When I first started my medical transition by taking testosterone, I didn’t want to be labelled as transgender. I felt like this label came with preconceived ideas of a certain outspoken personality that I didn’t have. Perceiving transgender people as too sensitive and radical, I didn’t want to be associated with them.
I created an Instagram page documenting my experience, initially for myself. It ended up reaching a wider audience and allowed me to meet many trans people. I developed a particularly strong bond with a non-binary trans person who shared with me how influential I was in their life. I quickly realized the feeling was mutual.
Because of my new friendships, I was able to unlearn the stereotypes that society pushes on trans folks. This showed me the importance of trans visibility, encouraging me to be as open as possible in order to show the diversity within the transgender community and positively shape our reputation.
I now identify as a transgender man.
My transition is a journey that I will embark on through my whole life.
I’ve grown immensely since coming out as transgender three years ago. Before I started passing, I often acted in contradiction to my beliefs/values. For example, I wouldn’t wear the colour pink because I felt like it would compromise my masculinity, despite my strong belief in the idea that colours shouldn’t be gendered. I was so focused on asserting and proving my “manliness” to others that I began adopting a toxically masculine mindset. Thankfully, I’m surrounded by people who call me out on my hypocrisy to keep me in check.
I started to self-reflect often so that I could stay aware of my thoughts and actions -- so that I wouldn’t fall victim to society’s gender roles.
Presently, I accept the parts of me that are typically regarded as feminine.
I like poetry, I like pink, I like talking about my feelings, I like romance movies, and I like being the little spoon.
None of these facts make me any less of a man.
My gender identity alone makes me a man.
But I can’t only attribute this acceptance to my self-reflections; it also has to do with my passing privilege that taking testosterone has given me. I’m lucky to be experiencing these changes.
The fear of prejudice and judgment no longer limits my openness. I feel proud displaying my transness because it’s a way to display my strength and perseverance to chase the life, body, and respect that I want and deserve.
I will assiduously advocate for my community in the hopes of effecting change in my surrounding environments.