Many times, I write about the struggles and downsides of what it is like to be transgender. But, what I have failed to mention is that is actually the best thing that has happened in my life. For so long I struggled with who I really was. I still do, but now, at least, I have a sense of self. I had many inner conflicts and didn’t understand why. Fighting a constant battle with myself to be better, be different from how I was, because somehow I knew that it was not me. The person I would stare at in the mirror felt like such a stranger at times. I remember back when I was still in middle school, I cut my hair and felt so different, so free. It was like I was finding pieces of myself, hidden, to build a picture of who I was going to be.

Of course, this stage in my life is one of the hardest because of the need to find the sense of self. And, that goes for everyone else around my age. I sometimes think of what it would be like to have been born biologically male since birth.

I don’t think that I would see the world the same at all. I would probably be more used to male privilege than anything else. That is why I do respect the fact and am not upset with being trans. But, like I have explained before, it does have its many downfalls.

Something I think is really cool about this whole process of transitioning medically is that even though I was dysphoric many times and still am, there was always something for me to be positive about. I tend to be an optimist with pessimistic tendencies, so about 80% of the time I was just happy to be on T and to be seeing changes happening. My favorite was the voice change and how people were shocked about it. The reactions I got were mostly, “Oh my gosh your voice has gotten so deep, that’s crazy.” It was like getting a pat on the back for passing. And that, of course, does not always sound the best, but for me I just really wanted to pass. This was like the path of honor; that I was doing a good job, even though it was my hormones doing all of the medical magic for me.

Patience was always something that I had lacked. It was probably one of my biggest struggles when first starting T. For the first month, just about every day, I would check to see what changes had happened. And I admit, at times, I was being delusional about the changes I presumed were there. But eventually, the impatience faded away and I could go on to randomly see changes as I went on living my life. Who knew that starting hormones would teach me other lessons such as being patient and gaining confidence? At least, I did not know that it would. The little secrets that you find in yourself can be some of the most impactful things.

Self-image can be everything to some people at my age. And for everybody it is a struggle. Some are just better at hiding it than others. The process of finding yourself can take weeks, months, or even years, and it will be painful. But prosperity will arise and everyone will be at peace eventually. Like anything else in life, being different from the majority is really hard and it often sucks, but being different teaches you new things. I have struggled in both genders, male and female, therefore I can respectfully relate to both aspects. Being different can suck, but I would not choose to have traveled a different path in my life.