My name is Charlie. I am a trans man.

My name is Charlie. That is my “preferred” name, one I’m in the process of legally changing it…again. (I’ll explain in a later post.) Go ahead, google my name and stalk me. I don’t care, I know the reality I face should I begin to seriously blog.

Today celebrates the third anniversary of the last of my gender affirmative surgeries. Yes, I am transgender, who transitioned female-to-male.

I do my best to live life as any other typical guy in his mid-30s: work hard at my job, play video games, watch nerdy tv, be there for my family and friends. I occasionally drink at my local gay bar (albeit as a trans guy, they don’t care), though otherwise I’m usually dry. I’m a bachelor, been a long time since I’ve dated, and I don’t actively date.

Self portrait in front of a salon, sporting a fauxhawk and brown eyeglasses.
Me getting a fauxhawk just after coming out as trans. Circa May 2014.

I grew up extremely tomboyish, and identified as a stone butch woman for 15 years (knowing I liked women from age 12, till I began to transition at the age of 27). I’ve had family try to feminize me, didn’t work. I have suffered a double dose of “reparative” therapy, where the church I was forced to join (via an ex, my parents had no involvement) tried to erase my attraction to women, while forcing me into typically female behavior and roles (because of their belief in gender essentialism). Yea, I’ve attempted suicide several times as a result.

I knew I was probably transgender since I was 16, after watching a special on hermaphrodism and looking it up online, but it wasn’t until I was 27 to finally accept this fact when Janet Mock and Laverne Cox became headlines. Till then, I tried to appropriate my masculine side through being stone butch, but every time my period hit or people referred to my womanhood, it bummed me out. But I was also in situations where exploring my gender identity was dangerous, at least if not possible. Watching Queer as Folk followed by a stay at a women’s shelter confirmed I was trans, not butch. Once I qualified for health insurance through my then employer, and finally getting my car fixed, I started my transition.

I obtained a double mastectomy (aka “top surgery” or “chest surgery”) in 2016, six months after starting HRT, and bottom surgery in 2017, not even a year later. My hysterectomy prevented me from getting meta, and both the surgeon and gynecologist did not want to redo that surgery, citing poor candidacy. I live with a vagina, but free of the reproductive organs that was a major cause of gender dysphoria.

Self portrait of author in front of a movie poster for the movie Bohemian Rhapsody.
Me in front of the movie poster of Bohemian Rhapsody.

I’m undoing a lot of this “transsexual verses transgender” mentality. This is my journey from walking myself off, to building bridges, rather than continue building walls.

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