I'm a transgender version of Anne Rice's Claudia.
March 6, 2013 2:52 PM   Subscribe

I am in my early thirties, identify as agendered and my body dysphoria is getting worse and worse. Is it worth transitioning if I know for sure I'll never have a body that feels right for me?

I have tried to be ok with my body. I have tried to love it, or at least accept it and make the best of it. It's not working and I'm considering transition more seriously lately, but I also know that no surgeon can make me the way I want to be.

First of all, I identify as agender. My ideal body is blank and the fact (or thought) of having either set of genitals freaks me out. I also find the thought of pregnancy and childbirth utterly disgusting and the thought that my body is capable of it even more. I have always disliked my (clearly female) name and body, and for years, I thought that means I'm trans and want to be male. I am indeed more comfortable if people think I am (online, I present exclusively as male, to distance the "real me" from the mess of a body), but I do not want a male body. I want a body that has no breasts, no genitals, no reproductive system. Like a shopping window mannequin. From what I read, this is not an option and I was to seek out therapy and ultimately physical transition, I would have to say I want to be male. I would trade a body I don't want for a different body I don't want. I would be happy to only get rid of breasts and reproductive system, since my cycle is extremly painful (tried everything doctors could think of, nothing helped) and I'm near-phobic about the pregnancy/childbirth thing. Both are steps that surgeons would only take if I was fully transitioning.

Secondly, I'm tiny. I'm not short, I'm very short. I'm frequently mistaken for a teenager at best. It doesn't help that I also look very young, not in the good way. It makes no difference how I dress, I still look like I raided my parents' wardrobe. It is hard enough to find clothes that fit and are not made for children, and near impossible to find non-girly/femme clothes. I have to show my ID to buy beer or cigarettes (both are legal at age 16 here) or rent DVDs. Really everyone ringing on my door asks if my parents are at home (despite the door sign clearly indicating that only one person lives here). In restaurants, I'm given candy instead of alcoholic drinks even if I'm "dressed up". In work settings, people automatically default to addressing me informally by first name, even if everyone else is going by last name or asked specifically if first name is fine. In other words, I have never been taken serious as an adult female - and this would be worse since extremly short men are much rarer than short women.

I'm not a man trapped in a woman's body. I'm a person trapped in a child's body. I'm a transgender version of Anne Rice's Claudia. There is a whole life I want to live trapped in this shitty body - it isn't even a pretty girl's body; it's a broken doll's body. If I was to list all the things that are wrong with this body, I would hardly know where to start. I like the person I am deep inside, but I hate everything about this body. I have tried to love it, I have tried to accept it, I have no trouble to find beauty in people that aren't magazine cover beautiful. What I have is a pile of flaws no miracle surgeon could turn into anything near my ideal, holding the life I want to live captive. An adult life, where I'm being taken serious as an adult, and can present myself as the gender I feel like - none.

And third, to transition, I would have to live as the prefered gender as part of the legal process. And that won't work. I will not pass - even remotely - as a man. I might pass as a teenage boy, if anything. I present male online (if there is no option to set my gender to "other") and it has not been questioned once in almost 15 years. But that hardly counts, even if I have no "real life" to speak of. How am I supposed to fulfill this requirement if I won't pass and it would still be "playing a role"? I feel I'm in the wrong body as a female, and I'd feel the same way as a male. It's both pretending to be something I am not and don't want to be.

Yes, I know, therapy. I'm working on that. My questions are:

Is it even worth all the trouble to transition if I don't want to be male?
Is it possible to even start the process if I'm honest about my goal to be physically neutrois and not go through with the full transition?
How would I "live as the prefered gender" if my preference is "neither"? Or as male, if I won't ever pass?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (30 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
From what I read, this is not an option... Both are steps that surgeons would only take if I was fully transitioning.

Have you actually talked to a trans-friendly therapist and surgeon about this or are you assuming based solely on what you've read on the internet? It seems to me like you are worrying/planning in advance of the data. Many trans men and trans women go through only a partial transition - breast reduction/augmentation without genital surgery, face sculpting without either breast or genital surgery, etc. etc - so I don't see why some satisfactory surgery isn't possible in the case of people who are agendered.
posted by muddgirl at 3:08 PM on March 6, 2013 [17 favorites]

I've had several friends get total hysterectomies due mostly because they never, ever wanted children AND they had awful, horrible, no-good periods.

You may have to look around, but I'd bet there are GYNS who would remove your reproductive parts.

