If Someone Had Asked Me Why
Content warning: Self harm

I am a masc lesbian woman on the autism spectrum and also someone who has a history of significant mental illness. I also had untreated menstrual problems which are undiagnosed to this day. As a survivor of childhood bullying who also was exposed to porn before age 10, I had severe self image issues and had wanted to be anything but myself. Then in high school I was told by my peers and teachers that I truly was someone else when the question came to my mind that I could be trans. I believed it. I was away from home and in an echo chamber when my mental illness spiraled.

I began to think all cisgender people hated me. I believed that I would die in a trans genocide. I was convinced that suicide was inevitable unless I medically transitioned. I wrote poems about ripping off my breasts and my uterus and stomping them into mush, tried buying DIY hormones and broke down wailing when I realized I didn't have the money, self harmed, and even tried to summon demons to kill people I deemed "transphobic". I thought going in the men's room would mean rape and the women's room would mean pepper spraying so I just held it. I was 16-17 through all this.

I hated everything about myself. I would have to duck down to avoid seeing my body in the mirror. I hated being called "she" and thought my female body was a magnet for endless misery. I hated being lesbian because lesbian is a porn category for men apparently. I forced myself into binders, but luckily could not stand wearing them long. I would dream about being a tall handsome man instead of an ugly hairy lesbian or whatever and thought becoming that would mean I would finally be worth love.

Almost everyone instantly went along with it when I said I was trans when in reality I just had severe OCD and psychotic symptoms. It should have been obvious I was extremely mentally ill and in need of help, but nowadays it is standard protocol to instantly affirm dysphoric feelings without even investigating their root cause. I think I was in a queue for a gender clinic... although my parents might have been lying to stall for time and to keep me safe from myself.

If someone had asked me "why" regarding my dysphoria I could have avoided the spiral. I suffered a year of delusions, crying, and fear before I was finally diagnosed with and treated for OCD. Then just like that my dysphoria went away with medication, as did my trust in many people who were so happy to tell me I was everything I thought about myself.

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