Reader Q&A: I’m Transgender & Feel Totally Alone
Welcome to the another installment of READER Q&A on the darahoffmanfox.com | Transgender Education & Resources website.
This is a regularly featured segment in which I share with you conversations I’ve had with readers (as well as watchers of my YouTube series ASK A GENDER THERAPIST) in which they ask questions and I do my best to answer them.
Please note: Regarding today’s question, it would be fantastic if you could share any additional resources with this reader! Please leave them in the COMMENTS section below the post.
Also, this reader identifies as a transgender female, therefore some of the resources are specific for that population. I’ll be sure to have a future post to address resources for transgender males!
Let’s get to the question…
I feel like no one understands me as a transgender person. I don’t really have any friends, and my family isn’t really that much of a support (I’m not that close to my family). I live in (a southern state in the USA) and i don’t know of anyone I can talk with about the issue I am having. I am at a lost and don’t know what to do. I don’t really have a gender therapist, but i do have a therapist for depression. I would like to see a gender therapist but not sure about how to do it.
I get told to go here and there, but nothing has helped me. I’m right back where I started, with no one to talk with and feelings of being alone. I need help.
What you are struggling with is something I have heard so many people bring up to me, and my heart goes out to you.
What I suggest is that you find 1) Resources and 2) Friends.
Let’s start with finding these online, especially since you live in an area with little to none support to offer.
Thankfully nowadays there are SO many transgender resources on the internet! I’m going to go through them one at a time.
Online Support Groups/Chat Rooms/Forums
Here’s a list that I’ve begun to form of ways to connect with others online. These recommendations came from transgender folks who have used them and have found them to be of great use (of course you’ll want to exercise caution when first getting to know someone online).
Readers of this blog post – leave your suggestions for other sites in the Comments area below!
Empty Closets *see feedback in readers’ comments below
YouTube is becoming a “community” where you can find friendship and support as well.
There are also a lot of people who create YouTube videos about their experiences with being transgender. You can search specifically for certain topics and issues you are struggling with and see who else has talked about them. Read through the comments on the page, and leave your own comments too!
I have a videos that I have created as well (Ask a Gender Therapist is my current series) – you can take a look at those and see what sorts of conversations people are having about them.
Facebook & Other Social Media Outlets
Facebook has become an incredible resource for finding support in recent days! If you don’t have a profile yet it’s really easy to do so.
Also, many of my clients and friends have created a “new” profile that is for their true selves that is separate from any other Facebook profile they currently have.
Okay, so firstly you can find groups to join. Here are just a few I’ve come across, you can search for many more:
I even found three that are in the state in which you live! Just type in Groups named “Transgender (Your State)” into the search box.
You can also connect with individuals on Facebook to form a supportive community of your own. Feel free to send me a Friend Request and, if you are comfortable, I can introduce you to my community and let them know that you are looking for support and friendship. I guarantee you will end up with new Facebook friends by the end of the day!
As for other social media outlets, I’ve heard of people finding connection and friendship through Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Once you have been online for a while you can start asking around to see if anyone knows of resources in the state that you live. You might even meet individuals who live in your state who you could end up meeting in person! (again, use your discretion and be safe when first meeting up with someone).
The reason I know this works is because I’ve seen it happen with my own eyes. You’ll be amazed by just how much people truly want to help. Many of them have either been where you have been or currently are there as well. That’s how community is created.
But you do have to take the first step of putting yourself out there.
Finding a Gender Therapist
I have a couple of videos that might be of help to you when it comes to finding a gender therapist in your area.
How to Find a Gender Therapist
Nervous About Meeting a New Gender Therapist?
Again, you can also ask your online communities if they have had any luck finding a gender therapist in your area as well.
Lastly, by all means if you are feeling especially in crisis, you can call the Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860.
I know I’ve given you a lot to think about, so just pick one item in this message and take action on it today. The snowball effect will lead you to finding friendship and support throughout the world! Don’t give up. 🙂
Best wishes to you…
KladdaughNovember 12, 2014 at 7:47 PM
I enjoyed reading that over green tea with mandarin orange.
It was good advice for a starting off point, where a person can find their own “footholds” as they move along where they’re comfortable, and find a place for themselves with others who are nice to them. I’m a little sad that you put the local option before the online ones, but realistically, that’s how we find local options these days, n’est ce pas?
Real life is the better option.
There are many trans-inclusive spaces these days that you can connect with, but you have to sniff them out: queer friendly bars or clubs, reading groups, book clubs, knitting circles, certain religious groups and congregations, and some college organizations (provided that they are open to members of the public and non-students).
