Open Q&A in the Krew with Chris Cox. (Interested in being a member of our Facebook group? Come talk to me.) The format is question, then answer. Comments were then allowed in the post. Each question is numbered. I hope it makes sense.

1) August 2 at 2:05pm
Kindle Alexander with Chris Cox I’ll start off the questions. Can you talk about your life and how you got to this point? I know it’s a long answer, but it’s a good story.

Chris Cox This is a good place to start. I probably need to do caveats here. First off, I only speak for myself. I know some transgender people and the thing we all have in common is that we are all individual people.

Chris Cox For me, I was always living for some day in the future. If I sacrifice now, everything will click and I’ll have it good some day in the future.

Chris Cox Well, I was turning 50 and I realized that the future is here, and my life wasn’t magically better. At this point, I still had no idea what transgender was, much less that I fit the bill.

Melissa I can see how 50 would trigger this need for positive change — I retired in my 50s– one of the best moves ever

Chris Cox So, I hit 50 and I did some thinking. I had a shit marriage, that I was sure I was a big part of. My husband’s complaints, the whole 30+ years we had been married, was that I wasn’t feminine enough, I weighed too much and I didn’t keep a clean house. So, I figured if I got those things right, the magical future would unfold. I worked really hard on loosing weight. I went into a super femme stage (where I had a good friend actually shop for me so I would get it right) and the house keeping–well, I figured two out of three was a start

Chris Cox And things kept being the same. In fact, they were worse. But I stuffed down my resentment like I always did and ignored all the signs of–well, of everything that wasn’t typical for my demographic.

Chris Cox Then, I was researching a book one day and ran across a series of youtube videos by a guy (Dade Barlow) who was a transgender guy. And as he talked, I realized, OMG! That’s me!

Chris Cox But I still didn’t believe it, still thought i could compromise. After all, I had been pretending all my life. It’s what I knew. (Someone ask me about the pretending thing after I finish this historical saga

Chris Cox I grew up very Catholic. While I had gotten away from Catholic and was attending the Methodist Church, the Catholic is strong in this one (also Star Wars fan

Racheal You would fit in really well with my husband and son!!! Lol

Shannon Catholic guilt, or whatever you want to call it, is strong!

Chris Cox So divorce was something other people did. But finding that youtube series was like taking the lid off Pandora’s box. So the more I tried to talk myself out of being transgender, the more I examined my life and my marriage.

Racheal Y I respect you for that

Chris Cox My husband was a habitually cheater (who blamed his straying on the Big Three that I mentioned above). And I was too stubborn to admit that I had failed at marriage–but i knew something had to change Life wasn’t going to get better by me waiting for it to get better.

Racheal Shame on your husband!!! I am sorry I don’t know him but I have known others like him!!!

Chris Cox So I secretly started looking for therapists. I’m a huge researching, so I knew I would only be satisfied with a therapist trained in gender issues–so the therapist could tell me I was just going through midlife crisis and maybe, start rethinking divorce

Karen H Curious being a part of the field. How long did it take you to find someone for you?

Chris Cox Karen I have had to change from the original one when I moved and am never comfortable with them. An necessary purging, is how I think of therapy. And I usually respect, but have no liking, for the purger I’m probably awful to work with

Karen H Chris Cox the reason I asked is working in San Francisco for four years then going to LA it was ‘eye opening’. I think in SF they are more – lack of better term – aware/understanding/able to speak. Where I get to LA – the land of all things ‘supposedly’ open minded, and the therapists there had no clue to recognize or how to ask. Geez, I hope this word vomit made sense. Anywho, very little education, in general for therapist to speak, I know it’s a struggle for individuals to find someone.

Chris Cox Karen H yes, I understand. I was lucky. After the one video therapy, my therapist was a transman himself. Now, he came from a liberal area as a lesbian and was always protected in the queer community, so we had some demographics differences, but overall, he did well. and my second therapist, while queer but not trans, worked very hard at training and understanding. Also, she was really good with mother issues (which are bigger than my trans issues!)

Karen H Chris Cox I’m so happy to hear you got connected with someone to speak with that fit for you. Probably one of the more heartbreaking things I hear. Being in the bay area – just so much more opportunities. I don’t realize how difficult it is in other geographic areas.

Chris Cox I found one online, who talked to me via video chat. She had all the credentials, but she said that , yup, all the things I said sounded like I was transgender. (Someone ask me about the ‘transgender clues’ after I get done with this question that I’m taking too long to answer)

Karen J It’s cool, no rush

Chris Cox Well, because she was an online therapist, I didn’t believe her. I trust body language more than words, so the video format was not for me.

Karen J I think I’d be better with face to face, in the same room

Chris Cox So, I very bravely called an acquaintance that I had met through a writing event who was openly transgender female and asked her to meet me . She answered my very inappropriate questions with grace and kindness and, a few weeks later, told me about a new therapist 45 minutes down the road who was teaching at my college alma mater.

Chris Cox So, off I secretly went to him. (If husband had known my issues, he would have been even more hateful than he was presently–and guys, he’s not all bad. Just bad at the relationship part of us)

Kindle Alexander I like blaming him for world hunger.

Chris Cox And—after a session or two, I did the thing where I pushed the therapist to tell me how to fix my midlife crises and get out of a rotten marriage. this therapist said he would lose his license if he gave in to me and told me that this was all midlife crisis.

Chris Cox And that’s where it all started….Therapy is a wonderful lifesaver. If you need it-get it.

Kindle Alexander Are you comfortable sharing the author who helped you to give a shout out?

Raylene I admire you. Society makes it hard for people to be the real them. If others would do their research, they’d realize that being transgender isn’t a ‘phase’ like they think it is. It’s an imbalance in the brain and body. Kudos to you, babe. And well wishes.

Chris Cox She isn’t published. She was part of the literary scene.

Shannon I’m so glad you found someone to talk with that worked for you!

2) August 2 at 2:08pm
Chris Cox Hello Krew! Kindle and I have become good friends recently. Good friends, for me, is saying a lot because I’m usually very cautions about who I call a friend. We met over a discussion of the T in LGBT

Karen J Hi Chris

BJ R Hi Chris

Kindle Alexander You’re my good friend, more. I always offer pity to you for having me in your life!

Wendy S I’m happy you have Kindle Alexander in your life.

Kindle Alexander Why don’t you like Chris?

Wendy S Shhhh! I’m trying to be nice… I think Chris is wonderful.

Kindle Alexander Wendy Stone Sorry, I get confused when you’re nice.

Wendy S Kindle Alexander, I know! I like to keep you guessing.

