As the word 'transgender' suggests, an individual will transition from their assigned gender to the gender they identify as. Unfortunately, trans individuals don't suddenly wake up with the perfect hormone levels, facial surgery, and their gender reassignment surgery all done.
It's definitely a process, and everyone's journey is different. Here's mine:
Discovering the Transgender Community
The first step in my journey would have to be when I first discovered what a trans person was.
Before the age of 16, I was very shielded from the LGBTQIA+ community, so when I found out that trans people existed and lived their authentic lives - I wanted a piece of it.
I think the first time I heard of a trans person was Gigi Gorgeous - from the YouTube days, of course. It was astonishing to me that someone could actually transition from one gender to another - my little brain couldn't quite fathom it, and I had so many questions.
Of course, I researched more and more into the trans community as I was very intrigued, comparing it to my own personal journey.
Suppressing My Feelings
July 2017 - August 2018
After doing all this research into the trans community, and really getting elbows deep into it, I was afraid.
It seemed like being transgender wasn't easy (and it isn't) - and the idea of having to socially and physically transition made me feel really anxious.
Therefore, I decided the best course of action was to ignore my feelings - because if I didn't think about it, then clearly I wasn't trans and it's all just a phase.
However, no matter how much I tried to ignore and suppress my feelings, they were eating away from the inside - and the time bomb of puberty was slowly ticking.
September 2018 - August 2019
When I couldn't ignore my feelings anymore - I decided that I should just try to be myself.
As some of you may know, I grew my top knot out (making me looked like I have been drowned followed by being dragged through a hedge backwards on loop). This gave me some form of security, as if I really were to accept myself then I would have long hair already - but also the scissors were never too far away.
I went to my year 13 (final year of college) Freshers' and Leavers' events with long hair, long nails and a cute af top (sorry not sorry). I must say, it wasn't a look - but at least I was trying to be more myself.
Accepting Who I am
After a period of me letting myself "just be me", I realised that I wasn't just a feminine guy - I was a girl.
It took me a very long time to accept and start my journey of loving myself. It wasn't easy to stop hiding my feelings and who I was, being vulnerable with myself was a struggle within itself.
But, after many months, I finally did learn to start loving myself - and looking in the mirror became more frequent and slowly became easier.
Coming Out to my Friends
October 2019 & January 2020
I actually came out as transgender during freshers' week which was definitely one of the most nerve wracking yet weight lifting experiences. If you would like to read more about it, you can find the blog here.
You see, I only really intended to come out to my two best friends. I was super anxious about it, but they said that they kind of knew all along - which was a relief for me.
The first time you come out to someone, it's a little bit like coming out to yourself as well - it was a way of me committing to the fact that I was in fact transgender, and there was a long, hard - yet beautiful - journey ahead of me.
Seeing a Gender Specialist and Psychiatrist
October & November
The first time I picked up the phone to call a gender specialist was in September. It didn't quite register with me what I was letting myself in for - but I said that it's best to get an appointment booked now and if I'm still not 100% sure - I can always cancel.
Yes, I was still questioning my gender identity when booking an appointment. This just comes to show that we never really have everything figured out, we just have to follow our intuition.
The doctor's appointment went great, they totally understood me.
After the initial appointment, I had to have a psychiatric assessment to make sure I was ready to start my medical transition. I got the green light, and was on my way to starting HRT.
Starting Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
So scary - and so exciting.
Fortunately, I do not have any health issues, therefore seeing a doctor was a strange experience for me, and taking medication was also something new I had to get used to.
I was initially prescribed 2mg of oestrogen, and I had a testosterone blocker injection.
6 Months on Hormone Replacement Therapy
Changes to my psyche and body were slow and steady, however results were noticeable throughout.
After being on HRT for six months, I really saw breast development, a change of moods (which thankfully stabilised after a rough few weeks) and facial features.
If you would like to read more about the impacts of hormone replacement therapy, you can read all about it here.
At this moment in time, I am extremely proud of myself.
After writing this article, I have realised just how far I have come.
I am most proud of being able to love myself just the way I am. I don't need to change myself to fit into society, I am myself - and I always will be authentic to who I truly am. And I encourage you to do the same.