I genuinely have never known what it’s like to be male. I was never raised as “culturally male,” as the TERfs would have it. I have never had any interest in masculinity. I have my whole life shied away from thinking of myself or being classed as a dude. I just never quite understood why it bothered me.
I had no connection with any gender, really. I tolerated other people’s assumptions about me, though it made me feel gross—but I had none of my own. The start of my transition was me, recognizing and accepting and exploring this lack of a relationship and what it might mean for me.
My gender is a bit weird and wibbly still, but I do have one now. That’s the thing, though—in every way that matters to me, this is my first gender; my only one. The one that’s always been latent, and that I’ve spent the last couple years grasping toward. It’s still a work in progress to define it and understand how it applies to my life. but it’s not a moving target. It’s always been pretty stable, even when I’ve had no active connection with it.
In a sense it feels funny I’m considered trans, as I’m not really transitioning from anything that I think of as real. It’s more a matter of finally paying attention and growing into myself, after putting it off for my whole life.
This is the only me there has been. Yeah there was this protective husk, stumbling around for decades. but that wasn’t me. It was the parcel post shipping container. It had no awareness, no sense of self. It didn’t feel anything, want anything. It was just layers of swaddling, to get me through the long exchange.
I don’t know anything about my assigned gender beyond what I can read in a book or see on a screen. Experientially I can’t tell you how it feels any more than I can describe what microwaves look like. It’s an alien concept. It has nothing to do with me.