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My Fear Of Being Outed

I do have a fear of being outed. I am very careful. I know its my fault. I should just come out. I will get there. This is the year, but on my terms. The shame is me feeling comfortable sharing with people all over the world, but not my family. I am afraid, but that fear is not unfounded.

Several years ago I was a paratrooper in the army. I guess I was searching trying to make the beast go away. I finally couldn't take the alpha male dominated culture. I made an appointment with a therapist. The army is not known for their mental health care. I saw a major that was a licensed therapist. I told him about my gender issues. As it turns out the therapist was also a Baptist minister. I was told that I was sinning by having these thoughts and I was an abomination. As if things weren't bad enough, word got back to my first sergeant. I was threatened by the first sergeant, and he said if things didn't shape up my secret would be public knowledge in my company. I went AWOL and took a razor blade to my wrists.

Before I slit my wrists I took my wife back to Texas so she could be with her family. After I slit my wrists, I turned myself in at a hospital. My psychiatrist at the hospital just happened to be an airforce LT. Colonel in the reserves. She brokered a deal that would see me treated at an airforce hospital on the Texas Oklahoma border before being returned to my home post to out process. Also part of the deal was I wouldn't request charges to be filed on the first sergeant, and he wouldn't allow charges to be filed on me. I would also retain my veterans benefits and receive an honorable discharge.

While I was in the hospital my mom, who taught at a small college 60 miles away would come see me. When she first saw me she was shocked by my appearence. Being raised by a women I knew all of the finer points of skin care. I had just forgotten them. My mom brought me a gift basket with a pumice stone, lotion, moisture gloves, and a full set of women's Estee Lauder skin care products. I had to get the army off of me. Looking back, I guess mom probably knew, but never said anything. She did say that she knew the army was not a good place for a person like me. Mom was my cheerleader. My biggest fan. If she were still alive I know she would accept Brenda Karen.

So I spent several years calling Brenda a beast. Trying to kill her. Finally accepting her. Loving her. Then knowing she is who I am supposed to be. So, that's why I keep the closet open. Every time I get ready to let her completely out I feel threatened by a dominant alpha male that's not really there. My heart shudders. I feel powerless. I feel cold steel blades slicing through my delicate skin. Thanks for listening

Brenda Karen


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brendakaitlin brendakaitlin 36-40, T 28 Responses Jun 24, 2012

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Thank you for your story. While you were in an extreme situation (I would think being in the military would be about the harshest environment tor a lady in secret to endure), the hells we live in while coming to terms with our sexuality - or not - can be devastating. You endured much, and I applaud your perseverance. Stay true to yourself and I believe you will gain the confidence you need to be the person you are. Many people stay semi closeted, but that is for the individual to decide...do what is right for you, and be true to yourself. It has taken decades for me to be Muriele, and I am still in the closet until I can wrap up loose ends...but I have a plan, and the rainbow is in sight. You have love and support...I am not versed enough to help you with insights; there are others here that are. I can give you emotional support and I do that.

I know how you feel as I am always trying to hide Sara Ashley from the world. I am still wrestling with Sara Ashley as the enemy and just be me, who the world knows and sees. Reading your story made tears come from my eyes as your story seems much like yours except being in the military. As I am writing this tears are starting to flow. It makes it hard to type this w/o tears coming out and making it hard for me to type this. I am just trying to get by every day the best I can. The desires for me to be the girl I know I am deep down, one that also like you likes women. So I am what you would call a mtf transgender, translesbian...:) Right now I am single but looking for that special woman to be in my life who will understand my need to be female at least part of time, as I think it is important to be a male part time to be supportive of her too. No need to be selfish for me but at the same time I want to have girl time with her...:) If you ever want to talk, I can be here for you, as I like to help people...:)

I wish I could hold and hug you to make the hurt go away!!!!

I can certainly relate. I too joined the military (Navy) and got married thinking these desires would fade..

Now 40 yrs later. Wishing I could have been born later or in the present where there's more understanding and tolerance.

We all have to live our own live and for those around us.

You are so Blessed to have a wife , friend and partner in reaching you goal.

Good Luck Angie..;-)

Hang in there Brenda. The military wasn't the right place for you for sure. I believe in karma and good thigs happen to good people. Just be patient.

