Hi! Good thing I like talking about myself!!
There's a more to-the-point version AND a summary which is in far better shape over on the gender updates page. There's also a faq!
There once was a boy who worked very hard to keep me safe, but he's tired and deserves to rest. I'm Ginny Maive and it's nice to finally get to meet
The long-ass version of my story
WARNING: this seriously is way too much information to share! I am doing this in part to work through my thoughts myself,
and in part on the tiny chance it's helpful to another person struggling with similar problems. It's also very much a work in progress and
chaotic and incomplete!!!!!
CONTENT WARNING: This section includes references to depression, anxiety, prescription/recreational drugs, and suicide.
I have struggled with depression and anxiety for my entire life. I'd gotten better at ignoring it, or working around it... but I was miserable.
I couldn't see a way out - I wasn't happy in my fantasy life, I was just less miserable. Unhappiness took over more and more space inside of
me until that's all that was left.
I didn't understand why I was so miserable. But my brain got a kick out of coming up with theories! It would often lecture me on my deficiencies, of which there were many.
Central to them all: I was uniquely, distinctly, and undeniably terrible. It was like having a mental roommate who kept a running monologue about how I have no redeemable qualities,
that I'd be better off dead, and by the way did you know you could make that happen?
I shambled through life trying to find happiness. Part of being miserable for me was trying to stay busy - being alone was dangerous, and gave that miserable voice
more volume. I spent a lot of time trying to find my happiness inside of other people, that maybe having the perfect girlfriend would fix what was wrong. I picked up hobbies, did
whatever I could to stay occupied. None of this made he happy, none of it changed the hollow I felt inside.
I was dead, but trying to stay productive.
A bit after moving to New York, I started to work on getting better. And I got a little better! Then I bounced between a little better and a little worse for a while. I still never thought
I'd end up happy, but it felt like I had a handle on the extremes. I had a good regimen that allayed a lot of my depression.
I still had this angry internal voice, but by this point I’d convinced myself it was normal. That everyone has a voice that (literally constantly) degrades and insults them, that's just
normal internal dialog.
(In the one-person show that is my life, we have reached the end of the first act.)
On December 22, 2022 I asked a question on social media - what's the difference between wanting to be a girl, and, like, actually being trans? <small>(Spoiler: not as much as I thought)</small>
A bunch of people replied and were really nice! Some people had the same question, others had already answered it for themselves. Importantly, Prudence sent me a
link to a site on gender dysphoria.
I spent 5 hours reading that entire website, and every page it links to. Then I made my second post:
A lot of the stuff which seemed normal to me was less, uh, standard-issue than I had thought. It’s a bit awkward to talk about for a lot of reasons. Some of the stuff is normalish - sure
cis folk might imagine their life as another gender, but probably not every day and with the intensity and desire I felt to not be a boy.
I'm nervously going to list some examples of things I thought were very normal cis things to do:
I hated all parts of my name, and never liked hearing it. (I remember joking in high school that I should take my wife's name. I wonder if I knew I wasn't joking back then.)
I liked music class growing up, especially singing. Once puberty hit I could not stand the sound of my own voice. I couldn't watch videos with me because hearing my
voice made me extremely unhappy.
Imagining the future wasn't something I did; when I tried it felt like watching an episode of a TV show I didn't really buy into because of its poor production values.
I couldn't imagine being happy. My self-improvement was entirely focused on reducing how unhappy I was.
My body felt like a sack of goo and juice I was forced to lug around. My physical body didn't represent me and was entirely disconnected from my consciousness. At the time this felt enlightened,
an absence from carnal desires of the flesh.
I actively wished I could be anyone else. Several times a day, on every day of my life, I would fantasize about having been born a girl. About how much happier I could be,
and how nice it'd be to not have to deal with the whole "being a boy" thing.
I had/have almost zero interest in "masculine" or male-coded things.
I was terrified to be around a group of males. In junior high I refused to shower after gym class (as I remember it, all the boys in the class just got naked under a single shower head,
which, to be honest, what the fuck); the gym instructor and I reached a detente when I agreed to take a single shower, once, while alone in the locker room. (I have no idea how he convinced
himself he won that argument.)
My relationships with women were weird. With one exception, I was not the person who pursued or initiated the relationship. Most of the time I'd just sitting around and then a friend
would start kissing me. The first girl I dated got mad at me for not giving her my sweet smooches; she had a friend tell me and when I still didn't do anything had that same friend break up with me.
lol this one was fun to remember
I did not look in mirrors, even when getting ready in the morning. I'd maybe take a quick glance to make sure all the important bits are covered and that's it.
Zero self-worth, and absolutely no confidence in my own decisions and choices. Like a lot of trans girls, I was terrible at trusting my inner voice - it's easier to let other people
tell me who I am.
An entire absence of emotionality, aside from anger. I had two modes: furious, and numb.
Probably one of the more telling thought experiments: suppose there was a button that would permanently turn me into a girl. On every day of my life I would have pressed it
instantly and without a second thought. After pressing it a few extra times to be really sure it activated I would look around for a skirt.
I was reading the biochemical dysmorphia page when I noticed I was crying.
I was on a different site pressing a button when I noticed a peace and quiet inside of me.
The voice of constant degradation, criticism, and self-hatred was gone. The massive presence that had taken over so much territory in my head, and held on so tightly for decades had just… let go.
I knew I had figured out something, but I wasn't quite sure what. I wasn't confident to say for sure this was happening because I was transgender, even though it was kinda hard to step around
So I did a whole lot of therapy™! I worked on being more honest with myself (which is super fucking hard). I worked to reduce my reliance on maladaptive coping mechanisms (avoidance is a big one).
I tried to understand what parts of me are me, and what parts were the shell I built to keep myself safe.
And because growth rarely happens in a straight line, I went back and forth a lot - some days convinced it was very obvious I was a transgender woman, other days I knew I was lying to myself and
looking for a simple placebo to make me feel better.
I was in the middle of telling my therapist I was pretty sure I wasn't actually trans and really it's just (I don't know where the train of thought was going). As I was saying a bunch of stupid
nonsense, a part of myself made it very clear: gender identity may be complex and confusing, but I am tired of pretending to be a boy.
I have never been as confident about anything as I was about that simple statement.
I started transitioning the following week.
I have more to figure out and understand about myself. I’ve grown more confident in having a feminine gender identity, though it still feels weird. Every part of me, every single iota of my existence,
knows I’m on the right path to becoming who I am inside.
I can truly talk about this forever, either in generalities or specifics. There’s a lot I glossed over plus I’m near the end & running out of steam a lil’.
Gender is weird and confusing. Change is too.
I’m always here to talk or listen.