In my last post I looked at the historic link between hormonally induced anxiety (particularly PMS), irrationality and how women might perceive themselves during this time. I described how in some women the discomfort might actually induce dysphoria and a genuine wish to get rid of specific anatomy. In this post I´ll be exploring a bit more how this relates to my own story.
Transgender is not a term that I grew up with or that I heard a lot as a kid. In fact, I never heard this term around me. I might have heard it on television, in skits were being transsexual would often be employed as a joke (the stereotypical guy who runs into a bar, meets a transsexual woman without knowing it, takes her home and freaks out). I grew up thinking of transsexuals as “others”.
The fact that I only knew two genders, made it difficult for me to figure out why I was so uncomfortable with my own body or with my voice. The most apparent reason would be my upbringing. By which I mean my mother. She was hard, unforgiving, and unpredictable. She suffered from unexplained rages and intermittent suicidality, and needless to say growing up with her was not particularly healthy.
The rages – which I now link to severe hormonal and chemical imbalance – are the reason that I made the link to hysteria in my last post and can only be described as something right out of a television show. Watching a woman go through this can be incredibly discouraging and make you question their humanity, as they seem to have lost all touch with the personality they had previously.
In light of this upbringing it wouldn´t surprise you that I wanted to avoid growing up in her image, and yet this was difficult because I suffered from the same unexplained hormonal and chemical imbalance and PMDD. I hated every aspect of it, and made a connection between being emotionally unaccountable or “crazy” and being female, whether that is fair or not (I was a kid).
I spent quite some years wondering whether my dysphoria was really misogyny turned inwards – a deep desire to be nothing like that woman. I wondered about what femininity meant to me and I tried to give it a new turn (a more friendly, compassionate turn) but even that did not work out for me – I just grew more uneasy with my body over time, until I ran into the possibility of being transgender.