It all started at the ice skating rink. Well, that was the breaking point anyway. A lot of my determining what gender I want the world to see me as is effected by events such as this one. I have been questioning whether I should just keep my life uncomplicated and stay on as a ‘she’ or if I’ll actually take the plunge and be known as a guy. It has been an issue that has been made me very confused and even doubtful over whether I am masculine enough to call myself gender fluid, but for a while I have been disregarding it and sorting out other issues in my life. In short, I put all of my gender confusion on the back burner for a while.
Since I got my hair cut, I have been waiting for a chance to actually go out as male with my friends – seeing as how they accepted me and its always better to go with others than alone. So when I got the invitation to go ice skating with a few of my friends, I decided I might as well go out and get a better feel for being a male and being called Cameron. I donned my binder, gender neutral Van shoes, and a button down shirt that’s pretty masculine but also fits to my body a bit more than I should have it, considering it shows off my hips. Blue bracelet on my wrist, my friends respected my decisions and called me Cameron.
This in itself is a major event. This was my first time going under Cameron and being a ‘he’. This was the self-test of whether or not I actually do feel comfortable being seen as a guy or if it would make me feel weird, not match up with who I really am. But as the first part of the day unfolded and I passed along as a guy, I almost didn’t think anything of it (except for, obviously, the excited, happy feeling that comes with showing who you are inside nagging at me the whole time) as though I had gone pretending as something else for so long that now I could just be more of myself as Cam and, it was so relaxing. The stress I usually have over socializing was nonexistent in the face of my being accepted as a guy. And everything just fitted together: yes, being seen as a male figure, one of the guys fit for me, yes, being called Cameron was natural, it all flowed so easily, where usually being called ‘she’ and by my full name frays at my nerves.
So, everything was running smoothly, ice skating was fun (if the shoes are a bit painful) and it was nice hanging out with my friends again. The worst thing that happened that day was that my binder started to slip (and if that was the worst thing then you know it had to have been the best day of my life considering I can fix it). I had my transgender friend come with me to the restrooms and before I could head to the girl’s he stopped me and asked which one I wanted to go into. And wow, that shocked me. You mean I actually can go into the boy’s room? No way, there’s no way I could pass that much. Looking back, obviously he wouldn’t have sent me in if I wasn’t at least a little convincing, and the confidence I (probably) exuded that day probably helped a lot. I didn’t accept the offer to use the men’s though.
Again, looking back at the event, I don’t regret refusing to use the men’s. When he offered me the two different restrooms it was reinforcing the gender binary in a very immediate way. As someone who still hadn’t picked out how I wanted the world to see me, I thought the girl’s was the best bet because that was what I was used to. It didn’t even cross my mind that I had a choice, that the boy’s wasn’t necessarily off limits to me. But it reminded me also that yeah, as someone who is trying to pass as a guy, using the corresponding restroom was more or less in my rights. It was just that at that point I was at a crossroads, and I had no idea which gender I was going to eventually decide on in the end for how the world sees me. Now I know that I can use it, that I it is in my rights to be the gender I am on the inside. And being reminded of this so sharply just seemed to jump-start everything else for me.
After this it was just a lot of smaller things that made me realize what gender I truly want to be seen as to the rest of the world. At one point I was daydreaming (as I am want to do) and from the recesses of my befuddled mind came the clearest question, and it just astounded me that I was even asking this because I hadn’t even consciously noticed it. But the thought that I had felt like a son, a guy, the entire day, just a guy and nothing complicated like gender fluid or something, passed through my mind. And it shocked me because wow, I never did stop to think that there are days where I wake up feeling like the entire opposite gender than what I was born into.
Then a few days after that thought I was looking up on how to dress more masculine and not look swallowed up in big clothes when I came across a really information FTM guide. The writer of the guide, Gabriel, as an about me page and he explained how for years he put off choosing on whether to transition or not and finally came to the conclusion that he should. What helped even more for my understanding was that he is the same sexual orientation as I am – interested in guys. Here was someone who understood that when I look like a guy I am attracted to I am thinking both “wow I wish I could be with him” and “wow I wish I could be him”, though these are both very different thoughts. Hearing how other people reacted to going through some of the same things as you do, always helps you figure out how to deal with that thing more, which is the exact case here. Reading how Gabriel finally decided to take the plunge and is now living as a really handsome guy eased my mind in actually choosing being a male.
It was seeing how he looked after being on testosterone, how easily he passes with these changes, how he can actually be who he is a lot more as a guy, that made me realize it probably wouldn’t be so far off for me. As the skating rink showed me, I feel comfortable being seen as a guy, as Cameron. And now that I know that transitioning can actually provide me with satisfying results, my fears are a lot more at ease. I’m not so reluctant in picking the male gender now. And with those fears of testosterone and transitioning in general receding, it turns out that that was the largest separation between my choosing being male.
So, in the end, I’ve decided that of the two options, I want the world to see me as a guy – if a gay guy. I want to be seen as Cameron. Someday I do want to look in the mirror and see a more masculine figure – and this goes mostly back to my increasing gender dysphoria that has only been getting worse since I realized transitioning won’t ruin my good looks.
What now? This realization will inevitably help me go about fixing the rest of my life. Now I have a more steady goal to be seen as a guy, which includes having another talk with my mum. Careful questioning has told me that she is curios about how I got to where I am in my gender, though she has always been afraid to ask in case she said something offensive. But how she thought this was all just going to be a phase is a different story.
The important thing now is that I have a goal in mind (and hopefully can look a little like Ben Whishaw someday).