Soon you will know. And you’ll probably hurt because of it. You may be confused, or think that I’m confused. Maybe you’ll wish this is all “just a phase” just like some of you thought when I came out as a lesbian all those years ago – and we all know how that worked out. I played my part, dutyfully pretending to be a heterosexual woman, when I only ever had romantic feelings for a woman.
I still love her, by the way.
Though it hurts me to hurt you, this is how things are. I have not changed. I only stopped denying. You know how I always used to say that “I’m a strong guy”? I don’t think it ever crossed your mind that I really meant what I said, but I did.
You may fondly remember how cute I looked dressed up as a bride. I still feel the discomfort, and how I envied the girl who came to school dressed up as a cowboy. You didn’t know. You couldn’t, because I hid my feelings. Or maybe because it is our human nature to see what we expect to see.
I struggled to understand why I was so different from other girls. They loved silly things like knitting and embroidery, and thought it funny that I enjoyed sawing, chiseling, hammering and other “boy” stuff.
I never knew the word transgender until I was in my twenties. I only knew that what I felt was considered sinful and would earn me a place in hell. However, by that time I had fully mastered the art of denial and learnt how to be a proper woman. Sort of.
I still prided myself on being able to haul pianos, laundry machines and other heavy objects around with the help of just one man who was no larger than myself. I loved ju-jitsu, and never mind that some people considered it an unladylike sport. Nothing could bring me more joy than to kick some ass. Literally.
You know this to be true.
I will not deny having some interests that are, in our western culture, considered typically female. I still love cooking up a storm, e.g. But that doesn’t make me any less of a guy. Because in the end it’s not really about “male” interests versus “female” interests. It’s about how my brain is wired.
This is not anyones fault, and no-one is to blame. Research suggests that when a fetus is exposed to abnormal hormonal levels, gender identity and/or sexual orientation of the child get messed up. Research also suggests that genes might well play a role here too.
So, whatever you do, don’t go beating yourself up over this. You did nothing to cause it, and neither could you have done anything to prevent it. And either way, I am happy to be who I am. There’s not many guys who’ve been able to give birth to a couple of wonderful children, eh?
Now, I would ask of you to please accept me for who I really am. To call me by my chosen name, and use male pronouns when talking about me. I know this will not come easy, and you will trip up at times. All I ask is that you make the effort. You will eventually get used to it, I’m sure.
As for me, I will at some point in the hopefully near future start taking testosterone. My voice will deepen, my fat (which fat?) will redistribute and give me a more male silhouette, and overall, we should see some masculinising changes over a period of months or years. How much my body will change, and how fast those changes will take place, there’s no saying.
You will have noticed that I hardly mentioned religion at all. That was intentional. Though I am deeply religious, our religious views are too different and I don’t want to initiate a heated religious argument. But I will say this:
If we accept that God gave us the means to treat vascular disease, bacterial infections, broken bones and mental illnesses, would it be too hard to believe that God also gave us the means to treat gender dysphoria? If we can have our bodies aligned to how our minds are wired, why would it be wrong to choose to undergo this medical treatment? How is it different from having heart surgery? Or being treated for depression?