When I wake up in the morning…

Someone wrote…

Sometimes I wonder who I’m transitioning for: me, or all the people who see me. I wonder if my budding breasts are worth the pain. When I wake up in the morning in the dark, naked and swathed in blankets, I am me, with no pronouns or gender or perceptions. It is once I turn on the lights that the doubt begins.

What’s your experience?

And what are you thinking about gender right now?

Posted by on February 22nd, 2011 at 08:00 am

Category: your voice 20 comments »

20 Responses to “When I wake up in the morning…”

  1. Roxanne

    Before I started transitioning, I had to answer a couple of questions for myself: (1) If I lived completely alone on a deserted island, would I still want to go through with it?; (2) If I knew that I’d never be in a sexual/romantic relationship again would I still want to transition? Since I was able to honestly answer both of these questions with a “Yes,” I committed myself to the process.

    I think it’s vitally important that we who transition do so only because we would be happier in our own skin, regardless of what others think of us.

    Hope this helps!


  2. May

    This is exactly how I feel about gender– the only reason I pick a “side” or label myself genderqueer is because of everyone else. They’ve made it so I have to make excuses to be myself. “I’m genderqueer, or I identify as male/female, so that’s why I look like this and talk like this . . . ” when really it has nothing to do with gender, it’s just who I am. Thanks for sharing.


  3. Jessica

    I had one person recently tell me “you’ve made yourself into something people will laugh at – both people who want you to be male – and you’re not and people who want you to be female and you’re not. Why have you chosen to make yourself disgusting and ugly?”

    Because I was not beautiful to me.

    I am not really sure if I am now improved – most people wouldn’t think so, but when I look at me naked in the mirror I get a small shy smile now. I didn’t have that before.

    I am my canvass. An acquired taste? Definitely. No apology. It does make me sad sometimes. But not as often as it makes me shine.


    noah replied:

    I wish I could feel that way. It’s starting to seem impossible.


    Jessica replied:

    There is no real choice in life that does not also come with risk – if only the risk of people finding out you did something dumb. If you feel you have made choices, for whatever reason, that are not right, or are no longer right, for you. Then choose differently. There should be no shame in going back if going back is the best thing for you to do. Do not let other people decide things for you. In my life, whenever I did things because I was embarrassed to not do them, doing them was a proved to be a mistake.
    Take it easy, go slow.
    I know people who spent 20 years being weekend trans. This can work for some people. If it works for you and those you care about, then tell the people who caution you about doing it to go take a flying leap.


    Jessica replied:

    Nothing that is real can be achieved without passion – but people change and sometimes the things we are passionate about change. This changes what is possible for us to do.

    Noah, if you’d like to talk with me about this, I would be honored by your trust. I doubt very much I’ll have any right answers, but who knows but that we will blunder into a few good things by accident.

    noah replied:

    I sent an email to the address I found when I clicked on your name.

  4. Nicholas

    100% cosigning with Roxanne! I knew that if I became MORE different physically (I was already permanently physically different to begin with), I’d be pushing others away from myself. That said, having always been lonely, I decided to go with it. It’s made me happier ever since. I’m still lonely, but I like myself more, and people react to that. I’ve achieved this enviable, confident state of personal expression. It has absolutely made me a stronger person.

    As for doubting yourself and the changes you’re going through, just keep in mind what you want, and if it is a realistic expectation, and your expectation outweighs staying the same, it’s worth it. For me, the doubt that likes to creep up all the time is consistently squashed by a small set of realistic expectations :) Everything else is icing on the cake!

    But none of this “inspirational” talk should make you forget the issues with making yourself “less” normal/attractive to the general population. It’s hard to deal with everyday, and there may be no reward waiting for you at the end of everything.

    I’ve never enjoyed the benefits of having a “normal” body, and being able to “hide” my real gender in it. I’ve never had that choice, so I can’t say that I wouldn’t try to live “normally”, given the chance. YMMV.


  5. Anonymous

    Yes, exactly to this quote. Also…I do not identify as trans, and am not transitioning, so perhaps my perspective hinders me in understanding yours…however, I also have some days when I wake early and think of how complex everyone’s genders are…including mine…and I sort of just want to lay in the dark, because I feel like even if I’m almost always called by the correct pronouns, etc…I’m still not really communicating who I am. I don’t think anyone is that simple, and I find it sad if social gender behaviors make it seem so.


