I remember reading people’s blogs and watching vlogs and them talking about their “true selves”. For awhile I wondered what they were talking about. The first year of therapy had me feeling a bit split between male and female characteristics and seeking integration to feel whole.
As I transitioned I’d tell people that my old self “D” was a construct and a barrier between who I really was and the outside world. I kept telling that story for a long time. At the beginning I thought it was true, then later I think I was trying to just convince myself it was true.
Now? I don’t think it’s very true at all. I think I am mostly the person I have always been and have the gender I have always had. It feels to me like that gender is more female than male and certainly I feel more at ease now physically and emotionally as a woman than I did as a man.
What I now believe was true is that I did a lot of self editing about what I would do or say to hide the Rachel inside of me. I’d avoid colorful clothing and even things that some men would do were beyond the pale for me because I was trying hard to be a man and wearing an earring or something on that order would threaten this defensive image I was holding onto.
Lots of things have changed over the past five years, but which ones are because of transition? That is hard to say beyond outward appearance and being happier. Certainly emotions are more keenly felt, but that is largely due to hormones. There are the other physical changes as well. The feeling of being vulnerable changes my reaction to society and life.
The bottom line? I was him and he had a pretty good life before gender dysphoria got to be too much to bear. He liked having sex and while he wasn’t particularly into gender roles he could hang out with guys and get by. After things changed there were things I no longer had to feign interest in like sports (I never did well pretending) and I could surprise people by knowing more about cars and home repair than I ought to for a girl.
Be the woman you want to be. Society be damned.