As I have said in previous posts I have lived with gender dysphoria for most of my life. It has been a consistent part of my life since I can remember. It does not go away. So what is this invisible life companion that has been with me for so long?
Gender dysphoria is a basic and fundamental discomfort and dissatisfaction with the biological gender I was born with. It has triggered periods of anxiety, depression, restlessness and suicidal thoughts. It is these feelings that have been the catalyst to making the decision to change both my physical body and my gender expression to be more reflective of what I know my real gender identity to be.
For me gender expression was the beginning of transition, I did not know where or what it was going to lead to. In the past dressing and presenting as male had been enough to calm the urges within myself but it never satisfied them and ultimately dysphoria would return. The need to physically transition just kept getting stronger and it still is getting stronger.
The main problem of living with gender dysphoria is society and its expectations. Essentially everyone expected me to live, act like and be a woman when inside I knew and felt I am a guy.
As children we learn from our parents about what is appropriate and what is not and we take those things inside ourselves. I was expected to do girl things like play with dolls and mix with girls in the playground. Normal everyday things parents expect of their children because it is what society expects too. In reality I longed to play with toy cars and rough and tumble with the boys. As a young kid I learned to bury myself and keep it hidden.
Puberty is always a hard age as the body is changing both physically and chemically. The appearance of breasts when I wanted manly hairs on my chest was abhorrent. The messy menstrual cycle did not help either. As if puberty is not bad enough dealing with gender dysphoria at the same time makes it a whole lot worse and growing up in a time when expressing such would have been at best frowned upon simply continued the burying and hiding of self as it was the better option to having my face pulped for being ‘queer’. I faked an interest in fashion and make-up but really couldn’t get into the desire for shoes.
At the onset of adulthood I was already a parent myself. Being a mother did not make the dysphoria go away in fact it made me very aware I could not change anything and I do not regret for a moment I made the decision to be a mum first. The very idea of transitioning was not a concept I had heard of let alone understood and in many ways I am glad I did not as I have my boys instead.
Now as I approach, rather too rapidly, fifty years of age I am finally transitioning and it is great. I am aware of the pitfalls in doing so later in life. I appreciate my family are having a hard time accepting and understanding what is going on. They have known me as female for most of my life. It is a possibility that the results of any physical changes may not be as convincing as they would have been if they had been done at a younger age. Really that does not matter as transition for me has never been about convincing anyone I am male, it is about feeling comfortable in my body.
Throughout all this gender dysphoria has led to feelings of isolation and needing to hide who I am. I have suffered many periods of deep depression and suicidal ideation. Neither hiding my feelings of being male nor presenting as male have made that any better so transition is the only alternative for me.
Once again my heartfelt thanks to all of you who read me, you are all awesome!!
Love and light