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I am a cis woman. However, when I grew up, I never felt woman enough, girly enough. I personally feel like my autism made me come off boy-ish when I opened my mouth or in my mannerisms (and still kind of does), but even more importantly, I felt terrible about my body.
It was decidedly different than feeling like you're not pretty enough as a girl, wanting to turn heads or feel beautiful. I simply did not feel like the outside matched the inside. The other people around me usually confirmed this. Girls didn't want anything to do with me past kindergarten and I was treated like one of the boys by the boys. In the changing rooms after school sports, the girls noticed my intense hair growth over my body and laughed and told me to shave. When I was 12, people in my grade used "it" pronouns for me to make fun of me and drive home that I am not a girl. But I wanted to be a girl so bad. I wanted to be like all the other girls. Their mannerisms, their look, the way they dress, their interests. It was more than just wanting to fit in, I fit in well with the boys already and only had male friends. This wasn't about trying to reach an unattainable girl standard. I just felt like no one was seeing what I truly am and wanted to be, and I hated my body and how it developed, that it wasn't feminine enough. No, this wasn't about tomboy acceptance, I didn't wanna be a tomboy, I wanted to be a girly girl.
But whenever I put on girly clothes, like dresses, or anything pink, anything I wanted to fit me as a girl, I felt terrible. It looked so wrong on me, I felt like I looked like a liar, like a clown, like it is a costume. Like a boy in a dress. But I wanted to look like a girl in a dress so badly.
I cried a lot about that. My mum noticed and her solution was to teach me how to do my makeup at 11 years old. This made me feel slightly better, however now I was called arrogant and a whore at school for wearing a bit of eyeliner. Honestly, it is debatable how healthy it is to slap makeup on an 11 year old either way, but this is the only way my mum knew how to deal with it, and at least she did something.
I was "lucky" when my period was also so messed up and debilitating that it was decided to do a hormone test and then put me on hormones plus androgen blockers. That happened at 12 years old. This permitted me to have normal regular periods, my androgenization stopped, and throughout puberty I developed as a cis girl is expected to, albeit not really any boobs, despite all women in my family having big boobs.
Still, feeling like I don't ""pass"" in some way, characteristically or physically, remained with me in phases until I was roughly 25. I am 27 now and I feel beautiful in my body, it finally fits me, I look as feminine as I want to be, I finally feel like it reflects who I am. I wear girly stuff and it never looks wrong. This was a long road.
It shocks me that this would have not been possible if I had been born with a penis. The feelings would have been the same, maybe more pronounced even due to possible bottom dysphoria, yet people will approve of the treatment I got but will break out in hysterics if we're talking about intersex and trans people. Yes, my period irregularities were something my doctors could justify it with, as some sort of medical emergency, but first and foremost, I was seen as someone who was not developing normally and not in line with what was expected (which can also be problematic, of course) and was suffering from that. That we don't extend the same understanding and kindness to others is wrong.
If I didn't have my hormone treatment throughout my puberty, my development would have been drastically different, and I would pay the price for that for the rest of my life, due to having a ruined youth, bullying, permanent body changes and so on. I might would've needed more treatments, laser appointments, later hormone supplementation etc. to attempt to correct that in my 20s, which sucks. If you would not have let me go through my androgenized puberty because of my suffering, don't do it to others who suffer the same.
Having the wrong body, the wrong hormones active, being seen so differently, misgendered - it is fucking traumatizing. And the most clownish thing is, you could never tell by looking at me now, and you cannot tell when looking at many trans people, so people feel safe talking in our presence about how the whole gender thing, transition thing is bullshit. But what they don't realize is that they accidentally also mean me. Me being born with a vagina was luck. Me getting the treatment I got was based on this fact. It was the most important thing anyone could have done for my well-being and development. My experience had nothing to do with gender roles or feeling like I can't "be who I am (aka a masculine girl/tomboy/butch)", it had to do with having a wrong gender experience and a complete mismatch to how I feel vs. what was developing and how I was addressed and seen by others.
I laugh when they debate not putting people at the beginning of puberty on hormones or puberty blockers because of the supposed bad consequences. This might differ on country and area, but where I live, contraceptives were thrown at most girls aged 14 and up, simply to avoid teenage pregnancy, but even just for a little puberty pimples or a tiny bit of acne or a 40 day cycle with otherwise no symptoms. A ton of girls I knew where on contraceptives by the age of 15. There was no concern about the side effects or the age or what the hormones could do to the development. How they work wasn't told to us, the side effects were not discussed with us so we could make an informed choice, we just got it like candy.
There is only an outcry, an unfair weighing of benefits vs risks, a stern conversation about side effects and development with overblown and misunderstood studies when it's about trans people, misused to withhold treatment for discriminatory purposes. Never any talk how to make it safer, just whatever fits the agenda of banning stuff. If you would apply the same principles to my case, you would have ruined my life too.
You know, sometimes I forget how terrible it really was, but then I remember how it colored my every day, the entire day, every experience, every social interaction, the entire relationship to my body.
I wish people would stop being such bozos about trans issues and recognize this is all around us already. I could literally be your coworker. I refuse to be seen as "one of the "good" ones where it was okay/needed", I am not your exception. If you don't accept trans people, you don't accept me either, and if you respect my journey but not theirs, you're a fucking hypocrite and you also discriminate against the love of my life.
𓇽 ° . ༻ 𓈒 ꒪ ๋ ° .𓏲⠀ ๋࣭ ♡ ͘ ࣭⠀⸰ ⋆ ֗ ִ ᨒ .⋆ﾟ. ͘ ࣭⠀⸰ ♡ 𓂂 ◌ 𓇽 ° . ๋ 𓂂 ⠀✼ 𓇽