If there’s one thing you’re going to be overly self conscious about as a transsexual it’s how you look and how others look at you.
Here you are, born in a male body, hating it for as long as you can recall, hiding it from sight in every imaginable way and once you start transitioning you have to try and actually show it? You have to try and be happy with it? That is very, very hard.
From what I can tell by looking at old photographs of me, I was still happy until I was about 5 or 6 years old. because in those old pictures I was still smiling. After that, on the photos I allowed to be taken of me that is, the smile was gone. I really hated having my picture taken and I hated people looking at it (or me). I hated myself.
The following situation may sound familiar to you. When I had to go to PE class, if I went at all, I made sure to either get there early, or late. This because there was no way in hell I was going to take off my clothes in front of other people. If for someone reason I really had to I tended to duck into a corner and use my not-so-patented technique of changing clothes with an absolute minimum of skin showing.
Usually I already wore my gym clothes underneath my own clothes just in case. I would also never go without a shirt, always long enough to cover the crotch area, as did most of my clothes at the time. Many times I would not show up or pretend to be sick. The mere thought of someone looking at my body filled me with fear. I felt ugly. I felt disgusting. I hated my body.
For years I avoided social events, cameras, and mirrors. Grrr! Mirrors! Mirrors are still hard for me, I still avoid looking at one at all costs unless I’m actually wearing make up, I don’t want to see this.. guy staring back at me. I hate him!
I made a rule. If I cannot look at myself in the mirror and say I look awesome I won’t step out the door. “Great” and “good” will work in a pinch. Any less than that and I refuse to let anyone see me. I am ugly. Don’t look at me.
Sometimes, though, sometimes you have no choice to go out anyway. Yesterday was that day for me. After I did all my make up and changed my clothes like 5 times I still could not say the words. In fact, I thought I looked like shit. But… This was a very important appointment, I could not miss it! I had to go out anyway.
It was hot, and I wanted to wear a skirt and flip flops but in the end I didn’t. I was too self conscious about my looks and could not get myself to do it. Despite them being all smooth and clean my legs and feet had to be covered up.
I made a promise to myself that regardless of what happened I would stay out in Amsterdam for a bit. The weather was great and I would be damned if I was just going to sit at home again, as always, and be lonely and miserable.
The entire time I was out I felt terrible. Already being nervous for the appointment, feeling low, lacking confidence I really did not feel good and I’m sure that showed and did not help my situation at all.
During the day in I was sure there were a lot more people looking, staring, and laughing at me than usual. This of course did wonders for my self esteem and I wound up feeling even worse. I’m amazed I did not cry until I got home. I’m still trying to hold back the tears as I write this.. and failing.
Looks matter. They matter a lot! Especially to people who are born in the wrong body. The others have no idea of how extremely hard it is to simply walk out the door, knowing that every single person you meet will KNOW and have their judgement ready.
They see the five o’clock shadow, they hear your voice, they see your adam’s apple, they notice it from the stupidest tiniest things that you are not even aware of. Everybody knows!
Most will see and judge people like us as a joke, an abomination of God, or worse. Failing to realize that we are victims of a cruel twist of fate and have to struggle through life trying to correct this as much as possible.
I am not helped by your ridicule or mocking. I suffer enough, just by getting up and looking into the mirror. I cry every day and night because of what I have to go through.
You are hurting me.