Dear Gabi, How Do You Handle the Pressure?

Dear Gabi,

I have been under great stress at work. I still have a job but I feel trapped I can’t be me. You are free and have the support of your wife. I don’t know what to do any more, I can’t come out at work or I’ll be fired for being TG, I’m thinking of seeing a therapist but have a strong fear that if I use company med. insurance it may get back to the new owners of the company and I’ll be fired.

I have been hoping to find support in online TG communities. I’m not a kid anymore. I’m also 55 years of age and I’m not pretty like you and many other t-girls I’ve seen. I love your goth picture.

God if only I had the money to free me from working and the money to transition and live my true self as Margueritte full time, may I ask you how you can live and be both male and female with out the homophobic BS from people around you? Sometimes I think of taking a bottle of sleeping tablets and just ending it all. How do you handle the pressure and depression?


Gabrielle HermosaDear Margueritte,

I understand your feelings of being trapped, frustrated, and depressed. Trust me when I tell you that you’re not alone.

Health insurance privacy
Seeing a therapist using company provided insurance will probably not result in your employer finding out. My own employer is unaware of the fact that I’ve been seeing a psychiatrist. My health insurance covers most of the cost, but that information is not shared with my employer. Call up your insurance provider (directly, not through your company) and ask what the policy is on that. You should be able to find out one way or the other and take it from there.

The illusion of beauty requires quite an investment
Your compliments on my appearance are much appreciated, but the reality is I work very, very hard to look like this. Some are thin and attractive naturally. Others have to really work at it. I fall into the “others” category. I was not blessed with the “thin” gene and have to spend hours every day exercising. I also have to watch my food intake because my body has a naturally slow metabolism. It is a lot of very hard work. Chances are, most people who are willing to subject themselves to a strict diet and commit to a daily exercise regimen will look physically fit and more attractive for the effort. Like many, I also struggle with vanity issues and cannot live up to my own desired standard of beauty. There are dozens of t-girls out there (and genetic women, for that matter) who’s beauty I’m quite envious of.

How I do it
When it comes to “how I do it” – in other words, how I live my life as the man and as the t-girl, with such balance and freedom without the BS and pressures getting to me… the answer is I do not. I have yet to achieve a good balance, and it does get the best of me sometimes. I really have to put forth a conscious effort to rise above all the garbage, hold my head high and keep moving forward. It is a simple choice I make and hold myself to. There’s nothing easy about it.

My loving, accepting wife
My wife knows and accepts my feminine side. She has been very helpful in making “Gabrielle” possible. At the same time, our marriage is far from perfect. Being a transgender has not caused trouble, but this is but one aspect of my life. There are plenty other aspects she isn’t so happy about. Many (tg) people perceive her acceptance of me as a crossdresser as “marital bliss”. It only means that this single aspect of my life does not cause trouble. Our marriage is a good one, but we both have to work hard at it.

Living in a society filled with hate
There’s nothing easy about dealing with society’s bigotry and hatred. It is ironic that on the day you sent your message, I was terribly stressed out and very depressed myself. Trouble finding ways to be out in public (en femme) safely, and my inability to move freely in society as Gabrielle had really gotten to me. Despite my photos, in person, I am usually easily read. That translates to standing out and drawing negative attention in my town. Although I refuse to let the dangers (hate-filled thugs who may do me harm) prevent me from getting out, it does greatly complicate things.

Suicide is not a solution
Years ago, I thought suicide was the answer to my own depression and troubles. Now I am so grateful that I lived through the terrible things I once did to myself. Had I succeeded, I never would have met my beautiful wife and enjoyed all the wonderful experiences I have in life. Nor would I have ever gotten the opportunity to become the lovely Gabrielle. None of this would have existed.

Nothing is easy in life, but it’s always worth living
Some people have easy lives. It’s just a fact. For many of us however, life is not so easy. Try to recognize the areas in your own life that you are not happy with and figure out what you need to do to improve upon them. You’ll have to work hard on making your dreams a reality. They most certainly will not magically come true on their own. Best to attack one problem at a time though. In addition, take things one day at a time.

What to focus on first
I suggest you look into seeing that therapist you mentioned. It sounds like a good starting point to figure out what it is you want, and what it will take to achieve it.

Life is full of challenges and obstacles to overcome. I have overcome much adversity in my own life – things I once believed not possible. I think you will too, Margueritte.

Related content: Dear Gabi Advice Column

Write to Gabrielle: Dear Gabi submission page


14 thoughts on “Dear Gabi, How Do You Handle the Pressure?”

  1. > I’m not pretty

    Very few of us are. Take away the carefully applied make-up, the just-so angle for the photo and most folk are average.

