During childhood, I had always identified myself as a boy. Playing with toy guns to racing miniature cars and building anything with my plastic tool sets were all I wanted to involve myself in. Having attraction towards females from second grade up until my adulthood was a frequent occurrence for me. I felt whole when my attire consisted of jeans and t-shirts. Not only did I dress identical to a boy, but my bedroom décor also consisted of dinosaur wallpaper, power ranger action figures, and a hot wheels car twin sized bed.
I did everything in my power to present myself as a boy, such as cutting my hair short, using the boy’s restroom, shaving my face even though the hair was completely absent from the surface of my skin, and often attempted to urinate standing up though I leaked all over the floor. Being perceived as a boy was never a challenge for me until I was reminded and informed by others of my birth sex.
My aunt's wedding rehearsal was a childhood memory I would never forget. During the preparation for the wedding ceremony, boys who walked down the aisle were instructed to sit on the church benches to the right and girls to the left. As the “Here Comes The Bride” song continued to play, after walking down the aisle I sat myself down at the bench of the boy's side because I truly believed that I was a boy inside. As my family members laughed at me, I heard my aunt shout aloud, “you're not a boy, you're a girl. You have to sit on the left side benches."
As I walked silently to the benches opposite from the boys, my body felt as if it shattered like broken glass and into a million pieces. As furious as I felt, I failed to hold back my tears, because, in reality, my aunt was right about my sex. I could dress and act similar to a boy, but at the end of the day, while gazing into a mirror, I could not deny seeing my given birth organs. Little did they know that my brain was male and that I was a boy imprisoned in a girl’s body. Anything related to female traits had caused me to feel ashamed and embarrassed with myself. Not only did I struggle with feeling as if I was a foreigner in my own body, throughout my childhood up until my adolescent years, I was constantly told by my parents, relatives, and strangers to stop behaving and dressing as a boy and was insisted to behave and look more like a girl, because I was born as a girl.
As I continued to develop during my childhood, I disregarded everything others had informed me about my biological sex. I constantly told myself that a boy was buried deep inside my body and if I consistently made birthday and shooting star wishes, my given birth body parts would magically grow into male parts, turning me into the boy I was meant to be. I was convinced my wishes were going to eventually come true, which resulted in myself fearlessly being dishonest to others during Catholic school. The way I displayed my appearance as a boy growing up was convincing enough for my nun teacher to question my gender during class. When she asked if I was a “boy or a girl?” I politely answered back, "a boy."
Not only was my teacher convinced I was a boy, but the rest of my classmates believed my lie too. A girl in my class even had a crush on me, because she wrote a note asking if I would be her boyfriend. Using the boy's restroom, pretending to be one of the guys while playing basketball during break time, and having a girlfriend eventually ended after completing catholic school. The graduation of students celebrated through the First Holy Communion. The day I was required to have my First Holy Communion at church with my classmates was a humiliating day, because my mother had demanded me to wear a frosty-white flowery dress and an angelic veil. As I nervously walked up the church altar during the ceremony, I heard my classmates whisper, “that’s a girl, not a boy." My identity as a boy had faded away and I felt myself drowning as I was living a false life.
In junior high and high school, I continued to present myself as a boy. What I learned at the time was that if I was attracted to another girl, then I was considered a lesbian. I was perceived and informed by others of being a "masculine lesbian," which made me believe it was the reason why I felt captive in my body. My identity as a lesbian never made me felt complete, which caused me to struggle through my first two years of high school. I found myself fading away from a person who I failed to recognize. I became a victim of using alcohol to numb the pain I had felt lingering through every inch of my body, which resulted in the paramedics rushing me to the hospital due to alcohol poisoning. The doctor explained to my parents that if I drank one more tablespoon of alcohol, I would have been dead. After being discharged from the hospital, my father broke down in tears and asked me if I was depressed. At the time, I couldn't give him a clear answer because I was afraid to tell him the truth. Deep down inside, I was crying out for help and wanted him to know that I felt trapped in the wrong body and that every time I looked at my wrongfully given body parts, I hated and resented myself.
There were dark moments in my life when I felt disconnected with myself and lost hope in wanting to live, which caused me to consume an entire bottle of cough syrup with codeine and finding myself standing on top of a chair, waiting for the belt that was wrapped around my neck to end the pain that infested my body. Throughout all the times I had attempted to end my life, I couldn't go through with it. I felt as if a force from a higher power was trying to tell me things would get better.
One day, a sudden urge sparked my interest in researching through the internet of boy's feeling trapped in girls' bodies. Through my research, I learned the term transgender. Not only did I discover not being the only human suffering through feeling trapped in the wrong body, I learned treatments for my condition existed, such as going through the process of physically transitioning my body by having a Gender Confirmation Surgery (GCS) to match who I truly felt inside. Through endless research, I learned that having a GCS was possible and the knowledge I had learned changed my life positively. It gave me hope that it was possible to live life in the body that I was meant to be born with, which lead me on a gender confirmation surgery journey to becoming the man who I am today.