Who am I? – Identity development in gender transition

As both a student psychologist and a man with a trans history, the topic of identity and how it develops over time fascinates me.  I have found that my identity never properly developed a stable base, in hindsight I expect this is why I was diagnosed with a personality disorder and I now believe it was down to the fact that I was never female and this caused the personality, identity and mental health issues I faced.

In transition I have experienced a loss and a grieving for my old identity, not because it was one I like but because it was all that I knew and without it I was in limbo whilst I waited for my new identity as a man to form and become stable.

During transition we are in a constant state of flux, as hormones and surgery change the body we have to get used to our new embodied selves and as our gender roles and societal expectations change we have to get used to the new way we interact with others. This constant flux means that the stable identity base is hard to build.

Now, nearing the end of my surgical journey and hormones having done their most significant work, I find I am at last able to put down stable roots to my identity, allowing me more security and stability from which to explore other aspects of myself.

In this vlog I discuss this process and the ways in which I am continuing to actively discover and develop my new identity.

 

Increase of suicide in young transgender people

candles-2-1313871-640x480.jpg

It seems that hardly a day goes past without headlines of yet another young Transgender person ending their life.  Every day it seems my feed on Tumblr, Twitter or Facebook is announcing another tragic loss. It has almost become normalised, in that it’s not a surprise or that it’s an expected part of being Transgender. This should not be the case.

Continue reading “Increase of suicide in young transgender people”

Older Trans People Coming Out Of The Shadows?

shadow-1366901.jpg

I read an article this morning about Grace Anne Stevens who began her transition at the age of 64.  I really relate to a lot of what she says in the article, especially what she says about “not having the words”. I think a lot of people have trouble understanding why people transition so late in life, how could they not have known?

I think fear has a lot to do with it, but more so, I think, is that growing up there just was not open discussion of transgender people. There wasnt much when I was growing up, I doubt there was any other than negative when she was growing up. I simply did not know I was a man because I was told I wasnt and I didnt know that it was possible for me to be anything other than what people told me I was. Older trans people coming out and speaking up really helps to show that the “sudden growth” of young trans people isnt something new, its just that there is far more available information for young people to make sense of who they are and much more acceptance of gender variance, its far easier to come out now. Trans people have always been here, its just that it is now much safer to come out from the shadows and finally allow ourselves to live as the people weve always known ourselves to me but just did not have the words to explain.

Read the article here: 
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/grace-anne-stevens/my-transgender-life-transitioning-at-age-64_b_6615476.html