|>> || My perspective is MtF, not assuming that you are, but I don't know how to be anything else. Mostly should still all work if you change the words around a little to fit. I really tried to inclusive language but that's pretty hard because I'm very high so I just kind of gave up, sorry. Also lot of typos I'm not even going to proofread this bitch |
It seems like a small thing but in the early stages of transitioning I'm finding gender-affirming self talk to be really helpful. Very simple stuff like when you reference your self in your thoughts, throw in feminine descriptors/names like "girl", "dear", "love","bitch", idk, whatever. As in telling yourself "Bitch you smoked 4 grams today and did nothing but watch Friends for 12 hours, you do not need to smoke anymore, put the bowl down and go to bed girl".
Seems silly I think but maybe not once I realized how often I do the same exact thing but with masculine names, and how much it pisses me off every time I do it. It has nothing to do with your gender identity, it's just an ingrained pattern to break. Every time you accidentally call yourself "man" or "dude" in your head stop yourself say the entire phrase over to yourself, describing yourself right.
Legitimately this does sound kind of dumb typing it out but it's seriously helped me in a very short time to really start to recognize and finally truly feel like who I am at my core, and I very rarely at this point even after just a couple weeks misgender myself and gendering myself correctly feels natural, more natural than being assigned male ever was. I didn't know what it meant for something to feel natural before this.
Also apparently not everyone thinks this way where they subvocalize all their thoughts in full sentences, weird, so if you don't maybe try to? I don't know on that one.
Like mantras seem kind of cheesy but if you just kind of reflect on the reality of who you are, say your real name to yourself, maybe write your full name out a bunch and practice your hand writing at the same time. Never really got anything out of thinking "I am a girl" over and over, I mean, no shit, I already got that part, the issue is starting to actually feel like who you are after an entire life of living as a stranger.
Gender is so fundamental to how many (but not all in the slightest) people identify themselves and feel about themselves at a really basic, primal level. Until you really start the process of even just mentally transitioning you can't really comprehend just how your much gender influences how you see the world, your place in it, how you look at men and women, how you feel about literally everything, and to slowly be able to break out of the old patterns and into the right ones is such an amazing feeling, a kind of happiness I never experienced before I started to transition.
So while transitioning certainly highlights the ridiculousness of some gender norms, conforming to the ones that feel right to conform to, for me at least, is pretty validating. A lot of them I found I already kind of conformed to without knowing it (gee wonder why?) and some of them felt just disgustingly oppressive and I dropped them immediately.
I'm a feminist and all that and I know I'm implicitly upholding oppressive ideas and I should stop but honestly cis women do the same exact thing, everyone does, there's nothing wrong with being happy in your gender identity, most people are, you SHOULD be. For literally everyone this involves conforming to gender norms to SOME extent. That's just how we are. I can't explain why I want to wear pretty dresses, why I like having smooth skin and wearing makeup, or even why I feel this intense desire to care for and nurture people, to help people, why I'm compassionate to a fault and way too trusting. Or why I want a family more than anything in the world and one of the greatest pains of my life is that I'll never bear a child. All I know is that a lot of women feel this way, and I'm a woman, so I'm not going to worry about it that much until i have a more stable sense of self. Cis girls go through the same exact thing, but younger obviously.
So I guess if you haven't already when you're alone try out stuff like makeup, dressing in gender affirming clothes, tucking, practice walking in an affirming way, sitting (ow my bowed legs and non-existent inner thigh muscle), do voice training (this one is HUGE), practice hand writing, change up your decor, buy cute girly shit like stuffed animals and dumb shit from Bath and Body Works.
Change your usernames and handles to be overtly feminine, use feminine profile pictures (not like a random woman who isn't you obv, I mean like a rose or a heart or an obvious picture of a famous woman or some shit), it's amazing how even just instant messaging with people entirely with text, to know they're thinking of you as you are because they can't see you is really fucking validating and it's such a different world, you get treated so fucking differently and it feels amazing, like life finally makes sense.
In general, try to take the sense of style you already have and integrate feminine aspects of yourself into it without losing the essence of it. A lot of things that come down to taste like music, films, books, art in general, are completely genderless, or should be. Keep all of that. You're not trying to become another person you're trying to live as who you are. Don't try to radically change your personality, gender is only one (big) part of your sense of self overall, in many ways you are exactly the same person as you were, because you've always been you. Don't kill yourself with changes and end up becoming someone other than who you had planned to be, think someone said that once.
Transitioning is a process of freeing yourself to be exactly who you are, not putting on a different set of chains. As you do this, you start to develop a sense for what you like as far as clothes, makeup, and other things you probably didn't think about too much pretending to be a guy. Experiment. The most important thing is to do what feels most natural. You'll get shit wrong, it'll be awkward, but it's what has to happen, and it's still a lot of fun and beats the hell out of jumping off a bridge when you're 27.
Sometimes you'll wear too much make up and end up looking like a drag queen just to go to the store. As you're developing your sense of style and picking up on what does and doesn't work in general you'll probably come up with some "shit girl I didn't know we were playing dress up" outfits that in a few months you'll seriously regret wearing. If you don't already have a lot of female friends, you might end up saying some incredibly dumb shit talking to other girls before you pick up on all the intricate mores of how we talk to each other. Again, and I can not express this enough, it takes getting used to and it's not all great but I have never felt the kind of love and inclusion I feel talking to other women who truly believe that I'm also one.