mstjarna wrote:Spoilered because it seems like a good idea to spoiler it.Spoiler:By deviating only mildly ... from the restrained straight and narrow path of masculinity that is expected from maleness, I feel like a freakish deviant. Long hair, clothes ... and I already see people's silent judgment (classifying, then distancing) against me ... Something about the way I bear myself ... puts off quite a few people. ... feeling like I'm some sort of deviant makes me quite uncomfortable.
And when I am made uncomfortable over something about my behaviour and appearance and general aura, I get weird urges to slice my thighs up, or drink bleach. ... I'm not a danger to myself right now, but if I lose control over the situation (by which I mean, my privacy in regards to my psychological matters pertaining to gender--that they are kept between me and the very few who know) that is perhaps subject to change. I don't know--I would be a wreck, that's all I can say for sure. I expect everyone already thinks I'm gay or something. But I don't put it past people, especially my brother who has joked constantly about such things--in regards to me I mean--in the past, to get the or something right.
I'm used to being kinda on the fringes. Not being very social, being awkward around people, being different from others. But it is different in this regard. Like people look at me and think they see a leper or someone with a contagious disfiguring disease. ...
Spoilered because it's the reply to a spoilered post.
For example your brother. You say he jokes about you being gay. In a good way or in a bad way? If you were really gay and would tell him, would he reject you for it or would he just say "I guessed that all along."? Likewise, if he guessed that you are / want to be a woman or if you told him, could this be a good thing, after all? Could his reaction be positive? There is also the advantage that you have actually started working on it now, so you don't have to say to your brother "I think I want to be a woman", which could yield an unfortunate response like "Are you sure?", you can say "I have started the process for getting my sex reassigned" in a 'It's decided and that's what's going to happen' way.
Think about how the other people around you are really self-absorbed* and insecure themselves, always wondering how others judge them. They may seem to distance themselves from you because they don't know how to react to you. This doesn't mean they hate who you are.** Everybody thinks of themselves as non-sexist nowadays, imagining we treat men and women alike. But in reality we don't. And when someone changes their perceived gender, this subconscious behavior becomes conscious. When you do as much as wear long hair and somewhat-feminine clothing, you challenge people's idea of what consitutes gender. So they become confused. But this says more about them than it says about you. Once you have come out / started transition visibly, you may be the first transgender person they meet and they kind of need practice to treat a woman who once has been a man like a woman. I know I did. For example during my first ever conversation with a transwoman I realized I smile much more often at women during conversations than at men. So I had to remind myself to do this with her just as with any other woman. The second time I met her this came much more naturally to me. I wonder how she perceived our first conversation. Did I behave like an idiot? Apparently not as much that she would never talk to me again. Or I guess she was already really self-confident about it, so she could deal with stupid insecure people like me. I fear I might have put off a not-yet-confident transwoman like you so much that you might not have wanted to talk to me again.
Maybe you can try out other people's reaction to your femaleness with people who don't know you yet, like dress in clothes you really want to wear in another city, or during vacation.*** (Because for people who have known you as a man for a long time it's probably the hardest to change the way they treat you and get them to think of you as a woman.) Hopefully this will result in some good reactions that will boost your self-esteem. And if there are bad reactions they don't turn out as bad as you imagine now they would be, and also you won't have to care so much because you never have to see these people again.
So all the best to you and for the way in front of you! There are people here who have gone all the way already or who are in the middle, hopefully you can get some courage / power / consolation / what you need from this.
And I hope I haven't written anything stupid and it doesn't sound like I am questioning your feelings or telling you you are wrong to feel the way you do.
* I hope this is not a bad word ... sometimes I reach limits when trying to express myself in English.
** Okay, unfortunately there are those hate-filled people, too. I hope you meet as few as possible of those.
*** Like, not right now, just when you feel comfortable enough with the idea.