Hope In A Dark Place

Hello, everyone. I’m Raleigh17, and about two years ago I realized that I was transgender. Since that time I have made the transition and continue to do so.

I knew I was different since I was five years old. I was a very angry child and didn’t like to be referred to as a girl, but as a kid I didn’t know anything about what transgender meant. Even when I got into high school, I didn’t make the connection. Instead I grew up hating my body and having suicidal thoughts. I went to a therapist for two years, but we never figured out what was wrong with me.

A counselor at my college helped me realize what I really wanted, and at the time I just wanted to fix my chest and have a hysterectomy (my dream since I was ten). I talked to my mom about it, and she wondered what my problem would be referred to if a doctor were to perform the surgeries and want to know himself. I said “Why don’t we just say that I’m transgender?” and a light bulb lit up. It suddenly made sense. My life made sense.

Despite finding the cause of my depression, I attempted suicide the day after. I was able to get out of the hospital because I had an appointment with a gender therapist that week. I have other issues on top of this one which are still being treated (depression, ADD, etc.), so it wasn’t just my gender that was getting me down.

My therapist helped me tremendously. She helped me find the right doctors, how to change my name and papers, and she held a support group meeting each month where I found friends I still talk to today. Five months after my suicide attempt, my name was changed legally. A few weeks later I was put on testosterone (I take Androgel). Six months after that I got my chest surgery (a few days before Christmas), and in the summer of 2012, I got my hysterectomy (a week before my birthday). I still have some papers to get through, but overall I’m pretty much done with my transition.

I’m not very interested in bottom surgery (unless science improves in the next ten years). Interestingly enough, my bottom half doesn’t bother me as much as my top half did. I’m comfortable with that part of me, mainly because I sometimes see myself as between genders. I prefer people use male pronouns around me, but I don’t feel part of one set gender.

I was a girl when I started college, and when sophomore year came up, I was a boy. The professors who had me before were very understanding, and I haven’t been hassled by past classmates. I use the unisex and boy’s restrooms around campus, and I’ve been able to blend in well and hang out with my male friends (who know nothing about me). On occasion I get a “ma’am” in public, which I don’t understand because I’m super tall, got a lot of facial hair, and lost most of my feminine features. The chest surgery made things much easier in that department.

I think the biggest challenge for me will be dating. I’ve never dated before, and not only am I an FTM, but I’m also gay (with some attraction to girls but not much). I’m trying to learn how to let that go and accept that I might be alone. Not just because of my body, but because of other things I’ve got going on. I’m pessimistic that way (it’s the depression).

My transition went pretty smoothly. I get along with my family, friends who knew me before accept me as I am, and I’m respected as a man. I wouldn’t be here without my mom, my therapist, and my FTM friends. I know my transition was meant to happen because things worked out so well, and even though I have problems concerning my mental health, I’m still grateful for what my life’s become after years of grief and isolation. I am the boy I always dreamed of being.
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1 Response Jan 11, 2013

for bein at your age you went through a lot. How did ya come up with all that money so quickly? Thats wut i want to know. lol. I hav been tryin to save up money for 10yrs now and still stuck at tryin to get my top done. I agree that its hard to pass with still havin the top. Im sick of bindin myself but without the cash flow commin in it makes it hard.

Im sure if you were ment to be with someone. The right time and place will come and knock you off your socks. Over 4 gfs now durin my transitionin. 3 knew and one didnt. 2 of the 3 said they were ok bout it but ya could just tell it was still on the back of their minds. The one that is completely ok with it all and not even on her mind is the gf I am still with at this time. We have been together for over a yr and wants nothin more than for me to be happy with my body. Good luck on that journey.

Im jay,by the way.

I enjoyed readin your story on your tansformation and bein in the dream i am so close but so far away from reachin.

any time dude. Just keep ya head up. My top is around that price too. Who did yours? Im goin with Dr. Leis in PA. I got a chipin account to get donation to help raise for my surgeries, but no donations yet. damn! If all else fails I will be pullin a heafty loan out. Im hopin after my car is paid off that my credit will be good enough to be able to get that big of a loan. Wish me luck. haha.

it has defiantly been many yrs for me as well. Im hopin with everythin stayin the same and stayin on point i will be able to get mine in sept. if im lucky. thats my goal anyways. haha.