Good luck, and I hope you get the resolution you want.
posted by cooker girl at 3:15 PM on March 6, 2013 [8 favorites]

You should absolutely talk this through with the same people you would talk to if you were for sure going to transition completely - therapist and medical doctor to start with. Let them outline what is feasible, and talk about legal realities with someone experienced, before you decide what you can't do.
posted by Lyn Never at 3:22 PM on March 6, 2013 [7 favorites]

I'm not a man trapped in a woman's body. I'm a person trapped in a child's body ... An adult life, where I'm being taken serious as an adult, and can present myself as the gender I feel like - none.

In addition to your own feelings about your body, it seems like a large part of your distress is not only being seen by others as having a gender, but being seen by others as a child. Do you think it might help if you got work on your face to appear older? I am no expert on plastic surgery but a bunch of things come to my mind off the top of my head that might help with that. You can have fat removal on your face - that is a very very common procedure, although people don't usually do it for the purpose of appearing older. You can have lines etched into your skin - I think the body mod community could give you great advice for that one. You could color your hair grey or salt and pepper, which, though it would require upkeep, would probably be the easiest and cheapest step of all - while also being the most effective.

I have the feeling that most of the reason you are taken for being a child, and would not currently "pass" as a man (if you end up deciding you would prefer that rather than presenting as agendered) is not actually because of your body, small as it may be, but because of your face.

With a beard, it might change, and you can get plugs to achieve that. With brow bone and jaw bone augmentation, it might change. Surgical facial masculinization is a search phrase that might be helpful to you.
posted by cairdeas at 3:31 PM on March 6, 2013 [2 favorites]

I am sorry you are hurting so much. It sounds like you are really struggling.

The one term you didn't use in your tags is "genderqueer." I imagine you are familiar with this term and for whatever reasons (you do not have to explain or justify those; they are yours and they are okay) feel that it is not the right label or identify for you. If you aren't familiar with that term, I think it might help you in your searching or googling.

It is okay for your process of getting your physical/social self in line with your interior/felt self to be long and windy and filled with small steps. I noticed a couple things in your question that seemed like they could be good first steps towards bringing those two identities closer together. For instance, is there an agender name that you would like to use? You mention that you don't like your female name- it's okay to change it to one you DO like. Would you consider or be able to afford having some of your clothes made or altered to be more neutral? It's my understanding that some local seamstresses will do this inexpensively, or that there are some websites that are quite affordable as well.

I hope these suggestions help- you might have thought of many of them before. I wish the best as you navigate this process.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 3:53 PM on March 6, 2013 [4 favorites]

I just want to point out that you may find that people associate you more with a child if you go for the genderless route without making other changes to the way you present yourself. You say that you have a hard time finding clothes that fit you. That could be attributing a lot to how young you look. Wearing well-fitting, age appropriate clothing can make a big difference in your appearance. I can easily look like an awkward teenager again by dressing in a certain way, so I don't do it. Don't despair if your clothes need to be altered. Many people have this issue and it's an easy one to fix. Find a store you like that offers petites and then take them to the tailor. If you have the money, you can have clothes made for you.

Be strong, and never be afraid to be who you want to be and to ask for what makes you happy. Best of luck!
posted by two lights above the sea at 4:02 PM on March 6, 2013

This is the OP's sockpuppet to follow up.

@muddgirl: It is the actual legal situation that one can only be male or female. Surgeons are required to operate under the assumption a person wants to be the opposite sex and not stop the process at some point.

@cairdeas: One of the many things that are wrong with my body are hair issues. Due to that, I can't dye my hair, have to keep it very short and mostly have to cover my head outside. I am also slim; there is no fat I could remove.

@Snarl Furillo: I dislike the term genderqueer; it implies uncertainty to me. I'm very certain about having no gender. I use a gender neutral name whenever I can, but in my country, changing a name is not as easy as elsewhere. A name must be clearly male or female to be legal. To change a female name to a male one, I must go through with physical transition.
posted by HeroOfAnotherStory at 4:06 PM on March 6, 2013

Check your (or your sockpuppet's) me-mail in a bit.
posted by hoyland at 4:09 PM on March 6, 2013

Is it possible to even start the process if I'm honest about my goal to be physically neutrois and not go through with the full transition?


1) There are doctors who will not impose any sort of pass-for-a-year-first requirement before they give you hormones or refer you for surgery. Look for doctors or clinics that use an "informed consent" model of care -- meaning they don't decide for you whether you should transition, they just explain to you what your options are and let you decide if it's right for you.