Chris Cox I’m happy to have Kindle in my life too

Louise P Aww lovely

3) August 2 at 2:08pm Sarah T: Chris Cox – as a teacher, I want to be sure that I create an environment of acceptance. So, how should I address my transgendered students? I have been told a myriad of things and just want to my best to be respectful. Usually, I address them based on how they dress but have no idea if this is the right approach…..just seemed the most respectful. Thanks for taking time enlighten us and know that you have many people who love you!

Racheal Y Awesome question

Karen J Great question

Stephanie C My 13 year old daughter is following along. She says she loves you and wishes you were one of her teachers. In her school it has been the teachers that have been lacking in the respect department of her friend.

Kindle Alexander That’s the way my town is – Sarah’s district is AMAZING. She fits so well there.

Kindle Alexander Sarah won teacher of the year – something like that.

Stephanie C I thank God for teachers like you Sarah. Y’all are so important to who these children develop into!

Sarah T School needs to be the one constant in a child’s life. A constant home, unfortunately, doesn’t happen for some of my students.

Chris Cox I don’t have the training that you do with children, so you probably have better answers than I do! the main thing is to keep everyone respectful, I would think. Questioning and coming out so young is so different from what I went through. (Someone ask me in a new thread about questioning your gender). And some of it may just be experimentation (which a lot of therapists would shoot me for, as the present thinking is that we are supposed to accept without questioning.) But I grew up in the 70s at the height of the feminist movement where i seem to remember that everything wasn’t so gendered. No baby reveal parties where you’re stereotyped while still in utero. No pink for girls, blue for boys craze. Maybe, if I had had the ideal classroom, I would have wanted no stereotypes, no presumed gender boxes where boys can/can’t do this and girls can/can’t do that. Also, I know that using the pronoun THEY grates on my nerves but it seems to be the best solutions to pronouns.

Chris Cox And education for the other teachers and for parents. Education, education, education! I think that’s where we can all find our understanding.

Stephanie C Yes! Education! Education for the teachers, parents and children. That’s what us mothers are fighting for in our middle school.

Karen J I agree. I always tell my son he can tell/ask me anything

Kindle Alexander We’ve met with the Resource Center in Dallas, they are so helpful. Sarah, can you call the student the name the student wants to be called, or the name the parent wants the student called?

Sarah T Pretty much what the student wants works.

4) August 2 at 2:18pm Beth I am the senior sponsor at a large high school. (Same school as Sarah). We struggle with what name to say at graduation and put in the program. I talk to the students but if they are not 18 we have to listen to the parents wishes ultimately. I have had several transgendered students (and another one this year). Only one time have the parents not gone with the child’s wishes. In that case I met with the student and we had a very long talk. He understood his parents were making us say “her” name. He had never had any problems at our school and felt supported by the other students and teachers.

Chris Cox so sad your student didn’t get support at home. I’m glad he found school to be his safe place. School is such a big part of a student’s life. If it’s not right, their world isn’t right.

Janice B My daughter had a friend begin to transition in his final year. I was very pleasantly surprised at the support he got as he went through the changes F2M. I am optimistic for the future but it may be hard for a while yet in some areas and schools that are less open. Some of her friends started a group called Minus 18 to support young LGBT+ youth throughout Victoria. It’s growing fast and helping (particularly isolated country kids) so the future is looking better and better. I’m wondering about support for middle aged people though. Are there organisations that support and help Chris?

5) Kindle Alexander My questions are dumb, but this is honest. I’m pronoun challenged, how offensive is it when I mess that up for you? I can’t remember messing the he up, but I’m always very aware of what I’m saying because I don’t want to hurt feelings and I freak myself to where I say nothing. Does that make sense at all?

Karen H Because I do it all the time, I think it makes me love you more.

Marie U Actually it does….. kindred souls we are

Karen J Yes it does

Chris Cox OMG! I have trans friends where I get it wrong. It’s hard! And then, so many people, trans and others, jump your butt. Being incredibly honest, using she when talking to me messes with my self confidence pretty badly. I must look androgynous b/c some folks call me ma’am and some call me sir, and both are certain that hey are absolutely right. So a ma’am or a she means that I must be putting out the wrong vibes. but that’s really my issue and not theirs. It’s not like I wear a button that says–I’m a guy. If someone lashes out at you, and you made an honest mistake, just know that it’s their issue and not yours.

Chris Cox Having said all that, many friends and family deliberately use the wrong pronouns to try to ‘kick’ the trans person back into reality or to emphasize their disapproval or any other number of mean-hearted reasons. It’s probably the most common form of unacceptance. So if a transperson lashes out at you, while it IS their issue, they are doing it out of hurt and self-preservation. So, forgiveness, forgiveness, forgiveness, if you possibly can.

Stephanie C My daughter corrects EVERYONE for her friend. She asked him if it made him feel worse that she does that and he told her it makes him feel loved for who he is.

Karen J Your daughters a good friend

Stephanie C They have been good friends to each other. He has her back with racial issues and I mean seriously has her back! They are a good example of how we should all treat each other!

Kindle Alexander Good job to them. Big hugs. I love them and dont know them.

Chris Cox Stephanie Carrano I would feel loved if I had that kind of champion too

B.J. D Patience, understanding, forgiveness

Ceri S I struggle with this with my second born who is non-binary. I had 15 years of one pronoun and now have to remember they/them instead. I make mistakes, apologise and we move on.

Chris Cox They/them just sounds so–grammarly uneducated doesn’t it? I have problems with it to. sometimes I end up using their name over and over Still awkward, though

Ceri S I have to remember the new name too – they changed it lol! Not fair on my middle aged brain

Janice B my daughter had two close friends who are non binary. It’s got to be they/them. I get tongue tied sometimes and my daughter gets SO mad at me. It’s hard and the younger generation are less forgiving of my old brain. I totally get where you’re coming from Kindle. Arghhhhhh

Diane M I find the pronoun thing to be a struggle myself. I have a friend whom I met at the bus stop as one of my daughters friends dad. He came to myself and another of our friends and told us that he was transitioning to female….from that day forward he was now she…I still screw it up…in the same sentence I can say Tammi said he …blah blah blah…l am totally supportive of her transition and have come to the conclusion that our brain hardwires our first impression/meeting to be the default facts about a person. Totally stupid…so while I know she is Tammi, I met her as Rob…it is sooo hard to not mess it up. Honestly I find myself doing the “he” thing when our mutual friend and I talk about something they posted on Facebook and am much more conscientious in person of it always being Tammi/She when we are together…but you don’t really have to identify to a person directly as often as you do when your in a discussion about something they did, said or posted…..gaaaah I probably made no sense here.

