I use the pronoun “she.”
When I was six, I thought I would become a girl and grow breasts. Later I started to grow facial hair. Nowadays, hormones can stop the hair and prevent the voice from changing, and a person can have a woman’s’ voice and not grow muscular.
I would love to be identified as female, and if I were smaller, I would. But I’m 6-foot-3 and built like a linebacker, so I’m comfortable being genderqueer. I’m attracted to both straight women and lesbians. Lesbians would prefer I have the bottom surgery straight women don’t want me to. Both are pleased that I have breasts. Women are okay with my low voice. When I lead [group] meditations, people find my voice soothing.
I use female pronouns. People who see me say, “You’re trying to look like a woman,” but I’m just trying to look like me.
I explained this to some girls questioning me at a hockey tournament. I said girls couldn’t play hockey, and now its normal. It’s not considered normal for dads to wear dresses or paint their nails, but someday it will be. For now, I’m the exception. Eventually, you look around and you’re forging a new path with a machete and making your way through the jungle.
My transition was rough. I have seven children, and in 2009 my wife of 22 years asked me to leave. I told her about myself when she was 17 and we’d been dating for three years. We married, and I thought I was secure in my gender, my sexuality and my religion. It all seemed to be okay, but she asked me to stop being trans or leave – and everything fell apart.
I lost my houses and access to my children. I went from middle-class to homeless. I was incarcerated, depressed and suicidal. Things changed quickly, and it took a long time to figure out where the bottom was. I was a law-abiding, upstanding citizen for 46 years. All of a sudden someone took a picture of me in a dress and all these things happened – because of the clothes I was wearing? I’m the same person under the clothes.
I think gender is going to be obsolete within 20 years. With proper hormone treatment, no one will know who’s trans, and people will get hired and work in their chosen gender. There won’t be discrimination any more because no one will know who to pick on.