Thomasin Pick, 19: Living in trans bubble increased my social anxiety

I came out as a trans man in April 2016. This was incredibly hard. The darkest times of my life have been in those years 2014-2018. All I would do was spend hours thinking of how to pass and more. Looking back this was toxic. Around June 2016 I deliberately hurt myself for the first time.

Its time for the truth, my truth. 

I never would have thought that I would be sitting here now, typing this. Life is a journey they say. The last 3/4 years of mine have been more like a psychological roller coaster. Yet, I’m now at the end. I can get off. Over the past 3 years I have identified as a trans person and a nonbinary person too. Call it a lightbulb moment if you will.... but I know now that neither were correct. So, yes this is another coming out post but one with a lot more truth and significance. 

In 2015/16 I started to question who I was

At first this question was surrounding sexuality. See, I only had the knowledge of the two male “relationships “ I’d had at that point. I didn’t feel anything romantic for either. Everyone around me seemed to like boys. For some reason I truly believed you had to like men. Otherwise you were broken? Internalised homophobia.Thus this lead me to thinking that I was asexual (found online). Basically not interested in people in that way. I never seemed to connect that my past experiences and also lack of feelings for boys could mean something else. Through all this I went online.

At a time when I was incredibly isolated and practically spent everyday dreading school, this new online connection felt so needed. I became addicted to this online life, a person I couldn’t be in my real existence. An escapism. Around late 2015 I discovered the word “transgender” online. I was intrigued and decided to look into it, first by way of Tumblr and then later youtube. Seeing all these people who also didn’t fit in and were talking about things I felt made me feel safe and wanted. I hated my body, my own self worth didn’t exist and I wasn’t “like the other girls “. This is when it planted the seed of “am I trans?”.  I searched for videos on YouTube and came to find hundreds of trans men’s transitioning timelines, you’d get to see them go from an uncomfortable awkward girl to this handsome happy man. What wasn’t appealing? 

None of this was a consciously made decision. It was a drip effect. I became utterly fascinated with these men and found validation in every feeling I possessed. I would go to school and then come home to my “real life” the one where I could be cool and happy on the Internet. Hours and hours of videos. Doubt never left. Yet, any time you’d mention anything to do with doubting who you were as a trans individual they’d comment saying “oh its ok, we all have that. It’s “internalised transphobia” or similar. Although saying that, even if someone had mentioned an alternative... I don’t think I could have seen anything other than this false truth at the time.This notion along with many more lead to a sense of thinking how trans I must really be. Oh, also that sentence “people who aren’t trans don’t question their gender”. This all just cemented my beliefs. That is not true, it’s normal to question

I spent months in the beginning hopping from being Nonbinary to thinking I was a man. Eventually enough seeds had been planted. I came out as a trans man in April 2016. This was incredibly hard. The darkest times of my life have been in those years 2014-2018. All I would do was spend hours thinking of how to pass and more. Looking back this was toxic. Around June 2016 I deliberately hurt myself for the first time. The pain inside me was like nothing I could possibly try and describe. I got involved further online now not only in a trans community but also a self harm one. Its been over a year since I last did this. I felt anxious all the time and lets be honest this lead to wishing I was dead. I’d always had incredibly low self esteem. 

I just wouldn’t want a single other young person to go through this experience, there needs to be more resources for knowing alternatives. Basically, that transgender isn’t the only reason for X,Y and Z and also offering an actual safe space to speak of the confusion without influence or judgment. 

In 2018 I started to identify as a Nonbinary person again. I still was heavily involved with the transgender community but on a lesser level than before. I came out as agender. I had been through many identities through this whole ordeal trying to find a perfect fit. All this time these doubts had been building up in me, feeling like a fake all the time took its toll. I spent a year desperately trying to be happy in this identity I had manufactured. To a degree I was happy because this identity meant that I wasn’t a man which I knew wasn’t right but also didn’t have to be the woman I was scared of becoming. I think also I thought that because I did not act or look like I thought a woman should be, that it meant I couldn’t possibly be one. There were many factors to this way of thinking and what happened from it. Then eventually it started to crack. I decided to stop binding my chest because of the discomfort it caused and I tackled that dysphoria. living in this trans bubble increased my social anxiety. Something I never thought possible. I mean, I went to a clinic was diagnosed with gender dysphoria and was begging for top surgery and hormones at one point. Along with a few other bits and pieces the facade crumbled. 

Around 2 weeks ago it completely fell down

Out of seemingly no where, although I realise now it wasn’t but rather just that I’ve never vocalised it, all my inner most doubts and questioning spilled out. It was just a matter of time. In a 2 hour long conversation I got further with myself than I had in almost 4 years. It was terrifying but the truth was there for me to face head on and accept. My inner most truth. The truth tainted by society and the growing online world. 

