I have a complicated relationship with my gender. Honestly, growing up, I never gave it much thought beyond what my cis-het mom taught me, “boys have a penis and girls have a vagina.” I didn’t even know trans people existed until my early teens when I saw a Maury Povitch episode about trans women. And sure, like many people in the late 90s I read Boy’s Don’t Cry, not exactly encouraging stuff (the movie was even worse).
I remember being excited about getting my period and growing breasts, but I think a lot of that was really about becoming an adult. I hated being a child and not having autonomy. I cut my hair off and grew it back out many many times over the years until last year when I cut it very short and have kept it that way. The freedom felt amazing! I also started choosing more gender neutral clothes, though I still think it’s a bit silly to gender clothing at all, but that’s a side issue.
One of the key things I learned about exploring gender was you can be a femme who was AFAB and still be nonbinary. I think my head exploded when someone told me that, and I actually was a little bit resistant to the idea at first, because if that were true, then I’d have to face the fact that I actually wasn’t cisgender.
One day I saw this Twitter thread (I wish I could remember who posted it so I can thank them) about the trans experience. It described transition, having a deadname, misgendering and harassment. Then it said “And if you read all that and said ‘That wouldn’t be so bad’ then you need to take a long look at your own gender.” That really hit me because that’s exactly what I’d been thinking. So I gave it some thought.
I realized after careful consideration that I don’t want to be a man or go on testosterone, but I’m not a woman, either. I have a lot of dysphoria about my large breasts. I am now actively seeking top surgery. I’ve also changed my pronouns to they/them and updated all my social media. I’m not changing my first name because G-d was kind and gave me a name used by both men and women.
I still have things I’m anxious about, like how bad will the pain of top surgery be or will I even be “trans enough” to get top surgery approved. And I recently read a terrible thread about nonbinary people on Twitter (of course this would happen the week I came out). But, overall I’m proud to be my authentic self, and grateful I have a partner who loves me no matter what, breasts or no breasts.