#9: No more unrealistic expectations – both from myself and everybody else.
Nobody, including myself, is forcing me to meet unrealistic expectations anymore. The most prominent one would have to be the constant pressure to be as chatty as a girl (UGH! – Sorry ladies, but this just isn’t my thing). I just can’t do that. I’m not biologically wired to.
#8: No more being judged/criticized for having “masculine” interests.
I’ve always had more “masculine” interests. I developed an interest in cars when I was little, always liked to play outside, and all that other typical guy stuff. It was also apparent in my choice of toys to play with. I always preferred to play with cars, trucks, Legos, action figures, and all those other toys that boys typically play with. My mom always tried to get me to play with toys that girls typically like to play with. I tried them and they were okay but I always seemed to gravitate towards the typically boys’ toys. My mom was not so fond of the fact that I was interested in cars. She always pressured me into having more ‘feminine’ interests. It was annoying. Why couldn’t I just be interested into whatever I wanted without having to hear “you’re a girl, you’re supposed to be interested in this” and “this stuff is for boys”? Why do we have to fit into rigid gender norms? Why can’t we like whatever we want? Why do people have to force us to be in a box? Anyways, I’m glad I don’t have to put up with the stress of being judged for having traditionally masculine interests.
“Finally, I can do manly stuff – like throwing a tomahawk – without being reprimanded!”
#7: No more being pressured into acting and looking more “feminine”.
No longer will I have to hear my mom or other female friends (and relatives) tell me that I should act more like a girl. No longer will I have to be pressured into acting more like like a lady. I’m not biologically able to do that, nor do I have the interest in doing that. In addition, I’ll no longer have hear “you should put on some makeup, you’ll look so much better”, or “why don’t you want to put any makeup on?”.
#6: No more being forced to socialize with the girls.
At last, I can hangout with the guys (and without feeling awkward too). I can finally talk about and listen to stuff I can actually relate to. No more listening to superficial chatter about stuff I can’t relate to (no offense, ladies). No longer will have to sit or stand there feeling and looking awkward. There’s no more pressure to keep up with their far more superior verbal wit as well. (Although, I did learn a lot about females from listening to their conversations and generally being around them.)
Going into the ladies room has always felt awkward. But it wasn’t until after I came out that it felt extremely awkward. The last time I had to go to the women’s room was last September during jury duty. I was still figuring out the whole bathroom thing (what to do about bathroom use when you’re Trans) and being in a place like a court of law, I was afraid of creating a big fuss about it (which I did not want), so I had no choice but to swallow my pride and go into the ladies room – at least for the last time in my life. April (if I remember correctly) was the first time I ever went into the men’s room. It was a single-person bathroom so it wasn’t a big deal, but I was still pretty nervous when I entered it. Just earlier this month, I went into a regular men’s restroom (where more than one person can go) and I was pretty nervous about that so I had one of my male relatives take me there. I wasn’t as bad as I thought. I actually enjoyed it and felt a great sense of accomplishment. I can tell you right now that I feel more at home in the men’s room. I never really felt at home in the girls room – for one, I was always the first one out, and second, I never bothered to make eye contact with anyone since I was more focused on getting in and out of there as quickly as possible (all of this came naturally to me, It wasn’t forced).
#4: No more pressure to have a more feminine hair style.
When I was little, I wanted my hair short – just like the boys. When I turned 15, I finally cut my hair short. When I finally cut my hair, I felt so happy. I was so glad that I didn’t have to deal with the high maintenance of having long hair. I also liked that my head felt cooler (especially during the summer). But, just like with #3, the pressure to conform to gender stereotypes came along with cutting my hair. My mom was okay the first time, but when the second time came around, she was pretty unhappy. I’m guessing she thought it was just a ‘phase’ (me being a teenager at the time and all) the first time I did it. Like with #3, we would have arguments about this every time I got my hair cut. It was so annoying! Every time I would get a haircut, coming back home and facing my mom would be such a drag. It was such a stressful event. In fact, I would take up to a year to get my next one just because of this. Even worse, people who knew me (family and friends) would as me if I was going to let my hair grow back! In addition, they would say stuff like “you cut your hair?”. Now, I can get one about every six months. People are no longer making a big fuss about my hair. But most of all, I’m not under pressure to conform to a more feminine hair style anymore!