As a queer, but more significantly trans person, transitioning – as you might imagine – has been on my mind.
Transitioning when I talk about it, refers to social transition (that is, ‘coming out’ to either yourself, family and friends as something other than the gender assumed of you and living that) and medical transition (hormone replacement therapy and sometimes medical procedures such as ‘top’ surgery and ‘bottom’ surgery in the case of transmasculine people). Both are unnecessary for someone to be trans but both are often portrayed on YouTube and are at the forefront of trans discourse (as I understand it).
With that clarified, let’s get back on topic. Transitioning has been on my mind. More and more since graduating from university and moving back to a home with little physical room for me and next to no mental room for my transness, has the reality of my future been on my mind. Since realising I was trans over a year ago, I have thought about transitioning a lot.
At first, I thought dysphoria was something I had thankfully missed out on suffering from but, unfortunately, that’s not the case. I don’t exactly feel repulsed by my body (I kind of don’t feel anything at all, almost), I don’t feel like it is my body. When I look in the mirror, I look masculine – I am not a woman – but there are certain parts of me which don’t fit that and those are parts that I would like to change. Mainly my chest. In an ideal world maybe this wouldn’t be the case and some days the feeling dwells deeper than others.
An article I read recently about depersonalisation and dissociation in relation to gender dysphoria piqued my interest and, in all honesty, resonated with me a lot. The concept of dissociating from feelings in a general everyday sense, is something I definitely relate to. I feel like I coasted through secondary school, wrote a short story about faking happiness despite feeling numb, and don’t really feel that strongly about anything – even now. I thought it might just be depression and anxiety but this article changed my mind and helped me to realise my dysphoria may present in other ways.
All of this has culminated into a long brewing understanding that I really want T and, at the very least, top surgery. But I’m at home, very much closeted, jobless (though I’m searching hard) and I don’t see a way of coming out any time soon to my passively homophobic and transphobic family. This has been haunting me for months. Worst still is the idea that I could get an appointment with a therapist at a GIC and they could tell me I’m not trans enough because I’m not 100% certain of my gender. (I keep veering between non-binary trans-masculine and trans man.)
Both fears are suffocating me and, while I know my first priority is to earn enough money to move out, the possibility that not being in a body that feels right is hindering my feelings to the point I’m not really me is killing me. How can I even begin to approach the topic of transness and muslimness not being an oxymoron with my family and how, beyond that, can I stave off my own doubt long enough to convince a therapist and myself I’m trans enough for HRT and surgery? There’s no rush, I know, but I don’t want to wait until some unforeseen time when I can finally be me. Somehow, soon, I’ll have to figure out how to broach the topic with family and how to narrate my transness in a palatable way for a gender therapist to approve HRT for me.
It feels impossible. But I have to.
Sorry I’ve been gone for much longer than expected! My head’s been on fire with these thoughts for ages. They’re not complete by any means but just a window into how I feel right now. Until next time!