    Please don’t judge yourself against others. It’s a too harsh scale – like looking at a model from a magazine – and all it does is drive home what you don’t have.

    Maybe (like the rest of us mere mortals), you don’t look female and perhaps never will… but… *you* can dress well. Find an outfit or look that’s you and go for it.

  2. Very good words Gabi

    And Lynn this also spoke volumes to me:
    Maybe (like the rest of us mere mortals), you don’t look female and perhaps never will… but… *you* can dress well. Find an outfit or look that’s you and go for it.

  3. I was at the end of my rope two years ago. The desire to be feminine was causing me to take irrational risks and I was very depressed. I, too, worried about whether my employer would learn of my condition if I got a therapist through my insurance.

    When I finally screwed up the courage to pursue therapy, i was told that it is illegal for the insurance company to discuss any aspect of your medical records with your employer. Starting therapy was when I turned the corner toward sanity (not there yet, I might argue).

    I went to a therapist well-regarded in the trans community. Finding someone sympathetic is key. Many counselors don’t get it, or will attempt to change you. Not helpful. Ask around about who your trans friends would recommend.

  4. Dear Margueritte,

    I would like to offer you several hard points that might aid you in your search for happiness. Please understand they are harsh in some ways but so is reality.

    I spent 25 years in the Army (at Fort Bragg no less)the land of testosterone overloaded big-gets, all the time dealing with gender identity issues. I am by no means a mental health professional but I was top of my strategic psychological warfare class.

    1>LIVING WELL IS THE BEST REVENGE against the world and all those in it that would oppress you. Losers with nothing to offer commit suicide, don’t let the world beat you, winning is much more fun. AND YOU CAN WIN IF YOU WANT TO! Forget the BS about killing yourself.

    2>FREE YOUR MIND & YOUR ASS WILL FOLLOW. Start thinking like a person you changes the world & you can. Each person can set their own destiny, but you have to make the choices to create the world in which you want to live. PEOPLE ONLY HAVE POWER OVER YOU IF YOU ALLOW IT! IF YOU WON’T SURRENDER YOUR MIND TO SOMEONE THEY CAN’T CONTROL YOU.

    3>ANYTHING WORTH HAVING IS WORTH PAYING A PRICE FOR although it may not always come easy. In Special Forces they teach you can do anything if you have a plan, a back up plan and a holly shit plan. Each to be implemented as needs be. I gave up my career, family, and friends, then moved 3000 miles to live as I do now. FREE & CONTENT! Sit down with YOURSELF and decide how you want to live the rest of your life. Then list what will have to happen to get to that point. Examine options and possible sources of aid and support. Make notes on everything don’t leave things up in the air. Be committed, work an additional job or adjust your finances to get the money ball rolling. In short create a realistic plan and understand that issues will arise. YOU CAN OVERCOME THEM IF YOUR FOCUSSED!

    4>WHAT PESSURE? Most people create the majority of their issues in their own mind. Shit happens the world is a cruel & messed up place.GET OVER IT! You should see the things that people do to each other in different countries from ours (and the crap is legal). Don’t let the little things pile up on you and never take stupid, ignorant, or hateful people seriously. At the same time, don’t put yourself in dangerous positions or environments. Stupid people can be dangerous (both my wife & I are licensed pistol carriers)as a result of our lifestyle.

    5>NEVER WASTE TIME COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS it will drive you batty. Work on being all you can be (sorry I’ve heard that a few too many times). Get make over work & fashion advice, both of which can be awesome fun! I had a real problem with anything that wasn’t OD green or camouflage. Shopping with my wife is unbelievable fun & makes us closer. Take your special someone to THE MALL!

    You can do amazing things for yourself as well as others if you stay possitive & focussed, but the coice is yours alone. Put doubt aside and make the choice to move forward in all things and you will love the results. Remember THERE IS NO DISHONOR IN FAILURE THE DISHONOR IS IN FAILURE TO TRY!!!!

    May the Gods smile on you with favor
    Your Sister,


  5. Nikki,

    That is awesome, I am printing your comment out so I can read it when I feel down and want to give up.

    And Margueritte, don’t take your own life. I have been there and yes sometimes those bad thoughts do come back but take Nikki’s advice and fight. Find some other trans friends, they know what you are going through and can be an excellent support group.



  6. Darling April,

    Thank you so much for the complement!

    I had spent a couple of hours reading various t-girl blogs when I posted that comment. I can’t help but notice the trend towards depression & anxiety in a very large percentage of them. I on the other hand think transgender people have an advantage over a lot of others as they often get to live and view life from both sides of the table. That helps to create a more enlightened individual in my opinion.

