How does it feel to not identify with your assigned birth gender?
Confusing. Horrible. Painful. Lonely. Hopeless. Broken. Scared.
Not identifying with your assigned gender is one of the worst feelings I’ve ever suffered. I have never experienced any amount of physical pain which even comes close to the psychic pain. You don’t fit in. You might not even know why. You feel different, but don’t have any words to describe how or why.
When you figure out what you’re feeling, you realize that this world won’t accept this about you, so you hide it. You feel like something is wrong with you; you feel broken. You feel like you’re being punished, but you don’t know what for.
You feel ashamed. A deep, all-encompassing shame that stains your soul and will never be able to be washed away.
You feel guilty for not being able to overcome these feelings. You bury it deep in the darkest pit you can find inside of yourself, and it claws its way to the surface anyways. You bury it again and pile more dirt on it, but it always surfaces again.
You feel defective. Why do I have these feelings? Am I a freak? An abomination? A pervert?
You begin to question your very existence. You think to yourself “the world would be a better place if I’d never been born”. You consider making that a reality. Some people actually do.
Someday, something happens and you can’t avoid it anymore. The pain from holding this in and denying it becomes worse than the pain of letting it out, so you finally admit to yourself what you’re feeling. You grieve. You feel depressed. You feel anxious. But you also feel relieved; for better or worse, you spoke your truth and the Earth didn’t swallow you up.
You feel better, you feel worse, you feel better again. It’s a roller coaster — one you never wanted to ride.
You begin to make changes in your life — changes to begin to allow the person you truly are to come out and breathe. You make changes to affirm the person you really are, and that feels good!
You take steps out into the world as your true self, and you are scared to death, yet you are also exhilarated. Someone called me by the right pronouns – wow, that feels amazing! Someone misgendered me – ugh, that hurts so badly!
You begin to see yourself — really see yourself — in the mirror – I didn’t know that was even possible! You see the facade you’ve worn for years in the mirror – ouch!
You keep making changes and living more and more as your true self. The depression lifts some, the anxiety lessens. You start to feel comfortable in your own body; that feels good.
Someday, you realize that you’ve made enough changes that your thoughts are no longer dominated by the feelings of being different. You start to feel “normal”.
You start to feel like you’re finally you. And that is the best feeling in the world!
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