How do you know you are transgender?

I'm going to be 66 years old in a few months. I have thought of myself as mostly female, most of the time, since I was 12. I really don't remember much "gender" type things before then, except for always preferring to be with the women and girls in my life more than the males. I know I always wanted to the things my Mom, Aunts and sister did (at that point there were no male cousins in my life), but was forced to work with my Dad. I did whine often about this, but was told there were too many females and not enough males in my life. That I needed more male influence. To put it mildly, it was not pleasant for me. Remember I was born in 1954, there was no internet or information outlet that didn't come through your parents. The town was very small and very rural, when I got to the regional high school the bus ride was an hour each way. One day when I was 10, during summer vacation, my Mom sort of asked me "You don't want to go to the movies to see 'Mary Poppins', right? It's not really for boys your age". Yes I did, very much. Mary Poppins could sing and fly and to me (and her) she was practically perfect. Thankfully my Mom let me go, afterwards when asked what I thought I said "It was OK". Looking back that was probably my first "gender lie".

There were about a half dozen boys in the neighborhood and being boys there were always comparisons and competitions. I did not fare very well in either, one that I remember explicitly was 'how big was your wrist?' The measurement was whether you could touch one of your fingers to your thumb when encircling your wrist. I think the oldest couldn't  touch any, most could only touch from middle finger to thumb. I could touch them all. As I'm sure you can imagine, that was met with laughter and disdain.  In the woods behind my home there is a large evergreen tree growing next to a  boulder. The trick was to climb onto the rock then climb the tree. All the neighborhood boys could climb the rock and tree, except me. Eventually I got older and more importantly taller and was able to climb the rock and tree, but the rest of kids had already conquered that obstacle and moved on to  other games. During these times I waffled between dreaming of being a girl and hating being the crappy boy that I appeared to be.

You might be thinking "Wait a minute you said 'mostly thought of yourself as a girl most of the time'." Well when I could, I did climb the rock and then I did climb the tree. All the way to the top, it was awesome.  Those few "male" successes I had, as limited and delayed that they were, were great. They may have relieved the dysphoria for a moment or two, but it never stopped.

Comments

  1. The last paragraph is my favorite. I don't think you answered the question about how to tell if you're transgender, but maybe that was the point - it's not easy to tell/admit if you are?

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    1. Yes it is not easy to tell even less easy to admit. The praise I got as a child was for being the polite quiet kid. Never talk back did what I was told (except homework for some reason). I was terrified of being perceived as crazy, because I thought I was crazy. I'll post more examples of incidents of validation and doubts. Before I understood what gender dysphoria is or even before I knew of gender identity disorder I had anxiety and insecurities along with the crazy notion of thinking I was a girl. What I didn't know was whether anxiety drove me to want to someone else, a girl. Or was it not want anyone to find out I was a girl making me anxious and insecure... It took a long time for that egg to crack.

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    2. yikes... should be
      Or was it, not wanting anyone to find out I was a girl, making me anxious and insecure...

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