Life and changes

So this thread is going to be about several different things. I have a couple of big, possibly long-term things coming up, and they are somewhat related so, I thought I'd combine them into one big thread so that I could find it easier.

Thing #1 - Spouse and I want to move. We currently live in South Carolina and it's not exactly friendly territory for people like us. That being gender-nonconforming*, liberal, agnostic/atheist types.

Problems with this are many. First off, spouse is disabled and can't work. We are trying to get them on disability, but anyone who is on it knows how tough of a road that is. So, we live off of my income alone. They do freelance work for the publishing world, but it is nowhere near enough for the bills we have. I do ok, but it makes it so we don't have a lot of money. That disability plus other health issues means we'd have to be somewhere within easy driving distance to a myriad of doctors and/or a decent hospital for spouse's health. So that kinda limits us to bigger cities.

We have been looking at places in New England like Providence, Rhode Island; North Hampton, Massachusets; West Hartford & New Haven, Connecticut; etc. We've also looked at Denver and Minneapolis as well. It's mostly just the starting phase of trying to get a good general idea of the areas, what jobs are available, etc. Sadly, those places are all kinda expensive to move to. I want to have a job secured before we go so that we'd have income when we got to the new place. And yes, we have talked about pairing back what we want in order to make a move more feasible.


Thing #2 - I've recently begun to realize that I am trans. It's something I am still scared to reveal here even knowing the response I will get. I have made several threads before only to delete them before posting. I'm just really nervous to admit this to anyone. So far only my spouse knows and they are super suportive. They want the best for me no matter what and being on the trans spectrum as non-binary themselves, it makes it much easier.

It's something that has been simmering for a while. I have been a crossdresser in private for years and years and for a while thought I was simply a straight and liked wearing women's clothing, so no problem. But recently, a few things have really kick started the gender dysphoria for me. One was Faceapp. I have it on my phone and have done the gender swap thing and I see myself and I just want to look like that. I know it's an unrealistic portrayal of what I could look like, but it hit me harder than I expected. Second one might be the weirder one, Animal Crossing. I made my character as close to my real world self as I could when it first came out. I then discovered that I could wear any clothing I wanted and there were no issues with that. I know in previous games there were, but New Horizons is the first I've actually played for any length of time. The ability to dress how I want, to wear my hair how I wanted, to put on makeup, all of it without any negativity really hit me. I want to be that character. Many of you have probably seen me come over to your island or you've come to mine and seen my character dressed feminine, well this is why.

I have not yet started any sort of therapy (see "poor" above) or come out to anyone in my family yet. I know some of them won't care, but some may and I've seen so many stories where lovely, accepting people have a very negative reaction to their own child/sibling/relative coming out. It makes me extremely nervous to even broach the topic.

The other thing that goes along with this is that I still am in love with my spouse. I still love the female form. So it seems not only am I a trans woman, but I'm also a lesbian. It seems trans lesbians are not as accepted in the LGBTQ+ community as many others. Just gotta choose the hardest path, I guess. Also, this all wraps back into Thing #1 in that wherever we wind up moving, we will want to have a connection to the local queer community and we would want somewhere that is accepting to us and not trying to pass discriminatory laws.


So, going to post a few questions and answers now.

Moving:
A) Do I want moving advice or advice about areas? Yes, I've moved a couple times in my life and know generally how it goes, but have never made a long move like this, so advice would be appreciated. Same for anyone living in the areas we are interested in. If you have general info about what to expect in those areas or places to NOT go, I would not mind hearing from you.

Trans:
1) Am I sure? Fuck no. I am afraid I'm going to go through all of this and wind up regretting it. Like this is a "midlife crisis" for me. This is where I think a qualified therapist needs to be consulted. I'm certainly not going to proceed with any permanent changes until I am sure. I'm not one that has always thought or known that I was a girl. It's been a more gradual thing over the years and only recently has been given any real shape. Some things from when I was young do make more sense now.

2) What pronouns would I like to be addressed with? Right now, it doesn't matter. He/She/They, I ping back and forth from boy to girl mode so much that I really don't care. Whatever feels apropriate to you is fine with me. This may change in the future and when it does, I will let everyone know and will likely change the gender marker on my profile.

