Serious LGBTQ+

Annika

Formerly LarTech
Let me be the third girl to come out this week (after Robyn and Tondas) and break the rule that the name of any Dutch trans girl starts with the A. Also this is a great post to be my 1000th post on smogon. So, I have already told my story in the smaller communities like PokePride, RoA Staff and the LC community but I wanted to also write and vent about it in a post. So I have recently starting to experiment with being a girl and it feels amazing to be called a girl and to be able to express myself as a girl. Unlike some others, I'm still not fully sure that is the correct step but it sure does feel this way now.

In my childhood there were many arrows that pointed to me being a girl, but there was a big one pointing towards not being one: the absence of body dysphoria. I didn't mind being a man, could live my whole live as one but I just always wanted to express myself as a girl or be treated as a girl. Especially the former I just coupled to being a crossdresser my whole life and I just gave myself that label, because "why would someone who doesn't feel shit about being a boy become a girl." But that is, I think now at least, not the correct mindset to have in this case. Of course, it is much safer if I act, behave and express as a boy but I do have the feelings that I would be happier if I could be a girl instead. And referencing the famous button test, I would definitely push the button that would turn me into a girl.

So, fast forward to the Pokepride discord where a few weeks ago I decided to come out as a CD for the first time, after people were talking about men wearing dresses. Soon after that I joined a call with Asheviere where we talked about a lot of stuff, but also about being trans and although a lot of what she mentioned was not applicable to me, I did feel jealous that she could be accepted as a girl but I couldn't. I also bought 2 skirts and 2 thighs when I met up with Aurora, Alice and Astrid and had an urge to wear them always at home, which made me really reconsider if CDing is just an act or maybe something bigger.

After this I started to follow the discussions in the discord more closely and saw that Tondas had similar feelings as me about being more feminine than we are currently are. Then one day this week ehT told us to really consider if we are not really girls and after that I started to really think about it. After a lot of reading, discussions, coming out, coming back in and coming back out I realized that I must be a girl if I want to be one. No boy would want to become a girl, even if they are crossdressers, or have very elaborate dreams about it since they were young.

There were also a few articles and lines that really stuck with me, like "If I did something really ‘girly’, it feels natural", "...the fact I'm questioning it means something, right? Maybe I'm just innately skeptical.." and "I don't live as a male because I think I am one, but it's just what I'm so accustomed to". All of these were things that I was thinking, but I just couldn't put one and one together before. I always thought trans people were people who felt they were born in the wrong body and couldn't live their lives as the assigned gender, but this isn't the case for all trans people. Some people could be happy as their assigned gender, but could be even happier if they are the other one and I'm really thinking I'm part of this group. And as I once read, "Trans folks may have a lot of dysphoria or none at all – but most will have gender euphoria", and I definitely a felt that from the first time eht called me she/her, to the first time hml called me Kim in pms and when Quote called me Kim in call yesterday.

After a lot of mental discussion over the week, I decided to come out once and for all to test the water and experiment with being a girl. I started by making a small name change to kjdaas in the pokepride server, but after a while I also wanted to see how it felt on PS! to have that name. After that I told 3 close online friends (shoutouts Sceptross, Excal and HML am) that I was really considering that and there support was heartwarming and them treating me like a girl felt amazing. After that a slightly drunk Quote kinda pushed me to come out in the LC discord, cos it is invested with LGBTQ+ people and would be a good next step. Later in the evening, I also came out to the RoA Staff, because they are my friends and deserve to learn it before the rest of the community. I thought I would be done after this for a while, because I'm afraid that this might be wrong decision in the end and don't want to have to have to make another announcement to the wider smogon community but for some strange reason I just have this feeling I should do it. I'm still not sure if I want a name change to kjdaas here as well, but it feels kinda the right to do so even if I'm just experimenting with it.

tl;dr I'm considering being a trans girl and I would prefer if people start using she, her or kim.
YAYYY you're out! you go girl!
 

Robyn

If you can read this, you are valid.
is a Battle Simulator Moderator
In light of some recent events, I've decided I do in fact want to write a big, in depth post about my life! Still love my previous post here, coming out in a single paragraph is definitely my style.

Hi everybody, my name is Robyn (maybe you knew me before as JediR) and I am a sixteen year old transgender girl. Unfortunately, because of various circumstances in my IRL life, I can only take small steps toward transitioning and coming out in real life for now, until those circumstances change.

Ever since I was a young kid I have had thoughts and emotions relating to my own self-image that I could never properly explain. To me, none of this really mattered throughout my early life, I was just a happy little kid who didn't care if people called her a boy or a girl. This changed significantly around the age of eleven or twelve, when puberty hit me like a ton of bricks.

