I’m a trans girl. I’ve known this for half a year now and had spent the vast majority of my life as male. I strived to live up to the male ideal, fulfill male conventions. I lived life as a man. I did not have a clue that I was another gender. Sure, my friends would make fun of me for being soft spoken, with feminine posture and long hair, but that was just upsetting.
One day I was really hung over and it occurred to me, “Hey, maybe I’m a woman.” I thought I was tripping but the idea stuck with me. Eventually I told my GF about it, and then it was a thing. For the next three months I was physically ill (flu season), literally beside myself (myself!) and still without a clue. I talked to my shrink, I talked to my other shrink, my Mom, my FTM trans friends, and they asked, “Well, how do you know?” There is no way to answer this question, which apparently everyone will ask you if you tell them you’re another gender.
You can talk to your hair dresser, you can shave or not shave, you can go through seven bottles of nail polish, you can consider gender reassignment surgery. All of these things have plusses and minuses but I felt alone and disconnected from the world as I obsessed about my options. There didn’t seem to be a path forward for me or other trans people who do not plan to undergo gender reassignment surgery or hormone therapy. It’s like a new thing, exciting and scary and new. Should I consider myself lucky?
I didn’t go very far with my appearance and left my hormones unmodified. I still look like a man, a man with an angled bob haircut and clear nail polish, but these things are subtle. These things are a delicate balancing act between social norms and the sense that I am on acid. Why do I say that? Because realizing that you’re a trans girl after being a cis guy for 20+ years is like being on an acid trip that you’ve somehow gotten used to.