As I move closer to making a decision about HRT and a path to other medical procedures, I find myself really questioning myself, checking if this is real, checking where I can see being trans over the course of my life.

I do think back to being indignant about being called a boy or a man. There was plenty of that. I just found it so frustrating to be grouped in with people I felt I shared so little with. The kinds of things that are stereotypically for boys were not things I much enjoyed—I found G.I. Joe and He-Man creepy even then. I didn’t like playing in dirt. I didn’t like—I still don’t like—bugs or the like.

On the other hand, I didn’t completely have jealousy for girl things, though there was a fair amount. I didn’t like that flowers were supposed to be for girls. I thought women’s clothing was more interesting, but items like that were in my head as simply not for me. I follow authority pretty well—that’s why I have to do all of this checking. I would have avoided things that weren’t for me just for being told so.

I also had the advantage of being an athlete growing up, something that helped me to fit in with the crowd but also made this turn I’m taking now that much more difficult to see.

That brings me to now. What am I interested in? Baseball, astronomy, soccer, disc golf, shortwave radio, yes… but also fashion, cosmetics, shoes, those sorts of things. I want to look female. Not like it would be a good idea, but like that is how I want to express myself. In fact, I fear it a lot of the time, but I’m much happier with me that way. And I am at the point where I definitely want to do HRT and I want breast surgery, and I would like to get rid of the dangly bits after some medical reassurance and family is figured out.

I want to carry a purse. I want to wear dresses and skirts and heels. I want to check out a new lipstick colour. I know I’m going to pay a social price for these things.

And here I am still asking questions about who and what I am. Maybe that’s healthy. Maybe that’s weird. In the rational moments, I wish I could be so femme to the point of simply being female. In those irrational bits where I’m foggy in the morning, though, I question everything about myself.

It’s hard questioning the core of your own being. And I’m leaning towards the belief that life is too short to worry that much about it. So I live the second half of my life as a woman: that’s what I want. Also, I’ve decided I’m going to be in shape and hot. I want that, too. And I think that’s as much as I perhaps need to defend that to anyone else.

To me, though, I can’t make the questions go away.