I was born in 1990 in some small American city near Mexican Border. My father and mother worked very hard and didn’t give me much time. My parents are good, understanding, tolerant, kind, smart, they give me freedom of choice and respect personal space, but I always had the feeling that they were not very interested in me.
When I was five, I was protesting pink, hitting boys. My girlfriends and I had a game: ” I am a girl” which went somewhere, and “I am a boy” came in its place. I communicated on the boy’s behalf, and I absolutely loved it. In all the games with role separation, I chose male roles or some kind of animal roles. I didn’t say I was a boy, but I said I wasn’t a girl, I was a cat. And then there were thoughts that I didn’t quite understand what it meant to be a girl, how to act, talk, and dress. My peers started bullying me from fifth grade onwards – I was too masculine, unkempt and did not fit into their society. When I was ten years old, I first saw an article about gender reassignment and decided that I would grow up to be very rich, and I would definitely do it. When I was eleven I got on the Internet, I started communicating there under a man’s name, pretending to be a 20-year-old boy and flirting with girls. At the time I didn’t even understand why I was doing it.
I had my first relationship with a girl when I was fifteen: I “played the role” of a guy, and she compared me to men not in my favor in all quarrels – especially regarding my feminine appearance and short stature, threatened to leave me and find a “normal man”. We had been together for two years, and it made the mess that was going on in my head even worse. It was hard to communicate with my friends: I tried to be both bitchy and kind, as if I was changing theatrical images, trying to socialize. My views at the time were quite sexist, and I did not fit into my idea of a woman, though I tried to cram myself in: I wore women’s clothes and behaved accordingly, which made me depressed and self-loathing. I was a petite girl with wide hips and understood that my body was beautiful, but I wanted to give it to someone else and take another one for myself.
At the same period of life tried to commit suicide, it was so unpleasant to see a girl in the mirror.
One day, someone on the Internet said: “Maybe you’re trans?” I had these thoughts, but I read that “There are one transgender person in the world per 50,000,” and decided I couldn’t be that “rare.” I was given links to articles about transgender people and their forum, and it hit me: “This is about me”. During that period, physical dysphoria also appeared, I started working on my passé (the ability of a transgender person to look according to his or her gender identity) and to build my masculine image, it helped me a lot in communication. I realized that my habits are normal because they are normal for men.
When I was sixteen I told my mother that I was not a girl, but a boy. We had a heart-to-heart talk, we cried, she calmed me down, said that we would figure something out. But then the problem wasn’t brought up until I did. The next time, when I was eighteen, I said that I was going to start HRT therapy and change my documents, and then the scandals started. My parents yelled at me, “You’re dead to us. And the more they pressured me and told me that I was going to get over myself, the more I wanted to prove that I was serious.
In 2009, I started hormone therapy, which was a key moment, it was like I was saying: “You thought this was going to go away, and now I’m on hormones, look, I’m a real transgender guy.” I had to take the hormone therapy myself according to the instructions on the Internet, and may be i can say – do not this without consulting a specialist
When I was 19, I signed up for a mastectomy, and the day before the surgery my dad started convincing me to have a baby, because I wouldn’t be able to have one later. He said, “You give birth, and we’ll raise it. I was a chaldfree, and because of gender dysphoria, it was creepy to imagine myself pregnant. But I was sorry that my parents didn’t have grandchildren at the time, and even though I had an older brother and sister, I decided to take care of them. I said I would think about it. After the mastectomy, it turned out that Dad was just hoping that I would cancel the surgery, and they didn’t need a baby, they weren’t going to raise anyone. I still can’t forgive them this deception, because at that time I managed to break myself down internally – I found the pluses in having a child, and for 12 years I haven’t let go of this theme: I want and don’t want children at the same time.
After the surgery, I was euphoric to see my flat chest, I spent hours in front of the mirror.
At the age of 22 I had a second surgery – hysterectomy Because I started having problems with my ovaries. And after that there were already doubts that I am a hundred percent man. After the surgery my dysphoria receded – at the beginning of transition I was very misogynic because of dysphoria, I hated everything feminine in me and around, and when they removed the uterus and ovaries, it meant for me that I was no longer a woman, no one to prove anything.
