Hey reader, glad you came back! It’s still Robin behind this keyboard and I’m gonna get personal.
Story Time, Reader!
This is the thrilling tale of how I came to understand my gender.
I never felt as a kid that I fit into the box that was assigned to me. I knew I liked to play with lipstick, I knew I liked dolls and princesses, but damn, did I ever like to roll in the mud and play manhunt.
(And I didn’t just play manhunt, it was the Battle Royal to me, okay? )
Anyways, when I was about 9, I told myself I’d never wear my dark blue dress with the velvet top and chiffon skirt again. And I don’t think I did.
Thing is I didn’t like squeezing into being a girl. It made me uncomfortable and it made me angry. I didn’t think much of it however, because I didn’t know there was an option to be both or neither. There wasn’t any education available to me on gender identity or sexual orientation.
Sexual orientation wasn’t to big of a deal for me. Everyone knew that gay people exist, and I managed to figure out that I was attracted to both men and women when I was around 12 or 13 years old. It didn’t upset me much seeing as my parents were pretty open about sexuality with me and had never tried to fit me into that heterosexual box.
Gender , on the other hand, overturned my life when I was in high school. To be cliche, I always considered myself a “tomboy” or just someone who was bad at being a girl. I wore baggy sweaters and my dad’s jeans to school, never put makeup on, and got my hair cut short after years of hip-length locks.
The turning point for me was education. Not anything I had learned in school, but education from the LGBTQ2AI+ community on the subject of gender. My biggest influence was my childhood friend, for the purposes of confidentiality we’ll call him Jack.
I met jack before I even got to high school. We both presented as female and we both didn’t like that. I, being susceptible to suggestion, found a way to manage what I later learned was dysphoria so as to fit in with my peers. I wore makeup and tight shirts for years. He struggled with this, probably due to his tremendous amount of self awareness and strong will. He will always be an inspiration to me.
Jack came out to me as transgender in the tenth or eleventh grade. He had short hair by now and I could tell he had really found an answer to his years of discomfort.
I denied that I was also trans* for a while for fear of making him feel like I was “copying” him. Jack is a very understanding, warm-hearted, supportive person, so of course when I asked him to call me a different name and use he/him pronouns for me, he did with the utmost respect.
So, I came out as transgender in the eleventh grade.
It was still all very confusing for me as I still liked to wear skirts, and I liked wearing makeup and being feminine, but I knew I just wasn’t a girl.
I started binding my chest with a compression shirt, because I learned how to safely bind from my queer community.
*DO NOT BIND WITH A TENSOR BANDAGE, YOU WILL BREAK A RIB*
I felt happier and more comfortable than I’d ever felt. A lot of anxiety went away, but new anxiety came up.
“Will people know?”
“Will I get hurt?”
“Will people accept me?”
“Am I just making this all up?”
No, I wasn’t making it all up.
No, not everyone accepted me.
No, I wasn’t physically attacked or harmed.
Yes, people knew.
There’s no magical ending to this story where the top surgery fairy comes and hits my on the head with her magic wand to make my breasts go away.
I’ll tell you why, reader.
Finding out who you are, whether it’s your sexual orientation, your gender, your preferred group of friends, or a set of hobbies, it’s not a straight line. Life is not a straight line. I’m still learning about my gender everyday that I live in this body and this mind. I learn more and more about my own thoughts and feelings, my awareness of myself, and what makes me worthy in my own eyes.
Gender is fluid for some, rigid for others, and sometimes even non-existent. And that’s okay. Presently, I consider myself transmasculine identified, pansexual, and happy with that. The most important on that list is the last one. If we can’t be happy with our true selves, what can we be happy about.