Mirrors

Is it easier to look at pictures or mirrors? For me, it’s pictures.

When I look at an old photograph, it’s easy to say that it’s not really me. There is a huge difference between what I feel and what a camera picks up. It also helps that I don’t have many recent photographs. The me from just a couple of years ago is nothing like the me that exists now, so it’s not difficult to imagine that I’m not looking at a photo of myself at all. It’s like I’m staring at a stranger.

With mirrors, however, there’s no denying what you see. The distance between me and a mirror is only a matter of inches, whereas the distance between me and a photograph can be measured over a span of years.

This makes it difficult to stand in front of a mirror. The strangest part is that I’m never prepared for what I see. It takes a couple of seconds for the image to sync. For a brief moment, it’s like I’m not looking at anyone at all. It’s a simple issue of incompatibility: my mind does not agree with my reflection.

This dissonance has lead to its own problems. It’s hard to explain to someone why I don’t like looking at myself. Initially, it sounds like a problem with self-esteem. In reality, that’s not what it is at all.

The thought of trying to express this to another person makes me feel like an alien. It’s such a strange problem, yet it is real nonetheless. Trying to make it make sense to someone else seems impossible.

Ultimately, though, there is nothing that makes me feel more alien than my own reflection. It’s a bizarre predicament, but I have been doing better with it. Here’s to continued improvement.

Scrambled Words

I have become eager to discuss my predicament with some of my friends. There aren’t many people I trust with this, and the few who I feel like I can talk to are very important to me. I’ve already said things to them that carry certain implications, but I am reluctant to elaborate any further.

This is primarily due to my inability to adequately express myself. I feel that I can talk to these people, but coming up with what to say is difficult. Whenever I open my mouth, I am instantly seized by the fear that the only thing that will come out is scrambled words. How are you supposed to talk about this?

I find it much easier to write out my feelings. I am a calculated person, so the ability to go back and edit is enticing. In conversation, however, that possibility does not exist. I only have one chance to speak my mind, and I have to get it right.

Some of my friends are transgender themselves. I don’t speak to them often, the result of overly complicated schedules, but when I do, it’s apparent that they are happy. None of them have transitioned yet, and they are openly trans to only a very close-knit group of people. Even so, they seem happy.

Maybe I’ve just been overthinking things. Coming out doesn’t have to be perfect. There are going to be unavoidable negatives with anything I do. I know this, yet it doesn’t make things easier.

I believe that I’ve been having so much difficulty because of how I perceive gender. To me, it’s something incredibly fundamental. Primordial, even. Gender dictates so much about you. If my gender isn’t what I thought it was, what else will change? How much of my life is determined by this single factor? It’s scary to think about. This one change could (will) lead to dozens of others. At the end of it, how much of the old me will remain?

Perhaps completely starting over wouldn’t be a bad thing. I’ve changed so much in the past three years that it’s like I already am another person. How big of a difference will this make? Right now, I don’t miss the old me. I hardly remember them. All I see when I look at old pictures of myself is just some kid. I don’t know who they are, and I don’t particularly want to.

Ultimately, I don’t feel comfortable in my own skin. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to change that. If people don’t understand, then they don’t understand, and they don’t need to. I’m not doing this for someone else. These thoughts developed on their own. As I said, I barely speak to my transgender friends. No matter what happens, I’m responsible.

I can’t get around the fact that this makes sense to me. It puts things into a perspective that I can understand. If I am transgender, then the world will make much more sense. All of these feelings have always appeared too complex to decipher, but when I look at them through this lens, I start to get it.

Anyhow, I’ve started to ramble. This has given me a much-needed chance to collect my thoughts. Here’s to continued improvement.

Confidence

I should think that confidence is essential to have, especially for someone in my current condition. Even so, it’s often difficult to come by. It’s not easily gained. I know this. Regardless, lacking it doesn’t feel great. How are you supposed to become confident, anyhow?

I’ve thought about this plenty. I know that I don’t have much confidence. I know that this is mostly because of my gender identity. I feel incredibly awkward trying to behave as a male should, yet I find myself doing it anyway. Why? Am I afraid of myself?