3) Would I like any advice? Yes, please. I know we have had several trans members over the years. If any of you would like to give me any advice, encouragement, warnings, or anything else related to this, I would love to hear it. PM me or post here, whichever you are more comfortable with, but don't feel like you HAVE to say anything.

Huge hugs to @Hailey Knight for your thread and being so brave putting yourself out there. Same to Aimee, even though I don't think she is around anymore. I apologize if I am forgetting anyone else.

If anyone has any other questions, I will try to answer them. I may be a bit slow because work has been a bit hectic as of late and I'm probably going to run away for a bit after posting this.
 
I'm not sure how Pittsburgh might fit into your situation, but it may be less expensive than the other places you've listed. Philadelphia is likely to be on the higher side of affordability.

That said, you'll probably want to avoid the rest of the state. They call it Pennsyltucky for a reason. WV is right out. Morgantown and WVU is an outlier by comparison. SC all over again.
 
You'd be mostly fine in Denver. Especially the Cap Hill area. COL will bite you in the ass though. Oh, lots of homeless, too. Cheaper in the suburbs but I'm guessing also more conservative. Can't really speak to that as I don't get out much.

Just throwing this out there: have you considered Atlanta?
 
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Thing #2 - I've recently begun to realize that I am trans. It's something I am still scared to reveal here even knowing the response I will get. I have made several threads before only to delete them before posting. I'm just really nervous to admit this to anyone.
I'm gonna be honest, I thought we already knew this about you? Like, for awhile? Your spouse realized they were non-conforming first and then you started to realize also? Am I suffering from Covid brain?
 
You'd be mostly fine in Denver. Especially the Cap Hill area. COL will bite you in the ass though. Oh, lots of homeless, too. Cheaper in the suburbs but I'm guessing also more conservative. Can't really speak to that as I don't get out much.

Just throwing this out there: have you considered Atlanta?
Cheaper in the suburbs of Denver, compared to Denver, yes. Compared to SC, not likely. Colorado is pretty progressive in some ways, but YMMV depending on where in the state you are. Going East of I-25, and south of I-70 is much less tolerant.
 
Hail from the west coast. Portland, OR would probably be fine for you, as would San Francisco, although very expensive there. Seattle is nice but I'm not sure on the LGBTQ+ community these days. LA is huge, sprawling, and expensive. Culturally it is a mixed bag as well, I think. Las Vegas may be a possibility but is very...well, Vegas. Track housing and casinos and southwest climate...that has to be something that appeals, I think.
 
Philadelphia is still rather affordable, has a lot of the options of a big city, and has a large, active LGBTQ community. Like Dark Audit said, you might not want to wander into the center of PA, but from some of the places you described as being interested in, you might want to look around Philly.
 
I'm gonna be honest, I thought we already knew this about you? Like, for awhile? Your spouse realized they were non-conforming first and then you started to realize also? Am I suffering from Covid brain?
I thought last we heard Dill was non-binary and the General was "searching but unsure" so more "non-cis and looking for myself" than full-on "trans". But I admit to not even trying to keep exact tabs on every forumite's exact personal identification, beyond how it affects me (trying to keep the pronouns straight :awesome: and not offending by making jokes or asides that might hit nerves). Weren't you also somewhere in-between-ace-and-possibly-trans-but-figuring-things-out? Or am I mixing stuff/people up?
 
I thought last we heard Dill was non-binary and the General was "searching but unsure" so more "non-cis and looking for myself" than full-on "trans". But I admit to not even trying to keep exact tabs on every forumite's exact personal identification, beyond how it affects me (trying to keep the pronouns straight :awesome: and not offending by making jokes or asides that might hit nerves). Weren't you also somewhere in-between-ace-and-possibly-trans-but-figuring-things-out? Or am I mixing stuff/people up?
I'm asexual, hetero romantic cis male. Which is so close to just straight cis man that it usually feels not worth the time to specify.
 
Even though my city has put out an equality ordinance, Arizona as a whole is really not very accepting of anyone on the LGBTQ spectrum. Just ask Senator Sinema.
 
Hey all,

So I want to thank you all for the support you've shown. It means a lot to me. Though it does feel weird to me that most of the responses are talking about the moving bit. I guess I was expecting more of a reaction to the trans announcement. I think it just shows how open this community is that it barely makes a blip.

