i actually hate how this came out damn it

strange trans things….before i came out i spent most of my life dressing hyper-feminine and i literally thought i was so damn ugly and hated looking at myself like i felt actual repulsion and the only time i felt ok was when people would compliment my outfit or hair or makeup etc. “i love how feminine you are!!” “your outfit is amazing!” calling me stylish and cute and a pro at those things, so i did it partly because it was fun and partly bc it made me not hate myself

and it’s really sad/funny that now that i’m out and exploring how i feel comfortable presenting and expressing myself, figuring out what’s Me™ and authentic vs stuff i’ve been taught to like/forced to like/perform/etc. i look back at photos of myself when i was hyper feminine with fondness and sympathy bc like. i was so lost and trying so hard to like myself and the sad thing is that i really was really really pretty and if i met myself i’d think she was a fucking icon and looked great and it’s. idk i think the point i’m trying to make is that it’s sad that all the effort i put into trying to like myself was misplaced and i hated myself even though i was beautiful and like. how even now i look at myself in the mirror and i’m like ‘jesus..’ but the feeling is different it feels authentic and closer to Me, it’s not like. repulsion in the same way it’s normal self esteem stuff.

idk trans identity and the cognitive dissonance between who we used to be (who we thought we were, or who we tried to be) and who we are now (our authentic selves) can be really jarring and confusing and like. i see photos of me before and i know that was me but there’s this disconnect and i feel an incredible tenderness for my younger self and what she went through and struggled with for so long

people don’t compliment me anymore or appraise me the way they used to, i just get looked at with weird squinty eyes as people try to decipher my gender or they ignore me in general and it’s strange because i feel more comfortable with myself now without that praise? to the point where i don’t need their praise or anyone’s, bc it doesn’t matter the way it used to??? their praise isn’t a matter of survival anymore. i’m not presenting the way i do for validation anymore, i present the way i do because it’s how i feel comfortable existing. idk i think about this a lot.

- p