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I have Bipolar Disorder, and am also a transsexual/transgender man (I don't know what people expect me to call myself, so - /). It is not at all apparent to others that I'm FTM, unless of course I tell them.

Because of this, when dating, I have two (potential) bombshells to drop on people. Some people don't care, some people reject me. I don't really feel like putting either thing right out there on my public profile on dating sites. Besides, there's no guarantee that anyone will see it, and I'll have to deal with it anyways.

I find it to be really, really stressful though, and I am wondering how other people in similar situations deal.

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I'm sorry I don't have any advice to offer, I"m a cis-male (for all intents and purposes I guess), just ultra-gay as hell lol. I have rejection issues with dating quite often, but not for the same reasons you do. I can't fathom the difficulties of being trans alone much less also trying to date. You mentioned that "it is not at all apparent to others that I'm FTM [...]," are you on HRT? If so, how long have you been on it?

Like I said, I'm sorry I don't have advice. I wish I did. I've wondered if I might be trans myself, but I think I'm just kind of like non-binary, gray-a/gray sexual + demihomosexual, just an all around in the middle/gray area kind of guy (-ish) person.

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I am a cishet woman, so perhaps this isn't helpful, but in navigating the BP disclosure - the best it went was when I told my now-husband, on our second date.  We'd been friends for awhile, which undoubtedly helped.  And he had survived cancer, which would probably throw some people off too - I don't know if that's why, but he was very accepting.  Asked lots of interested questions on my meds and the next day emailed me with some research on lithium (which I was taking at the time) that he'd done.  

I am both 'you should know the person' and 'but don't wait too long' but there's an element of judgement in how that goes each time.  Would you be able to sniff out whether someone is prejudiced on trans issues by talking about it generally?  That might be a stupid idea though.  

Sorry I can't be of more help.

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On 4/25/2020 at 6:40 PM, mikl_pls said:

I'm sorry I don't have any advice to offer, I"m a cis-male (for all intents and purposes I guess), just ultra-gay as hell lol. I have rejection issues with dating quite often, but not for the same reasons you do. I can't fathom the difficulties of being trans alone much less also trying to date. You mentioned that "it is not at all apparent to others that I'm FTM [...]," are you on HRT? If so, how long have you been on it?

Like I said, I'm sorry I don't have advice. I wish I did. I've wondered if I might be trans myself, but I think I'm just kind of like non-binary, gray-a/gray sexual + demihomosexual, just an all around in the middle/gray area kind of guy (-ish) person.

Thanks for responding - yeah, I started medically transitioning back in 2006, so it's been quite a while, ha. Starting with HRT, then some surgeries. I only wish, honestly, that I'd been able to start sooner, like in high school or before. Dealing with Bipolar really set me back a number of times, too, and still is... But there's really no getting out of it being a difficult situation. I don't really ID as transgendered, but transsexual, and am not really all that gender non-conforming. I think I come off as just an average straight guy to most people. It makes me really happy though to see more real recognition for people who are non-binary than I used to. I hope that it becomes more and more accepted.

I'm in fact bisexual, and usually date women though I've had plenty of gay escapades. This is something of a tangent, but I've found that there is no way to predict how someone's going to react to me - you would assume some gay guys and especially bisexual women would be more accepting than straight women, but it's not predictive at all.

Demihomosexual is an awesome word! It's going on my list of words I love. I think I'm usually pretty demisexual...

Anyways, just getting a response to this post has felt really comforting, so again, thanks. I really, really mean that.

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On 4/25/2020 at 6:59 PM, jarn said:

I am a cishet woman, so perhaps this isn't helpful, but in navigating the BP disclosure - the best it went was when I told my now-husband, on our second date.  We'd been friends for awhile, which undoubtedly helped.  And he had survived cancer, which would probably throw some people off too - I don't know if that's why, but he was very accepting.  Asked lots of interested questions on my meds and the next day emailed me with some research on lithium (which I was taking at the time) that he'd done.  

I am both 'you should know the person' and 'but don't wait too long' but there's an element of judgement in how that goes each time.  Would you be able to sniff out whether someone is prejudiced on trans issues by talking about it generally?  That might be a stupid idea though.  

