I’m excited to bring you the latest installment in “This Trans Voice”! This is a guest blogger opportunity for persons who are transgender who would like to share their story and insights with you.
I’d like to introduce you to Tony/Serena. Tony/Serena is a genderqueer person who I met on Facebook during the past year. S/he had spent a large portion of life trying to discover who s/he is, and wants to share the story in the hopes of helping other people who might feel alone being in-between, or switching between, genders.
Enjoy, learn, and pass on!
The most important thing you can do in your whole life, is be yourself.
As people, we tend to sacrifice a lot for others; we want to make our loved ones and friends happy, even if its at the expense of our own discomfort. We try our hardest to be selfless, and that isn’t always a bad thing. But what happens when a situation like mine comes up, or like millions of people worldwide looking to express something that is out of society’s comfort zone?
I’ve long since realized that there are times in my life when I want to present as a woman. Not all the time, but definitely more than a fleeting instance of curiosity. Why? I have no idea, anymore than I can explain why I like eating sour candy when I have the flu, or why I love the color teal. “It’s just who I am” is the answer I tend to give.
I’ve known for as long as I can remember, even being as young as 6 or 7, playing with the boys, enjoying myself, and wanting to also make time to dress up pretty and play with the girls. The desire to express myself in a feminine way is not foreign to my life. But I was very selfless even as a child, and knew what people would think of me. I tried to deny it, to push it down and to just accept that it wasn’t acceptable for me.
What did this lead to? At 10, I was trying on my mom’s shoes when no one was around, wanting a pair of my own. At 13, my parents had me in counselling for me not being very sociable. I wouldn’t make friends easily. I actually went to a camp for kids who had trouble making friends. I wonder how different I would be if I knew what I know now.
By the time I was 19, I was close to 300 pounds. My life was a whirlwind of fast food, constant distractions, gaming for 10 hours a day to try and make my life feel fulfilled, to make it feel COMPLETE. It never worked, any downtime in my life was spent wondering about myself. Questioning myself. I would get together with friends constantly, to the point of becoming irate if they had other plans, all in the name of distracting myself. Junk food, constant video games, loud music, anything to distract myself when the desires came.
When I moved out on my own, I was no longer surrounded by these distractions and instead could only sit back and watch, helplessly, as my mind brought back years of repressed desires and wishes, wishes I had long since buried under a viciously self-indulging lifestyle. I wondered if I was gay, I wondered if I was planning on living life as a woman… Neither were correct (unless you want to argue the semantics of me being attracted to women, even while presenting as one) and it started a long period of strife for me. But also, a period of DISCOVERY.
That was 4 years ago. Since then I’ve tried convincing myself there was some other reason I wanted to present as a woman, I’ve tried chalking it up to depression or escapism and that I don’t actually want to present as a woman, I’ve tried convincing myself for a period of time that I actually WAS planning to transition even if I didn’t want to, I’ve tried being a middle-ground person, living life as a guy who wore feminine things… I’ve tried all of that, and at the end of the day I was STILL unsatisfied, so what was I missing?
The desire was always there, sometimes to the point of self-loathing. I would look in the mirror on occasion and feel hatred for myself, hatred that I couldn’t look as pretty as a woman, feeling like life is so unfair, I didn’t even want to be a woman full time, just to be able to look like one, present as one, to feel beautiful, to know the simple pleasure of wearing a dress and feeling like a princess… These desires came on strong, the older I got.
I spent lonely nights on the floor of my apartment, looking at my ceiling, waiting for the desire to subside again so I could continue my life. Depression led to either trying to convince myself that what I desired was impossible, or taking unhealthy risks like extreme dieting and purging, thinking I couldn’t look like a girl because I had a guy’s body and a guy’s weight. Most times, I would be miserable until the desire would subside.
It always did subside, of course, the very nature of me is that I desire to be able to present as whichever gender I want, when I feel like it was more natural.
Very recently I learned I can do it. I can present as a woman. fully. Totally. And the first time I did, the first time I looked in the mirror and saw HER there, the face behind the voice I heard inside of me all my life… I cried. I fell to my knees in my apartment at one in the morning, and cried victorious tears. It took all I had not to scream out in triumph. I cried sweet tears and felt my self worth skyrocket, I COULD do it! I COULD, without dieting or hating myself or drastically changing anything, I COULD look the way I wanted, and what’s more, I could do it whenever I wanted!
It changed everything! Not only was I proud of myself for being a woman, the fact that my womanhood could stand on it’s own made me proud of myself for being a man, too. No longer would the male side of me be forced to try and add feminine things into the daily routine in an attempt to express some subtle notion of femininity, I could now simply look like the woman inside of me, whenever I desired! Because of that, my male side was free to be himself and be proud of it, too.
I can’t begin to explain the relief! Suddenly, life made perfect sense! Everything did! I am Free now! I am WHOLE! It’s a feeling I can’t possibly put into words.
My name is Tony, and also Serena. And I guess this was the story of my life up until now.