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Posted by: SLCSuburbanite ( )
Date: January 11, 2018 04:38PM

Hi everyone,

I have a lot of thoughts right now, so I'll try to make this as organized and coherent as possible.

I'm still a Member (mostly faking it, but sometimes I have spiritual experiences or good days at Church). I'm in my twenties, black and transgender, raised in a very conservative white family in Utah. Both of my parents are strong in the faith, sometimes to the point of fanaticism.

I've never felt like I belonged to my family or the Church. I always felt like a freak, even back in elementary school since I looked different. And then when I went through my gender identity issues in junior high, it made life unbearable. Since I've struggled with social anxiety and serious depression for most of my life, finding friends, going to school, and participating in Church was so hard.

But, as I get older, I'm starting to realize how lonely I am. All of my friends are getting married and having kids. And now people are starting to wonder what's wrong with me, since I'm not married/dating/anything.

I don't really believe in the Church anymore, but I don't have anywhere to go. If I finally decide to live authentically and come out as transgender to my parents or friends in the ward (or even tell them that I don't believe in the church anymore), I'm going to be shunned forever. I don't want to lose my only social support. I'm also way too scared to pick up and move to a new state (which is what I really want to do, tbh).

So, now I'm kind of just going from day to day, trying to ignore my issues and focus on something else because it gives me panic attacks when I think about the future. But, I've been feeling so lonely and hopeless these past few weeks.

Anyway, thanks for listening to me vent. I love coming to this board and reading your great advice.

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Posted by: Nottelling ( )
Date: January 11, 2018 04:44PM

I hate to say this, but you will never find comfort as a transgender in the community you are in. You need to move to a more diverse place, or try to change. I know this harsh, but you have to be honest with yourself. Nothing will change unless you make it happen.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: January 11, 2018 04:52PM

Have you been able to connect with a LGBT support group/s in your area? SLC is the sixth largest gay capitol in the United States. I would imagine there has to be support groups near you if you reach out and find one that works for you.

Are you in counseling? Not LDS counseling, but therapy? You're going to need some, long term.

Try to stay positive. If you're able to be open with your parents, you should try. If not, you don't want the door shut in your face either if they can't accept you as transgender.

Wouldn't they have picked up on your signals by now assuming they know you better than most anyone else? Maybe they understand you better than they are letting on. Having a sit down talk might help to ask them for their support and understanding. If they don't accept you they're in more need of help than you are. Sad.

Last, do you know your biological family? How to reach them? Would they be there for you if your adoptive parents aren't able to be? I'm throwing that out as a possibility that they might be able to give you support if your Mormon parents cannot.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/11/2018 04:53PM by Amyjo.

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Posted by: moehoward ( )
Date: January 12, 2018 01:07PM

Sixth largest, I had to look that up. Who would have thought

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: January 11, 2018 04:54PM

You need to be a member of a community that will accept you as you are. At a minimum, this may involve moving to SLC or Boise or some other place outside of the Moridor where there are more people like yourself. Look at it this way -- no move has to be permanent. Go somewhere else for a year or two and see how you like it.

Ditto for social groups. There are churches in the greater SLC area that were marrying gay people when the law changed. You can find a church that welcomes and celebrates the LGBTQ community.

You will also need to expand your friendships beyond Mormons. There are plenty of nevermos that will accept you as you are. When you move, find clubs or interest groups where you can meet more broadminded people. Genuine friends will not care about your faith or lack thereof.

Keep posting. We are here for you.

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Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: January 11, 2018 05:04PM

It might seem daunting, but you need to reach out to non-mormons and eventually transition away from them.

Do less and less with mormons. Start going elsewhere to meet new non-mormons. I can't be specific, but you need to find friends that are more open and accepting. Perhaps you could start by going to a Unitarian Church which will likely have interest groups and activities to your liking.

You could also take some night classes if there are subjects offered that interest you.

Check out bird watching groups, hiking groups, cooking clubs, art and music groups. The world is your oyster.

Good luck to you. I hope you can be strong and soon find your way.

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Posted by: pollythinks ( )
Date: January 11, 2018 05:05PM

From your post information, it is no wonder you are overwhelmed.

Is it possible for you to search the internet for a "like kind" group in your area?

You haven't said if you present as male or female, but it would seem to me that males can have an easier time of coping (maybe not as vulnerable as a female to being sexually abused)--But more to the point, perhaps your parents can adapt enough to help you along this line, such as giving (or loaning) you enough money to relocate to another place to live than Utah.

Good ol' Los Angeles gives such as your self a better chance of finding people with whom you can connect, and find friends.

Best Wishes.

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Posted by: saucie ( )
Date: January 11, 2018 06:51PM

Have you tried finding any transgender support groups in your area?

Polly Thinks is right, Good ol' Los Angeles give everyone like you a way better chance to find other transgenders.... i live
in Southern California so I know . This is a very accepting
place to live.

Plus its not Utah which is a plus .

Good luck to you.... you've got to be feeling so lonely right now.

Let us know how you are doing.

I just did a search for Transgender Support groups in Los Angeles... there are pages and pages of them here.

