When I was seven years old, I ran to my mother crying early one morning. I begged her to let me become a boy. I cannot recall how I came to be in such a state that particular morning, I just remember knowing god had made a mistake that needed to be fixed. I was in the wrong body, I understood that fully. Emotionally I was a wreck, full of fear and confusion. I knew that if my mother gave me permission it would all be made right. My mother responded with understanding and kindness, she said, “When you are eighteen you can do that if you want, but you have to wait till then.” I accepted this fact and decided to forget ever having thought of it. I did not understand my dysphoria and based on that I knew it was wrong.
As I started going through puberty, however, I could think of nothing else. My hips became pronounced; my breast grew larger and became impossible to conceal, when I had my first cycle the walls seemed to close in. Everything I had suppressed was suddenly coming to the surface. During this time I had come out as a lesbian, I was trying desperately to fix the problem without having to delve into the actual feelings behind my discomfort. I started wearing male clothing and labeling myself as butch, still it was not enough. The years I spent living within the confusion and shame led to depression, substance abuse and even suicide attempts. At twenty-one, I got sober and became willing to address the issues that had caused me so much pain. I began researching my “symptoms” online there I found Transgender support groups. I shared, asked questions and started to accept myself for who I was.
Over the last three years I have presented as male, being pre-op has not defined that shift for me. I met Trans-men in my community and established a real life support group. The transformation has been astounding. While most Trans-men shy away from the term gender bender I find it suits me. The fact that I am biologically female, but walk with a male spirit and mind does bend the gender norms, if not break them. I have begun binding, packing and establishing a more authentic relationship with myself. Who I am today is the best me I have ever been. There is a long journey ahead, but I am whole in a way that I never knew was possible. No asks to have a conflict with something as fundamental as gender. There is no moment when you decide to challenge such a hot button issue, in my experience the decision that you do make is to live as yourself or not. This decision is one that I have made; I will live authentically; I have no regret about this.