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Thoughts on Fitting in the Box


Sol

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I've been struggling with my gender identity a lot and I've posted similar things on here before, but whenever it feels like something is going right, I start feeling like an impostor. I keep hearing all of these things about how people just knew from a young age, or how they wanted to be the opposite gender since they were little or even tried on their parent's clothes, and I feel like a fraud because I didn't have any of those thoughts. I didn't think about my gender at all. If I was wearing a dress, I was wearing a dress. If I was wearing a polo shirt, I was wearing a polo shirt. I never felt that something was wrong because I never thought about it in the first place. "Girl" was a group in gym class, and it didn't really mean anything to me. 

But there were moments that could have meant something, like being uncomfortable in the girls' gym uniform because the shorts were so small and wearing the boys' instead. Or feeling uncomfortable and out of place when I was wearing a v-neck shirt or even just wearing a bra. I used to not take my sports bra off when I went to bed, I would just keep wearing it because it felt so strange to not wear it. And I always felt off and wrong and disgusting when I had my period, to the point where I bought and continue to buy heavy overnight pads just so I don't have to change them. It felt and still feels like a roadblock to something. Or spending so much time in male dominated circles because I couldn't understand the girls and I always worried about saying the wrong thing. And when I got dressed up and saw pictures of myself, I never liked who I saw. It was pretty, but it wasn't what I wanted.

But I don't know if those feelings count, because she/her and things like that didn't really bug me. They still sort of don't, but they stick out more than they used to. And I still like wearing dresses or pretty jumpsuits because I like how cute I feel. I love the color pink and I don't want to change my voice, and I don't want to get rid of my breasts entirely. I would get a reduction down to an A cup, but I don't feel like I want to part with them completely. And it's hard, because I keep feeling like I'm doing something wrong and that I'm deluding myself. 

I know I have low self-esteem, and I'm already going to therapy and I'm going to work on it and get better, but I don't know if that's all I'm feeling. Is it just the low self-esteem? Is that what all of this is? 

Being called "son" once made me jolt and get giddy, and being called terms like "househusband" and "he" and "brother" make me feel... not really excited, but... warm. I know there's not one way to be trans, but I feel like the "goal" of being trans is to look as cis as possible sometimes, even though I know that's not the case all the time. I don't want to look cis, I just want to look like me. But I'm not sure what that is. I want to figure this out, and I think I will, but not today, and probably not for a while longer.

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I really relate to a lot of what you said here. I couldn't say that I knew since I was little, and was generally very apathetic towards gender until it kept being pushed on me. Being in a dress or skirt never bothered me too much, it was more so how people perceived me in a skirt or dress. Personally, I'd like to get to a point in my transition where I can wear feminine clothing and be read as male. However, most people still read me as a woman, so I do still feel like I have to be in a strictly 'male' box sometimes. 

Imposter syndrome has been one of the biggest problems that I have had when it came to accepting myself. However, I have learned that if you are constantly worried that you may be faking it, you probably aren't. It's okay if you're still unsure regarding what you want for yourself, trying out new things wherever you feel most comfortable is very valuable. Going to therapy is also a great step to try and mitigate some of your problems.

Best of luck!

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Imposter syndrome is a very real thing. I think it's normal to feel that way though, given the situation. I mean we are talking about an identity issue. I frequently feel the same myself. Which makes figuring out which way I go a bit of a chore. I also really never gave much thought on how I presented myself throughout my life. I never crossed dressed or anything like that. I was however, despite that, always one of the girls. Women always talk to me about things they wouldn't talk to other men about. Usually, musing that I felt more like "us" than "them". Spencer is right, therapy will help sort those feelings out. I recently started therapy and I've already felt better about things. Still uncertain, but a lot less pessimistic. 

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Not everyone knew from a young age. I knew from a young age that something was wrong with me but I didn't know what that was until well into adulthood. In fact, others seemed to know long before me. When I was 15 a youth worker asked me I thought I might be trans. Without even thinking, I told her, "of course not". When I finally came out aged 40 odd, I was shocked to the core that most of the people close to me who I expected to reject me, were like, "finally! I thought you'd never work that out" lol 

 

I think it was so outside the realm of acceptability for me as a kid and young person that my mind just excluded it as a possibility. So don't discount what you're feeling now because of what you think is legitimate or not. Equally, how you present now doesn't need to be the way you want to present for the rest of your life. I started T on a low dose thinking I was non-binary but the more my body changed the more I felt more male. It could also have gone the other way. Either is OK. Anything that makes you feel more comfortable in your skin today is OK. 

 

cheers

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