The Customizable Gender

Photo from the
Jessie Hart Archives

One of the positive aspects of being a transgender woman I feel is we have the chance to customize our gender. 

Often it is a lifelong process as we learn to live as our authentic selves.  We start by admiring the girls around us who we  were sent to school with or even grew up with when we had sisters. Somehow I knew I had to learn first hand to finally live as a woman. In fact, when I was young, and someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, the only true answer I could never give was I wanted to be a girl. To say something like that would have resulted in severe repercussions, so I kept my mouth shut and opinions about my gender to myself. 

It took me many years of suffering and wondering what my true problem was to finally embrace my true gender and learn a happiness I never thought I could ever find. In my family, happiness was a fleeting emotion we never saw. Whatever good happened, you could always do better. And, if you had any sort of a problem, you could just get over it. Vintage thought from my parents who came from the WWII-great depression era. I always point out my parents were great providers but poor emotional providers. Certainly not the best atmosphere for a transgender child. Relying solely on myself somehow I made it through my emotional wasteland and managed to grow up on my own terms while hiding my severe gender dysphoria. 

What I learned from that time of my life was I could be forced into a male existence I never wanted and basically survive doing things I didn't really enjoy. I tried sports but never really excelled and tried my hand at auto mechanics which I hated. Not ever knowing completely why I was so miserable, I persisted. Looking back, the only positives I learned were what I never wanted to do as a male in my life. I kept thinking if I could ever make it to my goal of living as a woman, I could have the chance to remake myself into the person I could only dream of.

As I finally had the chance to experience a feminine life in the mirror, I was able to experiment with different clothing options and makeup choices. Quickly I learned the new life I was living in secret was just the beginning. I was faced with learning the multi faceted life cis women lived. I became the customizable gender as I learned to live a life in a brand new world. Ironically, the more I explored, the more natural I became as my long closeted feminine inner self took over my life. I could tell, she felt life should have always been this way.

Finally, I began to think of my life being a blessing in so many ways. How many other guys get the opportunity to break out of their boring existence and live the remarkable life of a transgender woman. Very few humans are afforded the chance to see both sides of the gender binary. We are truly the customizable gender.