Hi, I’m not sure if anyone can help me but I just wanted to tell someone. I feel like a gay man but I don’t want to call myself trans. I don’t mind female pronouns. I spent most of my childhood wearing dresses and I didn’t hate it. I much rather would have preferred to buy all of my clothing from the boys department but I didn’t make a huge fuss about it. Puberty wasn’t devastating to me until I found out what guys had to go through then I was really envious. I wanted their deeper voice, growth spurt, physical strength, and flat chest. I still do want that. I don’t see any use for my lady parts because I want have a penis. Yet, I don’t want to say I’m transgender. It’s actually scary for me to admit that. I see FTMs on various blogs who have transitioned socially and medically and I think to myself that I could actually go through with that but then a second later I scream at myself “No! This is just a phase you’re going through. You can’t do that to yourself or your family!” Then, I push the idea of being trans out of my head. I’ve been having this internal conflict for almost 4 years. Sometimes I’m ok with being a masculine female who likes men but other times (especially when I see a FTM) I feel like that’s not enough for me.
Blog owner’s note: Well, I’m certainly not here to tell you whether or not you’re trans, only you can know that. It can be scary to admit, it can be scary to face how much work it is to transition, it can be scary to think about coming out.
The scariest thing about being trans, to me, is that there is no outside authority to confirm or deny it, the only arbiter of this knowledge can be you, and you might never feel sure about it. That’s a common experience. Because there is no outside authority, and the evidence people often use to confirm or deny it for themselves is often mixed up in a bunch of gross gender binary stuff that you might not even believe or like, I think it’s a common experience to feel unsure and some people can’t sit comfortably through any kind of doubt. I’m 2 years into transition, I have had passing privilege for over a year since I could grow facial hair already, my friends and family have told me that the difference in my attitude and personality are night and day, that I’ve “come to life” in the past 2 years, I’ve taken on leadership roles in the community. But younger guys who look up to me probably would be utterly shocked to know that despite all of this, I still experience doubt. I still wonder if I made the right decision. If I’m “really trans.” Because there’s no test you can take! I’m reasonably certain, and my life is better for it, but there is still doubt, and I think it’s more common than is discussed.
I was able to verbalize to others that I was a gay trans guy when I was 19. But I didn’t start social transition until I was 29. Because I wasn’t sure. I was scared. It seemed easier to just find an effeminate straight guy who liked to bottom and understood that I was really a gay man inside. But I couldn’t find that guy, and even if I did, I wouldn’t want to have my identity relying entirely on the understanding and acceptance of one other human being. I waited so long that I really endangered my health for years with neglect, trying to ignore my body completely. I didn’t transition until I was so depressed that I was willing to never date or have sex again, just in order to be able to cross my legs at a coffee shop and people would see that I was gay, and not a girl. People seeing me correctly was important enough to give up sex and romance. But luckily, I didn’t have to! My improved attitude has lead to me doing a lot more dating and having a lot more sex. But I had to get to that point of being willing to give anything to be seen as myself before I was brave enough to transition.
I wish that I had been brave enough to transition much earlier, in college, in my early 20s. But that wasn’t how it happened. I needed to do what I did, for whatever reasons. Probably because I have terrible anxiety and a desire to please everyone, especially family. Those two things probably made it so hard to do.
PS: Yes, I realize that gender therapists are “outside authority,” but let’s be honest, they only know what you tell them. And it is entirely possible for someone who is not trans to misrepresent themselves to gain access to transition treatments for whatever reason. So you are truly the only authority on whether you are trans.