Trapped in the Body of a Woman
Story submitted by a guest blogger.
For many years, I lived a life that was fabricated. Everything from the way I spoke, to the way I held myself, to the way I dressed, to the things I did when around company. It was all a big facade created to keep my secret safe. A secret that I had no words to describe until later in my life.
"I felt I was a man trapped in the body of a woman and everything inside me was screaming that my entire existence was WRONG."
I didn't know there was a word for what I was feeling, let alone think there's be people just like me who lived in this same fairy tale life. Our lives were merely stories we created for ourselves. Stories we told other people whenever they came into our lives.
"Hello, My name is Ashely."
A story. A lie that wasn't exactly a lie. My legal name had always been Ashley, but it wasn't the name I knew to correctly fit who I was inside.
I lived what I refer to as an "overly female" existence for a long time.
"I had no idea there was a word for what I felt, I didn't know there were others like me. I thought I was just a weirdo, and I tried my best to shrug it off my feelings and hide by being as much as a girl as I could possibly stand."
Being a "girly girl" was out of the question. From childhood I refused to wear dresses. I remember asking my childhood friends to refer to me as a boy when we were away from the adults. I remember my brother punching someone over their refusal to refer to me as his brother.
Growing up meant my peers were less than accepting. When people are bullied for something as simple as the shoes they have on, they tend to hide anything else deemed 'freak-ish'. There was no need to give harassers more ammo.
No one knew the turmoil I went through on a daily basis. The awkwardness (and I mean more than any other lanky teen), the inability to show affection, allow touch, or the feelings of isolation while being surrounded by friends and family.
It's an unfortunate pain and suffering that many transgender folks go through. It's awful, it makes you want to just quit everything, it makes you resent people around you, it makes you resent having to interact with anyone to get through the day. Life itself becomes a burden.
One day I'd had enough. I left the relationship I was in (due to reasons other than needing to transition) and after that I felt all bets were off!
"I came out to my family to a tearful, yet exceptionally supportive response."
Family, they were so religious I thought they'd shun me, but instead, they showed me their support. Even people didn't agree with my decision told me they supported my need to be happy. I had someone tell me I was spoiled with acceptance, and I truly felt I was. First, I came out to my family, next I came out to friends (who honestly either already had suspicions, or knew and laughed it off). My friends showed me love and support. After that, I knew it was time to transition.
I was able to talk to someone else who had started their transition, and through them, found a wonderful gender therapist who kick started everything! I was able to get on testosterone (though I didn't end up staying on it because of both personal choice and health reasons). I was able to start the ball rolling on getting my top surgery (and I'm still saving for that). My gender therapist showed me a few grants to help me get my sexual reassignment surgery (top surgery) taken care of!
"Now I live a life where I don't feel like I'm lying anymore."
Even though I don't exactly pass as male all the time, I still feel comfortable enough with myself that my dysphoria doesn't flare up with a vengeance when I'm misgendered in public. I have a wonderful support system in my family and friends, a loving partner who loves me regardless of any surgeries or any gender identity I have, and a wonderful son (from my period living as female), who is my pride and joy and makes me smile everyday. Hearing someone say 'he' or have my cousins correct someone when they say 'she' is just wonderful, and in fact, it's become so commonplace that it's not so much of a shocker anymore. Though I still have my moments when someone new shows they accept me and say "Hello there, sir."
My name is Ash, I'm transgender, male identifying, and I'm happy.