An image of the hand of an unseen person holding the transgender pride flag

Two years ago I was living happily as a girl. Now, I look back on those memories with a sense of relief. I’m not who I was; I’m not that person anymore. My hair is hacked off and my clothes are not tight-fitting.

Two years ago, I couldn’t even conceive that I would become who I am now. I was living in a bubble of resentment and ignorance. Today, though, I am happy that my long hair is gone (and never coming back), that my chest is binded whenever I’m in public, that my shoes aren’t women’s, and that my clothes are neutral-colored and don’t hug my body. I am happy.

 I am happy, though not as happy as I wish I could be. I don’t want my clothes to be neutral-colored, I want to wear bright yellows and blues and crazy patterns and crazy cuts. I want to wear crop-tops without thinking that they’re all going to see me and think “girl.” I want to wear heels not to make me taller but because they’re fun and stylish. I want to wear mascara on my eyelashes, not just above my upper lip. 

 I want to wear what I want to wear without worrying about whether everyone who glances at me will make a comment. I want to not be afraid to use the men’s restroom. I want to be happy as who I actually am, not who I am waiting for.

Two years ago, prior to my social transition, I had waist-length long brown hair and wore dresses and makeup. Through my journey learning about feminism and through that, myself as a trans man (ish), I cut off all of my hair and dyed it blue. I have a mullet now, and wear men’s jeans and shirts that I cut the sleeves off of. My mannerisms changed, some naturally and some not-so.

I act more masculine then I naturally would because being perceived as gay is also being perceived as feminine. Letting my wrist be limp and my voice be at its natural resting tone lets people know I’m gay, but the question is, do they actually see me as a man? Probably not. I’m gendered with “miss” in public more often than with “sir” or “mister.” 

My voice is not very naturally low, though maybe it’s below the average. My voice gives me away. My voice is the difference between whether they’ll see me as gay or a woman in disguise.

All of this is not so hard to take, though, when you have trans friends. My best friends are a trans man and genderfluid, respectively. Many of my other friends are nonbinary, and a few are trans women. My sister is a trans woman, and my sibling is transmasc, and my other sibling is agender. 

When you have people in your life who understand your experiences and are in the same boat as you and will gender you correctly and use your name, you’re not so worried about whether a stranger, or your father, will misgender you today.

I am so glad that I’m not the person I was two years ago.

  • Danny W. (he/him) is a soon-to-be college student, poet, digital artist, advocate, and trans guy.