As my body began to develop more and more masculine features, my mental state took a turn toward severe depression (which I now recognize as dysphoria). I stopped sleeping, I abandoned friends whom I had been close to for longer than I could remember, I simply began to do everything in my power to shelter myself, to avoid human contact, and most of all to avoid feeling anything at all. I began to hate my own body even more than ever before. I begged my mother to allow me to grow my hair long (which, despite her many prejudices and misconceptions, she luckily allowed me to do). I would cry in the shower because I hated who I was. I even went through a brief period where I would forcibly pluck out leg hairs as they came in. Ouch!

Unfortunately, at this time, I had no idea that transgender people even existed! I had no idea that there was another option, and that "everyone else" wasn't having these same feelings. And, because of this, instead of confronting my own thoughts I learned to repress all feelings relating to this. I taught myself not to cry, ever - no matter how much it hurt.

But, no matter how much I tried, the feelings never fully went away. I still, deep down, wished I were a girl. I still hated who I was slowly becoming, and at night I would still drift to sleep thinking about what my life would be like had I been born a girl. I would have dreams at night where I would see myself in a girl's body and when I woke up and was reminded that this was just a dream I would frequently be overcome with emotion.

Then, wow, I turned 13! I was COPPA legal! A whole new world opened up for me! I made new friends and joined new communities including this one! And, while I may have still fallen way too far down the rabbit hole of repression to be willing to fully accept or even consider who I truly was, I was able to slowly come to terms with bits and pieces of my identity, largely because of how accepting this community is. Thanks for that!

Fast forward to now (well, about a month ago), nearly three years after joining here, and suddenly for reasons I may never fully understand the walls of emotional repression I built up over all these years began to break. And, understandably, I was scared. But because of the supportive people and community I found here, across PS and Smogon entirely, and to a more specific degree in the PokePride discord linked in the OP of this thread and amongst the people I staff various chatrooms with on PS, I knew I would make it through okay. Thanks guys.

The day I finally gave into the emotions that I had repressed for so very long and actually spoke to (and came out to, kind of) someone about all of this was the most amazing day of my life. I had food poisoning and spent most of the day dealing with that, but I was still happier than I had ever truly been before.

From that day, I very quickly came out to the rest of PS and Smogon, and now I can truly never imagine going back to how I felt before. Feels nice to be who I really am, who would’ve thought.

So that’s my story. I hope someone takes something from it, that’s why I posted here. And if anyone else who is having feelings even remotely similar to how I felt for such a long time wants to talk to me or at me or near me or anything at all I would be more than willing to talk to or to listen to you. I might still be “new on the scene”, but it’s the least I can do to return the favor of what this community did for me.

read the damn post u lazy bum I put a lot of work into this >:(
 
In light of some recent events, I've decided I do in fact want to write a big, in depth post about my life! Still love my previous post here, coming out in a single paragraph is definitely my style.

Hi everybody, my name is Robyn (maybe you knew me before as JediR) and I am a sixteen year old transgender girl. Unfortunately, because of various circumstances in my IRL life, I can only take small steps toward transitioning and coming out in real life for now, until those circumstances change.

Ever since I was a young kid I have had thoughts and emotions relating to my own self-image that I could never properly explain. To me, none of this really mattered throughout my early life, I was just a happy little kid who didn't care if people called her a boy or a girl. This changed significantly around the age of eleven or twelve, when puberty hit me like a ton of bricks.

As my body began to develop more and more masculine features, my mental state took a turn toward severe depression (which I now recognize as dysphoria). I stopped sleeping, I abandoned friends whom I had been close to for longer than I could remember, I simply began to do everything in my power to shelter myself, to avoid human contact, and most of all to avoid feeling anything at all. I began to hate my own body even more than ever before. I begged my mother to allow me to grow my hair long (which, despite her many prejudices and misconceptions, she luckily allowed me to do). I would cry in the shower because I hated who I was. I even went through a brief period where I would forcibly pluck out leg hairs as they came in. Ouch!

Unfortunately, at this time, I had no idea that transgender people even existed! I had no idea that there was another option, and that "everyone else" wasn't having these same feelings. And, because of this, instead of confronting my own thoughts I learned to repress all feelings relating to this. I taught myself not to cry, ever - no matter how much it hurt.

But, no matter how much I tried, the feelings never fully went away. I still, deep down, wished I were a girl. I still hated who I was slowly becoming, and at night I would still drift to sleep thinking about what my life would be like had I been born a girl. I would have dreams at night where I would see myself in a girl's body and when I woke up and was reminded that this was just a dream I would frequently be overcome with emotion.

Then, wow, I turned 13! I was COPPA legal! A whole new world opened up for me! I made new friends and joined new communities including this one! And, while I may have still fallen way too far down the rabbit hole of repression to be willing to fully accept or even consider who I truly was, I was able to slowly come to terms with bits and pieces of my identity, largely because of how accepting this community is. Thanks for that!

