjust too.

After that I'd book an appointment in with the GP (to tell them about being FTM and that I'm going private) and the GIC, then I will have had at the very least a few months of RLE before going (I definitely don't want to not do any RLE - I see the importance, especially for me). And then yeah just get cracking with really transitioning, I want to get on T but I don't want to rush it for the sake of passing, I want to be ready for it.

It may sound like from the above I think it's all going to happen in an instance, don't worry I know it's not I'm just trying to be short as like I've said I am a total ranter. Does any of it make any sense? What are your thoughts on initially transitioning whilst away?

And @momo, what you said about work changing the clients I work with, I had thought this before too, I think they'd be accommodating like that in one way or another. I mean I work with lots of charities so they do to tend to understand but I think for my own benefit and theirs I wouldn't want to feel like our relationship or dynamic has changed.. Either way once I get through the stuff in my "plan" I think work won't be as terrible as all that.

And @Sherlock your comments about the personality side of things was really good to hear, that's what I feel like, like I'm the best of me when I'm being the guy I really am and I'd hope others see that, so it's reassuring for sure.

So I feel like I've brain dumped again, maybe a little more coherently than the first time but all of your responses are welcomed with such gratitude. Thank you for taking the time to read this!


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 Post subject: Re: Unsure on everything/where do I begin
PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2015 6:25 pm 
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I may have misunderstood, but do you mean that you intend to tell your family whilst on holiday? IF that's what you meant; obviously you know your family better than I do, but I'd be a bit wary of telling anyone something that significant when everyone's supposed to be on a break. That might just be because my family doesn't have much money and don't get to have many holidays, and so I wouldn't want to risk ruining it for everyone by forcing them to have to deal with something like that when they're supposed to be relaxing/having fun. Also, on holiday I'd imagine you'd be forced to spend a lot of time with them so no one would get any space to really deal with it anyway. But maybe you meant that you'd have already told them and will have allowed them time to adjust, but that spending so much time together will be nice for everyone and help them adjust to your new identity?

Taking time off to come out is fine, but so would coming out without going away for three weeks. It might not make much difference in a practical sense (it's not like people are going to therefore be prepared after three weeks, especially having not seen or spoke to you, so it won't necessarily avoid the issue of people making mistakes and suchlike). But it might make you feel better to know that the news has likely circulated by the time you return to work. So if that's the plan that makes you feel the most comfortable, go for it! You can discuss this plan as early as you like as whoever you tell should keep it confidential until you're ready, and it also means that you'll be able to start changing your name at work. I had changed mine and gotten a new ID card and even had my payroll details changed over before any of my colleagues were told. My boss delivered the ID card to me personally to make sure that no one else saw it before such a time as he had informed everyone properly.

I'm not sure what you mean by changing from female to male, because from my experience I was never in a female role. If you feel you have been living in a female role (which lots of trans guys do when trying to come to terms with how they feel about themselves), then consider whether you want to remain in that role and then change all of a sudden, or whether while you wait it would make you more comfortable to start to adopt the kind of appearance you would prefer to have. You don't have to wait until you've told everyone your male to start wearing male clothes, or to get a more masculine hair cut.

You don't need to put this pressure on yourself to pick a date and to change your whole image by that point. You can work up to it a bit by starting now. So instead of continuing as you are for now but then reaching a point in summer where you have to get a binder and new clothes and a haircut, start to make those changes one at a time from this point onwards. And by the time summer arrives, you'll be ready to start telling whoever you need to tell.

If people want to pick fault they'll pick fault anyway. Either that you clearly aren't really male before three weeks ago you looked like a girl, OR that you started to change your appearance and have just gotten carried away and gone overboard. So there's no point in worrying too much about how you should transition, and think about what way might make things more bearable for you.

You don't need to go to your GP to tell them you are trans if you are going private. The consultant who diagnoses you will either write to your GP or at least provide written proof. Unless you meant that you wanted to go to the GP and ask them about shared care (in which case yes, it would be easier to explain things fully so that they know what you're talking about!).


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 Post subject: Re: Unsure on everything/where do I begin
PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2015 7:44 pm 
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Gender ID: becoming a man
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Bio: Getting to grips
Thanks again for replying, I feel like I'm really beginning to start getting my head round things and it's definitely helping me gain the confidence to actually get things rolling. I'm so glad I got up the courage to just write!

But yes what I meant was tell my family before going on holiday and use that time as an adjustment period for them and myself, telling them on holiday wouldn't be good at all. My parents have a property in europe so they just spend several months of the summer there and I've a room there, so it's like a second home as such which changes the atmosphere of it, it's just like being round at your parents house over the christmas holiday period or something, but in the sunshine (hopefully!).

