Not a girl, not quite a man yet: a transgender man's journey

My name is Lian. I am 29 and I am probably considered a freak by some people's standards. I was born a girl but have always felt (and looked) more like a boy, just not quite a man yet.

I am now taking steps to find out why I feel this way and how I can get my body to cooperate with my mind.

I also have a rare disease that causes tumors to grow in my bones, and have had at least fifteen surgeries to remove them from the time that I was six years old. The tumors are painful and can cause my bones to weaken, which could complicate my transition from female to male if taking the testosterone has damaging effects. Just what I need: more complications in my life. I try not to complain because there are people out there with more serious problems than I have. I find a dark sense of humor helps. Humor hides the fear. It hides it from my friends, and with luck, hides it from myself, although this rarely works. Despite my cool exterior, I am generally a ball of anxiety inside.

For a long time I have let fear and my body's problems control my life. My fear is real, as it is for all transgendered people, and my body still gives me problems. But my mind and soul have had enough. I feel like a man inside and I need to look like one on the outside. Passing as a teenage boy is no longer enough. I crave the respect that comes with being seen as an adult. I am sick of being followed around stores because I look like a thieving 15-year-old boy. Besides, I stopped shop-lifting months ago.

When she's annoyed with me my girlfriend always says that  I'm "such a guy sometimes." I always tell her that "I am a guy all the time, but sometimes I am a dick." The truth is, however, I am not a guy all the time. I get emotional, especially during a certain time of month, and I have a very strong bond with women. In fact there is sort of a duel in my brain between the man in me and what I have been conditioned to think because of my birth gender. And believe me, we are conditioned, and not just by our parents and our teachers, but everyone we come into contact with each day.

So, with the help of my awesome girlfriend and friends I am going to start reconditioning how I see myself and hopefully start reconditioning how society views gender. There are enough trannies and gender queers (or however we label ourselves) in the world to prove we don't all fit into a neat little box.

A box marked Male or Female.

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