To address some of the comments about me coming out already... not really? Dill is NB, yes, but I don't remember making any specific mention about myself. I may have said something at the time and just don't remember. I definitely hadn't mentioned anything about being trans because it is only something that has fully congealed in my mind in the last year or so. Maybe this is one of those times when everyone else already knew and you were all just waiting on me to figure it out. :oops::D

Anyway, I'm still going to be around. I may start opening up some more about things. I had been a bit guarded in the past, but now I feel like I can be more myself.
Hugs all around! :heart::banana::heart:
 
Oh and to follow up on some of the move suggestions.

We had looked at PA a little bit, but not very hard. We may look at it some more, but so far have heard nothing but bad things about Philadelphia (plus we'd be close to all those Eagles fans, yikes ;) )

We ruled out Atlanta pretty fast. It is close by, but Georgia is not an improvement over SC.

We had heard about the rest of Colorado and so Denver is more of a secondary spot. Seems to be a lot (and I mean a LOT) of mobile homes listed as regular houses on Zillow, though. Is that normal for the area?

San Francisco is definitely outside of our budget. Portland I think was as well, but don't remember us looking at that area too hard.

It doesn't help that SC has one of the lowest costs of living, so we also have some of the lowest salaries to go along with that. Makes getting out even harder.
 
I started typing this post yesterday ,but felt too crappy to try and make something coherent. So I've only finished now, sorry :) Slightly edited but I might've missed some bits.

Anyway, as a non-American, I hope you keep in mind there are other Western countries besides the USA. In America these days, I have the feeling you can choose to go live somewhere on the balance between "too expensive" and "too intolerant" - the more leftist and progresive you go, and the bigger cities, the more expensive. Live for cheap in crappy bumville where they'll get out the pitchforks, or live in a community where most might accept you but where living on a single salary is impossible.
I admit, moving to another country is a big step - but if you're willing to go from SC to Colorado, well, I don't think Toronto (random Canadian city, I dunno how LGBTQIA+-accepting they are specifically) is all that much further.
You may feel like that might not matter much, and that a liberal area of the USA is just as good as one outside. In some ways that's true, in some it may not. Given the right circumstances (psych approval etc), full body transitioning operations are completley covered by healthcare in Belgium, for example. Good luck finding that in the US. Of course, it adds language and cultural barriers, I'm certainly not going to claim it's a perfect choice. There'll always be some hurdles.

Congrats on coming out, it's hard, even in a group like this forum where I'd like to think we're pretty accepting/open about this sort of stuff. Best of luck to both Dill and yourself, it's not an easy road.

Now if I may, I do have some questions. Please believe me that these are coming from an 'ally trying to understand" point of view and not from a "masculine guy trying to be manly and puit down anything different" standpoint. Any offense or insult is not intended and only shows I have more to understand and learn about not being a white cishet male in modern society. Also, I hate having to make that sort of lead-in, as no matter how you word it, it still sounds ot me like "I'm not racist, but". I promise I'm not trying to be negative or downputting or anything. When I read your post about wanting to look more feminine and wearing women's clothes, I can understand that...But it comes off to me more as if you don't want to adhere to cultural masculine/feminine norms, rather than really feeling like you're a woman. That is, if you were in a society where men could wear skirts, make-up and a bra to their heart's content, would that be "enough" for you? Or do you really feel like deep down, you're a woman who happens to be in a man's body at the moment?
Again, just asking for information. I know trans people who, before and after transitioning, were really very clear: "I'm a guy, and that I happen to have boobs and an innie doesn't change that". I'm not sure if that's the same. thing as "I want to claim my individuality and dress/behave in a way that doesn't conform to our cultural stereotypes, but my personal identity isn't actually linked strongly to my gender".
I'm also - and this may be a question more for other trans people - curious if there's gatekeeping going on based on that sort of feelings. Like, the ones who are ébiologically" trans vs those who are "culturally" trans, or whatever. I know that....20 years or so ago, at least, people who didn't define their identity by their sexuality were in many groups looked down on in the gay scene - if you wer e"just a regular person but homosexual" that wasn't...."gay enough", you were assimilating into heteronormative culture. While at the same time, of course, there were those who wanted to be "just regular folks who happen to boink other people than you do", and looked down upon the extravagant "gay pride" scene as deliberately offensive and needlessly aggressive because they didn't feel the need to flaunt their difference quite as much.
 
