When I first told my mother that I was transgendered the first thing she was ‘so you want to be a girl?’ This might not seem like much, it may even seem like a sensible question, especially from a mother whose child is proposing such a monumental change in their life. But for me, this will always stick in my mind and stand out for one reason, one word, ‘want’.
My mother is not the only person to use this word, everyone else who knows about my situation has used it in one way or another, from repeating my mothers comment to variations on it such as ‘you want a sex change?’ Want, what I want.
One of the things that infuriates me the most is that people believe that this is something that I want, that I want to transition from male to female. But it’s not, it’s a need. There is this strong, uncontrollable need inside of me to be female. It is almost hard to put into words what it feels like, but unlike a ‘want’ this need is something that cannot be ignored, that won’t take no for an answer and doesn’t give me a single moment of peace.
Every moment of every day there is the knowledge that there is something so fundamentally wrong with me that it has changed my entire life. Many days I find it hard to find the strength to leave the house, to just be outside around other people, especially women. When I am alone I can almost forget that my mind and my body are at odds with each other and can just be me. However, when I am around women it becomes a blaring siren inside my head. ‘I’m wrong’, ‘I’m not normal’, ‘I don’t get to have my real life’.
This is what the people who know me do not understand, it never stops. My friends have told me that I should try to ignore it as much as possible, to just try and be happy and forget about it. One friend even complained that I let it get me down too much. But how do you ignore something that bombards your very being every single second. Not even my dreams are an escape from this hurt. How do you ignore it even when your subconscious mind is telling you that you should be female?
So I pretend. I put on a smile and hold my head high and act like there’s nothing wrong. I watch TV, chat with my friends and do those things that everyone else does, all the while hoping that no one can tell that I’m dieing inside. That it feels like my heart is being ripped to pieces every moment of the day.
For me the struggle is not the journey to becoming a woman, I’m not scared of taking hormones or having operations or anything like that. The struggle is the wait, the time where nothing is happening. How to I cope living a life that is a lie, a complete fabrication whilst time keeps on slipping past me?
I know that I’m not old, that twenty five is still young and that I have many, many years ahead of me, but I can’t help but think of those things I’ve already missed out on so far for the very simple reason of being born in the wrong body. Having those girls’ toys when I was younger, practicing make-up with friends, or getting into clubs before you’re old enough and partying late into the night.
There are some many of these female ‘right of passages’ that I feel I’ve lost out on, that I’ll never have a chance to experience, and I’m scared of loosing more. For me, that’s the struggle, that’s the pain I have to live with, the thought that I’ve lost so much of my true life already, and the fear that I may never get to have it.