I’ve never felt like I quite fit in. I’ve always known pieces of a puzzle were missing, growing up, well I wasn’t the happiest person. Other then when I was horse riding, cause it’s kinda difficult to tell the gender of a person when all you see is them at a distance, going over fences. Until I spoke at least. I used to hate my voice always. Too high pitched for male, too low for female, I just wasn’t a happy person.
Going through puberty, and my first period was rough. I had a swimming competition on the day, and honestly having to put the tampon in for the first time was violating. I remember screaming to ‘take it out’, that I hated it, that it wasn’t right, that something was wrong. I didn’t know age 12 what I know now.
Puberty continued and as I developed a female body, along with the growths that that includes I grew more and more depressed and anxious. Every day for me was about putting on a mask. I couldn’t understand emotions, the most telling was when a friend lost parents. I just felt numb. At the time I thought it was a sign I was just broken. So I tried harder and harder to be more empathetic, more caring, more ‘female’.
It … well it didn’t happen. Well it did, in terms of wearing a mask more strongly, but it was constantly feeling like I was in danger of tearing apart at the seams. The fear of what would happen if I did kept me trying to keep it together. I developed anxiety. I also got diagnosed with Aspergers, so I put my social anxiety and depression down to that.
At least until 23. I had enough of the constant feeling of brokeness, of something being wrong. So that summer I cut myself off from everyone. I didn’t talk, I spent the whole summer examining every facet of myself. The only thing I kept in touch with was cosplay. The plushie I’m hugging in that old picture? That was from that time — my most well known cosplay was Reno. I realised that I felt far more happy and comfortable wearing a binder, not having a female chest, being read as male.
I didn’t know what this meant, I just knew that at the time I felt far more comfortable he/him felt better than she/her. I went to the Doctors. I explained as best as I could. That I wasn’t happy in my own skin, that there was a mask I felt I put on every day that was tearing me apart. They already knew I was depressed to the point of self harm, that I couldn’t be on anti-depressants as I had a bad reaction to them, that I was having to handle anxiety and depression with nothing other than counselling, and even that was awkward. The only way I got through those session was me sat drawing so I could actually talk. But the meetings never made progress. It was at that doctors appointment there was a lightbulb.
The doctor said they were going to make a referral to a Gender Identity Clinic, and that they had strong reason to believe I was Transgender. I had friends who were Trans, but I didn’t know fully what it meant. I didn’t care. I wanted answers. I looked the word up and the more I read into it the more I felt like “yes this is me!”
My friends respected my pronoun choice. My parents… not so much. My mum wrote a letter to my Gender Clinic stating that with my Aspergers I couldn’t possibly know what I wanted. Regardless they ignored that. They were aware I was aware enough to make informed consent. My main clinician specialised in Autistic spectrum disorders as well as Gender Identity.
Still, it was a long fight, I felt recognised, I felt validated, but until my parents were on board and I could change my deadname to my new name, then starting hormone replacement therapy. Every step I felt more whole, but still not quite ‘right’. There was still a piece missing. I didn’t realise it till I started to stream, and was recovering from top surgery. Even then it took a whole year after top surgery for me to come to full acceptance.
That I wasn’t fully male, or female. I was non-binary, I was demi-male. That most the time I see myself as very firmly masculine, but there’s a big part of me that is super androgynous, super comfortable in rejecting the gender binary totally, and more comfortable being read as just androgynous. It was this aspect, and the confidence to express it I found through twitch. It was the confidence to reject that idea I couldn’t wear makeup that I found through twitch, and much more.
So… I guess this is the crux of the matter. I found me. I found who I am.
I’m non-binary. I’m Demi-male. I use They/Them pronouns. And to all those haters who reject this…. well you do you boo. I’m not gonna fight you. Because I don’t need to prove myself to you. I’m done with that exhausting fight to fit in. I’m over wearing masks to appease everyone.
Instead I’ve learnt to love myself. I’ve learnt to love who I am. And I’m more happier than ever I’ve been. And that? That ability to love myself, and the confidence to express myself is more importance than any acceptance from other people.
Because well, if to get other peoples love I have to hate myself?
“If that’s love it comes at much to high a cost”
Elphaba — Wicked — Defying Gravity.