Transgender people are inhabited by doubts so deep that they seek each other sexually and emotionally, but above all humanly. An initiatory journey begins to find their own identity, often ending with the acceptance that the sex opposite to that of birth is the solution. Here is a testimony that relates a transgender transition. Between doubts and truths, a personal journey that ignores prejudices.
The day when doubts arose
At school, I used to dress in secret and act like a woman. I used to wonder all the time if I was gay. I was always attracted to girls, and I even had a girlfriend for a while. But no other explanation really made sense, nothing made sense. So I decided to try an experiment. I chose the first boy around me and tried to imagine how I would feel when I kissed him.
The experiment ended before it even began. When my lips mentally touch his lips I felt an immediate emotion of repulsion, like a feeling of panic and rejection. Thank God I wasn’t gay.
But now, in retrospect, I wonder if it was repulsion I felt. Wasn’t it more like fear? The fear of a teenager who didn’t understand the warm, tingly feeling I get today when I imagine kissing a man. To tell the truth, I only remember a vague visceral reaction that it provoked. Whatever I may have felt at the time, it was not just a passive disinterest, it was an active rejection.
As the years went by, the idea of being gay never came up again. I dated girls. I fantasized also a lot about girls. I also fantasized about being a girl. But men weren’t on my mind in a sexual way. I never secretly watched gay porn. I was surrounded by men in my everyday life, but I wasn’t interested in any of them.
« For most of us, our gender identity is a perfect fit with our social identity. When the two concepts don’t match, it can cause suffering. »Anne, mother of a transgender
When I decided to act
One day, I started taking estrogen. That was an important step of my transgender transition. After a few months of hormone treatment, I felt a strange tingling at the thought of being treated like a woman. It was even worse when I thought about sex and intimacy. As the months went by, this feeling intensified as my partners, regardless of the gender, became more and more masculine.
I realized that this tingling sensation was something I had never felt before for women. Was it due to estrogen or was it that I had never really been turned on by women? I had a feeling that my body was trying to tell me something, but my mind didn’t want to recognize it. And that terrified me. So I did some small experiments with partners of both sexes. My goal was to understand what would be suitable for me. I felt lost, wandering down a path that I couldn’t satisfy. With men, my body began to vibrate. With women, it didn’t.
It was a confusing time for me, and it still is. Within a year, I went from being a heterosexual man to a heterosexual woman. At least, I guess that’s what happened.
The moment of my introspection
Has my sexual orientation really changed, or has it taken me a few decades to recognize it? Before I understood who I was attracted to, did I first need to understand who I was? I knew that being gay wasn’t necessarily a good thing. So I assumed I was a heterosexual. But for sure it was a bit more complicated than that. And it was like a pause in my transgender transition.
For me, it’s hard to separate gender from sexual orientation. When I imagine intimacy with a man as a woman, it’s exciting. When I imagine intimacy with a man as a man, it’s not. If I mentally change my partner’s sex, my perception of myself also tends to change. With a woman, I feel and act more like a man, which makes the tingling disappear. Conversely, with a man, I naturally take on the role of a woman and with the body of a woman, and suddenly the excitement returns. To believe that heteronormativity is deeply rooted in my imagination.
To understand me well, and to complicate things further, all this happens entirely in my head, where there are no pheromones to modify the experience. The scientist in me is hungry for accurate empirical data. But until I can set up a controlled experiment with multiple partners of different sexes, I will have to write articles on my own introspection.
I could easily experiment by trying to understand the complex interaction between sex and gender, but what I have experienced would tend to think I am completely heterosexual. I am clearly a woman who is sexually attracted to men. It shouldn’t be such a strange concept, but it is.
The moment of my revelation
I’ve been trying to live this new straight woman identity for a few months now and I must say… it’s a good fit. I thought I was going to be more of a lesbian at the beginning of my transition, but that never happened. I love that feeling of being the straight girl in my group of lesbian trans friends. Anyway, I like to hope that it’s true. I feel like it is.
During this transition journey and initiation, I’ve learned that I have to trust that inner feeling when it tells me that something feels right.
But I keep asking myself if this is really a change or if I am discovering a truth about myself that has always been there. Whatever may have happened to me during my school years, it seems that I was marked enough to remember it twenty years later.
I remember very well the circumstances when I kissed a girl for the first time. But the emotion that this event aroused in me, though very real, is less present than the memory of kissing a boy, even if it happened only once. I can still feel the mental rejection that took over my mind at that moment. There must be some tangible reasons why this feeling has stayed with me for so long.
I prefer to tell people that my sexual orientation changed during the transition between the two sexes. Perhaps for the sake of simplicity. But obviously it’s much more complicated than that. I was probably attracted to girls before I started taking estrogen. Or maybe I was envious and living vicariously through them. I don’t think I ever liked men before. But it’s possible that the idea of being a gay man was just something I didn’t really like. It’s possible that I was interested in the concept of masculinity, but the reality would not reach my expectations. Another lead would be that I like to feel like a woman, and the men in my fantasies would only be accessories that trigger this feeling.
Or maybe I’m just a straight girl and have always been. And my transgender transition would simply end like that.
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