Only a few years ago, in 2019, I realised age 45 that I identify as transgender – androgynous to be precise, which comes under the non-binary branch of the transgender tree. I am still on a journey trying to figure out how to express this, and exactly what it means to me, and also more importantly exactly how I feel. Since then, I have cut off my hair and got a ‘male’ haircut. My clothes have also changed to more unisex and I wear more gender neutral glasses. And off course, I have really thought about it a lot.
I think that when I was younger, if I had received the support and encouragement I needed, I would probably have transitioned to male. But back then, off course this was out of the question, and I was forced to conform as soon as I hit puberty. This, and also massively the childhood trauma I experienced, led to lots of mental health issues, drug abuse and sexual- and domestic abuse.
Only now, I have the mental space and peace inside myself to start to address my gender identity. I accept my body now, as it is female, but I can’t accept the female identity. I still feel mostly male inside, but at the moment the androgynous identity feels best suited to my feelings. I don’t feel I have the strength and endurance to go through a full transition to male, it feels like a massive task to even think about. And, still, I am not sure that is truly how I feel. I do however, feel very confident in my new identity. But, I have no friends or anyone who I can relate to, and talk to about this.
Another aspect is that I am now confused about my sexuality. I have always had hetero sexual relationships, but only had one time I really fancied a woman, although I did not have the courage to make it known to her. Now I question how I feel. I really feel attracted to the idea of pan-sexuality, which means being sexually attracted to people, regardless of their gender identity. But the biggest obstacle in exploring this is that I have no social life to speak of, and struggle to trust anyone. There are so many aspects of me that are not conforming with the norm, I just don’t know where to start or how to find likeminded individuals even just to make friends with. Also my traumatic past is a major factor in this, I just feel I have nothing to fall back on, no reserve, no strong support network.
Basically, I feel I can’t afford to make any more mistakes in my choice of partner, also for my daughter’s sake who is struggling to accept even the idea of me getting another relationship. Well, with a man, cause as far as she’s concerned, she could live with a woman or other transgender person, but not a man. But my concerns are more about my wrong choices of partner, ending up in abusive relationships in the past. But now I have been single for about 7 years, and I really yearn for someone to share life with.
Luckily I have learned a few things over the years which could help me overcome some of the difficulties. I have learned that I need to put strict boundaries in place when I deal with people. And then, adhere to it myself which means that I have to make sure others and myself do not cross my boundaries. For instance, when I get to know a person I should not meet at my or their house the first time, or even the second time. I should not stay the night before I am certain this person will respect my boundaries, and is cautious to give me space to develop trust. This I find very difficult, and I tend to make lots of excuses why I should not stick to this rule, or why the other person doesn’t need to adhere to it, which undermines my self-care regime and sense of self respect. I understand this comes from my self-loathing and lack of self love. So to protect myself I have for years locked myself away in my house, and been quite stand-offish and put up a front.
This does no longer suffice. I am lonely and really suffer from lack of social interaction. At the same time though, the pressure is mounting inside me, because I don’t think I now have the skills to safely go out there and date, or even socialise. That is a dangerous situation developing there. What am I going to do?
For now, I try to reach out in safe places like my friends in the Socialist Party and carefully try to make friends at uni. I am in a few trans/non-binary groups but it seems there’s mainly very young people in there, and quite focused on physical appearance.
So, if any of you are in their 40’s or 50’s, are active socialists and interested in friendship, please get in touch ;).