1. I remember lying in bed praying to a god (that I didn’t even believe in) that I would just wake up as a girl.
“I had just turned four and threw a fit when my parents told me I couldn’t be Nala for Halloween. Simba did not feel like an accurate reflection of my soul.
Somewhere around that time, I remember forming my first friendships. I knew that I related better with other girls. It was just so intuitive.
By the time I was 8 or 9, I remember lying in bed praying to a god (that I didn’t even believe in) that I would just wake up as a girl. I bargained with myself that if there was ever a magic pill I could take, I’d do it without hesitation.
My voice dropped around 11 or 12. The first signs of puberty. They coincided with depression, self-hatred for my body, and social isolation.
I’m 27 now, have been on hormones going on 4 years, have had SRS, and have never been happier or more well-adjusted in my life.”
2. Once I hit puberty, I used to look in the mirror as I was stripping for the shower and think ‘as long as all they’d have to do is remove my boobs, I’d be okay with having cancer.’
“This is super fucked up in hindsight, but once I hit puberty, I used to look in the mirror as I was stripping for the shower and think ‘as long as all they’d have to do is remove my boobs, I’d be okay with having cancer.’”
3. Used to lay awake at night fantasizing about being dunked in a pool of a magic potion and coming out a girl.
‘Crossdressing’ at the age of 3 or 4.
Used to lay awake at night fantasizing about being dunked in a pool of a magic potion and coming out a girl. This continued from like ages 6-13.
Pretty intense depression through my teens and feeling shame for the thoughts and feelings I had about wanting to be a girl.
As mentioned in another comment I used to wish I had testicular cancer so that I could get my balls removed.
I want to mention that while a lot of this happened when I was young, I didn’t have the language for it so I just thought I of myself as a crossdresser. When I found out transition was an actual thing, I knew then that I wanted to. I was 19 or 20 at the time and I would watch a few trans vloggers on YouTube back in 2006.”
4. I was three years old and pretending that I was a (male) race car driver.
“I think the first memory I have that, if I’d had the language to understand what was going on, would’ve really been a red flag was being three years old and pretending that I was a (male) race car driver. Obviously just the race car driver part isn’t necessarily indicative of being trans, but in my brain I was most definitely a boy who was driving around and impressing girls because I was a boy. I also used to frequently attempt to use urinals when I was in kindergarten and had lots of cases of wet pants because of it. I now identify as agender, but I think those things and puberty really just set me up on the journey of Not Being A Girl.”
5. I was around five and I asked my mother when my penis would fall off and remember crying when she told me that it wouldn’t happen.
“I was around five and I asked my mother when my penis would fall off and remember crying when she told me that it wouldn’t happen. As I grew up I started thinking about ways to get rid of it (like slamming our shower door on it).
Every birthday from around that time onward I wished to get rid of it which slowly morphed into just wishing to be a girl like I should have been.”
6. I absolutely despised wearing suits, ties, dress pants, etc. Used to get near crying when I had to.
“There were no sudden clicks. There are some things in hindsight that might suggest it. But overall it was a gradual buildup of wants that culminated in the idea of transitioning. I might add here, my mother was very very much 90s liberal feminist and also lesbian, so I grew up in a household without gender roles enforced on me. I was let to paint nails, she suspected I was bi/gay and said nothing, they bought me Barbies if I wanted. Also I had very high estrogen count when I was born, I think I had weird breast buds or something? My mother had told me that when I was young but I didn’t know what estrogen was, she mentioned it again after I came out to her recently.
I was constantly called out by my father who I had little contact with for having many female mannerisms at ~12.
My male friends were cool to me but I never felt like ‘one of the guys,’ I felt like I was trying to be ‘one of the guys’ and failing, but it was funny to me and they’d make a lot of sexual jokes that totally weren’t gay bro.
At 13 I practiced a really good female voice. Just for laughs of course, my guy friends would ask me to do it and say sexual things in and I would. I also had a habit of ‘helping’ bi-curious boys.
