I was in my 50’s when I finally figured out that I am a woman with a male body. That realization can come at any age. Some are coming to it as very young children, while others are even older than I was when they discover their true gender. However old you are when you first know that your gender is different from the sex you were assigned at birth, the next thing you have to figure out is what to do about it.
That can be a very difficult decision. For one thing, the possibilities are many, and each has its upsides and downsides. We all have to determine which option is right for us. Some anatomical males choose to do everything possible to become anatomical females, making use of both hormone treatments and surgery. Even the surgery choice can be either limited to the genitals or more extensive. Some find hormones alone do enough to satisfy them. And some leave their bodies alone and just transition socially, using clothes, wigs, makeup, and so forth. It all depends on how much you have to do to feel that you are the woman you want to be.
My choice has been to do almost nothing and simply be a woman. So what does that mean? It all comes down to what “gender” really means. For a long time, it was used as synonymous with sex. It was all about genitals and chromosomes. But it finally became evident that gender is more complicated than that. It is more about how you think and feel than how your body is put together. And now the idea has emerged that, unlike sex, gender is entirely subjective. It is whatever you self-identify as. As some people say, sex is between the legs but gender is between the ears. If you think and feel that you are a woman, you are. I do and I am.
I have that in common with all trans women. And at some point, most of us have felt that we were a woman or girl (depending on our age at the time) in a male body. The difference is that I am alright with that. And since I am already a woman, I do not feel any need to change my body or even my clothes in order to be one. Many trans women think of their body as a birth defect. I can understand that, but I simply do not look at it that way. I think that I am exactly what I was always supposed to be: a woman with a male body.
Because I am a fairly religious person, I am fascinated by one of the things some religious people say against trans people. They say that God made them male or female and God does not make mistakes. I could not agree more. God made me a woman with a male body and it was no mistake! The same goes for the trans women who choose to modify their bodies to make them more female. They are simply using the means at their disposal to realize their vision of the womanhood God intentionally bestowed upon them. The only mistake is on the part of people who would confine God’s creation within boundaries created by humans.
I am all about transcending such boundaries. Society tries to impose countless gender boundaries, prescribing not only physical characteristics but also apparel, behavior, occupations, avocations, and even thoughts and attitudes for each gender. I ask only that each of us be free to transcend whichever boundaries we feel limit rather than enhance our ability to be ourselves. My personal choice is to transcend almost all of them, being the woman I am with little regard for what is traditionally expected of women.
I have unlimited admiration for trans women who make their bodies more female through hormones or a combination of hormones and surgery. It is a difficult and often arduous process that requires great determination and courage. I know amazing trans women with as much style and glamour as any cisgender woman. Their way can be one of beauty, creativity, and self-expression. It is simply not my way. I am just a woman with a male body, quite content to be exactly that.