In a lot of ways, I’m really lucky. When I finally came out as trans, my parents supported me, and I’m really grateful for that. Before that, I spent a lot of years feeling lost and confused. I was never fully aware of it, and so my advice to other people is to trust what you feel because it will save you a lot of struggles in the end.
I used to get these obsessive crushes on boys that I admired. Some of them were so intense that I got myself into trouble from following them around, and I could never explain why it all felt so important to me. Now I realize that I needed those guys because I was craving the masculinity that they had and I didn’t. I didn’t feel good enough as I was, so I wanted to be around “real guys.” Today I am trying to be my own man, but it’s hard unlearning that obsessive behavior.
Two years ago I cut off all my hair myself. I was already questioning whether I was trans, and I thought that if I saw myself with short hair, it would clarify whether I was a girl or a boy. I don’t know how to cut hair, so of course it looked horrible. That wasn’t the worst part- the worst part is that I thought I still didn’t look like a boy. I felt like I couldn’t be a boy because I didn’t look like one.When I knew I was a boy, I realized that the important part is what you want, not how you look.
When I went to go purchase a collared shirt for the first time, aka my first piece of masculine clothing, I was discouraged. All the shirts I tried on were men’s shirts and they were all too big. Finally I gave in and tried a teen boys’ shirt (13-14 BOY. Yes, I remember.) I was eighteen, but it fit just right and made me look great, so I decided not to care about how tiny I was. I was grinning at myself in the mirror. I didn’t even want to take it off, to go buy it. I’d never cared a lot about how I looked because looking good as a girl didn’t mean anything to me, but looking good as a guy did.
It’s all about learning to understand yourself. I hope that everyone reading this article can do that. It’s hard, but it’s worth it.