Dara Hoffman-FoxNovember 12, 2014 at 9:44 PM
Thanks for your ideas, merci beaucoup 🙂
EmmaNovember 13, 2014 at 7:54 AM
I have found a lot of support and made quite a few trans friends on the LGBTQ forum “Empty Closets.” There is a subforum specifically dedicated to Gender Identity and Expression with a lot of active members. You will quickly learn that you are not alone in your feelings or thoughts, and will likely find a great deal of people who are not only supportive but have actually experienced the same or similar themselves.
If you don’t want to create a profile they do allow anonymous posting, although I’d encourage anyone who goes there to create a profile because they are very conscientious about safety and anonymity. They don’t allow people to openly share personal contact info in order to keep everyone safe from discrimination or retaliation. you can exchange that information privately with people you are friends with on there, in case you discover someone in your home state that you get along with.
Dara Hoffman-FoxNovember 13, 2014 at 2:55 PM
This is great, I’ll be sure to add it to the post above!
petraJanuary 13, 2015 at 4:13 PM
This is awesome . As a trans activist I have been following your work and sending people to your page . Just wanted to say keep up the great work and thank you
Dara Hoffman-FoxJanuary 14, 2015 at 7:49 AM
So nice to meet you, and thank you for passing on the information to others!
AnnaJanuary 17, 2015 at 7:35 AM
Dara, I’ve seen your youTube videos and I want to thank you for all that you are doing.
However, I had a very different experience with the “Empty Closets” site. Many members there were Transphobic, Biphobic, and hostile. EC advertises as “a safe place”, but in the experience of my two dearest friends and I (1 Bi cisF, 2 Bi MtF Trans* including me) EC is simply the ugliest place I’ve ever seen.
Dara Hoffman-FoxJanuary 17, 2015 at 1:02 PM
Thanks for your thoughts, I made a note in the post to refer to your comment…
AlexMay 13, 2015 at 2:11 PM
I’ve actually had great experiences with “Empty Closets”. It was one of the first places I went to when I started questioning my gender, and have found the members there to be most supportive. It is comforting to know I can go on there and post about any doubts or worries I have and that there will always be someone willing to listen.
Sabrina CatlinMay 13, 2015 at 5:33 PM
I am am older trans woman, at 56, one word about the Facebook transgender alliance, it has outgrown it’s usefulness for support. There are many antagonistic folk in there that will rip hurting people to shreds. I saw it happen one too many times, so I left. There are a number of other resources on Facebook, many are closed and very private, and you have to ask to be allowed in. You can find me on Facebook as bree catlin. I am on some of the other social sites but I am not on them as often.
Coming Out to Your Parents as Trans - Dara Hoffman-FoxJuly 2, 2015 at 12:39 PM
[…] Reader Q&A: I’m Transgender and Feel Totally Alone […]
LaraJuly 3, 2015 at 5:58 PM
There is also this cute little web-site and forum : http://www.transgenderbeauty.com – It’s an open forum, you can always read, not see all published photos : Only when you register. The forum is a silent on, it goes up and down with visitors and postings. You have to know this is a forum where information is published whereby other forums bans it. Lara
Emma SweetAugust 20, 2016 at 3:28 PM
I would like to offer a couple of websites that I have found very helpful. Both are 100% free:
1. The Transgender Guide: http://www.tgguide.com
TGG has a wealth of resources, information, and active members (FTM, MTF, partners/spouses) in all age groups (including teens) and locations around the world. It has active forums on a variety of transgender-related topics, and members may also create their own blogs within the site that they often use to track their journey, talk about what’s bothering them, and receive feedback and support. By no means is it dedicated or focused on those who need to or have transitioned. It is very well managed by a group of moderators for language and appropriateness so that all may feel comfortable.
2. Crossdream Life: http://www.crossdreamlife.lefora.com
Although there are some transitioned members most are FTM and most are more what they term “Crossdreamers” who see themselves as transgender but have not found a need to much more than possibly crossdress, privately or publicly. It’s run by Jack Molay, who is very well respected in the trans world, and often has interesting topics under discussion in its forums. CDL also has an extensive library of academic papers and other information that is freely available.
Full disclosure: I’m a moderator on both sites, and the librarian on CDL! I’m working on organizing CDL’s library now. I think it’s a fantastic resource for those like me who are interested in learning everything we can.
Emma SweetAugust 20, 2016 at 10:37 PM
Sorry! I just found a typo in my description of Crossdreamlife. Most (all?) of the members are MTF, not FTM. I hope I didn’t cause a lot of confusion.
That said, TGG definitely has and appreciates both MTF and FTM people.