Chris Cox makes perfect sense, which is why I don’t push my friends to change. But I am ever so grateful when they try!

Manuela H Hmm, I never met people who referred to themselves as they. Or any other way. Would they tell me that I do it wrong so I can do it right?

6) August 2 at 2:16pm Debra H Thanks for being here Chris. This seems to have come at a good time for me. I have recently found out that our granddaughter is asking about starting Testosterone treatments. I knew she was questioning her sexuality for the last year and a half when she changed her name socially. I love her to the ends of the earth and back.She is 17 and has been more into girls than boys since she was about 14. I never saw anything that would make me wonder if she had felt like she wasn’t female, she was never a “tomboy” or particularly girly. She was the bookish type that does well in school. How do I open up a discussion with her on this, or is it best for her to come to me. She knows her mother and i are very close and talk about everything. ( i posted this on a different thread before seeing to post as separate questions)

Chris Cox Bless you for being there for her! I don’t know your grandchild as well as you do, so you have more answers than you think! What I would want is to know that you have my back. And yes, telling me outright, however you can get that across to me, would be the right way to do that. Telling me frequently in all kinds of ways that you are okay with me would be my dream support system.

Chris Cox Also, ask if your grandchild is ready for your to use male pronouns. If grandchild is contemplating testosterone, then some hard decisions have already been made. If grandchild is ready for male name and pronouns, use those, in public an in private. (Notice how I have avoided using pronouns? It’s tricky, but important to honor who grandchild is.). If you use male in public, but female in private, grandchild will know and will be both terribly hurt and not sure if grandchild can trust you–this is coming from my own hurtful experience where friend says I support you but doesn’t support me when not around me and instead supports/agrees with those who think I am confused.

Chris Cox And, therapy, therapy, therapy. Not just for grandchild, but for parents and a a session or two for you. It’s a confusing thing to change an ordered world of black and white/ boy and girl to shades of gray. by going to therapy, you will show grandchild that you don’t think grandchild needs special help, that you agree that therapy is a healthy thing and that you are willing to go outside your comfort zone to give grandchild comfort and safe and support.

Debra H Thank you. Your comment is greatly appreciated. She went from Anna to Andi with friends and on facebook. I did advise her mom to get her into counseling for support. I know this isnt an easy decision and being able to talk to someone not in the family, a safe person – no judgement- I think would be huge. and that is what you posted. thanks for backing me on that.

Chris Cox most insurance policies cover therapy. If they don’t specifically cover transgeder therapy, therapists know how to code it. College campus LGBT centers will give you a list of recommended local therapists.

Chris Cox Those are my ideals, what I would want. I don’t know what your relationship is with grandchild’s parents, but with them, with other relatives and preachers and old family friends, you may have to take sides. If so, be prepared to know where you stand.

Debra H yes i think a session or 2 for me would be helpful. a bit of my heart grieves for my granddaughter. I guess i will get rid of my wedding dress now as she will not use it.

Chris Cox yes, grieving for a future you envisioned is normal. Keep the dress. Grandchild can still give you grandchildren, even if it isn’t from grandchild’s pregnancy. As an adopted child, being accepted as family and into family tranditions is a big deal.

Chris Cox maybe work on new future visions with Andi as grandson.

Debra H I am looking forward to the future with Andi. Love is love is love. wont change my heart.

B.J. D It takes time. Discussions. Finding out what they felt when younger, what they feel & dream of now, being their true selves, love themselves, is what I decided matters. My goals & dreams weren’t hers. I’ve learned what her are & I try my best to support her. She’s got enough people who don’t.

B.J. D My daughter too. Particularly at beginning hard to remember correct usage. She would be very hurt & thought I didn’t really support her if not done consistently. After many many talks over the last couple years, she forgives me when I’m in error AND I acknowledge & understand how I’ve hurt her when I make mistake.

Debra H Her father is not in the picture and her mother is 150% supportive. my siblings and their families as well as my husband’s family can kiss my a** if they dont approve.

Chris Cox loving you for loving your grandchild

Karen J You sound like a badass grandparent

Hope you don’t mind me saying that Debra

Debra H Not at all thanks.

Chris Cox PS It helps if you use the pronoun inside your head while thinking of them, and stopping your inner dialogue and using the right one when you think the wrong one.

Debra H I want to toss a huge thank you to Kindle Alexander for the books that have shown me so much and helped me grow.

Kindle Alexander That’s so nice, thank you. I feel the same way about LGBT romance.

7) August 2 at 2:32pm ·Racheal Y  How did your family and friends take the news?

Chris Cox That has been–not the best, but not the worse, experience. I lived in a town small enough that there was an element of danger with me staying there to transition. But, transition aside, getting out of the marriage was becoming more important. As I realized how deeply husband and I had spiralled down into an abusive relationship, how I had squashed myself down into a box to try to keep everything okay, I started getting more outspoken, as I once was. That made our marriage a very loud and uncomfortable and (at the end) threatening place for me to be. So I left town while he was on a trip. Family and friends had no idea about the transgender thing although, apparently husband had been snooping and started trash talking me in a very transphobic way.

Chris Cox So, I haven’t been back to town. My parents are both dead (my mom had dementia when I left and wouldn’t have comprehended anyway). My daughter lives in a different state. When I still looked female, I saw her at my mom’s funeral, where she tried to use it as a weapon and told her I didn’t want to talk about it then. Since then, we pretend like it doesn’t exist. We have a stilted text communication every few weeks or so. I have one brother who is a bum in Las Vegas, so only text communication with him about my mother’s estate that I am settling.

Shannon V M That makes me sad about your daughter. I hope over time things get better between you 2.

Chris Cox I told very few friends. Some of that reason was b/c in Louisiana, according to what judge I got for the divorce and settlement, things could go very badly for me being transgender. Law can be interpreted pretty broadly, esp. in small towns. So, I told very few. One friend freaked out–which was a total disappointment. I had thought that with all the discrimination he’d gone through being gay in the bible belt, he’d been more sympathetic. Nope. Very strained relationship.

Racheal Y My heart hurts so bad for you, with the lack of support that you got!!!

Chris Cox Other friends, ie the one who shopped for me, freaked in private and told me later, but has been a stalwart supporter.

Kindle Alexander Do you see how people might need a minute, or not? What are your thoughts on that?

Chris Cox Kindle Alexander I needed more than a minute, so I can definitely see how someone else would need to catch their breath. And maybe do some research. I had no clue–I GAVE clues, but I didn’t realize it and neither did they. Until I looked back and said, oh-there. That’s what that action/reaction meant.