Fast forward to now (well, about a month ago), nearly three years after joining here, and suddenly for reasons I may never fully understand the walls of emotional repression I built up over all these years began to break. And, understandably, I was scared. But because of the supportive people and community I found here, across PS and Smogon entirely, and to a more specific degree in the PokePride discord linked in the OP of this thread and amongst the people I staff various chatrooms with on PS, I knew I would make it through okay. Thanks guys.

The day I finally gave into the emotions that I had repressed for so very long and actually spoke to (and came out to, kind of) someone about all of this was the most amazing day of my life. I had food poisoning and spent most of the day dealing with that, but I was still happier than I had ever truly been before.

From that day, I very quickly came out to the rest of PS and Smogon, and now I can truly never imagine going back to how I felt before. Feels nice to be who I really am, who would’ve thought.

So that’s my story. I hope someone takes something from it, that’s why I posted here. And if anyone else who is having feelings even remotely similar to how I felt for such a long time wants to talk to me or at me or near me or anything at all I would be more than willing to talk to or to listen to you. I might still be “new on the scene”, but it’s the least I can do to return the favor of what this community did for me.

read the damn post u lazy bum I put a lot of work into this >:(
YES ROBYN YESSS YOU ROCK GIRL NEVER FORGET IT!!!!!
 

Annika

Formerly LarTech
In light of some recent events, I've decided I do in fact want to write a big, in depth post about my life! Still love my previous post here, coming out in a single paragraph is definitely my style.

Hi everybody, my name is Robyn (maybe you knew me before as JediR) and I am a sixteen year old transgender girl. Unfortunately, because of various circumstances in my IRL life, I can only take small steps toward transitioning and coming out in real life for now, until those circumstances change.

Ever since I was a young kid I have had thoughts and emotions relating to my own self-image that I could never properly explain. To me, none of this really mattered throughout my early life, I was just a happy little kid who didn't care if people called her a boy or a girl. This changed significantly around the age of eleven or twelve, when puberty hit me like a ton of bricks.

As my body began to develop more and more masculine features, my mental state took a turn toward severe depression (which I now recognize as dysphoria). I stopped sleeping, I abandoned friends whom I had been close to for longer than I could remember, I simply began to do everything in my power to shelter myself, to avoid human contact, and most of all to avoid feeling anything at all. I began to hate my own body even more than ever before. I begged my mother to allow me to grow my hair long (which, despite her many prejudices and misconceptions, she luckily allowed me to do). I would cry in the shower because I hated who I was. I even went through a brief period where I would forcibly pluck out leg hairs as they came in. Ouch!

Unfortunately, at this time, I had no idea that transgender people even existed! I had no idea that there was another option, and that "everyone else" wasn't having these same feelings. And, because of this, instead of confronting my own thoughts I learned to repress all feelings relating to this. I taught myself not to cry, ever - no matter how much it hurt.

But, no matter how much I tried, the feelings never fully went away. I still, deep down, wished I were a girl. I still hated who I was slowly becoming, and at night I would still drift to sleep thinking about what my life would be like had I been born a girl. I would have dreams at night where I would see myself in a girl's body and when I woke up and was reminded that this was just a dream I would frequently be overcome with emotion.

Then, wow, I turned 13! I was COPPA legal! A whole new world opened up for me! I made new friends and joined new communities including this one! And, while I may have still fallen way too far down the rabbit hole of repression to be willing to fully accept or even consider who I truly was, I was able to slowly come to terms with bits and pieces of my identity, largely because of how accepting this community is. Thanks for that!

Fast forward to now (well, about a month ago), nearly three years after joining here, and suddenly for reasons I may never fully understand the walls of emotional repression I built up over all these years began to break. And, understandably, I was scared. But because of the supportive people and community I found here, across PS and Smogon entirely, and to a more specific degree in the PokePride discord linked in the OP of this thread and amongst the people I staff various chatrooms with on PS, I knew I would make it through okay. Thanks guys.

The day I finally gave into the emotions that I had repressed for so very long and actually spoke to (and came out to, kind of) someone about all of this was the most amazing day of my life. I had food poisoning and spent most of the day dealing with that, but I was still happier than I had ever truly been before.

From that day, I very quickly came out to the rest of PS and Smogon, and now I can truly never imagine going back to how I felt before. Feels nice to be who I really am, who would’ve thought.

So that’s my story. I hope someone takes something from it, that’s why I posted here. And if anyone else who is having feelings even remotely similar to how I felt for such a long time wants to talk to me or at me or near me or anything at all I would be more than willing to talk to or to listen to you. I might still be “new on the scene”, but it’s the least I can do to return the favor of what this community did for me.

read the damn post u lazy bum I put a lot of work into this >:(
girl I'm so happy for you!

also you've been through a lot of really hard stuff hugs
 

PhantomHurious

milk is a juice, spread the word
In light of some recent events, I've decided I do in fact want to write a big, in depth post about my life! Still love my previous post here, coming out in a single paragraph is definitely my style.

