I’ve had many people tell me that they’re so happy for me, even congratulate me, because ‘I am now my true self’. Thanks to all the well-wishers, allies, and supporters for your acceptance, but I see things a bit different.


I’ve Always Been My True Self

I’ve always found the comment about ‘now being my true self’ a bit misleading and sometimes even a little intrusive or arrogant.

You see, in my mind I’ve always been my true self. Yes, I’m different from a few years ago and I have very contrasting interests from what I had a while back, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t my true self then. It just means I have evolved. To me it’s like telling someone that now they’re their true selves because they’re a parent. I don’t know, but I think they were their true selves before becoming parents. Another way to see it is ‘I’ve always been my current self’. Similarly, a parent has always been themselves before and after their first child.

I like to make the distinction because saying that ‘I am now my true self’ implies that I wasn’t before. This is the reason why I find the comment sometimes a bit intrusive or arrogant. When someone says that to me, I feel they assume I was not true to my self in the past. Having said this, I do understand where people are coming from with the comment.

Others do Become Their True Selves

Changing gender expression appears to be a monumental feat – it may not be easy but it certainly is not insurmountable. A fair way of explaining or understanding such a dramatic action is by sensing that the person was not being true to themselves. I believe the majority of transgender people do feel that they were not being their true selves before transition or before accepting themselves as trans. I do understand that and more importantly I respect people that feel that they are now their true selves. It’s just that I don’t identify with that dichotomy.

I Was Hiding But Not Lying to Myself

All my life I had the curiosity of how it would be to live presenting as a girl. That’s a fact. But pretty much I did not share those feeling with anyone. Like most trans people I became a master at protecting that burning desire and making sure that no one had a clue. I see this as hiding my curiosity and what I wanted. I don’t see it as ‘not being my true self’. During all those decades my true self was this guy making sure his deepest secret would not sneak out. Now, and for a few years, my current true self is out presenting the way I had been curious about since day one.

Notebook

No Internal Conflict

Though I have so much in common with every trans person, I believe I divert in a few fundamental aspects. This concept of ‘not being our true selves before‘ vs ‘now being our true selves’ is one of those characteristics I believe I differ from the common transgender experience.

This doesn’t mean my view of myself is worse or better. Rather I’ve always found it fascinating that I don’t identify with some of the most common and important traits or experiences amongst transgender individuals. The discrepancy between the ‘before’ and ‘after self’ is one of those common circumstances.

I also believe always being ‘my true self’ has saved me from some heavy duty internal questioning and conflict. I don’t think I ever had the question of ‘who am I’, or at least I never had it in the context of my gender expression.

2 thoughts on “I Am Now My True Self

  1. Love this post! You have always been you really! Just your outward expression took some time to catch up 😉 That’s why I don’t really like the word transition as it implies you are not who you are. So, thank you for illuminating this subtle aspect of the discussion around gender identity, the more topics on the matter the better!

    1. I have struggled with the word “transition” and still do. At first I did not relate to the word at all. But after a couple of year I appreciated that it does take time to assimilate what I have done and how the world sees me. For that adjustment the word “transition” seems to fit well for me. But as you say, I do not feel that I’ve transition from being one person to another. Maybe I’m not trans enough. 🙂

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