Their spouse being disabled and not able to work would probably work against any attempt to move to a new country unless they already have a job lined up.
 
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We had thought of going to other countries. Canada in particular. Covid cut off a lot of those avenues and so we have been mainly looking US right now. Had Trump won a second term, we were absolutely fleeing this country. I hold no illusions about the US's status in the world. It is no better than any other country and in a lot of respects is markedly worse. It's mostly to do with money and we'd have to go through immigration which can be tough in a lot of countries, especially when one person is disabled, etc., etc. We have not ruled out moving to another country entirely, though. If we can find some assistance or programs and such to help us out, we'd likely be for it.


I understand that you just want some clarification, no offense is taken about anything. I'm not as easily offended as most though, I can take a joke and generally can recognize when one is made.

It did start for me as just wanting to wear women's clothes. And I did, in private. I have bought some clothes for myself and put them on when I feel like it. For a long time, that was enough. Eventually, though, I started wanting more. I wanted to go out, but I didn't want to go out looking like "a man in a dress." I wanted to look and feel feminine. It progressed from simply wanting to look feminine to now wanting to BE feminine. Just this past Christmas, Dill got me a pair of breast forms. It was a surprise because I had been thinking about getting some for myself, but only passingly made mention to them. I wear them every chance I get. The feel and heft of having breasts feels good, it feels right to me. I want to have my own real ones now. But that is a big physical change that I am not comfortable undergoing right now due to the area I live in. I wouldn't feel safe going on hormones.

If society shifted and it was perfectly acceptable for men to wear skirts, dresses, makeup, etc. (and seriously, why is it not? but that's a whole rant on its own), I think I would still want to have breasts. I would still want to appear female. Now, I don't really want to get rid of my penis, either, but not all trans people go through a full transition or any transition at all. Some just do cosmetic changes, some go all the way and have multiple surgeries. It does not mean some of them are not trans. Everyone is valid.

For me, though, this is the part up above about "Are you sure?" No, not at all. That is something a qualified therapist and I should work through. But again, I am poor and we have lots of other bills and other needs that have to be met first. So, I will likely not be doing much right away. I'm already 40, so it isn't going to make much physical difference if I start my transition today vs 5 years from now. It may help me mentally, though.

Truth is, I've written out posts coming out as trans here many times, but deleted them. Because I was scared of the response or I wasn't sure if I was ready. It's a big step to come out to anyone. Even this one, I spent over a week on writing, rewriting, second-guessing, and even then it took me sitting with Dill and letting them read it over first to actually work up the courage to hit the post button.

Just as an aside, with no anger or accusations of any kind, asking a trans person if there are "sure" is kinda shitty. A lot of the time they are going through A LOT and they have already gone over in their mind many many times on whether or not they are sure, whether this is the right thing for them. There's a lot of pressure from society to just "fit in" and be "normal." If someone comes out as trans, then take them at their word. There's a reason the trans community has a massively higher suicide rate than the average.

And yes, there is a lot of gatekeeping. Many in the Trans community are denied access to the care they need because the doctors don't understand it or have their own biases. Or pharmacies that refuse to fill hormone prescriptions. There's the whole religious community as well. The general feeling from them is that we are accusing God of being wrong and that can't happen because He's infallible, so we are just being malicious somehow. I don't think a single person is transitioning just to prove a mythological being to be wrong. They are doing it because it is either that or they die. Even in the Queer community, there can be gatekeeping. Trans Lesbians are shunned at a higher rate than others, mostly by Lesbians. Saying that we are just men who want to get with them. And lots and lots of people say shit like Trans women aren't real women. It's frankly, pretty frightening at times.

Mostly, trans people need support and love. Same as anyone else.
 
I personally look at it that you are a person first and anything else is secondary - be it skin color, body-type, orientation, gender, religious belief, political belief, etc. You are person who deserves to be "you" and everyone should support you as a 'person.'

However, that doesn't seem to flow to people in general - a large percentage of people feel that they have to judge those that are different (in any way) from them to make themselves feel better. There are so many social stigmas against things that aren't 'normal.' However, 'normal' is only a single point on a curve.

