I have wondered since I was young, Who am I? What am I? I tried to think about this from a Cisgender and binary point of view and my own Non-binary Transgender point of view. I realized that a far majority of the Cisgender population would most likely not even ask themselves these questions towards gender in their life because they relate entirely female or male and it does not even cross their mind otherwise. I want to reiterate the importance and difference I am making between Cisgender and Binary as many Transgender people identify as binary and Cisgender people are binary but do not usually question the gender they are assigned at birth or have any issues to even consider transition.
I can remember countless conversations with friends over lunch or dinner in seek of support and understanding and an ear to hear my words that I tried to express my confusion with Gender over the years. I went and attempted suicide quite a few times. I was not able to understand myself and had no words to understand me in the social dictionary at the time. It left me with a circle of struggle until the dictionary and vocabulary expanded recently to fulfill a connection between me and Gender.
I identify as a female, gender in all but I identify with masculinity and embrace this. Over the last two years in gender therapy it has taken time to understand this. However, there are days that I want to embrace my femininity as well. These embraces are called gender expression and is unrelated to gender. Also, it is unrelated to sexuality. Gender does not have anything to do with sexuality. I struggled since I was young myself to see this as we live in a culture that defines gender and sex from birth. To change this notion we must accept and embrace children for who they are not by these definitions, but by letting them freely identify themselves and to have parents educated on the issue and let their children be free and self identify despite our strict societal norms.
Science tells us that after a few months in the womb a vagina or penis starts to develop. But, our brain starts to develop in which it tells us our gender after the penis and vagina form. How we identify gender comes from the brain. How our sex is determined is by a penis and vagina. The two are completely separate. To adjust the society construct we must understand this importance how different gender and sex are.
The reason why I started transition was to embrace gender. I often feel that medical and medicine therapy is right and sometimes I don’t want to pursue it. That’s ok. It does not any less verify my female identity. Because of the fact that I do not take T Blocker and pursue HRT at this time and do not fit the binary gender expression alignment it makes it hard for others to see me as female. We have to break that barrier and all forms of expression are and can be acceptable and work hard to reject visualization of another person and assume their gender.
1. Ask how do they identify always as an introduction no matter how many times you have seen them
2. Ask what pronouns to use with them always as an introduction no matter how many times you have seen them – it may change from day to day or week to week or month to month.
3. Most importantly as an advocate continue using their pronouns in public when they are not around.
4. More importantly, never out them publicly. Ask their permission first Always.
5. Please be mindful that asking or someone else asking what was their name before transition is not something to ask.
6. If we want to discuss our story that’s something for us to decide.
These are just a few things to be mindful of.
I have chosen a female name Addison long ago and have now introduced Evan into the world. Our transition for many is a learning process for ourselves as we get to know ourselves and relearn our whole life’s existence – the birth name we were given and replace it with our authentic selves.
The idea of transition maybe somewhat difficult to understand. Every Transgender persons transition is different and it is a journey that is flexible and can be inconsistent with the social construct in societies idea. It is unique to the individual.
Some Transgender people go through Testosterone and Estrogen. Some go through surgery. Some do not transition in this way at all. Some transition with just gender expression i.e.: clothing, make up. All to make what is called Gender Dysphoria manageable and to also fully express themselves as they see themselves.
It is this notion that when I see things in the mirror and hardly anything seems right. We want to pursue our transition to match who we are. It is not a feeling of doing this because we hate ourselves. It is to match everything that we believe is true, our identity.
What do I want? There are days where I want to fully transition: medically and surgically. There are days where I want just to shave all my hair and make it disappear. There are days I want that hair all over me and embrace masculinity. There are days I cry in the shower for a long time because I know nothing matches and seems right. There are days I feel just great and feel in total control. This is one example how we struggle. It is not a simple process.
Will I ever go through with T Blocker and estrogen again? Yes I will but for now I took a break because I want to understand more about me and I am doing that.
It is incredibly stressful to exist in the world because we are battling a society that is strictly binary and has not come to terms quite yet on this notion of non binary and or Transgender. We are slowly getting there and it will take time through acceptance and advocacy.
Why am I adamant to people in society requesting to use my name Addison and now Addison or Evan. It is because it is who I am. I give time for people to adjust. But certainly after time has gone if they do not use my name and pronouns correctly it is hard for me to sustain friendships or a relationship with family because the importance is great, which is to validate my existence. I stay away from people who do not validate my existence.
What else can I share today? I would like to share that everyone’s ending point in transition is individualized and please do not presume and assume that the ending point of transition is to fit the binary of female or male. It is a huge spectrum. Also, if we decide and waffle back and forth it is not out of confusion. It is trying to understand how we identify.
Thank you so much for reading this today