I think we all at one point in our lives look at the military, most find jobs in the civilian world but some think the military may be the answer for most of them it's two or three years them out I guess with the new policy's for gays it alot easer but nothing was said about transgender troops. It's sad to think there are sp many narrow minded people still today ..

The Army can be like that, While I was serving in Germany way back when I had a young kid that was in my platoon that was very shy and stayed to himself and I could tell he was dealing with alot. He was a great kid, allway one of my best troops but you could tell he wasn't the Alfa male military type. He went home on R&R and stayed gone for almost 6 months, we kept getting red cross messages stating he was in the hospital so we couldn't drop him from the rolls. them one afternoon this beautiful Girl walked onto my office and I was shocked. He had gone home and had all the surgery done to complete his tranformation into what he should have been born to be. A female doctor had his gender changed in his records and his ID changed and sent him back to duty but back then he couldn't be in a combat unit and much like your first sergeant ours went off and tried to do anything he could to get him out of our company or better still out of the military. I had him stay in my office while we waited for the Army to figure out what they wanted to do with "HER" and my wife and I let her live in our apartment with us until she was given a room in the female barricks. I think she stayed with us and worked with me as a female for about a month before she was transfered to another base and we talked alot about all the feeling and nightmares she went through trying to figure out who or what she was supposed to be. Her mother knew she was born in the wrong body but her father hated any part of that and tried to force her to be a man, He went as far as making her join the military to "bring the man out in him" but that never happened. For a year before the final surgery She was taking some kind of Female hormones and had started to show body changes which she had to hide and knew when she went home she was going to have the surgery done, she had saved up enough money and had her mothers support became a beautiful woman, we lost touch with each other years ago but she taught me alot in the short time we worked together. There are people that are born in the wrong body it's a fact and you shouldn't have to be afraid to feel that side of who you are. I hope some day that the world will open it's eyes and let you wear what ever you feel like wearing when you wake up in the morning. Or better still do some kind of blood test at birth to let the world know that you are transgender so you family and adjust to the fact that you may want to wear dresses instead of pants or may want to be a boy but with fem side..

That was really nice of you to take the high road. Her courage was amazing. While I was out processing, my platoon sergeant said I was one of the best soldiers he had ever seen. The awol incident wasn't part of my permanent file. He offered me a transfer. A chance to start over. By that point I felt like I had a target on my back. I decided to get out. The said thing is I still believed in a magic cure. If my original therapist tried to give me therapy instead of telling my first sergeant. I was a corporal. I had the points for e5. I was just waiting for my promotion board review. I would have stayed to finish that second enlistment. But hind sight is 20/20. Its my fault. I probably shouldn't have enlisted in the first place. Thanks for sharing

dear brenda iamm with you in good and bad time.love youas girl o rwoman iamm still waiting after long long years Sasa in me waiting to exploded but when and how ,,,i hav elet her out as soon as possible ...we must love each other as we are so iamm with you with love all the best Sasa

Don't be ashamed to be who you are meant to be. You are still you.

dearest Brenda karen. I accept you freely and totally as m friend. I am and will be here for you to encourage you and love you for who you are. check out my photo album and see that i have found the way to become feminine.i am leanne.she is my inner girl and i have let her out as much as i possibly can.

Thanks leanne your friendship means a lot sweetie

hang in there, I hope its better a bit by now!

Yes, I came out to my wife on July 17. She is supportive but we are taking it slow. Thanks

slow is best, best wishes for you!

I understand as i share many of the same experiences with you. Hang in there I think you will be alright in the long run. By the way I would like to add you to my circle as a friend.

I think this is the hardest of all the things we face as transgenders we will all make it through this you will see dear all will be okay.

I should have updated this post. I did come out to my wife on July 17. It didn't go great. But it could have gone a lot worse. We are still working stuff out. Thanks for the flattery on my picture sweetie.

It's been over three years for me. We're finally going to therapy together and moving forward. It takes patience and love. Best of luck, Brenda. I'll keep in touch.
Hugs, Cate

Hello Brenda. For so long I agonized, "Why me? Why this? Why now?" It was my darkest hours. Like you, I learned to accept, understand and love who I am. I came out to my wife three years ago. It took until last month for her and I to go out together. It was worth the wait for me. Your time will come and you will know when it's right. Be gentle and patient. Be honest and loving. We must live inside our skins for a very long time and we must love who we are. Always remember you deserve to be who you are. When you feel yourself needing support or a shoulder, call on use who really understand and we'll be there.<br />
<br />
Your sister, Cate

Thanks cate, as you can probably tell by now, I am no longer in the closet when it comes to my wife. She says she loves me and I believe her, but we have a rocky road ahead. I thank you for your encouragement sister cate

I can certainly empathize with what you're going through, rather, the feelings you're having. I am not claiming to know how you feel personally, just that I can relate. <br />
<br />
Sorry about all the pain you went though, looks like things are looking up for you, which is good.