Now came the putting the jigsaw together into a picture I can see, since all the pieces were there. I understand now that my insecurities and not fitting in wasn’t anything to do with my gender. Society told me that because you question this and fit these things then you must be a man. I also recently allowed myself to access the fact that I like women. Thats a hard pill to take when its what you’ve been running from. Internalised Homophobia and misogyny can play havoc on your mental state. I was a vulnerable person and saw this one option that fit, no one talked about how dysphoria can have other.

I’m not solely blaming others... in fact not blaming anyone. This was all me emotionally but the way the transgender community is hindered my logical thinking. I couldn’t see past what I had been told and indeed what I believed. 

During this time I also hated my childhood photos. I couldn’t stand them because they weren’t “me”. Disconnected and embarrassed. Today (28th May) I went through some photos before things changed for me, around puberty, and I didn’t recoil in disgust... I saw a lost me. The photos of me from around 2-5 I’m just who I was, a quirky but happy girl. I look back now and see what “went wrong” during the early years... if you’re different but not too different its ok, but once you hit a certain age things change. People start liking other people. Appearance becomes a thing. Its no longer ok to be different.

Different means isolation. I was also heavily disliked throughout school and was picked on an awful lot. Looking at those pictures I almost cried for who I was and that loss of myself. I felt like I’d let child me down, I’d lost myself. Instead of growing into myself, I spent years running from who I was meant to become. Those years I could have been growing into who I am, I spent hiding. I lost the last few years in a way. Now... I want to reconnect and be who that quirky nonconforming girl was meant to be. Its time to find my womanhood and accept that as a good thing! I am truly grateful for this.  

Trans ideology is damaging our society

In a world where transgender identities are more accepted, we have to look at the bigger picture and know when too far is damaging vulnerable young girls who may be struggling with how they express gender or who they love. Also can be said the same for boys but I think young girls are far more at risk, and I have no personal experience with this. In 2019 it is far more ok to be transgender than it is to be a lesbian. Logically this makes no sense but the way things are it pushes this belief. Being a transgender man, meant that I was straight. In my subconscious thoughts, It felt like it gave me permission to wear what I want and love who I love. Isn’t this toxic? We really need to see the whole picture and not shut detransitioning/desisting people down as “never were really trans” because the whole point is that we believed it just as much as anyone. I truly believed I was a man. I didn’t choose to identify as transgender for fun. This is so far from the truth. I understand that people like me may threaten the trans ideology and scare people but what you have to understand is that this is happening. It is real and I’m not the only one. 

Arguably, I was lucky because I didn’t do anything medical to my body. Hormones or surgery. However some people have, they are incredibly strong women, and now have to live with that. People say how we cannot have been transgender if we didn’t go to a professional but rather just saw it online. I went to two gender clinics and because I was so convinced on my identity I know for sure eventually surgery and hormones would have been given. So please instead of calling us fakers, maybe look at the facts and see that just because you believe your transness now that it can change. Trans ideology is damaging our society. 

Also, let’s just try and think more logically about allowing children to transition at such a young age. They could think they are sure at 3,4,5,6,7,8 or whenever but the point is how can a young child be sure of something so hard for a young adult or adult to go through? How can they be sure when they haven’t even grown into who they are. If we keep going this way we are going to loose gender nonconformity and some other important aspects of who we are, we need to change our societal stereotypes not push the trans narrative. A child can be a boy or a girl in any way they feel happy...this doesn’t mean transgender is the answer! 

I hope that more people will speak out about desisting/detransitioning. I won’t stay silent. If you’d like to know more from people like me I suggest The Pique Resilience Project over on youtube, these women explain things way better than I do. For anyone questioning your gender or transition you can hop over to reddit r/detrans. Just don’t take the “only option” as gospel ie being trans and medically transitioning. You can find yourself. 

The truth is so much harder to face than the false reality. It in a backwards way, felt easier to be transgender than it was to be gay. Logically at the time this wasn’t with words in my head but just ...that’s how it was. 

I cannot run from the truth anymore. I will face my internalised homophobia and be who I am. A gay woman. It’s not gross, and its ok. I shall be seeing a counsellor to deal with my anxiety in relation to this, as well as fixing myself. There isn’t a way a woman should be or look, I’m more connected with masculinity and don’t really ascribe to femininity and thats more than ok. Anyone who knows me, thank you for any support given in this time. I will now be going back to She/her and all words associated. Although my name will be remaining as it is because...its my name. If you know my birth name please don’t take this as right to use it. Feel free to ask me any questions in the comments or by personal message. 

Its scary to say this but facing your demons is the only way out. I want to be proud to be me, not embarrassed. I will get there. 

Thomasin Pick (Twitter: @tjdetrans; Instagram:@pandasareverycool)