I absolutely despised wearing suits, ties, dress pants, etc. Used to get near crying when I had to but I sucked it up and eventually it just turned into the constant visceral feeling that I was ugly for no reason.
Eventually I realized I didn’t wanna be an old man, father or any of the sort. I pictured myself continuing to age femininely like I had already.
I decided to come out saying I didn’t want hormones because ‘oh I’m probably just a femboy, besides I like girls too and I wouldn’t pass as a girl’ (had already been gendered female a lot in public, for a male). Adopted quite an anti-trans mentality for a while. Was always attracted to trans men and women despite pretending I thought they were delusional. Basically, repression.
First hormone shipment here in 3 weeks.”
7. Probably the time in 6th grade when I was adamant about having really short hair so I could spike it.
“In hindsight, probably the time in 6th grade when I was adamant about having really short hair so I could spike it and wearing boy’s clothes including boxers I stole from my stepbrother (they had cats on them and he never wore them) but my dad beat the shit out of me and showed me the mangled bodies of trans and lesbian people who were murdered and I didn’t figure out I was trans until I was 23.”
8. Really really badly wanting reincarnation to be a thing so when I died I could be reborn a girl.
“When I was a young kid:
Really really badly wanting reincarnation to be a thing so when I died I could be reborn a girl. At the time I just thought everyone wanted to be a girl.
In hindsight, I laugh/cry.”
9. One of my ‘genie wishes’: If I ever had a genie and could get 1-3 wishes I would wish to be turned into a boy. I wanted it more than flying. I wanted it more than a billion dollars..
“FTM. There were several signs.
When I was 3-4 for some reason I thought you could just pick if you were a boy or a girl, and I ‘picked’ boy.
Around 7, I read these books about a boy named Marvin Redpost. In one book, there’s a rumor that if you can kiss your own elbow, you will turn into the opposite sex. I nearly broke my arm falling off my bunk bed trying to kiss my own elbow.
One of my genie wishes’: If I ever had a genie and could get 1-3 wishes I would wish to be turned into a boy. I wanted it more than flying. I wanted it more than a billion dollars.
At puberty I wanted to commit suicide, and bound my breasts with duct tape
I found the idea of pregnancy completely horrifying to the point of getting a hysterectomy/oophorectomy.
I had my first period the day of a funeral. My mom gave me some tampons and told me to put one ‘up there’ but it felt so wrong and disgusting to put anything “up there” I lied and ended up shoving a bunch of napkins in my underwear. Then I learned I’d be doing it every month for the next forty years or so, and wanted to kill myself all the more. My genitals make me feel so bad I can’t bring myself to masturbate and the only time I’ve ever had something put in me was when I had a pap smear.
Researched ways to see if I could give myself breast cancer, because then doctors would have to cut them off.
I lived in a small town, and the only portrayal of trans people in the media were trans women so I had no words for what I wanted or why I was so unhappy even when I was stuffed to the gills with antidepressants.”
10. I wanted to join the Girl Scouts rather than the Boy Scouts.
“I distinctly remember the Girl Scouts coming to our door to sell cookies.
I begged my dad for weeks to let me join. He didn’t seem to understand that I had zero interest in joining the Boy Scouts, and couldn’t get me to understand that the Girl Scouts probably weren’t going to let me in.
I’m still super pissed I never got to join. I really wanted one of those berets.”
11. When I saw cartoons with their obligatory ‘gender bender’ episode, I always just thought, ‘Wish that were me.’
“I’m 18 for context.
For me, it wasn’t when I ‘realized I was trans,’ so much as I realized I ‘wasn’t a girl.’ Hell, I didn’t even know what transgender was until I was at least 13 – and even then I didn’t really get it until 15.
When I saw cartoons with their obligatory ‘gender bender’ episode, I always just thought, ‘Wish that were me.’ Not too much more.