2) There are doctors who will help you transition even if you are not a totally stereotypically masculine-acting FTM (or a totally stereotypically feminine-acting MTF). I know people who have transitioned while being open the entire time about the fact that they identified as genderqueer rather than capital-M-Male or capital-F-Female. It can definitely be done.

3) It is not true that surgical transition is all-or-nothing. It is very common for trans* people to get top surgery first, and bottom surgery much later -- or to never get bottom surgery at all. That is totally legal, and there are definitely doctors who will be okay with making it happen for you. (Frankly, bottom surgery sucks in a lot of ways, and even people whose gender identities are more straightforwardly binary than your still often decide that it's not worth the risk, pain, hassle and expense. So you can say "no thanks" to bottom surgery without even having to out yourself to the doc as nonbinary, if that makes you feel safer about it.)

4) In a pinch, breast reduction counts as elective cosmetic surgery, and nobody asks you for a letter from a therapist first. I know one trans man who even got his health insurance to pay for his, by convincing them that it was medically necessary as a response to back pain. It wasn't a full mastectomy, but it got him close enough that with a good binder he could wear well-fitting men's clothing and nobody would be the wiser.

That said, finding a good doctor or clinic is really important, because there are still a lot of caregivers out there using old shitty restrictive standards of care or otherwise playing gatekeeper. Here's one specific recommendation: I know people who have gotten hormones, counseling, and/or a recommendation for surgery through the Mazzoni Center in Philadelphia and who have said very good things about them. Some of those people are decidedly non-binary, and still felt like they were taken seriously and respected and could get the care that they wanted there. The Trans Health Conference which the Mazzoni folks host every year is also awesome and highly recommended.

If you're not in/near Philly, I'm sure there are other places you could go that are similarly awesome, though I don't know of any first hand. Hopefully other folks will chime in with suggestions.
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 4:19 PM on March 6, 2013 [2 favorites]

One way of reshaping your body, without surgery or drugs, as well as a great way to deal with stress, is body-building or weightlifting. I know, this isn't what you asked for, but building really strong muscles is one way to ensure no one mistakes you for a teenager. You don't have to go the fake-tan for competition look, but having muscles is a real confidence builder, for men and women. And ditto with counseling and all that. Link about trans and bodybuilding.
posted by Ideefixe at 4:33 PM on March 6, 2013 [3 favorites]

HeroOfAnotherStory, I'm sorry to hear that it would be so difficult to change your name in your country. That sounds very upsetting. I understand why you feel that genderqueer does not apply to you (although obviously my approval isn't a prerequisite for you not using it). I hope more posters will come in and give you some more helpful ideas.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 4:33 PM on March 6, 2013

HeroofAnotherStory: Surgeons are required to operate under the assumption a person wants to be the opposite sex and not stop the process at some point.

But do you need to have the surgery in your own country? (Insurance reasons or ?) Because if not there is a huge industry of surgical tourism where you can go to countries without these restrictions, where you can get the surgery you need for less money on top of everything else, and there is no way your home country could have any say in whatever you get done. I apologize if I'm telling you something you already know.
posted by cairdeas at 4:44 PM on March 6, 2013 [3 favorites]

Wait to see the outcome of your therapy before making your decision. You may find you approach your options with more strength and optimism when your depression has been successfully treated.
posted by Mistress at 4:45 PM on March 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

Hey there! For advice from like-minded folk, you might want to strike up a conversation over at reddit's r/agender subreddit, a 250+ strong community of people who identify as genderless or gender-neutral, including some considering surgery.
posted by dontjumplarry at 4:49 PM on March 6, 2013 [5 favorites]

Well, (while admittedly not knowing too much about the subject) it seems there are two surgeries that may help you work toward where you'd like to be: one, a hysterectomy, and two, top surgery. These are probably both attainable, even if it may involve lying a little to surgeons if they really as focused on the gender binary as you believe. I imagine there are surgeons out there who are more compassionate, and recognize agendered people, but even if you couldn't find one, maybe you could convince one to do the top surgery even if you do have to fudge a little and act like you are trying to present as male. And you should be able to find a surgeon to do a hysterectomy if you present the right reasons. Obviously, having to lie about these things sucks, and I'd like to hope and believe that shouldn't be necessary, but it seems like it might at least be an option if all else fails....
posted by catatethebird at 5:02 PM on March 6, 2013

It's very common for people on the FTM medical track to only pursue mastectomy and hysterectomy/oophorectomy. I think something like less than 15% of these individuals seek out phalloplasty/metoidioplasty. Consider looking for doctors/surgeons that function on an informed consent basis (this is harder if you're somewhere with socialized healthcare like the UK or Canada and can be quite expensive).