Sorry I can't be of more help.

Thanks jarn, it's absolutely helpful, actually. That's generally the approach I use, just giving the person some time to get to know me first. I do wonder if I should just come out right off the bat and say "hey I'm transsexual, do you have a problem with that?" That's kind of exhausting to think about, but I'm sick of getting a little attached to someone and then having them drop me when I tell them. It is the thing I need to disclose first, of course, if I want to be intimate with someone.

I find it's easier to sniff someone out on the bipolar issue than it is about trans issues. In my experience, people who come off as being potentially the most accepting end up giving me either the worst rejections or they think they're really savvy, but are in fact creepy and offensive. Definitely not a stupid idea though! And it works pretty well in filtering out people who have weird attitudes towards mental illness.

Thanks again for sharing your experiences!

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Hey, bipolar and non-binary here. I don’t have a ton of advice, as I’m newly aware of my gender identity and still figuring it out. I’m engaged though and I told her about my bipolar disorder early on. It’s been such a big thing in my life it felt deceptive not to. I agree about it being easier to sniff out people not being supportive of mental health than trans issues. Sorry I’m not a huge help, this stuff is complex. 

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Happy Pride everyone! I'm a lesbian with a personality disorder and PTSD from an abusive relationship, but I haven't dated since so I'm picking up tips as well 😆

0112358, how do you feel internally about being a trans man and bipolar? IDK about everyone else, but even when discussing my orientation or mental illnesses to friends a lot of the disgust and shame was on my end. Not saying other people can't have a bad reaction, but usually I'm the one struggling the most.

If this is the case, I think it's also possible potential partners are able to see you differently from how you see yourself. I might have a few marbles missing, but I can cook 😂

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15 hours ago, ananke said:

0112358, how do you feel internally about being a trans man and bipolar? IDK about everyone else, but even when discussing my orientation or mental illnesses to friends a lot of the disgust and shame was on my end. Not saying other people can't have a bad reaction, but usually I'm the one struggling the most.

If this is the case, I think it's also possible potential partners are able to see you differently from how you see yourself. I might have a few marbles missing, but I can cook 😂

You're not wrong that often when people are concerned about something, and feeling disgust and shame, that they project those feelings onto others. Whatever I expect, they usually surprise me, either in a negative or positive way.

The issue is more about navigating disclosure of sensitive topics early in a relationship, which people normally don't do and don't have to do. And having to do it twice or two times at once.

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Sorry, I haven't had to disclose much other than to therapists who are paid to sit there and take it well. Actually, is this something you could role play or something in therapy? You might never be able to predict the response but your therapist can help you weather it I guess.

There is a huge temptation (at least for me, the chronically honest) to just blurt it all out and get it over with. But spreading out information might be better- gives people a chance to digest their feelings (if they need to), do research, talk to friends, etc. Plus, though they are important things to know about you, they are two separate things. 

Would you feel comfortable with a more casual approach? Like just dropping information into a conversation if it becomes relevant? I should stress I really don't know a correct approach but I feel invested in helping you with this lol

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I actually think I approach it pretty well, but I was just curious about if anyone else dealt with something similar, and what they did. Because it truly is not at all fun.

My approach has been to talk about being trans first, pretty early on, after either the first or second date or even before. Timing is tricky. The mental illness thing I've also been approaching early on, because of questions about my work (of which I have none), but I would prefer to approach that later, say after a month or two.

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It does sound like a good approach. Sorry I couldn't be more helpful, it is definitely a stressful situation to be in. I agree that sooner rather than later tends to be best, but timing can be difficult. Best of luck for future dates

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On 6/8/2020 at 7:18 AM, ananke said:

Happy Pride everyone!

I wanted to go to gay pride this year. Not gay myself but it looks like fun and I fucking hate homophobes.There are many awesome gay people. There are no awesome homophobes that I know of. "Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve!" Fuck off! If God hates gays then she should stop making them. I'm not straight because I made the correct moral decision, I'm straight because fuck knows why.

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