Comic 432 - The Right One

29th Sep 2013, 9:54 PM in Ch. 17: Journey of 1,000 Miles
The Right One
Average Rating: 4.89 (9 votes)
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Author Notes:

Jocelyn 29th Sep 2013, 9:54 PM edit delete
This one may require a bit of explanation if you’re not transgender.

If you’re not familiar with the term, “gatekeeper”, it’s a very feared and hated concept in the trans community. The unfortunate thing about being trans, is that you kinda have to be “approved” in order to begin transition. Particularly, you need a therapist/counselor/psychiatrist/etc to diagnose you as such before moving forward. If for some reason, said professional isn’t convinced you’re trans (or has some kind of personal stance against such things), they essentially have the power to halt your transition by either outright refusing to help or sneakily dragging things out. Without their diagnosis, you’re probably stuck. Most doctors won’t prescribe hormone therapy without the mental health professional’s letter of recommendation (I’ve heard rare instances where some will, but I wouldn’t depend on that).

So what Jessica is saying in the first panel about lying or exaggerating is something that unfortunately happens. Some trans folk simply don’t want to have the SRS (sexual reassignment surgery). Some suffer much milder cases of dysphoria. Some trans girls are tomboys, and some trans boys are femme. Nothing is wrong with any of these scenarios. But there are therapists out there who are, sadly, only impressed by the extreme cases. It SHOULDN’T have to be like that, and thankfully, for me it wasn’t (although, I AM kind of an extreme case). But I have a lot of friends going through this right now getting jerked around by professionals content to sit on their thumbs. It’s unfathomable to me.

Hence, why I think if your therapist fails to yield the results you want, look for another one. There are those that are NOT gatekeepers who will help. I know this. I’ve seen it firsthand. You shouldn’t have to lie or wait for someone to hum and haw. They’re there to help you; if they’re not helping you, don’t waste your time and money with them. Move on. Keep trying. You WILL find someone who can help as long as you don’t give up.

Wow. Kinda went on with this one. I hope I was able to inform with this though, whether you’re trans or not. ^_^

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Karen Lynn 30th Sep 2013, 12:45 AM edit delete reply
Makes me glad there are nearly twenty therapists within an hour of me that claim to assist with trans* issues. Once I start therapy... Just need a few hundred dollars in my pocket to start...
Kitsune kun 30th Sep 2013, 2:02 AM edit delete reply
@Karen Lynn

Well that's good that you have plenty of choices ^^
If you would like, I will perform a spell for you so that lady fortun wil sway in your favor.
Please don't be weirded out by this. I just feel that lady fortun has given to me, so I should give to others. ^^


I has a question. How can I tell if, well....if IM trans? I mean, I've always wondered what it was like to be a girl, and sometimes I thought that maybe it would be better if I was, but I still felt content as a boy. But recently, I've been cross dressing and passing as a girl, and I also am considering implants, or inserts at least. Also, If I may ask, since I'm considering it uncomfortable, you know... Getting.....(.Y.). >///< I just need to know. It's kinda been a concern I mine that it would be uncomfortable .
music 30th Sep 2013, 9:05 AM edit delete reply
A therapist can only help you find the answer for yourself. I'm not even a therapist, so I dunno except I'd note that you're open-minded now. Maybe you're a guy comfortable with excursions into femininity, or maybe a girl overcoming a guy's childhood, or maybe it's not right to pin you down as either. You could be a Rudy, a Rain, or a Ky - I'm just observing the question, not giving you the answer. (Sorry!)

But I do know your ideal therapist won't dismiss any of those answers out of hand.

Implants? Lemme just say this (especially from my genderfluid perspective): falsies are fantastic and good silicone ones doubly so, and at the worst a no-risk trial (silicone's so huggable to!) of how breasts might suit you.

"Real life tests" just to make trans* people jump through hoops are more than a little bit wrong (we don't make adults wear temporary tattoos or clip-on ear-rings - sure, the medical risks of transition are greater than minor body modifications, but come on!). "Real life tests" to discover what kind of trans* *you* are? Certainly worth your time.
Jocelyn 30th Sep 2013, 9:14 AM edit delete reply
@Kitsune kun

Incidentally, if you're not sure, I recommend seeking out a therapist and talking to them about it. They can help you reach the answers you need. If you ARE trans, you're already through the first step by that point. If you're not, they should be able to help you to pinpoint the answer you are looking for.

As for getting boobs... it's interesting actually. I have no implants nor any desire for them myself. I'm currently a B-cup (but they can keep growing for up to 5-6 years on hormones and I only just passed year one). But before I started, I was afraid I wouldn't like having them. I though, "What if I spent my whole life wanting these things, only to not like having them when I finally already do? What if it feels different or weird or whatever?"

But you know, like I said, it's interesting. I've had these things for a little while now, but I never felt off. It's less about liking them or not, but rather, that they are indeed there. Like, of course they're there. Why wouldn't they be? I don't know how often this experience occurs with other trans women, but for me, there was no need to adapt. It was like I was already used to it (perhaps, in the way a cis woman my age may feel about it). So I can't call it uncomfortable... OR comfortable. They're just there, and I'm happy about it. It's somewhat validating for me.