I believe that coming out will help. Once it’s happened, I won’t have to hide anything. I will be able to be myself, not this persona that I put on. I have confidence in that.

Even with this confidence, the concept of coming out is terrifying. There are so many factors to consider. When is the right moment? What do I say? My imagination has had no rest from these questions. I always end up feeling better in every scenario that I manufacture. No matter how things go, at least I won’t be lying anymore.

I believe that I constrain myself. I don’t do so many things because I am afraid of being judged. I suppress my more flamboyant mannerisms, I keep my posture in check, and I make sure not to say anything suggestive. Sometimes I wonder, how much of myself have I censored? Why do I even do this in the first place?

The obvious answer is expectations. My friends and family expect me to stay the same. Strangers even expect things from me. They see my appearance and automatically assume they know me. It’s not fair, but it can’t be helped until I do something about it.

What can I do? Come out. Transition. Get this over with. That sounds nice. Of course, doing any of those things takes confidence. I suppose that I’m just too scared to act. It’s hard to admit, but it’s true. I want to be a confident person. I imagine myself as a confident person post transitioning. Surely, something like that has to give you confidence. If it doesn’t, then what? I’d rather not think about it.

As always, writing it out helps. Here’s to continued improvement.

The Interim

I’ve been receiving a lot of information from colleges recently. All of the letters have my name printed on them. It’s strange to see it in ink like this. It looks too formal. My name is inherently male, so I can’t scan through the mail without being reminded. It’s like a hint that people don’t see me the way that I see myself, and it’s coming directly from the postal service.

More importantly, it’s a reminder that I’m still in the interim. I haven’t talked to anyone about this, and these blog posts are the only proof that I am having these feelings at all.

I have an irrational fear that I might end up dying before I come out. I can’t help but fantasize over what my funeral would look like. People would be giving speeches, saying things that aren’t true, using a name that isn’t really mine. What would my picture look like? How would people remember me? They would have no idea that I was bisexual, or that I didn’t agree with their politics. They certainly wouldn’t know that I was (probably) a transgender.

I’ve also been fantasizing about what it would be like to actually transition. In all of my thoughts about the future, I’m not a male anymore. I see myself walking around in a dress, putting on earrings, and being addressed with a name that isn’t the one I have now. I don’t actually know what that name is, but I do know that these daydreams make me happy. They seem right, or at least much better than how things are now.

I haven’t considered how I will come out, nor have I thought about the procedures involved with transitioning. These things seem so trivial. It doesn’t feel like something to be stressed out about in comparison to the pay-off. I’ve thought a lot about being a woman. I haven’t thought too much about actually getting there.

Anyhow, I have no plans on dying anytime soon. I doubt that I will be remembered in the wrong way. It feels good to write about all of this. Here’s to continued improvement.

Regarding Doubt

I must admit, there is a lot of doubt involved with the question of my gender. It’s easy to feel like I shouldn’t be questioning my identity at all. Sometimes, I think it would be best to just suppress whatever comes and act like I’m not questioning.

I don’t think that I’ll actually let that happen, mind you. It’s just that the thought has certainly occurred. So how have I been dealing with my doubts? Well . . .

For one, music has been a big help. Sitting back, putting on a pair of headphones, and letting the tunes blare has been incredibly relaxing. Recently, I’ve been binging on some emo-type punk rock. Incidentally, this is a genre that I rather stumbled into. It started with a single infectious song, and Spotify’s recommendations have taken it away from there. I normally listen to a vast variety of different genres, but this has been a nice change of pace.

Secondly, movies have provided a wonderful escape. I watched Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman” only a few days ago, and really enjoyed it. Just yesterday, I rewatched a wonderful film called “Hereditary.” It’s quite the spooky experience. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about movies, perhaps more than actually watching them. I quite fancy the idea of directing. Not that it could happen in the foreseeable future.

Third, I’ve been playing a lot of video games. Nothing is quite as engaging as a good round of Battlefield, and I’ve absolutely taken advantage of that.

Most of my free time has been consumed by media like this. I haven’t done as much reading as I would have liked in the past few weeks. Even so, my library is looking awfully tempting. It wouldn’t be a surprise to find my nose pressed into a book a few hours from now. Specifically, I’ve been reading Dante’s “The Divine Comedy” and finding it to be extraordinary as I go.

