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How did you KNOW you were trans?

Discussion in 'Gender Identity and Expression' started by canadawet, Mar 16, 2021.

  1. canadawet

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    Hi, all. I've been a bit confused lately. When I was a teenager, I questioned my gender for a while and came to the conclusion that I was just a lesbian after some discouragement from friends and a girlfriend of mine at the time. More recently, however, I've come back to the thought. As you can see, I've changed my profile to test out some new pronouns.

    But here's the thing I'm stuck on: How do I know if I'm trans? I don't hate my body or feel any extreme negative emotions around my social role as a woman, my name, or my pronouns. I didn't want to wear boy's clothes as a child or cry at night growing up wishing I'd been born in a different body as some people describe. It does all just feel wrong, though. When I dress femininely or look at my body, it doesn't feel like me. When I see photos of myself wearing makeup, look in the mirror and see breasts, whenever I look "like a woman," it feels like I'm looking at a stranger. I don't hate that person, but she certainly isn't me. The more masculine I look, the more I feel like I'm looking at myself.

    I know that no one else can tell me whether or not I'm trans, but I think it would help me to hear others' experiences of how they knew they were trans and whether or not any of this lines up. Transition is a huge undertaking, both for myself and those around me who would have to change the way they see me if I decided that this is who I am. If I'm going to do that, I just want to be sure.
     
  2. Hawk

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    I've known I was transgender since I was about 7 years old, though I didn't have the terminology to express how I was feeling, and my parents would reassure me that I was a tomboy, though I always felt like I was more than that. I've had thoughts of wanting to go to school as a boy, and how I would be able to do that without anyone knowing (I essentially wanted to be stealth). I even had the thought of going to school in the next town over, getting a haircut, new clothes, and passing as a boy. When I was 7-8 I had even thought that all girls wanted to be boys, and they had accepted the fact that they were female and there was nothing they could do about it, and I had to do the same. A few years later when I was a teenager, I began to conform more to what my peers were doing, as I just wanted to fit in.

    It wasn't until I was 19, when I had found the term transgender when things began to click. Though I still didn't want to jump into anything too quickly and began to experiment with how I wanted to be perceived and started to socially transition. I believe I started identifying with Non-Binary labels as sort of a stepping stone to gradually feel things out, and if I was uncomfortable being referred to as male, then I could still easily reverse things.

    Just remember that everyone's experiences aren't going to be completely the same. There may be some similarities, but at the end of the day you'll know if transition is right for you. My best advice if you're questioning is to take it slow and experiment with how you want society to perceive you, and what makes you the most comfortable.
     
  3. Ryuichi

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    Honestly, I think you hit it right there. To me at least, you've answered your question within your post. It's really a question of what works for you and what doesnt, but also do consider as many things as possible. however, you need to ask yourself on whether you're sure. That's where the key really is.

    For me, I knew at the age of 10. Maybe even before then, but the "I want to change" part didn't come til then. I learned of the term and intuitively understood it when I was about 12 but didn't want to take that label until I was 17. That's not going to be the case with everyone. It's common, but so is not having the freedom to even have remotely that kind of thought til the age of 60. My experience is similar to Hawk's. A lot of people know me here as non-binary, but I've recently come out as a woman because frankly, I didn't have much of the freedom to positively consider surgery. It took me being out of the US for a long enough time, and a "why not?" to really get that going. And when I started considering that, I got the same sense of "This is right" as when I first tried the only feasible way of transitioning.

    As Hawk said, your journey will be yours. It will have some shared experiences, and some that are just unique to you.
     
  4. Grungelord

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    Note that I'm AMB here, but I can relate to you, it's almost like you just can't put your finger on whether or not you just prefer to look a certain way, or something else is going on. The feelings aren't "extreme enough" in your mind, and this is the thing I can relate to. For me, why I'm almost convinced I'm not male was when I was put in a position where I was pressured to adhere to a more masculine appearance by my partner, and it caused me have an emotional breakdown. And I personally think that was dysphoria.
    So, for you, you could try to experiment around with what makes you uncomfortable? Maybe those feelings will become more obvious for you. Then again, I haven't really received any support on my end, and my experience is rather new to me. So take my word with a pinch of salt.
     
  5. QuietPeace

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    I do not identify as trans. For me I simply knew that I was female from a very early age despite being assigned male at birth. You say that you do not really feel hate towards being a woman but you are very uncomfortable with it and being seen that way. Hating what you have is not a requirement, being that uncomfortable is an indication. An even better indication would be how do you feel if you get perceived as male. For those who need to transition the gender euphoria that is experienced when they are seen or referred to by their proper gender is an even better indication.

