Becoming Who I Want to Be

I’ve spent most of my life trying to conform to other’s expectations. I told myself that I wasn’t conforming at all, but even adopting labels like geek or tomboy, were still ways of me conforming to others’ expectations.

As a young child, I insisted I was a boy. Everything about boys resonated with me, while girls seemed like strange, foreign beings. I refused to believe I was a girl until I learned how different my anatomy was from biological boys (I accidentally walked in on one going to the bathroom). I remember being very conflicted, but I resigned myself to my fate. My body was female so therefore I must be as well. I tried to conform to that, but in the end, I just settled on being a tomboy.

Over time, some parts of being female did begin to resonate with me, while many other parts remained foreign. For many years, I only had male friends. I didn’t get along with most girls my age. I wanted to talk about video games and cool science experiments, not makeup and fashion. Some of my worst bullies were other girls because they saw me as being just as weird as I saw them.

Over the course of my adulthood, I’ve gone back and forth from trying to be more feminine, to falling back to my tomboy roots. Now that I’ve hit middle-age, I’m at a point in my life where I no longer care how people perceive me. I’ve spent a lot of time on self-reflection since losing my husband. During our time together, I focused a lot of my energy on him. He suffered from severe depression and I did as much as I could to help him keep it at bay.

While I miss him terribly, I’ve come to realize that I let my entire life be consumed by my focus on him, and I didn’t slow down to consider what I needed or wanted. So now it’s my time to focus on myself, and finally becoming who I truly am as a person. I’m grateful that there is so much more information out there now regarding gender identity. I’ve watched countless hours of videos made by genderqueer and transgender people. It was important for me to understand both the pros and cons of transitioning and what all the available options are.

I now fully identify as genderqueer, specifically bigender. I still lean more heavily male, but I cannot deny there are some parts of me that are also female in nature. To that end, I’ve decided I will only do a partial transition. I want to take testosterone and have a mastectomy. I’ve decided, at least for now, I will not have bottom-surgery (what’s often referred to as gender-reassignment surgery). Bottom-surgery can come with a host of complications, and since I don’t have any dysphoria with my genitals, having that surgery is less necessary for me. I don’t know when I’ll be able to start this transition–I need to check with my insurance and speak with my doctors first.

Doing this will finally enable me to look and feel the way I have always envisioned myself. I may not always have had the vocabulary to express this, but now I do and I will go forth and become who I want to be, not who everyone else thinks I should be.