Ask Gabriel: Parents and Testosterone

Ask Gabriel: Parents and Testosterone

Ask Gabriel is an advice column series where you can get your questions answered about being transgender, coming out, changing your name, hormones, sexuality, representation, dating, etc. These are questions that have been submitted to me by transgender and nonbinary people! You can read my last column here.

Hi Gabriel,

I came out socially as a binary transgender man about a year ago, with my name changed and everything. But because I’m in the UK and/or trying to move out, I am unable to start my medical transition for a number of years (probably 3-5). I’m 21 and it’s killing me that I don’t pass and I really don’t know what to do. I feel so desperate and isolated because you have to wait so long to see a gender specialist here. I don’t really have anyone to talk to about it. – Scott

There’s many things you can do while waiting for testosterone. You can try and practice making your voice lower, which might help you pass better. And seeing as how you don’t have anyone to talk to about this, I would highly suggest going to nearby transgender support groups so you can build connections and possibly make new friends. Who knows, you might meet someone else who is in the exact same position that you are in! Never underestimate the power of community, friend. 🙂

If attending real life support groups might be too much for you, you can also join my Facebook group. While the group is largely US-based, we do have people here from the UK! Continue reading “Ask Gabriel: Parents and Testosterone”

Ask Gabriel: Choosing Names and Binders

Ask Gabriel: Choosing Names and Binders

Ask Gabriel is an advice column series where you can get your questions answered about being transgender, coming out, changing your name, hormones, sexuality, representation, dating, etc. These are questions that have been submitted to me by transgender and nonbinary people! You can read my last column here.

Hi Gabriel,

I’ve been wearing a binding since I was 17. I’m 28 now and it worries me to wear long-term. Any suggestions or sites that sell bindings for a decent price ? I’ve thought about top surgery as well, but nothing beyond that. Any insight works. – Anonymous

It would depend on what you mean by decent price. Budget friendly? I would recommend either GC2b or Underworks for a binder. I personally used GC2b as their binders are more comfortable but I find that Underworks is better for those with bigger chests.

Hi Gabriel,

I identify as nonbinary. I go to a university and I want to start an educational project for people to understand nonbinary folx. I also want to start a group for nonbinary students on campus. I’m not too sure on how to go about doing so however. Can you please give me some tips on how I can carry out those projects/ what I should do? I would appreciate this so much!! – Skyler

To start a support group, you’ll need to go through the proper channels at your university. You need to propose a group, explain why this group should be formed and do all the necessary paperwork. I would go to the student government (if applicable) and ask about the process of forming groups/clubs. Continue reading “Ask Gabriel: Choosing Names and Binders”

Ask Gabriel: Coming Out and Binding

Ask Gabriel: Coming Out and Binding

Ask Gabriel is an advice column series where you can get your questions answered about being transgender, coming out, changing your name, hormones, sexuality, representation, dating, etc. These are questions that have been submitted to me by transgender and nonbinary people! You can read my last column here.

Hi Gabriel,

How did you come out to your parents as transgender? – Anonymous

I didn’t come out by my own choice. I was forced.

Well, let’s go back roughly 3 summers ago. It was my birthday and we were celebrating it along with Father’s Day at a Mexican restaurant. My dad and I had a silent treatment going on. My uncle, once again, made unwelcoming comments towards the way I dressed and that I was “too pretty” to be wearing only denim jeans and a T-shirt. I endured that kind of talk for many years but hearing it again basically put me in a foul mood and I was in no shape to be around people. I ignored my uncle for the rest of the night but it did not go unnoticed by my parents. After we came home, my mother wasted no time trying to find an answer. i kept telling her it was NOTHNG (I was a bad liar then) but she was unrelenting. At some point, I cracked and blurted out I was transgender and didn’t appreciate the comments my uncle made. My mom’s reaction was “Oh, that’s it?” but she wasn’t supportive about it. I never came out to my dad because of the aforementioned silent treatment but my mom thought it was best to tell him right away and she said he didn’t want me to do anything to my body. I went ahead against their wishes anyways.