Hi everybody, my name is Robyn (maybe you knew me before as JediR) and I am a sixteen year old transgender girl. Unfortunately, because of various circumstances in my IRL life, I can only take small steps toward transitioning and coming out in real life for now, until those circumstances change.

Ever since I was a young kid I have had thoughts and emotions relating to my own self-image that I could never properly explain. To me, none of this really mattered throughout my early life, I was just a happy little kid who didn't care if people called her a boy or a girl. This changed significantly around the age of eleven or twelve, when puberty hit me like a ton of bricks.

As my body began to develop more and more masculine features, my mental state took a turn toward severe depression (which I now recognize as dysphoria). I stopped sleeping, I abandoned friends whom I had been close to for longer than I could remember, I simply began to do everything in my power to shelter myself, to avoid human contact, and most of all to avoid feeling anything at all. I began to hate my own body even more than ever before. I begged my mother to allow me to grow my hair long (which, despite her many prejudices and misconceptions, she luckily allowed me to do). I would cry in the shower because I hated who I was. I even went through a brief period where I would forcibly pluck out leg hairs as they came in. Ouch!

Unfortunately, at this time, I had no idea that transgender people even existed! I had no idea that there was another option, and that "everyone else" wasn't having these same feelings. And, because of this, instead of confronting my own thoughts I learned to repress all feelings relating to this. I taught myself not to cry, ever - no matter how much it hurt.

But, no matter how much I tried, the feelings never fully went away. I still, deep down, wished I were a girl. I still hated who I was slowly becoming, and at night I would still drift to sleep thinking about what my life would be like had I been born a girl. I would have dreams at night where I would see myself in a girl's body and when I woke up and was reminded that this was just a dream I would frequently be overcome with emotion.

Then, wow, I turned 13! I was COPPA legal! A whole new world opened up for me! I made new friends and joined new communities including this one! And, while I may have still fallen way too far down the rabbit hole of repression to be willing to fully accept or even consider who I truly was, I was able to slowly come to terms with bits and pieces of my identity, largely because of how accepting this community is. Thanks for that!

Fast forward to now (well, about a month ago), nearly three years after joining here, and suddenly for reasons I may never fully understand the walls of emotional repression I built up over all these years began to break. And, understandably, I was scared. But because of the supportive people and community I found here, across PS and Smogon entirely, and to a more specific degree in the PokePride discord linked in the OP of this thread and amongst the people I staff various chatrooms with on PS, I knew I would make it through okay. Thanks guys.

The day I finally gave into the emotions that I had repressed for so very long and actually spoke to (and came out to, kind of) someone about all of this was the most amazing day of my life. I had food poisoning and spent most of the day dealing with that, but I was still happier than I had ever truly been before.

From that day, I very quickly came out to the rest of PS and Smogon, and now I can truly never imagine going back to how I felt before. Feels nice to be who I really am, who would’ve thought.

So that’s my story. I hope someone takes something from it, that’s why I posted here. And if anyone else who is having feelings even remotely similar to how I felt for such a long time wants to talk to me or at me or near me or anything at all I would be more than willing to talk to or to listen to you. I might still be “new on the scene”, but it’s the least I can do to return the favor of what this community did for me.

read the damn post u lazy bum I put a lot of work into this >:(
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa im so happy for you
 

DianaNicole

formerly Archfeywild
In light of some recent events, I've decided I do in fact want to write a big, in depth post about my life! Still love my previous post here, coming out in a single paragraph is definitely my style.

Hi everybody, my name is Robyn (maybe you knew me before as JediR) and I am a sixteen year old transgender girl. Unfortunately, because of various circumstances in my IRL life, I can only take small steps toward transitioning and coming out in real life for now, until those circumstances change.

Ever since I was a young kid I have had thoughts and emotions relating to my own self-image that I could never properly explain. To me, none of this really mattered throughout my early life, I was just a happy little kid who didn't care if people called her a boy or a girl. This changed significantly around the age of eleven or twelve, when puberty hit me like a ton of bricks.

As my body began to develop more and more masculine features, my mental state took a turn toward severe depression (which I now recognize as dysphoria). I stopped sleeping, I abandoned friends whom I had been close to for longer than I could remember, I simply began to do everything in my power to shelter myself, to avoid human contact, and most of all to avoid feeling anything at all. I began to hate my own body even more than ever before. I begged my mother to allow me to grow my hair long (which, despite her many prejudices and misconceptions, she luckily allowed me to do). I would cry in the shower because I hated who I was. I even went through a brief period where I would forcibly pluck out leg hairs as they came in. Ouch!

