Are You Wondering If You’re Transgender?

Perhaps you’re feeling frustrated?  Guilty? Stuck?  All alone?  Confused?  Ashamed?

Who Am I?

Wait a minute.  Who am I, and why am I writing about this?  I have been a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist for 16 years.  I am not transgender, nor have I considered whether I might be.  I am, however, deeply committed to living my life being fully who I am, and helping others do the same. 

Sharing to Increase Awareness and Understanding

Many of my clients are young adults struggling with a variety of life and identity issues that naturally come with that period of time in their lives.  A few of them have been wrestling with the possibility of being transgender, and have very generously encouraged me to write this blog post sharing some of their experience, with the hope that you or someone you know will find it to be helpful in some way.  I’m sure you join me in my profound gratitude for their willingness to share their gifts. If you are dealing with Transgender Issues, please continue reading this article.

Transgender defined:  A term for people whose gender identity, expression or behavior is different from those typically associated with their assigned sex at birth.

Be Who You Are

Joseph Campbell, American mythologist, writer, and lecturer, said, “The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.”

Think about what it feels like to wake up every morning, rested, refreshed, and eager to start your day.  If you’re a female, do you enjoy getting dressed, putting on makeup, looking and feeling like a girl?  If you’re a male, do you like your masculine clothes and that hunky guy looking back at you in the mirror?  If you answered, “Yes,” to either of those questions, you are one of the lucky ones in this case—born into the body you were meant to have.

Imagine for just a moment what it would be like to wake up with the wrong body parts.  If you’ve always been happy and comfortable being a girl, imagine waking up one morning with a penis and no boobs!  If you have always been happy with being a guy, imagine waking up with a set of boobs and your penis is gone!  What a nightmare that would be!  And, on top of that, there is no going back.  This is permanent!  If you can sit with that for even a few minutes, you have a small sense of what a transgender person has been dealing with in some way for most of their life.

Each Transgender Individual Realizes Their Truth In Their Own Way

Not all transgender people have the same experience of realization.  Some of them have known as early as two years of age that they’re in the wrong body, and that’s all there is to it.  With supportive parents, they make their transition long before they have to go through any of the social challenges that a young adult experiences when they discover who they are in their late teens or twenties.  In some cases, girls may find themselves longing to wear boys’ clothes, and boys may find themselves obsessed with girls’ clothes, accessories, and makeup.  The whole idea of being transgender may not be formulated in one’s mind until they have had a chance to look back over 20 plus years and piece the story together.

Either way, once identified, the following experiences may be true:

  • I felt guilty for thinking I want to be a girl/boy, until the feeling gets so strong, you just feel that way.
  • I feel frustrated and kind of funny to see myself with boobs.
  • I can’t be who I really am in a relationship.
  • The hardest part is that everyone sees me as a girl/guy, and I know that’s not who I am.  I am the only one who knows that.  No one else knows.
  • It’s like being stuck.  Every day I can’t express myself to the fullest, because I am not experiencing my life to the fullest.  My face, my voice, and my body parts stop me from fully being who I am.
  • I keep it a secret because of other people’s thoughts and lack of understanding.
  • I’m waiting for the right time, to feel strong enough to tell people.  When I have a solid support system and enough trust, and probably when I feel I can’t take it anymore.
  • As far as affecting my quality of life now, keeping it a secret is not as bad as not transitioning.  Once I start that process, it will take two years.  Nobody knows.  It’s hard.
  • I’m not transitioning because I’m scared.  I don’t feel ready.
  • I’m scared that I won’t pass as a male/female.  My height scares me, and it’s a huge change.
  • I think about it when I’m with my friends, and imagine myself dressed as a girl/boy and having a girl’s/boy’s body.
  • I’m thinking more about when I’m my true self.  It takes a lot of inner strength and courage to do something like this.
  • We all should have the opportunity to be who we are.

Again, my deepest thanks to those who courageously and generously contributed to the information in this blog post.

If you or someone you know is struggling with these issues and would like some support and guidance along the way, I would like to help.

I look forward to hearing from you.

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