Jay is 26, he started his life as a female and is currently undergoing the process of becoming a physical male to match his already masculine core . Jay believes that there is no point in being silent and secretive about the taboo subject of Transsexualism and so will take us with him on his journey through a series of posts on Mamamia. In this first post Jay introduces himself and tells us about his decision to make the change
My life began like most, I was born to loving parents and a house already containing two children above ten. I always said I was an accident, but Mum tells me I was just so determined to be here. My childhood was great, bar a few tricky experiences. But I wouldn’t change my past if it meant being someone else today.
Growing up I played with guns, bats and balls. I played in the dirt and rode my bike everywhere. All my friends were boys and all I ever wanted was a spike in my hair like my brother. The world received me as the boy I was. So when I realised that wasn’t the case and I actually had a female body things got a bit hectic.
My birth certificate described me as female and I had a girl’s name. But I couldn’t really be a girl, could I? Surely I’d have known? I used to look at my friends and think how could God have made you a boy and me a girl ? I’m way more of a boy than you! I was called a tomboy by those who knew me and just a boy by those who didn’t. It’s confusing when what you see and what you feel conflict. But I never forced the idea of being called a boy or let on that I was feeling that way – I suppose I assumed people would think I was crazy. I lived in silence and attempted to fit in. But the feeling that I was a boy on the inside and that should have been born a boy weighed on me constantly.
Primary school was okay, I was really no different from the boys around me. But I never understood not being able to wear pants or shorts like them. I remember in grade two refusing to wear my school dress, it had always felt strange wearing a garment without a crotch!
But high school was the beginning of the end. I went from hanging out with the boys that now saw me as different, to having no friends, to having to find friends in the girls around me. They treated me as one of their own, after all that’s how I looked thanks to puberty. I was educated about the facts of life and I knew what to expect but still, when it happened to me I thought I was dying. I guess I had still hoped everyone was playing a joke on me, kind of like ‘oh, hahaha – you really are a boy and here is your penis’. Outlandish I know, but a kid can dream.
It was never a decision to feel like this or act the way I did. I even went through a phase of attempting to be more feminine, but I felt like a fish out of water. I was really like a guy in drag!
About this time I realised I was attracted to females. I lived as a lesbian for seven odd years but the shoe never really fit. However it was the only label society had for me – a male/butch looking ‘female’ dating women. Its funny when I look back, every woman I was involved with was straight. I thought if I could live as a masculine woman then these feelings would at last go away. I was wrong.
It got to the point where people were calling me she, love, darl or sweetheart and they might as well have been calling me pig or dog. It didn’t make sense to me. I realised the only time I was happy was when I was received as male and getting called he like when I was a kid. So I started to actively research the possibility of changing sex.
I’ve never read so much about a subject – this was not a decision I was going to take lightly. Reading stories of men with a transsexual past felt like I was reading my own story. Tales of little boys made to wear dresses and being called girl’s names. This was it. I now had a new label – transsexual (trans) meaning the mind of one sex and the body of the opposite. Notice how I haven’t changed – only society’s label for me had changed . The technical diagnosis is Gender Identity Disorder (GID), though I take offence to the disorder’ part. There is nothing wrong with me. I was born with a birth defect – in the womb my mind developed as it should, male, but my body did not.
Accepting myself as trans, as weird as it sounds, was the easy part compared to deciding what I wanted to do about those feelings. I could put up and continue as I had, or I could look at medically transitioning through hormone replacement and surgery. At first I wasn’t sure about taking testosterone – it’s a very powerful drug. But in the end I decided I liked the masculine features of my body and wanted to enhance them. Also, I could never picture myself as an old ‘woman’. Not to mention with surgery I could rid myself of a chest I never wanted to develop. The most important factor about medically masculinising my body would mean people would finally see me. I mean really see me, and maybe I could be comfortable in my own skin.
OK, so I had decided I wanted to transition –now I would actually have to tell people. I couldn’t exactly let Testosterone work its magic and start showing up with facial hair and a deep voice. So I embarked on the massive task of ‘coming out’ to my family and friends. I didn’t start small, I told my parents first. I don’t know what I expected, but I was definitely thankful for the response I got. My mother simply stated I had always been more masculine than feminine. My father asked if he now had a son. They both pledged their love and support and have continued to amaze me with their acceptance. I am still their child and they will stick with me til the end. My friends, albeit some a little hesitant, have all been supportive and understanding. Everyone so far has voiced a plea for me to be patient as they adjust to my new pronouns and some to my new name. I don’t expect a change overnight, but I do expect effort – and so far everyone is doing really well.
I have barely begun this journey and it feels like to best decision I ever made. I no longer feel I am hiding away or going with the flow – that’s for dead fish! I am now living. I feel more and more at home in my own skin. People have told me they hope I don’t change, that they liked me the way I was. I tell them the essence of who I am will not change. My outer shell, what they see and how the world relates to me will change. Plus my self esteem and confidence might increase. But it is really the inner me they have laughed with and befriended. It is him they have loved all along.
It takes a lot to be yourself, but if I can offer any advice it would be to go for it. Be yourself – no one else is going to be. I just kept thinking what if this is the one thing that makes me complete and the reason I am here? This journey will not be easy – but I can tell already it will definitely be worth it. It is what I have to do. I’m just glad I have supportive friends and family to come along for the ride.
Here, Jay talks about his experiences.:
I find Jay’s story remarkable and fascinating. I have the utmost respect for those who feel so strongly that they were born into the wrong body that they have no choice but to take drastic action. I once published a post about children who were in this situation and it was heart-breaking.
Do you have any (respectful) questions for Jay? He has offered to come and answer some in the comments. And we’ll be keeping you updated of his progress as his transition from female to male progresses…..
SIDE NOTE: I’d also like to introduce Mamamia’s new Site Manager, Lana (aka Sharpest Pencil). Many of you will be familiar with her. She is a regular commenter, a long-time MM community member and occasional guest-poster.She is helping me out in the backend and also the front-end (sounds faintly raunchy but isn’t), assisting Amanda with moderating and answering questions, passing around cheese and Jatz, you know, the usual…..