10 (ish) years ago, I came out as a transgender woman. I knew the journey would be difficult and would be something I’d have to fight everyday for.
What I didn’t know it would enter me into the worst years of my life.
Naively I thought I would come out and everything would be fine. I had a good friend group from school, my family had always been supportive. I stupidly thought it would be somewhat easy. That didn’t happen.
My friends left, my family had issues. Then the NHS put me on a waiting list so long that nothing actually happened. (other than gender identity clinic appointments and a few blood tests.)
I was left lonely, depressed and frustrated, and was still nowhere near where I wanted to be.
But it did teach me a lot about myself.
Firstly it taught me that I don’t need other people to validate me, it taught me that I’m actually a stronger person than I thought I was. It taught me that even in my deepest depressed state that I still had this underlying love for people inside.
Secondly it taught me to care for other people no matter their situation and it helped me understand other people with identity issues. It also helped me gain respect for people battling depression everyday, and helped me respect the lgbtq+ people that fight everyday for our freedoms.
Thirdly it taught me that my childhood has probably led to this mass amount of gender confusion.
I realised that my gender wasn’t set in stone, but fluid. Which is why I have stopped my medical transition.
This will probably take a therapist to break this down into something coherent but I’m not a trans woman. Also I don’t see myself as 100% male either.
I feel like there’s an in between and I’m somewhere there. Being a child brought up with toxic masculinity as an example and being set strict gender rules made me feel like to be happy, I couldn’t be male.
Being feminine and gay was “wrong” and boys didn’t do that. So I decided to try and become a woman instead. I felt I had to match my feelings, personality, feminine traits to the gender norms I was brought up with – which in hindsight is a bit silly. (I touched on this in my mental health post )
When its so ingrained that you are wrong – on a core level – what else was I supposed to think?
I want to thank other gender fluid/gender neutral people for speaking out and talking about their experiences.
Without them, I’d probably be heading down a medical path I’d one day regret.
Coming out as trans truly taught me that I’m allowed to be me. Whatever that is, and if people don’t support it, I can make it through all by myself.
I don’t look back on the last 10 years and think of it as a waste of time, because of what I’ve learned, the experiences it gave me, because it taught me to be me.
Take care, stay safe
James. aka Anothermaleblogger