Tag Archives: gender dysphoria

Invalidating stories of de-transition

I’ve read a number of articles about de-transition recently. My heart goes out to every person who has gone through this experience. It must have been an especially shattering and difficult experience. Your voice is important and I value it and respect it enormously.

Every transgender experience is different, difficult and uncertain. None of us can know how we will feel at the end of our transition or lived experience. We can only follow what our hearts and souls tell us is right. Sometimes we misread or even mislead ourselves.

We should always consider all outcomes when deciding on our own transition. That’s why the voices of people who have de-transitioned are so valuable.

But to use the example of transgender people who have decided to de-transition as an invalidation of all transgender transition is simply absurd. We could use the same argument to invalidate marriage.

As is always the case in almost anything, there will be a wide distribution of experiences felt by trans people going through transition. Ranging from very happy with transition right through to very unhappy.

The very unhappy people will most likely de-transition. But that doesn’t mean they determine the efficacy of transition for everyone else.

In my view, transition in whatever form works for you, does seem to be an effective way for many transgender people to find some peace and begin to live their lives.

People who detransition aren’t our enemies but equally they don’t speak for us or predict our outcomes.

We are beautiful unique individuals striving to find happiness. We are not all the same.

I wish she could have helped me

My six months of therapy led me to suspect that my Mum knew I was trans whilst I was growing up.

She used to let me grow my hair longer than most boys. She styled it in, what I can now see in old photos were feminine styles.

Growing up I was forever being mistaken as a girl when I was supposed to be being a boy. I used to find it embarrassing but also reassuring. It was next to impossible to use the Men’s bathroom without being stopped so I used to avoid it just to avoid the embarrassment.

My Mum also kept my older sister’s old clothes in the spare room in a wardrobe. I used to wear them whenever I could. I know lots of Mum’s did this with old clothes. But when I grew bigger than my sister, clothes and shoes appeared in the wardrobe that were larger than would ever fit her or my sister. They were amazing, beautiful grown up clothes. I adored them and with makeup I looked perfect in them. My heart aches just remembering the joy I used to feel. I could see with my own eyes that it wasn’t too late. I could still be me if only I could find someone to help me go through the changes I so desperately needed.

Ok so now I’m crying. It’s just so awful. I remember feeling totally alone and sure I was a vile disgusting freak. I remember the feeling of terror at what more puberty would do to me. I felt my time was running out. It was. There wasn’t going to be a miracle.

I am so glad children today face a more open and accepting society. Although there are still many bigots playing gender politics to mask their bigotry.

I always wince when I read people saying that trans kids don’t know what they want until they are older. I knew from almost my first memories. My feelings have stayed exactly the same my whole life. I believe gender identity is like sexual orientation, it is fixed and doesn’t change.

I just wish, if my Mum did know about me, that she would have found the courage to help and support me more. Maybe she helped me as much as she could at that time.

Let’s let our children be themselves, whatever that means and let’s not worry what other people think. As long as it’s not directly harmful to your child or others it’s fine just let it be. They will find their own path safe in the knowledge you love them and support them.

I saw her standing there

I was chatting with a friend online recently. She was telling me about the moment she looked in the mirror and accepted herself as a woman for the first time.

She had been dressing for a long time but this was the moment she looked in the mirror in that casual way we all do but instead of just seeing herself in women’s clothes, now, for the first time, she saw herself as the person, the woman she was to be for the rest of her life. It was the pivotal moment in her transition and she never looked back from it.

Having now read a little more about this, I now understand it’s quite a common moment in transition and by no means unique to her.

Many of us spend years dealing with doubt and skepticism. Self acceptance can be the most difficult obstacle. But this sounds like a wonderful moment to experience and it gives me hope. I would love to, one day, look in the mirror and see her (me) standing there.

If you, as I do, feel stuck, in the closet, unable to be the person you feel yourself to be, reaching this goal, this moment can seem like climbing Everest. We hide so much of our true selves scared of discovery and the outside world. Terrified what the consequences might be.

But if you can find the courage, if you can summon the words then you owe it to yourself to take the next step.

A basic sense of self

I have come this far. I think I have worked through a lot of self hatred and denial. I can accept who I am. I think I even understand some of it.

Talking to some of the wonderful, beautiful people who have contacted me has helped me to realise that it’s possible for there to be a life without this awful dysphoria. I smile whenever I think of that. It makes me feel happy to know that many of you will get there. It may be a journey of a thousand miles with bumps along the way but you will, get there.

It’s important for you to know whenever you doubt. Your cause is just. Don’t delay, don’t wait. Summon your courage and pursue what your heart and mind tells you to be true.

What you seek is what everyone else takes for granted, a comfortable basic sense of self identity. We build our lives on this foundation and without it our lives become a maelstrom of doubt, fear and unhappiness.

Everyone has the right to be who they are, live an authentic life and seek happiness.

The right version of me

My gender identity starts with me. I am reminded of it anew every day as I wake in the morning. It’s an intimate personal relationship with myself. It’s a difficult relationship, one I have never come to terms with.

The person I see in the mirror and the physical body I inhabit are never easy to deal with. Mirrors are usually best avoided.

This first conflict, is the primary conflict I want to be resolved. I want my physical gender and how I feel inside to match.

The second conflict concerns how I present myself to the world. I want to remain an unremarkable anonymous person inhabiting the world. I would like to be perceived by others to be female.

But for me, at least, and I’m sure many others what I want and what is possible aren’t the same. I look like a man.

If I wore a dress I wouldn’t look the way I would want to and I could never do that because I would find it too upsetting.

Also, I would never want to present this, what for me would be an, incongruous image to the world.

I am not one of the many amazing brave  and strong trans women who have faced the same dilemma and not let it stop them. They have helped trans rights and issues to the forefront.

As the pathetic, weak, self absorbed and self conscious coward that I am I choose denial and misery.

But I would love to live in a world that allowed me to physically become the gender I feel I am inside without me having to go through some bizarre ritual humiliation as a test to prove myself.

To become the right version of myself.

Giving up on Therapy

At times I feel like giving up on therapy. I feel like I am sometimes just talking in circles.

“Yep, still dysphoric, nothing I can do about it”.
In our last session my therapist asked me what it was I really wanted deep down.

The truth is the same as it was when I first discovered that article in my Mum’s magazine about gender confirmation surgery. A transgender woman went through transition and had her surgery. She seemed to me to be a happy and beautiful woman who now enjoyed her life. I was ecstatic when I read it because it meant my dream was possible outside of magic or act of god. I remember how hopeful, sensitive and kind the article was.

The problem was that daring to hope I could also fully transition was what led me to my feeble suicide attempt when my hopes were dashed.

So saying the words out loud, admitting it has always been what I’ve wanted was actually quite hard to do.

I did say the words.

Funny thing is it has made me feel a bit more relaxed about things. I obviously needed to get it out there.

I think I need to forgive myself. I didn’t ask to have gender dysphoria. I’ve had it for as long as I can remember and have been trying to deal with it as best I can.

I also know that I need to fully transition and live the rest of my life as the woman I have always been inside.