It wasn’t really until 6th grade that I became depressed. I saw other girls, how they looked, and when I stared in the mirror I didn’t like what I saw. The idea of changing my gender enthralled me, I became obsessed. I’d scour the web at night, searching for something I could do. A gender change spell, a body swap spell, something to get me out of my personal hell. I’d watch every piece of media with the concept – every movie, every anime, every manga with a gender swap and I’ve probably read it or seen it.
When I finally realized who I was, it didn’t seem right. Transgender people weren’t real to me, I’d never met one, seen one, and considering how I’d seen them criticized online, I never thought I’d be one.
I still haven’t transitioned. Still haven’t come out to anyone. I suppose fear is holding me back. What if I’m not transgender? What if it is just a phase? And yet, every time I think I’ve convinced myself I’m ok with being a 6-foot-tall man built like a brick shithouse, I look at a woman and feel….inadequate.
I honestly don’t know if I’ll ever come out. If I’m strong enough mentally. I don’t think I could handle the person I love most in the world rejecting me for something that isn’t my fault.
I guess what I’m trying to say here is… I’m not attention seeking. I don’t want the world to cater to my whim. I don’t want people handing me my life on a silver platter. I just want to be me.”
12. I remember having a dream where I was a girl and I was wearing the female uniform and went to school like a normal girl.
“Male to female here. I am currently 19 and well into transition.
One of my very first memories that I still remember is realizing how much I wanted to be a girl. I was around 5-6, and I was in grade 1. I live in Australia so we wear school uniforms when we attend school. I remember quite vividly that I started feeling slightly envious of girls in my class wearing their overalls whilst I had to wear shorts and a polo shirt. However the real epiphany came in a very vivid dream. That same year I remember having a dream where I was a girl and I was wearing the female uniform and went to school like a normal girl. I just remember a sense of ecstasy throughout the entire dream, as if it was the first time I ever felt happy, despite being 5 or 6 years old at the time. When I woke up from that dream I was overcome with a huge, huge sense of overwhelming disappointment. These dreams kept happening in my life until I began transitioning, each time I would feel the lasting effects of the disappointment over the next few days after the dream.
I grew up in an Asian household whom were also devoutly Christian, so I didn’t find out being trans was a thing until I was 15, otherwise I felt like I would’ve come out much earlier. When I was still a kid, I remember I would pray to God every night before I sleep, asking him if he would turn me into a girl in the morning, and for everyone to forget that I was ever a boy. It’s kind of funny because this is the reason why I think I eventually began to let go of religion.
Well once my teenaged years came around and puberty hit me… well it wasn’t great at all. I kind of let go of all hope of being able to be a girl one day and depression crept up on me unforgivingly. I still suffer remnants of the discomfort and hopelessness that I felt during those years, but life is getting better.
Despite the medias celebration and support for being trans these days, it is a hell that I wish upon no one, not even my worst enemies. In a perfect world, I hope that gender dysphoria never exists. My early realization of my condition robbed me of a childhood and filled me with despair and hopelessness whilst other kids my age got to experience those innocent years of their lives. I really hope reading this gives people a better insight on the life of someone who is trans.”
13. I can remember spending a lot of nights praying/wishing to go to sleep and wake up as a boy.
“I don’t know about early signs, there might not have even been any for me…I wore dresses sometimes and played with dolls and did other stereotypical ‘girl stuff.’ I didn’t really mind it, but then again, I was also allowed to play with toy cars and run around outside in shorts and do ‘boy stuff,’ too. I had a really relaxed childhood where gender wasn’t really forced on me.
As for trans memories, I remember playing male characters sometimes while playing pretend with my friends. I might be a knight or the prince, and for the most part this was always just okay? Like I said, very relaxed childhood.
Then a little bit older, maybe 4th or 5th grade, I had my first crush and wanted to be her boyfriend instead of her girlfriend? I’m glad I never acted on that because I don’t think it would’ve gone over as well as a simple game of pretend.
