Tag Archives: gender

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.

My name is Beth

Hi. My name is Beth and I am a transgender woman. I didn’t choose to be transgender, I was born this way. I have lived my life so far pretending to be someone I’m not. I have always tried to be a good person but have never once felt comfortable as the man I appeared to be. My life has at times been very difficult to cope with and I have wanted it to end on a number of occasions.

With the help of my therapist and many amazing trans men and women online I now accept and am proud of who I am and I no longer hate myself for being transgender.

I long to free myself of my male life. I need to become the person I am inside. I need to begin my transition.

But where to start … ?

Best friends with Jenny

When I was nine years old I spent one idyllic summer in North Wales with my Mum’s friend and her son James. He was an only child and they owned a cottage in the countryside (a lot of the time we were actually looked after by his Nanny)

During our six week vacation we became friends with the two girls who lived on the farm down the road. Mary was eleven and Jenny was the same age as me. It didn’t take long for Jenny and I to become firm friends. We just seemed to click and would spend every daylight hour together.

We walked and ran through fields, built houses and boats for teddies, wrote funny stories, played schools, farms, hospitals, vets you name it we did it.

Jenny also liked playing football, cricket and was always climbing trees and getting her clothes dusty. She was also embarrassed that her wardrobe had dresses inside it and told me her mum bought them and made her wear them for church. Everybody described her as a tomboy.

I thought she was amazing and she could make me laugh until tears ran down my face.

She would often say things like being a girl was boring and that they can’t play football or be vets or drive tractors. I pointed out that she was better at football than I was and there was a girl called Anne in my class at school who was cleverer than all of the boys put together and she could definitely be a vet.

It upset me that she felt so down about being a girl. To me she had everything. She was pretty, kind, funny and even seemed better at doing boy stuff than me! I would have switched places with her in a heartbeat. It didn’t occur to me that a girl might feel about herself  the way I felt about being a boy.

I don’t know if she was trans but she was unhappy with the limitations and expectations she felt were placed on her.

One day, when we were playing by the stream, I told her I thought being a girl was just as good as being a boy and they can do everything boys can. This broke the “boy code” and I had to motivate myself to say it out loud. I was worried somehow everyone would find out and guess my secret by me saying it.

She just smiled at me.

The rest of the summer was filled with lots of fun activities interspersed with midnight feasts, ghost stories in the fields at 2am and amazing talent shows.

When it was time to go home I was devastated. She was the perfect friend I had always wanted. I could be myself around her in a way I had never been able before. I wish I had told her more about how I felt about myself.

It took a long time to get over losing her.

I do hope Jenny was able to find herself and be happy with who she was. I wouldn’t wish dysphoria on anybody.

I will never forget her.

I would have been Elizabeth

If  things had turned out differently I would have been born as a girl called Elizabeth (or Beth for short). That’s what my Mum would have called me.

I mourn the loss of that childhood. I feel sad that I couldn’t grow up without the stifling weight of dysphoria upon me.

I feel sad about the friends I would have made and experiences we would have shared.

I wonder how it might have been to fall in love with a man, to marry him and bear his children.

How I wish I could have been somebody’s Mother, to carry them, give birth to them, raise them and love them like only a Mother can.

I ache for that life that never was. All part of the pain and suffering you get for free with gender dysphoria.

Whether you view it as delusional, mental illness or accident of birth the pain and regret you feel in your mind and in your heart is real.

It stops you ever feeling good about yourself, your achievements or anything really. A life in limbo.

For most of my life I have tried to put these feelings to one side, work hard and be who I am supposed to be. I have always tried to be a good person and treat others as I would want to be treated.

I hoped to get to the end of my life without having to deal with my issues further. But for reasons I can’t really explain over the last 6 months the dysphoria has become increasingly unbearable. I’m not sure how best to deal with it.

That’s why I decided to talk things through with a therapist and write this blog.

Starting Therapy

Well I started therapy. My therapist is really nice. She describes herself as gender fluid. That made me feel more comfortable to begin with. When I was searching for therapists so many of them seemed so unlike me. I wondered how they could begin to understand me.

My therapist, let’s call her Jen, as I suspected, just gets it and has no judgement or superior position. That’s probably the position of most therapists. Let’s hope so.

So what’s the story..

The truth is similar to all those other transgender stories you may have read before.

My truth is that from the age of at least four I’ve felt I should be female. That feeling has never left me and has badly affected my whole life.

One of the core fundamentals of our existence is our gender. If that feels wrong then nothing else ever fits properly into your life.

The worst thing though is that I’ve never done anything about it. My one brilliant strategy to cope has been “focus on something else, don’t think about it”. That’s really hard to do.

Talking with Jen

Talking to Jen was great. It felt good to tell someone who wasn’t affected by the truth. My truth just hurts people I love. She listened as all good therapists do and I guess she had heard similar experiences before. But it still meant a lot to say the words aloud.