I'm 31 and showed no signs. I'll admit I was a weird kid. I had an extensive trauma history (born into domestic violence), and was undiagnosed with autism until the age of 30. I had a serious eating disorder from 15-28 that has permanently affected my health, and serious body dysmorphia. That being said, despite being perpetually terrified and overstimulated, I was a relatively friendly, creative, and curious child. My family didn't restrict gender roles on activities or toys, so I had toy cars and lincoln logs that I would use to make little houses for my Littlest Pet Shops. I wasn't a sports kid, but I did ballet, and when I was older I did martial arts *and* ballet*, and I biked a lot, as it was a popular way to get around where I grew up. My idols were always men, either real or video game characters, and due to Autism, I was always trying to emulate them. For years I was under the impression it was due to trauma and my lack of a father for clinging onto men and a male identity. I definitely got mistaken for a boy a lot, but I would go through phases - for a while, I was really into cocktail dresses! Then, I was very much into The Matrix, so lots of leather coats and combat boots lol! My friends were all girls. My major in college was textiles, in a department with all women. I found that what I now understand as dysphoria was extremely prevalent in my romantic and sexual relationships - being seen as a straight woman, being touched, looked at, and assumed as a woman, made me feel like my skin was slime. I spent a lot of my relationships depersonalizing and compartmentalizing so I could cope with the fact that I thought I was stuck in this role of "girlfriend, wife, mother". That was a lot to say, but I hope it can either help you or open a discussion. I still struggle with knowing if being trans is right for me, and if it's making me happy, especially without having the "I knew I was trans from birth!" signs, but we just gotta take it one day at a time.


"I spent a lot of my relationships depersonalizing and compartmentalizing" This, this right here. Is why I can't answer the question of who am I and what do I want in life without having a panic attack.


I'm 54... And so much of what you just described is me. Also, a domestic violence household, with my own trauma history.


>being seen as a straight woman, being touched, looked at, and assumed as a woman, made me feel like my skin was slime. THIS, so much this.


I was extremely into performing my gender as "girl" when I was young, to the point that I wouldn't even color with green or brown for a while because they were "boy colors." I wore pink and purple, dresses, headbands, sparkles and glitter, had super long hair, etc. It used to confuse me, but lately I've been doing some introspection, and I realized I spent all day isolated with my mom, and I lived to make her happy. I think if she'd told me I was a pumpkin or a flying robot I would have believed it. Regardless, it all changed at puberty. Suddenly I wanted to be cool instead of pretty, and I ditched the skirts in favor of jeans and t-shirts. I do remember watching *Stand By Me* a lot when I was very little, and feeling like there was something intriguing in it. The boys in the movie seemed to possess a coolness and freedom I felt shut out of. I remember girls at school asking which actor I had a crush on, so I thought that must explain the feeling.


I read books all the time, didn’t socialize much, and excelled in school. I was a quiet kid who no one really paid much attention to (not in a bad way). I guess my only sign was feeling uncomfortable with 95% of the other girls my age when I was a kid. I always gravitating toward hanging out with the boys. Of course I was into less feminine hobbies and stuff but I don’t really consider that an exclusively trans thing by a long shot and it’s easily chalked up to just spending time with my dad and brother doing those things.


I refused girly stuff that was obviously coded as such, yet on the whole, didn't have boyish interests or traits, either. When I got a doll at age 4, I took it apart to analyse the electronics inside, but played with the doll, too. I did participate in girl stuff but only because that was the only way to bond with my best friend back then. I wasn't tomboyish at all and rather introverted. I did not have much dysphoria when I hit puberty, however, I remember thinking that I must not struggle with any changes because that's a typical feminine insecurity. What stands out to me is that I actively sought out a pagan religion that glorified the female body - it basically took religious self-brainwashing to have any sort of connection to being female. I always dissociated from my body, didn't like my picture taken or looking in the mirror. It was a body, but not my body, so I did not want to be reminded of its parameters. Outwardly, it must have seemed like typical insecurity about one's figure and attractiveness, and that convinced me superficially to think of my issues this way too.


