I was assigned female at birth, and have been socialized as female for nearly 33 years. That identity, of being born a girl and growing into a woman, has never fit me quite right. It has felt like trying to squeeze into somebody else’s skin and not understanding why it felt too tight in places and hung off me in others.
For three decades I’ve tried to contort myself to fit the shape of “female” because deviating from it nearly always led to shame. From comments on my behavior as a child, to comments on my clothes as a teenager, to comments on my body as an adult, I continually felt I was doing something wrong. Like I was wrong.
During most of my 20s I had myself nearly convinced I could do this “woman” thing. I had a husband I loved dearly, I wore makeup, I did my best to dress as I thought a woman should. I planned to buy a house, to have children, to live out the only narrative I had ever gotten to know.
As I’ve explored my gender identity over the last few years, I thought maybe by existing as a non-traditional version of “woman” - by wearing men’s clothes and cutting my hair short and binding my chest - I could feel comfortable in this skin. These choices have brought me closer to connection with my body, and still I am contorting to fit a shape that isn’t mine.
Well, enough now. I am done contorting. This is who I am.
My name is Max. I am transgender. My pronouns are they/them. This may change to he/him at some point, I do not know yet.
I am starting testosterone, aka hormone replacement therapy. I am getting top surgery in December, ie: I am having my breasts removed so I will have a flat chest. This is not because I want to look like a cisgender man, this is because I want to feel like myself.
I do not have a destination in mind. I don’t know “what” I am, other than me. I am updating my vessel to be a more comfortable home for my inner self. I will not be updating my inner self to match a socially constructed idea of what a person in a more "masculine" vessel should be like.
This is a journey, and all I can do is approach that journey with curiosity and see where it takes me. Every step is a step further down an unknown path, and every step has begun to feel more comfortable, more familiar, more like home.
Today I am celebrating this homecoming with abandon. Today I am taking a break from the fears and challenges and reveling in the joy of seeing myself more clearly.
To everyone revelling with me, I am humbled and awed and broken open by your support. All I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you.