My mother expressed surprise that I knew I wanted to be a girl when I was five. I tired to explain that I didn’t know that I wanted to be a girl then, but that I thought being a girl would be easier for me; that it would make me happier. I still hope that.
When I was seeking a new gender counselor a few years ago, I visited one twice to evaluate how we clicked. On our second appointment, she drilled into me and found a nerve around my desire to be a woman. I started to cry. I knew she was right, that my desire was deep, repressed, and it terrified me that I had such a strong desire. I never went back.
Back when I was ‘just a crossdresser’, I longed for more, for the body to fit the clothes. I wanted to be a man with a vagina and breasts, but not be a transsexual.
The second gender counselor I saw in the late 1990’s offered to start me on hormones a few sessions in. I turned her down. I was too scared that I would like them and that I would have to transition if I did.
After I came out to my then-best friend around the same time, he told me he supported me and that I would make an ugly woman. His words stung, and the fear of being ugly and unlovable has stalked me and I still don’t feel safe from it.
I don’t know what I am or what I’m becoming and it terrifies and exhilarates me.
Transition will be the hardest easiest thing I’ve ever done, I’m sure of it; except when I’m afraid and then it looms as the hardest, dumbest thing I’ll ever do.
As I furtively tipped most of my clothes and shoes into a clothing donation station during a purge, I experienced a pang of regret that I chased away with the certitude that I was doing the right thing by exiting a phase of my life. (And the box of the best stuff that I saved helped ease the pain.)
Driving home from the support group meeting where I felt shocked to my core by the understanding that I was what I am–whatever it is–tears streamed down my face and I was wracked by sobs for the pain I knew I would have and that I would bring to those around me as I moved forward with transition.
I may be doing the wrong thing, transitioning, but I won’t know until I get there. I’ve been so unhappy for so long there’s nothing left to lose. (I have a lot of lose. I tell myself that I don’t, because otherwise it sometimes becomes too overwhelming.)