So, be the best and only 'you' there is and make sure to love yourself first, from someone around your same age.
 
it does feel weird to me that most of the responses are talking about the moving bit. I guess I was expecting more of a reaction to the trans announcement.
Hey, moving is VERY stressful.
if you were in a society where men could wear skirts, make-up and a bra to their heart's content, would that be "enough" for you? Or do you really feel like deep down, you're a woman who happens to be in a man's body at the moment?
I had the same question, for the same reasons, much as I did previously. But it sounds like you've thought about it a lot.

--Patrick
 
We had heard about the rest of Colorado and so Denver is more of a secondary spot. Seems to be a lot (and I mean a LOT) of mobile homes listed as regular houses on Zillow, though. Is that normal for the area?
I don't think so? I had to do a specific search for mobile homes to get them to show up on Zillow, and there were only a couple hits. Had to zoom out to get more than a handful. I'm not sure mobile homes are even allowed in most of Denver due to zoning issues. How large an area are you looking at?
 
Hey, moving is VERY stressful.

I had the same question, for the same reasons, much as I did previously. But it sounds like you've thought about it a lot.

--Patrick
I have, for quite a while. I'm not even the Anonymous that you were replying to there. If there was some technology or a magic potion I could use that would turn me into a woman, I would do it in a heartbeat.

So, here goes my big clothing rant. I really want to live in a world where clothing doesn't matter. Everyone should be allowed to dress however they like with no judgments. Sometimes men want to feel pretty too.

I started thinking about the differences when I was just starting to explore women's clothes. Take a skirt. I happen to love them. They allow more freedom of movement, are generally cooler during hot days and come in so many styles and lengths. There have even been studies showing that skirts allow mens' testicles greater freedom and lead to better sexual health, so men should be the ones wearing skirts instead of women. But let's discard most of those arguments for the moment. I am going to solely focus on the construction of pants (or trousers if you are British) and skirts.

We can breakdown the construction into the most basic principles. Pants are a single tube of fabric that is then split into two tubes of fabric. A skirt is one tube of fabric throughout. Why is one tube ONLY for women and two tubes acceptable for anyone? It's just fabric. Many times the same fabric. You can get a denim skirt that is made identically to a pair of jeans except for the final steps of making the legs. So why does not doing that one extra bit mean it is completely unacceptable for a man to wear?

Then go back in history and you find that for a long time, two tubes were ONLY for men. Women took the right to wear pants and today it is widely accepted. There are still some people that demand women only wear skirts and dresses and men only wear pants, but they are becoming less and less relevant as society moves on. So, why can't men wear skirts if they want?

The answer generally seems to be that "society" hasn't deemed it acceptable yet. Well, it wasn't acceptable for women to wear pants until they stood up and demanded it. So, the same needs to be done for men to wear skirts. You'll hear occasional stories about celebrities, Jaden Smith or Harry Styles, and the furious rebukes they get and it just puzzles me.

Many people are so afraid of losing their status (especially white males) or see it as a threat to their "masculinity" (those poor dears and their oh so fragile masculinity that can be destroyed by a single tube of fabric) somehow instead of taking a step back and seeing just how ridiculous it really is. People should be allowed to wear whatever makes them feel good. You can make arguments on the grounds of sexual exploitation or the like, but really that's the only viable argument I see. Even that is shaky at best, only good for how much clothing people should wear, not what styles.

Some cultures already allow men to wear what the Western world calls dresses or skirts. Arabic men wear thawbs and it is fine, Indian men have several garments like the dhoti or mundu, and there is the Scottish kilt. If those are fine, then why isn't it more acceptable in a supposedly enlightened society for men not of those descents to wear what they want? Some guys already do wear kilts, so there's probably a market there to be tapped.