Hopefully you have some in Utah as well.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/11/2018 07:04PM by saucie.

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Posted by: hobon ( )
Date: January 11, 2018 07:51PM


Have you gone to and/or finished college or a trade school? Employed or not? Able to support yourself?

I'm not snooping. I ask because building a future comfortable to you and connecting with others who can and will accept you as you are depends on those things.

I don't care what the LDS "standard age of expected marital bonds" to be, most of us here consider "in my twenties" to be an era of experimentation, dating, getting one's feet solidly under oneself, and *way* too young to know what you're looking for in a *lifelong* partner! Throw that crappy idea out of the window, post-haste!

I assume you to have been locked down hard, both from within yourself and by others, social and parental expectations, LDS behavioral dictates,...and so on.

And someone's gotta say it, so it might as well be me. OMG. A black transgender kid raised by white "nearly" fanatical TBMs. WHAT'S the world coming to, anyway! And go figure, you now have issues. Well...YEAH, I would expect you to have a truckload of them!

You don't need to defend your parents to me, I'm sure they were great, were born to be who they are, yadda yadda yadda, but for Christmas sake, SO WERE YOU.

You need to be among people where you feel like you fit in, and there are loads of them. After the multi-layered rejection cake you've been fed your entire life, I can understand the fear in reaching out, but a full and beautiful life awaits you, if you can.

And I have to say this about the "freak" comment. Many, many of us, raised in our birth families, felt like total freaks among them. It wasn't necessarily about gender or orientations issues, but could have been, but more that, and there's no other way to say it, our ability to think our way out of dysfunctional situations, and often, our abilities to think, period, were head and shoulders above the thinking abilities of our families. And we were sick up to *here* of the bs, and so, often in desperation, we got brave and decided to forge our own paths.

And here you are, gentle soul, looking to think your way out, forge your own path. You call yourself too scared to do that, but I'm not buyin' it. You posted here, didn't you? Reached out for help and support, and that took guts. Bravery. Boldness. It's a step. I don't know if it's number one or fifty-one, and I don't care. It's a step. Just like our steps. Sometimes, our steps went backwards, and not every decision we made was the "correct" or perfect one, but every one of them made us stronger.

For now, remember these things:

YOU are NOT the "freaky" one
You were born to be who you are, from the inside out
You can and will connect with others, and know so many different types and levels of love
You are perfectly YOU; and it is tour BIRTHRIGHT to be that person

Much love, life and support flowing your way. Prepare for THAT.

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Posted by: Babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: January 11, 2018 11:55PM

I used to be very lonely. Little did I know, my best friend was always with me - me. I needed to be okay with myself, to love me for who I am now, not wait until I was a “better” person. The church would have you believe that there’s something better later. That’s how they string you along. Being here now, and being happy to be here, is the best thing ever if you choose it.

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Posted by: readwrite ( )
Date: January 12, 2018 12:40AM

What community?

It doesn't feel like community.

Acceptance. Honor. Respect. That's community!

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Posted by: Badassadam1 ( )
Date: January 12, 2018 01:18AM

Honor doesn't exist anymore unfortunately.

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Posted by: Badassadam1 ( )
Date: January 12, 2018 01:21AM

But to the OP i found authentic people to talk to in card tournaments. You may have to push yourself to get out there and out of your comfort zone to find a new community. It is a lonely road right when you leave i won't bullsh#t you. Like a lone man in a desert trying to get grounded in reality.

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Posted by: Cpete ( )
Date: January 12, 2018 01:43AM

At age 20 go create your community. Your an adult, you are responsible, or at least should be. Nvm I suffer from rfmphobia./'s

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: January 12, 2018 02:38PM

I always thought they were because I was mormon and being good or something. Then I left and I found that I have these type of experiences a lot and, NOW, instead of dismissing them if they don't agree with church teachings, I listen to all my intuition, inner voice, whatever you want to call it. I've always had great intuition. My mother always said I was her most spiritual child. I have premonitions a lot. Now I take note of ALL of them instead of just those that I feel are mormon related and I have stop dismissing those that don't.

Like others have said, you can find a real community by doing an on-line search. Like they've said, SLC has a large LGBT community. I hope your parents would be supportive. We don't know them, so we can't be sure. DO NOT let them tell you you can be cured by fasting and praying and do not let them send you to a mormon therapist. I hope you can find someone to be a support system to you before you tell your parents.

I never felt a part of the group as a mormon. They never treated me well EXCEPT when I was with my gay husband who was cheating on me, but the mormons love him because he is really outgoing and friendly (and they didn't know he is gay). Now they tell me he CHOSE to be gay after we went inactive.

I'd suggest you not tell anyone UNTIL you find a support group that isn't mormon. And you shouldn't have to live your life in the box that mormons want you to live in.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/2018 02:41PM by cl2.

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Posted by: Pathos NLI ( )
Date: January 12, 2018 04:22PM

I have a lot of ties to the transgender / gender questioning community here in Salt Lake. There are a group of performers and community in general that acts more like a family called the Bad Kids here in the city. All filled with people who fit your desire and description. I can’t imagine a more hospitable family for you. If you’d like more information, let me know.

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