A reader writes: “Asking this question on behalf of all the questioning folks out there: If you’re comfortable sharing, what all have you identified as on your gender journey? And what times (if any) were particularly tough/confusing?”
Questioning gender can be very difficult, although it’s not as hard, I would think, as it was way back when, when there was just one model or “blueprint” to choose from, and everyone was expected to go down a prescribed path – if they fit the established criteria.
At least now, there are different options and alternatives available, and information is out there for almost everyone in almost every situation. But that comes with its own set of problems.
I can’t say that I personally was ever questioning my gender – at least not in the sense that we talk about it today – because I was sure for over forty years that I was a girl/woman. I didn’t think that was what I was supposed to be, but I thought that was the way it was and that there was nothing I could do about it. I didn’t know that there was anyone else like me, and I didn’t know that what I was experiencing had a label and was an actual identified “thing.”
Once I discovered that, there was again very little questioning involved, because I knew what I was going to do – transition and live as a man. I would say that my questioning came in after I started transition and found that I wasn’t really fitting what I considered to be the “standard man” mode. That’s when, thanks to my therapist, I adopted the permanent label of trans man, and I have not changed that since.
So my gender identity went from girl to woman to man (for a very brief time) to trans man. And that is where it has stayed. And the most confusing time for me was as I said above – when I didn’t really feel like I fit as a “man,” and I wasn’t sure what that meant or where I could go from there.
But I had a lot of models to look at, because I knew, when I found out what “transgender” was, that I would transition, I had learned to use the Internet by then, and I was able to see lots of guys who might have identified as men or who might have identified as trans men, but who were out and visible and who I could relate to. (more…)