All of these things have provided great distractions. Currently, it’s all I can do to avoid the doubts. I suspect that it’s not unusual to be doubtful over something like this. I already experienced it once when I discovered that I was bisexual. In time, I will have worked all of this out. Until then, here’s to continued improvement.

Before the Current

Shall we begin? “Where?” is the appropriate question. In honesty, I am unsure of what exactly to say. Perhaps we will begin by generally establishing my background.

I have never liked having my picture taken. I have never liked looking at myself, or even acknowledging that my appearance exist. This is true more so now than ever. Previously, this was just something I had felt. I had no knowledge of transgender people, let alone any notion that I myself might be one. Now, however, this possibility is incredibly evident. It is both inexplicably freeing and unquestionably terrifying to consider this likelihood. Despite my attempts to suppress the issue, the same thoughts appear in my head, the same questions circle, the same fears formulate, and the same debate rages on.

I feel that it is important to clarify one concept here: I like who I am. I think that the reason I don’t enjoy looking at myself is that I don’t like what I am. For whatever reason, there has always been a massive disconnect between what I observe in the mirror and what I feel I should be observing.

I was never what I would consider being a “masculine” person. I never thought about masculinity or my gender, it was just an unspoken constant. I thought that I was male because I thought that I was male. There was no indication otherwise, especially considering my upbringing. My entire family is conservative. My entire family is Christian. My entire family carries the beliefs that those two factors imply. So it should be understood that questions concerning sexual orientation and gender identity never arose during my childhood.

It took years for any of this to develop. It started when I began to question my political ideology. I had directly inherited the thoughts and allegiances of my parents, and I was afraid of going against them. I didn’t truly have a self-concept, and these ideas were what I clung onto. They defined me. I believed that I was a good Christian without knowing why and without understanding anything about the religion. It was just how things were. During my early years in high school, I started to question my beliefs. This coincided with my realization that I had an image, a personality, and that other people perceived me based on those things. I didn’t want to be a bad person, I didn’t want to get anything wrong, and I was afraid that I would end up subscribing to a way of thought that wasn’t right. This lead to my “falling-out” with religion. After a lot of time, research, and discussion, I came to the conclusion that it isn’t for me.

This paved the way for my next big life changer: the revelation that I’m bisexual. It’s a silly story. It happened when a friend of mine, who did not know me very well at the time, asked if I was gay. I instinctively shook my head “No.” In my mind, however, I answered, “I have no idea.” That same day, I admitted to myself that I wasn’t straight. It was like a bombshell had gone off in my head. My entire world view was shaken to its core. I had always assumed that I was heterosexual, and I behaved accordingly. It was daunting to think that I had spent my whole life operating based on a lie.

This brings us more or less to the current. I have since grown far more comfortable with my identity, save for one important aspect: my gender. I am still figuring that one out. Regardless, it feels good to write about it. Here’s to continued improvement.

The Current

To state things briefly, the purpose of this writing is entirely personal and should it go unseen by any other human eyes, I will not be disappointed. I find myself holding internal monologues regardless, so I see no harm in documenting them in a more formal fashion. As to what one might expect from this post and all others that follow – this is a blog written by a questioning transgender. It is reasonable to expect, then, that post will be relatively sporadic, and my commitment to this writing will be observed only after it is written.

It is an incredibly frightening subject for me. The thought that something so fundamental as my own gender might not be what I believed it was has been a shaking experience. This has lead to a multitude of days spent doing nothing but contemplating, debating, doubting, and everything else imaginable. The ultimate conclusion of all of this is a subject of mystery to me. I hope that by writing it all out I might be able to express myself in some way meaningful, or at the least be able to get these things off of my mind for a moment. While it has constantly plagued my mind in recent memory, I am looking forward to the time when I will no longer have this question.

So, with all this being done, I welcome you to the current. What will be written here? How will it all end? Delightfully wonderful questions, both of which will hopefully be answered in due time.

At current, my fingers are twitching away at my keyboard. There is a great amount of anxiety in all of this, which will ideally be dispelled as soon as it is done. All things considered, I am already feeling better about the situation. Here’s to continued improvement.