Who am I? – Identity development in gender transition

Finlay

As both a student psychologist and a man with a trans history, the topic of identity and how it develops over time fascinates me.  I have found that my identity never properly developed a stable base. In hindsight, I expect this is why I was diagnosed with a personality disorder. I now believe that my personality disorder diagnosis was likely down to the fact that I wasn’t female. Therefore my gender incongruence likely caused the personality, identity and mental health issues I faced.

In transition, I have experienced a loss and a grieving for my old identity, not because it was one I liked, but because it was all that I knew. Without my old identity, I was in limbo whilst I waited for my new identity as a man to form and become stable.

During transition we are in a constant state of flux. As hormones and surgery change the body we have to get used to our new embodied selves. And, as our gender roles and societal expectations change we have to get used to the new way we interact with others. This constant flux means that the stable identity base is hard to build.

Now, nearing the end of my surgical journey and hormones having done their most significant work, I find I am at last able to put down stable roots to my identity. These stable roots are allowing me more security and stability from which to explore other aspects of myself.

In this vlog I discuss this process and the ways in which I am continuing to actively discover and develop my new identity.

1 comment on “Who am I? – Identity development in gender transition

  1. It seems that very few talk publicly about the losses they experience when transitioning. Thank you for having the courage to do that. I think that having the euphoria of transitioning & the grieving are both important to acknowledge and normalize.

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