A Little Story About a Girl

I grew up being mocked for being a girl.

I never felt attractive enough, I starved myself to try and be more attractive. I felt so disgusted with myself when I looked in the mirror because I’d never be as cute as the girls on TV.

I hurt myself in horrible ways, because I hated myself. I’ve probably used a razor on skin more than I’ve used one on hair.

Other girls commiserated with me, many of them had gone through similar things themselves. But even they kept a bit of a wall up to me, because in their eyes, I wasn’t one of them.

To them, I was a just a weird boy.

People, even the ones that mocked me and called me a girl, insisted I was actually a boy. That I couldn’t be a girl. I didn’t have the right things in my pants to be a girl. And I believed them.

I don’t regret my life to date, but I recognize how different things could have been. If people had been accepting of transgender people; if being trans was something people actually knew about, instead of something kept secret, hidden away as “offensive” and “dangerous” like it was.

I could have been happier, more well-adjusted. I might have avoided being hospitalized for attempting suicide at 16. I might not have been covered from the neck down in razor scars. I might not have had anorexia.

Because the body image issues were mostly an excuse. A way to tell myself that I didn’t feel so alien in my own skin because I was the wrong gender, but rather because I just wanted to be more attractive. A way to avoid accepting myself, to avoid the truth.

I still told myself I had to be a boy, because everyone said so, despite the fact that I’d known since my earliest memories that if there was a button that could magically change my body, transform it into what I was told a girl had to be, I wouldn’t have thought twice.

Hell, if that button had existed, all the angels in heaven couldn’t have kept me from it.

Yet even once I learned about transitioning, I was still too afraid, still avoided accepting myself, for years. It wasn’t the transition itself that terrified me, of course. No, I was terrified because I knew there were (and still are) a lot of people who think trans women should be denied the right to even exist. I was terrified of what those people might do to me or the ones I love. I was terrified because I’d already faced physical violence for being “too girly” before I’d even admitted to myself that I was trans. I was terrified because trans women are so often viewed as a threat or a fetish (or both). I was terrified because even some self-proclaimed feminists view trans women as “men” trying to “infiltrate” their spaces.

It’s a strange feeling, spending your life being mocked and called a girl while you’re in denial, only to be mocked and called a man once you accept yourself; and yet people wonder why some trans people are so sensitive about pronouns and being gendered correctly.

I’m still terrified. There are still hateful people who don’t think I, or women like me, deserve to live. There are still people who don’t believe I really exist, or that I’m really a woman. There are still people who confusingly believe that my very existence threatens them in some way. There are people like Mike Pence; who would subject me to things that would be considered war crimes in most of the world, supposedly to “cure” me. There are people who just flat refuse to believe the growing mountain of proof that being trans isn’t a choice, and it’s not a mental illness.

It’s not an “illness” at all.

I’m just a weird girl, and it terrifies me that the people currently in power in my country believe I should be denied basic humanity for it.

Despite that fear, I’ve pushed forward. Even with all the fear and hate, for all the problems and people who don’t understand, I’m thankful every day that I found the strength to face this, and be myself at last.

Hormone therapy has been one of the best things that has ever happened to me. Between that and having come out publicly, I’ve never felt so at home in my own skin. That feeling, that sense of inner rightness, is something most people take for granted. They don’t even notice it because they’ve never been without it. It’s a beautiful thing, and I encourage more people to stop and appreciate themselves. Look in the mirror, and marvel at the fact that it’s you looking back at you. Because I’ve only known that feeling for a short while now, and it’s still fleeting. But it makes me happy every time.

I’m finally myself, and it’s amazing.

So, that’s my little story; a little story about a girl named Thea, a software engineer who has a lot of social anxiety and kinda rambles when she’s nervous, but is done hiding from the world.

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