The past year has been really bumpy for me in a lot of ways. I’ve grappled with emotional dependency, depression, anxiety, and more. One good thing that has come about over the past year, albeit with some challenges of its own along the way, is thinking critically about my gender identity, which has led to some big realizations.
For a long time I have related really well to my female peers and have felt deeply invested in their personal struggles. Many of the fictional characters I was most inspired by as well as characters I was most interested in creating in my own art also tended to be girls and women. Meanwhile my feelings about my own more masculine traits have ranged from apathy to frustration — the closest I could generally come to pride in my appearance was a vague, dubious sense that other people might like or respect me more as an adult if my appearance and presentation were sufficiently “manly”. I was never quite satisfied with the way I presented myself in selfies and self-portraits and for the longest time I couldn’t figure out why.
As a teenager, I would frequently try and visualize what it would be like to be a girl, sometimes in my head, sometimes with the aid of drawings or with software like the Yahoo Messenger avatar creator, and sometimes just by assuming feminine poses in the mirror when I was certain of my privacy. I didn’t really think too deeply about my motivations, though. Wasn’t all this curiosity just a quirky, introverted teenage way of coming to terms with my attraction to the female body? Come to find out, probably not!
In early March I finally opened up to myself about the possibility (or rather, near certainty) that I might be transgender. By this point I had a lot of transgender friends in the LEGO community, and their experiences spoke to me on a personal level. I’d also had over a decade to move beyond the narrow-minded thinking that my after-school Catholic youth group lessons had tried to instill in me. And as soon as I started thinking about my feelings and experiences in the context of being a transgender girl, all these disconnected bits and pieces suddenly made complete sense within my life’s overarching narrative. It’s been extremely liberating to be honest with myself and with some of the people closest to me, whose support and encouragement has been invaluable.
From here on out, you can call me Skye. I’m 27 years old and only just beginning the journey of loving myself for the sensitive, bright, and beautiful woman I am. I ask you to please be supportive of me as I engage with this process of self-reflection and discovery. It’ll be intimidating for me sometimes — even with as much social progress as there’s been as of late, the world is still a scary place for a woman. It’s also going to be a lengthy learning experience. It’s one thing to hear about how confusing things like women’s clothing sizes or prices can be; it’s another thing entirely to have to make sense of that confusion! But with all these big steps comes a long-overdue sense of pride and confidence in who I am, not just what I can do. I hope I can make all of you proud as well!