A day in the life of a trans guy – Being raised female

I am starting to realise that I have to come to terms with the fact that I will always have what people deem to be feminine traits.

Boys and girls from birth are raised differently and their parents have different dreams for each of them. For baby girls it’s usually that she’ll get married and have children, for baby boys it’s usually he’ll have a great career.

From very small even still now girls are being told they will never be as good as a boy, that they’re simply not built for it and they should know their place.

Luckily things seem to be changing very slowly and woman are now using their voices to say hey, this shit isn’t right! Which it isn’t, woman are equal to men, but men see that as an attack to their fragile masculinity.

Now I got off topic and onto a bit of a feminist rant. But as a trans guy I am proud to say I’m a feminist as I’ve lived in the world as a female and it’s fucking hard. But also now living as male, being perceived as male, I can say the white male privilege makes me feel a bit uncomfortable and I suppose a bit like an imposter. But I feel lucky to have lived both sides of the coin.

So back to my feminine traits, so yes I was raised as female, although I kinda remember fighting against what was expected of me as a girl. I hated dresses and pink, I didn’t really have many female friends, mainly boys. I was pretty much a tom boy. But I still had those feminine qualities, I loved playing with dolls, I was a very caring kid and still am. I love talking and expressing myself. And these are the traits I struggle with because I know they aren’t seen as masculine traits to have and maybe people will think I’m gay, or just figure out I’m a trans guy.

So I think when I’m out I’m super aware of how I present myself to the world and trying to dial down my more feminine traits, my softer caring side. Which I’ve been doing unconsciously lately. But in doing that I’m holding back an essential part of myself, my personality, the essence of who I am.

I’m here to live my life as my authentic self in spite of how others may perceive me. I’m trying to stop worrying about what others think about me. What really matters is that I have a good heart and I’m kind to others and that I just do my best in this life that I have and my success may look different to others but that’s totally cool because it’s my life and no one else’s.

Peace out

Zak

Podcast revelations

Listening to The Happy Place with Fearne cotton and Catherine Gray, talking about alcohol addiction and the effects of alcohol and it’s definitely food for thought.

I started drinking more last year when I was in a relationship then I did when I wasn’t with someone. We ended up getting into a bit of a rut and drank most weekends and sometimes in the week, when we hung out.

To clarify, I’ve never had an addiction to alcohol, I’ve only actually ever been drunk a few times as I really don’t like being out of control, that’s probably cuz I’m a bit of a control freak and perfectionist. That’s a whole other issue to unpack lol.

Listening to Catherine talk about alcohol and anxiety, social anxiety and being a introvert, made real sense to me.

It was last year that my anxiety became a big issue for me again. As I talked about in my last blog that was mainly due to feeling trapped and having to keep things in, keep my relationship a secret etc.

I’m thinking now that my increased drinking also has played a big role with my anxiety issues. It would make perfect sense and fits perfectly time wise. Even now I’m not in a relationship I still have a few drinks most weekends, usually at home on my own.

I’ve decided to do an experiment and between now and Christmas I’m not going to drink a single drop of alcohol and see if that helps lessen my anxiety.

Obviously I need to replace it with better habits and I think I’m going to write a list of things I can try to do instead to ease my anxiety. Like drinking camomile tea, breathing exercises, meditation etc.

They also talked a bit about love addiction, which I think I have struggled with especially in my younger years, going from one shitty relationship to another because I felt so unloved and unworthy I needed someone to fix me.

I’ve realised now, only I can fix me and I am loved and I am worthy, but I can still have these incredibly high expectations and put the other person on a pedestal and need them to be my everything.

That’s far too much to ask of another human being, it’s too intense and only leads to feeling let down and disappointed. But I still recognise I can still be a bit love addicted and that’s ok, it’s something to be aware of and work through.

So with all these revelations that keep coming up from different places it can only be a good thing to help me learn and grow and be the best version of myself I can be.

Peace out

Zak

Self Care

I’ve not written much about self care recently, as after surgery self care was kinda a given. I had to listen to my body and look after myself.

Recently I haven’t been feeling great, I’ve been feeling absolutely exhausted and generally just been feeling unwell, but not enough to definitely say I have an infection or something. It maybe a delayed reaction to surgery. But I see my specialist tomorrow morning so I’m hoping to get more answers.

So because of feeling so exhausted all , I’ve been listening to my body and resting and sleeping when I’ve needed too. Which sometimes is a little frustrating as I feel like I’ve wasted a day. But self care isn’t a waste of time.