I’m honestly not sure when I noticed the difference between boys and girls/what it meant that I was a girl and not a boy… but I can remember spending a lot of nights praying/wishing to go to sleep and wake up as a boy. Or imagining what it would be like if I could go relive my life as a boy. I engaged in all sorts of fantasizing as a form of escapism… Still, didn’t recognize it as me being trans at the time. I’m not sure what I thought of myself.
I don’t remember when I first considered the possibility that I might be trans, and even though I’ve gathered a lot of evidence since then, I am still sometimes able to convince myself that I’m ‘just confused’ and need to wait longer and ‘see how this whole female thing plays out’ as though someday I will wake up just randomly happy. Idk. Weird stuff.”
14. I wanted to be a witch at age six.
“I was a 6-year-old kid playing with the neighbor girl. She said I couldn’t be a witch because I was a boy but since she was a witch she could turn me into a girl. 20 years later I decided I would transition.”
15. Hysterical sobbing and attempting to wear three too-tight sports bras at a time when my breasts started coming in.
“The hysterical sobbing and attempting to wear three too-tight sports bras at a time when my breasts started coming in.”
16. I was really confused and absolutely mortified I was growing tits.
“Not really a memory, but my childhood was just constant confusion and frustration. Everything from toys to playmates was ‘off’ and I had no idea why. I had precocious puberty which started at about 9/10 years old, and once that began I was really confused and absolutely mortified I was growing tits. Girls I knew were either excited or maybe awkward or embarrassed about the period/boob stuff, but they all seemed to have zero doubt that this is how they were supposed to be.
Other kids in elementary/middle school also latched onto the issue waaay before I did. I got teased a lot for being ‘a boy’ (tbh secretly liked it). I got the long blond hair my mother adored crew cut at 14. There are no words for when you’ve spent your whole life looking in the mirror at a stranger, and finally see a glimpse of yourself.”
17. Sitting on the toilet, pulling my shirt up, and thinking ‘I’m so glad my chest is so flat, I hope it stays this way forever.’
“I remember when I was maybe seven? Sitting on the toilet, pulling my shirt up, and thinking ‘I’m so glad my chest is so flat, I hope it stays this way forever.’ But then probably at an earlier age, all I’d want were action figures and toy cars, etc.”
18. I very distinctly remember being 8 and telling my mother I wished I was a boy.
“I was always a tomboy but I very distinctly remember being 8 and telling my mother I wished I was a boy. She shot me down pretty fast because she thought I was kidding but years later…yeah. Lots of unhappy mental times in between then and now (I’m 27 at present) and she’s now super supportive but admits that it seemed to have gotten worse around when I hit puberty. A lot of self-image issues and just… I was never happy with myself.”
19. I used to be obsessed with this book series about a princess who disguised herself as a boy so she could escape the castle and go on adventures.
“I used to be obsessed with this book series about a princess who disguised herself as a boy so she could escape the castle and go on adventures. Also when I was like 11 I loved when my friend would dress me up as a boy and draw beards on me with eyeliner. Weird thing was that once I hit puberty I didn’t consciously think about it anymore; then I met a trans guy in college and it was like all of it came pouring back out.”
20. I deeply and proudly hated Barbie and made plans to torture a Barbie doll if someone had had the audacity to give me one for my birthday.
“Late to the party but whatever.
I forced my mum to cut my very long flowy silky blonde hair when I was five because someone said I looked like a little angel.
I deeply and proudly hated Barbie and made plans to torture a Barbie doll if someone had had the audacity to give me one for my birthday. This included turning her limbs, cutting her hair and throwing her against the wall. I never got to execute my plans though, as my standard answer to ‘What are your birthday/Christmas wishes?’ was “Anything but a Barbie!”.
I deeply hated anything pink and frilly. The girls’ section was full of that shit so my mum took me to the boys’ and I was happy. She was happy too because I climbed around on trees or rolled in the grass all the time anyway and boy clothes were easier to clean.
I refused to wear dresses.