    Amanda replied:

    I also feel this way. It is relieving to here someone else that isn’t trans say it “aloud”. Even as a cis-gendered, cis-sexual female, the gender binary can feel stifling…:/


  6. Dayl

    I am not transitioning either, but I feel this way sometimes about my presentation. Am I just putting on a show for people? Why do I need to prove to anyone what I am inside? It makes me want to just stay in the blankets.


  7. Erich (Emma)

    I’m not quite there in my transition yet (only 2 wks in – m2f), but this really helps to put things in perspective. It’s hard to keep going when your on the middle on your way to the end, but the road’s part of what makes it all worth it. It makes you stronger. Don’t ever doubt, think of how happy you’ll be when you’re there! Thanks for posting this! It’s great to know you’re not alone.


    Kim replied:

    Not everyone knows exactly where they’re going, heading there on an easy track. As someone a few years in, doubt has been crucial to shape my transition as it develops to something more suited to who I feel I am. So what works for you and at this stage isn’t universal.


  8. Anonymous

    I only knew where I wanted my body to be when I started shaving my chest and legs and found it pleasurable in my own right. When I see my body now, I get a sense of glee and power that rarely happened before. I don’t know what it is to transition, but I can say that all my best decisions about changing my gender have been made purely and sincerely for myself; I’ve been pressured to do things before that didn’t fit me, and all it left me with was shame.

    Doubt is normal and doubt is to be expected; aim it at one-size-fits-all ideas of gender and transition, and pick the one that’s right for you.


    Spectacles replied:

    ‘A sense of glee and power’ is what I’m starting to feel when I think of myself as a strange (I like this word), fluid mix of genders. I’m scared of being wrong about my gender, and scared of being right. I mean, I’ve been questioning for nine months now (not a long time, lol). But the day before yesterday, something clicked – or I thought something clicked. I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to tell anyone until I’m at least reasonably sure I’m not completely wrong. Argh, doubt! The only good thing about it is, if I weren’t having these doubts, I’d almost certainly be wrong.


  9. Kim

    I think a lot of people have doubts. For some, it’s just an obstacle, something to break through. For others (like myself), it can be an indication something is wrong. If it’s the latter, it may be the time to reconsider *all* of your options, to make sure where you’re headed is where you want to be.


    Jessica replied:

    As one of my favorite people said to me once: “Confusion is good – certainty is almost always a sure sign of human error in progress.” So, doubt is good.
    Transition, when real, is never easy. You are reinventing and exploring which makes you very vulnerable. You can so easily be blind sided.
    The only people I have known who have transitioned easily, simply, directly, were people who were play acting – transition was the latest game they were playing, a phase they went through on the way to something else.
    As such, there’s nothing wrong with doing that – except that it made them rather tiresome and doctrinaire – but what they did is as different from real transition as going to the mall is from climbing Mt. Everest.
    To my fellow transitioneers, I salute you!


    Nicholas replied:

    I found the whole “reinventing and exploring” to be very empowering. I broadened my gender identity to include many things, tossed away pieces I didn’t want, and cherished the bits about myself that didn’t change.

    I created an expression that made me feel good and finally put me in a good light. It was like losing a lot of weight, I looked great outside, and felt great about myself. I can’t say I felt vulnerable, because I already established a strong identity, something I could express freely and defend easily. Though, I can understand this would be different for those hastily adopting an identity that didn’t fit, it would be more taxing to fit into, and more difficult to defend.

    I totally recommend pioneering your own gender identity from the ground up if the current one expected of you isn’t a good fit. :)


  10. Mr. Jessy

    The Wild Geese
    [by Mary Oliver]

    You do not have to be good.
    You do not have to walk on your knees
    for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
    You only have to let the soft animal of your body
    love what it loves.
    Tell me about despair, yours
    and I will tell you mine.
    Meanwhile the world goes on.
    Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
    are moving across the landscapes,
    over the prairies and the deep trees,
    the mountains and the rivers.
    Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
    are heading home again.
    Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
    the world offers itself to your imagination,
    calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting,
    over and over announcing
    your place in the family of things.


  11. /\/\



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