But again, I speak purely for myself. Experiences may vary.
Tacopius 30th Sep 2013, 10:07 AM edit delete reply
I only just started asking those questions about myself when I was 19 or so, and I hadn't even gotten as far as cross-dressing when I had my answer. It makes a lot more sense in retrospect, but at the time I was really uncertain about the whole thing. If you can find a therapist somewhere who can hear you out and offer you some perspective, that would be the best way to go about it. Don't rush into things, but don't be afraid to embrace what you find when you go exploring your inner self. :)

Implants? I'm not really sure. In my opinion hormones are enough to give you a comfortable set of boobs. I've been going for 2 years and I'm just getting into the B range. If you ever do end up going on hormones, just know that your boobs are going to hurt to start out. The pain means they're growing O_O (For serious, that is how it works heeeh)
Karen Lynn 30th Sep 2013, 11:28 AM edit delete reply
Kitsune-kun, if you want some people to talk to that may be able to help you understand more about your self(in a non therapist, peer support way), email me at the following email address:

gamer . karen . lynn @ Gmail . com

Just remove the spaces. Not sure if this even helps against crawler bots, but I figure it's worth a shot.
no 7th Nov 2020, 7:10 PM edit delete reply
did you ever figure it out? I´m curious now. (btw I´m betting you are, based on what you posted here)
j-eagle12212012 30th Sep 2013, 6:46 AM edit delete reply
I was fortunate to find the right therapist, the only thing holding me back from starting hormones is my weight ( I need to lose about 20 lbs before November before my endo will start HRT)
Tacopius 30th Sep 2013, 8:19 AM edit delete reply
I was fortunate enough to find a clinic with therapists and practitioners sympathetic to trans* peeps. One day I went there for therapy where all they had to do was say "Yep, you're trans all right" and the next time I went there they basically offered to write a prescription right away. O_O I could scarcely believe after all the horror stories I've heard that it could be that easy. The only thing holding me back was that I wanted to wait until I was back at college for a while to start HRT. I didn't want to start with my family around during winter break :P
Jocelyn 30th Sep 2013, 9:27 AM edit delete reply

Same here, although kinda in reverse. I'd done a lot of research which scared me away from starting transition for a very long time. One horror story after another about gatekeepers dragging things out. My experience, when I finally did go, was not like that. It still took him a while to write my letter, but he assured me like five minutes into the first session that he WOULD do it. He was very open and very accepting. I couldn't have asked for someone better.

And it's surreal to me knowing that's not everyone's experience, because I feel like it should be. Why should there be any oppression? And yet, I have friends who started therapy before me years ago, STILL trying to start transition. It's mindblowing, and it's completely unfair.

So, I don't want to scare people with this (for anyone reading this). There ARE good practitioners out there. There are just bad ones too (like there are bad cops, doctors, waiters, etc). Just don't let yourself get discouraged, and keep trying. Like I said; if one fails you, look for another. You'll find a good one eventually. Yes, you may fail if you try, but you can't succeed if you don't try.
Guest 30th Sep 2013, 2:56 PM edit delete reply
As stupid as it sounds, but google can be a friend in some cases. Some trans-related websites contain lists of therapist who are known for treating transfolk well, that indeed helped me in my decision in seeing a therapist, though I don´t see her anymore. Luckily I live in a region, where the next big cities are only one hour of train travel away...

Considering transition, I stumbled about something weird for me: Pre-transition breast growth (kinda)
Arouns the last few months my breasts started to grow for unknown reasons, not fast but steady; I even lost weight so it´s kinda unlikely to be that; not that I complain, but it freaks me out a little bit.
Can the unconscious part of the mind be really that powerful?
Karen Lynn 30th Sep 2013, 4:09 PM edit delete reply
The unconscious mind is pretty powerful... People I'm out to claim I'm looking more feminine, and all I've done was brush my hair differently. They say it's more than that, and I'll take whatever I can get.
Sarume 30th Sep 2013, 4:29 PM edit delete reply
Maybe I´m also just going insane though
Tacopius 1st Oct 2013, 7:38 AM edit delete reply
I don't know about the power of the unconscious mind, but before I transitioned I unwittingly found myself on what I call the Ben&Jerry HRT. Basically after eating those on a regular basis, somehow the dairy or something must have made me a natural A-cup o_o Like, they weren't big, but they were there, and they weren't there before, and I hadn't started hormones yet. I was alarmed, yes, but secretly content :3
no 7th Nov 2020, 7:09 PM edit delete reply
ice cream causing a transition? don´t be ridiculous, that makes no sense.

...on a completely unrelated note, I´m off to my local ice cream shop now.
Cherise 1st Oct 2013, 10:15 AM edit delete reply

So, did you ever get that red dress with the hip flair? The apology for it being impractical seemed irrelevant. It's red. It's a hot little number. You want it. How could you not want it? I want it. It would show off my nice legs and accentuate my butt when I wiggle. It reminds of a different dress different style but a similar effect where this cute lady cashier told me I was really rocking that dress (sometimes I bring out bi tendencies in ladies who don't even know they have bi leanings, in spite of being over fifty). I would really rock in that dress. It's what I'd wear. That's what matters.

