advice

*Tips for Trans Teens*: Where to Look for Tucking Help?

Being young and transgender comes with a number of challenges, especially when puberty hits. What does a young MTF (male-to-female person) do with that stuff hanging down, getting in the way?

Talking about down there can be awkward no matter who you are, so I'll answer with a story about a trans teen in my own life who might share some of your concerns.

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Samantha (Sam) is my mother's recently turned 13-year-old long-term foster child. Sam is transgender (MTF) and has come to see me as a support person, someone she can trust. A few months ago, when Sam was still 12, she pulled me aside and asked if I could help her with something.

She said it was kind of an embarrassing thing for her: She had some clothes that she couldn’t wear because her privates would show. I told her that was a very common problem, and not to worry: there must be a number of products out there just for that purpose. I said I would do some research and get back to her.

First, I went to a part-time CD/TV (cross-dressing) adult friend and he directed me to a YouTube celebrity, Vera Wylde, who he felt had helpful tips and wasn’t sexually explicit in her explanations. Sam and I watched her tucking tips on YouTube and found out that yes, Vera does a nice job of keeping the language and explanations simple and non-sexual.

As an adult watching, Vera’s explanations of everything seemed useful. The video was, however more geared towards adults, and Sam even mentioned that it was not exactly appropriate for young or pre-teens.

Still, I found the video fascinating, and I learned that there is a thing call a gaff, (a wider G-string that holds in the male parts). Sam was a little uncomfortable with the whole idea of a gaff. It made sense that Sam, who is not yet at the age to wear a G-string, wouldn’t want to wear one.

Although, for older trans girls who might be interested, it was good to discover gaffs are actually easy to find. They can even be found on Amazon.

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My friend also directed me to a New York-based designer Cy Lauz, who makes beautiful undergarments specifically for cross-dressing, transsexual and transgender women's tucking needs. I was touched by Miss Lauz’s innovation, and impressed by her classy designs. While not exactly right for a 12-year old girl, and slightly expensive, this line is stylish and elegant. 

We continued our research and found a line on Etsy called LeoLines, which sells a variety of patterns of underwear for younger girls and leotards specifically for trans MTF pre-teens and young teens. And we were pleased to discover that they are reasonably priced, slightly more than regular panties, but much less than designer lingerie for adult trans womn. There are many designs to choose from and the customer reviews are positive. 

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The next step for Sam, now that we have found products, is to see if her local support services can help with the purchases. As a foster kid, she has a state caseworker and some funds available already -- but she also, as a transgender teen, has a second caseworker with a wonderful local organization called Transactive.

As soon as we can afford to order the products, Sam plans to write a product review and we will let you know how they worked for her.

Also, stay tuned for a future article on Transactive in my “Tips for Trans” corner. Transactive is a wonderful organization -- I only wish it had a presence in every city! 

 

Photo courtesy of Adam Foster / Flickr.

'Be Beautiful You': A Lesbian's Advice to LGBTQ Teens

I certainly didn’t always feel this way. In fact, for much of my life I hid away in my musty, dark closet because I didn’t want to come out for fear that I would be...well. Rejected.

SMH, for sure.

I figured out I was a lesbian when I was 17 and just out of high school. That summer I happened to meet my very first lesbian crowd and before long, I had my very first lesbian crush. You must know, though, that this occurred more than 20 years ago.

You know, when homosexuality was like the plague? A mental illness. Disgusting.

SMH, again.

I played around in the gay crowd secretly my first couple years of college and felt pretty good about my life as a lesbian, but still I did not “come out.” No. Instead, I ended up getting married to a man mainly because I wanted to settle down and have children.

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It never occurred to me that I could have children while in a relationship with a woman. Remember, back then couples were not really doing that and, in fact, some mothers were getting their kids taken away from them by social services if their homosexuality hit the public.

I settled into marriage with a man and life was alright, but I truly was never happy because I hid my true sexuality. I adored being a mother, but something was missing.

Once my kids hit their teen years and my role as a mother decreased -- you know teens don’t NEED mom so much -- I was faced with a decision to stay in a dead relationship or bust out of the damn closet once and for all to live the life I wanted to live.

I so wanted to be in a relationship with a woman!

So I made the break. Scared out of my mind, I left my marriage and I came out as a lesbian. I declared that no one would dictate the way I would live my life one more day. I wanted to be in full charge of my life and that included my sexuality.

Was it easy? Oh, no way. It was the hardest thing I ever did and it was hell for a while. I faced rejection, ridicule, fear, shame, and a lot of emotional turmoil.

That was almost 8 years ago and today I am grateful that I came out of the closet and faced all that came with it. I have embraced my sexuality and my children have embraced it as well. They love me for who I really am and that means the world to me.

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Today, I stand as an example to others who fear coming out of the closet and assert that being gay is quite normal. It is my genetic makeup and I find that being with a woman is what suits me and brings me joy relationally. It is refreshing to be completely open and honest about my sexuality and be able to have a loving relationship with another woman.

Nowadays homosexuality is more accepted than when I was young, but there are still pockets of resistance. If you are struggling with your sexuality, maybe it’s time to discuss your feelings with someone who has been there and has come out embracing and celebrating his or her sexuality. You can be freed from the shame that has plagued you for years and live your life loud and proud.

My advice? Go gay all the way. Allow courage to rise. Get around those that will support and encourage you. Fall madly in love with yourself, because you are so worthy!

Did you hear me?

You are worthy! Beautiful! Uniquely fashioned in a most epic way.

Be you.

Be beautiful you.

~~~

To read more about my story, visit me here: Everyone Has a Story. Here's Mine.

Photo courtesy of Flickr.