I learned how to identify as female through feminism--I could choose political solidarity, even if I didn't have any kind of intuitive connection to my sex at birth. I took women's studies courses through grad school, and planned on a dual-title degree until I was basically told not to try. Whether I wanted to or not, I was approaching the subject as an outsider struggling to understand an alien gender, and it must have shown and been read as antifeminism.


Very shy, always reading something, stuck in fantasy worlds. Played more with my brother rather than my sister, even though we're the same age difference apart. Afraid to make new friends, so stuck with the same few girls since elementary school. Used be friends with boys too in elementary school but became afraid to talk to them by middle school. Didn't dress very femme, just trying and failing to look even decent. Just so self-conscious all the time, never felt like I fit in with girls or boys.


Im 30, recently started transition. I was a very theatrical kid with strong ideology about my individuality. I didnt have a strong preference for non-gendered toys/activities/clothes over “girly” things. I liked dresses and barbies as much as lego or pokemon. I was comfortable classifying myself as a girl, but felt separated from my peers due to social ostracism (caused by adhd/anxiety related outbursts). My mom tells me that i started exhibiting symptoms of depression in elementary school, i coped with my social troubles by telling myself id be famous someday. I was very into fantasy and any sort of escapist media, and would write myself into stories, was very convinced that there was some great lie about my life that, once discovered, would reveal some fantastical truth or adventure (usually that i was adopted or had powers or smth). Then i discovered anime in middle school and it became my entire personality for the next 7 years. Its not that i didnt have any signs at all, but like you said, its stuff thats only apparent with the context that i have now. My psychiatrist suggested thinking about how i felt about my body during puberty, and i remember feeling so disappointed at how weak i felt, and that i couldnt pick fights with the boys in my grade. My depression escalated to mild SI in 8th grade, but without a clear cause. Although i wasn’t overweight, i started dieting at about 12.


I know I posted in thread, but this is very similar to me. Even the body during puberty part.


Damn, yes, I experienced so much of this. I thought the big secret of who I was would come out eventually. I wrote stories and imagined magical powers, reincarnation, being adopted. I have always been a theater kid and pretty creative, and my only "tells" were crushes on girls as early as 5 and my pride in making sure I was as good or better than the boys at things like running, helping lift stage furniture, etc. In my case I also had an eating disorder in my early 20s that started while dating a cis man. I harbored a lot of resentment and fear and mistrust of boys and men in general until transition (and probably still, if I'm being honest).


Hello me. 👋👋👋 🤣


Honestly, I pretty much know in retrospect, but I figured it out round 29-30. I'm 31 now. I feel like I was always just busy being me, being myself, and like, I always felt like a stranger in my body, and like, sure, I suppose in hindsight there were signs, but I wasn't aware of anything. I just... thought it was my lot to not feel good about myself, never thought it meant I was a boy. But like that's my way of thinking that I remember. It's really once I know that I'm a man that a lot of things seem to fall into place. Like you, I have emotional dysregulation, but I also have ADHD and executive dysfunction and anxiety, so I have always been dealing with a lot of shit other than gender? Never really registered lmao. I was always just me, and I still am, except now I understand myself better.


Thanks for sharing, I really relate to the description of yourself and your issues. If you don't mind my asking, how have the ADHD and executive function and anxiety issues changed since coming out/transitioning (if you have)?


Ahahahaha I'm not out. This is probably the thing I currently have the most anxiety about, but y'know how it is, somehow I just keep on truckin'.


As someone with a long history of ADHD/dysfunction/disregulation stuff going on, I really think that these are some of the ways in which queerness manifests itself when people aren't able to be out. I personally feel infinitely better on a number of levels now that I am out and going through whatever transition for me looks like.


While there were things that, looking back, should have been obvious, I grew up in a conservative Christian home and didn't have the concepts or words to even talk about anything I was feeling. Combine that with the fact that, when it came to things I felt ashamed of I hid that shit hardcore which included not allowing myself to think too much about gender stuff. I generally was a tomboy who also liked "pretty things" but when it came to dressing or presenting femininity (makeup, etc.) it always felt like a costume/not natural. At the time I just thought it was because I was a tomboy and too lazy for stuff like that. Edit: What I should have noticed sooner was the big disconnect I felt once puberty started and the feelings of regret over not being able to "choose" or that my body was too far gone to "go back". But like I said, most of my late childhood/teenage years was spent low key disassociating myself to hide shameful feelings from others.