Children should be raised to express themselves however they want. If a little boy likes to wear dresses, then let him. If a little girl doesn't want to wear dresses, then that is fine too. They will either grow out of that phase or figure out early on what gender they truly are and can then live their life accordingly. I have wonderful parents who took great strides to raise my siblings and me in a safe, loving, and supportive home. But gender roles were still enforced. My brother and I were expected to help Dad mow the lawn, my sister was expected to help with cooking, things like that. I'm sure if I had figured things out when I was younger, both of my parents would have loved and supported me anyway. I just didn't know and I was ashamed at the time because it was the mid-90's and "being gay" was one of the worst things for a boy my age to be accused of. Maybe if I'd been allowed to explore my clothing earlier, I would have known I was trans earlier, and my life may have been vastly different. But maybe then I wouldn't have met my spouse and had all the wonderful experiences with them.

I really think that many people would be more at peace with themselves if they were allowed to express themselves without judgment from others. Men who just want to wear a pretty dress or women who DON'T want to put on makeup to conform to some standard of beauty and everything in between and around that. Stop judging because of appearances and everyone could be so much happier. But that would require a lot of people to give up on old attitudes and biases. Sadly, those seem to be the hardest things to change. I have hope that newer generations will be more open. It seems to be the way things trend. Stuff that was taboo to your grandparents is what your parents talk about and what you act on.

So, yeah, that's my rant. Not something I had planned out really, so sorry if I got a bit rambly. It just irks me whenever someone is criticized solely for how they look or act rather than what their message is. Even the human garbage scow that is Lindsey Graham. Whether or not he is gay shouldn't matter. What does matter is the decades of work he has put in vilifying and trying to criminalize the LGBTQ+ community.

OK, putting my soapbox away now.
 
Here, let me tl;dr that post for you:
many people would be more at peace with themselves if they were allowed to express themselves without judgment from others.
Peer Pressure is real, and it tragically does NOT end once you leave high school. People are always gonna clump up in order to turn around and disparage anyone who doesn't share their views. If your views aren't harming anyone (or I suppose could be harming but there's prior consent), then yeah, it shouldn't matter even if you wanted to live your life as the San Diego Chicken.

--Patrick
 
I'm all with you, really I am. But a small part of me can't help but think, "do we really need to accept too ugly or too fat people wearing far too little or totally wrong for their age clothing?"
I'm well aware that, well, yes. I reserve the right to dislike their lack of style though :p
 
I'm all with you, really I am. But a small part of me can't help but think, "do we really need to accept too ugly or too fat people wearing far too little or totally wrong for their age clothing?"
I'm well aware that, well, yes. I reserve the right to dislike their lack of style though :p
I completely accept that people are going to make lifestyle choices that I don't agree with. Tolerance doesn't mean I have to like it. Tolerance means I shut my mouth and let them get on with their life without giving them a hard time. But I can have all the opinions I want about it. :D
 
I have, for quite a while. I'm not even the Anonymous that you were replying to there. If there was some technology or a magic potion I could use that would turn me into a woman, I would do it in a heartbeat.

So, here goes my big clothing rant. I really want to live in a world where clothing doesn't matter. Everyone should be allowed to dress however they like with no judgments. Sometimes men want to feel pretty too.

I started thinking about the differences when I was just starting to explore women's clothes. Take a skirt. I happen to love them. They allow more freedom of movement, are generally cooler during hot days and come in so many styles and lengths. There have even been studies showing that skirts allow mens' testicles greater freedom and lead to better sexual health, so men should be the ones wearing skirts instead of women. But let's discard most of those arguments for the moment. I am going to solely focus on the construction of pants (or trousers if you are British) and skirts.

We can breakdown the construction into the most basic principles. Pants are a single tube of fabric that is then split into two tubes of fabric. A skirt is one tube of fabric throughout. Why is one tube ONLY for women and two tubes acceptable for anyone? It's just fabric. Many times the same fabric. You can get a denim skirt that is made identically to a pair of jeans except for the final steps of making the legs. So why does not doing that one extra bit mean it is completely unacceptable for a man to wear?

Then go back in history and you find that for a long time, two tubes were ONLY for men. Women took the right to wear pants and today it is widely accepted. There are still some people that demand women only wear skirts and dresses and men only wear pants, but they are becoming less and less relevant as society moves on. So, why can't men wear skirts if they want?

The answer generally seems to be that "society" hasn't deemed it acceptable yet. Well, it wasn't acceptable for women to wear pants until they stood up and demanded it. So, the same needs to be done for men to wear skirts. You'll hear occasional stories about celebrities, Jaden Smith or Harry Styles, and the furious rebukes they get and it just puzzles me.

