This piece was first published on Medium, on May 12, 2020

“You might be transgender,” I can almost hear Jeff Foxworthy say, inside my head 🙂

This was shared in one of the many trans groups I belong to. It made me chuckle — I distinctly remember coming to this realization at one point in my life.

Don’t all boys do this?

Err, no. No, they don’t.

(Now I hear Inigo Montoya saying, “you keep using the word ‘boy’… I do not think that word means what you think it means.“) 😅😅😅

Things Cis Boys Generally Don't Do

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon

Things Cis Boys Generally Don’t Do

Everyone’s road to self-acceptance is different both in length and adversity. Mine, looking back, seems painfully long. I was thumbing through old journal entries and found this, which seems like it was one of the final steps on that road. It seemed appropriate to share with the number of posts I’ve

  • Watch The Craft as a preteen. Daydream about having the magical ability to change their appearance so they can look like one of the girls.
  • Pierce their belly buttons at 14. Use stepmoms dangly earring to put in it. Take it out in shame the day it’s accidentally discovered by other kids during P.E.
  • Wear a necklace gifted by grandma as a choker during school, wearing it normally upon arrival back home.
  • At 16, have interest in dating girls only to spend more time around feminine energy because it felt like home.
  • Realize the girls they gravitate toward is out of a desire to embody their qualities.
  • Be STOKED to move into a bedroom with stepsister’s old clothes still in the closet. Discover wearing them and how great it feels… How comfortable.
  • Buy first anal toy at 17. Use it. Imagine being penetrated as a woman. Feel shame. Throw it away.
  • Repeat this process occasionally for 16 more years.
  • Have largest friend group be lesbians, but feel a confusing sadness that they aren’t seen as one of them.
  • At 21, have a girlfriend put eyeliner on them as a joke, get drunk, and take lots of pictures. Have this be one of the greatest nights of their life.
  • Be proud that, post puberty, they’ve kept most of their feminine features. Pretend not to be proud.
  • Discover what a trans person is. Have mind exploded and spend hours researching their life stories. Look up the local medical laws in silent hope. Feel defeated because it’s 2004 in Nashville, TN and you need to spend an entire year presenting as a female in the Bible Belt before you can even try to get hormones. Realize being yourself is only for the people with the immense courage to do it.
  • When girlfriend discovers their browser history during this time and flips out, bury all of these feelings for what would be 14 more years.
  • Move out West. Become deeply uncomfortable with drag culture because it feels like a flaunting celebration of something they want so bad but can’t have.
  • Spend years dating girls with lesbian tendencies, hoping they would “see” them for who they are.
  • At 30, feel on top of the world when subtly convincing a girlfriend to rename their genitals during sex to their female counterparts.
  • Admit out loud that a gender swap button would be amazing. As a result, realize avoidance of discomfort is the only thing keeping them in a male body.
  • After years of hoping someone would catch on and ask directly, answer out loud at 34, “Yes. I am transgender. I’m a girl.” — having been one the whole time.

Happy Mother’s Day to anyone it applies to! Even if it doesn’t 😉

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