I feel like I’m mourning/saying goodbye to a part of me that doesn’t need to exist anymore. My body isn’t familiar on the outside anymore, I don’t have hips, or a waist, or cleavage. I get sir’d and he’d more often than not – the pharmacy actually put me down as male in their system?
None of this is unexpected really, I just didn’t know how I’d feel when I reached this point and I guess the answer is that I feel mixed. There’s a large part of me that feels stifled when I’m immediately pegged as a cis boy…
I’ve been struggling to figure out and find words for this since school let out and I’ve finally been able to settle on the shape of the angst that’s been plaguing me in the background for a bit.
I still envision myself with tits in my head, I still operate as though I have hips that carry shit (and then get confused when I don’t). My internal vision of myself doesn’t match what physically exists yet, even though the chemistry is right.
I feel normal and at peace with myself and aligned. I’m happy with the dose I’m taking and don’t want that to change much. I think what I need is to sit with the part of me that’s sort of mourning the familiarity of curves that aren’t there anymore, and maybe add some slightly femme elements to my presentation to help my brain with that difference.
It’s sometimes just as jarring being seen as a boy as it is being seen as a girl. I am semi-fluid but solidly nonbinary, I’m finding more and more as I spend longer on HRT. All of my masculinity is informed by my femininity and they intertwine. I am both and neither, but not one or the other. Binaries are bullshit, is where I’m at, basically.
This has been really hard to write because I’m still trying to sort it out. Some of me wants to judge the validity of it, some of me is like this is just part of being fluid and you’ll ride it out (which is probably true but not a reason to not write about it), and some of me is like “this probably makes no sense” (which is probably also true, unless you’re also a transmasc enby which is why I’m writing this anyway).
These are the things I know:
I’m a fan of how I feel in my body right now. I’m a fan of this new confidence and being at peace with myself thing that is happening.
So these are good. The other things I can experiment with.
I didn’t know I was trans until my mid 20’s. I didn’t have the language or the context to explain what I felt growing up. My writing over the last 8 years has actually thoroughly documented parts of that process. Coming to terms with my gender and what that means to me.
I spent my entire childhood just feeling wrong at my core. Never able to measure up, never able to be the girl they wanted me to be, because I just wasn’t, no matter how hard I tried. I did “ballet” (and legitimately enjoyed it), I wore dresses and pink, I played with dolls, I did my nails…I did everything society told me good girls did, and I tried very hard to play the part of demure and graceful damsel waiting for her prince.
Spoiler alert, I am not demure nor particularly graceful playing a damsel. My failures at this were just compounded during high school when I got bored talking with other girls because all that we were supposed to talk about was future homemaking and homeschool curriculum and other very traditionally girly things that just didn’t interest me. There was a period of about a year and a half when I was 14 where I was able to fly under the radar (thanks to an undesired move and pregnancies) and pretended to be a boy on the internet (that was the deal I made to be allowed to blog when I was 13, because predators don’t…go..after..boys…apparently) and offline I continued that persona and wore camo and got away with being “one of the boys” at speech and debate.
Looking back it seems obvious, but at the time I just thought I was broken. I wasn’t a girl, I wasn’t a boy, but I didn’t have the language to describe or even have a frame of reference about what trans-ness was. I just thought, as I had been told by my parents and pastors and every authority figure in my life, that I was inherently broken. I was just wrong and only God could fix it, but he didn’t seem to want to, so I just tried really hard to play my part as well as I could. I internalized the messages of wrongness and brokenness because I didn’t match up what I was told good godly women were like, not inside. I could cook and clean and sew but those crushed my soul and the future I was promised was not a road I wanted to take.
I wasn’t allowed to explore the woods, or play outside, I wasn’t allowed to play video games. I wasn’t allowed to do anything that was considered a boy thing. I feel like it’s important to note that I didn’t want to only do those boy things, I just didn’t want to be limited; I wanted to have both options. I wanted to be able to express both masculinity and femininity but that was definitely not allowed. I had one option and one option only, unless I was sneaky.
The idea of having children bothered me on a visceral level, it wasn’t until recently that I discovered how very connected to dysphoria it is. The idea of having a human come out of my body goes straight to lizard brain levels of “no. this is death.” I suppose when I interpreted my period as the ultimate betrayal of my body against me that should have also been an indication.
Instead I spent years wrestling with myself, hating myself with every fiber of my being until I was about 20 and finally started discovering the language to describe how I felt. It happened by knowing other people who came out, and finally putting a name to my sexuality, talking with other queer people. I embraced my queerness when I was 22, which was the first stepping stone to discovering my trans-ness.
I started talking to nonbinary people and trans girls and eventually realized that I am trans enough, and no one is stopping me from transitioning but myself. Meanwhile dysphoria was getting worse, now that I knew how to identify it and what it was. I talked to my partners, friends, and therapist. And learned some things
Cis people don’t question if they’re qualified enough to be their gender
Gender is what you make of it, and it’s importance is up to you
You are allowed to and deserve to transition if you want to
Transitioning looks different for everyone, you don’t have to want surgeries to be trans
Nonbinary, Genderqueer, Genderfluid, Agender, etc are all valid trans identities
It is your body, you get to change it (or not) however you see fit
For a while I thought I just wouldn’t transition. I’d just deal with estrogen and periods and do what I could to mitigate PMDD and everything that goes along with that. At some point…actually, at Burning Man, I realized I didn’t want to do that, I wanted to start HRT and see what happened. I could always stop if it wasn’t right for me. Both of these are valid.
So in December of 2016 I started HRT. Testosterone works FAST. Within a week my muscles started moving, I started losing curves, my voice started getting deeper, my clit grew. I’m approaching shot 4, I have angles and a jaw line, I feel right. I had no idea what it felt like to actually inhabit my body until I started HRT.
I’m not a woman, and despite taking testosterone, I’m not a man either. I’m just your local nonbinary fairy boi taking baby steps to being in their own skin.