Nothing gave me more pleasure than the day my change of name deed arrived, but this was my private pleasue – I couldnt tell a soul. I was finally legally me, yet no one could find out.
I am Steven, and for the first time, on paper at least, it was acknowledged. I couldnt tell anyone about it, but the joy I felt was all consuming. I was finally being honest, with myself at least.
I was born nearly 26 years ago, healthy, 7lb 13.5 oz. Female they said. I’m not sure when I first realised that classification was wrong, but I do remember the first time I admitted that it wasnt who I was, or indeed am.
I was four years old, sitting in my bedroom – pink as my mother thought it should be – talking to my sister. I told her that the doctors made a mistake in the hospital and glued a plastic minny over my willy. Sounds daft now, and all these years later I have realised that it was the first time I was to verbalise feelings that I am a transman. I didnt understand how I was feeling properly and I didnt know that, far from being the only one, there is a name for what I am. Everytime I was asked the question “are you a boy or a girl?” it hurt me, not because the asker didnt know, but because with how confused I felt, how
could I answer? “I dont know” just wasnt an appropriate answer.
I began fooling around sexually at 8, not because I wanted to as much as to attempt to cover up for being male on the inside. Jack was the first, but he would by no means be the last, heck he wasnt even the only one at that time. My worst nightmare also happened that year – periods. It shouldnt have happened to me, an 8 year old boy trapped in a girls body, it was something I should never have had to deal with, but to cope so young was hell.
Over the years I’ve tried everything to avoid going through that ordeal every month. The pill didnt work, the injection made the bleeding constant, the coil did nothing at all.
The year I was 8 was hell for me, it stood to confirm in me that I was wrong as a person, it knocked my confidence completely – something I still havent fully recovered from.
At 11 I moved on to secondary school, where my problems just got worse. I was overweight, wore glasses and my one and only friend was male. To this day Mark still doesnt know I’m transgender. The whole 5 years at that school I was bullied, the other kids called me the Beast, Yeti, Hippo… The list goes on.
Everyday I was beaten up, and still I was asked “are you a boy or a girl?” and still I didnt know how to answer. With my best (and only) friend by my side. I could cope with it, well better than without him. When we were 14 everything changed. Mark’s mother passed away from cancer. His dad thought it best that the family move closer to his late wife’s family. Even though we kept in touch through letters and phone calls it wasnt the same. At school the bullying got worse – or maybe I just perceived it that way – and I began seriously considering suicide for the first time. The hurt I felt took over everything, and even reporting the bullies did nothing but make it worse still. Through everything I’d been through Mark had been there, without him I was lost. I couldnt see a way through it. I was sent to an educational psychologist to deal with “emotional and behavioural problems”. No one noticed that my behaviour was a direct result of trying to defend myself after years of verbal and physical attacks.
Already I was deemed too butch to fit in with the girls, but born with the wrong bits to be one of the lads. I felt so confused, I couldnt ever belong with the girls because of how uncomfortable I felt in that category yet I didnt belong with the boys, where I felt more comfortable because legally I wasnt one. As far as I could see, I didnt belong anywhere, there just wasnt a place for me. The depression worsened, and I began to think seriously about who I was and what I was about. I knew in myself I was a straight man, but made the concious decision to try to force myself to become one with my body. Not to change my body to fit me but to change me to fit the body. I stopped talking to anyone, shut myself off emotionally from everyone and everything. I immersed myself fully in my school work. At home I didnt leave my bedroom, I couldnt be myself around my family so made the decision to avoid them. I couldnt face the possibility that I might reveal too much and be rejected for it.
I left school at 16 and started attending counselling at the college. Counselling didnt really work for me because I couldnt be truly open and honest. I started to believe that I deserved all the bullying because I was neither one gender or the other, having sex with men to keep up appearances but fantasizing about being one whenever I allowed myself the chance to be myself.
Leaving home was the best thing for me. I was 17 and living in a hostel, but behind closed doors I could finally admit to who I am. Not openly with people but alone I could be myself. Still publicly I was determined to live up to my genitals.
One night I went for a few drinks with some friends and met the man I was to spend the next 8 years with. Jake was everything I wanted to be. Two day stubble, hairy chest and most of all, a penis. The one benefit of this relationship was simply that no one would have found out my secret. Who would guess the girl in the long term relationship would dream of being a man? 6 years in I would have his baby.
Being pregnant was awful. Everytime my baby moved it made me feel sick. It should have been impossible but there I was having a baby. Well this is me. My son is now 2. We’ll see what the future holds.