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Trans joy story time + emotional dissonance + advice sought

CW - short mention of unsupportive parent, very supportive sibling, weddings, boymoding, and emotional dissonance.

So, I am a mid-30s babytrans woman about 50 days into HRT and (most days) I have never been happier. But I had an experience recently that has thrown me for a loop. I went to my brother's wedding and didn't feel comfortable girlmoding (to the extent of my limited abilities) because of an unsupportive parent who would be there.

I explained that to my brother way ahead of time and he was extremely supportive (he said something like "be whoever you want to be" and that limiting conflict at his wedding was not necessary bc I am who I am, and straight-up offered to throw down and cut off contact with the unsupportive parent if that is what I wanted). I didn't feel comfortable with the conflict potential though, and I REALLY did not want to make his wedding be about me, so I just boymoded.

But then he went out of his way to get the unsupportive parent out of the way for a few minutes to get a group photo of all the girls at the wedding with their photographer, specifically including me, and I found out that it was a group effort and the only reason they even did a group photo of all the girls was to actively include and support me.

I held it together decently, then cried my eyes out in private afterwards, and had a hard time articulating to them how much it meant to me afterwards.

But now, a handful of days afterwards, I feel weirdly pathetic. Crying, overflowing with gratitude and joy, for something that SHOULD just be the normal default. Like, I feel like someone gave me a kidney or something, not like someone just treated a girl like a girl. So now I feel bad that I feel good, and it is hard to parse everything. And now I feel mad at myself for not just letting myself feel happy. Hormones kicking my ass probably aren't helping. In the old days, I would absolutely have been able to just use willpower to set one feeling over to the side and feel the other, but my emotions are far too present and attached to do that any more.

So, the advice I am seeking - I am wondering if any of you have a mindset or a way to mentally frame it that I can try to adopt to help with the dissonance of everything, and just let myself feel happy. I can't set it aside any more, but I can recontextualize the situation and let my feelings change themselves... I just don't know what to recontextualize TO that doesn't dimish the kindness and support, but also doesn't diminish my own unsteady feeling that I have an innate right to be a woman.

And holding both at once (plus a couple of other things not mentioned above) is too much at once. I took a sick day today because I can't focus on anything because too many feelings are screaming at me.

  • I’m not sure if I have any specific advice but I feel like it should be okay to be overwhelmed with joy when someone goes out of their way to support you. I know it would be great if all the world would just treat it normal and you could be your authentic self but thats not the climate right now. So when you get support it feels like such a big deal, not to mention that you haven’t been able to for mid 30s years. Lots of people talk about regret for time missed.

    Plus I would take any chance to be exuberantly happy you can get, I feel like that must never be wrong.

  • You are working on undoing a lifetime of negative indoctrination and internalised shame about yourself. Finally knowing who you are, claiming ownership of yourself and forging the life you want is a powerful and amazing experience, but it doesn't undo that previous lifetime of experience overnight.

    It's going to take time to work through the conflicting and sometimes contradictory feelings. The best thing you can do is give yourself permission to work through it. Don't beat yourself up or blame yourself for those moments, because they're not your fault, they're the end result of a lifetime of negativity targeting folk like us, and you're walking the path towards undoing that negativity. But it takes time. Give yourself permission to take that time to work through it