I Have a Vagina. I’m Not a Woman. And I’m Totally Cool with It.

not every transgender person wants “ bottom surgery, ” and being all right with my vagina doesn ’ metric ton make me less trans. Health and wellness touch each of us differently. This is one person’s story.

Whenever people find out I ’ thousand transgender, there ’ randomness about always an awkward pause. normally that pause means there ’ s a question they want to ask, but they ’ re not certain if they ’ ll offend me. And it about always has to do with my body. While transgender people have the right to privacy like anyone else ( and you probably shouldn ’ t go around asking people about their genitals ), I ’ ll go ahead and answer that question for you : Yes, I have a vagina. And no, it doesn ’ t truly bother me.

I was assigned female at parentage, but when I hit my adolescent years, I became increasingly uncomfortable in my own skin. No matter how difficult I tried to be oklahoma with the premise that I was a womanhood, that premise good didn ’ thymine feel correct. The best manner I can explain it is similar to how I felt when I attended a catholic mass for the first clock time as a child. Everyone else seemed to know what to do : when to recite a prayer, when to stand up and sit down, when to sing and when to kneel, who touches a bowl of water on the way in and why.

But having been raised in a laic family, I had no distributor point of reference book. They had attended the rehearsals and I, interim, happened to stumble onto the degree for the operation .

I found it impossible to be happy until the world could finally meet me where my heart was.

I ’ vitamin d look madly around the church, trying to figure out how to behave and what to do. I felt like an outsider, with a deep-rooted concern that I ’ five hundred be found out. I didn ’ metric ton belong there. flush if I could figure out the rituals by imitating everyone else, I was never going to believe it in my heart, let alone understand it. Just like religion, I’ve found that with gender, you can’t will yourself into believing something just by imitating everyone else. You are who you are — and I knew that I wasn’t like the other girls around me. The older I got, the more intolerable that alienation became. I felt out of invest, like I was wearing an ill-fitting costume that wasn ’ triiodothyronine made for me .

It was only when I learned what “transgender” meant in my late teens that things started to click into place. If “being a girl” didn’t feel right, why did I have to “be” one at all?

Meeting other transgender people when I was 19 was an eye-opening know. I could hear myself in their stories.

They, besides, felt out of stead, even in a crowd fully of people who were supposed to be equitable like them. They knew what it was like to feel “ atrocious ” but unable to explain why. fair like me, they had spent hours in front of the mirror, trying to mentally erase parts of their consistency that everyone else insisted they were “ supposed ” to have. No amount of therapy, self-esteem building, and antidepressants seemed to change the fact that how the world labeled me (“she”) and who I knew myself to be (“he”) was hopelessly out of sync. I found it impossible to be happy until the populace could ultimately meet me where my heart was.

so, I took the bold and chilling pace to alter my body. I started taking testosterone, and the black cloud brew around me started to lift. With each change — my hips narrowing, my cheekbones surfacing, my body hair’s-breadth appearing — it felt like another while of the puzzle dropped into place .

Being transgender doesn’t necessarily mean you take issue with every aspect of your body. In fact, some of us have gender dysphoria that focuses exclusively on specific parts or features.

The journey was strange and conversant at the lapp time. Strange because I ’ five hundred never seen myself this way, but familiar because I ’ d been imagining it since I was a kid.

With the corroborate of class and friends, I went on to get a double mastectomy ( “ top surgery ” ). When the bandages finally came off, the love I felt for my observation was about immediate, hitting me all at once. I emerged on the other side of that surgery feel confident, elated, and relieved. If you ’ ve ever watched person power-wash a deck and felt the immediate relief of revealing something sparkle blank good underneath, it ’ s kind of like that. person had scrubbed away my anxiety, disgust, and sadness. In its place was a body I could love and celebrate. I no longer felt the need to hide.

But of course, after my top surgery, people close to me quietly wondered if it would be my last surgery.

“ Do you want a… ” they ’ five hundred begin, trailing off with the hopes I ’ five hundred finish their conviction. rather, I ’ five hundred merely raise my eyebrows and smirk, watching them shift uncomfortably. A distribute of people assume that transgender people want the “ wax box ” when they begin their passage.

however, that ’ s not always the case. Being transgender doesn ’ t necessarily mean you take issue with every view of your consistency. In fact, some of us have gender dysphoria that focuses entirely on specific parts or features. And our dysphoria can change over time, excessively .

My transition was never about “becoming a man.” It was just about being myself.

There can be a draw of reasons for this. Some of us don ’ metric ton want to undergo a complex and atrocious operating room. Others can ’ metric ton afford to. Some feel the procedures aren ’ thyroxine advanced enough and fear they won ’ metric ton be felicitous with the results. And some of us ? We precisely don ’ t want or need particular surgeries. Yes, it ’ s wholly potential to need to change some aspects of our bodies, but not others. A surgery that ’ s life-saving for one trans person could be wholly unnecessary for another. Every transgender person has a different relationship to their body, therefore intelligibly, our needs aren ’ thymine identical, either. Having breasts led to an enormous amount of psychological distress, but having a vagina doesn ’ t impact me the like way. I make whatever choices I need for my mental health, and another operating room international relations and security network ’ t a option I need to make right now. Besides, my transition was never about “becoming a man.” It was just about being myself. And for whatever reason, “Sam” just happens to be someone with a lot of testosterone, a flat chest, a vulva, and a vagina. And he’s also the happiest he’s ever been as a result.

The reality is, there’s much more to gender than our genitals — and I think that’s part of what makes gender so fascinating.

Being a man doesn ’ t necessarily mean you have a penis or even want one. Being a charwoman doesn ’ t necessarily mean you have a vagina, either. And there are nonbinary folks like me who are out in the universe, doing our own thing, excessively ! Gender is unlimited, so it makes sense that our bodies are, besides. There are so many different ways to be a human being. I believe life is a whole distribute better when we embrace what makes us unique alternatively of fearing it.

You may not see bodies like mine every day, but that doesn ’ triiodothyronine make them any less beautiful. difference is a precious matter — and if those differences bring us one tone closer to our highest and most arrant selves, I think that ’ s worth celebrate. Sam Dylan Finch is a leading recommend in LGBTQ+ mental health, having gained international recognition for his blog, Let ’ s Queer Things Up !, which beginning went viral in 2014. As a diarist and media strategist, Sam has published extensively on topics like genial health, transgender identity, disability, politics and law, and a lot more. Bringing his aggregate expertness in populace health and digital media, Sam presently works as social editor at Healthline .

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