    Without medically transitioning there are steps that you can take so that you can see if it does make you feel better. Like presenting more masculine, cutting hair is easy since if you dislike it the hair grows back automatically. Not wearing makeup is actually less effort than wearing it and if you dislike how it feels you can always go back to putting it on. Using a binder and/or masculine clothes does cost money but again if you do not like the results you can always stop. After experimenting with more you can then try seeing a gender therapist and talk about making more serious changes if it feels right for you.
     
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  6. chicodeoro

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    I think I 'knew' from the age of 6. That's when I first had the thoughts of wishing that I had been born a girl. This was in the 1970s so I instinctively knew that voicing these ideas out loud wasn't an option. They were too weird, strange and odd.

    Thus began four and a half decades of denial. I was able to, on one hand, write these feelings off as an embarrassing 'quirk' or 'fetish' which I was determined wouldn't get in the way of having a 'normal' heterosexual relationship. Deeper down I think I always knew the truth. The catalyst for me coming out to myself was my partner's sudden death last year coinciding with the lockdown. Trauma followed by long periods of time on my own meant I was forced to confront that truth.

    My revelation came last May. For a while I didn't do anything about it - I decided I would let this 'settle' in my head before I came out to any friends. I started phoning LGTB helplines and talking to other trans people. Much of what they said matched up with my own experience. I started buying female clothes and when I looked in the mirror in them I looked 'right', I looked happier.

    The moment I really knew was when I came out to a friend and she asked me what my new name would be. She hugged me and used it for the first time. The rush of euphoria and happiness that coursed through my body was unlike anything I've ever experienced before. I couldn't stop smiling!

    As Hawk has pointed out everyone's experience is different - mine reflects a childhood growing up in an environment where being gay, never mind trans, was frowned upon and seen as perverse (the Thatcher government in the 1980s banned local councils from 'promoting' homosexuality). My advice would be to talk to other LGTB people and other trans men in particular. Some of their experiences will chime with yours, some won't. Read around the subject and spend some time thinking. You're right - transition is a huge undertaking. All the more reason to take your time and feel your way gradually towards making a decision.

    Beth
     
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  7. arson

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    hiya !
    i feel like a common misconception that the media has pushed on trans people is that they need to feel horrible dysphoria and absolutely hate the body they were born in to be valid. and the thing is, while dysphoria can be a large part of a trans person's experience, it's absolutely false that hating one's body is the only way a person can know they're trans. i knew i was trans not because of having dysphoria but instead a lack of euphoria and not feeling truly like myself. i'm nonbinary and i feel the most like myself in skirts and eyeliner, even though i was born a female and hate the idea of labeling myself as feminine. everyone's journey and identity are valid. what it comes down to is your happiness. ask yourself how you feel the most comfortable, and don't let what you "should be feeling" outweigh what you're actually experiencing.
    hope that helped lol
    arson
     
    #7 arson, Mar 18, 2021
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  8. BradThePug

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    I was always more masculine growing up. I was different that a lot of the other girls. I remember in high school wondering how my life would be if I was born male. I didn't put too much thought into it at that time though. I just thought I was gay. I never really started to explore my gender until college. I remember that there was a transgender support group that had been started on my campus. I decided to go to support my trans friends who had started the group. When you walked in they asked you what pronouns that you wanted to use. I was a bit caught off guard by this question. I stood there confused for a minute and they ended up thinking I used male pronouns. I realized then that felt more comfortable for me. I then started to play around with my presentation. I remember when my first binder. I didn't realize that I would like it so much, and I quickly started wearing it everyday. It was then that I realized I may be transgender. As time went on and I become more comfortable with the idea. One day one of my friends told me that I was starting to get more feminine curves. This really freaked me out, I was not comfortable with that at all. That was really the final piece of the puzzle for me. After that, I admitted to myself that I am transgender. As time went on and I started to medically transition, I become more comfortable with my feminine side. So, I started to dress more androgynous and I now tend to be read as a gay male. But I have become very comfortable with myself and that is something that I never thougbt would happen. So, there were a few moments that lead up to me finally admitting that I am transgender.
     
  9. Gengars

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    Originally I started personally identifying myself as nonbinary at some point in the middle of high school since I had become so disillusioned with masculinity and came to realize what vitriolic rage i have for masculinity as a concept and came to resent being associated with it. However I identified as nonbinary more or less as a sort of "third option". It would be several years before I realized that not only was than not satisfying, but I also realized how much more comfortable I felt around women and in the presence of femininity. All my closest friends in high school were women after all! I wish I could say that my case was a "I don't hate the person on the other side of the mirror" thing, but I kinda do hate that other person lol. But I would hate them a lot less if they were a woman because as a wise man once said: women hold up half the sky.
     
