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“When you are born into a body that takes the image of another, you ask yourself a question much like the famous “chicken and egg” conundrum. Do you take the form of he or does he take the form of you? The answer became a needed justification of superiority, capable of transforming you into the host or into the guest.”
While this was originally about having a twin and the feelings of being inferior to them, this relates perfectly to my struggles with my gender, especially in the beginning. As I became more and more aware of my gender identity and how my body did not quite fit what I knew myself to be, I often wondered “Was this the form I am truly suppose to be? or should I be changing every aspect of who I am to be who I am?”
In the transgender community there is such a push to transition at an early age. To get yourself into therapy, get on testosterone, and finally top surgery. Bottom if you can afford it. Not only this but you are to be the “perfect” male specimen. You are to dress in baggy clothes, force your voice lower, bind until you cannot breathe, shove a sock down your pants and be an ass hole to everyone who crosses your path. As a younger member of the transgender community, 15 years old, I have been bombarded with these expectations of what it is to be a male from the very moment I came out two years ago.
You see, before I knew what it was to be transgender, I knew my body didn’t quite fit who I saw myself to be, but to my knowledge there was no way to fix this, if there was anything to fix at all, or how to even articulate this feeling. Prior to knowing what it was to be transgender I figured I’d be like the stereotypical “butch” lesbian and be the “man” in a relationship. I figured I’d go on in this cisgendered world simply being comfortable with being uncomfortable.
That was until the day I learned what it meant to be transgender; the day where everything clicked in my head. The day the little girl who just wanted to know what it felt to feel beautiful died. The day I lost every bit of what I knew myself to be. Because in that moment when I learned that to be myself I had to alter everything, I didn’t know what to do or where to go. Because nobody ever tells those little kids staring blank faced at the person on the other side of the screen that you don’t have to do this. You can be happy inside your own body and still be who you are.
As I began to idolize people that were going through the transition from female to male, I compulsively watched their videos. I watched as their bodies changed and as their voices dropped. I watched as they told me how perfect this was. How they will never regret this change in themselves. And from this, knew what I had to do.
Two years later, I wear baggy clothes, force my voice lower, bind until I cannot breathe, shove a rubber dick down my pants (an upgrade from the sock), and try to be at least a little bit of an ass hole to everyone who crosses my path. Because that’s how a guy is suppose to be, right? I’m in therapy to talk about how I need to change who I am to be who I am. I’m a few months away from my very first testosterone shot. And a year away from top surgery. Because when I first figured this thing out, nobody ever told me that I don’t have to do this.
In recent months I have gradually become more comfortable with being more effeminate. I have become more open to liking traditionally feminine things, acting in a more feminine way and have begun exploring my sexuality in a way that I never would have allowed myself to before. This is all accredited to being in an environment where being male, doesn’t mean being the “stereotypical” or “perfect” male, it means being who I am without compromise.
I believe we all need to look at how much influence we really do have on one another. Our experiences and our words can force people into doing things without truly asking themselves who they want to be and what is right for their own being. We need to give the option of choice to those who have one thing their entire lives.