Being Transgender: A personal story about his journey of self discovery and empowerment.
I was six years old, lying in bed one night, falling to sleep was prolonged by troubling thoughts. I specifically remember this night because the main thoughts were of me praying to wake up a boy. I was upset by the thoughts of “Why am I different? What did I do to get stuck like this? Please make me a boy?” More nights like this would occur, some nights I would sob and some I would be enraged. If someone is wondering why I would
ask those questions, well, it’s because I am transgendered. I was born female. More accurately, I was assigned female at birth, but am actually male. At the time I certainly did not know what that meant, in fact it took me twenty additional years to really understand what it meant and to accept that in myself.
What transgender means is that a person was born and assigned a gender that does not align with how they feel inside. In my case, as I said I was assigned female but identify as male. I want to bring awareness that transgender is such an umbrella term. Gender itself is quite fluid. Being transgender could mean that, like myself, you are transmasculine, or, for example; you could identify a transman, transwoman, non-binary (meaning not confined to one gender) gender queer, or agender.
Due to not magically waking up a boy one day, I did not know there was any way for me to be who I was inside. So I repressed this. Surely, I would still go on to envy my brothers, fight with my mum over wearing girl clothes, I would lie to the neighbors grandson that I was a boy and face being spoken to with discipline for lying and embarrassing my parents, and I would have such shame and embarrassment over my body. But over time I started to disassociate with wanting to be a boy, consciously anyway. I tried to meet the standard of being “a girl”.
This caused internal turmoil and I became very depressive and angry as a teenager and young adult. I dealt with a lot of self hate and would self harm. Which for me included hitting myself, hitting my head off of things, punching things, cutting, asphyxiation, and bullying thoughts. Because I lacked so much respect for myself I allowed for unfair tumultuous relationships with people. I was leading a lifestyle that part of me knew was not suitable for me, it was not where I was meant to be. However,
I kept up with the excess drinking and partying. I was living purposelessly. I hated it and thus, hated myself more. When I was in my early twenties I attempted suicide with prescription drugs and alcohol. I know part of me didn’t want that conclusion, so I feel grateful that I subconsciously overestimated what I was doing and for lack of better words, it was not an effective attempt.
Still struggling I made enough of a change to start seeing some positivity in life. I started exercising, eating healthily, and I eventually left a job I hated and knew I wouldn’t progress in to become a personal trainer. During those couple of years I started to care for myself and work on myself. Yet I was still battling the depression, the inadequacies, the emptiness, I felt wrong and I felt like I was idling through and not really living.
A situation transpired that had me spiral back into self sabotaging behavior, alcohol, out of character poor behaviour and some self harming. This was just over two years ago. I can not pin point what it was, maybe all of the care I had put into myself, reconditioning myself already, but I had had enough. I wanted more of myself for myself to eventually have more for others. So I had to get introspective and really look at myself.
Through introspection, reading about and also finding spirituality and mindfulness I became aware and accepting. I relished in the acceptance that I am transgender and I was going to live my life authentically.
I remember the first time I said it out loud, that I was transgender. I remember the moment and the ones to follow so vividly. I said to my friend, “So I’m a guy, I identify as male”. And like the great person she is, she was so welcoming of this. We talked about it openly, she asked me my name and a few other questions and you could say we were both so in awe of the moment.
I walked to my car, sat down and adjusted my rear view mirror to see something I did not recognize in the reflection. My eyes were looking back at me, only for the first time, with love. Wow. My heart bursted and I felt an extreme sense of security. I was light. I loved myself? Yeah! Absolutely, I loved myself.
I am transmasculine and I have been out about that for just over a year. I have been transitioning for around seven months so that my mind and soul can have a vessel to identify with. I have chosen to live my life authentically and I fully accept and take responsibility for everything in my life, all the wrong doings, all the let downs and heart breaks, all the self sabotage and harm (self doing and from others).
I love myself because I forgive and I forgive myself. Because of this new found love I found purpose; I have success in my career, my life, my relationships and my constant growth, I see purpose in everyday, and I am proud of myself for the self care and self love.
It took taking care of my body, mind and soul as a whole and making new choices for me to truly love myself and live authentically. If you can relate to my experience, I know you want the same outcome; self love and acceptance. So live authentically!
- Keiran David Doyle Jeffery 10/23/2017
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