What It’s like Being Transgender


We are all assigned a gender when we’re born, but what does it feel like when your assignment doesn’t match who you are?

What it's like being transgender

At birth, we are all assigned a gender that matches our genitalia. “It’s a boy!” “It’s a girl!” The doctor yells. But for some of us the assignment we were born with doesn’t fit with who and what we are. People who identify with their birth gender are called “cisgender.” But those of us who don’t, like me, are “transgender,” which means we do not identify with our gender assigned at birth.

So what is it like to be transgender? I’ll tell you.

It’s growing up uncomfortable in your own skin.

It’s asking why you have to be grouped with your assigned gender.

It’s being scared that you are broken.

It’s not knowing if even your own parents will love you.

I am agender.

People assume it’s made up. That it’s a phase, or that I’m a “special snowflake.” But no. This is me. This is who I am and it is real, it is valid and it is going to be okay.

People also assume being transgender means that you are a girl or boy born in the wrong body.

No.

Gender and sex are different.

My sex is female. But I am not a girl.

Transgender is an identity. It’s being nonbinary, agender (identifying with no gender), bigender (identifying with both male and female genders), trigender (identifying with male, female, binary), genderfluid (identifying with all or no genders)…. It’s using they/them pronouns.

But it’s also fear.

Fear that if you tell someone, they will disown you - or even worse - kill you. Because it does happen, and sometimes to me. It looks like people are ignoring that fact.

It looks like tears streaming down your face at 1 am listening to a friend cry about how much they hate the fact that they have breasts.

It’s looking down in the shower and feeling sad.

It is okay to be scared.

It is okay not to be out to anyone.

It’s okay to be out to everyone.

Transgender means I am human.

And I am not letting it get in the way of living the life that I deserve.

Because I am who I am. I can’t change the fact that I am transgender, and I am proud.

If you are transgender and need support, please join our empathetic LGBTQ+ community, chat with an active listener or start working with an online therapist today.

Posted: 21 March 2019


Elijah Lee

Eli is an agender pal from New Zealand going through the mental health system.

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