My Gender Identity: Part Three (Dysphoria Through The Ages)

Part of me has been considering the fact that I once loved my breasts. I’ve been worrying that I might miss them after getting top surgery. This, of course, led me to searching for others who felt this same way and transitioned anyway. I found a few people who basically were trying to live their ASAB and embrace the body with which they were born. A lot of them managed to convince themselves that they were happy while doing this. It’s possible to psych yourself out about your ASAB and live happily in many aspects of your life sometimes without transitioning. This depends on the severity of your dysphoria, from what I’ve gathered.

I didn’t think I had dysphoria before I started exploring my gender identity. Now I don’t want to take off my binder, even when it’s a “day off” and I’m not going to be seeing anyone at all. In the past, I’d sit at home bare-ass naked and be comfortable. But looking back, I disliked catching sight of myself naked in the mirror. It wasn’t so bad if I was wearing a bra at the time I caught my reflection, but I didn’t like looking at my naked breasts.

This wasn’t the first time I had an issue with my body. Up until my mid-twenties or so, I wouldn’t wear a bikini in the pool. I would go so far as to wear leggings under my one-piece bathing suit. I didn’t want anyone to see my body. That changed when I decided to lose my virginity at the age of 26. That was the turning point, because now I was a “real” woman. I felt like I should be more sexual and flirty and overtly feminine. I felt like that was what I was supposed to be. In retrospect, I was overcompensating because I felt like I was a poser of sorts. I never really connected with my ASAB, though I didn’t realize that at the time. I just felt out of place my whole life. The super-modest years was rife with self-consciousness and the super-sexed-up years have just been me objectifying myself and having sex without really wanting it.

Because that’s what women my age was supposed to do. When I was an “old virgin”, I was barbed constantly for “not getting laid”. Mostly by my family. When I flipped the coin and started having one-night stands and threesomes to try to fit in, that was wrong, too. What I was supposed to do, according to those closest to me, was to form a meaningful long-term relationship with a man, get married, and have kids. That’s what a woman, a good woman, was supposed to do.

And I tried it. I really fucking did. I almost got married. Yeah, I def got engaged and was about to be in a whole ass marriage. But then I was told I was going too fast. And thank god the same people who were so intent on me becoming a “good woman” voiced this concern, because it would have been an expensive mistake. So I didn’t marry him, but we continued dating. And I use “dating” lightly, because I didn’t love him as a woman loves a man. We were friends pretending to be lovers basically the entire time.

So, I experimented with all of these different “womanly” roles, trying to find my place in this world, and failed in every one of them. None of them felt right to me. None of them made me happy. I didn’t want to hide myself, but I didn’t really want to be seen as a sex object anymore, either. Marriage and pregnancy have been a constant source of disgust for me since before my first menstrual cycle. “Oh, you just haven’t found the right man,” was a constant dismissal for why I didn’t want to have sex while I was a virgin. “You’ll change your mind. You love kids! You’re so good with them!” was the dismissal for my aversion to pregnancy. Pregnancy and parenthood are two different things, in case you didn’t know.

I’m fucking 31 now. It wasn’t a goddamn phase! Thanks for contributing to these wasted years, everyone~! Lol

Back to my chest dysphoria, though. Why did I dislike seeing my naked bust when I was alone? My breasts aren’t ugly or saggy or anything. They’re actually a nice pair, if I do say so myself. So why was I fine to see them in a bra or in a nice outfit or dress, but not completely exposed?

When I saw myself all dressed up for a night on the town or to go to a business event, I resembled women I saw in magazines or television or movies. I was “passing”, so to speak, as a woman. I was successfully filling the gender role I was expected to execute.

But it was exhausting. Heels, makeup, bra, dress, tights/pantyhose, hair…

And okay, I know I don’t have to do all that to be a woman. But that’s what’s expected from society when you’re a woman. That’s how you look attractive or “put together” for others. Some parts of transitioning is about other people. Some of the motivation is to be seen and recognized as your true gender. I know I’m breaking some “rules” here by saying this, but this is my truth. I’m only speaking for myself. Just as I said in one of my past posts about gender identity not being entirely separate from a person’s sexual orientation.

