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Monday, May 12, 2014

Pink Essence: Why I Chose to Discontinue My Membership

I was a member of Pink Essence for a number of years and I recently decided to discontinue my membership as did Patty.

There were many benefits that I got from being a member and my decision to end my membership in this community ultimately has to do with a decision that Chloe Prince made to open up Pink Essence access to the World Wide Web.

I have known about this decision for quite a long time and at times worried about what the personal implications for my private life might be. Then again, I have this blog which would throw into question why I might be so concerned about my privacy. After all, I have given a great number of workshops around the eastern U.S. over the past 5 years and I have documented my transition here as well as on Pink Essence.

However, when I decided to write my own blog, I made the decision to be more public. When Ms. Prince made the decision to open Pink Essence up to the internet at large she made a decision that has the potential to harm many people who are not prepared to be potentially discovered by family or employers or by friends. It is a difficult path that we walk and for those who are not ready to deal with being outed at a time when they are just coming to terms with themselves, this is potentially disastrous. When  one considers that we have a rate of over 40% of us who attempt suicide at some point in our lives due to the heavy price we pay for attempting to come to a place of peace with ourselves and the associated losses of families, friends and careers, among other things, perhaps Pink Essence is no longer a safe haven for those who are just coming to terms with themselves.

In my situation, family did discover my presence on Pink Essence and it did recently cost me and Patty some relationships that we held dear. I don't fault Pink Essence for my own losses, but I think someone not as far down the path as I am and who has not worked as hard at self acceptance as I have may not be as emotionally prepared to pay the price that Patty and I just paid by not ending my membership when I first became aware of the new policy opening up Pink Essence to the World Wide Web.

The value of Pink Essence is mostly for new people who are coming to terms with their gender identity. They are also the most vulnerable people on Pink Essence. Having made the decision to open up Pink Essence to the World Wide Web puts the most vulnerable of us at risk.

Unfortunately, I have seen a huge turnover in membership. This is most likely because many of us who have transitioned and accomplished what we set out to accomplish (a successful transition), have no need for what Pink Essence offers. Other people who have successfully transitioned stick around to offer advice on what worked and what didn't on our journey to becoming whole.

I believe that opening up Pink Essence is a huge disadvantage to those who have transitioned and want to live a private life, even if they wish to contribute in a positive way to the lives of others who feel lost and are trying to figure out how to be happy and live a fulfilled life.

It is also a huge disadvantage for those who need a safe and private place to discuss the often painful issues that we face on our way to finding peace and happiness.

I only wish Chloe Prince well, as well as future success. I hope that those who join Pink Essence find what they need on their journey, but I also hope people will be aware of the risks associated with membership on Pink Essence and make a wise decision if the benefits of membership will outweigh the risks involved.

To read an article I wrote about the benefits of belonging to social websites such as Pink Essence that I wrote earlier, please follow this link:


  1. I can add no other comment, except to say, that you have evoked in words, what I have thought to my own self. I hold my membership there as a bridge and a link should I require it, or others of me....But.... I have also been cleaning house on there as well, partly as a result of the privacy changes, but also because it is time in my own life and my own transition as well.

    Best to you both.....

  2. I don't fault Pink Essence or it's creator for the complications in my life because I knew through the grapevine (not by formal notification) that it became an open forum and was no longer a private safe place for transsexuals to find out about themselves and figure out what they must do. I do inform my patients about Pink Essence as a positive experience, but I caution them that if they are concerned that someone may find out about them by doing a search online of their name, then Pink Essence may not be for them.

  3. I, too, maintain my account on PE, but rarely login. I was disappointed when the site was opened up and voiced my concerns then. I was not so concerned about my safety, as I am careful at guarding the mostly cross-dressed me. I was concerned that the change was made without notification, which could put people at risk without their knowledge. There is more than one way to give/receive support.

  4. My apologies for resurrecting an old thread but thank you so much for eloquently stating what so many people feel. And thank for being brave enough to offer a warning.

  5. Nothing is private. Being in a private group will actually cast more cyber security eyes on you. I left P.E. twice, both times for the same reason. I was making a fool of myself, not for their privacy settings. I did learn from that experience to stop shooting from the hip, and present the person that I really am. I came out in the year 2000, it has been both rewarding and a nightmare all at the same time. I'm not fully transitioned, so going to work male, listening to the guys saying...going to go home and put on a dress? That takes it toll. And the home life, another mental toll. I took this out on the group and made a total fool of myself. I did however leave with something. I learned about myself, I learned to chill out. Dumping all that heavy baggage was a godsend to me. To be out there is one thing, to be mentally free is another. I owe P.E. for allowing me to free my mind and move on.

  6. Hi LindaMarie, thank you for your comment. When I joined Pink Essence, it was a private social support network and not open to the internet at large. It played an important role in my progress in my transition.
    In no way do I blame Pink Essence or its creator, Chloe Prince for the personal problems I experienced as a result of being discovered after the fact of my transition by people who would act in destructive ways regarding some of my family relationships. The blame for the pain and loss my wife and I experienced lies solely on my stepson and his wife. I have written about this in other blog articles.
    My responsibility for what happens is for not promptly discontinuing my membership on Pink Essence when I learned that it was opened up to the internet at large (after the fact this occurred). I also did not take remedial actions to scrub the internet of content that could be found by search engines. Again, I and not Pink Essence am responsible for this lapse of judgement.
    My sole purpose in writing this article is to offer an opportunity for people who want to join and participate on Pink Essence to be aware of the risk inherent of participating if they are not prepared to experience the pain that my wife and I experienced from having had my participation on Pink Essence discovered.
    I would again like to say that Chloe Prince created something of immeasurable value for people coming to terms with their gender identity issues and I only wish her well and continued success. My purpose is only to make people aware of the downside of participating in social media, whether it is Pink Essence, Facebook or another type of social media.
    My blog is the only presence on the internet I maintain other than my linked in account, which is maintained for professional reasons and does not feature transgender content. In this day and age, I even question the safety of participating on these forums. It may be that I decide to close down my blog and Linked in account as well.
    I wish you well LindaMarie!

  7. I cleared my cookies and typed Pink Essense into google and found this blog. The site has been private again for quite some time. I joined October of 14, and she had made it private again at that time. I like it there. You should come back.

    I guess I don't really understand what happened. Were you not out? Are you out now? Are you full time?

    I guess I am really confused about what people expect, and what the goal of this blog is. Your last reply hit on the dangers of social media, and it appears time has softened your tone, but I certainly read the subtle jabs at Ms. Prince throughout.

    Chloe sure gets a lot of hate from the community. It isn't needed or warranted to even mention her or her site at all. By bringing her up you blame her.

    The decision to make PE open was obviously out of the need for revenue to support the site. I hope it can continue as a site. Honestly I think she might be best to open it up again and get ad revenue. It is a brave new world out there, and it might be best to leave the closet.

    Also, wow I haven't used google ID in forever. I need an update.