Chris Cox Another friend who is a bff, is a supporter–as long as it doens’t make her too uncomfortable. She doesn’t use my male name or gender. It is hurtful. But more hurtful would be for me to push it and her to say she can’t go that far with me.

Chris Cox I used to do a lot of romance writers’ conferences. That was my tribe. I haven’t done any since I physically look like my twin brother I’m about to jump back into that pool b/c I miss it. We’ll see how it goes.

Chris Cox Kindle Alexander I’ve got to get the documentation changed–which is a few months work all by itself, to be able to update my passport. But after that, I’d love to!

Racheal Y How are things now?

Jenni H Thank you for answering so open and honestly!

8) August 2 at 2:33pm Karen J So Chris you said to ask about the transgender clues…

Chris Cox Ah! yes! I’m the kind of person who has to know why. I’m an engineer by training and by profession. If I can’t bullet point it or flow chart it, I just don’t get it. So, before I was okay with being transgender and even after I accepted it, I needed to know why.

Chris Cox My first therapist, the video conference one, had all kinds of degrees (which is why she was doing video therapy–to pay for all those degrees She was getting a doctorate in biology and gender. Remembering that we don’t do research on human brains, most of the data is empirical. Which means we have to observe and try to categorize. (If your eyes start glazing over here, I forgive you. All this detail isn’t for everyone). Anyway, while scientist have been researching transWomen for a while now. But they’ve been pretty much ignoring transmen (I could too easily climb on my feminist soapbox on why this happens). So, transmen have only been researched for less than 15 years, and then not often and with a lot of bias.

Chris Cox What this first therapist told me was that the body and the mind develop not quite in sync. We know that from other studies. the XX chromosone triggers one set of genitals while the XY chromosone triggers another (And there is a whole other universe for everything in between ie intersex).

Chris Cox So, the body develops based on the XX or XY chromosone.

Chris Cox But the mind develops based on the hormones and chemicals that cross the uterus.

Chris Cox While transgender people have always been around, you are seeing more nowadays b/c of the late 1960s and early 1970s ‘better living through chemistry ‘ age. If you are old enough to remember, that’s when pharmaceuticals developed the Pill. So, the hormone studies took off.

Chris Cox The first trimester, it is hypothesized (notice all these wiggle room words. Since we don’t experiment on humans, scientific guessing is as good as it is gonna get for now),–that first three months, the hormones that infuse the brain have influence on sexual preference. And the last three months of pregnancy, the hormones influence the gender

Chris Cox I had to really think about this. I totally believed the 70s feminist stance that we all have the same brains. Only our bodies and environmental influence determine our gender. this has been proven wrong through studies (okay, for this they did do some post mortem brain experiments.) the reason I had a hard time letting go of m 70s theory is also the reason it took me so long to accept that I was trans. As long as I believed that we all had the same brains, I could dress up the outside however society dictated and go along with the pretending that I thought everyone did to fit into society.

Chris Cox As it turns out; my therapist had identified three distinct causes of female-bodied, male-brained transgenderism. (not sure that’s the right world, but you get what I mean, right?) 1) to prevent miscarriage, esp in the 70s, it became common practice to givea mom synthetic progesterone>>which creates more testosterone to the brain. 2) in the case of twins, hormones are not always plentiful or shared equally just like nutrients are not shared equally. Therefore, identical twins may not get the same amount of hormones, thus their brains develop differently. and 3) extreme stress in the last trimester can cause the adrenal glands to produce more testosterone. This is very common in adoption cases, which is where I fit in.Chris Cox so, that’s why it happens biologically.

Chris Cox The clues: toddlers may think–and they may insist- that they are the opposite gender than their genitals. this is not the same insisting that they are a pretend dog. It’s on a whole ‘nother level.

Chris Cox I think I might have done this, but I dont’ remember. Being a person of logic, even at 2 or 3 and having a little brother who I bathed with, I remember thinking that I had different parts than he had. BUT my mom also played a game where she would pretend to pinch through the diaper and say, boy or girl/ boy or girl? You had to answer right for her to stop. I only know about the game b/c she played it with my daughter. I got a sick feeling of dread in my stomach totally out of proportion to the game. I didn’t realize then, but I do now, that visceral feeling was left over from my toddler years.

Chris Cox Also, wanting to be like daddy, ie shave, is apparently a big one. I didnt have this one, but my dad was a very modest guy and I never saw him shave

Chris Cox But the things that did fit me are, well, kind of weird looking from the outside in But I thought everyone did them. My therapists (all my therapists) said I had developed them as survivor mechanims.

Chris Cox I always pretended that I was an invisible person standing next to the real person who looked like me but wasn’t me.

B.J. D O M G, my daughter described this to me. wow. Also, she (m2f) shared that she always identified as female but knew she looked different then she should. Thought she looked like a monster pre-transition & almost committed suicide before learning: there’s such a thing as transgender, accepting this, then researching internet for hormone therapy & pushing thru social phobia to find a doctor. She did this all on her own! We discus that “almost day” , the day of no more hope…. I didn’t have a clue why, she kept the why secret, tricking her mind by saying she’s a late developer etc rather than accepting being transgender, too scary. I’m so grateful she’s still in my life, I know how lucky I am that she backed out at last minute & opened up to me 6 months later.

Chris Cox I did this all my life, right up to the time I was in my 50s and started accepting that I was transgender

Chris Cox It was like the female me was a puppet that the real, invisible me made walk and talk in an acceptable way. I knew the whole thing was pretend. I knew I was the puppet. But I couldn’t make myself be present inside that body.

Chris Cox The only times I was me, inside my body, was when I was reading, which I did continuously, and when I was younger, when I played softball.

Chris Cox Someone called it maladaptive daydreams. I looked up the term and it doesn’t quite fit, but it’s close.

Chris Cox people who can’t create their own survival mechansims like I did, often are ill, with headaches. They act out in rage. drugs. drinking. self medication all the typical things someone would do when frustrated with no relief. Suicide rate is over the top and under reported. In a lot of households where this happens, even beyond death, the parents won’t accept that their kid was trans.

Chris Cox A lot of these survival/self-destruction mechanisms–maybe most of this?–don’t happen if the trans person has a support system that accepts them. (you don’t even have to keep them safe. Acceptance and assurance that they aren’t crazy will be a big deal)

Chris Cox so, a lot of trans people have some kind of mental disorder or drug problem –not b/c trans is a mental illness, but b/c the stress of being trans caused mental problems.

