About a year ago I announced to my loved ones and everyone on Facebook that I was trans and that I intended to begin my transition towards living as a man. Since then a lot has happened and I participated in a number of projects aimed at improving education about trans people.
To begin with everything went well and I felt really good about my decision. I started hormone replacement therapy in late March and planned on getting my chest reconstruction done this fall. I decided however to postpone my surgery because the stress over my dissertation had left my health in a poor state and I needed to start working as soon as possible so as to have an income.
After I had made that decision I realised that I felt relieved. As a result I started examining how I felt about everything and what it meant. After a few weeks I decided that despite my gender identity being fluid and confusing, transitioning simply isn’t right for me.
There are so many aspects of all of this that are so complicated and difficult. My relationship with the people around me, particularly my family and old friends, has become weird and awkward, and everything to do with relationships and love is complicated and my options are limited. I hate being unable to go swimming or to the gym without a hassle and meeting new people is always strange and I hate having to constantly explain things.
There are pros and cons to going through with the transition, just as there are pros and cons to not doing it. When I decided to start, last year, I didn’t have all the information I needed to really compare the two options. I don’t regret doing what I’ve done. I needed to do it to understand myself and better evaluate my options in life. I now see that the consequences and sacrifices that come with transitioning are things I am not willing to live with. I believe it is healthier for me, at this point in time, to try to find a way to live with myself as I am and to be happy in this body the way it is.
I want it to be clear that this decision of mine does NOT reflect on other trans people. This does not mean that all the other trans people also just need to learn to live with themselves as they are, or that it’s all a phase or some kind of madness. It is a privilege to be able to decide not to do this. I thought when I started that this was the only way for me to survive, but I see now that it isn’t…in my case. In the case of many trans people (if not most) it really is a question of life and death. Transitioning is the only way to survive.
The process is at every stage designed so that there is space for people to change their minds. This is the biggest decision a person can make, and the most drastic change anyone can go through. It is a large and difficult decision to make to go through with this and no one does so without being serious. I was serious. But it is also a huge decision to stop and I need support in doing so as much as I did before.
So from now on I am Dora once more. It’ll be strange to get used to that again and in many ways not easy. I have a long period ahead of me where I need to work through how I feel and what I can do to find my place in life.
At this point I feel it is important to note that I do not want to hear “I always knew it would go this way” or any kind of speculations about my mental health. The only person who can explain what this is all about or what it mean, is me!