If You Suspect, Tell Them, Please.

Hi. My Name is Anna.

I’m Anna. I like Cooking, Cameras, Kids and Computers. I have a wonderful family of 4 kids and a loving wife. While we’re not rich by any stretch of the imagination, I’m still able to indulge in my passions, like cook nice foods and play computer games.

You’d think then that I’ve been happy? Unfortunately that have not been the case for so long. I’ve been feeling like there’s something off for the longest time, but I haven’t really been able to put a name on it, but just recently.

See, unfortunately to me, I am/was ‘Anna’ just in my mind. I have lived in this male body for 41 years. I’m AMAB and I’ve just really recently figured out I’m a transwoman. There have been many, many, MANY signs over the years when looking back.

So why so recently? Why did I have to reach 40 before realizing that? The only one person I can actually blame on this is me, of course. I just didn’t realize it. But I sure as hell didn’t have much help in it.

Let’s start from the beginning, relatively.

I’m 5 or so years old. My favorite color in the world is red. Everyone’s jokingly saying it’s a “girl’s color” and smile. I can wear the color and I’m happy. I like to have my hair long. It was cut shorter than I’d like (Ideally I wouldn’t want it cut at all), but still long enough so it’s not short. Everyone jokes I look like a girl and laughs and pats my head. They don’t mean it badly. I’m happy, I can have my ‘long’ hair.

I’m seven years old, I start school. I have three best friends, every one is a girl. I don’t really get along with boys my age. I hang out with them, of course and we play. I just get bullied because I’m not “in” it. We’re out swimming with my best friends and we get called “girls” as a group, even though I’m only wearing my swimming pants, no top. We laugh. I’m relatively happy, but the bullying in school is taking its toll.

I’m twelve years old. I’m still best friends with the girls. I’ve taught them to dive, we hang out in the summers. Daily I also play with boys, sometimes even enjoying it greatly (I love roleplaying P&P games). Mostly I got excluded from the “boys groups” though. I draw and play computers games. My grandfather tells me “cut your hair or buy a guitar”. Everyone has a good-natured laugh. I smile. (And don’t buy a guitar, nor cut my hair.)

I’m fourteen. I’m in junior high school. I meet a couple of new (girl) friends that I’ll be friends with for years. We don’t hang out after school that much, because home locations. At home I’m mostly just playing computer games, role playing games or cooking/baking. This is the time I first slightly notice I’m not “like the other guys”. While they are looking at girls and ogling over them I’m not.. or at least not like them. I do ogle and find them beautiful and begin to notice it affects my body.. but I secretly also wish I’d *be* them, not “have” them like my friends. I take care of my baby cousins and siblings a lot. Everyone has a good laugh and point out I’d be a good mother. I volunteer to take care of babies at an international meeting. One tiny black baby steals my heart.

I’m sixteen or so. I’m in high school (really not, it’s just the closest equivalent). My best friends are still the couple of girls from junior high school, but I find a couple of guys that share my passion in roleplaying and computers so we hang out. A lot. More than I have in the past. The “tradition” continues that schoolmates and friends ogle at girls and talk about how they’d want to have them… and I keep wishing I’d be them. Teen-age is hitting me hard so I don’t really get called “girly” physically anymore. They do mention laughingly once a while that I’d make a good girl because of what I do. (Cook, take care of babies etc.)

Fast-forward to 20s. I’m working once in awhile. I’m more friends with female co-workers than males. I don’t really hang out with my male coworkers at all, except in the case where I lived a year within the building where my job was and it was exclusively males all along (civil service – I didn’t want to go to military). I have relatively fun time. I’m online A LOT. Always playing a female character. I begin to notice I really, really prefer them and can’t associate with male characters, eventually at all. I use the excuse of “if I have to watch at my characters back for so long, I’d like to stare at a nice lady butt instead of male.” But I know it’s an excuse. Socially, I’m away from pretty much everyone, except family. People laugh and point out occasionally that “I’d make a good mother some day”. I smile outward.

I’m 25. My first child is born. I’m over the moon, I have my own baby and he’s the cutest thing ever. But I grieve the fact that it was my wife who carried him and I never get to feel a baby in me. My wife doesn’t really like to cook and it’s all fine with me, I can then do it. From right before he’s born, there’s a funny story. I’m in the kitchen, cooking food with an apron on. My wife sits on the sofa in the living room with a grilled sausage and a glass of (non-alcoholic) cider. She’s watching the TV and just as I glance there, there’s commercial break going on and there’s an ad about hockey or something. I pointed all this out and we have a great laugh about our gender roles: she’s there on the sofa with a sausage watching sports like the stereotypical (Finnish) guy and I’m in the kitchen cooking in an apron. Our “gender roles” in this relationship has always been a bit crooked. I do much more of the traditionally feminine things than her.

Did you notice the trend?

Okay, it may have been a bit buried in there, but did you notice? All my life I’ve been told I’m “feminine” or “girlish”… but always, ALWAYS with a laugh or “as a joke”. Nobody, no-one EVER said it to my face, seriously. And me being thick-headed didn’t get that until it was pointed at me with a proverbial hammer by a Reddit user. While I was 40. It took a while to sink it and I’m just beginning to understand it myself. Blocks just keep on falling to places and things keep on clicking. Oh. OH! RIIIGHT.


So, what’s the lesson from this story?

The simple lesson is, if you know a “me”, please, please for the love of goddess and everything. POINT IT OUT TO THEM. And most, MOST IMPORTANTLY; don’t laugh about it. Don’t make a joke about it. I give my friends and family partial pass based on time – in the 80s or 90s being trans wasn’t nearly as “accepted” (like it is now…) or “normal”. It was still called “being transsexual” and a whole bunch of other misunderstandments were prevalent. But the important thing to me was that nobody took it seriously. Nobody.

So please. Take it seriously. Point it out to them. Spell it out. Hit with a hammer. Explain. point them to r/egg_irl and r/traa on reddit. What’s the worst thing that can happen? A person you know of gets angry at you for “accusing” them for being trans? They were not your friend if that ends your friendship. The good outweigh the bad in a 1:bazillion scale. If they just laugh at it, do it a second time. Write it down if you think it’ll go through better like that. Be sure they know the facts of being trans and that you’d be okay with it. If they choose to not, then don’t push it of course. But make sure they know that they *could* be trans and what it means.

In hindsight, I really, REALLY wish someone would’ve done that to me 20 or 30 years ago.


2 thoughts on “If You Suspect, Tell Them, Please.

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