  10. Digdogger

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    Hmm difficult, personally I wouldn't want to have any hormones or surgery, so I'm probably not trans...
    On the other hand, if I got to choose my sex before I was born, I would choose to be male (I'm female by birth).

    I never really felt comfortable being female and a lot of what has been written above feels very familiar to me, almost scary how similar some of the feelings expressed in this topic are to the way I feel myself.
    As a kid (kindergarten age) I exclusively played with boys.

    I remember my mom once made me wear a denim skirt that was a bit tight to school and I hated it.
    During breaktime me and all the boys from my class made sort of a human chain by holding hands and everyone started running in a large circle and due to the centrifugal force people on the outskirts would be forced to let go, when I was on the outskirts and was thrown of the chain, my legs couldn't handle the speed because of the skirt and I fell, because I was wearing the tight skirt my legs were held together and I couldn't do anything other then roll while I was falling.
    All the boys were impressed because according to them I made a 'judo roll' , I was very proud and told my mom about it and said that although I hated the skirt it had at least had the benefit of making me do a judo roll lol.
    When my mom realized how much I hated the skirt, she never made me wear it again... not sure why I'm sharing this with you, it just sprang to mind, I thought of deleting it but I guess I'll leave it because it's a funny anecdote.

    Anyway, when we all went to first grade and on, relationships between the sexes started changing and for the boys it wasn't cool to hang out with girls anymore, so I started playing more with girls.
    I did were skirts and dresses as I got older and didn't hate that, although I did always feel more comfortable wearing boyish clothes.
    My parents always bought me expensive kids shoes with a good footbed, once because they had no time to make the drive to the expensive shoe store or something like that, they bought me these red, black and white sneakers which I instantly loved, even more when a boy told me that the little hard block on the front (don't know why it was there, maybe fashion?), would make sparks if you kicked it against a wall :slight_smile: , If I would have to pick one piece of clothing that defined me as a child, these shoes were it!
    Sadly my parents never wanted to buy me such shoes again because sneakers weren't good for developing feet.

    When I was about twelve to thirteen I would always wear oversized T-shirts and jeans, my dad would push me to dress more feminine but didn't like it when I started wearing skirts with military boots on my feet haha.

    Of course all this talk about clothing is a bit superficial, but it does reflect some of the feelings I had towards gender as a child.

    I guess when I was a small kid, I didn't think in terms of boys and girls, I was just me and felt like one of the boys and apparently could be that even when I wore a tight denim skirt.
    As I got older all that changed and I got further and further away from who I felt I was and only now, at age 39 I feel like I start to come back to who I essentially was.
    Now I have the problem that I am married to a man who likes to see me as feminine (even though I told him long ago that I never really felt female, something he never really liked btw) and I feel like I can't just toss out all my feminine clothes and start living as If I were a man, it would feel egocentric to me to do so...

    But I'm drifting away from the subject of how to know whether you're trans... I'm a very associative thinker and must mind not to go off topic.

    I guess for me knowing my true gender is going back to kindergarten where I feel that I was pure and unspoiled by societies view on gender and were I felt like a boy.
    Guess that still doesn't make me trans since I don't want to alter the body that I'm in because even though I don't feel female, this is my body and for me gender and body are two separate things and I never was that bothered by my body, I am small and slender and always saw that as and advantage on boys who usually have bigger body's which seem kind of clumsy to me, I never really desired a male body but nevertheless I just don't feel female.
     
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  11. QuietPeace

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    It is not required to medically transition in order to identify as trans. Nor does one have to identify as trans in order to have them.

    I know people who do not identify with their assigned birth sex who identify as trans but have no plans to take hormones or have surgery.

    On the other hand I take hormones and have had a surgery but do not identify as trans. Also, I have known of cis women who take testosterone.
     
    #11 QuietPeace, Apr 4, 2021 at 10:27 PM
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2021 at 10:28 PM
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  12. Digdogger

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    @ QuietPeace: Thanks for your explaination, you read so many conflicting things online about what people consider transgender to be.
     
  13. Suitsme

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    We are very similar! I’m about to put my story here too and you’ll see.
     
  14. Suitsme

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    When I was in infants and junior school I always sat with the boys, felt like I was one of them rather than one of the girls. I just gravitated that way. Small children don’t bat an eyelid and everything is just naturally accepted. I would always choose to play the male roles in scenes we acted out from TV programs and I always chose a male role in school plays.

    I remember creating a fuss because I had long hair like my cousins and wanted it short so my mum allowed me to have it cut short. I always wanted to wear trousers and jeans rather than the skirts my mum bought for me. Infact the skirts never got worn because I felt dreadful wearing them.

    when puberty hit and I started to develop, I absolutely hated it. Suddenly I couldn’t walk about in just a pair of shorts like the boys. I was singled out suddenly. My periods started and I remember telling my mum I didn’t want it.