Today I’ve been resting and sleeping, as I’ve felt so exhausted. I eventually got up and did the housework which always makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something.

Took the dogs out for a quick wee, it’s been so grey and miserable today. Despite that I decided to go into town. I got myself some frankincense essential oils, as it’s meant to help relax the chest and help with colds and infections. I went to lush to take in my old pots in exchange for a free pot of face mask stuff, I also got myself a shower bomb too. I then went to Asda to get a few things.

I could have easily just gone to Asda, but I knew I needed to get out for a bit. Even if it was just to a couple of places.

I’m pleased I treated myself to some self care things 🙂 It’s important to me to look after myself and my needs. It’s keeps me relatively well, physically and mentally.

It’s important to slow down and listen to what your body needs. You only have one body, there is only one you.

Certain self care aspects of my days are non negotiable, like taking my meds in the morning and evening, making sure I sleep when I need too, eating as and when I feel hungry, putting my incense sticks on in the morning and evening, doing housework every other day, attending appointments. There are more I could list but it would take a while.

I’m feeling pretty exhausted now, so I’m going to wrap it up. I’m not sure this blog will make much sense lol.

Peace out

Zak

Anger issues

Someone I saw yesterday at the Trans day of remembrance service commented on the fact that I seem less angry.

In previous friendships, I was told I was too angry. The one time that hurt the most was 6 months after my dad had died suddenly! Damn right I was fucking angry.

This person never thought to think they were partly to blame for me being angry and frustrated around them. After always feeling stupid and like whatever I said/did was wrong. That discreet toxic shit will slowly erode someone’s self worth, self esteem and hell yeah that’s gonna make them angry and frustrated.

So before you think someone has anger issues, come at the situation with compassion, look at their current situation and how you would feel at that time. Look at your own actions towards that person and maybe you could have been kinder and more compassionate.

I am less angry these days and I’m trying my best to keep moving forward. It may not seem like I’m doing enough, or trying hard enough or I’m just playing the victim of circumstances. But you can’t judge a person without seeing the good, the bad, without knowing what it takes to just get out of bed some days.

We could all stand to be more compassionate.

I’m by no means perfect and I have been that toxic person, we all have at one point or another. It’s about recognising that, apologising and moving on.

It was so lovely to have someone say I come across as not being angry and more chilled, it’s so nice to have your hard work recognised.

Peace out

Zak

Trans Day of Remembrance 2019

Yesterday was TDoR, where we take a moment and light a candle in remembrance of our fallen trans brothers and sisters over the past year.

This year 331 transgender people died, some were murdered, hanged, lynched and died by suicide.

We say their names so they are not forgotten, they are forever in our hearts.

This year we lost someone locally, which hits hard.

The majority of those killed are trans women of colour. We need to do better!

100% of cases are missed, I should imagine that sadly the number of deaths is higher than recorded.

We need to do better for the trans community, no human should be living in fear just because they are brave enough to live in their authentic truths.

Peace out

Zak

Counselling Revelation

We talked about this breath holding thing today and I think it stemmed from last year when I felt my blog was being watched and what I said was being monitored and as a result I then stopped blogging and when I did I was extremely careful about what I said, so I wasn’t my usual truthful self. I held myself back, which then resulted in this weird breath holding behaviour.

I’ve started blogging a bit more regularly and back to my truthful, authentic self. I’m not holding myself back as I’m no longer in the situation I was last year so I have no reason to hold myself back.

But I think all that emotion and stuff is still held inside, which is why I still keep doing this weird breath holding. I’m hoping the more I write and think about this situation, the more I can tap into and unlock it and stop this breath holding for good.

It’s such a weird thing and is usually done by children as a response to intense emotions. So I definitely know it’s an emotional thing, I also think it’s because I’ve not truly been living authentically and I’ve been what I think others needed of me. I’ve been holding myself in too much, I’m slowly starting to get back to myself, I just need to be patient, be gentle with myself and keep loving myself and heal those parts of me that are still bleeding.

Peace out

Zak

Finding myself

Over the last few weeks I’ve started to realise that I’ve lost myself, lost my sense of who I am over the last few years. I don’t even recognise myself anymore. I’ve not been living or speaking my truth.

I think it started when I was 30, I felt like now I’m 30 I need to be a proper grown up, I need to look more grown up and act more grown up. Its the unwritten rules of society that puts this pressure on us and we all end up these perfect cookie cut outs of what we think we should be.

What the fuck is a proper grown up anywhere? what does that even look like? Non of us have the answers, non of us are perfect and were all just trying to get by. So when we stop living in our truth we lose are spark, we lose ourselves.

