I’m sitting in a restaurant on a busy corner. Giant panes of glass are to my left and directly in front of me. In many ways, I feel like a wild animal in a zoo. People can see me. But, I can also see them. Every time a woman walks by, a million little things about her trigger my gender dysphoria.
Two attractive young women walked by carrying babies. A woman in her 50’s walked by with the most perfect braid in her hair. A girl in her teens just walked by wearing tight jeans. A mother and daughter are sitting to my right. They are laughing and enjoying each other’s company. Growing up, things like this and what seem like a million other little things would trigger my dysphoria. Everything about being a woman would be a trigger. From makeup to how they talked to how they dressed and even how they interacted with each other. At times, it gets to be overwhelming.
Some of you may call this jealousy. And in a way, I guess your right. But, I never saw it exactly that way. Everytime I see a woman, it’s another reminder of the state of my existence. It shines the light right back at me. It’s the reason I don’t like looking in mirrors. It’s the reason I don’t interact with people much.
To be fair, I am working on transitioning. And the vast amount of triggers that used to make me spiral into depression don’t affect me like they used to. The further I go down this rabbit hole, the more triggers will and have been vanishing. My face is slowly changing. My skin is softer. I’m not as muscular as I used to be. But, there are things I will never be able to change. I’ll never be able to get pregnant. I’m not sure my parents will ever see me as their daughter. I’ll never be able to be shorter in height. I’m slowly coming to peace with some of these things. And learning that what I see as a trigger, some natal women see as a handicap of sorts. Most shorter women I meet wish they were taller. Now, granted, I’m not incredibly tall. I’m 5’10”. But, I wish I was maybe somewhere between 5’5″ and 5’8″. I often ask women who have been pregnant what it’s like. I really shouldn’t do that, though. It makes me depressed. On the upside, I’ll never have a period.
It’s a slow process. Hopefully, one day, I’ll drop the word “trigger” and just see it as jealousy or envy. I just want to be accepted and seen as the girl I am inside. Is that too much to ask for?