B.J. D Before: Rage, anxiety, depression, social phobia…

Chris Cox however, when the stress is removed and trans is accepted by family and friends, then a lot of problems get better

B.J. D After: much more interactive, expressive, she can feel all feelings now & revels in it

Chris Cox still hanging with me? I’m probably going into too much detail. if so, let me know…-on to the next question

B.J. D Details very helpful. TY

Karen J Still here, I’m just enjoying reading your comments. It’s made me realise that what I thought I knew is not enough.

Kindle Alexander Me too.

BJ R Still here, late to the conversation but listening

Chris Cox Just now getting to some of the questions and comments, so you aren’t too late!

BJ R I appreciate that! Thank you for doing this!

Christopher B Your coping mechanism the real you (invisible) manipulating the physical you to meet the expectations of society (I hope I got that right) I did that all my life and at times I still do it.

Chris Cox yeah, for as much as either of us can explain it, I think you got it. Which makes me feel not nearly as alone. amazingly, i’ve done it all my life, and now, I am finding it more difficult to do even when I try. I miss it b/c I have always found my ‘pretend’ world comforting.

Christopher B I’ve gotten used to projecting what I thought others wanted to see it’s hard to do it without. Though I have gotten better I will only project when I am super nervous

9) August 2 at 2:41pm Laina G Sorry Chris Cox, all my other questions are very inappropriate (questions I’d only ask my best friend/sister).

Who was the first person you told (meaning friend/family member) ? How did they react?

Kindle Alexander You know I like inappropriate – it makes me laugh.

Chris Cox I’m okay with sexual questions–I can answer biological ones, but I’m not a font of knowledge on action/practice. I’ll answer what i can. Kindle, what ages are on the loop today? Didn’t I see where you opened things up to under 18s?

Kindle Alexander Chris Cox There are some under agers in here. Good Point. See? I forgot. We can do that another day.

Stephanie C Kindle Alexander hahah… I’m monitoring everything before I hand her my phone to look at a thread.

Kindle Alexander I wonder about this. Do you pick the person you trust the most? Or love the most? HmmmmLike

Chris Cox no idea. I picked the wrong persons to start with!

Chris Cox I first told friends who were in the LGBT family. In fact, they were gay. I thought would be understanding and sympathetic. I was wrong. My next person is one who is a good friend, loves to give advice and also prides herself on thinking outside the box. That has been comforting as she still loves to give advise and works very hard at accepting me. But she still has some hang ups about the whole thing which comes through when she says inconsistent things.

Kindle Alexander I listened to a radio program, a lgbt program, and some gay man called in being kind of ugly. I was surprised. Also, a trans person called and didnt like being lumped in the LGBT category, feeling like they didn’t fit there. People get very opinionated. Not always accepting.

Chris Cox Kindle Alexander I guess it’s a protective device. Close ranks and strike out before you can be struck? I don’t get it though.

Chris Cox I have found the most support among people I am casually friendly with. Maybe for two reasons, 1) they aren’t emotionally invested in me enough that their identity is tied to mine and/or 2) I pick broadminded friends with busy lives so we don’t really have enough time or intersecting paths to get better acquainted.

Kindle Alexander This is a really good point. I want my loved ones happiness above all else. Your roads been hard.

Janice B I hope it’s ok to ask but ignore me if it isn’t or if it’s been asked and answered.. I just got up and joined the conversation so I’m playing catchup. Are you gay or straight? I ask because I imagine that brings a whole new set of issues. If you are gay then people still see you attracted to men so perhaps that’s less confusing to them… Or not. Sorry Chris. I’m not sure how your friends would react to this…

Kindle Alexander Ask this in it’s own post. It’s a good question. He touched on this just a tiny bit.

10) August 2 at 2:41pm ·B.J. D did you find it difficult to socialize with your peers prior to your transition & if so, is it easier now

Chris Cox Hey BJ. It was exactly the opposite. I knew where I fit in the social hierarchy before transition, as did all my friends. Middle class, middle aged white woman from small bible belt town who writes romance kind of defines a big peer group.

Chris Cox Transguy who came from my background pretty much leaves me with no peer group. ( I’ve struggled with that.

Chris Cox There is a queer community in most larger cities. What I have found is they are mostly 20 years younger than me. The transguys come from the lesbian culture which is totally foreign to me. I was attracted to men before transition and am attracted to them after. (someone ask me about sexual orientation vs gender, if it’s not already posted please).

Chris Cox I have found that being over 50, picking up and moving cross country twice while biologically transitioning from female to male and trying to keep your ex spouse out of the loop makes for difficulty finding your peer group.

B.J. D WOW… tough stuff… wonder if you have support center near you? My daughter states hard younger AND hard now too for different reasons. She does attend support group every 3 weeks that helps in things she’s not comfortable discussing with me…

Chris Cox I’m just now, after 2 1/2 years, getting out into my writing community. I’ve got to admit, I’ve got some trepidation, as a lot of the folks in the writing world knew me ‘before’ . I was an excellent pretender, even to myself. So they had no clue. I’ve already run into people who think I deceived them for over a decade and think harshly of me because I ‘fooled’ them or I am now trying to fool them.

B.J. D That’s on them, right? They have no knowledge or experience of the difficult journey your taking to fulfill your true self… it’s not about them

Chris Cox B.J. D that’s what I tell myself. But we don’t live in a vacuum and everyone likes to be liked, or at least not disliked because someone doesn’t approve of what they look like

Chris Cox i’ve been to the support groups, but they are def. for younger guys. Also, they are usually more judgmental than I like to be around. I’m not in the ‘accept me or I drop you’ class that a lot of trans people seem to find safest

B.J. D My daughter is in between… 21 and under have their own group. The one she is in is mostly 45 & older; She’s not quite 31…

11. August 2 at 3:00pm  Shir: My skills at tagging people in post just plain and simply suck so hopefully you see this lol (I’m just a socially awkward )Chris, what was the (for lack of a better word) easiest part of your transition? And on the same question the hardest?

Chris Cox the easiest part of my transition was taking testosterone and then seeing and loving the physical changes and the top surgery. By far, making my physical body look more like what I ‘think’ I look like is wonderful. (which may be why I go into such a tail spin when someone sees me as she instead of as he)

Chris Cox the hardest part is losing the comfortable feeling of acceptance. Okay, and there is one that is equally as hard. Going to the freaking bathroom. I have realized that a lot of my reclusive tendencies seems to come from knowing that having to pee while away from the house will be an issue.

12) August 2 at 3:17pm  Laina Gruver: When someone calls you Miss/Ma’am or refers to you as ‘she’, do you correct them or just leave it alone?(I was wrong, I did have another question that wasn’t inappropriate!)

