Thinking as a Woman

| Jun 19, 2017

Brielle

I have known since I was little that my spirit was not compatible with how I looked physically. While my mind was thinking as a woman, I was perceived as a man. From a very early age this ordeal caused great sorrow. Trying to make friends was the most difficult experience, the boys wanted to horseplay and the girls kept their distance. Naturally I gravitated toward seeking female companionship, but I quickly realized I would never be treated as one of their own. I felt deprived of friendship, and the jealously mixed with envy consumed every aspect of my life. To cope with this discomfort I was forced to wear many masks, create false identities, and play roles untrue to myself. Overcoming the perception of being male has been the hardest obstacle. Every day I have thought that if I were a woman many distressful situations would change. How could I ever believe one could integrate into society as the opposite of the gender they were born as. For me it seemed the dream of being a woman would never be a reality. The journey of accepting transgender into my life has been extensive, depressive, and creative.

When I was a toddler one memory in particular is distinct. One day I raided my sister’s toy chest to find I plastic jewelry set, one for children that mimics a Disney princess, complete with a tiara, earrings, bracelet, and necklace. After dressing myself up in the jewelry I simply felt happy, pretty, and whole. I then went searching for my mother to show her what a beautiful girl I was. When I found her she exclaimed, “look at how silly my baby boy is!” My mother loved taking photographs and quickly snapped a picture of me. It was a terrible feeling one that would become extremely familiar, the thought and presence of myself as a female but an outsider perceiving me as male.

As I travel through time, my primary goal became searching for that same connection of soul and body. I did everything to hold onto my true self; stealing my mother and sister’s clothes, shoes, toys, cosmetics. Just about anything they had or did made me envious. I witnessed the female figures in my life shaving the hair off their bodies. My mother discovered I was doing the same, she told me that only girls were allowed to do such things and I was forbidden from it.

When I looked at the older male models in my life their bodies frightened me. I could never imagine myself looking as they did without discomfort; bald heads, muscular and hairy bodies, and deep voices that were harsh. I knew from an early age men were not pretty, but handsome. Never had I wanted to be called handsome. I wanted to be beautiful.

While growing up my parents signed me up for sporting teams. I felt pressured into participating because many of the other male figures I associated with did. I desperately wanted to fit in and make friends so I offered little resistance. I worked very hard a being a great player. I thought that if I played well enough, I would be well liked. It was extremely uncomfortable being placed on the boy’s teams. I  hated almost everything they thought, or liked, and how they behaved. They cared very much for winning, being the best, and the toughest. What I cared for most was working as a team and building relationships. The other boys saw me as a weak and soft player because I was shy. Later I started to find myself sexually attracted to other boys.

Being inside locker rooms as I grew older was the worst and I tried not look at the other boys. I knew that any glance I took would be perceived as an act of homosexuality, when in my mind it was heterosexual.

I have had romantic relationships with females, but the opposite sex felt more natural to me. With female partners I found them attractive as a car mechanic gravitates towards an engine. I wanted to know what made them females and why I was not one. The only way I was able to get close enough to them was to be their boyfriend. Putting on the mask and being a male heterosexual could not have been more damaging. When I showed more of my femininity with them they reacted negatively. I was abused many times by girlfriends, was called a faggot, having them tell me to be a man, breaking up with me, and sexual molestation. I could not be myself with females.

Brielle’s story continues next month.

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Category: Body & Soul

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