I guess everything with in life you always want a quick and fast solution to everything but reading everything you've said and getting my thoughts on the page, I've realised I'm going to have to strike a balance of beginning to visually start to appear male a bit before going away and fully coming into myself as a male. I.e. As my current "female" status, start by cutting my hair, slowly changing my style to be more masculine and how I want to look and then I think go on holiday and come fully into life as a male by binding/packing and changing my name/pronouns. I think it will be less of a shock to the workplace and I think I'll feel more comfortable.

I think I'm going to have to bite the bullet and talk to my family before doing anything, I live with my sister and am close to my parents and other siblings and I think trying to do it on the sly would be impossible and I imagine very stress inducing. And having other's support and even guidance through it all will make it much more bearable… that's the hope anyway.

And in terms of talking to the GP, that would just to be to give fair warning and try get them on the radar with it so I can see if they'd be willing to do the sharecare. I read somewhere that you can get the blood tests done through the GP too so giving them some heads up on it might mean this is more likely… just trying to cover off every base! I have a very good doctors surgery although it's in quite a religious area so it might take some time for them to understand too, a GIC contacting them out of the blue might not be the best!

I am curious though, what was your experience like with the NHS? How long was the process and what needed to happen before T and beyond? I've heard that it's long waits and something like a year of RLE (but there's conflicting information all over the internet).

I'd like to go on the NHS because it's great and supportive but if it really takes that long, then I will go private, despite the monetary effects and that I'd have to pay for top surgery later down the line.

I know I keep saying it but thank you for replying it means so much to me.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsure on everything/where do I begin
PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2015 8:02 pm 
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I can't remember the exact timeline and it might take longer now as waiting lists seem to be longer than when I first attended a GIC. Also at the time I was referred, GPs weren't allowed to refer you straight to the GIC - they had to refer you for a psych assessment, and the psych would then refer you to the GIC.

Despite that I think it was about three/four months to get a psych appointment, then about eight months later I had my first GIC appointment (my referral wasn't even sent, my gf had to go and get it herself to send it to the GIC, because the people who were supposed to send it just didn't bother sending it, so tbh it was less than eight months taking that into consideration). Obviously they contacted me well in advance to let me know when my appointment would be and for verification that I still wanted the appointment (I suppose some people change their minds before they even get to the GIC).

Had my first appointment in April, had my second appointment in August and was approved for T (so started T in August). Then six months later had another appointment and was approved for top surgery (and had surgery about three months later). So once I was there it was quite fast moving (within the minimum time frame). I've also been approved for lower surgery but I haven't had it yet as I'm not sure what I want or when exactly would be a good time for me to start that process.

I think it's six months RLE, but to be fair I was only living 100% full time for about a month or so before my second appointment (living stealth in some areas of my life, out as trans in others, and there were people I just still hadn't told but the GIC understood my reasons and just said that I should let them know before my second appointment).


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 Post subject: Re: Unsure on everything/where do I begin
PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2015 9:10 pm 
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Gender ID: becoming a man
Pronouns: he, him
Bio: Getting to grips
That sounds pretty good actually, I had a bit of a google around and saw this: http://transitionftmuk.co.uk/wp-content ... 013_14.pdf and now I'm beginning to re-think, especially with the top surgery coming not too long after, I would have to wait several years to save for it otherwise.. I hate that money is always an issue.


Also I wanted to ask, how was the name changing process for you? I know it's through deed poll, which is quite easy right? What was the process like for getting all your bank and everything else changed?

And I know this is far far ahead but have you got a GRC or applying or anything like that? I'd be interested to hear how the process is for that.


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 Post subject: Re: Unsure on everything/where do I begin
PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2015 9:17 pm 
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you can go private to get on hormones but still put urself on the waiting list for nhs, my gic only wanted 3 months rle.

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No one with a choice should ever have to be a girl - Bart Simpson


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 Post subject: Re: Unsure on everything/where do I begin
PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2015 9:39 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2014 10:43 pm
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Location: Wales
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Right near my join date is when I decided I wanted to transition and went to my GP, so it's been a relatively long time for me here in Wales. Irrelevant to you I suppose, if you aren't in Wales (especially if you go private) but it'll have been about 9 months since seeing my GP to my second psych appointment (if it doesn't get cancelled again). I haven't even heard about a GIC appointment yet. Sounds like a long time, and it is, but I've relaxed more than I've ever been able to in having time to embrace who I am and what I'm doing with my life & body now. Every cloud and all that.

I've also come to terms with the idea that a lot of this process is out of my hands (whether it's done privately or not, it still requires approval from people in-the-know) and my personal comfort and confidence is paramount to doing it all successfully, that physical transition isn't a cure-all for the psychological challenges that come with upending your whole, current, identity.

I bind (kinda always have without really realising it) but I don't even pack yet. You don't have to if you don't want to, there's no boxes that need checking off for you to "be trans" or male even. I personally don't see the need in getting a non-functional packer, and would rather wait (as I have done) until I pass often enough and I've had all my ID changed to get an STP and go from there. But yeah, that sort of thing isn't necessary yet unless you have a pressing urge to do it.


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