a small preface before reading the following post: this piece is NOT intended to be factual, advisory or representative of any other individual's thoughts, struggles or experiences. i claim to understand nothing but my own feelings on the following topic, and am solely writing this to get out my own thoughts. this is more or less a tidier, mashed up transcription of stuff i've discussed with and said to cheren recently. i do not know whether the following content will upset any potential reader, but i cannot guarantee it won't. i reiterate, i speak for myself, and only myself.
recently i have thought a lot about myself. i'm used to thinking about myself - some might call it self centered, but i just value understanding what i am and what i want, so i’m always on my own mind.
for pretty much most of my teen years, i identified as a boy - a trans boy. at first i drifted between assorted nb labels, but that was what i eventually settled on. i think honestly at some points my sense of gender was all i was pretty sure of. my sense of self was not stable in the slightest and neither was my daily life. no gritty details, but it was rough, and i was not happy. but at the very least, in my heart i knew i was a boy, and one day i would be free to be who i really was, not who everyone else wanted me to be.
i don't really remember much before the age of 13 or so, 11 at a push. i spent most of my time on tumblr at the age of 13 and onwards (until about mid ish 2015 where i migrated to twitter lol), like a lot of kids. it was through the internet that i learnt about the transgender community, and a lot (most? all?) of my mutuals were part of it. i was already questioning my sexuality at the time, so i had a little look into trans things as well. being the 'weird girl' meant that i felt alienated from my 'same gender' peers, and i guess having the most abusive, cruel figure in my life also be a woman didn’t really help me have a good impression of what ‘other’ women were like. i decided that i wasn’t like any of these people. that i was not one of them. i was not a girl.
when i moved in with cheren, at the beginning of 2019, i had a chance to breathe, and to explore myself more freely. a few months down the line i started to question myself again, asking myself if being a man was really what i wanted. i didn’t feel the gruelling pain of my physical dysphoria anymore. when i was younger, i constantly wished to not have the body i had, but i no longer cared, and at times, quite liked it. i was happy with what i had. i didn’t have the desire to be part of male spaces, nor did i exactly want to be one. however, i was still loathed to call myself a woman and to involve myself in female spaces or associate myself with them.
as dumb as it may sound, going to bts' wembley concert last year kind of sparked some acceptance in myself. everyone preaches how diverse the audience is, and sure - there was a lot of different people there - BUT, there was still a hell of a lot of teenage girls and young adult women. by now i was rather feminine presenting, and with my all pink outfit and pink hair there was no way i would be interpreted as anything else. and the trip helped me realize that being around women was not actually that bad. they were not scary like i thought. one fan i saw there even gave me a free fanmade photocard of my choosing without me even approaching her (whoever you are, thank you, i love it). and when the security guy who, seeing me, covered in rainbows and crying after how much of an emotional rollercoaster the concert was, wished me a happy pride month and addressed me as if i were a woman, i didn’t mind either. but i laid the thoughts to rest.
i started thinking about gender and stuff again august 2019… all prompted by me going over poppy’s discog and stumbling across her song am i a girl? (which is like, one of my favorite songs ever now, and i just know i’m going to be emotional as hell when i hear it LIVE next month). i related to so much of that song and really took it to heart. however, these thoughts kinda scared me and i didn’t really wanna acknowledge them. i was also kind of scared, i suppose, of losing labels that i’d used for so long, even if i was unsure if they still fit me. but eventually, i circled back to wondering what i really was and settled on androgyne, a fairly established but not exactly mainstream nonbinary label. this was the first time i’d identified as as anything but ftm for years. i was pretty ecstatic when i decided that this was what i was, and was also fairly confident about it...
and then came february, where i started to doubt myself again. however, i didn’t want to give up something i thought i’d finally found to be what i really saw myself as so quickly, so i didn’t speak up too much about my feelings.
i’d become increasingly more comfortable with off handedly referring to myself with feminine terms and saying i was in lesbians with cheren. it didn’t bother me. and i damn well knew, both at this moment and for whoever knows how long that i was attracted to women, i just couldn’t accept it. i had a LOT of internalized homophobia, and somehow i just didn’t even realize until only recently. i guess gays are just dense..
the thoughts kept circling in my head and all i could think about was what i was, who i was. i had accepted for a long time now that there is no way i could ever imagine myself in a relationship with a dude. sure, i liked my kpop boy, i liked my cute furry boy ocs. but there were different - they were safe and cosy and nice and pretty much always feminized in some way or another compared to the men of the streets of england. i didn’t like real men at all. and after coming across the infamous am i a lesbian? doc, this all made so much sense.
and so i finally came to terms, on february 14th 2020, that it turns out i was a cis but gnc lesbian.
looking back on it, strangely enough, the times i identified most strongly as male (and also only into other guys) correlate with the times where i was getting mistreated the most. ever since moving way from my abuser my trauma has healed gradually - pretty on pair with my acceptance of being feminine, and eventually being a girl. i think that.. i didn’t necessarily want to be a guy, i just didn’t like myself and didn’t want to be like the person who hurt me the most. navigating these kinds of feelings, fears and questions is HARD as hell when you’re autistic, sheltered and you have trauma, but at last, i feel at peace with who i am. and i’m glad.
some resources and interesting links
am i a lesbian? masterdoc
tiny bit of info on gender nonconformity in lesbians
r/detrans (people of many ideologies here. i’d recommend reading the rules before any posts)