This is an unpopular opinion, but if you need to do so to access the healthcare you need - lie to the gatekeepers. Yes, it sucks, but the system is fucked and if the option is no treatment or lie and get treatment... I know what I'd choose.

Since you're not seeking out hormonal treatment, there's no reason for you to be supervised long term (beyond the end of surgical recovery anyway) so the "living as" part really shouldn't be an issue.
posted by buteo at 5:04 PM on March 6, 2013 [6 favorites]

Definitely consider looking outside your country. Thailand does a lot of relatively affordable surgery for trans people, and by sheer volume, they must have helped people with no gender.

Re: hair, you might try wigs and hats. A friend of mine going through chemo lost most of her hair and had several wigs, and one of them made her look quite different, just by the cut. A good professional wig shop will help you try them on and the better quality ones don't look like wigs at all. You might be able to get a short bob of salt and pepper hair. Certain hats - fedoras, flat caps - can make someone look older, especially if they're not worn in a hipster style, but as functional hats.

The reddit suggestion and finding other people with no gender is a good one. I know two people online now who identify as agender. One goes back and forth fluidly, the other as genderqueer. The asexual communities are another place to look for agender people.

Can you change your name to something gender-neutral? Names have power on our identities.

Finally - we live in an incredibly gendered world. Very few languages allow for gender neutrality or variation, clothes, everything is tied up in gender, so by being an other you are constantly pushing against the edges of a giant invisible system. Be very kind to yourself because battling that constant tension everyday is hard, hard work and you are very brave and strong to hold on to your true self. Please recognize your exhaustion is not because you're weak or weird, but because you are facing daily challenges that go unseen but not unfelt. I hope you have and get a good support network online and in RL that recognize your agender and help you buffer the wider world.
posted by viggorlijah at 5:19 PM on March 6, 2013 [6 favorites]

Response by poster: If you were to go on the hormone treatments common to FTM transitions and take up a rigorous lifting program, specifically focused on gaining muscle size, you would develop a body that nobody would mistake for a child's. You don't even have to look like a competing stereotypical body builder--stop when you're happy with the amount of mass you've added and maintain there.
posted by Anonymous at 7:54 PM on March 6, 2013

I saw this today and thought about you. I wish you the best.
posted by librarina at 10:24 PM on March 6, 2013

What schroedinger said. Hormones and weight-lifting could bring you much closer to the gender presentation middle-ground. Hormones will make you more hairy and angular, and could well lower your voice quite a bit. That would get you closer to what you're seeking. I think.

Maybe I'm just addled because it's late, but I'll confess that I'm a little puzzled by what you want. I get what you don't want, but I'm not quite understanding what your ideal state would be. Could you elaborate?

A million and one years ago, I started a Livejournal community for aspiring drag kings. As a M2F transgender person I had a lifetime of experience passing as male, and I offered my advice to anybody who wanted it. More than that, it was supposed to be a place for kings to meet and share tips. It was a lively community for a long while, although it was always controversial with certain people in the LGBT community. (But then, what isn't?) It wasn't all about stage presentation, there was a lot of everyday talk in there about finding clothes that fit, how to stand and walk in a masculine way, stuff like that. The idea was, it was a place were anybody who wanted to be more masculine for any reason could come, share tips, and have fun exploring their masculinity.

Now I realize, you are not a king, and masculine doesn't seem to be exactly what you're going for. But if you're skewing too femme, and want to butch up to some degree, there could be some helpful info in there.

Finally... Have you considered that while you may not look androgynous in the more grown-up way you seem to want, a lot of people would probably see you as highly androgynous. If you read as a teenage boy, well, teenage boys are famously androgynous.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 1:19 AM on March 7, 2013

To complement the work you do on your body, a regular mindfulness meditation practice might help you come to terms with what can't be changed. Perhaps you could meet yourself halfway?
posted by flabdablet at 4:44 AM on March 7, 2013

Goodness, you sound distressed. I'd like to give you a non-invasive version of a hug and tell you it's not fair that you have to go through this. It might help if we knew where exactly you lived so that we could give you geography-specific advice. I know you don't want to identify as genderqueer, but there are people who identify as genderqueer who have gone through similar things to you, so looking online for resources for genderqueer people, particularly searching for 'genderqueer yourcountryname', might be helpful. You absolutely don't have to identify as anything you don't want to, for whatever reason, but it's worth noting that genderqueer people often don't feel uncertain about their gender: some definitely identify as agender or neutrois or bigender or other things, although for others their identity is vaguer. It's a big broad umbrella for a reason, which is that people of non-standard gender have a lot in common with each other even though their experiences are extremely varied.