Chris Cox LOL! it’s a good question, too. B/c I pick my battles, if it’s a quick encounter, ie at a drive thru, I leave it alone. People don’t misgender on purpose. And if they do, then they aren’t worth my energy and correcting them isn’t going to change anything. But it does get me down when it happens and I wonder what I’m doing wrong.

12) Karen J  Chris, here in the U.K. The other night was a program about being transgender. The interviewer went to the US where he met a family who’s son (10 I think) identified as a girl. Mum was supportive at home called her the name her child wanted to be known as but Dad wouldn’t. They didn’t live together so at home Mum used the name she’d asked to be called and at her Dads he would only see her as his son and use his birth name.So She dressed as female at home and male at her fathers. She said she was ok with it but I seriously worried. Wouldn’t it be more confusing? I felt bad for her that her parents weren’t on the same page. I don’t know, it just didn’t sit right with me that’s all.

Chris Cox that would be horrible! To know that your father only accepted you for your outside looks instead of your inside would be heart breaking. not a good solution in my opinion. that poor child. This is one of those times when that child will have to have created a survival system inside her own head. Awful for her to have to placate the adults here to keep them comfortable instead of the child being safe.

13) August 2 at 5:35pm Racheal Y  Chris Cox you said that you want to start writing again, with you experience as a transgender would you consider writing a book either a non-fiction book about yourself or just a fictional book so that others could get a more in-depth ideal of the struggles and the reward feeling once you finally got to live your life for you.

Chris Cox Hi Racheal Y ! I don’t know about a nonfiction book. That sounds like a lot of work Funny thing, I’ve started two books with trans characters. The characters and everyone around them is just fine and dandy about the trans thing. And I haven’t finished either book. (Denial much, huh? With the love and support this group has shown me, maybe I can jump in and explore some of that emotion I’ve experienced.

Racheal Y I would definitely love to read them once you decide to start them again! I do believe that you have alot to say and bring life to those characters! I am thrilled to have had the pleasure of talking to you and having you be so open! I know some of the things you have shared had to have been hard!

Chris Cox Racheal Y At first, I was a little apprehensive about being so open, but everyone was kind and sincere. Its been a good experience for me.

14) Kindle Alexander  We had such a big afternoon – Thank you! Just in case anyone’s around for the 7:00 Chris Cox extravaganza, I’ve saved a couple of questions and he’s more than willing to keep going. Please feel free to post any questions you have.

15) Kindle Alexander: Chris, medically speaking, what was the process to get to where you are right now. How far have you gone, and how far will you go? If you were 50 when you began, how did menopause effect your changes? That was more than just one question.

Chris Cox Hey everyone! I grabbed a quick bite (am actually chewing as I type so please forgive the mouthful I see a lot of questions in the responses of our previous questions. They are running together in my notification list. Could you repost as a separate question, please? Copy/paste works for me

Chris Cox thanks to everyone who has been on this discussion. I truly appreciate and cherish your desire to learn more about being transgender.

Chris Cox And yes, Kindle Alexander that is more than one question file:///C:/Users/GOAT/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image002.png:) Good thing I’ve got more than one answer!

Chris Cox Here’s the deal about transition. Not every transgender person does everything you can do to transition. Some of the reasons are financial. Some are medical . Some are personal life. Here’s how I did it:

Chris Cox First, therapy. I think I mentioned therapy earlier, right? I am a total advocate of therapy. A trans person is going to have issues just bc they don’t fit the mold. Moving ahead is a whole new issue, or three.

Chris Cox Oh, wait! I skipped a very important first step for me. I researched. I devoured youtube videos of guys who were transitioning. At the time, there was a clump of guys who used youtube as their visual diary. I think I mentioned in one of the earlier posts that Dade Barlow was the one I learned the most from.

Chris Cox Then, therapy. We mostly talked of marriage and mother issues! This is the time when I was trying to decide what to do. My Catholic conscious was fighting w me about ending the marriage. My mother issues are enormous. And I was just letting the idea that I was trans float around for a while. I was actually hoping to figure out how to live with that knowledge and not change too much.

Chris Cox So, then, I separated and moved out. First time in my life I had ever lived alone. I when from momma to marriage on my 18th birthday. At the time, this was scarier than some nebulous idea about transitioning.

Chris Cox And then within two months of moving, I got a job in another state about as far from Louisiana as I could get. So, I moved again.

Chris Cox Oh, the DAY before I moved, I started testosterone therapy. Its usually called T for short. And once I moved I got into therapy at the new place.

Chris Cox I started with low dose T, although most trans guys start with full dose.

Chris Cox When starting T, regardless of age, a transguy is immediately thrown into both menopause and male puberty. No, that bad mood isn’t coming from us! It’s everyone around us who is grouch!!


Shannon V M Oh my goodness, that is a lot going on!

Chris Cox In this I was lucky, though. I’d already had a hysterectomy for medical reasons, so I got to skip the whole chemical menopause thing and just did (and am still doing) the male puberty thing. yes, my closet stunk like sour billy goat, just like 13 year old boy clothes smell.

Kindle Alexander Oh Wow. I didnt think of this. Wow.

Jolene J Wow… and if you still have the stinky closet smell I have something that will help… I have a teen age boy… I wouldn’t go into his closet without it… all my family have thanked me for it and love it… lil

Laurel Wow. I would t have even thought of that.

Chris Cox Jolene Jaynes-Davis you must share! I’ve started washing everything in oxyclean!

Jolene J Use this… I put 1/2 a cup per load can go up to 1 cup… you can use it for cleaning and air freshener and disinfectant… it kills odors, even eventing odors from MAKE cats and dogs… it kills Hep., HIV, Staph… among other things… ok to use on wood, vinyl, and even cement… it’s about $the 9 to $10 for a gallon jug as above… it comes in eucalyptus or lemon scent… I use one for laundry and the lemon for air freshening and cleaning… just wait til you read it’s label… lol and you can get it at Sam’s Club and Home Depot… and if you end up using it… Please let me know what you think of it

Chris Cox That will be on my next amazon order! Thanks!

Jolene J Your welcome… I’ve been able to cut down on my cleaners thanks to that lol guy up there… lol

Chris Cox Jolene Jaynes-Davis Good to know! I will def try it out!

Jolene J I actually discovered it by accident… my Son upset my male cat so to get back at him he owed on his tub of clothes… I tried everything… this was my last resort… and his clothes came out amazing… this is now the only thing laundry wise my family and I use now… so your in on our family secrets…

Chris Cox Jolene Jaynes-Davis if this gets out cat marker, then it’s got to be good!