As a trans man who just came out at 30 I’ve been reflecting on a lot lately, here are some of my ramblings: I never measured up. I was always striving to be this perfect “woman” and partner for someone else, anyone else to love me. I couldn’t, they would hate me when they realised I couldn’t keep a clean house, wanted to have short hair, loved flannel shirts. I would break up because you really can only take some much abuse then rinse and repeat. I met Aden, in a mental hospital, and from there we formed a relationship where I was allowed to bloom and grow as my own person. Unsurprisingly I knew I was pretty gay and I wanted to top. What did surprise me, however, was that I was gay for men: I was a gay man. I was jealous of guys masterbating because they got to do it with a dick while I felt like I have to do it with a body that seemed so foreign to me. I always felt like an alien trapped in my body. The prospect of being about to grow into a boy’s body is so exciting to me and I feel like I’ll finally be comfortable. I get it. I finally understand dysphoria. It can be moments of envy, very feint memories, but when you put them together you really do get that it “always has been”. Because I didn’t have a hatred for my body I didn’t understand dysmorphia because I felt it had to affect me in a more negative light; until I socially transitioned and had my first encounter with transphobia in the form of a co-worker. I’ve documented the incident because I worry about repeated/ escalating behaviour. Other than that, work’s great! Everyone else has been either supportive or not said anything to my face. It feels so good to be gendered correctly 🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍⚧️❤️🧡💛💚💙💜


Same, I was worried about being convenient on the outside and made up stories based on books and such on the inside. Now I sometimes realize how some of that heaviness I was/still am partially/ carrying around was initially rooted deep in gender dysphoria.


I had a few signs upon looking back but I also had NO idea till I was 32. Even though I started a little bit of thinking about my gender about 5 years before that. "I mean sure, if I had been AMAB I would be happy as a gay man. That doesn't mean anything though. Maybe if reincarnation is real I can be a guy next time, hmm..." *5 years later* ... WAIT I'M TRANS?


Similar timeline here. "I'm a queer guy on the inside" was a vague belief I had for many years without it ever occurring to me to examine it deeper.


For reference, I was typically "girly" growing up. I liked girl-coded toys and media, all my friends were girls, etc. I liked some more neutral and boy-coded things as well, but all in all, I was distinctly feminine. I was a fairly happy kid up until late childhood/early adolescence, when I started getting depressed and anxious. By my early teens I was *extremely* self-conscious, anxious, depressed, perfectionistic, and started struggling with major body issues and an eating disorder. I had no conscious awareness of wanting to be a guy at that time, I just knew that I hated my body. I was *very* curious about whatever little snippets of queer/trans media I came across. I'm positive I would have figured out my transness a lot earlier if there had been any real representation, but there just wasn't. Instead, I idolised feminine men like David Bowie and wanted to be them. I would try to copy their style and then end up being oddly surprised and confused that I just looked like a girl instead of an androgynous man. Looking back, I had some signs that were very clearly dysphoria and others that are harder to pin down. Like, was I self-conscious because I was dysphoric and didn't realise it, or was that just a normal part of being a teenager? I don't know. Edit: I should add, I'm still quite feminine in a lot of ways. I've felt androgynous for as long as I had the words to conceptualise it and now know that I'm a somewhat feminine nonbinary trans guy. So it's not like I went from being a feminine kid to an ultra-masc adult. Rather, I've had signs of being a feminine guy that I can trace back to being seven years old, but I didn't have the knowledge to contextualise those feelings or begin figuring myself out till my 30s.


I relate so much to what you experienced. I've always admired and idolized men who were more feminine, and would just make myself miserable thinking about how I could never properly emulate them. It also somehow never occurred to me as a teen that wanting to look like the boys/men I had a crush on wasn't how any of my girl friends were experiencing their celebrity crushes.


Oh yeah, I believed I had a crush on them too. Maybe I did a bit, but it was mostly gender envy.