This may not be much of a consolation, but the difficulty people have with identifying your age may have more to do with your gender than your height or body type. I have a tall female body with visible curves, and people tend to read me as about 7-12 years younger than I am; I'm pretty sure this is mostly to do with the fact that my dress, hairstyle etc read male. There are three channels, I think, by which this comes about:
- Sometimes people read me as male, see that I have no beard, and therefore read me as a very young male
- Sometimes people read me as female, see that I am not dressed 'sexily', and therefore read me as a very young female
- Sometimes people cannot easily identify my gender, but are implicitly aware of the fact that human sex hormones tend to be cumulative in their impact and bodies closer to puberty have less marked secondary sex characteristics. People tend to process things like 'makeup' or 'trousers' as a secondary sex characteristic, and so they read my body as a very young body.

Long story short: people may be reading you as young rather than neutrois, simply because they don't know what neutrois is. You could choose to be upset by this, but I'd read it differently: maybe you are already presenting as agendered, but because people don't know how to cope with that they are processing it incorrectly. This isn't a problem with your body, it's a problem with the people around you. If it's absolutely vital for your happiness that you be recognised for what you are by the people around you, you need to surround yourself with people who are able to recognise what you are. It sucks that it's so hard, and it absolutely shouldn't be. But the world is as it is, and you need to do what you have to do to survive. If that means moving, move. If that means living with other gender nonconforming people who see you as a genderless person, find those people. If it means hanging out with agender people online and writing off the people you meet on the street, do that. If there are meetups or conferences you can go to, even if it means saving up for a plane ticket, do that.

My gender is very different to yours, but it is non-standard. Sometimes I like thinking of my body as a scramble suit like the ones in A Scanner Darkly, something that masks me when I'm out and about rather than identifying me clearly.

Some of the things you mention, like your worry about childbirth, don't seem wholly rational, and I think you could probably benefit from working through what is going on there with a therapist, but a therapist who is not open to nonstandard gender identities is more likely to harm than help you. If therapists who will support you in your identity aren't available in your country, you might be able to find one who works in another country but will give sessions over skype. And keep talking to people about this! Share your story with people who have similar stories. Read webcomics and blogs about people with variant genders. Sometimes it is therapeutic just to feel normal for half an hour.
posted by Acheman at 4:56 AM on March 7, 2013

I have no financial means to pay for surgery or even surgery in another country. It is not an option. I have health insurance and it is possible they cover both therapy and surgery. It's my only chance, which is why I'm worried about lying about my intentions.

@Mistress: I have seen a therapist for unrelated issues last fall, and was screened for depression. I am not depressed. I'm incredibly frustrated, but definitely not depressed.

@viggorlijah: I also identify as asexual and have looked through asexual communities. They were not helpful; mostly it was teenagers discussing "non-sexual fetish desires" about anime characters and it more made me feel like I gave up and accepted to be Peter Pan by hanging out with teenagers. Being asexual and sort-of-trans also makes me the odd one in trans communities, so it's difficult to find places where I fit in.

@Acheman: Misreading my age likely has to do with my agender presentation and my (lack of) height. I was also assumed to be a teenager (14 - 15 is the usual) when I was dressed clearly "femme" (i.e. job interview dressed, with makeup and heels), therefore I think it's more the height and the genderless presentation just adds to it.

I know it's a very gendered world, and I'm ok to temporarily "claim" a gender, i.e. if a website asks a gender and has no "other" option, I pick what the majority gender is and am ok with the pronouns. It's the same in real life. So to clarify the "what I do want" - a genderless body that can (and probably will) be misread most of the time (pronouns don't concern me) as male or female is fine. As what gender others read/mistake me isn't really important; it's about feeling ok in my body. I want a chameleon body that can be mistaken as a rock or a leaf and doesn't care because no matter what others think, it still knows it's really a chameleon.
posted by HeroOfAnotherStory at 6:07 AM on March 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

I consider myself to be a little bit gender fluid, and have that ebb and flow of gender identity from day to day. I have not experienced what you feel in desiring to be agender, but I think I can honestly say I understand, however slightly, the body dysphoria feeling. It can be very jarring and make you feel, well, awful.

