Reply To: Trans Impact on Socialization


I can totally empathize with this topic. When you’re young and your patterns of social relationships are forming, gender dysphoria can really mess things up – unless you can come out completely with support not only from family but also from everyone at school. That’s your social world, and if they don’t accept you it sets up an awful pattern of hiding, pretending, deflecting… never really being yourself in a ‘real,’ normal social situation. I lived two lives as a teen. As a boy in high school I was popular, but I kept my school friends at a distance because I was afraid they’d find out. As a 16-year-old I could never really say to them: “Yah I am gonna go home after school and dress as a girl and then get on a bus to the next town and go shopping coz I need some new panties, and oh yah, anybody know a really sexy perfume? I’m seeing my boyfriend tonight and I wanna get him really hot and bothered.” That would’ve gone real well with the guys, ya know? With my workaholic parents never home, and my living in a separate in-law apartment on our property, I was out and about as a passable cross dresser every spare minute, having sex with older men, lying about my age, my name, everything. I went to college presenting as female, full time, but even then… oh gosh I am remembering the bad feeling when a female friend suddenly wanted me to try on some of her clothes at her place — it was a girl-bonding thing, and I just couldn’t do it because of what she’d see if I took my clothes off in front of her. I made all kinds of excuses and just left, it really damaged our friendship. It’s with me to this day, and it’s become part of my professional career in military intelligence — I score off the charts in being able to suppress my emotions, playing convincing roles under cover, deflecting and evading personal questions, keeping secrets, etc. Thank goodness my boss is gay, I came clean with him because I knew they’d find out sooner or later anyway, and I knew he’d understand and help protect me. And the fact that I have no close friends except for my boyfriend is a real plus in my line of work. So yah, if you think about it, in my social world I am still just playing an adult version of the same games I played in high school.