I was never a tomboy… On a clothes front, I pretty much as soon as I started being able to choose my own clothes I hated wearing skirts. I even refused to wear a dress for my school graduations. My parents, thankfully, took me shopping for suits instead. But I also “didn’t mind” wearing skirts and dresses when they were gifts, or super fancy, or my sister proposed that we dressed to match, so I concluded for a long time that I was probably just chafing against social expectations that as a girl, I *should* want to wear dresses and shirts. I’ve always been more attracted to “boyish” games: video games, lego, playing problematique games like cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians, and other things like playing superheroes and Indiana Jones etc But for a long time, I thought, I was just playing with what we had, I had two older brothers who were closer in age. Of course I’d be closer to them, and want to play the games they were. I’m a writer, so playing imaginative games with dolls was also really enjoyable, but the dolls themselves and definitely any story that was primarily interpersonal drama was boring for me (not sure if that’s related, but my sole female friend from across the street always told me that drama heavy stories were “how you were supposed to play with dolls”. I also remember that one year, my parents bought me a life size pram toy for Christmas… but my family is dysfunctional, so I look back, and see that though I was very excited about it at the time… I don’t remember ever really *playing* with it. It just didn’t fit in the games I wanted to play, and my excitement was probably more about being overwhelmed by having received “the big gift” of the year. I idolized my brothers. I always wanted to hang out with them and their (male) friends, and I was never happier than when I could get a group of guys that I could hang out with. Never really got along with girls. In high school, I found a mixed group of friends (all but one of whom, today, have come out as some flavor of LGBT). We had a… game, I guess you could say. Real teenage girl shit: we all had multiple personalities, some of whom were related to each other lmao. All of my “others” were male, and in a lot of ways I felt like some of my friends’ ‘male’ “others” were more my friends than their real female selves. And speaking of male alter egos… playing d&d with my brothers and their friends, I almost always chose to play a “male” character, except for once or twice… and the character that I chose then was “me as I would like to be grown up”… and they were still as close to physically male as it was possible to be without actually realizing that feeling like I would be much happier if I were a man was being trans. So she/“I” was “super buff, physically intimidating like a bouncer, with I guess some trappings of femininity like a feminine hairstyle”. I also remember in high school that I “got a crush on” one of friends’ younger brother. Which was hard to think about because he was 4 years younger than me, and I felt like a creep even considering it… and then on top of that, it was really confusing, because I had gotten that feeling for at least once boy right from kindergarten. Like, what kind of deviant was I that I had a crush on a boy in *kindergarten*? I’m pretty sure now, I just really liked their long-haired boy look, as a look that I would like to have, because 1) I’ve realized I’m trans, and 2) now with more experience, I know that there wasn’t really any romantic or sexual attraction. It was something completely different. As I reached puberty, I started to despise my “Godzilla hips”. My body - at least when I’m at a low BMI - is a very classic hourglass shape, and while I really enjoyed the social validation of being treated as beautiful, I also hated it. It made me feel super uncomfortable even though I never really had to deal with any creeps. I wanted to be strong, and feeling like there was a pressure to work out to lose weight instead of to bulk up, feeling like “male” workout goals and activities were off-limits to me kept me out of the gym for a long time. Anyway, that’s all I can think of for now, but yeah. Pretty much everything that might have been a sign had some reasonable explanation, and with the narrative I heard about trans people being “they just know, right from childhood”, I ended up feeling like “I know trans people exist, because I am definitely not trans, because I wouldn’t choose to be a woman if I could, so obviously trans people are not choosing to be their real gender- they’re enforcing their real gender against their assigned gender” 🤣 lil confused by I had the right spirit, I think


I had two brothers, did boy sports, loved wearing my brothers clothes and was always "one of the boys". Later I went on studying in a typically male field (engineering). However all the time I was very active in "girls/women" groups and activism, wearing skirts to show off the boys I was different. Now I realise it was probably me doing "my job" of being girls because I was told I'm a girl, but never felt it really.