I don't like to label myself as a transgender woman but rather just think of myself as being a woman. Since trans implies transformation or transitionitg from one gender to another it just doesn't seem to fit for me. Life may be a journey but regarding gender I'm not going anywhere. I arrived when I was born. I was always female.

GID is given no credence in the DSM-V. I don't feel distressed over being female. I'm proud to be myself. Dysphoria has to do with feeling distressed. Hence, I don't have gender dysphoria. What's important is that my brain, my mind, my hear and spirit are female. After that the outlying physiology is no more than real estate. When I arrange for alterations to be medically made to reproductive organs that would simply be like rearranging the landscaping a tad. With new advances in stem cell research and therapies (usu. adult stem cells and stem cell attracting agents) perhaps soon surgery may not be the only option for making such alterations. However, were I to get surgery I would call it Sex Affirmation Surgery, not SRS.

In the trans experience there is a lot of variation as we're all individuals. Yet, where I'm at on that spectrum the trans label doesn't even seem to fit regardless of how I am on the spectrum and I am of the experience. I think this has to do with a failure of the language: The inability or awkwardness of a language spawned by an archaic male dominated society to adequately express who we are.

Does this make sense to you? Do you see where I am? I just feel like I'm a woman. What other language could be used to refer to where I'm at?

Seeing as I already know who I am, other than confirmation, what would a therapist do for me? It seems as though I've already done and learned so much on my own.
Transginger 27th Mar 2016, 2:03 AM edit delete reply
My doctor said she completely believed that I am of good mental health and that I do not need a therapist's "authorization" to continue with my transition. She cited my background with psychology and the sciences as a justifiable reason for not needing it. My doctor is awesome, though. I suppose I am just lucky. We are having a hard time finding an endocrinologist near me (perks of living in the Bible Belt), but once we do, we're moving ahead full force. What's killing me is the waiting. I have to wait for my doctor to find an endocrinologist that's available and willing to help me. My doctor said she's worked with other transgender patients before though, so I do not know what is taking so long.
Ruth 9th Aug 2016, 12:41 AM edit delete reply
My therapist is a cis-woman, and mother of 3 kids who's never had a patient as old as myself before (I'm 54 and older than she is) only deals mostly with teens and those in their 20s. I've not yet seen her in person yet, only had a teleconference and sent her pics of myself. After almost an hour on the phone with her she did comment that I'm probably more feminine in spirit that she is and that I've probably got my head screwed on straighter than any patient she's ever had before and is worried that the endo she refers her patients to might try to summarily dismiss me as AGP. I'll be meeting with her and the endo in person next week and hopefully they'll both see that I'm the genuine article and that trying, and failing to live up to my genetic gender for over 4 decades has only left me a small fraction of the person I should've been and that time is running out for me to finally live the life that will make me truly happy again.

It sure is damn wierd to spill out your soul to total strangers, when you've not even done so to the people closest in your life, and this is one thing that I'm having the hardest time with.

Reading Rain has helped me with that more than anything, I have to admit.
A Sapphic Game Dev 20th Nov 2021, 8:05 AM edit delete reply
This is a bit less true in 2021 as informed consent clinics are more common, and places like planned parenthood offer inclusive transgender care, but still totally relevant.

It was even worse in the past though because you could only transition if it made you straight! When only like 20% of trans people are exclusively straight that’s pretty awful and divisive and I’m glad that’s no longer the case. Especially as a lesbian trans woman myself.

I came out when I was 14, around 2011, a couple of years before the new DSM-V which was (I think?) the first time trans people had input on the diagnostic criteria for trans-stuff and changed the diagnosis from “Gender Identity Disorder” to “Gender Dysphoria” to emphasize that being trans was not a disorder itself. At least in the U.S., I felt there has been incredible progress in all this stuff in the last 10 years… up until the backlash got really bad recently, especially for kids and teens. It’s truly incredible though, and I hope despite the recent setbacks we can continue to push things forwards!
Mila 11th Nov 2022, 3:52 AM edit delete reply
I remember how nervous and scared I was, trying to get approved to start transitioning last year. I may have lucked out that my primary care doctor had no issue referring me to my health system's gender clinic after only a short series of preliminary questions, but having heard so many stories of gatekeeping I didn't hold a ton of hope that the therapist would refer me on to the endocrinologist. Thankfully, she was all too willing to help and saw no reason to turn me down to start HRT - after going over a handful of pamphlets with relevant information. I was scarcely happier after getting the OK. Honestly, I don't know how I would have proceeded had I gotten "gatekeepered" during that early process - I had no idea where else to turn back then.
Ironically, my biggest barrier to entry turned out to be a naturally low testosterone level, that delayed me starting by about a month as they scrutinized multiple blood draws and an MRI on my pituitary gland.
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