For almost everyone who is transgender, transgenderness is not something that is fully formed at the outset, but is instead a journey of self discovery.
After the first inklings of transgenderness at a young age, the yearning doesn’t go away. There can be temporary distractions, but deep down in the psyche is a need that often resurfaces whenever there is a quiet moment to reflect. Sometimes it remains a fantasy, sometimes it progresses to secret crossdressing. Either way, the recurring thoughts or behaviour can go on for many years or even a lifetime: In males in particular, it is often accompanied by a sense of shame at the thought of doing something that peers would mock if they ever found out. For those with a religious formation, the misery is compounded by the knowledge that religious orthodoxy almost certainly disapproves.
Yet there is no need to live a life of such misery and fear. Once the brave decision is made to explore one’s own transgenderness, and to look conservative society in the eye and challenge its damaging presumptions, it is remarkable how quickly the shackles of gloom can be thrown off.
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