I also think coming out as trans made me lose my sense of self, because again I was trying to fit in. Especially when starting testosterone and starting to look more male and starting to “pass” as male more often. Again I was trying to fit in with what I thought a guy should look like and I had a image of what I thought I should be. It’s such a confusing time, with new hormones, second puberty, wishing surgery would hurry up. It’s easy to lose who you are.

It got to the point that last year I even stopped blogging how I truly felt, that was mainly down to a particular situation but I mean that’s so fucked up! I held myself back, I stopped speaking my truth. I held so much bullshit inside and now its starting to flow out and feels amazing!

I started wearing straight cut jeans instead of my beloved baggy jeans, I stopped wearing my batman t-shirts and opted for brand named t-shirts. I was trying to look more “grown up” and to fit in with what I thought I should look like. It was a slow change but it wasn’t necessarily a good change. What we wear and how we have our hair is how we visually express ourselves and its important part of self expression. When we stop being authentic, we just blend in, we become invisible.

I got caught up in what I thought people needed me to be, wanted me to be. So again I kept changing, changing to fit in. Most of those people I changed for are currently no longer in my life, so you can change for another person and they leave anyway, so why not be authentic? maybe that’s the way to keep people? I’m not sure, I’ve never had many long lasting friendships or relationships. Maybe its just me, I don’t know, but I do know I can’t keep living for other people and being what other people need me to be.

Last week I bought myself some awesome new baggy jeans and I absolutely love them! I’m going to buy myself another pair in a different colour. I feel so great wearing them, it feels like a step towards myself. Today I bought myself a cool new long sleeved top and I can’t wait to wear it.

But living my truth doesn’t just mean what I wear, it also means about speaking my truth. I’ve spent a lot of time holding stuff in because it would be too uncomfortable or difficult to speak out or it would be hurtful/uncomfortable for the other person. But again in doing that it builds up anger and resentment towards those people, but it also allows toxic, energy sucking situations to continue unchecked. I think I kept stuff in because I didn’t want to offend/hurt people because I was scared to lose people. But sometimes losing people is a good thing because it helps you find the right friends. Speaking out also shows the other person what things you are willing to put up with and things your not. Which protects your energies and gives you good boundaries with the people around you.

I have started speaking my truth and telling people how I feel, which isn’t easy or comfortable but the relief of speaking out feels great. The big ball of emotions and darkness that I have inside feel like its slowly getting smaller with every time I speak and live my truth.

I hope at some point I will feel free inside, free of all the darkness and free from the feeling that I’m just trapped in a glass bowl looking at life but its always just out of reach. Maybe some point I will feel apart of life again, with more meaningful connections with people, myself and hopefully I’ll be living a life with more meaning.

I’m over being what people want me to be, I am over trying to fit in, I am over keeping quiet, I am just over this bullshit! I am so ready for a new start, I am ready to find my shine again, I am ready to find my tribe! I am ready for whatever comes my way!

Peace out

Zak

A day in the life of a trans guy – Swimming!

On Friday I went swimming for the first time in like 6/7 years and the first time since top surgery. I felt super anxious beforehand, not just because its the first time swimming in just swim shorts but also because I was self conscious about doughy, flabby body. So the thought of walking into the swimming pool in just shorts with no t-shirt to hide behind was pretty terrifying. But I was with a friend and the pool was pretty quiet and I did it!

The swimming pool we went to was so cool, I used to go all the time as a kid. They have unisex changing rooms and family changing rooms and they always have. And that’s part of the reason I chose to go to the particular pool. They also have a slide, rapids and a jacuzzi which is awesome.

We got changed and I actually didn’t feel as self conscious as I thought I would. I was more excited about swimming to worry about how I felt and I think going with a trusted friend helped a lot.

As soon as I got in the water I felt at home, I love the water so so much.

At first I kinda forgot how to swim, I was splashing about like a fish! But I soon got the hang of it again and it was like I’d been swimming for ages. I love swimming so so much and its something I’ve really missed doing. If my local pool wasn’t so freezing I’d probably go more often. We had fun swimming and splashing about, going on the slide and the rapids.

I could have stayed in there all day, I love being in the water so much. I can’t wait for the summer so I can go swim in the sea with my dog Scrappy.

Swimming for the first time since top surgery and since starting my transition was a huge moment for me and one I won’t forget. It felt so nice to be just in shorts and to feel the water all over my skin, plus I got to show off my awesome back tattoo.

Trying on my swim shorts!

I’m sure I’ll be swimming again soon

Peace out

Zak