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So, I've come to terms with my GID over the last year or two (started around 5 but I spent a long time in denial) and have actually told a couple of IRL friends (ones who haven't known me long anyway) and my tdoc recently which has been great - like a huge weight has finally been lifted. It's been great being able to let my guard down and really be myself around these couple of friends, although a few people have sort of picked up on it in the past, such as both my long term girlfriends that used to refer to me as the woman in the relationship and a group of friends that used to invite me on their girl's nights out, even though I was still pretty much in denial myself!

I'm still scared like hell to tell anyone I've known for a long time though, especially my male friends and my family, so if anyone has any tips on how to brooch the subject I'd love some help! I really want to tell my brother since he was involved in my 5 year old attempt to, um, let's say dis-member myself (I lied to my parents about why by blaming him and they believed me - probably the biggest mistake of my life) and I know he remembers that day but every time I have decided I'll tell him when I see him that day, I've gotten too scared. I really don't think my family will think badly about it (they don't care that my brother and I are both bisexual for example) it's just hard to work out how to change someone's perception that much all in one go.

On a lighter note, one of the friends that I have told started using my female name yesterday and it makes me so happy every time I hear or read it!

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Welcome Himinow! That is an exciting journey you are starting. And scary too. It sounds like you are close to your brother so telling him will be criticial. One idea would be to start the topic by bringing up your self-harm attempt when you were five. You could tell him that you have a greater understanding of that event in your life. And then explain it to him.

My husband is trans, a transman - FTM. He transitioned back in 1997 - 1998. We have been together since 1996 and married in '98. My impression is that there are more medical resources for trans people in Australia. I am also bipolar and I think, (my opinion) that it would benefit you and make the transition easier if you can manage and stabilze your mood problems as much as possible. It will give more clarity to the transition issues if your mental illness is stabilized. So that means finding the right meds and therapy of course.

I do know a trans person who was also bipolar and after his transition his mood episodes softened, and have almost gone into remission. This I found interesting. Do you go to a support group for either your mood or for your gender identitiy?

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Thanks bpladybug! That is interesting about the bipolar moods seeming to soften, it would certainly take away one aspect of my depressions but I hadn't considered it having an over all effect, guess we'll have to wait and see. It's reassuring to hear that someone else has been through both and has been allowed to transition, I've been quite scared that my MI might mean I couldn't get the go ahead, especially as my tdoc started trying to tell me it could be a symptom of BP until I made it quite clear about what happened at 5 and that it's consistent whether I'm up or down, (he said it's generally only mania related if it's caused by BP).

I'm also told Australia is pretty good for this sort of thing; even our Army has recently decided to cover all costs for soldiers who need to transition, like they would for other conditions. I'm actually pretty close to the Southern Health Gender Dysphoria Clinic which is supposed to be one of the best in the world and has all the different pdocs and tdocs you might need in one place, as well as being attached to a hospital that will do reassignments. My tdoc is prepared to refer me as soon as I feel ready, but he did suggest working on other issues first too. There's definitely sound logic in that. It was a huge relief when after I told my tdoc, he said he's actually just applied for a position at that clinic as it's always been an area of interest to him and they're just waiting on the funding for him, couldn't believe my luck!

I think you're picking up that I *want* to be close to my brother, I drifted out of regular contact with my whole family since moving out of home and I'd always found it hard to have personal conversations with my brother as he actually told the truth that day, after I'd given him another story for if things went wrong. Trust issues ahoy. Now I'm older and know a little bit about human development, I understand that he probably didn't really have the capacity to lie at that point (he was only about 3 1/2) but it's still hard to over come a barrier built and reinforced over many years. Since my probable diagnosis, I've seen my family way more than I have in the last 5 years and have actually spent time with my brother, just us discussing our BP issues (finding out from Mum that he had it was what made me look for help). As sad as it sounds, it's kind of a blessing in disguise that I've had this to bring us back together. That line of conversation you suggested is pretty much the way I'd been hoping to bring it up, but I get too scared and can't find any words - let alone the right ones. He even randomly mentioned the bit about the Army (he's in the reserves) last time I saw him, which should have been an easy way in but I just froze inside, I told him I'd heard that and moved on. mellow.gif

I'm not involved in any group therapy (still working on anxiety in social situations), but have been looking for ways to talk to people who have been through or are going through transitioning. The friend that has started using my female name has GID (ftm) so I have one person that understands close by and they also have cyclotymia so we've been supporting each other over our moods as well which has been helpful.

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Coming out to my family was...odd. I saw a pdoc way back in 2002, at that time I wrote a letter to my parents with information and stuff in it, and I gave it to them in person and tried to answer their questions, at that stage I didn't know where I was going to with it all, but the pdoc said what I was experiencing was "learned behaviour", so I decided I wasn't trans and tried to ignore for 5yrs, and when the feeling kept coming back I sought help again, this time with a tdoc first, so telling my family the second time wasn't as difficult. I did have a few arguments, but in general my family was supportive. They didn't understand, and wished I wasn't transitioning, but they supported me.

I do know a trans person who was also bipolar and after his transition his mood episodes softened, and have almost gone into remission. This I found interesting. Do you go to a support group for either your mood or for your gender identitiy?

Heh, for me transitioning awoke my emotions, and then I started getting wild mood swings, so I'm thinking maybe I suppressed my emotions for so long that I was hiding bipolar deep down and then when my emotions woke out it came.

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