In the beginning, there was man. An then there was a woman. And that's who everyone saw. Because what is on the inside doesn't matter, not for most. When I was born the doctors looked between my legs and proclaimed: it's a girl! And that's what I got stuck with. It doesn't even occur to most people to look beyond the obvious and actually ask: how do you feel? What do you feel you are?
When I was growing up I was constantly compared to my older sister. She really was a girl and I tried to be as well, standing in her shadow. I knew I was supposed to be a boy. Deep down I felt it. I knew my mother had really wanted a son and since I was the second girl I could only imagine her disappointment. So I tried to be the best girl I could be. But I failed. Over and over again. So I tried harder and harder and when that didn't work I tried to make myself disappear. It was no way of living, it was hell. But the idea of becoming a boy? It seemed impossible. It was too late. I screwed up at conception and that was the end of it. I had heard of transsexuals. I knew they existed. But what I heard were horror stories only. Confused and desperate gay men in New York City (cause things like that only happen there) who dressed up as failed women, prostituting themselves to get the money they needed to let some butcher cut off their penises in some filthy back room. That was not me. I couldn't possibly be a transsexual.
For years I struggled, trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. I couldn't get it done. It drove me insane, and almost over the edge. Eventually I managed to regain my sanity and to create surroundings in which I could be more myself. My friends are all open minded, intelligent, kind people. We're all a bit different from most people. We showed each other that's okay. It's okay to be a bit odd, to do things slightly different, to not follow the standard routes, to be just who you are. We don't judge each other. We just ask each other questions. And so I slowly became more aware of who I really am and learned to like myself. And then I became aware of the thing that I had long ago pushed far away, deep down, my darkest secret, the fact that I was truly a man inside. And my friends all told me that's okay. Hardly anyone was surprised. Some had figured it out on their own already. And there is was. There I was: a man. And so here I am. It's time for the journey to begin.