    Take the way the hostess of this sight approaches life and the advice she gives. It’s not that she has all of the answers (none of us do) but she applies logic, education, and good practical common sense. That’s all it take to be successful in life. All of us girls get emotional on a regular basis but we have to learn to get a certain level of control on them in order to continue to push forward in life.

    Regardless of the level of evolution or participation in the transgender life style each person is, we must all be strong and use our heads. We still live in a world of ignorance and haters. It’s simple! We just out smart them.

    I have started explaining my life story on a blogspot & I’ve joined Lady Gabrielle’s friends list. I know almost nothing about computers and the internet but, I think you can link to it from hear.

    TO LADY GABRIELLE! I am a huge fan & admirer. I also think you are doing a great service for our community.

    My Love & Respect to All!


    1. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts to Margueritte, Nikki. :)

      No one has all the answers, as you indicated in your comment. BUT we’ve all got something of value to offer in our insight, knowledge, friendship and show of support. That’s the beauty of this format – group participation. The more people chime in, the more we can all learn from it. Agree or disagree with points expressed, we all have the opportunity to learn from each other and that’s a very good thing.

      I’m happy to see that you’ve started your own blog, too. :)

  7. Thank you Nikki, You are awesome! I have the highest respect for you and Our arm forces. I have been out of the loop the last two months taking care of a dying brother, he died this last Saturday in his sleep and with out pain. So I have not been on the computer much, only today running in to My CD Life and reading Gabi messages I remembered are talk she and I had three month’s back and I sent her a message and is why I’m able to reply to you girls now. Thank you Gabi, Nikki,April for your support, god bless you all.
    P.S. I saved your messages to file to read again.

  8. 12/21/09
    Hello Gabrielle,

    “My body is the result of hours spent exercising EVERY day. I spend from 1 to 3 hours exercising daily. I have a computer on the treadmill and a small pedal exerciser that I also use whenever I am stationary at work or on my other computer that isn’t on the treadmill (look up pedal exercisers “

    I have a treadmill also Gabrielle, and it looks like I’ll have to start using it again. Are you on a specific diet some thing I can look up on the computer? As to hair, I love long hair and have two wigs but have a concern for the color because of my age being 55 years old, do you think that is a problem? I hate short hair styles and I’m thinking that I may have to think of a salt and pepper look in hair color due to my age what do you think about that.
    I hope every one here has a very Merry Christmas

    1. Sorry about the delay in response, Margueritte. Your comment got lost in the shuffle for a while and I just rediscovered it.

      Walking at least 3 miles on the treadmill daily will do you a world of good. If you can watch TV or something on the computer while on there, it will help distract from the boredom of spending time exercising. My diet and exercise regimen is of my own design and goes through some changes once or twice a year as I age. The trick is to keep up with the aging process and exercise more accordingly, without over-doing it. It’s not an exact science, either.

      I love long hair, too. My wife has very long hair and I LOVE it! :D So you’re 55 – why should that have any bearing on what color hair you choose? How many women 55 and older regularly die their hair? Most people don’t give it a second thought. Go with a color that you’re happy with – that is my advice. You can try to please everyone else and fail in the process, or just try to please yourself and succeed. ;) I do not follow any fashion trends or styles – I go with a style that I like, period. I don’t care if it’s in or hip or trendy – I just care that I like it. I suggest you do the same with your own look.

      Belated Merry Christmas to you, too, and happy new year. :)

  9. I am new here,but i had to reply to nikki’s post.That was the best advice i have read in year’s of being on the net.I have to thank you.I really needed to read that.It has helped me a great deal.

  10. It’s none of my business, but i’d like to add something which might help. Margueritte expresses her concerns regarding being outed at work and fired if her employer discovers why she’s seeking counseling. Every state has strict confidentiality laws. Violating those can and does lead to malpractice suits and very serious sanctions placed against organizations with which the counselor is affiliated, up to and including expulsion. That’s something every counselor wants to avoid, since sanctions always look bad professionally. If a client poses no threat to him- or herself, or to others, and is capable of functioning without the assistance of others, then the counselor cannot, by law, report directly to the employer the nature of the issues the client brings to the counseling relationship.

    Whew! Sorry to be so wordy! Anyway, I hope this helps. Sorry to chew up bandwidth!

    1. Thanks for chiming in, anonymous. :) The likelihood of being outed by a professional therapist just for undergoing counseling is very, very slim. It’s not their part to go medaling in the personal lives of their clients, nor do they wish to. So long as a client/patient is not seen as potentially harmful to others or themselves, therapists will not share any knowledge of sessions with employers, etc. I think more than anything, it’s just a really tough pill to swallow – the fear of beig outed, period, in a world full of prejudice and hatred (of that which is different).

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