Allow myself to introduce… Myself!
For a long time I think that part of my family thought I was gay, not that it was ever openly mentioned but it was just a feeling that it was simply assumed because I didn’t have any relationship at all beyond the one single friend I had at the time. Then a few years ago I suddenly announced I was getting married, and yes it was a girl.. really! Of course the catch was that she happened to be 6000 miles away but I was dead serious and pursued it despite the immense adversities my now wife and I sometimes faced.
About a year ago she came here to stay and was accepted as one of the family pretty quick, the doubts of my relatives faded as they got to know her, as well as the new me. They had to revise their opinion of me as I think it was generally assumed I was just the slacking trouble-making black sheep of the family and I would be lucky to be alive at the age of 30. Now I am probably exaggerating these things a bit, but this is how it felt to me, despite being born into this family I never felt included and I never felt accepted. Some did try though, and I really did appreciate that but I myself was also to blame for this skewed perception of me, as I too shied away from any social contact beyond the absolutely necessary.
Now, they may need to revise their opinion of me again, for again I did something that was completely unexpected and probably not something they ever thought of anyone in their social circle doing, let alone a family member.
I could have tried to keep this secret, I could have just moved to another town and try to start over there, but I really wanted to see how I would fare here, to see if I would find general acceptance or if the ignorance and ridicule would be too much and force me to leave anyway. Luckily I found understanding with the ones I did tell early on and even gained support from most of them. I am very grateful for that and I hope I’ll continue to have this much luck in the future.
You see, this is something so big that in almost all cases it causes a severe and irreversible rift between friends and family, this is something so big that it causes marriages to end and for people to never see their children ever again. Luckily I have a very understanding wife and I happen to be the odd one out. Thank God for that. Even my parents seem to be willing to deal with this, which is more than I could have asked for.
I am sure that by now you are wondering what is so big that it could make me lose my wife, my kid, my family, and what little friends I have. Is this where I tell everyone I am a serial killer? A reformed terrorist? Starting my own suicide cult? No, nothing of the sorts. In fact, in my opinion this is something wonderful and beautiful, though I realize that sadly some people may view me as an abomination of nature. Regardless of what information I provide there is still a very hard set stereotype and stigma attached to it and that is precisely what makes it so difficult to tell people this.
Yet, here I go and tell the world that I am a woman.
No, I didn’t typo or misspoke, I truly meant to say that I am a woman, a transsexual, and always have been. I am sure that right now you are buzzing with questions and I will try to do my best to handle some of the issues you may have to hopefully clear up some misconceptions about me, transsexualism, and transgenders in general.
In more medical terms it is called Gender Identity Disorder (GID) which in simple terms means that my gender does not match my sex. Gender being the internal sex I associate with (in my case female) and sex being the physical body I am in (male). Or to put it pop-culture bluntly: I was born in the wrong body.
For almost as long as I can remember I have been suffering from depression, angst, social anxiety, high emotional responses, trying to ‘fit in’ and a whole host of other problems. I have honestly tried to be a man, for years I used to hang with them, but I was often bored stupid. I dislike sports, I don’t know anything about cars and don’t care either, and whenever my friends were doing ‘guy-things’ like howling, being drunk and loud or whatever I was embarrassed. Eventually I even started copying male mannerisms and behaviors. I deliberately taught myself to talk different (monotonously), walk different (still fail horribly), use different gestures, sit different, and yet I still failed to master any of those things. Now I have to unlearn all those things again.
I still got confused with being a girl, even with people staring me dead in the face at point blank range asking me if this was the “men’s room” while I clearly had a mustache and goatee at the time. This specific incident repeated itself twice in a row by the same guy in fact. That was not an uncommon thing either, I got confused a lot by my voice (when not paying attention and it slides up again) on the phone, or by my looks, almost every day it happened that someone honestly (and not jokingly) thought I was a girl.
Have I always known I was a girl? Yes and no. I was in complete and utter denial for a large part of my life and even when the signs did appear very clearly I just brushed them off and simply tried harder to be a guy.
So how did I finally have this ‘epiphany’ and admit I was a transsexual? For a long time I have been making statements like “I wish I was a girl” in reference to things only girls can do, sometimes silly things, sometimes not. Like wearing pretty clothes, guys just got jeans, t-shirt, and maybe a tux for a formal occasion, that’s it. Girls got all the cool stuff, the pretty stuff, I envied them. I also related more to the social activities of women, such as (window)shopping, or just blabbing about random stuff.