I made up a story in order to pass some boring time. Main and identity character was a boy. I let him do all the things I didn’t dare to do. Continued with the story for years (still visiting from time to time but it’s been on hold ever since I figured out I’m trans which makes me sad. it was a significant part of my childhood/puberty.)
Always wanted to be a boy character. Or Pippi Longstockings (the European and more tomboy version of Anne of Green Gables), because always be yourself unless you can be Pippi Longstockings.
Asked my parents what my name had been if I’d been assigned male at birth over and over even though I knew it.
Told my dad that I’d rather have another name, said a male name I’d made up, realized that that wasn’t what girls were supposed to do and followed with ‘…just joking!’
Weirdest thing: My best friend was a cis girl. She moved away when we were four but we kept contact and regularly visited each other for sleepovers. When I was nine, I somehow realized that puberty was coming and that hormones were a very important thing in that whole puberty thing. I then figured out that I had to be part of a scientific experiment that would “turn me into a woman”, because that was something that my body wasn’t supposed to do… right? So, given that some weird scientists wanted to turn me into a woman, I had to be given daily doses of female hormones. They had to do it without me noticing. So my parents had to do it. But what when I went to visit my friend? I’d never seen my parents give her parents some pills to mix in my food… and they didn’t have any supplements at home because my friend didn’t need it as she would turn into a woman either way
Still didn’t figure out until I was 18 or so, though.”
21. The number of times I’d pick the girl character ‘by mistake’ or be perfectly happy to play the girl roles when my friends and I played pretend was pretty glaring.
“In hindsight, the number of times I’d pick the girl character ‘by mistake’ or be perfectly happy to play the girl roles when my friends and I played pretend was pretty glaring. That, and legitimately wondering if a sex change operation is something I could have when I found out such a thing existed, yet I somehow never realized I was trans for another 15+ years.”
22. I apparently told people at pre-school that I was a boy. Also, I would only respond to the name Bob.
The earliest signs precede the earliest memories mostly because they happened quite early and I forgot them. However I apparently told people at pre-school that I was a boy. Also, I would only respond to the name Bob. I don’t remember any of these things, however.
As for memories, since I was a kid I remember that every time I had to make a wish, I wished that I could be a boy.
And also, sometimes people would mistake me for a boy, and I always felt so pleased. Other people all assumed it made me angry, but really it made me happy.”
23. At about seven years old, when living with my grandma, I read a book about a boy who could escape his own body while sleeping.
“At about seven years old, when living with my grandma, I read a book about a boy who could escape his own body while sleeping. When he switched over to a girl’s body to save her, I realized how jealous I was of him. I prayed every night, for seven years, to wake up as a girl someday. At 14, I found out that there’s a term for it, and society hates people like me. I stopped believing in god at that point, having already had doubts for the past 2-3 years.
God doesn’t make mistakes? Bullshit. He made me a boy.”
24. I remember telling my mom that I wanted to wear clothes from the store’s girl’s section.
“The earliest I clearly remember was when I was about 4 or 5 years old.
I remember telling my mom that I wanted to wear clothes from the store’s girl’s section. She…didn’t like that at all. She plainly told me that I can’t, but if I brought it up again, she’d take me to a doctor to have him cut my dick off.
Now, I’m ultimately ambivalent about my genitals. I truly don’t care which are between my legs, and never have. For me, I would say my female identity has less basis in gender dysphoria and more of an overwhelming emotional need to be living as a woman. Not even sure that makes sense. But telling me you’ll have me mutilated because you don’t like my words? That did a very good job of teaching me to live as deep in the closet as I could.”
25. I must have been around 8/9 and my older brother and sister dressed me up in a dress and makeup and it just felt right…and that scared me.
“Transwoman here, probably the earliest memory was when I must have been around 8/9 and my older brother and sister dressed me up in a dress and makeup and it just felt right…and that scared me. Over puberty I kept fantasizing about becoming or being turned into a woman but played it off in my head as a sexual fantasy and not a desire to be a woman. In the end, it was only last year I came to terms with being trans and have been on hormones for a year now.”