Unfortunately, at this time, I had no idea that transgender people even existed! I had no idea that there was another option, and that "everyone else" wasn't having these same feelings. And, because of this, instead of confronting my own thoughts I learned to repress all feelings relating to this. I taught myself not to cry, ever - no matter how much it hurt.

But, no matter how much I tried, the feelings never fully went away. I still, deep down, wished I were a girl. I still hated who I was slowly becoming, and at night I would still drift to sleep thinking about what my life would be like had I been born a girl. I would have dreams at night where I would see myself in a girl's body and when I woke up and was reminded that this was just a dream I would frequently be overcome with emotion.

Then, wow, I turned 13! I was COPPA legal! A whole new world opened up for me! I made new friends and joined new communities including this one! And, while I may have still fallen way too far down the rabbit hole of repression to be willing to fully accept or even consider who I truly was, I was able to slowly come to terms with bits and pieces of my identity, largely because of how accepting this community is. Thanks for that!

Fast forward to now (well, about a month ago), nearly three years after joining here, and suddenly for reasons I may never fully understand the walls of emotional repression I built up over all these years began to break. And, understandably, I was scared. But because of the supportive people and community I found here, across PS and Smogon entirely, and to a more specific degree in the PokePride discord linked in the OP of this thread and amongst the people I staff various chatrooms with on PS, I knew I would make it through okay. Thanks guys.

The day I finally gave into the emotions that I had repressed for so very long and actually spoke to (and came out to, kind of) someone about all of this was the most amazing day of my life. I had food poisoning and spent most of the day dealing with that, but I was still happier than I had ever truly been before.

From that day, I very quickly came out to the rest of PS and Smogon, and now I can truly never imagine going back to how I felt before. Feels nice to be who I really am, who would’ve thought.

So that’s my story. I hope someone takes something from it, that’s why I posted here. And if anyone else who is having feelings even remotely similar to how I felt for such a long time wants to talk to me or at me or near me or anything at all I would be more than willing to talk to or to listen to you. I might still be “new on the scene”, but it’s the least I can do to return the favor of what this community did for me.

read the damn post u lazy bum I put a lot of work into this >:(
Wishing you the best! I know it can be hard when you can't take the steps towards transitioning that you want, just be patient and one day you'll get there!
 
young LGBT teens should avoid spending too much time online, especially in LGBT discords and on LGBT boards/forums. these places are damaging to young and easily impressionable minds, and they are rife with predators.

i see a lot of younger ppl making coming out posts in here, so i just want to offer that advice i wish someone gave to me when i was younger. turn off the damn computer sometimes.
 

DianaNicole

formerly Archfeywild
young LGBT teens should avoid spending too much time online, especially in LGBT discords and on LGBT boards/forums. these places are damaging to young and easily impressionable minds, and they are rife with predators.

i see a lot of younger ppl making coming out posts in here, so i just want to offer that advice i wish someone gave to me when i was younger. turn off the damn computer sometimes.
While it can be a scary place, it can also help people recognize themselves or starting to ask questions to help achieve their best selves. There's a give and take as to the benefits of having an online presence for someone.
 

Asheviere

on a scale of 1 to even i just can't
is a Battle Simulator Administratoris a Community Leaderis a Programmer
PS Leader
young LGBT teens should avoid spending too much time online, especially in LGBT discords and on LGBT boards/forums. these places are damaging to young and easily impressionable minds, and they are rife with predators.

i see a lot of younger ppl making coming out posts in here, so i just want to offer that advice i wish someone gave to me when i was younger. turn off the damn computer sometimes.
Hi TIK
 

Asheviere

on a scale of 1 to even i just can't
is a Battle Simulator Administratoris a Community Leaderis a Programmer
PS Leader
Please don't be so dismissive of someone whose journey you don't know about! Especially someone looking out for the interests of a vulnerable group of youth.
I'm dismissive of someone making a blanket statement around LGBT safe spaces being dangerous and full of predators with absolutely nothing to support that claim. I assume starry has had some negative personal experiences in a LGBT space, which sucks. It is totally true that there are some terrible LGBT spaces on the internet, but generalizing all of them, and recommending vulnerable teenagers DON'T seek out support online (which is the only place they can get any support in a lot of places on the planet) is far more harmful in my eyes.
 

Rosa

AAAAAAA
is a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
Moderator
young LGBT teens should avoid spending too much time online, especially in LGBT discords and on LGBT boards/forums. these places are damaging to young and easily impressionable minds, and they are rife with predators.

i see a lot of younger ppl making coming out posts in here, so i just want to offer that advice i wish someone gave to me when i was younger. turn off the damn computer sometimes.
May I ask how they might be damaging? This is a very large claim to make without any kind of evidence or reasoning backing it up-

On the note of predators, it's not like the real world isn't also full of manipulative people- If anything, online is objectively safer, as you can limit interactions with people as you please.
 

