I’m an imposter.

That’s one of a suite of overwhelming feelings dominating the space inside my head for months now.

I’m not sure how any transgender person coped before the internet. But it can be double-edged.  Everywhere I turn are stories about people who knew they were born into the wrong bodies from very early ages. They battled their demons and societal norms for years or decades before finally feeling able to commence transition. They “earned” the right to transition the hard way.

I’ve had none of that. Friends and family tell me that I was always a bit different, cleaner, appearance aware, compared to other guys. My Mum thought I was gay. But I wasn’t, I’m not.

I always put it down to not being an attractive male. I had to try harder to look passably acceptable to girls. Except my wife, who is truly beautiful and saw something in me that nobody else did, I guess. It started out gradually, shaved legs – a cycle commuter thing – felt amazing when I slipped pants on. BBcream covered a multitude of sins on the face, leading to why not try actual makeup?

A friend told me about permanent hair straightening, and three years later, the helmet of product-laden frizz has given way to beautiful straight hair reaching down to my chest. And as it got longer, I found gender inappropriate styles fun and exciting. And unfair that I couldn’t leave it that way.

Conversely, I grew to hate all the other hair on me. Detested daily face shaving, the perma-rash, the ingrowns. But loved the feeling after shaving my body down smooth.

I experimented with my wife’s clothes that fit, and her shoes were mostly perfect fits too. Days at home alone became precious chances to be female, followed by incredible emptiness when I had to shed it all before the kids got home from school.

We moved for a good job for my wife, but it wasn’t so good for my employment prospects. Not able to find work, I found myself with more time to be female, and the feelings escalated. It felt like it suddenly hit me, but in reality, it has been growing for a long time. But what was really sudden was putting a name to what was going on with me. My every waking minute was dominated by the realisation that I want to be a woman, and that has a name: transgender.

I started buying my own clothes, makeup, jewellery, shoes – all dirt cheap Target and Big W stuff – and ventured out in public. Terrifying but exhilarating. People were mostly good towards me as a female.

Meanwhile, I’d become an emotional mess. Crying like I’ve never cried before, knowing I was headed towards a very hard place, for myself, my wife, and my children. But likewise feeling it was unstoppable, and that I didn’t want to stop it anyway. The emotional waves felt just like transitioning girls describe the effects of HRT. It felt good to actually break down like that, to get so fundamentally in touch with emotions that have been locked away for half a century.

I hit the internet big time. I made some online trans friends who’ve been wonderful supports. But everything I found was like I said back at the start: transgender people all knew way back that things weren’t matching up.

I couldn’t find anything that married up with what was swirling through me. Except cross dressing. I really dislike that term. It feels like dressups for sexual titillation. I apologise to anyone who identifies with CD, but for me that name didn’t describe something on the gender spectrum, it described something more about sex.

If there’s another name for me, I haven’t found it yet. Wants to be a woman full time, loves and lusts for women (for my beautiful wife) and is repulsed by the idea of getting together with a bristled guy. Is definitely keeping the pecker, although I have no special affinity for the testicles and their testosterone.

A support group phone counsellor assured me that my situation is not actually rare. Can’t be that common though, if nobody ever writes about it.

In the meantime, I’ve spilled it all to my wife, my sister, and a close friend. Maybe I’ll discuss how that’s going another time.

I have my first psychiatrist appointment soon, so perhaps that will shed some light on things.

In the meantime, I’m wracked by the feeling that I’m just kidding myself, that I’m just an imposter. An imposter thinking she is transgender, when she’s actually just something else that doesn’t even warrant a real name.

A girl has no name.


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