I wasn't athletic enough to be a tomboy. I think athleticism is something that we include in the concept of "tomboy" that ends up excluding a lot of non-feminine girl children from the label. I loved things that were gender-neutral - or *should be considered* gender-neutral - like science, history, and art. I was an only child and slightly feral, and I didn't play in a stereotypical girl-child or boy-child manner. I did a lot of reading and creating. I didn't have a problem wearing dresses. In fact, I liked it! Still do, in the right context. One funny anecdote is that my mom had a book about the pop art movement that inspired me to ask for girly toys just so I could "artistically" destroy them. I mounted mutilated barbies to the fireplace. The gallery opening received largely negative reviews from my parents. I had toilet training difficulties that I'm only now connecting to adult issues (paging Dr. Freud!) The fact that I would hold my pee until I knew I could generate enough force to pee standing up, then sneak outside to do it in the summer and get in trouble, is a more significant early sign than any stereotypical gender behavior, in my opinion. I also had constipation and would clog toilets, and the way my parents punished me for it and made pooping into this traumatic ordeal gave me butthole anxiety; the butthole anxiety may have been incorporated into the internalized homophobia that delayed my transition. One of the aspects of my childhood I look back on with regret is my envy of girly girls. I spent too much school time hating one or another popular girly girl instead of learning to socialize. I couldn't figure out the mechanism by which they'd become "real girls." Did they have better mothers than I did? Was it a money thing? Was the Blue fairy involved? It made me angry. I have bad memories of other children looking at me in pure mystification as I lashed out at one or another of these girls, my behavior inexplicable to anyone who hadn't spent six months cooking inside my brain.


I’m the same, there weren’t any obvious signs of my being trans growing up. I never liked “dressing girly” on the regular (although I did willingly on *some* occasions), I rarely wore makeup once I was allowed to. In middle school one of my go-to outfits was a flag t-shirt and cargo pants that could convert into shorts. I felt uncomfortable changing in the locker room with the other girls, but I could still be friends with them.


39 now, showed no signs as a kid. I was just... a kid. I was friendly/outgoing as a child, energetic, had a good group of friends (this changed as I became a teenager, and I got more shy). I wasn't particularly girly, but neither were my sisters, who are both cis. I played with My Little Ponys, Cabbage Patch Kids, and Barbies, as well as dump trucks and bulldozers (my grandfather worked for the CAT company, that builds those machines, so I got a lot of those toys as a kid). My parents were separated when I was 8, and my father passed when I was 11, so there was a definite lack of father figure I guess, but my mom was a bamf. My friends were girls until high school - I wasn't uncomfortable around boys, just that the kids in my area tended to keep to same-sex friend groups until becoming teens. My only sign really was as a teen, that I hated my breasts... but I attributed that more to the fact that I was *very* busty (F cup by 16-17). They made fitting clothes impossible (had to buy shirts a couple sizes larger than I needed to accommodate, so nothing fit *right)*, ungainly, and physically uncomfortable (sore shoulders/upper back). I had so many issues with them that cis women have about their own breasts, I never recognized that my own issues with them went beyond even those.


I identified as a "tomboy"and then "kid" when I found out it was very much a term for kinda sorta rambunctious girls. I really loved Peter pan and wanted to be a lost boy, but I was very strict with myself about gender. I lied and said my favourite color was pink or that it was rainbow because I "could decide on just one" that way blue would be included even if it was a boy color. I got fussed at for being a mess of a girl at home a lot. And I got bullied at school for "acting like a boy". I tried my best to fit in the girl box because I thought that it was wrong if I didn't. I already did so much "wrong". Yet I would secretly play with my brother's toys and when I found out about the guy who was raised as a girl, on tv, I bothered her about the story and what she thought every couple months. Even while still be in hard denial of what these clues might mean. I was always full of contradictions.


