March is kind of an interesting time for me, transition history wise. It’s the month I got my legal name change (both times), the month I started T, the month I switched to injections, and the month I brought up my gender issues to my therapist. Because of that I end up thinking about transition this time of year even though I’ve hit a point where it’s mostly not a day to day issue.
At the moment that means thinking about an exercise my therapist had me do when I first started looking at transitioning. She had me write down every ‘female-gendered’ term I could think of and then whether or not I identified with it. A fairly easy sounding task, but surprisingly difficult when you’re still a bit confused and unsure of yourself.
Looking back, not too much has changed. It is interesting, though, which words caused a larger response. Girl wasn’t a word I could place either way. Still don’t, really. I just don’t care. Woman was a definite “no way” and now is more of an “eh, whatever”. Tomboy I detested and realised I didn’t identify with at all even though that’s what I’d resigned myself to years earlier. Wife will likely never be a word I’m comfortable with. Mija and mijita to this day cause larger dysphoria issues than anything else. I have more problems being called that than I do with not having a penis most days. Ma’am I hated then, but now has lost most all meaning. Miss I cannot stand, but it has nothing to do with gender and everything to do with it not being a word I’m accustomed to being used for anyone over twelve at the absolute oldest. Lady I didn’t identify with then and identify with even less now. Princess I think I will always hate. Diva I considered too feminine then, but now I take a certain amount of pride in it. Mother did and still does send “DO NOT WANT!” shivers down my spine. (Interestingly, I can’t identify with Father either, though it at least comes closer.) Mum/Mummy I surprisingly don’t have too much of an issue with other than thinking it’d be a bit weird, but Mom/Mommy and Dad/Daddy make me want to run away screaming. Daughter didn’t bother me then, but does now. (I’m not too comfortable with Son either.) Girlfriend has never been a word I particularly wanted associated with me. Aunt made me uncomfortable then, but now doesn’t cause much of a response outside of “WTF”. Sister I was 100% ok with then while now it feels…wrong.
Most of the changes I can attribute to simply becoming more secure in my identity. I still get misread about a quarter of the time and likely will for the foreseeable future. The men in my family simply don’t have very masculine features, I’ve gotten used to it. I had to learn to deal with being called “ma’am”, otherwise I’d spend a good portion of my life being angry at the world.
Other ones shifted in the opposite direction for much the same reason. I spent my entire life before transition with my main identity being “big sister”. I come from a large family and because my parents both worked long hours to ensure we lived in a neighbourhood with good schools (mostly for my benefit) I did a significant portion of the child rearing. Every time I was praised or punished by my parents some variation of “setting a good example” was mixed in. It wasn’t a gendered term to me when I was first coming out, just something I was. Now that I’m removed from that setting I have a much harder time with it.
I’m curious to know how much these will change as more time passes. I don’t know, for instance, how much of my objection to the parental terms is gender and how much is simply not having much of a desire to be a parent. I don’t really feel comfortable with any of them so I suspect it’s more to do with the role than the gender.