Tenshi

Curiouser and curiouser!
is a Live Chat Contributor
On the note of predators, it's not like the real world isn't also full of manipulative people- If anything, online is objectively safer, as you can limit interactions with people as you please.
Not necessarily as online provides a sense of anonymity, which a lot of times provides a safety that can be abused. People are more likely to say and talk about personal things online which can be used against them if they're not careful. Typically that's a teen issue, a lot of predators are good at prying by making the people they're preying on feel safe and the anonymity goes both ways.
 

EV

Spending daddy's money with an attitude
is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Admin Alumnusis a Smogon Social Media Contributor Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus
Please don't be so dismissive of someone whose journey you don't know about! Especially someone looking out for the interests of a vulnerable group of youth.
Wait, wasn't it starry being dismissive when she blew off all lgbtq online interaction?

-

And where would half of you be without these online social groups, anyway? You just want the next generation to go back to what, exactly? All those hoppin' social spaces available to them in [backwards rural community]?
 

Exeggutor

twist
is a Live Chat Contributor
Wait, wasn't it starry being dismissive when she blew off all lgbtq online interaction?

-

And where would half of you be without these online social groups, anyway? You just want the next generation to go back to what, exactly? All those hoppin' social spaces available to them in [backwards rural community]?
"Avoid spending too much time online" is not blowing off all LGBTQ online interaction.

I can tell you several positives that would have come from not being a part of certain groups - not being groomed by older people, for starters. I doubt starry's intention was "never join LGBT communities ever," because having likeminded communities around your identity is great! But as a young trans person, I found a lot of the groups that I was in made me a lot more anxious, made me compare myself to others and their journeys constantly, and made me a generally more sad person. I felt a lot better when I left the majority of those communities and either kept in contact with people I wanted to or stayed in communities that only brought me joy.

I wish I was more careful about where I joined when I was a gay baby, because it would have saved me a lot of stress, anxiety, and general bad feelings. And grooming. And I don't think starry advising youth to be careful in a way they might have appreciated when they were younger is a bad thing, either.

If you see "be careful and don't stay online too much" as "blowing off all online interaction," you need to reassess your relationship with the internet.
 

EV

Spending daddy's money with an attitude
is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Admin Alumnusis a Smogon Social Media Contributor Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus
If you see "be careful and don't stay online too much" as "blowing off all online interaction," you need to reassess your relationship with the internet.
Cute but there wasn't any such nuance you're alluding to in her post. There was no "some of them are damaging" etc. It was an all-or-nothing approach.

I'm incredibly thankful of the online spaces I had growing up. They gave me a lot of the confidence I was lacking as a teenager. Putting a massive caution tape over them without hesitating to think that they might be the only access a nervous/depressed young person has to the outside world is alarmist and unfair. You want to warn them about the dangers of the internet? Sure, everybody needs to stay vigilant. But the holier-than-thou approach like what she did is incredibly entitled.
 

Aurora

no talk me im log out
is a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnus
I've told my story before in the old LGBTQ+ thread, but I might as well tell it again. This time, though, I want to try and contrast between what things were like when I first realised I was trans (2009) + when I started openly saying I was trans to anyone who would listen on the Internet (2013) and what I notice now.

When I was 10-11 years old in 2009 and putting two and two together that I was trans, I didn't have access to any support mechanism. All I had was a word to describe my Google searches of "why am I a boy that wants to be a girl" and a school / family that were both hostile towards what I was starting to express after years of, in hindsight, generously-sized red flags that just maybe I wasn't the cis male everyone thought I was. After months of trauma and feeling like I was against the world, I tried to just stop thinking about it, thinking how I felt would eventually go away and I would be able to function as a typical cis male.

Fast forward to mid-late 2012. My plan to just ignore everything was predictably not working. So I decided to be a bit more open again. I started telling a few people on Smogon I was trans, I registered Aurora on Showdown and used it as my main account for a while to test the waters. I ended up changing back, but not for long; in hindsight, that was a pretty terrible idea. This was something I never thought I would have been able to do before. I still tried to get by without thinking it in real life, but given my ever-worsening mental state a breaking point was inevitable. However, it was a breakthrough - I started to realise that I finally had some form of support system here, although to what extent I wasn't sure of yet. Early 2013 was when I finally decided enough was enough. I came out to pretty much everyone on this site by permanently changing names on Showdown and getting a Smogon name change and taking the forums down with my old username for about 15 minutes.