    In high school I felt like I was in no man’s land. I couldn’t hang around with the boys any more because I felt so different to them since my body had changed. Yet I didn’t want to hang around with the girls because they talked about make up and boys. I had nowhere where I fit in so I stayed in the music rooms during break time and practiced the piano. Others joined me and we just played instruments and talked about our love of music.

    I had attraction to women which made me feel incredible awkward. This was the early part of the 1980’s and we had no internet, no information, no LGBT support network and any talk of being homosexual was taboo. There was no talk of trans at all! I was just a confused teen, feeling like a freak and felt that my attraction to the girls was very wrong.

    So I carried on until I left school, met a lovely guy who I married, had a wonderful son, tried to be as feminine as I could even though I always felt that awkwardness. I never truly felt right in my own skin.

    Life was busy, I was working hard in my job, was busy being a wife and mum and looking after a house etc etc

    Fast forward to when I was in my late 30s and my attraction for women came to the fore. I was dressing more masculine and I fell in love with a woman! It felt fantastic, but I felt like I was behaving so wrong. Literally I began to have a breakdown. I was spiralling downwards fast.

    I had internet, I read about trans, felt like I was male, felt like my soul was male. I felt like a straight male! What the hell? But when I thought about actually being a man it didn’t sit right. I had so many fem traits. I didn’t wear feminine clothes but I loved my jewellery, my eyeliner, my emotions were feminine. I was female. I didn’t really like my female body though but not bad enough to want to change it.

    I got to a point where I had to talk to my hubby who was incredibly supportive. I told my son, the rest of my family and my friends. I told them I was attracted to women and I didn’t feel entirely female. Everyone was great about it and I felt so much better about it.

    I’m 51 now, and if I could press a button and be male I’d do it. But I’ve accepted the body I’m in (even though I do get dysphoric days) and I’m happy to present as soft butch, masculine female. I feel that labels can be so limiting so I don’t particularly like them. If I had to search through them and find some for myself then I say I’m bisexual (even though nowadays my attraction is only towards women) and I identify as non binary for many reasons. People in my life use different pronouns for me. Some use she and some use he. I don’t mind either.
     
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  15. Suitsme

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    Thatcher had a hell of a lot to answer for. I grew up in a mining town in greater Manchester.

    I read your post with sadness at the loss of your partner. But with happiness that you are finally able to be the person that you really are. Growing up with no information and thinking we were just plain weird is sad. At least we got our time eventually.

    It’s still tough on the youth of today but at least they are given information and hopefully support (in the main anyway). We had nothing.
     
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  16. Digdogger

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    I guess we are quite similar in many ways.

    Why conform to gender norms anyway?
    Although I feel better in masculine clothing, I'm not sure if I will ever get to a point where I will only wear male
    clothing... Maybe I've been living as a woman for too long to get used to the idea... or Maybe I just don't want to fall into the same 'trap' as the one I'm in now; by which I mean witholding things from myself because society doesn't find them suitable.
    For instance: I like wearing leggings just because they are so comfortable, like a second skin ( I have Some sensory issues with clothing that doesn't move along with my body), should I now stop wearing them because society doesn't think they are masculine enough?
    I've been thinking about that and the answer is No.
    The same Goes for Some T-shirts that I have that are cut for woman and my dungarees that are thighter then they 'should be' on a man.
    At the same time the idea of wearing purely masculine clothing seems tempting, but I doubt if it Will ever be more then a fantasy.
    I'm not sure if that makes me nonbinary because I am still leaning much more towards masculinity then femininity, but I'm just not sure if I would call myself trans...

    You're right, I feel the same way.
    Maybe I just shouldn't get caught up in Trying to label myself and just kind of go with the flow and see where it Goes.
     
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  17. Suitsme

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    Exactly! We shouldn’t have to conform to so called gender norms. We should be able to be the person we want to be, wear what we want to wear and live our lives without having to think about gender and what we should and shouldn’t do within the realms of our assigned gender.

    Wouldn’t it be great if all of us could just go about our lives without thinking about labels or what category we fit in?

    It’s good to just “be” :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:
     
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  18. Spaceseed

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    I’m starting to wonder if I’m not a little trans, but no plans for me either ...
     
  19. chicodeoro

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    I think this is happening, gradually. There is definitely a generational shift going on in terms of gender and perceptions of it. Come the middle of the century I think we'll look back and laugh (and probably weep, too) at how stupid and outmoded Western society was in the 20th Century.
     
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  20. Suitsme

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    I really hope so :slight_smile: Things can only get better!