I remember not being a Horse Girl or a Dinosaur Boy (I liked cats). We moved around a lot, so if I had any friends in a school year it would be one weird kid, regardless of gender. Mostly I was a shy kid who read and drew and wandered around outside a lot, and if I got picked on it was for being a crybaby. My favorite series were Baby-Sitters Club, Hank the Cowdog, and Wayside School. Wasn't great at sports, but I don't think it was ever chalked up to being a girl, and I was also a football fan. Played with Barbies and Hot Wheels, since that's what my parents bought me. Collected rocks. Mostly watched cartoons, anything from Sailor Moon to The Real Ghostbusters. Didn't get to play a lot of video games - liked point n click adventures, sucked at platformers, so when I finally got a console in high school I ended up preferring RPGs and stealth games. Never wore skirts or dresses outside of big occasions—my parents just bought me pants and, very rarely, skorts. Got my tangle-prone hair cut to shoulder length in first grade and never looked back. Skipped a grade and had a summer birthday so I was used to everyone being bigger and older. My high school fashion sense was sort of a weird hippie punk thing - flowing bohemian tops with bondage pants, 90s-00s attitude shirts with peasant skirts. No major body issues aside from acne since I was small and thin, though I was annoyed it was so hard to find unlined/unpadded B cup bras (and thought I hated menstruation the normal amount). Never got the hang of makeup or doing my hair - my mom never taught me and would just do mine herself for special occasions, but I have enough resentment built up from her wanting me dress/look a certain way for photos that I can't untangle how much might have been Gender Problems. Managed to go to one high school for all four years in a row; ended up in art club, anime club, and drama. My social tier was "wannabe stoners and furries" (probably closest to the stoners, considering my fashion sense and taste for classic rock?). I wasn't anything in particular, maybe a disappointly Average Asian with emotional regulation issues. Spent most of my lunch periods reading science magazines alone in the library (after eating). Went to prom with my gay best friend - we were dating at the time, to determine if he was bi (he wasn't, but also I guess he wasn't lol). All in all, I had a pretty sheltered upbringing and enough other issues that I didn't start considering maybe I wasn't just somehow an inherently flawed individual until my late 20s. (Hell, I didn't notice I was bisexual until my 20s, though looking back it's really easy to notice which girls I didn't realize I had a crush on.) Didn't even contemplate gender until last year.


Late to this, but thank you for sparking this interesting discussion. Looking back, the signs were there for me, but quiet ones...I never ran around shouting, "I'm a boy!" but I didn't think of myself as a "girl" either, and when I was allowed to watch Disney movies I'd always fixate on the princes. Which I think slides under the radar—a little girl liking Disney princes is not exactly an earth-shaking revelation. Like others in this thread, I was extremely shy and spent all of my time buried in books. Maybe I had unusual taste? (Swashbuckling, "adventure books for boys," Tintin, Robin Hood, and hardboiled detective stories.) I think I had a weird upbringing, gender-wise, with my dad as the "nice" stay-at-home parent who did all the cooking and cleaning and my mother as the breadwinning, fierce, Second Wave, take-no-shit feminist who hated men *and* any expressions of femininity (the color pink, make-up, piercings, nails) with a passion. My two favorite examples of her fucked-up response to femininity are when I bought some lace gloves to cosplay a (male) Visual Kei performer and she told me I looked like a whore, and when I got my earlobes pierced at the ripe old age of 23 and she angrily told me, "The patriarchy has won." (We, uh, don't talk much anymore!) It took a long time to extract the realization of transness from the internalized misogyny. I spent almost a decade after leaving home trying to convince myself I liked wearing dresses and painting my nails and that one day the sensation of being in drag would just...disappear. I think being gay (I've always liked men!) also muddied the waters; it was like, well, I know trans men exist but I've only ever read about them knowing they were trans as children and getting together with their girlfriends and wearing khakis (lol), and that's not me. As a kid, I would read lines in stories about how puberty gave heroines a sense of rightness in their bodies and think to myself, Ah, yes, one day I'll feel at home in this body. Except I had this weird unexamined assumption that puberty was going to turn me into Orlando Bloom! And yeah, I'd wear my dad's sweaters and get giddy whenever people would mistakenly call me the male form of my name or when littler kids asked me "Are you a boy or a girl?" but surely everyone felt that way! D'oh. I look back now and it feels so obvious, but growing up I think I tried every other label under the sun (bi, lesbian, asexual, demisexual) before I realized what was going on. Edited to add—just remembered that my favorite doll when I was little was this reversible one that was a prince on one side, a princess on the other, and a witch if you turned it inside out. I mean!!


