It was my eighth birthday.
We were at a clothing store to buy my birthday outfit. I started to survey the store and inched slowly towards a cute little pink dress, and held it up against myself, making sure that my father was out of sight. I looked perfect, just like any little girl aspired to be. Suddenly, I shuddered as I heard my father call my name out.
I dropped the dress and ran to him guiltily.
My father instinctively turned toward the boys’ clothing section and fished out a pair of Batman overalls. I put it on and looked at my reflection in the mirror. I looked just like Dev from kindergarten, whom I dearly adored. He was admired by all our classmates and the teachers, and I’d wanted to be just like him.
I was a skinny pale girl who knew that she was born in the wrong body, and my parents made no effort to prove me wrong. I spent the next few years of my childhood trying to emulate my male classmates. I cut my hair short and didn’t wear earrings.
All my clothes were two sizes too big, to make sure my feminine curves didn’t hinder my confidence. I would even let my facial hair grow to appear more masculine. I watched movies so I could practice the way men walked with their arms flailing and the false bravado. I joined the basketball team. I took up karate on the weekends and bragged to my friends about it.
When my male classmates talked about the latest football match, I wanted to be a part of their team. I thought it was cool and they would accept me as one of them. My father discouraged me from hanging out with my female friends, as he was afraid I’d become like them.
Whenever I was asked out for a birthday party, I would say no instantly, as I knew I wouldn’t be allowed anyway.
I was the short-haired girl who spent her weekends reading the classics in her room, while my girl friends went to the movies to watch the latest chick flick. I became very introverted.
At 16, I was determined to get a sex change operation as soon as I could sum up my funds. I’d even started saving up the little pocket money I had. I knew that I didn’t belong to the body I was born in.
Everything I’d experienced until then pointed towards this. I would be more confident if I just changed everything I was.
It wasn’t until I started researching gender identity and sexual orientation that I understood why I felt this way. I read about trans individuals and the process they underwent to get to where they felt comfortable in their bodies.
It slowly dawned on me that I really had no inkling toward becoming a man. It was something I’d wanted since I was little but never understood why. Now I understood that I’d always harbored an innate need to please my father. I had subconsciously understood that he would be proud of me only if I transitioned to the boy he always wanted.
I’d been living my whole life as a lie. Everything I’d done until then was to please my father.
In the process, I had almost ruined my life, and whatever little self-esteem I had left. My wardrobe was a cross between baggy men’s’ clothing and short crop tops I’d always wanted to try. I realized that I hated football; although I’d spent years watching it.
It wasn’t until I’d turned 20 that it dawned on me why I was subconsciously trying to mimic everything my male counterparts did.
I’d thought that in order to be successful, I’d have to become a man or as close as I can get to being a man.
I stopped wearing clothes from the boys’ section and realized that I’d been repelled by women’s’ clothing for no reason at all. I started to embrace my body and every curve I was blessed with.
It took me years to finally come to terms with my body, and I couldn’t be more grateful that I was born a woman. I wear clothes that make me feel confident about my body.
It took me years to finally come to terms with my body, and I couldn’t be more grateful that I was born a woman. I wear clothes that make me feel confident about my curves and unashamed to hide it. I am also in a loving relationship with a man who makes me feel special.
My parents still tend to bring up their preference for boys over girls, but I’ve learned to stand up to them.
Being a woman is not a fault and I will not apologize for it.