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Hello, Soren from Michigan here...

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So, just a little bit about me, Soren Westlock, and who I am, I guess...

I am a 26 y.o. trans man who lives with his sister, in a small Michigan town. There's a whole lot more, but I suppose I can sum it up:

Suffered from abuse and homo/transphobia since I was 13-14 by parent, due to my pansexual and transgender nature. Before I was subjected to the homophobia I was shamed since I was 3-4 for declaring I was a little boy. Calmly I was instructed I was a little girl, and I will never be a little boy.

Been through hell, tbh, but I'm beginning to see the light in the darkness. I'm beginning to have joy in my body, the more I dress/act/look the way I feel.

I'm just sort of hoping on this site to find someone who For once affirms what I'm saying, rather than recommending deep intensive therapy and/or telling me my parts are my gender, etc.

If anyone is out there, I just want to say hi, and I'm Soren.
 

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OzGirl

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Welcome to TransRefuge Soren! You are among kindred spirits here, and most of us have been told similar things by our parents. You are who you are, and that is challenging enough without uninformed people trying to convince you that your organs define you. This is not an easy life, but one we must live, and we are doing it together!

Hugs,

Allie
 

TonyaJanelle

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Hey Soren, welcome to the site.
I travel to Michigan a couple times a year to play golf with my brother and am familiar with a few small towns there.

No one here wil tell you you're not who you are. While many here will recommend therapy, it's for affirming who you are and dealing with the people in your past that didn't.
 

Donica

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Hey Soren! Welcome to TransRefuge. See you around the site.
 

KathyLauren

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Welcome, Soren. You know who you are. No one here will tell you anything different. We are all on similar journeys.
 

Linde

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Heĺlo Soren, most of us have/had a similar journey. Some of us hsve arrived, and you eill arrive, too. The world will see you as the man you always have been.

Linde
 

CrackDown29

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Hai Soren! Fellow transman here, a few years younger than you. I totally get the phobic family, I only just got away from mine, first half was 2 years ago, the other half 6 months ago. It definitely takes time to unlearn those messages. I'm so proud and happy for you that you're determined to be true to yourself. My first thought when I saw you was that you are very handsome (yes I'm bi lol).

really look forward to seeing you around, sir.
 

Monica

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Hello Soren, nice to meet you sir! My name is Monica (Moni). Most folks around these parts take you at face value. I'm thrilled to see more trans guys here. I'm a trans woman, I love to chat with trans guys, but I can't offer an understanding of what a trans guy goes through. I hope you will stay and form bonds with others here. Crackdown is an awesome guy, Sam, Perry, and others, all are nice guys. We do Zooms on the site. It's a way to talk and get to know each other. Well, my 5 minutes are up. I'm gonna hang up for now before I go over my minutes. Welcome.
 

Katie

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Hi, @Soren_Westlock ! I'm pretty sure most people here can relate to your experience. Just this evening my wife was surprised when I mentioned that I wasn't allowed to watch the same cartoon shows as my sister as a child because "boys don't watch those shows".

I'm sorry to hear about how you have been treated. I went through similar things with my parents (especially father).
 

Entropic Variable

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I'm lesbian, but I've always thought that Soren is a very handsome name.

Namaste Friend.
 
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Thanks. It's actually from one of the very first movies I'd ever seen that made me feel okay to be non cis-het. Well, the fandom did anyway.
 
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I almost can't believe the support from you folks. I've never been Understood without having to justify myself.

You don't know how much it means to me.

I just got my first binder in the mail (albeit on the DL slightly) and I've never felt more like myself.

I'm getting there, slowly but surely.
 

Katie

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Relating back to your original post, I actually do recommend working with a therapist, but not for the purpose of assimilating into the gender assigned to you upon arrival. Rather, to help you build your own pathway toward wholeness and personal integration. As many of us have experienced, resistance comes swiftly and forcefully from others once we begin to integrate our identity with our lives.
 
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Yeah, I am working with the therapist I already had for other issues. He helps me out when I have a bit of conflict with The Family.

I'm much more... I dunno, more embracing of who I really am, something I've known but repressed for 20+ years. It's like I've stopped trying to be something I'm not, and today I finally saw myself in the mirror more than I ever have.

I actually also have a workplace (aka Starbucks) who went as far as to have my chosen name put on my apron. I'm incredibly lucky I was hired there, all things considered.

Their policies are beyond trans-friendly, they value everyone who is different than the norm. As 3/~4 minorities they actively hire, I'm blessed to have an opening pop up just down the street.
 

CrackDown29

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Yeah, I am working with the therapist I already had for other issues. He helps me out when I have a bit of conflict with The Family.

I'm much more... I dunno, more embracing of who I really am, something I've known but repressed for 20+ years. It's like I've stopped trying to be something I'm not, and today I finally saw myself in the mirror more than I ever have.

I actually also have a workplace (aka Starbucks) who went as far as to have my chosen name put on my apron. I'm incredibly lucky I was hired there, all things considered.

