A Trans Life

Here at TBA we are very aware that trans people are often talked about in absence: that details from our lives are cherry-picked or distorted to fit bigoted narratives in the media and in politics. This space is a small antidote: spotlighting a real, whole, complex human who, among other things, happens to be trans.
Today we'd like to introduce you to Lee:
Lee%20headshot%20for%20website_edited.jp
 
Image by Dimitri Houtteman

When I first started to transition, I tried so hard to claim a genderqueer or anything-but-wholly-female identity, but no-one understood that, including me, as I’d never seen much like it anywhere. I had one option open to me if I wanted to access medical intervention, which I desperately needed, and that was to tell the professionals that I was a man. I also started telling others, as I could explain that much more easily and I started to believe it myself, completely forgetting my genderqueer feelings and (potential) identity until I reread some of my notes from the gender clinic last year. 

I now feel trapped on the other side of the binary where people can only see man or male. For many with a trans masculine experience or identity, that’s perfect and exactly what’s wanted, but that’s not my experience or identity. 

 

It’s been slowly creeping up on me and yet I’m still reluctant to tell others, scared (or unsure if they even fit - am I just confirming to other people’s ideas of gender non-conformity?), to use different pronouns, worried about the impact on my partners (in case they fell in love with a man), or even to admit it fully to myself.

My masculinity in the way that our cis society would read it is only clothing deep - because that’s the floor or side of the shop that I buy my clothes from. I suppose what I’m trying to say is that I’m not a man. I’m not a woman either and I have no words to describe what that is for me. I think genderqueer comes the closest and I prefer that to non-binary.
 
What I AM though is a being who has experienced societal female gender, of being read as a man, of doing things that are thought of as masculine and feminine, and relating to ALL of those things. 

Lee