Coming out as a transgendered male (Female to Male) has not been an easy thing to do. It has been a very confusing road since kindergarten. The hardest part of the journey was puberty. I had a male best friend and I seriously thought that we were of the same genders up until I started developing. When I started developing breasts and he didn’t, I was confused so much that I wanted to die. But when you are eleven, the concept of killing yourself is not completely formulated. You knew you wanted to die, but didn’t know how. You knew that suffocation by a plastic bag would do the trick, but were too scared you would get into trouble with your parents. That fear prevented a lot of suicide attempts, especially during adolescence. The more I developed into something that conflicted with my brain, the more it hurt. But it wasn’t a physical pain like that of a broken limb. The psychological pain was so intense that suicide was all that I thought about. The higher the pain, the deeper the suicidal impulses would emerge. But I had to be a “good girl” and fight what was wrong. I suppressed the feelings of maleness but still acted like a “tomboy” in every fiber of my being. I wore baseball hats whenever I could. My father disliked it so much, he often threatened to cut up my hats when I got “caught” wearing one. To him I was a girl and I should act like one. My sisters did act like their gender roles, but that make up and hairspray were something I was not into nor had an interest in. Boys didn’t wear those things and neither would I.
When my menses started, that really started the hardest part of the conflict to deal with. I was bleeding and I didn’t understand why. I was welcomed into “womanhood” and I wanted nothing to do with it. I didn’t understand why I wasn’t growing a penis. It was a very confusing time and month after month, I hated myself more and more. Even the use of feminine products was abhorrent to me. The more I grew into a freaking woman, the more I hated myself. I prayed for death every night. But no one knew of this struggle. Not even my best friend. With him, we were buddies. I was “Mike” and we played pretend male gendered games such as me being a mechanic or cable repairman. When T-ball season came around, I asked my father if I could play. But he stuffed my dreams of playing saying that is only for “boys” not for girls. I was beyond hurt.
During middle school, my sisters would have boyfriends. I never had an interest in boys. I was a boy so why would I be interested in my own gender. I didn’t have feelings for girls either. For the longest time, I thought I was asexual. It wasn’t until I was in therapy after my family fell apart that my therapist asked if I was gay. I felt really uncomfortable with the question. I just was saying I hadn’t found the right “boy” for me. She didn’t have to know that I was a boy inside just waiting to come out. I had suppressed it so much that I really didn’t think about it at this time.
When I first became suicidal, it was when I was fifteen. My family had fallen apart and I fell apart with it. My father called me a liar and my world ended. I was no longer a good “girl” in his eyes so there was nothing to live for. I started self-harm by cutting, thinking it would bring me to the verge of death, but all it did was bring my internal pain to the outside. After that therapist asked the “gay” question, I started thinking about it, but it was on a subconscious level. I remember being on the train and these really good looking women were on it. And I don’t know what possessed me, but I wanted to kiss them and it didn’t phase me that it was wrong. When I got hold of my senses (I made no such act toward them for fear of being called a freak), I was shocked. I grew up as an Italian Catholic and I knew homosexuality was forbidden. I knew I couldn’t bring it up in therapy. I was too proud to do so. Yet I continued to feel like I was crazy. Then things started to make sense to me. The voices that I was hearing, all were female except for one or two of them. I have been hearing voices since I was five, but that is another issue.
When I was sixteen, a therapist that I was seeing was leaving. I was very hurt. I felt I had nothing to live for with her leaving me. So in April 1993, I overdosed. The pain of living my life as what I was, was too great to bear. Subconsciously, I always wanted to die because I was in the wrong body. And I finally made an attempt to kill myself because of it. Though when I was asked the reasons, I just said I was depressed. No one figured out why I was so depressed. People never talked about being transgendered or being gay. Yet here I was, in the mix of being a confused teenager and had no one to turn to for help. Because I had suppressed so much of myself, I couldn’t even bring it to the surface. I had other issues to contend with, such as the break up of my parents.
Then suddenly women were attractive to me, something that has not happened before and I liked it. I thought I was crazy and that no one would understand. I felt isolated and despondent. There wasn’t a gay person that I knew and this was before the age of the internet so it wasn’t like I could ask Google what to do. Instead I internalized and compartmentalized. Then one day in January when I was 17, I started cutting myself and I didn’t stop until I was satisfied. But I didn’t know I did it. I knew I did it as I was holding a razor but I didn’t cut myself. I dissociated. That landed me in the hospital. I met a homosexual male and asked him about being gay. He told me that it was natural and that I wasn’t crazy. I took a chance and told the staff I was gay. I didn’t get a lifetime commitment in the psych ward. I felt a huge burden was lifted off my chest. But my Best friend that I had known since I was in diapers, didn’t like me being gay. He felt if we had sex, that would change me. But we already tried that and every time we were intimate, things turned off. I just wasn’t attracted sexually to males.
Fast forward to now. Around the time I was thirty-three, I started realizing that I wasn’t going to magically become a male. I came out in my therapist office and started crying like a baby because it was the source of my suicidality. I had been really suicidal and for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why. Then when my menses came, I immediately became suicidal. Since I put two and two together, I realized that I was a male and it was time that I stop repressing myself. I wear male clothing all the time, except for that time of the month that I am forced to endure. Trying to stop the female reproductive system has been the hardest task for me to endure.
I was recently hospitalized and am just a little over a week since I have been discharged. The reason I was in the hospital was because I had overdosed on some pills. I couldn’t take the self-hate anymore about being a transgender. There were other reasons too, but being in the wrong body took precedence over the others. I hate feeling like this. I know there are treatments out there but there is a lot of stigma that prevents it from coming to people like me. I am not sure I want the sex organs either but I do know I want a double mastectomy. There are days when I am okay with having breasts and then there are other days, I can’t stand them. I hope one day I can take the next step forward. But I got to first like myself because if I don’t have that, I won’t have anything to like or live for.