This afternoon, I met up with a new friend who was also trans*, and I have to say that it was such an exceptional experience. We just sat and talked, but I'll never in my life take for granted the opportunity to not have to explain myself to someone. I've come out as a lesbian (which is not a label I use anymore), and I've come out as transgender. It's something I have to do on a regular basis, and it gets particularly old. Often times, I just let people make their assumptions about me and try to do my thing. Never works successfully as it's incredibly invalidating of who I am, but it's how I've learned to survive this world and this heteronormative culture.
I've been contemplating a lot on how I need to sit down and write something on being transgender because it seems not everyone gets it. There are a fair amount of you who do, but there's an ever greater amount of you who don't (despite explanation). Going to coffee with someone without having to explain myself led me to believe it's time to write this and force you all to see the truth of the situation.
Since I was a kid, I always said I was a man. In my younger stages of life, I was convinced that I would become male at puberty. Puberty would take me to cismale and that would be it. As that became an unrealistic expectation, I began throwing coins in mall fountains, "Please, please, please, let me grow up to be a boy." I stopped talking about it out loud for a while then I went to junior high. I'm sure some of you remember this phase. I went by Neioh (Neo) and told everyone I was having a sex reassignment surgery when I came of age. Again, the subject was dropped, and here starts my Mormon phase. I entered myself into conversion therapy where it was explained to me that my gender identity issues were all rooted in wanting to justify my sexual attraction to women. I realize now that that was hardly the case at all (seeing as sexual identity and sexual orientation are different), but I continued to believe it even after I left conversion therapy and the Mormon church.
In March 2010, I met Shelley. The first day she came to see me, she directly asked me if I was trans*. I hadn't been asked that, and I hadn't really considered it, so I said "no." She then asked, "Well, do you wish you were a man?" And that had always been on the back of my mind. I said "maybe" and instead of judging me, she immediately asked what pronouns I preferred to go by. It was so odd. I thought I had to go through surgeries and jump through hoops to ever be recognized as male, but here she was ready to recognize me however I told her I wanted be recognized. I settled on male pronouns, and she asked what I wanted her to call me, and I stuck with my birth name for the time being.
I bought my first binder and excitedly started wearing it. It never fully flattened my chest, and it didn't help me pass in any sort of way. However, it was the tool I used to explain to my mother that I was trans, though she already knew it. We went for a walk when she asked why I was wearing the binder. I explained to her that I was trans, and her question was when the medical transitioning would start taking place. Not a great first question, but I'm happy to have a mother who supports me. It was on that very day that I decided on a name for myself. I was going to go by Hutchington Jay Young, Hutch for short. I was about to settle on Jack when I saw the name of a singer of one of my favorite band's, The Thermals, was named Hutch. I thought it was way too cool of a name to pass up, and I really thought it fit me better than Jack ever would.
I moved to Colorado in June of 2010 and gave everyone barely any time to adjust to the transman concept. My family had just found out and so had a lot of my friends. Here I came to Colorado, and I smoothly transitioned into being Hutch, the transman, for everyone my girlfriend had me come in contact to. As work started, back to the female identity I went because it's never felt safe to come out.
As time went by and people poked and prodded about my identity, I tried to give answers I thought people would want to hear.
To the trans* folk, I'd start T soon. My Utah therapist had offered the letter, I was just waiting on the funds.
To those who insisted that it was too hard to call me Hutch and use male pronouns, just take your time. I will never correct you or act offended because I'd be far too embarrassed to make either of us look my trans identity in the face.
To my two lovely ladies who wanted to know every thought, every feeling, every concept, every concern that I (they) had, I don't know. Maybe I'm gender queer. I didn't feel as if I was transitioning soon enough, so I let them think that perhaps it wasn't something I wanted to do. Maybe I just liked the name and the pronouns but would be comfortable in this body, letting people walk all over my identity in my outside world, and not need to nor have to transition. Again, I didn't want any of us facing my trans identity face on. It wasn't time. I wasn't ready for this.
I started therapy with an excellent man back in September of 2012. Just recently, he asked me a question that kicked open a door I hadn't been seeing all of this time. He asked, "If you took away all the outside voices, do you have any doubt that you're a man?" And my answer was a flat out no. No, I know I am a man. I know that is who I am meant to be, who I am meant to identify as, who I already am. No more questioning myself, realizing all doubts that I had were outside voices. People telling me it was easier to call me "she" and continue with my birth name was a crock of disrespectful bull shit. The trans folk who said that not transitioning quicker meant I wasn't standing up for something I believed whole heartedly in, meant 1) I didn't believe it whole heartedly and 2) that I wasn't being courageous. And to my two lovely ladies, I'm not gender queer. I do desperately want to transition, but I'm okay waiting. I want to wait til I am financially responsible and in a healthy position to do so.
Now I don't think it's anybody's business how I go about transitioning or when that will take place. I am open for questions and intellectual discussions about being transgender, terms, and the likes. I have no place in my life for those of you who want to continue to call me by my birth name or purposefully use female pronouns, and this is me saying, "Don't let the door hit you on your ass. Except, maybe it should." It is everyone's right to be honored and recognized the way they want to be, and I expect that from everyone who knows I'm trans. I have already lost a good load of friends over this, but becoming Hutch Josiah Young is all I've ever needed.