My Trans Realization Was Hard, But I Learned To Love Myself And Being A Woman
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My Trans Realization Was Hard, But I Learned To Love Myself And Being A Woman

I Enjoy Being a Girl!

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My Trans Realization Was Hard, But I Learned To Love Myself And Being A Woman

I am 24 years old. I am also a transwoman. That last identity marker has come to be the focal point my overall identity. I identify as a woman as do my legal documents, but I also identify as trans- the umbrella term for all transgender and trans-related identities. Being a trans person is a unique living experience few others are privileged to experience. This living experience is marked with both happiness and heartbreak, a blessing and a curse.

As a young child, I did not realize something was wrong. In fact, I never felt wrong, I felt myself- until my mannerisms and behavior started isolating me from my peers. I did not see a big deal with having a greater interest in girl clothing versus boy clothing. But I did learn that wasn't allowed because of the rigid gender binary system deeply ingrained in American culture and society. I didn't see it as big deal that I liked both barbies and action figures. I liked playing with boys and girls. I wish I had the word "transgender" in my K-12 school vocabulary. If I did know, then I might not have lived with so much anxiety, confusion and depression stemming from my dysphoria.

If I knew that word before, maybe I would have seen a therapist earlier than last year to diagnose my gender dysphoric anxieties. Because of my "feminine" mannerisms, I struggled dealing with gay rumors in middle school and high school. A few students in my seventh grade class even passed around a book with an image of the female anatomy. Because I did not want to look at a vagina, they deduced I was gay- the only logical explanation right? Whatever.

I tried my best to ignore them, but they kept coming back and back again. Friends would tell me they heard rumors, I would stifle my tears and hide it. I tried to not look at boys I had crushes on in the hallways. I tried to make it seem I still liked girls, which I did. But I also liked boys too. I quietly confessed to myself that I must be bisexual finding both men and women attractive. But that only temporarily mitigated my growing assigned-gender anxiety. I chose to ignore and bury all of that for the next few years. I graduated high school without a single sexual or romantic experience- that left me feeling like I would never find someone to love me for whomever I am. Even though I graduated five years ago, those thoughts of isolation still linger with me.

In my junior college years, I began to look into myself. I asked, "if people keep accusing me of being a girl, then I must be." The idea of being born a girl started appealing greatly to me. As time went on, I kept wishing and wishing I could be born back in time as the opposite gender. I believed my life would be so much easier. I didn't want to wear male clothing anymore. I wanted to wear dresses, skirts, shorts, high heeled boots and stilettos, makeup, and have long, pretty hair.

The summer after beginning my undergrad program at U.C. Davis, I finally told myself to go see a therapist. My family's longtime provider-Kaiser Permanente- referred to a gender therapist in a special clinic in the Bay Area for individuals like me. The day I met my therapist, I told him of my feelings and confusion. He validated my confusion and thoughts- he assured me I wasn't crazy, that I was human. Followed by a few more sessions, he brought me to the conclusion that I was trans- I was not born into the body that my mind identifies with. I did not want to continue living as a man, I wanted to be a woman. I had to.

I do not regret my transition. I learned to love myself anew and began a new living experience. Some of the most affirming things I see and hear include traditional displays of chivalry: men opening the door for me, women telling me they like my shoes, fashion, or makeup, and in general, people coming up to me to say "You're pretty." I enjoy being a girl!

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