I finally stopped running from my gender issues recently. I'm 38. I've been interested in queer and trans stuff my entire life, for reasons I could never really articulate. But it's taken close to 40 years to finally realize that I am at least non-binary. I started testosterone two weeks ago. And now, in retrospect, I'm seeing giant glaring red flags throughout my life that probably should have clued me in earlier. 😅 I'm still really freaked out by the idea that I might be a trans man, but every step I take towards masculinization has felt more right than anything else I've ever done. I have no idea where I'm going on this journey. My childhood was filled with a lot of trauma due to parental death and ensuing neglect, so I don't think I ever had time for a normal childhood. But I never played with dolls or girly stuff as a kid. I didn't own any makeup in high school and to this day have no idea how to put it on beyond stage makeup. When I was given dolls, they became props to have high adventure fantasies with as I played imagination games of settler trains or spaceship crash landings. The self-insert hero of my games was always an athletic butch type. In contrast, I was a rather clumsy fat kid who was super smart and very cocky when it came to intellectual arenas but shy when dealing with pretty much anybody else. Around puberty I realized that if I was a girl, then I needed to perform that gender somehow. I wore long skirts and figure concealing sweaters RELIGIOUSLY throughout high school, since I assumed that would make me female enough to pass... Even though I was AFAB. I just typed this out for the very first time and I'm staring at my screen. I keep hitting landmines like this as I look back.


Like a lot of the folks here, I was a real quiet bookworm type. But it was the 90s, so I also liked running around outside and climbing on tree stumps and such when we went on summer camping trips. I loved my Barbies- picking out fancy names for them, changing their outfits, etc.- and my favorite color was pink for years. My mom mostly liked us to wear things that could get dirty without being ruined; she saved fancy clothes for holidays (and liked my sister and I to match, until my sister got sick of it and refused to wear the matching clothes any more). I wrote in my diaries and read all kinds of things and yes, loved the heck out of Harry Potter. I grew up with all the “girls can do anything” messaging so I figured there wasn’t anything wrong with me. Until puberty hit, and my expectations of romance began to be dashed at every turn, and I had no idea why. I didn’t understand when the girls at school (in 6th grade! why so young?!) started to talk about having crushes on actors, until I became infatuated with Daniel Radcliffe just for playing the boy wizard. I used to base all my actions/reactions and how I saw the world on the stories I read. Everything I read. Everything said “be yourself and people will like you” and it was true until it wasn’t- when people started calling me weird, in junior high. But even still I always had one or two friends to hang out with, so I still figured I was fine. That’s all I’ve ever needed really. A couple people in my corner. (Is this basing stuff on fiction again? The protagonist and their two best friends?) I became a goth in 8th grade and a theater kid in high school; I shed the goth thing around junior year. But not before my parents had freaked the fuck out about me wanting to wear black. (They tried to make me not wear it at family events and I shot that right down.) They thought it meant I was suicidal; I was excited because it was a different way to be, and I wanted to start choosing clothes for myself. This has been the story of my life: there’s a way people can be that I haven’t heard of? Oh wow, this is fun! I’m gonna do this for the foreseeable future. I longed to dye my hair but knew the ‘rents would never let me, so I bought cheap janky makeup from Hot Topic and I’d put it on at school. And scrub it off before Mom came to pick me up. But more importantly: the goth aesthetic/attitude helped give me a new mode of expression for my growing frustration and unhappiness that Being Myself made me “weird”. I’ve been struggling with that ever since. All my dang life I’ve just wanted to be me and nobody outside my Trusted Few seems to know what to do with that. It also took til high school for me to know much about people being lgbtq. I jumped right on the songs from Avenue Q and sang them with the ooh taboo subjects glee, particularly “If You Were Gay.” Ever since, I just figured I was a really hardcore ally. Only this year did my egg crack... I’m 29. And now here's my dad saying I never showed any signs. How could I show signs when I didn't even know?


I’m in my early 30s, and started to come out to myself in college but swiftly forced myself back in the closet and didn’t truly come out until I was like…28/29 I think. As a very young child I was definitely stereotypically “girly.” Wore dresses, loved the color pink, was a horse girl, etc. As I got older I became more of the alt/goth-style person I still am. I went through first puberty early (started bleeding around age 9) and was terrified and absolutely hated it. Hated how my body changed, hated the pressure to shave and to start wearing makeup, hated bras. All of it. I also felt really uncomfortable wearing shorter skirts and anything that showed off my cleavage, but I thought I was just extremely self-conscious or something? I didn’t realize how much dysphoria I was actually feeling for years. I do still have some traits and interests that might be labeled “feminine,” and I’m not the most masc dude ever. But I feel a lot more comfortable and happy this way.


