In the wee small hours of the morning of Saturday 11th February 2017, on the messy end of a night of heavy drinking, intimate heart-to-hearts with people who didn’t deserve it, and a spiteful 3am call to my estranged Father, my beleaguered brain coerced my fingers into typing out this post on facebook:
“I have Gender Dysmorphia, and always have had!”
Naturally, I woke up several hours later to a colossal hangover (at 26 years old,
long gone are the days of waking up scot free after trying to drown myself in rum and sambuca), and to some mixed responses of support and concern from friends (more that someone had hacked my Facebook than the declaration itself). Thus, I deleted the slapdashed post, and followed it up with this more tailored qualification:
“Ok, so I got very very drunk last night, and shared something quite intimate about myself, that a more sober head would rather I hadn’t just yet. At least until my own thoughts and feelings on the matter are more formulated. Yet, it is out there now, so I suppose I had better explain a little. Dratted gobshite drunk me needs to keep his mouth shut.
Whilst it is true that I have always had mild feelings of gender dysphoria (not dysmorphia, as inebriated haste misdiagnosed this morning. Dysmorphia would suggest that my self image is different from my reality, and that I see a woman when I look in the mirror, which I do not), this has largely been a disassociation with everything that a man is supposed to be, or the archaic gender role of a Man, and I haven’t acted upon anything because of this. As the very definition of Man is something that is finally being called into question by society in modern times, that has felt like enough to satisfy my feelings thus far.
Whether or not that is correct, I have happily gotten by. I have dreamed as far back as I can remember as a female, I connect much better with woman emotionally, almost always choose to play female characters in games (FemShep or GTFO), or write female main characters in stories, and when I was very young, quite literally wished more than once that I would wake up a girl the next morning. But, as I grew older and realised that this was A) not going to happen (about the same time I realised that my Hogwarts letter wasn’t going to come…) and B) still not something that the world is entirely ready for (transgender people are still often greatly stigmatised and misunderstood, at least in my locality, as someone of their biological sex pretending to be the other biological sex, and I don’t feel I have the strength of character to deal with that ignorance and persecution on a daily basis for the rest of my life), I guess that I diminished the sensation to some degree, consciously redefined my feelings, and chose fitting in over being myself.
And yet, became a Goth for many years. Long hair and make up. Subconsciously testing the waters maybe? Took me far too long to spot that.
Recently, in the last 6 months or so, the disassociation has gotten more acute, to the point where I am thinking about it a lot of the time. I’m getting to know people in similar situations, and I was hoping that the world in general is starting to become more accepting of Trans individuals (not convinced that this is still the case or trend, given the recent political climate, not just in America but globally, but we’ll see). I don’t know exactly the outcome I want in the matter, and facebook is less the correct forum for working that out than a counsellor would be, but I now realise that I do need to address the issue in some capacity, and not just sit on it.
I also need a fry up and a cup of tea, because I am hanging like a bastard.
P.S. I know that in these matters, pronouns are important to some, and to others it can be a tricky area to navigate. Given my own confusion on the matter, whatever is fine, I have no preference.”
After an overwhelming out-pouring of love a support, and a few requests to document my journey, we find ourselves here. Page 1 of a new chapter, and I’m happy for you all to read along.
Though preferably more sober than has been evidenced so far.