Because you aren't concerned with how others perceive you and instead are focused on how you feel, I think it may help tremendously to ask yourself very simply, every day, what you can do to accomplish that within your means.

If you can't afford surgery, can you buy more gender neutral clothing or alter them in some way to make them feel more "you"? Can you boost your height not with something like high heels, but maybe with a thick-soled boot (Doc Martens come to mind and are relatively non-gender specific)? If binding helps, do that. If you can't stand dealing with having a monthly period, maybe allot time every day that week to do something you look forward to a lot, i.e. give yourself a reward for dealing with the discomfort of that week.

Above all, I think the key is to look inward and just decide that you are enough, however you are in any given moment.

If you seek therapy or have a therapist, ask about how to accomplish this - there are techniques you can practice that help change the way you think about yourself. For me, I eventually just decided to develop an inner mantra of fuck everyone else, I am ok exactly how I am. Yes, it often falters and you end up feeling shitty. But you get up and keep trudging along.

The rest will come naturally and so will relief. I think then you'll be able to answer your own questions.
posted by woolly at 8:04 AM on March 7, 2013

Do you feel comfortable sharing what country you live in? People might be able to give more specific advice.
posted by muddgirl at 8:06 AM on March 7, 2013

@woolly: I tried shoes with higher soles, changes nothing. I already dress androgynous. I do that since I was a teenager. "Thinking positive" isn't a solution, sorry.

@muddgirl: I'm in Germany.
posted by HeroOfAnotherStory at 8:27 AM on March 7, 2013

I want a chameleon body that can be mistaken as a rock or a leaf and doesn't care because no matter what others think, it still knows it's really a chameleon.

I think you should do everything you are able to do to get your body to be the way you need it to be, even if it involves some judicious lying (trans people have been telling doctors what they needed to tell them for a long time, although I think you should talk to people in your country and your health system beforehand to make sure that you are aware of the implications of the particular lie you decide to tell). But I do want to say this: your body is already a chameleon body. It is a genderless body, because you are genderless and it is your body.

This is just a thought, but have you tried renaming your body parts? For some people this means giving parts names that correspond to their correct gender, but for you maybe it involves giving names that don't correspond to a gender at all, maybe don't even sound like parts of a body. Remap your body.

One thing I have found helpful when dealing with my own garbage is that sometimes when 'thinking positive' fails, thinking angry works. Not 'I am good the way I am' but 'fuck anyone who doesn't think I am good the way I am'.

On a practical note: how do you feel about facial hair? If you end up taking testosterone you will get facial hair, and it will definitely make you look older but also more gendered. Is that something that would be welcome, or a problem?
posted by Acheman at 8:51 AM on March 7, 2013

Not to threatsit, but facial hair is fine, especially because it would make me look older. I do, however, have a big issue with any body hair that is below the head and remove it since it started growing. I'm not excluding hormones though, I would probably just have to shave a lot more.
posted by HeroOfAnotherStory at 9:02 AM on March 7, 2013

OK, so here's what I would cautiously advocate, in order:
1. Get a therapist who gets you. If you have the slightest inkling that they are not supportive of your gender, drop them like a hot potato and get another one. Pay them yourself. One of the bad things about private therapy is that it doesn't get joined up with your other medical notes at all, but for you this is a bonus. Keep this therapist throughout the following steps.
2. Get friends. Other agender people, gender-variant people, trans people with nontypical genders. At least one in Germany, ideally further down the transitioning path than you.
3. Tell your doctors whatever you need to in order to get surgery (ie a hysterectomy & top surgery) and hormones. Find out from other German people who have been through the transition process what it is you'll need to tell them.
If other people who know more about the process say you're going to have to lie, lie. But! Keep your therapist from step 1, and don't lie to them. Don't lie to your friends from step 2. This will be stressful, so you need someone who is on your side. If you pass as a teenage boy, well, worse things have happened at sea. When you get testosterone in you, you will start to look more like an adult male. Experiment with exercise, both to work on your body type and also because for some people that is the way they make peace with their body.
4. As soon as you've had all the surgery etc you need, go and get all your body hair lasered off and give a big finger to everyone who stood in your way. Tell everyone you know and work with to use a gender-neutral name you have chosen. If it can't be your legal name, that shouldn't stop people from calling you by it.
5. Keep the therapist from step 1 after this for as long as you feel they are helpful.
6. Keep being your own glorious self.
posted by Acheman at 1:14 PM on March 7, 2013 [5 favorites]

I read this and thought you might like it - you are definitely not alone!
posted by viggorlijah at 8:16 AM on March 19, 2013

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