Disclaimer: This is bound to offend someone’s gender politics, so I’m just going to restate that this blog is just my own insane thoughts and feelings.
The gender label I feel comfortable with is a progressing thing. I’ve talked before about how I felt “not-male”, then as I started to reach acceptance “trans” or “trans gender”, then “trans girl” or “trans female”.
About 3 or 4 months ago, I was having a makeup lesson in the Mac store. The woman teaching me was treating me in such a normal way, asking me questions about my makeup routine and preferences on products and colours. All of a sudden I experienced this moment where I was in a comfortable, natural place in my head. Then I popped out of it as I remembered this wasn’t my normal. I had this sudden sense that I’d just experienced my female gender. Then a few seconds I sunk back into it. It was amazing… but only lasted for a few seconds at a time before I spotted it and popped myself right back out of the moment. Over the following months I started learning to listen to this feeling and even a few ways that I can encourage it. I started to experience it more and more. It really felt like I’d reached the inner me and it was wonderful.
I probably spend 60% of the time being in touch with that part of me and the remainder feeling like my androgenous, genderless self. I think this is a function of still not being full time as Amy. I hope it is.
However I’m still not comfortable with the label “woman” and only mildly comfortable with “trans woman”. To me – male and female (and the other genders) are a little switch in one’s head. For me it is set to Female. I don’t need anything external to validate or complete that picture.
My interpretation of woman is something different. It’s not just an internal thing. To me being a woman is that inner sense of female, combined with social comprehension and probably controversially some degree of physical conformity with what society expects of a woman’s body.
What do I mean by social comprehension? Well I essentially feel in many ways like I’m not much older that I was when I first felt different. I feel like a child or sometimes a young teenager. I don’t feel like I’ve learnt what it is to be a woman yet. Sometimes someone says “we women <insert group behaviour>” and it’s news to me. I’m hoping it is possible to feel at home in time. Maybe I’ve just left it too late or lived as a boy for too long… Maybe I’ll never socially feel like a woman. I desperately hope I do.
The other thing I think stopping me from being able to self identify as a woman is because although my body is changing – when I take off my clothes I still see more man than woman. It is changing though… I now instinctively see my female face rather than my male face now and I’ve lost a pile of weight which made me feel more feminine and the discomfort in my chest is a reminder that there’s something happening in there. I’m not sure at what point I’ll reach physical acceptance. Maybe it will be when I get noticeable boobs, or my hair gets longer, or maybe after I get facial feminisation surgery or after bottom surgery. On the other hand – maybe I’ll always be so fixated with my male physical characteristics that I’ll never be able to think of myself as a woman. I desperately hope I do.
For the time being – I’ll happily content myself with feeling female as much as I can and maybe in time I’ll have the odd moment of feeling like a woman that will grow and become stronger. What a fascinating journey this is.