I started defining myself as a non-binary transgender person and found that I liked men too, although previously it seemed unthinkable. And I felt myself a man only 60-70% of the time. It feels like you were in pain for a long time, you were harassed, you felt pain and insecurity, and then you put on a man’s gender as a tough armor, put on metal armor, and it became great. And then you start to form a new society around you, no one else is pecking at you, and you’re still in those armor, it starts to chafe. I didn’t want to give up the stereotypically feminine thing for which I was sometimes condemned – in clothing, in excessive softness of character, in an interest in raising children, in makeup. In terms of sexuality, the female role also felt more organic than the gay male role. Male gender gave me a sense of security, but after a while it became cramped.
My spouse and I met in 2014 – he positioned himself as a woman then, as he came to his transgender identity quite late. We got married officially, and bought an apartment. Inside the family we had no gender roles and frameworks. And I felt more and more the need for female socialization, I decided to compensate for it with epathetic cosplay. It was also fun: everyone knows I’m a boy, and I do female characters. We went to a cosplay festival where I saw beautiful girls – and I thought that I could look like that, but I couldn’t anymore.
At that point, a transgender guy I knew was starting to transition back, and for the first time I realized that I could do that, too. I cried half the night after the cosplayfest to my husband and admitted that I probably felt like a girl. I felt a lot of frustration over missed opportunities. I felt like I was putting my spouse in an uncomfortable position – he was used to me being a man after all, and here I was suddenly saying that I was a woman. A psychotherapist helped me make the final decision to detransition – he diagnosed me with borderline personality disorder in a mild form and said that at this stage I could consciously choose the appropriate gender for me.
At about the same time my spouse accepted himself as a transgender man. And when I started talking about transitioning back, he decided to start transgender transition too – it turned out that he was pushing it back because it was socially very uncomfortable to be a gay couple in our town. And then, since I was “transitioning,” he suggested we do it together.
We thought about whether my transgenderism could have influenced his decision. He learned as much as possible from my example – that it exists, that people live this way. I pushed him, but not to develop gender dysphoria, but to solve the problem. I did not advocate becoming a transpersonal woman; in my example, this would rather work in the opposite direction. Here my husband decided everything on his own.
My reverse transition is going much easier because I started working on my appearance without any interventions. I got rid of my stubble with tweezers, dyed my hair blond, and applied makeup. Over a month ago, I started reverse hormone therapy under the remote supervision of an endocrinologist: since I had my reproductive organs removed, my hormones are not produced. I also now go weekly for electroepilation – getting rid of facial hair.
Hormones make my breasts grow – apparently they were not removed completely. The shape is not quite right, so I’m thinking about small silicone implants. I’m not planning any other surgeries. I have advantages – feminine face, short height, wide hips – so I easily “pass” as a woman and half the time I go out as such.
I might want male expression again, but I won’t need a medical transition for that anymore. Just a short haircut is enough and I’ll be quite a boy, because the hormones have done their work, the low voice isn’t going anywhere either.
I came out to my friends and told them straight out that I was born a girl and had lived as a man for ten years and now I wanted to go back. And they accepted it, even though they saw me as a bearded man. I dragged it out with the confession to my parents for a long time, I was afraid of being told “we told you so,” and that’s basically what they told me. Dad reacted calmly, Mom was more upset.
Life is one, and I’m glad I was able to have such different experiences with the two social genders. Plus I really like my figure and muscles. Maybe if the dysphoria had gone away sooner, I should have stopped at some non-binary-androgynous kind. I ended up going a little further than I should have, into masculinity, now I have to go back. It’s costly and unpleasant, but not fatal.
Unfortunately, there is no one reliable way that can confirm that a person needs transgender transition. There is always a risk in needing to go back, as happened in my case. Likewise, it is not a good idea to rush in with your head and do detransition. This decision can also be wrong and made because of neuroses or problems. In any case, a Friendly Psychotherapist is very helpful in understanding yourself, and one I would advise going to first.