My own fear of being outed has its roots in my teenage boarding school experience of being a detested outsider who was constantly subjected to violent bullying, name calling and accusations of being a cissy. <br />
God only knows how hard I've tried to be a man. Now I'm past 65 I no longer care.

With me I am tired of living in this ghost facade. Brenda is more me than me. I am all her inside and in attitude. Demure, thoughtful, stylish, caring, nuturing, honey that's her. I have been called a sissy. At a private Christian school I attended they called me a sodomite. I have been called a queer and a ***. One day I inwardly embraced it. Every time I get mistaken for a lady by voice I now love it. My wife jokingly calls me gay without liking boys because of my fashion designer aspirations. She calls me her best girl friend because I try on shoes with her. I hope she remembers when I come out. I always live in fear of someone discovering my identity on social web sites. Sometimes it would be a relief. I get tired of the way society bullies our sisters. I guess our trials and tribulations help make us.

Brenda Karen,<br />
This fear of being outed has a tendancy of being very strong and overpowering, it stems form fearing the unknown. We all have too many unknowns in our life to allow it take over. I have family and friends who have accepted and support me and I truly didn't think that they would; then there are those I felt certain would and they want nothing to do with me now; finally there is the mix in between the two extremes where some do, some don't, and some tolerate. What I am saying is that we never really know how someone will react, but I have found that for me the majority they are accepting, supportive and tolerant, there are very few that are unaccepting and unsupportive.<br />
I understand this fear until I accepted myself I too feared the repercussions of being found out, but then again I have always been feminine though I too endeavoured to hid it. Then about twenty years ago I started to research what I was feeling, and for the next sixteen years, I read, studied, explored, and experimented trying to grasp what I had been fighting since early childhood. Then just over three years ago I was unable to go on portraying the charade and fa├žade that had engulfed my life; I shed my former self and went full time, since that day I have never been happier, I still have low days it is not because of my old life.<br />
I wish you the best on your journey of self discovery and offer my understanding, acceptance and support.<br />
Liza

For years i fought the beast as you way, then one day I decided to let it out and a calmness and sanity came into my life. I hope you can get there.

Thanks ladies, I get so emotional when I get such positive responses on this story. You all mean so much. I am sometimes amazed I can be close to people thousands of miles away but hide my true self from someone next to me.

I was so sad when I live with my family. I think like suicide to. But my friend is same TG so she family allow me live there, I do well there. Better much better now. Living my dream. I wish for you my dream. Happy you live yet.

I feel for you and would support you by all my means.

wow hon! I'm so sorry! I wonder what that baptist preacher will say to Christ when he says " I sat in your office with gender issues and you didn't help me". Are we born abominations? I think not, but we are born like this, I, you and the rest of our sisters didn't choose this, did we! Hang tough soldier and fight the good fight!!

Thanks Ali, Shelle, hylierandom, and misshell. In the short time I have been on EP you all have helped lift my spirits and helped me realize that I am not alone and many have gone down the same path before me. Ladies thanks for being the sisters I have never had. I am crying I am so to touched.

Like so many others of us you have fought something you couldn't understand I too fought Shelle hoping against hope she would be gone and I could live a normal life like everyone else,but I always knew this could never be and more than once the barrel of the gun went in my mouth,but never did I find the courage to end my life but I have now found a way to bring Shelle home to me and my family and she has love she never knew existed.Don't ever give up dear life can be very wonderful.

Thanks Ali, it is such an inspiring feeling to know that you are there. You are a wealth of knowledge and resources plus you are a wonderful cheerleader. Hugs,<br />
<br />
Brenda

(((((HUGGLES)))))

I am very glad to call you my friend, you are a caring and loving individual who like us all needs kind and encouraging words and a huge hug for all of you effort to keep your life together. I am happy to talk anytime we can connect up if you need it. <br />
<br />
Ali