Their policies are beyond trans-friendly, they value everyone who is different than the norm. As 3/~4 minorities they actively hire, I'm blessed to have an opening pop up just down the street.
First off congrats on the binder, that's effing awesome. It's such a great feeling to be able to visualize your chest, I know form experience hehe.

and yeah that's pretty much how it is with my therapist. I have about 15+ years of family trauma and other that I need to sort through, she helps with that while I'm working on transitioning.

And as far as Starbucks, that is reallllyyy amazing and I"m so so happy for you. I really don't know what my workplace's policy is like on that yet, guess I'll find out soon lol. I have friends in MIchigan and it seems like that state can be pretty phobic and all the bad -isms, so I'm really glad you can have an accepting place local to you!
 

Entropic Variable

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[...] I'm much more... I dunno, more embracing of who I really am, something I've known but repressed for 20+ years. It's like I've stopped trying to be something I'm not, and today I finally saw myself in the mirror more than I ever have.

That's FANTASTIC Soren!

I believe that one of the most important aspects of transition is allowing yourself to let go of all of the incoherent gender messages that you've received and internalized from others over the years. It takes some time, but once you start to do this a positive internal feedback loop starts to happen, and seeing yourself for who you truly are when you look in the mirror gets easier and easier.

This has definitely been the case for me, and I hope you just keep building on what sounds like a similar experience for you.

I actually also have a workplace (aka Starbucks) who went as far as to have my chosen name put on my apron. I'm incredibly lucky I was hired there, all things considered.

Their policies are beyond trans-friendly, they value everyone who is different than the norm. As 3/~4 minorities they actively hire, I'm blessed to have an opening pop up just down the street.

That's AWESOME! Having a trans-friendly workplace is HUGE!

Might they also allow you to wear a pronouns button?
 

CrackDown29

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Might they also allow you to wear a pronouns button?
EV in my experience, pronoun buttons can draw more phobia and hate crimes than be helpful, especially if the person lives in an unsafe, phobic state. Hell there was a cishet dude who put he/him pronoun button on as an experiment, and people would stare him dead in the eye and use she/her.

Idk the environment of OPs neighborhood or clientele, but it might do more harm than good.
 

Entropic Variable

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EV in my experience, pronoun buttons can draw more phobia and hate crimes than be helpful, especially if the person lives in an unsafe, phobic state. Hell there was a cishet dude who put he/him pronoun button on as an experiment, and people would stare him dead in the eye and use she/her.

Idk the environment of OPs neighborhood or clientele, but it might do more harm than good.

Hey Crack,

Nice to swap replies with you for the first time, and I really dig your new avatar image!

I’m so sorry to hear about these experiences, and your story about reactions to the cis hetero guy’s experiment is so incredibly discouraging. Un-be-freaking-lievable!

I’d have to guess that the jerks who did that were making what they thought was a political statement on the existence of pronoun buttons, and the whole idea of gender sensitivity in general, right?

It’s amazing to think that anyone could be so damaged and toxic that they’d actually want to do that. I mean, how on earth does anyone wearing a pronouns button in any way, shape, or form hurt or insult you? But unfortunately, I know that these emotionally disabled people are obviously limping around out there looking for any petty microaggression they think can get away with in a pathetic attempt to try to make themselves feel somehow more powerful.

As for choosing to wear a pronouns button, I guess it always comes down to whatever anyone is comfortable with at any given time and in any given situation. What I was mainly thinking about when I suggested it was helping to reinforce @Soren_Westlock ’s self-visualization process since his employer already supports him using his chosen name at work.

But your “heads up” is well taken. Sad and sobering to be sure, but well taken.
 

TonyaJanelle

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Might they also allow you to wear a pronouns button?
At Starbucks, definitely would. Some of the baristas at my local (NE Wisconsin, conservative area but not overwhelmingly) have pronouns on their name tag or a button. That Starbucks was also the first place that I ever used the name Tonya publicly.

@Soren_Westlock what part of Michigan? Certainly understand of you wish remain vague on that. I'm somewhat familiar with chunks of the state. My brother lives in Ann Arbor and I've been taking golf trips with him to the Petoskey area among others for 22 years. This year will be Tonya's fourth
 

Entropic Variable

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At Starbucks, definitely would. Some of the baristas at my local (NE Wisconsin, conservative area but not overwhelmingly) have pronouns on their name tag or a button. That Starbucks was also the first place that I ever used the name Tonya publicly.

Do you still have the cup with your name on it Tonya? That’d be an amazingly cool keepsake!

@Soren_Westlock what part of Michigan? Certainly understand of you wish remain vague on that. I'm somewhat familiar with chunks of the state. [...]

Looking back over experiences that I and other LGBTQIA+ friends have had, I tend to believe that the prevailing politics of any given locale is ultimately probably less important than the energy you project and how you approach any given situation.

And even then, there will of course always be surprises. My friends and I have had great experiences with tolerance and acceptance in places that we’d never have expected to, and awful experiences in places where we’d never imaged we would.

Random dumbness will unfortunately always be out there, so I guess that we just have to prepare ourselves as best we can for the possibility of it happening. What else can we do?
 
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