It had been a really long day, one of those tough ones where work doesn’t seem to stop and you get home and still have to make dinner. We’d both stayed up later than we should but were in bed cuddling just before we would head off to sleep.
I narrated to my wife, as we sometimes do to each other, “Your husband; he’s had a really long day” or words to that effect.
I paused as soon as I’d said it, and she picked up and said “you just used ‘he’, is that the pronoun you want to use?” and I panicked and said I would rather between us we used ‘she/her’ for the time being. She was accepting of this, but it caught me out… I’d just mis-gendered myself.
At that point more self-doubt hit; was I really trans if I still called myself ‘he’? Was this all just a big mistake again and I was actually just male and confused? It wasn’t a fun loop of thoughts to get caught in.
I did what came natural; research. Surely someone on the internet has had the same experience and I’ll be able to guide my thinking from that?
You may notice a common theme here, that as soon as I become doubtful I rush to find something to back up my point of view. It’s not escaped my notice and I’ll get to that a bit more down below….
Anyway, of course I found lots of stories about people doing exactly the same thing. Some people said they had trouble in their own internal narration not using the wrong pronouns, and some people just said it randomly happened when they were talking.
It boiled down to habit; most of us have been using the wrong pronouns fo r years (if not decades) and that’s a hard habit to break! It’s not easy to suddenly change what you’re referred to as in much the same way changing name is something quite hard to figure out.
I breathed a sigh of relief. Mid-gendering yourself doesn’t mean your not trans anymore.
Then I had a though…. Why was I so worried about it? Surely, as discovered back in the start of this, if I was worried enough to be questioning it then that basically answered my question anyway. In other words if I was worried that this would “prove” I wasn’t a woman that meant I wanted to be a woman.
A more pressing question for me was why I leapt for validation from rando’s on the internet for my internal thinking and processing. What was it that made this the way I decided if what I felt was right or not? And should it? If you’r reading this then you’ve been on the internet long enough to see that some dreadful things come out of it, some truly hateful people with opinions best consigned to history, so should I be trying to weigh my feelings against it?
After a lot of thought I’ve realised it’s not about whether I should or not, but more about if I can stop…. I’m in unfamiliar territory. I’ve got no real bearing to go by for what to do, everything I thought was good and solid isn’t anymore. I’m probably going to keep checking the internet and browsing the more police parts of Reddit to see if people share the same experiences but I’m going to try and stop doing it as a way to validate myself and more for solidarity.
At the end of the day my goal (and new years resolution) is to develop myself in ways that make me happy. Rather than worry if I’m trans, or trans “enough”, I’m going to keep doing the things that appeal to me. If it appeals to someone else who is in a similar situation then great! If not; too bad, it’s about making me happy, not them.
With fierce love,