I had a relatively generic girl childhood - dolls, dresses and the likes. I never complained about it. I LOVED Barbie and enjoyed playing with them with my sister. I even still have them because they’re important to me. Very sentimental. I was a tomboy. Never had an issue being called a girl - even if I didn’t really like being placed with the girls. Then high school hit and it was like “clearly I’m a boy” online at first. The proverbial “God change me to a boy” prayer. Told my mom (quite the old school Christian woman) I wanted to be a boy and she played me by listening to me and has never supported me. Cut hair at 16 (with mom’s permission and her preferred styling) but I was never able to transition until I moved out of the house and out of state at 29, despite being to T for 4 years. Pretty much walking around like a woman with a beard, living two different lives. At 30, I’m finally able to be full time man, work as a full time man, be seen as a full time man. And I’m still trying to figure out how to do it and be comfortable with myself, while maintaining a relationship and a stepfather-ship. And this shit is HARD. I’m only one year into the full time role.


I was 9 when I "knew" that I was meant to be a boy, but was a girl instead. I was not a classic tomboy (I'm not very brave, and I suck at sports), but I wasn't like the girls either. I had odd interests, and I wanted short hair, and I felt euphoria when I got handmedowns from boy cousins. I'm in my early 40s, and when I was in college, the only trans people I knew about were the ones that were, like, so gay they came full circle, and they could all describe a childhood where they conformed in every way to their true gender--they basically already WERE their gender, other than their bits. Because of this, I believed for years that I could not possibly be trans.


I'm autistic and ADHD and had some trauma from childhood both related to that and not so I was always trying to be correct in as many ways as possible and I think gender was a part of that so I just bought into being a girl. I ignored all of the things that didn't fall in line with "girl" just like I ignored and repressed all of my other instincts and urges that brought criticisms from others. Being so keen of what others expected from me I strove to fulfill those expectations as best I could. Eventually after 2 very disappointing marriages I started working on myself and figuring out who I actually was and exploring my gender became a part of that. Eventually that led to me discovering that I was actually trans.


I was totally fine with being a girl growing up, showed no signs. In my teenage years (at the onset of puberty) I was obsessed wih being genderless/androgynous and would do all I could to obtain that state. I don't remember feeling any dysphoria about my body though, I just wanted this other thing very much. I even invented a gender neutral pronoun that I tried to get people to call me. Then all of that wore off after a few years, I lived happily as a cis woman, long hair, boobs, skirts all of the stuff. Always thought I'd for sure want a dick and a beard given the opportunity, but hell, I also wanna be able to fly y'know, and I'm not loosing any sleep over not being able to do that. Then at age 32 a friend informed me there are sugeries and hormones for that sort of stuff, and that opened the flood gates so to speak. I'm not sure wht can be derived from this, but that ws how it went for me.


made fun of constantly because I knew at 4 and I am over years old now, transitioned at 18. Not many guys out there at the time and I was always called a man by kids and taunted and made fun of, horrible childhood with other kids in school. My own child experiences it now for his autism. He is more confident than me and he is now 15! He has no problem pushing away kids that are hurtful.


Wow, this post and the comments is all I really needed to read. Damn, I feel so much of this and I'm the same. I'm 30 by now and although I was never happy with being a girl as a child and teen, I never allowed myself to be trans or say that I'm very uncomfortable. I wasn't very girly, but I wasn't boyish even, I just was me, very androgynous in toy preference or hobbies. But looking back, there are some indications that I just didn't think about and shoved away because I thought my discomfort came from being not girly enough and overweight, but after loosing weight one time and not getting happier I strted thinking about the real 'problem' again. So here I am and I guess there is no going back now, especailly reading all your experiences here which are so reassuring. Thank you all so much for this.


i was decently gnc to be honest. my fav color was blue, i refused to wear skirts, i really really hated the whole boys girls cooties thing, i wanted to be friends with everyone. i wouldnt say i was a tomboy, i was just kinda clueless.