Even though I didn’t find much self-understanding in the “Classic Trans Story,” I did, eventually find some models of gender that helped me understand more of myself and my experiences, and that helped me answer the question of whether I should go through a gender transition. In this post, I’ll talk about those models, and what I found useful in them and how they helped me make sense of my identity.
Once I started to suspect that I was transgender, I did a lot of research to find out more about what being trans meant and what I should expect. I found lots of authoritative sounding resources which described a perspective of transgenderism that felt somewhat like my experience but different enough to imply that I might “really” not be trans. I spent a long time in “gender crisis” trying to figure out whether I was “really trans” and whether I should (or would even be allowed to) transition. Eventually, I figured out that the mainstream understanding of transgenderism is a distorted representation the overall population of gender variant people, and that it’s rooted in psychological theories based largely on outdated cultural biases and extremely incomplete data sets.
In this post I talk about how my body modification feelings sexualized as I got older and how they became intense desires to change gendered aspects of my body. I can’t tell this part of the story without giving some pretty explicit details about my sexuality though, so if you’d rather not read about my sex life, then I invite you to skip this post and go check out the most adorable cat video of all time. Folks who want the full story, please read on…
For as long as I can remember I’ve been fascinated by body modification. “Fascinated” isn’t even close to strong enough of a word. I’ve been utterly transfixed by it. Bodies changing, or being changed, has always felt profound and almost spiritual to me. Even when I was 3 or 4 years old, I knew that feeling was special and something to be cherished, and I also knew it was too hard to explain to other people. So I instinctively kept it secret and enjoyed it privately.
The first time I really, seriously thought I was trans was almost exactly two years ago, the night of April 22nd, 2011. I’d known what “transgender” meant for a while, and I’d also known that I had gender issues for a while, but every time I asked myself if I might be trans, the answer was always no. Until that night.