When I was a little kid, I never really stopped to think about things like pronouns or differences in gender. I never really considered myself different from the kids I played with, who were almost entirely boys. I had short hair and a boy-like personality, so pretty much everyone assumed I was a little boy until corrected anyway, so I never really associated pronouns with myself. However, when I entered into elementary school, it changed. Everyone knew each other, so people assuming I was a boy stopped. Several of the games we would play as a class were split up into boys versus girls, and it took me till puberty to truly understand why I was on the girl’s side.
With puberty comes bodily changes along with overpowering self-hatred, anxiety, and depression. “It’s normal,” everyone said, “Everyone has those feelings when they hit puberty." Everyone dislikes their body when they hit puberty, but it seemed like everyone around me was totally fine. No one cringed hearing their name or being referred to with pronouns. No one felt a disconnect seeing their body in the mirror. No one attempted to solve it in the ways I had tried. I constantly hid myself with baggy clothes in an attempt to regain the ambiguous appearance I had lost due to the bodily changes caused by puberty. I wasn’t allowed to cut my hair for the longest time, so I constantly kept it pulled up in an attempt to hide its implications, but it never worked. “It’s just a p...
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...tended family. It was simply “too sudden” for my family’s taste.
Not much has changed since then. The closest I’ve gotten to acceptance is my mother using a feminized nickname of my preferred name on occasion, but I suppose even that shows improvement. However, despite things not being perfect, I feel as though I’m one step closer to being able to truly be myself. I am not a girl, but I am still me. In fact, I’m more like myself than I was before. After years of suppressing myself behind layers of falsified femininity I can finally be just me.
Words still sting. They still burn and make me doubt myself, but you can overcome that. She, her, lady, woman, girl, and daughter can become he, him, guy, man, and son. It is not simply a fact of life, and it does not have to be ignored. They still follow you, but the wounds they cause can heal despite the scars that remain.
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