This hit really close to home for me. I’ve never been able to put into words what I felt like when it came to my trans identity. I remember being young and very clearly not identifying with girly things, so I gravitated to the “default” boy things and for a long time that’s just how I thought about it. I told myself that I didn’t want to be a boy, that I just didn’t want to be girly.
Then I hit puberty. I got my period. It felt like I’d been on a boat that was anchored to dock and all of a sudden nature had just chopped the rope connecting me to shore and there was no going back. I was just going to be swallowed up by the deep sea. The ax had come down and I was firmly planted on the wrong side, so I stole sanitary products from the church and from neighbors until my mother came in to chide me for being so grumpy the past coupe days and found me with my pants around my ankles, sobbing.
It feels weird but I didn’t think about it as much after that. All I knew is that in all my dreams, imaginary scenarios, and games I was a boy. I didn’t have friends those years, so I didn’t have to bother about thinking about myself in terms of other people. Online I could pass as a faceless entity without putting thought into it.
I started dressing up in drag on halloween for “fun” and packing at home when no one was around. I didn’t dare buy anything actually built for that- i just got some socks that were rolled up just right. I wore boxers instead of panties.
Introduction into the LGBTQA and feminist communities came late for me. I was raised in the south in a very conservative household and I mostly tried to mimic my parents views to avoid getting shouted at but at night I’d have dreams about being a boy and my entire family cheering me on and telling me how proud they were of me.
When I did get into those communities there was so much confusion and disapproval concerning men and maleness that if anything it distanced me more from my “manhood” than my childhood did. Whereas before I felt a thrill whenever someone mistook me for a boy (I could count them on one hand), now I felt ashamed. Using “he” felt wrong, like I was part of some weird gender south park type satire. Like I was a punchline.
And that’s where I am now kind of. This whole thing resonated with me, but one part in particular “a girl with a boyhood”. It feels like someone’s finally given me to words to express how I feel about masculinity and my own identity. I’m a boy with a girlhood, and there are so many nuances to masculinity that I’ve missed out on. I only know it from the other side.
And honestly? The thing that has helped me most hasn’t been the stuff you’d expect. If I had to choose something, it’d be some of my cis guy friends who I’m not even out to yet. As cliche as it sounds I’m treated as “one of the guys” just another friend, and they don’t filter their thoughts or discussions around me. It’s like I’m finally getting to sneak into a late showing of the childhood boy experience I missed out on. The side of masculinity I never got to experience. And if we’re being honest, I don’t know how they’d react knowing this about me. I don’t plan on ever finding out. And maybe that’s why. It’s so casual. There’s no discussion or dancing around topics. I can just be for a while. And it’s done so much.
I don’t know I kind of went off track here. This article just really means a lot to me and I wanted to share a bit.