From time to time I reread my old diaries, revisit old blogs, recall old thoughts. Reflection, it’s a two-edged dagger—it can be something to hurt you if you don’t wield right.
That part—wielding that dagger—comes back to stab me from time to time, because I don’t keep control. Thoughts can be dangerous if you let your mind wander into dangerous territory, whether you’re familiar with it or not, without control or a guide.
From time to time I wonder if, in while undergoing my sex change, if I made too many concessions, too many compromises, and that maybe I should have considered other identities. I considered myself agender before taking that first T shot, and after that, I decided to call it quits on the non-binary bullshit and just I’m transsexual. I was lucky to undergo gender counseling before beginning HRT, as it saved me the hassle from much of that confusion.
Was I trans, when I first came out and identified as agender? I still planned to eventually obtain a mastectomy and hysterectomy, but I really didn’t think about nor realize at the time the consequential need for hormone therapy afterwards. (No ovaries means no hormone production.) I had a hard time thinking I was a man at points, despite seeing myself as a boy during my childhood, because the corruption of what “transgender” meant delayed my inevitable sex change.
While I continue to look at myself in the mirror, there’s also one more thing. I realize sometimes these oft dysphoric thoughts arise when I feel like I look androgynous, especially when a mask covers my face and I’m clean shaven. When I look “clearly” male, I don’t have these troubling thoughts that question my masculinity, if not ultimately my essence and identity.
After I play this bout of self-doubt with myself, here is what I come back to. I am a man. I am a brother, son. Masculinizing my birth name shows that I am still the same guy, just living his life as a man instead of as a woman. My body has healed, has been reclaimed. I can wear the clothes I always preferred without having to defend my masculinity anymore. I am attracted to women, but I am straight, not gay. I have a family, loved ones, workplace, and online community that support me as the man I was always meant to be.
My depression sometimes causes dysphoria when really there is none. Since I was young, I always wanted to be a boy and cried out when people tried to remind me I was a “girl”. What nature desecrated, medicine and therapy healed.
I am the man I always pictured myself to be; I wish my thoughts would just let that be. The mind can be your most powerful tool, but can also cause your ultimate self-destruction.
Wonderful post. I remember when I came out, I was on the gender-fluid boat as well. But as time went on, I knew I wasn’t. You’re right, we are just human. I think many people tend forget that as they give us other labels and make jokes (more at my expense than yours). No matter what label you try to give yourself, I appreciate you! Continue being YOU.
I have been all over in terms of trying to find a label, because “transgender” now is beyond watered down, not unlike “queer”; which is why I call myself “transsexual” now. I think masculinity and femininity each also occur along spectrums in of themselves, as opposed to a continuum that has masculinity on one end, femininity on the other. I just find it ironic that after having undergone a sex change, I’m finally in touch with that feminine side, that I am comfortable with the parts of my body that will always remain congenital, like still needing to visit a gynecologist to keep vigilant about vaginal health.
Sadly, I wish I could say the same. I have spent my whole life hating the fact that I was male. To the point I constantly thought about suicide. When I made to decision to come out and start my HRT, I began to feel more like me and happier. I still don’t like the parts of me that are male. I still wish I were born male, but I also believe things happen for a reason. So, I’m embracing that philosophy. At least I’m not thinking about suicide anymore.