A Trans Woman in a Nonbinary Body

A year ago today I wrote a difficult post asking myself “am I really nonbinary?” This week I find myself asking similar questions as I’m preparing to start hormonal transition. And I think the conclusion that I’ve come to, at least for now, is that I’m essentially a trans woman in a nonbinary body.

I have felt for a very long time that there was a mix up in the womb and my brain went one way while my body went another. I should have been born a woman or at least I would have liked to figure out I was trans when I was young while there was still a chance of doing delayed puberty. But since I didn’t, I have a body that has gone through changes, some of which are irreversible. No amount of surgery is going to reduce my 6-foot-2 frame or make my hands or feet smaller. I could go through the whole process of vaginoplasty, facial feminization, hair removal, and tracheal shaves but for me it doesn’t feel worth it. Nothing I do will ever allow me to pass, and at this point I’m not sure that trying is going to accomplish anything.

I’ve learned to accept and even love a lot of things about the body I’m in. My beard has become a part of my identity and while I might hate my testicles, I’m pretty ok with my penis at this point. So instead of trying to reverse the last 30 years, my current strategy is to change the little things that make a difference like the amount of leg and chest hair, the size of my breasts, and my gender presentation through clothing. I’ve created my own mix of characteristics that reflect not only who I think I should have been but how the years have shaped me.

My strategy certainly wouldn’t work for everyone and I am not trying to criticize binary trans women in any way. But for me I suspect my dysphoria would be worse if I was close to passing as a woman but unable to gain that last 10%. Who knows how I’ll feel in 5 years or even after estrogen begins shaping my brain. But for now, my plan is to take hormones and if my brain responds well, to have an orchiectomy to remove my testes so I don’t have to take androgen blockers forever.

Gender is complicated and so are the ways in which we choose to cope. There’s no easy way to describe my gender but hopefully this gives you a little more insight into one path.

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