My friends here (and, later, on Twitter) were really supportive of that, both those I had mentioned it to before and those who had had no idea up until that point. I even established contact with other trans people for the first time, which was mindblowing to me at that time - I knew other people who were also trans existed and it wasn't just that there was something "wrong" with me as an individual. It felt so relieving having a true support mechanism when I had never had one before. No longer did I need to trudge through the quagmire of gender dysphoria on a near-constant basis on my own. As saccharine as this might sound, it made the next four years of high school and, to a lesser but not insignificant extent (as I've told most of my friends in real life now), everything after that arguably liveable for me and gave me hope that things would be OK.

Am I saying that everything about this was good? No. Far from it.

For a big chunk of high school, the Internet was the only place from which I could seek out any support. This led to the engineering of some questionable plans to come out that received blessings from people I looked up to, which naturally made younger, naïve me think they would work. Leaving a caustic letter under my bed venting to whichever parent picked it up first, for example, just made my mum angry at me, and looking back (and having read it once or twice) I can't help but think that I indeed executed that extremely poorly. I would never do that again now. In times where I felt hopeless it would be no stretch to say that the mutual sense of hopelessness that was expressed from some people I talked to made me consider suicide with more interest than I perhaps would have otherwise. Some people I thought were my friends and who led me to believe they were empathetic turned out to be vile human beings. I leaned too hard on some groups for support and was sometimes overwhelming; I probably should have known better, knowing how much keeping everything to myself harmed me – transferring everything to another person would have harmed them as well. Perhaps, on some level, this even kept me from seeking out counselling that might have helped for a long time as I thought the Internet was all I needed while I made plans to come out myself, although there were significant things in real life impeding me from doing that anyway so I might just be looking at things too harshly here. These are, of course, serious problems that I do not want to just wave away. There are many things that, looking back, I would have done very differently. However, I think that, for me in the long run, the benefits overall outweighed these flaws. For example, I do not like thinking of what could have become of me had I never come out in any way on the Internet and been so fortunate to have been surrounded with, for the most part, supportive friends. I have been quite lucky in some sense too. For instance, throughout the years, I've met people on the Internet who I would never have met otherwise who I've gone on to meet in real life and are 101% supportive and wonderful people.


That's my experience with using the Internet as a support mechanism: it has been both really good and very bad, but for the most part I think it has helped me. I had to figure out I was trans for myself because for a long time I didn't even know how to put my feelings into words, and even when I did figure out what being trans meant I was in no position to join any support communities. I was too young to really know how to do that and I thought the only way I could get support was by telling my school, who then told my parents, who then told me I was too young to be thinking this and that I would get over it and become a big strong man who girls would love. Six years later, and ten years after I figured out I was trans, things are obviously very different, and from I can tell from my vantage point I think it's mostly for the better. For example, so many more spaces now exist for people who are questioning to go to in order to seek advice. These spaces also accommodate people who just need someone to talk to or somewhere to go when they might feel like everywhere else is against them and no support is available in real life. I think this is a major step forward.

I'll conclude on a note of general advice, though; I feel like ending with the last paragraph would be doing a disservice. There are naturally inherent dangers to all of this, which is unfortunately part-and-parcel of being part of a vulnerable group on the Internet even now. You need to exercise at least some caution towards what is being said to you and try and recognise when something might not be as it seems, and while this is always the case on the Internet it is especially imperative here, even more importantly for those who are younger. In addition, echoing some of the sentiments of above posters, the Internet isn't the be-all-and-end-all. No one but me could send the email I sent to two English teachers in 2015 telling them that a few creative writing stories I had written about trans experiences were directly related to my own life. Ultimately, you know yourself the best and it is up to you to decide what you want to do or what the correct course of action is.
 
Last edited:
Starry said a good thing that needed to be said. I can speak from fresh experience as introducing myself to the Smogon community recently, and even with my being older and having more time to answer my identity questions, I've had to consciously shake off things like comparison anxieties and the like from time to time. Being able to see I'm not the only one to suffer from this was really nice, actually. And this is with an exceptionally kind and supportive community as Smogon's that I have seen so far. This doesn't mean I don't absolutely enjoy the community, I do and am very glad I found it and introduced myself, but that there are definitely risks for younger people I have definitely got glimpses into, that shouldn't be ignored just because such spaces as these are generally good.

Maybe starry was too dismissive. But starry also said something important. And that's a good thing.
 
Last edited:

Exeggutor

twist
is a Live Chat Contributor
Cute but there wasn't any such nuance you're alluding to in her post. There was no "some of them are damaging" etc. It was an all-or-nothing approach.

I'm incredibly thankful of the online spaces I had growing up. They gave me a lot of the confidence I was lacking as a teenager. Putting a massive caution tape over them without hesitating to think that they might be the only access a nervous/depressed young person has to the outside world is alarmist and unfair. You want to warn them about the dangers of the internet? Sure, everybody needs to stay vigilant. But the holier-than-thou approach like what she did is incredibly entitled.
My bad then. I don't agree with writing all communities off, but they did say "don't spend too much time online" which is what I agree with.