Many people are so afraid of losing their status (especially white males) or see it as a threat to their "masculinity" (those poor dears and their oh so fragile masculinity that can be destroyed by a single tube of fabric) somehow instead of taking a step back and seeing just how ridiculous it really is. People should be allowed to wear whatever makes them feel good. You can make arguments on the grounds of sexual exploitation or the like, but really that's the only viable argument I see. Even that is shaky at best, only good for how much clothing people should wear, not what styles.

Some cultures already allow men to wear what the Western world calls dresses or skirts. Arabic men wear thawbs and it is fine, Indian men have several garments like the dhoti or mundu, and there is the Scottish kilt. If those are fine, then why isn't it more acceptable in a supposedly enlightened society for men not of those descents to wear what they want? Some guys already do wear kilts, so there's probably a market there to be tapped.

Children should be raised to express themselves however they want. If a little boy likes to wear dresses, then let him. If a little girl doesn't want to wear dresses, then that is fine too. They will either grow out of that phase or figure out early on what gender they truly are and can then live their life accordingly. I have wonderful parents who took great strides to raise my siblings and me in a safe, loving, and supportive home. But gender roles were still enforced. My brother and I were expected to help Dad mow the lawn, my sister was expected to help with cooking, things like that. I'm sure if I had figured things out when I was younger, both of my parents would have loved and supported me anyway. I just didn't know and I was ashamed at the time because it was the mid-90's and "being gay" was one of the worst things for a boy my age to be accused of. Maybe if I'd been allowed to explore my clothing earlier, I would have known I was trans earlier, and my life may have been vastly different. But maybe then I wouldn't have met my spouse and had all the wonderful experiences with them.

I really think that many people would be more at peace with themselves if they were allowed to express themselves without judgment from others. Men who just want to wear a pretty dress or women who DON'T want to put on makeup to conform to some standard of beauty and everything in between and around that. Stop judging because of appearances and everyone could be so much happier. But that would require a lot of people to give up on old attitudes and biases. Sadly, those seem to be the hardest things to change. I have hope that newer generations will be more open. It seems to be the way things trend. Stuff that was taboo to your grandparents is what your parents talk about and what you act on.

So, yeah, that's my rant. Not something I had planned out really, so sorry if I got a bit rambly. It just irks me whenever someone is criticized solely for how they look or act rather than what their message is. Even the human garbage scow that is Lindsey Graham. Whether or not he is gay shouldn't matter. What does matter is the decades of work he has put in vilifying and trying to criminalize the LGBTQ+ community.

OK, putting my soapbox away now.
It's a slower transition than it should be, but it's happening. As time goes by there are more and more progressive mindsets to replace those that can't let go of their intolerances. Hate is always a learned feeling. Intolerances and racism need a teacher. The more and more people that let their kids choose who they want to be the more it's going to influence others. And luckily social media and Hollywood and all these big influences on people seem to be a lot more progressive than not. I mean it's unfortunate that something that superficial can have such an impact on society but at least it's making an impact in the right direction.
Actually it was just today that a friend (who is gay) and I were talking about a recent episode of Ducktales 2017 and how they used variations of Disney's The Wuzzles. He told me that when he was in Kindergarten he dressed as Butterbear for Halloween, and I thought that was awesome. His parents were supportive of his interests right from the beginning, even if they didn't mesh with gender stereotypes. And this was back in the 80s even.
If Trump being elected President four years ago has taught us anything it should be that there are still a lot of old-fashionedly intolerant people left in the world. But after the results of last election I think there is hope for humanity. There are more of us than of them. We just have to keep being louder than them.
 
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So, something I have been wanting to do, but didn't want to take up too much time hogging the spotlight is share some of the pictures of me from FaceApp.

So first, is what I actually look like.

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And now for pics of feminine me

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So, you can probably see why this is giving me some massive hits of dysphoria. I really want to look like that.
And again, I know these are probably unattainable as it is a computer making these images.
 
Well, the computer did change your jawline a bit, and clearly used a smoothing filter, but otherwise a lot of that is makeup techniques. Learning to use a good foundation, contouring, false lashes, etc. There are a lot of YouTube tutorials on these type of makeup techniques if you want to experiment.
 
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