Do you know what I do to feel more masculine? I wear a binder, do my hair, put on boxers, wear a t-shirt and overshirt in the hot-ass summer, wear long pants (because even though I haven’t shaved for over a month, I feel like it still doesn’t look manly enough), and always wear some sort of “manly” scent. This is about the same amount of work as doing my makeup/hair and throwing on a dress. It’s also just as uncomfortable as wearing heels, a bra, and makeup for hours at a time (sometimes more uncomfortable, esp. in the summer when I’m wearing a binder, t-shirt, and button-up with pants).

But it doesn’t feel exhausting. I do this every day and look way more “put together” more often than I ever did when I was presenting as female. And I do it with a smile, because with every step of the process, I’m looking more and more like myself.

I’m not going to miss my breasts. I’m not going to miss my somewhat high voice or my lack of facial hair or anything like that. I’m not going to miss “being a woman”, because that was never me. Not really. Sometimes it felt like me, but I think I just learned how to work it so that I wasn’t miserable 24/7.

What I’m most worried about right now while considering starting testosterone is the possibility of male pattern hair loss. Yes, it’s vain, but I don’t care. I want a full head of hair. That’s attractive to me. Losing my hair would really fuck up my self-confidence. But did you know there’s a DNA test to check for the gene that causes male pattern baldness? Yep! And you can bet your ass I’ll be doing one before starting treatment.

There’s also a few health concerns having to do with the cardiovascular system that are…surprisingly not as worrying to me? I mean, almost everyone I know in my family has had a stroke or heart attack or other heart problems. I should be terrified, but I just don’t give a shit? Nevermind that my grandfather on my mom’s side croaked from a heart attack. Just let me keep my hair.

My priorities are a bit backwards, I suppose.

But there’s also a few solutions for my hair, if I do have the gene. Because let’s face it: I’m not going to let that stop me from transitioning, lol. I’ll just save up for hair plugs. Done. But by doing the DNA test to check for the gene, I’ll know that’s an expense for which I’ll need to prepare in advance. No big deal. I’m actually doing quite well for myself lately in real estate and only expect to find more success in the future. I’m feeling a lot more confident in myself and I believe it has a lot to do with realizing I haven’t been living as my authentic self. I’ve been masquerading as a woman and trying to fit into this world as a woman my whole life and it’s just not working.

Ever since I began socially transitioning, I’ve felt a renewed zest for life. I stopped smoking, started eating healthier, drinking more water, and even been attempting to get more organized in my day to day life. I still have pretty severe insomnia, but I think that has more to do with me switching from cigarettes to vaping than anything else. Also, anxiety. So much anxiety.

Transitioning isn’t easy, even if it’s social transitioning. You have all these doubts and they’re further exacerbated by the doubts of those around you. People who think it’s due to your mental illnesses or a childhood trauma. People who want to tell you they’ll never see you as a man, use your preferred pronouns, or call you by your chosen name. People who take every opportunity to sprinkle in a micro-aggression about the fact your trans, doubling down on physical sex characteristics within your earshot, but without directly saying anything to you.

But for every shitty person like this, there’s ten other people you never would have expected to be supportive of you. And for those people, I’m beyond grateful. I was recently at a party and this one guy, a brother of a transphobe that I didn’t know quite that well, continued to call me “Luke” for the entire party. I was so surprised that someone was using my name in public and in my hometown where I’ve still been going by my deadname for the most part. Drunk Luke did tell everyone at the party that he preferred to be called “Luke”, but holy hell…people actually did it! I was so grateful! ♥ (But also shocked and a bit confused each time, because I’m not used to hearing my name actually used!)

Anyway, this is the end of my update for today. I might write another blog post in a few minutes about masculinity, but I wanted to give y’all a quick peek into how I’m doing. (Not bad, I’d say. A lot happier!)

And as always, remember that I’ve written a book and you should totally check it out here:

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