I have been near sighted all my life and yet I went most of my life without glasses because I could still see well enough to function. However by the time I was 21 my eyesight was so bad that I could no longer read the time on a clock only 6 feet away. I also couldn’t read the signs above the aisles in grocery stores. When I finally got glasses I was amazed at the detail of things that I had never truly seen before unless I was extremely close. I was super excited to see the beauty of the world.
However, sight comes at a price. For the first time I could see the humans around me and compare how they looked to each other and to me. Because of this I started falling into a trap of comparing myself to others. This was the beginning of my gender disphoria. You see I am biologically male but have never been very manly by any definition. Compared to men I’m shorter than most of them and although my muscles are very strong, I can see that I don’t have the same shape in my muscles as men often do. I also compared myself to women and became jealous of them. I saw their childlike skin and their clothes which are almost always better looking than the boring clothes I would find in the men’s section of Walmart. I began to wish I was a woman and want to wear a dress like they could. To complicate matters further, I was worried about these feelings because since I was raised as a Christian, I was worried that I might be gay. I didn’t know much about gender issues of sexual orientations. However one thing was clear. I was not straight. I do not talk the way that other men do about women. In fact I’m completely disgusted by male behavior. They seek to date women who are considered sexually attractive by society either for popularity with their male peers or they just want to have sex with them.
I was quite different from the other men. Although I can see which women look more beautiful than others according to my own standards of beauty, I also try to downplay the role of their appearance and I also aim to treat them all the same no matter how good or bad they look. Sight is the most valuable thing to me and I appreciate it more than most, however it’s important that I never use my eyes as an excuse to mistreat someone based on their appearance no matter what color, gender, or species they happen to be. My philosophy of equality and the golden rule is the foundation of my ethical veganism but it is also the source of my dark secret. I see my own body in the mirror or while I take a shower and I strongly dislike it. I often wish that I had been a girl from the start of my life because then I could wear dresses in public and nobody would criticize me for it. I also would probably not have the large amount of body hair that I do because testosterone produced by my testicles clearly gives me the facial, chest, belly, and butt hair that I do. I almost look like a gorilla or chimp because I’m so hairy and yet I’m not quite hairy enough to actually look like them. Someday I’m hoping to seek permanent hair removal most importantly on my face because I hate the way it looks and I’m tired of cutting myself from shaving.
For over ten years I have had these feelings and although I hide it well from the general public, issues related to gender and sexuality greatly upset me because they are a reminder that I will almost certainly never be able to like my own body the way that some others do. I know everybody has body image issues at times but mine are pretty extreme. There are others like me however and usually they end up being male to female transexuals. I’m still dealing with these feelings that began over ten years ago and I’m trying to think of what is the best solution. It would be nice if I could just fix my own psychology that causes me to feel this way but something tells me that life is never that easy.