3 years later, I still wouldn’t call them my biggest supporters. 😦 Continue reading “Ask Gabriel: Coming Out and Binding”

Ask Gabriel: Culture and Information

Ask Gabriel: Culture and Information

Ask Gabriel is an advice column series where you can get your questions answered about being transgender, coming out, changing your name, hormones, sexuality, representation, dating, etc. These are questions that have been submitted to me by transgender and nonbinary people! You can read my last column here.

Hi Gabriel,

I’m scared, I’m a nonbinary lesbian and I like the feeling I get when I dress more masculine. I can’t buy any because I still live with my parents and they think I’m a girl and think I choose to be this. They don’t use my pronouns which are they/them. I don’t remind them cos I feel like there’s no point in doing it. They support Trump and my mom has yelled at me for looking the least bit masculine. She’s even yelled at me that you can’t “change to be a boy”. I’m a girl and that’s it. It’s pretty transphobic what she says sometimes and I don’t know what to do. She’s not like being gay is a sin but she thinks it’s a Choice. I have anxiety and it’s hard, I like feeling feminine sometimes but I like the illusion of a flat chest. I don’t know what to do. – Anonymous

Well unfortunately, there’s not much you can’t do to convince them if you have already tried. You can lead them to resources and articles that disprove what they say but they need to actually make an effort to educate themselves. In other words, it’s up to them if they want to change and, by the sound of it, it looks like they are steadfast in their beliefs. The best thing you can do is show them that they are wrong through actual scientific studies, articles and leave them to reach out to you if they are interested.

Here’s one article that I would show them: Continue reading “Ask Gabriel: Culture and Information”

Ask Gabriel: Coming Out and Surgery

Ask Gabriel: Coming Out and Surgery

Hi Gabriel,

Where did you get your top surgery done? – Anonymous

Dr. Daniel Medalie from Ohio! I had to travel out of state.

Hi Gabriel,

Soo I’ve been out as transgender (ftm) for almost a year now but only a few of my friends and boyfriend know and I’ve been wanting to tell my mom but I don’t know how to tell her….any advice? – Anonymous

Well, there’s multiple ways of coming out to anyone; it all dependson your comfort with the subject and how close you are with your mother. You could tell them in a private conversation, send an e-mail or write them a letter and leave it on their nightstand.

You could simply go up, ask your mother to talk in private and then tell her straight out: “Hey mom, I’ve been meaning to tell you for a while but I’ve been scared to. But I’m ready to tell you – I’m transgender.” And let the conversation go from there, telling her how you’ve been feeling this way for some time, you’ve been going as your preferred name with your friends and boyfriend and that you’re looking to take the next steps in your transition (whatever they may be) and things along that line. This is great if you’re comfortable with confrontation and the possible repercussions that may follow.

If not, no worries – you can shoot her an-email or make a letter! What you would include in it is entirely up to you but here’s a quick example of what I would write: Continue reading “Ask Gabriel: Coming Out and Surgery”

Ask Gabriel: Doing What’s Right For You

Ask Gabriel: Doing What’s Right For You

Hi Gabriel,

How has Testosterone affected your life (positively). Did T make you more aggressive? (Asking because I want to start taking T but my parents believe that it will damage my physical and mental/emotional health) – Anonymous

Despite no longer identifying as a transgender man, I don’t regret taking testosterone.  Outside of the physical changes it brought on my body, taking it had a positive effect on my life. It lead to me going out more rather than being stuck on a computer. I actually want to do things in life. I made friends with other people. Started to do things I never thought I could do, such as weightlifting and making YouTube videos. See, I used to be a VERY aggressive person before I started taking testosterone actually and after a brief initial period of mood swings, which is perfectly normal because your body is adjusting to it, I have calmed down considerably. I’m not looking for fights or even engaging with nasty people like I used to. Continue reading “Ask Gabriel: Doing What’s Right For You”