Jolene J Just put it in at the beginning when you do the soap…

Chris Cox I slowly ramped up my T dosage to full dosage and have been at that leve for about two years. There have been many interesting (and often unexpected) physical changes!

Chris Cox changes happen differently on everybody. I first got a very very sore throat.

Chris Cox My voice got gravelly and dropped just slightly, but not enough for anyone but me to notice

Chris Cox and then I got a sprinkling of facial hair on my upper lip. No more than my friend girls with darker hair had always had.

Chris Cox but I also saw results in the gym faster. I got much stronger with a whole lot less effort. I have always been stronger than the average bear. But I was amazed at how much more I could lift and carry easily

Laurel Wow. All this because you were taking T?

Chris Cox and the body fat moved around a little. I lost some on my hips and gained it in my belly. I still have a girl butt, but not like I used to have

Kindle Alexander This is so interesting.

Jolene J It definitely is…

Laurel L WOW

Chris Cox And the genitals change.

Laurel L I’m curious about the genitals. You don’t have to answer this but this had never crossed my mind that they would change.

Chris Cox clitoris and penis are made from the same tissue. with the addition of testosterone, they both grow. (although clitoris won’t ever catch up with penis)

Chris Cox the longer I go through male puberty, the more hair shows up in unexpected places.

Kindle Alexander Your ears?

Chris Cox LOL! That’s one place I don’t have hair yet!

Chris Cox Did you know that back hair is determined by your DNA?

Chris Cox and, the jury is still out on this one, but some people say the brain changes. Other people say the brain just matches better. Biologically, scientists have shown that transguys’s brains more closely resemble XY brains than XX brains. There are cells called androgen

Chris Cox there are cells that are activated in males during puberty which makes muscles particularly shoulder and back and arm muscles, grow stronger than in females.

Jolene J So not only have you had to go through puberty once, but menopause and then puberty again… Wow I can’t even imagine!!!

Kindle Alexander I know. I can’t imagine either.

Kindle Alexander It’s so difficult already.

Jolene J I couldn’t imagine having to go through all that to be who you are and to be comfortable in your own body…

Chris Cox These cells are also in the brain. These cells need testosterone to be healthy. When men get older, they have shown a correlation between low T and depression, loss of energy, loss of self worth, and all kinds of sad things. The treatment is to give the male testosterone. A transguy’s brain has the same cells. They are starved for testosterone, until a transgender guy starts taking T.

Jolene J So T is an essential nutrient for lack of a better word that your body in a sense was starving for… would that be accurate???

Chris Cox yes, that’s exactly it. That may be why so many trans children have such mental health issues, on top of the acceptance problem.

Laurel All I can say is WOW. You are a very strong person to have the courage and strength to go through this.

Chris Cox thanks, Laurel, It was more a case of sink or swim! And I was sinking fast

Laurel Chris Cox your swimming now though. Stay strong.

Chris Cox Pulling this out of a reply thread: there are a number of reasons for starting transition (or blocking transition with beta blockers) before puberty. Physical appearance is one of the main reasons. at puberty, XYs (that sounds so clinical, but it’s t…See More

Chris Cox the growth during puberty isn’t reversible.

Chris Cox also, voice changes.

Chris Cox so stopping the puberty changes before they start will go a long way in helping a transgender woman fit in.

Janice B Have you had surgery? Ignore if that’s too personal.

Chris Cox for XX children, hips widen, periods start, fat increases and distributes in a female pattern.

Chris Cox except for hip widening, it is easier, physically, to pass (have the appearance of the gender you want to have the appearance of) after puberty XX people.

Kim S Do you have siblings? , where in the line are you? eldest? baby?

Kindle Alexander Kimmie, I think he’s a twin. His sister lives in Aussie and goes by Kim Stone online. This was a made-for tv special and Chris needs to borrow some money from his sister.

Kim S Kindle Alexander PML!!!

Kim S Chris, do u inject T in your bum? My eldest has to have nurse do this, too hard to turn around?

Janice B Would you be able to do it Kim?

Kindle Alexander Janice, I could stick a needle in Kim Stone.

Janice B Kindle Alexander I have no doubt but she needs her eyes.

Kindle Alexander Janice, I’m not sure she does.

Kim S Janice, FUCK NO, but we did have to look, to see if site was infected, on the weekend!!!


16) August 2 at 7:32pm  Janice B  General question for Chris Cox or anyone here. Can you recommend good MM romance with one or more trans characters. I’m looking for romance rather than erotica. I had a very bad experience with an author fetishising a trans man and getting SO much wrong. I’d love to read a well written story, or ten lol, that realistically portray the journey to a HEA.

Chris Cox sadly I have’t found a lot of good trans romance. All I’ve come across is the fetish stuff, too.

Janice B I think it’s a huge market that’s missing great authors! I hope some of my fabulous author friends take up the challenge. Great books have a powerful opportunity to change the way people think. I’m certain well written MM romance has altered many many peoples way of thinking about gay men. This is a missed opportunity to educate people in my mind.

Janice B I’m thinking you need to write some Chris Would you feel comfortable doing that or would you feel added pressure?

Chris Cox I’ve been thinking about it. I don’t know if there would be a market, though. What do you think?

Kindle Alexander Chris Cox I think a well written book always has a market.

Janice B There is always a market for well written books. Have you seen the power of readers in spreading the word on well written books?? We can be awesome. Lol.

Heather R Jay Northcote wrote a beautiful book Starting from Scratch which is part of a series.

Nicci B I just read Ghost by JM Dabney. A nice read. Some references to abuse. Doesn’t go into alot of depth but it was my first experience and thought it was well done

Bee P This one.

17) Kindle Alexander 7:39 pm Your breasts, what did you do?

Chris Cox Most transguys can wear a binder, which is painful and hard to breathe in. They are hot and make your shoulders hurt. With all that said, most trans guys find they are more comfortable in their own skin when they can flatten their boobs and make them look like pecs..

Chris Cox . But I was too big up top to flatten. At first, I wore double sports bras. As I had done all my life, I just looked past them when I looked in the mirror. (I had never realized I wouldn’t look at myself head-on in the mirror until I started transitioning. I still won’t look. I’m not there yet.

Jolene J One day!!! Your too strong not to get there!!!

Chris Cox After I’d been on T for over a year, I got top surgery. Top surgery is a double masectomy with reconstruction to male proportions.

Chris Cox There are big scars as a result, but I’m more comfortable than I’ve ever been.

Chris Cox I was surprised b/c I thought there would be an adjustment period. But there wasn’t. I woke up from surgery and it was just hmmm. That’s what ‘s it’s supposed to be like.

Kindle Alexander GREAT!