By the above you may be wondering if this isn’t just some women’s clothing fetish but I assure you it is not. I do not get an erection by wearing female clothes, it was merely an example of something I wanted desperately and could never have. Please do not confuse me with a drag-queen either. Let me stress this out a bit more:
I AM NOT A DRAG-QUEEN!
When you try to picture me, don’t try to picture some male construction worker with a mustache and a five o’clock shadow on his face, cigar in mouth, wearing a pink glittery flower pattern dress with a sparkling boa around the neck while sporting a platinum blond curly wig on his head. This is exactly what I am NOT!
Instead, please just try to think of a woman of my age and build in normal street-wear. That is what I am, that is how I look. There, that wasn’t so hard was it? I realize it may be hard for some people to view me as a woman instead of “the girl that used to be a guy” or “that transsexual” but I hope they realize it is degrading and demeaning. I’m sure you wouldn’t like being referred to your opposite gender either in every other conversation.
To continue, it was through the off-comment of my wife that it finally started to click. When I again told her one day that “I think I would honestly be happier as a girl” she told me that there are ways to make that happen now. At that specific time I was dead tired and fell asleep but when I woke up a few hours later my wife was behind the PC looking things up regarding this very subject. She started to show me people who have gone through this or are going through it.
I was stunned. It was at that very moment that my mental barrier broke down and saw the reality that was me. A transsexual. I never considered it a true possibility until that very moment. Suddenly my entire life made sense, everything fell into place, it all made perfect sense now.
We started doing a lot of research over the course of the next few days as well as talk to other people who were going through this. It became clear very soon that this would be a very intense and long-term transition. There is no short-cut or easy way to do this. In general it takes about 4 years from seeing a therapist until the final operation.
Of course that is only talking about the physical aspect of it. The mental part no surgeon can fix. I will have to see a therapist for a large part of my life to evaluate my progress as living as a woman. It takes time to essentially rewire your brain to (re)adjust the mental image you have of yourself, especially after trying so hard to be a man for three decades. From how you see yourself when dreaming to your reflex responses.
You may also be wondering what will happen to my marriage. Well let me tell you that when my wife first met me (online) she initially thought I was a girl. It is how I am and act, and without a face to go with my words and actions people tend to naturally assume I am a girl and I never really felt the need to correct them. It was the one world I could be myself in without fear of persecution. When I told her I was actually a guy she thought I was gay. I corrected her and assured her I was a straight male, but added “I’m a total girl” which has always kind of been my catch-phrase on the internet. She figured, “oh well, maybe he’s transsexual” though I was still very much in denial at the time.
Part of what attracted her in me was my very obvious feminine side, I was unlike any other guy she knew. I didn’t brag about how many beers I drank the night before or cursed like a sailor every time my favorite sports team lost a game. Not that I have a favorite sports team to begin with. My time was usually spent simply socializing and being way too emotional for a guy.
So yes, we will be staying together as she kinda always knew anyway, and even our kid is perfectly fine with it all. She even gave me clothes to wear! Again, I am very lucky to have found the one person, across the ocean no less, that would accept this of me. I am very grateful.
Does this mean I’ll be a girl from now on? That’s an odd question because I have always been a girl. See, I won’t be a guy pretending to be a girl, I’ll just be a girl. Additionally, I haven’t gone ‘full-time’ yet, so I’ll still be switching back ‘n forth between girl-mode and guy-mode. Guy-mode sucks though and I’m trying to be more and more in girl mode each day. At home I’m pretty much always in girl-mode. I still have much to learn (and unlearn) before I can go full-time so I’m taking this period to practice things like make-up and whatnot.
It’ll also be a lot easier once I start on hormones as my physique will change a bit, eventually I’ll be looking more like an actual girl as my face, hips and butt will gain some fat (fat is redistributed), as well as the obvious addition of breasts. (woot!)
You may have noticed I changed my online nickname on the website. In fact, I changed it all over the internet because as far as I am concerned DMET-XIX is dead. I considered changing it to DMET-XX (the pun being it would go from 19 to 20 and double X chromosomes) but it still felt way too male and I needed a complete change, not just a simple shift of letters. I picked Amorous Eyes after some thought and I really like it. People call me Ame (pronounced: aim) for short.
Yes, my real name changed too. While currently I still switch back ‘n forth between guy-mode and girl-mode I had to create a new identity for my female self. I could have simply feminized my old name but again I wanted a complete change. It had to be something that fit me. I didn’t want to go too extravagant and sounding like a porn star like some people do, I wanted a normal name that could blend in relatively well in every day socializing.
My name is Julie. Julie Ann Blansjaar. Pleased to meet you.