warning: word vomit
I wouldn’t exactly call my childhood self “gender nonconforming”, but there was one moment in particular that stands out in my mind. One day I asked my mom if I was a boy or a girl. I didn’t have much knowledge about the difference between males and females at the time, so it seemed like a valid question. She gave me an odd look, as if to say “comon, don’t you know?” She then went to room and brought out a copy of my karyotype chart and pointed to the XY at the bottom corner. “This means you’re a boy! There’s nothing to worry about” she said. I hesitantly accepted the answer.
The next few years went by without much fanfare until puberty hit. I was 14 years old, standing in the bathroom after a shower and noticing my body in the mirror. It was the first time that I had become so aware of who I was and what I was becoming. Thinking the growing hairs on my body fell from my head or eyelashes, I attempted to flick them off with my hand. I tried to squeeze my bones into a smaller frame and I attempted to push my growing adam’s apple back into my body. Afterwards, I realized that I was probably crazy and decided to keep these feelings to myself.
At 15, thinking my issue was about sexual orientation (since I wanted to be a woman), I came out as “probably gay”. My high school was already pretty hostile towards LGBT individuals, and I found myself at the receiving end of nasty threats, snarky comments and looks of disgust. There weren’t any other out male students, leaving me to fend for myself from some of the other boys. My dysphoria also increased as puberty had now kicked into full gear, leaving me in a fragile state of mind. With no support from family and dwindling support from friends, I further spiraled into depression and began to contemplate suicide. I eventually found a safe place in my school’s GSA. However, my mother’s constant denial and condemnation (our culture isn’t known for being LGBT friendly) made it difficult for me to seek professional help about my issues during this time.
I finally accepted myself at 18 during my freshman year of college. After a mental breakdown that ended in a hospital stay, I dropped out of school and returned home. Eventually I got myself motivated enough to go though community college and ended up transferring to one of my top choice Universities the next year. It was here last spring that I finally began HRT through the school’s trans health services.
I’m still in school, having just returned from a semester off. I’m nearly finished with my degree after which I hope to go to graduate school for social work. I’m still battling the ups and downs of depression/transition and currently living part time in terms of my transition status. Currently in a bit of a rut, feeling lost in terms of where my transition is going, but I’m taking it day by day. Despite the difficulties that come with it, transitioning has been an extremely rewarding, life saving experience and I wouldn’t have it any other way.