Christopher B That’s great

Michele L That’s awesome!

Jolene J Love that!!!

Shannon V

Laurel L I’m glad that you are doing what you want to do and that you feel good about it.


17) Jody R August 2 at 7:45pm Chris Cox I have a couple of questions and some comments but the most important question I have right now is are you happy now?

Tracy W Good question

Chris Cox Hey Jody, and Christopher Branscum I will put your two questions together

Chris Cox Am I happier and am I in a better place?

Christopher B That’s great to hear, I’m happy for you. It can be difficult to get there, I’m still struggling with it myself, but it’s a slow progression one step at a time

Chris Cox I’ve had a really rough couple of years, that have more to do with divorce and job change and move than with transitioning.

Chris Cox So looking at the externals (and hearing me gripe!) you wouldn’t think so. But I am happier, more content and more settled, and much much more confident about myself having transitioned.

Jody R That really makes a lot of sense. I always worry about my girls being happy and being who they truly are it hurts me if I think someone else is not happy.

Chris Cox Before, I felt like a ghost who didn’t have a right to exist. Now I feel like I am worthy of taking up space and the resources I need to live. I don’t know if that is T balancing my brain, or freedom of not pretending or getting away from a bad relationship or a mix of all that but, I’m in a better place inside my head today

Christopher B It’s freedom from not having to pretend I felt the same way when I finally accepted who I was.

Kindle Alexander Christopher Branscum How long did it take you?

Christopher B I’d say I was hiding for 31.5 years. The first 6.5 don’t count (it’s an personal joke) For the life of me I just couldn’t understand why I was never “interested” in the opposite sex and yet felt intimidated by the same sex

Jody R Christopher Branscum I understand that. I’m married to a man and have been for 26 years. Always have been with men. But it’s really amazing to know now that if I started over in my life now I would choose a female partner. Took me years and my kids to understand that it’s not who it’s why.

Kindle Alexander Christopher Branscum That’s a long, long, long time.

Kindle Alexander Jody Richey okay, I get it. Life is an evolution.

Christopher B Kindle Alexander yeah I had a few issues that I needed to reconcile before I could even come to grips with who I was

Jody R Yeah Kindle Alexander for me, now in my life if I was to start a new road it would be with a female partner. I love my husband and will stay married to the end but it’s nice to know that now those options of who we choose to be or be with are hopefully getting more understood by people.

Christopher B I was hit by a car when I was six and a half. Was clinically brain dead (according to some family members) and so most of my life was spent trying to understand the severity of the damage. I would constantly question whether the way I felt was a side effect of the damage. My life was a living hell

Chris Cox Christopher B I didn’t have that kind of trauma. But I was gaslighted all my growing up years and have had the same kind of questioning and double checking . I feel for you. It’s awful

Jody R Christopher B but you have found peace?

Christopher B Jody Richey it’s a constant struggle. I’m constantly haunted by my past. Chris Cox Oh I had a family member attempt conversion therapy on me and I was naive enough to agree to it

Chris Cox Christopher B I’m so sorry you went through that!

Christopher B Chris Cox Yeah it’s been rough.but life goes on. I keep telling myself that life was never meant to be easy

Chris Cox Christopher B ah, so you knew my mother? She always said that. But I’m learning that it’s okay if life is easy. and I’m learning to get rid of the people and things that make it hard. (did I mention I’m really into therapy )

Christopher B Yeah it would be highly beneficial for me to just go somewhere where no one knows me. I’m thinking of moving to the east coast

18) August 2 at 7:47pm Hillary R Chris Cox What would one thing you would like children/teens struggling with gender identity to know?

Chris Cox just one thing? That’s tough. How about, it’s better to like yourself than for other people to like you, so do what you need to do to find your own path.

19) August 2 at 7:57pm Jody Richey The LBGTQ Is something very important to me. I have a bi-sexual daughter who fell in love with and married a man and a pansexual daughter and a straight daughter so I was lucky enough to get the entire cookie jar! Support is one of the most important aspects they need and unconditional love which they have from me completely. Did you struggle with getting healthy support from people you cared about Chris Cox?

Chris Cox Yes, getting support is a struggle for me. First off, living where I lived there just wasn’t the population there with knowledge. And there was a lot of fear about anything LGBT, although it was getting better for the young people. Still, living where I lived, I was honestly physically afraid of the people in my own sunday school class.

Chris Cox We did a chapter on welcoming everyone to our church and –well, several prominent members let everyone know that anyone L or G would not be welcome. I’m pretty sure they didn’t know the T even existed except as the girlfriend in that old movie The Crying Game.

Chris Cox I had friends who are/were mixed about it. My transitioning there would have put a wedge in a lot of friendships.

Chris Cox So, I moved to another state where I didn’t know anyone, and had an awfu work schedule so I really couldn’t build a social life.

Chris Cox I am lucky that i had good therapists. And a good trainer at the gym who did more than he can every know to help me keep my sanity

Chris Cox I have some online support–like Kindle Alexander! and also an over 40 trans group that is a lifeline as well as a good place to hang out. I also have a ‘real life’ friend from back home. I moved to my new place in late march and am just starting to make friends here. I can always use more friends!

20 August 2 at 8:00pm Kim S Hi Chris Cox. Australia chiming in here, late as usual. How did you pick your “new”name?

Chris Cox HI Kim, Chris Cox is actually my original mm romance pen name. It is a nickname for my legal name. the name I use among friends is the masculine derivative to my original name. I searched for something significant, but it was an easy transition at the time to just go with something familiar.

Kim S My eldest is a F2M , transgender, I like the idea about picking your own name, not your parents

Chris Cox picking a name is/was hard. I haven’t yet changed it legally, but intend to this fall. I keep sort of questioning it.

Kim S For my eldest, it was the 1st step, out with Rebecca ( spent years picking that name) and in with Miles

Kendra P I agree Kim. A lot of the American Indians gave children names at birth and then at maturity they picked their own name for their adulthood.

Kim S Kendra Patterson what ages does this happen? I love this idea

Kendra P It depends on the tribe. The males go through different kinds of rituals per tribe. This occurs at different ages per the individual. I’m not sure if it’s as intense as the history states it used to. It’s been years since I read up on the American Indian culture. Sorry I can’t be more helpful.

21) August 2 at 8:19pm Eran ✨Chris Cox I don’t have a question- I just wanted to let you know how happy I am for you, being true to yourself when you don’t have a lot of support is hard as hell and takes a huge amount of courage. I just wanted to let you know that I think you’re amazing for having the strength to be true to yourself! I wish you nothing but the very best today and in the future!