A lot of people, both cis and trans folks, seem to hold to the idea that trans people are people who were one gender and are becoming another gender while transitioning. I guess in a lot of ways that’s how it looks, and it’s definitely an easy enough idea to understand if you frame it like that I guess. But in my experience, it’s just not the truth. The reality is sloppier, more complex than that.
The problem with this narrative is that it totally ignores what it’s like to grow up as a trans person, it erases the struggle we go through to realize what we’ve always been. I was never a man. I was never a boy. I answered to those labels because it’s all I knew, but they never felt right. The male socialization thrown at me by society always felt wrong, and I was a very alienated, confused kid. I did not know how to do the things people expected me to do, and I suffered for it. I was in a really deep state of confusion and denial for a huge chunk of my life.
And maybe it seems like a trivial distinction. But to me it isn’t. Because I think it’s important to acknowledge the sloppiness of our narratives, the imperfection. For so long we’ve been conditioned to have a neat, palpable story on hand about how we always knew since the age of four we wanted to be something else, that we were always consistently aware of just what we were. And I’m sure some folks are. But very few of the people I’ve talked to have had that story.
My point is, I’ve always been trans. Ive always been the weird non binary lady thing I am. It just took me a long time to understand it, to recognize what it was and what all the little signs throughout my life were adding up to. Smarter people than me have said this, and I’m not sure if I’m making much sense, but yeah.