My name is Tanya and I am from Nevada, USA. I want to narrate my story not only for you to understand the journey that has been my life, but also for me to take a good look at the path I have traveled to be where I am currently.
When I was younger, I was overwhelmed with contradictory feelings. The biggest contributor to this was the mismatch between my gender identity and the sex assigned to me at birth. In other words, I was supposed to be a guy due to my physical anatomy, but that was the complete opposite of how I felt. I used to think, feel, react and connect in a completely feminine manner.
At the time, I had no one to turn to who could guide me. The paradox used to drive me mad. Cultural pressure clashed with my thoughts and feelings. I was left wondering why I was unable to be the man society expected me to be. Why couldn’t I behave like one? Being crude was (and still is, I guess) considered ‘macho’. But for most of my life, I couldn’t be like that. However, I suppose that has more to do with the nature of a person than their sexual or gender identity. What say? Anyway, I spent a significant portion of my life fretting over such things.
When I could not decipher my situation, I tried to overpower it.
How? Well, I tried to do macho things in the hopes that they might just make me feel like a man! I took the sexual route to discover and uncover myself. Culturally, I was expected to have sexual relations with girls, so I gave it a try.
I enjoyed the encounters thoroughly. But I felt the need for something more. Continuing on my journey of self-discovery, I also explored men’s bodies (I was usually on the receiving end). These varied experiments helped me put my emotions and desires into perspective.
I understood that a guy riding me incited primal lust, which found deep resonance within me; but only for a short period – I couldn’t fall in love with guys. Girls were who I was attracted to and connected with. Dressing up as a girl caused deep joy and sexual enthusiasm within me. It led to the clearing of the haze about my identity, as I realized that I was a trans. The clarity gave me a lot of happiness; and the acceptance brought a sense of harmony to my life.
You could only imagine the liberation I enjoyed after this discovery, as it is beyond me to put it into words. Unless you experienced my state of being, you would not be able to believe it.
Once I accepted myself, I gained it all. I wish I could express the happiness I derived from dressing up sexily as a girl and taking pictures of myself, something that I used to detest pre-transition. Acceptance brought about a drastic change in the way I mingled with others. I loved going out and meeting people while being myself. Seducing guys and being ridden hard as a girl was and is something I enjoyed.
Before you start assuming that this discovery, realization and coming out was a walk in the park, let me warn you against it. But it was all worth it and I am happy about the way it panned out. It’s just that I wish I had been more courageous in pursuing my values and taken bigger steps faster so as to have arrived at my checkpoints years earlier without having wasted so much time second guessing myself. I am now done believing others’ half-baked opinions and wasting time on others’ negativity. The negativity from the people around me was considerable. Although it didn’t stop me completely, it somehow did bother me and slow me down a little. I wish I had shown more resilience to it earlier.
My family took it’s own sweet time to accept me for who I was. It was, understandably, a big blow to my mother. Her poor reaction made me disengage with her completely for several months. Then she attempted reconciliation and I too gave in because I loved her and wanted to be accepted by her. But I was soon to realize that instead of accepting me for who I was, she was simply trying to appease me so she could talk me out of what she thought was a passing phase. It obviously didn’t work and we went back to our cold war, despite the fact that we lived only two miles apart in a small town.
I won’t blame her at all for her behavior. I understand that she wanted a strong person who could take care of her and protect her as she aged.
According to her, as a girl, I couldn’t be strong. That is the normative idea that refuses to go away, even in this day and age, when girls have pretty much conquered every sphere of life.
When I vehemently refused to tolerate her bad behavior, my resolve became clear to her. She had to accept that I was as strong as I had always been. Further, she understood that it wasn’t a choice I made, but the person I was. The only difference was that earlier I had been trapped in the body of a man, but now I had loosened those ties. To win her over was a great triumph for me and I was so happy it happened. Now she is one of my biggest supporters and proudly introduces me as her daughter. We share a great bond as a mother and daughter team – she showers me with compliments, buys me shoes, helps me get stains off of pretty dresses, and what not.
But not every family member went through such dramatic trials and tribulations when I came out. I won some and I lost some. But I took everything in my stride am completely at peace with myself. You are who you are not because of others’ approval and/or what others think of you, rather, despite that. The sooner you realize it, the more empowered you are. You may subvert that just to appease others but, believe me, it will only bring you pain. It’s perfectly alright to live your life on your own terms.
In addition, if you choose to subvert, you are appeasing a destructive culture that deserves, instead, to be challenged vigorously. But, in case you find you’re afraid, because of where you are, for your life, then I would recommend you move to a new place and start your life there. It may seem too distant a dream to achieve at the moment, but if you plan well, you will be able to execute well. Trust me, all that matters is that your beliefs are congruent with your behavior. It’s perfectly alright to say “No” and to live life on your own terms. You are completely entitled to that.
Life is really what you make out of it. Happiness is the most important thing in life. In fact, I believe, it is as basic a necessity as food, water and shelter. Happiness comes with harmony. The harmony extends to every aspect of your life. No one but you can bring about that harmony in your life.