I am jealous of women. They look happier than men to me, except for the men who I don’t like because they are so damned proud of themselves, smug and egotistical. I can’t relate to those men. I never wanted to be one.
This is what I’ve been writing about, for the first time, just to myself, trying to see what if feels like to say “I am transgender,” without cloaking it in other language. Do the words hold true? Is it enough that I always wished I had been a girl, even though I don’t (almost always never) act on it. Saying these words after feeling this way almost my entire life, feels liberating, like it helps to just say them, making me wonder whether all I really need is to be honest about it.
I feel a bit more balanced. Maybe I have always wanted to be a woman because I was socially inhibited from being myself when it seemed effeminate, and I therefore craved what I didn’t have in a male body, the freedom to act like a girl. Maybe I just need to feel free. Maybe if I feel like I don’t have to hide, I can like myself more. I think there’s something to that, but it’s not everything.
I’m old enough that I should know by now that people who are ostracized as kids don’t have to expect that from people in adulthood. Bill Gates might have been a nerd in high school, but now he’s a very rich and respected nerd. And the popular athlete, if that’s all he was, is probably an ordinary salesman or accountant working for a living, and trying, maybe unsuccessfully, to keep in shape. But childhood trauma stays with you and you still react to it emotionally even when you should know better.
So writing about it honestly has helped me to realize that I can embrace what I think is effeminate about myself, and who even knows if it is? I can be myself and not everyone will judge me, or even recognize something as effeminate, and whoever does, can go fuck themselves. Is it possible that by admitting that I always wished I were a girl, that I can turn out to be happy with who I am? That would be ironic. But there’s some sense to the process. If you hold onto things that don’t come out into the light, you never work through them nor come out the other side, nor change.
Is it offensive to think I can change? Does the suggestion that there is a way to become more “normal,” hurt people who might consequently be inclined to struggle against something that is, maybe impossible for them? Is it like the notion that you can change a gay person straight?
The difference is, it seems to me, that a gay person can live a happy life with another gay person. He, or she, can be happy with herself. They actually may be better positioned to like themselves, because they are actually attracted to their own gender and they can appreciate what makes them attractive to others. A transgender person, especially one who is also attracted to the sex he isn’t, so like, a lesbian in a man’s body, would find it hard to understand how anyone can be attracted to him.
He or she isn’t just pressured by society to be normal. He or she doesn’t like him or herself and would have to go to extreme measures to live as he or she wants whether people accept it or not. Is it any more extreme to try to change your self view than it is to change your body? And if you think that one cannot change your self view, I would ask, can you really change your physical gender? You can think that an operation will fix things, and if you do, then go for it. I have no stake in dissuading you if you think you can believe it, and good for you, if it makes you happy, but to me, it wouldn’t be real, and I would still have missed out on the experiences that shape women.
I am American, the way I am a New Yorker, the way I am white, the way I am male. I might want to be something else, but I have been forged by the experiences that this reality afforded me, good and bad.
And I have also always wanted to be different, and am forged by the experience of feeling out of place. That’s who I am. This is what I want to accept. I want to be happy with that.
Can I rise above the physical, accept that I am a spiritual being? I might have another chance to be something different, in another life. It doesn’t help me to be impatient about it or to wish for something I can’t have. What do I really want now, anyway? I just want to be happy.