Trying to shake the feeling that you’re not trans enough.

By Emily Ann Smith 

Who I am in my personal life and who I am in public are different, because I’m still too scared to present as a woman. Yet I’ve given up so much to transition: so many friends, so many opportunities, someone I loved.

I’m doubting my self identity; How do you keep telling yourself you’re one way, when everyone keeps telling you that you’re the other.

How can I be comfortable at times presenting as male – shouldn’t it hurt me so much that I can’t bear it?

What brought this confidence crisis on?

I’m doing a program for the third time. I will  lead again a group of freshman, helping them assimilate into college life.  All the returning leaders know me well, many of them know I’m trans. Still, I am still presenting and acting as my old self – and I had fun.

But I actually feel guilty that being trans hasn’t ruined other fun things in my life. I feel shitty because there can be times when I’m happy as Dan. I feel messed up because people like my dad keep trying to make me think I’m not transgender.

Living two lives is so difficult, I’m just sick of being in between. I’m more isolated than ever. I want for transition to be over so I can just live my life as Emily.

How do I find the courage to be myself.

I’m having a hard time organizing my thoughts. Things keep entering my conscious, but before I can grasp hold of them, they’re gone.

On Friday I be speaking publicly about being transgender on a panel at my university. The audience will be people from all over the student population.

I’m kind of scared.

I’m not sure what will happen to the aspects of my life where I’m afraid to be out. My other job at the student newspaper or the program I mentioned earlier. I feel like a fraud when I tell people my name is Emily when I look and sound like a guy.

I just want to be real.

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10 Responses to Trying to shake the feeling that you’re not trans enough.

  1. Just sending some words of encouragement…. That you are not fake, or a fraud, because your voice and appearance resemble masculine qualities… You are on the road to changing into the beautiful person you want to become. I encourage you to dig deeper into what’s causing these torn thoughts. If you want to live the life as Emily, take those steps one each day until you are progressively moving forward. Don’t ever look back on this journey. You are entering a new beginning. Don’t let others tell you what you are or should be, this life is in your hands and only you know your true feelings and the power to transform into the best possible you. Accept your beauty, accept you are rare and unique and have a lot to offer. Also accept being who you are means you don’t have to fit neatly on any side of the gender binary… You can fit where you feel you are truly at your best. Best of luck.

  2. Emily Ann Smith says:

    Thanks for the words of encouragement. I’m trying to keep tings in focus and take things one day at a time.

  3. Whether as Dan or as Emily you are not a fake. You are you. As you know, trans takes in a greatly diverse range of beings. I may be post-op, but I am still trans by definition because I have an anomalous history as a gender gifted person and grew up as an anomalous being. Some tell me, “Move on. You’re a woman. You aren’t one of us anymore.” O yeah? You are doing exactly what you should be doing. Hugz. You deserve them.

  4. Pick a safe place where you can express yourself as Emily, female, with a few trusted people. Gay bars, classical concerts (because the middle-class audience don’t make a fuss) and Quaker meetings (FGC) are a good start. Be well.

    • Emily Ann Smith says:

      I have quite a few places where I can express myself as Emily, but they don’t make up the majority of my life and it can be hard to make people see me that way.

      • Good! Sorted!

        I sympathise. When I transitioned, I was read and insulted on the street regularly, which really got me down. I pass better and am insulted less.

  5. Kira says:

    I can’t speak directly to your experience, only my own, yet there is so much in your words which ring true to me. I have lived through much of my transition to this point just as you, presenting more male than female for a number of reasons, and there were times when I found myself being okay with doing so. During such times I also doubted myself, questioning if I were ‘Trans enough’ or if I was deluding myself. I think many people have gone through the same process. Today I am in a different place; I’ve changed, as everyone does and those concerns are less of an issue.
    I’m not saying you will transition fully, maybe you will or you’ll find some other place where you are comfortable with yourself. The important thing is to be true to yourself, not any one else’s opinion of who you should or should not be.
    And one last thing, give yourself time and don’t be so hard on yourself. Yes, easier said than done I know, but remember, we are our own worse critics. The important thing is to take your time, find where your comfortable, where you can live each day to the fullest and let everyone else worry about themselves.
    Their place is not your place and yours is not theirs.



    • Emily Ann Smith says:

      Thanks for your comment. I think I will get to the point where I will be comfortable with myself. I am not there yet largely because the world keeps reminding me that physically I am not there yet.

      I’m a pretty gender binary individual. I don’t really want to strive to be a explorer of gender. All I want is to just be a normal girl.

      The sooner I can get there, the better.

  6. Steph C says:

    While I don’t know what it’s like in your shoes, I understand the struggle of having to come out every day. That’s probably terribly unhelpful, and nowhere near the same thing, but I do know that people care about you and for you. what you’re doing isn’t easy, but what I’ve learned from this community is that there are people to support you. I’m always here, my door is always open, and I hope you can find a way to make your transition as comfortable as possible.

    • Emily Ann Smith says:

      Thanks Steph! Thankfully, i think things are geting to a tipping point where i will no longer need to hide who i am anymore. And my last night at HRC was awesome.

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