I will preach being careful and advocate for self-monitoring in online groups, especially LGBT groups, and especially with a large age range, until the end of time. I don't want to come across as holier-than-thou, and I doubt starry wants to either. But I am very concerned about other LGBT youth and the online spaces we create and participate in, because they can break us down as much as they build us up. God knows I've gone through enough of that to have an idea of it.

I'd also like to thank starry for getting this discussion started publicly. I've talked about this at length with many friends of mine, as it's something I'm passionate about, and I'm so glad to see other people talking about it, too.
 

EV

Spending daddy's money with an attitude
is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Admin Alumnusis a Smogon Social Media Contributor Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus
Exeggutor just so we're clear, I didn't think you were being "holier-than-thou." And anyway, I'm sure what starry said was 100% meant to be nurturing.

I don't mean any ill-will to someone who intends to be thoughtful about vulnerable populations. I just think the approach was iffy. That's all.

However, I cannot speak for every experience, so for anyone who has had a bad one, it bears sharing to keep these things in mind during your journey. If I came across too overbearing, then I apologize.
 

Asheviere

on a scale of 1 to even i just can't
is a Battle Simulator Administratoris a Community Leaderis a Programmer
PS Leader
Starry said a good thing that needed to be said. I can speak from fresh experience as introducing myself to the Smogon community recently, and even with my being older and having more time to answer my identity questions, I've had to consciously shake off things like comparison anxieties and the like from time to time. And this is with an exceptionally kind and supportive community as Smogon's that I have seen so far. This doesn't mean I don't absolutely enjoy the community, I do and am very glad I found it and introduced myself, but that there are definitely risks for younger people I have definitely got glimpses into, that shouldn't be ignored just because such spaces as these are generally good.

Maybe starry was too dismissive. But starry also said something important. And that's a good thing.
What important thing? To be wary of online communities and predators, and not lose sight of reality? While it is true and important, this applies to the entire internet, and is not anything new at all. Bringing this up specifically in this context and about specifically LGBT spaces feels like there is some less than stellar intent here and while the core message there is arguably good, the way it is presented and the intent behind the post cloud any good message in there.
 
What important thing? To be wary of online communities and predators, and not lose sight of reality? While it is true and important, this applies to the entire internet, and is not anything new at all. Bringing this up specifically in this context and about specifically LGBT spaces feels like there is some less than stellar intent here and while the core message there is arguably good, the way it is presented and the intent behind the post cloud any good message in there.
It applies to the entire internet, but it is especially important to younger members of the LGBT community who are still in the earlier steps of forming their own identities, and therefore are especially vulnerable to self-doubt and to blanket-agreeing with others in efforts to find fellowship/community.
I don't mean to insult the independence of others when I mention blanket-agreeing: if I myself had found this community when I was younger, it's entirely possible that I would be suffering pressure to transition even though I do not want to for my own reasons, either causing me stress and other such problems or even bringing me to make a long-lasting choice I would regret. This isn't because people here pressure me to transition, they don't, but because being in the formative steps of one's identity is hard.
Again, these younger members should still be encouraged to seek and get benefit from communities like this. But they should also be specifically aware that, in this specific context, not pulling the computer plug can cause specific problems.

E: Just to be clear, I don't mean to imply that the majority of people transition or feel inclined to transition out of pressure. Just that, if someone had no desire to transition as I did/do, in that specific case such pressure would be external.
 
Last edited:

Tenshi

Curiouser and curiouser!
is a Live Chat Contributor
I think it's more important to insure that our community is free from any sick groomers and predators than it is arguing. Being involved in LGBT groups is absolutely beneficial for young people who often don't know or understand what they are and knowing people who they can relate to is a massive burden lifted off of them. It also provides people they can confide in. I, for example, benefited largely from having LGBT friends from PS to talk to and it ended up helping me ultimately come out to my parents which I would've absolutely never done without knowing that I had at least some people who were there for me despite them not knowing me personally.
 

Asheviere

on a scale of 1 to even i just can't
is a Battle Simulator Administratoris a Community Leaderis a Programmer
PS Leader
I don't mean to insult the independence of others when I mention blanket-agreeing: if I myself had found this community when I was younger, it's entirely possible that I would be suffering pressure to transition even though I do not want to for my own reasons, either causing me stress and other such problems or even bringing me to make a long-lasting choice I would regret. This isn't because people here pressure me to transition, they don't, but because being in the formative steps of one's identity is hard.
I have this thing pressuring me to transition. It's called gender dysphoria.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 1, Guests: 0)

Top