I’ve come to realize what matters most to me when it comes to passing.

When I started this journey last spring, I thought my one wish was to pass as male out in the world. My Pinterest feed filled up quickly with posts such as “Passing as male”, “FTM”, “Testosterone – The Magical Solution”. I was immediately convinced that if I was in a position to go on testosterone that would solve all of my problems. The one and only obstacle was my children, how would they deal with me transitioning. Hormones would help me achieve the outward appearance I longed for. My outsides would finally match my insides. For the next few months I struggled with trying to accept that this wish would never come true. After some research and soul searching I had decided that I wasn’t interested in taking Testosterone. I came to this conclusion for my own reasons that had nothing to do with how it would affect those closest to me. I needed to come to this place for myself and perhaps one day I’ll share more about what my deciding factors were. But nonetheless, my hopes of passing were dashed.

This fall, my thinking shifted, I no longer had a goal of passing, I wasn’t seeking validation from the world anymore. This was liberating but also confusing. Was I just conceding because passing was hopeless or had I come to accept myself more and understand my needs better? Yesterday I finally found my answer.

As I looked at myself in the mirror, I saw for the first time, a guy looking back at me. That’s when it struck me, that’s all the validation I need. As far as the world goes, I quite enjoy it when they look at me and question my gender. I’m content with not being seen as female.

I still suffer from dysphoria and I’m continuing to work through my internalized stereotyping of masculinity and femininity, but I’ve come a long way in my journey of self acceptance in only a few months.

I’m curious what others have experienced in regards to outward vs. inward validation. Share in the comments below.

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